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  1. #1
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    Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    My son and I have a Ruger Mini-14 that we want to start reloading for. We already have a press and stuff of that sort I am looking for advice on powder and bullet weight. I am thinking we want to stay with what would be standard for say the 5.56 NATO cause we will be just target shooting. I already have as far as powder goes Hodgdon H4198 and IMR3031. What other would anyone advise to use or what opinions does anyone have on what powders I already have? What are some good bullets weights to try? We want to keep good accuracy (which is a given) and be able to reach out to 300 yards or so like any other battle rifle. I am open to any and all input here for our target/tactical rifle. Many, many thanks in advance for everyone's help and opinions.

    Eric
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  2. #2
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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    Varget, H/IMR-4895, AA2520, AA2230, IMR-4064, any of these will do the job and give good accuracy. My Mini-14 shot to point of aim with 50-55 grain slugs, but the best accuracy I ever got was about 3 inches at 100 yards. Mine was one of the older guns, not a Ranch Rifle, so I used a forward (Scout-style) mount I got from Ranch Products way back when.

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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    Ericboj I cannot help you on reloading for the 223 but I can give you some advice on the rifle. The one I have is a Mini 30. First off, do not let anyone tell you that it will not shoot. When I first got the Mini 30, it had an old Tasco scope on it and I could not shoot any groups at all with it. I was reloading the Hornady 123 grain V-Max and was shooting at the range. I got disgusted with it and decided to pull the scope off and try it without the scope. I started getting consistent inch and half groups with it at a hundred yards. It was the first time that I have ever made that good of a group with open sights.

    I have added a recoil suppressor and have a buffer to put on to keep from throwing the spent brass so far. You can go to the Ruger Forum and get a lot of info on them there especially the Mini 14
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  4. #4
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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericboj
    My son and I have a Ruger Mini-14 that we want to start reloading for. We already have a press and stuff of that sort I am looking for advice on powder and bullet weight. I am thinking we want to stay with what would be standard for say the 5.56 NATO cause we will be just target shooting. I already have as far as powder goes Hodgdon H4198 and IMR3031. What other would anyone advise to use or what opinions does anyone have on what powders I already have? What are some good bullets weights to try? We want to keep good accuracy (which is a given) and be able to reach out to 300 yards or so like any other battle rifle. I am open to any and all input here for our target/tactical rifle. Many, many thanks in advance for everyone's help and opinions.

    Eric
    If you want to stay with 5.56 NATO standard, there is only one bullet for that and it's pretty crappy. You will need to load an SS109-type bullet for you M855 equivalent and that will be a 62 gr FMJ with a 10gr steel penetrator. This runs counter to you desire for good accuracy.

    The Mini-14 is not know for its precision, but the first thing you need to verify is the twist rate which may be 1:9 or 1:10, probably 1:9 if it's a recent rifle. That should allow you to stabilize most any bullet weight up to about 75 grains. Powders have been listed above, I would also add H322. Varget is another good one, but it seems to behave best with heavier bullets.

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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    ericboj-I like BLC-2 and a 55 gr soft point-good on prarie dogs-coyotes-and deer..

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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    I've always used H335 and the 55grn Winchester bullet with decent accuracy out of my 20" AR. That being said, after researching for better handloads, I found my barrel will probably be better with heavier (62grn) bullets, so that's where I'm going. You could buy a box or two of the different 'surplus' rounds (M193, M855, etc) and try the different bullet weights to see what your rifle may like, and go from there.
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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    Many thanks guys! This will help a lot. It would be nice if powder manufacturer would sale powder in 1/8 pound containers or something of the like so one can try multiple powders with out buying way more than what is needed. We are planning on staying with the 55grn bullet and just out of curiosity does any one make steel core ammo?
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  8. #8
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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    55 gr. sofpoints over Varget, H-335, H-322. Varget is my favorite. Been wanting to try sum 60 grain V-max.
    I have a Ranch rifle that I've had the barrel cut to 16.5" for stiffness. Fitted with 1.75X5 scope & also red-dot handy. Like it mucho!!!!!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    Eric thank you for your service to our country, let's see if I can be of help. I don't know of a source for steel core available outside of the military, however I have seen the 62 grain steel core pulled bullets available at gun shows from time to time. I've owned a couple of mini-14's over the years and have found that the 50-55 grain bullets worked best in the older guns, if yours is a newer gun heavier will work fine. I always loaded with H335 for mine and the best bullets of the bunch were Nosler 50 or 55 grain ballistic tips or the 52 grain match king offering from Sierra. I don't need to tell an old Marine how to take care of one of these guns, you've probably forgotten more about the M14 than I've ever learned....smile. Remember to reduce your powder charges by about 1 grain if you use military cases and you'll be just fine. My best mini-14 would shoot about 1 inch at 100 yards with the above powder/bullet combinations but if yours is a newer model gun it might just surprise us both with how good it shoots. Let me know how it goes for you.

    Jesse

  10. #10
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    Re: Reloading for the .223 and a Mini-14?

    If you want to get a good baseline, try one of the various manufacturer's 52 grain BTHP Match bullets. You may find something that shoots better in your rifle, but I have never seen a rifle that shot them poorly. For powder, the H4198 you have should be a good choice, perhaps just a little too fast for optimal performance. If you want to buy something new to try, I recommend one of the short cut extruded powders... Hodgdon's Varget or Benchmark are both excellent in this cartridge.


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