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sierra m37
06-26-2012, 6:32 PM
My friend has owned his mini 14for approx. 10 years. He recently experienced a rash of FTE's and I asked if had the.223 or .223/.556 version and got a blank look. Then I asked what ammo he had in his safe and he had both calibers. I explained the issue of firing .556 in the .223 only version and suggested that this was likely the cause of his recent problems. He verified the barrel is stamped .223. He estimates he has put about 1,000 rounds through it but has no idea what the mix was, believing the two calibers to be interchangeable.

So the question is, does it need to go to a professional gunsmith to have tolerances checked, or can he just stick to .223 only from here on out. The thinking is the downside is some type of catastrophic failure if he put a lot .556 down range.

What advice should I give him?

Mossy Man
06-26-2012, 6:48 PM
Unless he has the target model (has a GIANT harmonic balancer on the end) then it is stamped .223 CAL (different than .223 Remington, and also not correct since it's more like .224 CAL, but w/e).

All Mini-14 models (including the most popular Ranch Rifle) are chambered 5.56MMx45 NATO except the aforementioned. All can also fire .223 Remington. The Target model is specifically .223 for tighter headspace tolerances, and thus only should fire .223 Remington.

If he is having failure to ejects, my first question is mags. Mini-14s are picky about mags.

Make sure he's not using some cheap Promags or something.

Have him use factory Ruger magazines.

Have him clean his magazines, next.

The vast majority of Mini-14 issues are mag-related.

sierra m37
06-26-2012, 7:00 PM
When I was looking into the min14, there are two different versions from what I was told. I looked at one at Big 5 and they carry the .223 only version for some odd reason. Normal shops can get the dual caliber version. I read quite a bit about headspace variances between the two calibers and the potential issues. So my recollection is that there are two caliber versions available.

His mini is a ranch and it does not have a harmonic balancer on the end. It looks like a stock Ranch .

Mossy Man
06-26-2012, 7:14 PM
When I was looking into the min14, there are two different versions from what I was told. I looked at one at Big 5 and they carry the .223 only version for some odd reason. Normal shops can get the dual caliber version. I read quite a bit about headspace variances between the two calibers and the potential issues. So my recollection is that there are two caliber versions available.

His mini is a ranch and it does not have a harmonic balancer on the end. It looks like a stock Ranch .

It's 5.56x45 NATO. There is no debate. No discussion.

Check the mags, and give the gas bushing a good cleaning.

My mini 14 will eat just about anything, but has most recently had a stable diet of Lake City M855 62gr and cheap Tula .223 62gr HPs.

jcjt
06-26-2012, 8:20 PM
Check to see if there are any chips or damage to the extractor. the extractor should be able to hold an empty shell without too much wiggle

chsk9
06-26-2012, 10:11 PM
Check to see if there are any chips or damage to the extractor. the extractor should be able to hold an empty shell without too much wiggle

Good advice. My mini14s are not magazine sensitive, pro-mag, no name or factory Ruger all seem for function equally well & spent casings are thrown 25-30' away.

JavaBrewer
06-27-2012, 1:07 PM
It's 5.56x45 NATO. There is no debate. No discussion.

^this.