Is 5.56x45mm safe to shoot in Mini-14?


June 4, 2008, 08:41 PM
I've come across a statement recently (no, I can't remember where) that implied that it is NOT SAFE to fire military 5.56x45mm ammo in a rifle chambered for .223 cal.

I have a pre-ban Ruger Mini-14 that I treasure, and would hate to damage it (or ME) in any way, by firing the wrong ammo...

Does military 5.56 ammo develop chamber pressures that are dangerously high for a Mini-14?

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June 4, 2008, 08:43 PM
Yes, 5.56 is fine in the Mini.

Brass Rain
June 4, 2008, 08:48 PM
I don't know about the Mini-14 specifically, but I know that 5.56x45 operates at higher pressures than .223 and that it's generally unsafe to fire 5.56 in a .223 chambered gun.

June 4, 2008, 08:58 PM
I'm concerned because I have a great deal of military ammo, and I LOVE to take the Mini out and pop off a few hundred rounds at a time...:evil:

June 4, 2008, 09:13 PM
if the mini is chambered for .223 (it would have this stamped on the bbl); .556 might cause problems. I highlight might because SAAMI put out a statement saying it might, personally I've never seen pictures of a .556 blowing up a .223 receiver.

OTOH, if the mini is chambered for .556, you can shoot .556 or .223 all you want.

June 4, 2008, 09:16 PM
According to the owners manual the Mini-14 is designed to fire both.
June 4, 2008, 09:17 PM
My Mini 14, a 184 series made in 1985 in stainless fires military ammo with no problem, maybe I should refrase that, it did fire military issue ammo from the 80's thru about 1995, haven't tried any newer ammo in it, the rest I fire are reloads.

June 4, 2008, 09:23 PM
All Mini 14's have a 5.56 Ruger if you want to ease your mind...but I assure you.....they have a 5.56x45mm chamber.

So do the Ruger #1's.

Art Eatman
June 4, 2008, 09:25 PM
I put a bunch of GI stuff through my Minis. Never any sort of problem. Folks have posted here that the instruction book with their Mini said it was okay, but I haven't seen a "Minibook" in years and years. :)

June 5, 2008, 01:05 PM
Thanks, gents - you've gone a long way toward easing my mind.
I do think it would be a good idea to call Ruger, just to get the official stance on the issue (can you tell it's an election year?)

June 5, 2008, 05:09 PM
Includes OK on 5.56 in the handbook.

And here is the PDF--see page 11

June 5, 2008, 06:13 PM
Just read the owner's manual, it's VERY clear that it's fine in a Mini.

You can call them all you want, but they already put it in the manual.

June 5, 2008, 06:19 PM
The Ruger Mini-14 has always been able to use 5.56 GI ammo, since the first one was made.

It says so on Page 11 of the owners manual:

They have always been marketed to law enforcement & even foreign governments, for military & LEO use, and as such are perfectly capable of safely shooting any 5.56 NATO ammo.


June 5, 2008, 06:44 PM
As rcmodel said, middle of page 11 (

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.

June 8, 2008, 01:44 PM
I'm not sure it makes much difference, but the Owner's Manual posted here stipulates that it covers Ranch Rifles from series 580-XXXXX...

Mine is a stainless in the 181-XXXXX series, for which I have no manual.

June 8, 2008, 01:56 PM

181 - 186

Early Ranch

181 Ranch & above

Like I said in post #13, they all say the same thing. .223/.5.56.


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