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Reloading for ar15 vs mini 14

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ralph2, Feb 28, 2011.

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  1. ralph2

    ralph2 Member

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    I think about getting an ar15 from time to time but I understand ar15's don't like wolf ammo so if that is true that leaves reloading or factory ammo. I don't like reloading for my mini 14. First problem is finding my brass which usually manages to end up in a tumbleweed if I can find it at all. The second problem is the mini 14 warps the head of the brass making it hard to get the brass in the shell holders. The third problem is brass stretches a lot in the mini-14's large chamber so extra muscle is required to resize the brass. So the question is would I have all the above problems with an ar15 ?
     
  2. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    A properly functioning AR15 tends to drop it's brass in a fairly consistent location. If that spot is a patch of weeds you're still out of luck. I don't find a lot of issues with case head distortion reloading for AR15 pattern rifles. Each rifle will a bit different, but the chambers for an AR15 tend to run a bit tighter than with the Mini-14 based on past experience. Current production Mini-14 units may have tighter chambers, Ruger is trying to generate better accuracy with recent production.
     
  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I've never had any problems loading for my old Mini-14, except that it would sling brass a mile. I made a home made brass deflector which drops it almost at my feet. No problems with my AR either. They don't sling brass as far, so that's nice.
     
  4. Jimfern

    Jimfern Member

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    I have not had any problems with Wolf 223 ammo in my AR-15. I bought 1,000 HP rounds years ago when it was $100 shipped. I have also shot reloads without any issues, using RCBS small base dies.
     
  5. sladenotdead

    sladenotdead Member

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    no problems with wolf

    Wolf only poses a problem for ar15 users that don't clean their rifles after shooting. The coating on wolf cases will leave a residue in your chamber and if not cleaned, eventually will cause a round to get stuck and will break your ejector. I have fired thousands of wolf rounds through my ARs without a problem, just remember to clean every time you shoot wolf, which is something you should do anyway.
     
  6. medalguy
    • Contributing Member

    medalguy Member

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    I shoot both an AR and a Mini-14. The AR drops the brass about 5 feet to my right. The Mini-14 throws the brass about 50 feet to the right. At least I know where to start looking for each pile.

    I haven't seen any issues with the head slipping into the shell holder to reload from either rifle. Maybe this is a problem particular to your rifle.

    As far as the chamber size, remember there is a +/- allowance in chamber reaming. You might have one on the large side of the variance. My rifle does not seem to stretch the brass any more than the AR. Unless I keep the brass separated I can't really tell which rifle shot which.
     
  7. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I load the same for both. The mini just chunks the brass a few zipcodes further.
     
  8. TX expat

    TX expat Member

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    Got any pictures of that brass deflector for your Mini? I'd really like to hike less while finding my Mini brass!
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Here you go. The clamps were for holding brooms, mops, etc. I made the wire form and sewed cloth over it. Works great.
     

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  10. D94R

    D94R Member

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    No, it's not the coating (either the old lacquer or newer polymer) that is the problem. The problem is with the gasses working back around the steel case that doesn't seal enough or fast enough leaving carbon deposits in the chamber.

    The coatings are fine.
     
  11. geigersd

    geigersd Member

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    Put a smaller gas bushing (.045 - .050) in your Mini-14 and properly torque the gas block screws.

    My Mini throws the brass about 18-24 inches to the 1 o'clock position after doing this simple change.
     
  12. TX expat

    TX expat Member

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    Thanks for the pics of the deflector and the gas bushing idea. I had given some thought to trying to modify a brass catching bag like I've seen on a number of ARs, but I had just never gotten around to messing with it, now I've got some other avenues to think about.
     
  13. ralph2

    ralph2 Member

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    geigersd -- Where do you get these smaller gas bushings ? That might solve my warped head problem too
     
  14. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Think that the deflector idea looks fun to fabricate. I may have to try my hand at it.:D
     
  15. sladenotdead

    sladenotdead Member

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    I stand corrected. Thanks D94R, I guess in my attempt to give advice, I was the one who ended up learning. I did some research, and it is correct, it is a gas problem, not a problem with the laquer, turns out that is just a myth. Either way, my experience has been that as long as you clean your chamber after shooting, wolf will do well. Brass is always the best choice of course.
     
  16. Wildbillz

    Wildbillz Member

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    Warped case heads?

    Hi All
    I have noticed this mainly on Mini 14 Ranch rifles. I think that its because of the type of ejector (fixed) that they use on it. The older one I had (with a standard button ejector) didn't do this. It seem that the bolt pulls the case back and the head hits the fixed ejector, which dents it more or less. I have seen some of the cases that have a straight mark from the ejector sticking out on them.

    YMMV
    WB
     
  17. Gonzofam

    Gonzofam Member

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    There is nothing wrong with wolf amo in an ar rifle. But have you inspected wolf amunition closely? It is not accurate but fine for within 50yds. The amunition is not deburred all the time on the outside of the shellss' neck where the bullet is seated. Often copper and steel is clogged around the edge where the bullet is seated and that is what has caused problems for me. Cleaning my rifle I have found these shavings on the bolt chamber and the places which caused some jamming and inaccuracy. 1-200 rounds per session is all I have put through. Not my favorite stuff. Kind of like a high maintenance girlfriend. There is some work to be done to get things to work right as long as I would like them too.
     
  18. center shot

    center shot Member

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    I had to buy a small base die when I started loading for my AR with a .223 chamber as some of my reloads would not chamber. Never had that problem for the mini, it would chamber anything. A Wilde or 5.56 chamber would probably chamber cases sized only with a FL die.
     
  19. D94R

    D94R Member

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    No problem. I too use to believe it was the coating. Till I started my own testing in my AR and AK with Wolf ammo, then did extensive searching to see what was actually happening.


    FWIW, my RRA upper AR15 doesn't like Wolf. I can slow fire through a mag loaded with 5 rds OK, but anymore than that and the 6th one (give or take a couple rounds) will stick. I would attribute this to claims that RRA has tighter chambers in their uppers, and allowing the heat cycle of any carbon build up to cool down enough to lock down on the casings. I can blow through an entire 30rd mag though no problem if rapid fire the whole mag. The chamber just becomes filthy as heck. If you inspect the casings and find what looks like the coating is failing, take some Hoppes oil and rub the casing with your fingers. The carbon will come off and the coating will look just fine.


    The AK on the other hand would eat salt water rusted Wolf ammo if I so choose.
     
  20. HOLY DIVER

    HOLY DIVER Member

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    interesting lesson on steel cased 5.56/.223 i've shot wolf in my AR's no issues well as long as dirty and inaccurate does not count back to the OP i've never thought about loading any differently for my AR vs. Minni14 both shoot my reloads great ....and i've tried allot of different powder bullet combo's ...i mean allot and i always go back to Sierra bullets/RE15 combo no matter if i'm loading 55gr fmj plinking 77gr hpbt long range or 55 gr sp varmint i have always used LEE dies i know there are other manf of great dies/bullets/powder but i figure if its not broke why spend $$$ 2 fix it
     
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