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Hey friends,

I know the manual says not to shoot 556 through the target model, but I was at the range the other day and there was a guy shooting one and he said he has put thousands of rounds of 556 through his target model with no issues. Has anyone else shot 556 in their target models?
 

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NO expert on your particular model of Mini, but I think I'd follow Owner's Manual instructions until I heard differently from Ruger.

Military 5.56 NATO ammo is significantly "hotter" than most civvy .223 ammo. I know that users of most non-Match models of Mini-14s have shot both 5.56 and .223 ammo with no untoward results (due to the ammo) that I know of. That said, I don't know everything, and AFAIK, Ruger still marks all "civvy" Minis as intended for .223 ammo.

However, the Ruger Owner's manual says the following: "RUGER® MINI-14® RANCH rifles are offered in two calibers: .223 Remington (5.56mm) and the 6.8mm Remington SPC. The Target Model uses .223 Remington cartridges only." (Emphasis in original)

Ruger also says: "The Mini-14® Ranch and Mini Thirty® rifles are designed to use either standardized U.S. military, or factory loaded sporting cartridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice. Always be careful to ensure you are using the correct ammunition for your rifle. See “Warning - Ammunition” & “Ammunition Notice,” below. ".

Finally, there is this: "WE SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE OR INJURY WHATSOEVER OCCURRING IN CONNECTION WITH, OR AS THE RESULT OF, THE USE IN RUGER FIREARMS OF FAULTY OR NONSTANDARD OR “REMANUFACTURED” OR HAND LOADED (RELOADED) AMMUNITION OR OF CARTRIDGES OTHER THAN THOSE FOR WHICH THE FIREARM WAS ORIGINALLY CHAMBERED".

My (possibly imperfect) understanding is that the chamber in most Mini-14s is of the "Wylde" type, which is more forgiving in its dimensions than a "tight" .223 chamber. I'm also making the assumption that Ruger chambered your particular model of Mini-14 with a relatively "tight" .223 chamber.

Suggest better safe than sorry.

Also suggest that your model of Mini-14 would likely be considerably more accurate using carefully made (expensive) commercial ammo rather than Mil-spec ammo which is generally not noted for stellar accuracy.

Your call on whether you want to hand-load for your Mini. I've shot many carefully-made handloads through my 186 series Mini, but that's me. YMMV.

Best wishes to you!
 

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A gun guy on the radio said the COAL of the 5.56 is longer than that of the .223. The case dimensions of both are the same but the bullet is seated farther out with the 5.56 and therefore requires a longer free bore ahead of the rifling than is needed for the .223. So chambering a 5.56 in a .223 only chamber could force the bullet of the 5.56 cartridge into the rifling of the .223 chamber and cause excessive pressure upon firing.
Says a guy on the radio.
He also said people fire 5.56 in .223 only chambers all the time and it seems to work so....

Mag
 
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