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Old August 9, 2021, 10:55 PM   #1
NobodyJones
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Steel cased ammo in a Mini-14

Will steel cased ammunition, like Wolf, function properly and without damaging a Mini-14? I have a chance to get a pretty good price on 1000 rounds but don't want to do it if it will hurt the rifle.
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Old August 9, 2021, 11:51 PM   #2
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2m7aF60GD8

mixup98 tests steel cased ammo in his ruger mini 14
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Old August 10, 2021, 06:33 AM   #3
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Steel cased is fine.
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Old August 10, 2021, 11:55 AM   #4
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Had a Mini for some years. No issues with steel cased.
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Old August 10, 2021, 12:17 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys. I do appreciate your help.
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Old August 11, 2021, 11:38 AM   #6
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Steel cased ammo should not matter. But, be aware that should not is not the same as will not.

Every gun and ammo combination can be different. Usually not much, but once in a while, a lot.

Unlike Soviet / Combloc designed military weapons, the Mini 14 was not designed to run on steel.

All the steel cased ammo isn't the same, either. It will probably work in your gun, but only testing in your gun will tell you that, for certain.
How well it will work in your gun is another thing only testing in your gun can tell you.

I've had a Mini 14 of some kind since the early 80s. None of them have ever seen a steel cased round and as long as they're mine, none ever will.

Nor do I shoot Berdan primed ammo, either. (unless its Combloc surplus in a Soviet gun). I reload, and don't want brass I can't reload.

IF its all you can get, its all you can get and you have my sympathy. If you're using it just to save a few $, that's your business, but remember that often when you buy cheap stuff, you get what you pay for...or less...
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Old August 12, 2021, 09:48 AM   #7
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It all depends on many things . . .

I think steel case ammo is like so much of the firearms experience . . . it all depends on the circumstances.

I shot 440 rounds of old steel cased ammo out of my Mosin Nagant with no problems.

However; years ago I had a Rem 7 chambered in 223. Had some Wolf steel cased ammo. One of them expanded so much that I could not get the bolt open. Had to take a plastic mallet to the bolt handle to get it open. Yikes!

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Old August 14, 2021, 04:42 PM   #8
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A Mini14 will eat anything you feed it. (In the correct caliber of course)

It’s its best quality, I’d say.
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Old August 15, 2021, 08:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
A Mini-14 will eat anything you feed it. (In the correct caliber of course).
It'll likely feed and run fine on the cheap steel-cased stuff. The real question is: will you be able to hit anything with that Mini that's not your Gramp's barn door 15-feet away?

Min-14s, at least in .223/5.56, tend to be more of an educational opportunity for the newbs and Tyros just getting into a semi-auto rifle.

Pie-plate accuracy at best, ... then they realize they now have a reason to 'upgrade' to an AR.

A real-world demonstration that the cost of the learning curve is what it is.
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Old August 15, 2021, 09:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JustJake View Post
It'll likely feed and run fine on the cheap steel-cased stuff. The real question is: will you be able to hit anything with that Mini that's not your Gramp's barn door 15-feet away?

Min-14s, at least in .223/5.56, tend to be more of an educational opportunity for the newbs and Tyros just getting into a semi-auto rifle.

Pie-plate accuracy at best, ... then they realize they now have a reason to 'upgrade' to an AR.

A real-world demonstration that the cost of the learning curve is what it is.
Every Mini 14 I’ve ever owned has never had a problem shooting sub 2 MOA with a little trigger work and the right load. Same with my Mini 30. Now out of the box with the best factory ammo 4 MOA was more like it.
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Old August 15, 2021, 07:58 PM   #11
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I only claimed reliability, but I’ve seen enough anecdotal evidence about Mini14 inaccuracies that I don’t counter any claims of such.

However, the Mini14 that I own is a more than capable rifle. I hunted coyotes at night with a my Mini14 for years.
I have multiple ARs, I’d get rid of everything else, but I won’t part with the Mini14. This is all off topic.


The Mini14 is incredibly reliable and will function just fine on steel cased ammunition.
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Old August 19, 2021, 06:59 AM   #12
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Steel cased ammo should run fine.
One suggestion I have is to clean your rifle well after you shoot it.
Steel cased ammo does not expand as well as brass, so it tends to dirty up the chamber faster.

As for accuracy, I'm pretty sure todays Mini-14's are much improved over my 1981 model. (182 series)
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Old August 19, 2021, 10:54 AM   #13
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I can't find the link at the moment, but read a test report where some guys tested AR's with steel vs brass cases. They selected 4 AR rifles and fired 10,000 rounds of brass cased ammo through one. Then 10,000 rounds of 3 different brands of steel cased ammo through each of the other 3. Sorry, I can't recall exactly which brands were used.

The rifle firing brass cased ammo didn't have a single malfunction and the barrel showed no loss of accuracy after 10,000 rounds.

The rifle firing one brand ammo had to drop out after 6000 rounds due to multiple problems.

The rifles firing the other 2 brands of steel cased ammo had very few malfunctions in 10,000 rounds. About 10-15 each.

There was no excessive wear to extractors, but the bullets used in the steel cased ammo uses bi-metal bullets with a steel jacket. The barrels firing steel cased ammo were horribly inaccurate after 5000 rounds and had no rifling after 10,000 rounds. Chrome lined barrels will help extend barrel life.

They concluded that steel cased ammo was so much cheaper, and replacing an AR barrel was cheap enough to justify using the steel cased ammo even if you had to replace the barrel more often.
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Old August 19, 2021, 01:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
The rifle firing brass cased ammo didn't have a single malfunction and the barrel showed no loss of accuracy after 10,000 rounds.
No loss of accuracy after 10,000 rounds? Makes me wonder what their beginning accuracy standard was. Hitting the 25m target somewhere??

Every modern high intensity cartridge (which the .223 is) wears out the barrel a tiny bit with each shot. And they do it "faster" in rapid fire. Different folks have different accuracy standards. The one hole group shooter might consider a barrel worn out when his group size expands by a couple thousandths of an inch. The deer hunter barrel isn't "worn out" until he can't reliably hit his deer. For a long time, 5,000 to 8,000 rounds was considered a good barrel life shooting "standard" rounds (not overbore cartridges) before accuracy was beyond the useful point.

10,000 rounds with "no loss of accuracy" is waaay beyond the normal. Unless, of course, your beginning standard was large. No loss is not no change, and if your criteria is hit the 25m target somewhere in the beginning, and you still hit the same target after 10,000 rnds then "no loss" is factual, but its not telling you much.

its not telling you that the rifle started out shooting 1.5" groups and ended shooting 8inch groups, for example. Without actual data, its just an unsupported statement, open to all kinds of interpretation.

And there are some of us who are not interested in the cost of replacing a barrel being absorbed by the saving from shooting cheap crap ammo.
I used to work on M16s. I can replace the barrel of one myself, at home in a couple hours (a few minutes for the actual swap, but I'm slow ), for the cost of the parts and a couple special tools (which I already have). Replacing the barrel on my Mini 14 means a trip to a gunsmith, which means the rifle will be "offline" for at minimum several days, if not weeks (before the smith gets to working on it) and possibly longer. And it means the cost is parts plus labor, plus time.

What is that time worth? Is that "expense" also absorbed by the savings from shooting steel cased ammo? Not in my book, but, that's just me.
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Old August 19, 2021, 03:31 PM   #15
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If a person can afford 10000 rounds... they can easily afford a barrel, or a new gun.
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Old August 21, 2021, 07:36 AM   #16
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The barrel wear is from the bi-metal jacketed bullets used in the test, not the steel cases and the rifles exhibited "significant loss" of accuracy at 6,000 rnds.

What they reported was that the carbine firing Federal 55gr FMJ retained "acceptable accuracy" after 10,000rnds.

I'm pretty sure this is the test referred to:
https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/bra...el-cased-ammo/
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Old August 21, 2021, 08:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NobodyJones View Post
Will steel cased ammunition, like Wolf, function properly and without damaging a Mini-14? I have a chance to get a pretty good price on 1000 rounds but don't want to do it if it will hurt the rifle.
Unless you have already bought the case…..good luck finding any now.
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Old August 21, 2021, 09:40 AM   #18
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Better get it while you can. Biden has banned the importation of Russian guns and ammo.
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Old August 22, 2021, 11:04 PM   #19
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>>>Joe-ker's post above tried to describe the potential strong significance

,,,,,,,,,,,Do most of you guys now What is happening - unless the import Ban on Russian Ammo by the State Dept. were somehow to get reversed? Planned to begin September 7th.

* A dollar A Round now for Russian 7.62x39 (20-rds. box). "Optics Planet". JGsales and many others are Sold Out.

Even US-made .223 seems to be up in price.

And guys are worried about old rumors regarding simply Using steel-cased ammo?

With even a percentage of .223 blocked by the planned import ban, and thousands of Mini 30, SKS, AKM (both 5.45x39 and 7.62x39) shooters soon deciding to Switch to .223 guns, how much do you imagine .223 ammo prices will climb in the near future?

Last edited by Ignition Override; August 22, 2021 at 11:54 PM.
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Old August 22, 2021, 11:31 PM   #20
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Steel cased ammo is fine with steel mags. My Mini does not like steel with plastic mags; brass ammo is fine with them.

Is Wolf ammo actually made it Russia now? I know it's a Russian company but where is the manufactory? It *might* not be affected.
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Old August 23, 2021, 06:01 AM   #21
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WOLF Performance Ammunition is a trademark associated with Sporting Supplies International (SSI), a corporation in the United States.

Wolf is actually a US owned company.

Last edited by BudrowBob; August 23, 2021 at 06:11 AM.
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Old August 23, 2021, 07:50 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxcvbob View Post
Steel cased ammo is fine with steel mags. My Mini does not like steel with plastic mags; brass ammo is fine with them.

Is Wolf ammo actually made it Russia now? I know it's a Russian company but where is the manufactory? It *might* not be affected.
It says on the box it's made in Russia.
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Old August 24, 2021, 12:20 AM   #23
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NobodyJones:

Are you up on the latest, the State Dept's somewhat Vague, new directive on Russian ammo?
It says that renewals or new applications (might be the same) to import Russian ammo "..will be Subject to denials..", or very similar language.

"Subject", by a normal definition, doesn't mean that only denials will be given. The Exec. Branch's....exact intentions....are unknown.

We don't know whether:
A) All Russian ammo imports will be given approval months, maybe over a year from now (depends on which company etc),
B) Some of it allowed to continue being imported,
C) Possibly None of it to be renewed. Nobody outside the "govt." seems to know.

And not many people know when current approvals, or different time spans, would apply to receive new "approval", in order to continue. Confusing?
I was a pilot, and don't know the correct bureaucratic lingo.........

If you can Find any steel-cased .223, it's probably far more expensive than three days ago.
I tried to describe the situation in the earlier post, Remarks # 19.

Last edited by Ignition Override; August 24, 2021 at 12:26 AM.
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Old August 24, 2021, 12:48 PM   #24
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I would point out that even in normal times, all applications for permits are "subject" to denial.

I believe that the govt statement issued at this time is a warning that future permits will be denied, without having to commit to that in writing.

Regardless of what actually happens, ammo sellers have already jacked up the price of steel cased ammo and I don't see it ending until the supply is exhausted. Capitalism at work, make profit now, while you can.

Not so good for the consumers, but other systems seem to screw us worse,,,

I don't have a dog in the fight, I don't use Russian ammo, other than the stock I have for my few remaining Soviet milsurps (none in 7.62x39) which don't get shot much these days.

If you can get it, at whatever you think is a fair price, its ok to use, but I think the days of inexpensive steel cased ammo are about done. The days of actual "cheap" surplus ammo are long over.
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