The RUGER Mini-14 Ranch Rifles are chambered for the .223 Remington (5.56mm) cartridge. The Mini-14 Ranch Rifle is designed to use either standardized U.S. Military, or factory loaded sporting .223 (5.56mm) cartridges manufactured in accordance with U.S. industry practice.
October 14, 2007, 02:52 PM
I believe that Ruger chambers all of their .223 Ranch Rifles for 5.56mm. That was the case when I owned one. They know that lots of shooters buy surplus ammo.
October 14, 2007, 04:39 PM
What is the difference between the two??
October 14, 2007, 04:43 PM
as I understand it, 5.56 NATO has looser chamber tolerances and higher pressure.
October 14, 2007, 04:55 PM
I have never met a person ever who has had a problem switching between 223 rem and 556 nato in a rifle that was chembered for either.
I have shot both ammo types in both chamber types and never encountered a problem of any kind including any sign of over pressure.
Your mileage may vary, but I doubt it.
October 14, 2007, 05:10 PM
Yes, they are chambered for 5.56.
October 14, 2007, 05:38 PM
I have a newer Ranch Rifle (with the garand style sights) and the manual states that the gun is chambered for 5.56 nato or .223 remington.
October 14, 2007, 05:41 PM
Appreciate the help:)
October 14, 2007, 09:11 PM
Yes they are chambered for either 5.56 or .223 as the manual states. As they say: RTFM!
October 14, 2007, 09:25 PM
My saiga has a chrome lined barrel, but the reciever indicates that it is takes .223 rem. Being that its chrome lined though, I should be fine using 5.56 right?
October 14, 2007, 09:57 PM
The chrome lining has nothing to do with it. It has to do with chamber and throat measurements.
October 14, 2007, 10:02 PM
what size dies does a guy get to reload for the ruger rifles then?? i have thought lately about getting one but i will reload for it.. thanks JJB
October 14, 2007, 10:03 PM
I read my owner's manual and it stated that either round could be fired. Just don't expect moa or even close.
October 14, 2007, 10:25 PM
Not a MOA rifle, but the newer ones (580 series) are more accurate than the previous ones (I have had both). They are good defense, farm, and truck guns. Mine has taken a number of incidental and called coyotes. I would not get one if it will be your only .22 centerfire and you are going to use it for paper target shooting. I have a bolt action .223 for paper and long range varmint shooting. I do really like my mini, though.
October 14, 2007, 10:35 PM
I love my Mini-14, I shoot both 5.56 and .223 through it and it eats it all just fine. :)
October 14, 2007, 11:08 PM
This topic seems to come up a lot and there seems to be a lot of disagreement. Same thing with the .308 and 7.62X51. I have used them both interchangeably and have never had any problems. The military rifles may have looser chambers to aid reliability and the military ammo may be loaded slightly hotter but it seems to be close enough not to matter.
My Ruger 30-06 has a looser chamber than my Remington 30-06 and commercially loaded ammo comes in a wide range of power levels within the same caliber. This does not seem to be of any concern to shooters so I have never worried about it.
October 14, 2007, 11:17 PM
jmr- I agree, it's pretty amusing reading the folks that are of the opinion the 5.56 in a .223 chamber will split the time-space continuum.
October 15, 2007, 11:38 AM
Reloading for little Rugers is like any reloading for semi-auto. Full-length resize makes for better reliability.
I find it hard to believe that GI ammo is loaded "hotter". The shear strength of the bolt lockup on an AR isn't any greater--if even equal to--the shear strength of a standard two-lug bolt.
October 15, 2007, 12:59 PM
I don't think there are any serious safety issues using factory-loaded 5.56mm in a .223 chamber; but you may see function issues. Typically, if you see function problems it involves semi-automatics and function problems because semi-autos are more sensitive to a specific pressure at the port than a bolt action.
The increase in pressure using 5.56mm is probably not enough to blow up a rifle; but it can be enough to cause the rifle to cycle too early before chamber pressure has dropped and this can result in failure to eject or extract.
October 15, 2007, 01:33 PM
The way I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong), is that military 5.56 chambers are looser, with more freebore, to allow for proper function even when wet, dirty, hot, etc.. Commercial .223 chambers are tighter for better accuracy. Dimensionally both cartridges are the same, meaning you can use the same loading dies.
Military ammo (so I've heard) is loaded slightly "hotter" to function at the same pressure in the looser chamber. When fired in the tighter chamber, pressures will rise. It won't rise to the point of catastrophic failure (KaBoom) as the rifles are proofed with rounds much hotter, but it could cause malfunctions (see last post) and will cause accelerated wear on the rifle.
It sounds to me like Ruger uses a military-style loose chamber.
October 15, 2007, 03:45 PM
Same thing with the .308 and 7.62X51. I have used them both interchangeably and have never had any problems. The military rifles may have looser chambers to aid reliability and the military ammo may be loaded slightly hotter but it seems to be close enough not to matter.
I may be wrong, but I think civilian .308 is loaded hotter than 7.61x51mm NATO; AFAIK, it is safe to shoot milsurp 7.62x51 through a .308 rifle, but using commercial .308 in some 7.62x51 rifles (primary gas-operated autoloaders) can cause overpressure problems. .308 shooters, straighten me out here if I'm wrong.
October 15, 2007, 04:05 PM
In the early 70's commercal ammo was loaded with a soft primer. Great for bolt action but they puncured in the early Colt AR's and AR180's. I had problems with winchester and norma SP ammo. Since 1976 I have had 0 problems with commercal ammo in my AR's ,AR180 or Ruger Mini.
Hell is in the details
October 15, 2007, 05:43 PM
Jeez! 23 posts to say "yes". I've had a Mini since Christ was a cadet. .223, 5.56 nary a bobble.
October 15, 2007, 05:55 PM
what size dies does a guy get to reload for the ruger rifles then??You use .223 Rem. reloading dies for either .223, or 5.56.
They are exactly the same outside case dimensions.
Nobody even makes 5.56 specific dies.
Same with .308 Win. / 7.62 NATO.
.308 Win. dies sets are all that are made.
I purchased a Rem mod 700 .223 varmit special in 1970 when on active duty in the Air Force. It has shot far more 5.56 than .223 for what it's worth and absolutly no problems, and shall continue to do so.
October 16, 2007, 10:21 PM
Thanks Again Rc......................
October 16, 2007, 10:31 PM
My saiga has a chrome lined barrel, but the reciever indicates that it is takes .223 rem. Being that its chrome lined though, I should be fine using 5.56 right? You should be fine. You can bet all AKs in .223 are chambered in 5.56 NATO (the Saiga is built by the same factory as the AK-101 and 102).
October 17, 2007, 07:11 PM
Yep, own an older 81 series and it does both equally!!!
October 17, 2007, 08:17 PM
My ".223" ak is etched 5.56x45 in the same place that it says it was made at romarm/cugir.
Ive always wondered exactly which that the chamber was cut for. As it was listed by the importer as .223
October 17, 2007, 10:54 PM
I've used both with no trouble.
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