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Old February 16, 2012, 11:02 AM   #1
woodman45
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Handloads for Mini 14

I am wondering if anyone would be willing to share their favorite handloads, for the Mini 14, with me. I will be attending a gun show in the near future and I want to pick up some components, such as primers, powder and bullets and mt cases.

I am concerned about other gun owners being complacent with Obamma and his Democrat freinds efforts to push gun control. They feel that it could never happen in this country. Is it just me or have other people observed this also?
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:22 AM   #2
griz
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So much of the rifle reloading market is geared toward the 223/AR platform that data is abundant. I've used AA2015, BLC2, Varget, 231, 4895, and others with fine results. My Mini was never a tack driver, but does shoot well enough for the sort of medium range general purpose uses I ask of it. I usually pick the bullet for it's terminal effect rather than accuracy. The gun will shoot lighter bullets OK, but I usually used bullets in the 55 to 70 grain range. A soft point in that range will work well on critters up to fox and groundhog size easily, and probably bigger but that's about all I can use it on around here.
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Old February 16, 2012, 11:55 AM   #3
mjm
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Find the twist rate is for the Serial Number series you have. I have an early Mini (183 series) and it does not stabilize heavier bullets as well as it does 55 grain bullets. Later Mini's have a faster twist rate and do not have that problem. Most Mini's seem to do well with 55 grains, but you may decide a heavier weight bullet may fit your application.

This will help folks post their pet loads. I cannot give you my pet load, because I no longer load for my Mini. I build accuracy loads for an AR with a match barrel. The mini gets the castoffs for plinking.
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Old February 16, 2012, 12:10 PM   #4
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I just ordered a Mini yesterday -- should be a 1:9 twist -- and I'm looking for components while I wait. With "once fired" brass, I assume the .223 needs to be separated from the 5.56 NATO? (and both are usable)

I have AA2230 and AA2495 and Reloder 12 powders already. And SR primers but I don't remember what brands. But I don't have dies, bullets, or anywhere near enough brass yet.

Lee Pacesetter dies OK? Or do I need expensive RCBS X-dies?

I'll check the usual places for pulled SS109 projectiles...
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Old February 16, 2012, 02:26 PM   #5
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Lots of info at the Mini-14 forum, Perfect Union...
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Old February 18, 2012, 06:57 PM   #6
Ralph Allen
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My Mini 14 load. 25.0 gr H335, Rem 6 1/2 primer, Hornady 55 gr SXSP. Works quite well in mine and is very explosive on small critters.
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Old February 18, 2012, 07:58 PM   #7
CherokeeT
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Been loading for a series 180 since 1976. Best load for my gun has been Hornady 55 JSP with H335 and CCI SR primer @ 2.21" OAL. Their FMJ is almost as good and better than most 55 FMJ's. Your 1/9 Mini should take the SS109's just fine.
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Old February 18, 2012, 10:18 PM   #8
tom234
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Unfortunately, Mini-14s aren't known for accuracy. If you can hit a 9" paper pie plate at 100 yards you'll be doing good.
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Old February 18, 2012, 11:11 PM   #9
zxcvbob
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Quote:
Unfortunately, Mini-14s aren't known for accuracy. If you can hit a 9" paper pie plate at 100 yards you'll be doing good.
Isn't that just the 180's? I thought they fixed that with the 580's. (but paper plates at 100 yards is "minute of zombie" accuracy ) I'm not sure my 50-something year old eyes are any better.
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Old February 20, 2012, 01:58 AM   #10
medalguy
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Funny. I took my 185 series out today and was regularly ringing a 6 inch plate at 200 yards and I'm 65. My load is USGI brass, Rem SRBR primer, 25.0 gr of WC844 (equivalent is H335) and 55 gr FMJBT Lake City surplus bullets. OAL is 2.245 inches and I use a light crimp from a Lee FCD.
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Old February 20, 2012, 05:51 PM   #11
straight-shooter
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Quote:
My Mini 14 load. 25.0 gr H335, Rem 6 1/2 primer, Hornady 55 gr SXSP. Works quite well in mine and is very explosive on small critters.
Same recipe here, works very well.
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Old February 20, 2012, 06:02 PM   #12
Adamantium
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I tried 4 different powders and didn't notice any one stand out. My 183 mini has a Accu-strut and with the original blade sight I get 3 MOA out of it. It would certainly be smaller with a scope.

The thing to remember with reloading for a Mini is that it doesn't kiss primers like an AR does, so you don't need NATO/Magnum/Match primers. Regular small rifle are fine. However if you do plan on using your loads in both, or just want the option, there is nothing wrong with using primers meant for AR's.

I use the Hornady 55gr sp W/cannelure as do others who have posted here. For the price they are great.

Quote:
I assume the .223 needs to be separated from the 5.56 NATO?
With factory ammo, yes. With brass for reloads, no. As long as you load all your brass to 223 load data it doesn't really matter what is on the case head.
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Old February 20, 2012, 06:55 PM   #13
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I picked up my Mini-14 today. It's a 581. Has a ghost ring rear sight and a very wide blade front sight with posts on each side to protect it -- kind of looks like a 'W'. It'll be very fast to acquire but I don't see how that could be accurate, maybe it'll surprise me. It came with a set of Ruger scope rings too; I wasn't expecting that. So I'll play with it with the iron sights for a while and then slap a Leupold 2-7x on it and see what difference that makes. I think the Leupold might be a rimfire scope but I don't remember...

Cabela's has Federal American Eagle .223's 55gr FMJ on sale $109 for an MTM ammo box of 300 rounds. I'll get one of those to get me started, and a couple of boxes (20) of 62gr FMJ 5.56 NATO. And a set of reloading dies.

Are Federal 205's and Wolf standard SR primers OK, or are the cups too soft?
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Old February 20, 2012, 07:29 PM   #14
Adamantium
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I tried the Wolf standard SR with poor results. With a brand new hammer spring about 2 per 20 round mag are very slow to fire, IE about a quarter to half second after the hammer falls, and about one per 50 is just a dud. Winchester SR have been flawless though.
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