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Exalted One
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1,881 Posts
Rover, the answer is "it depends". This has been a very good and relevant discussion on an old thread. New owners (mostly of older Mini-14s) have this question, so it is always good to have this discussion - primarily because early Mini-14s were stamped ".223 REM", as my 181-series is.

In the end (with the exception of the Target model), M193 5.56 is safe to shoot. I personally stay away from M855 as bullet weight accuracy seems to be best for all of my Minis with a 55gr bullet (similar POA/POI/ballistics). My newer Minis can nicely handle M855s, but I prefer to keep only two types of ammo: .223 REM 55gr and M-193. With the exception of my Savage Bolt gun (.223-only), all my .223/5.56 chambered carbines are good-to go should I grab a handful of ammo in the dark to load. Simplifies the logistics...And I'm a retired logistician.
 

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Mk II, Wrangler, LCPII .22 LR, EC9S, Security 9, P-85, RAR .17 HMR + .22 LR, + 10/22 Sporter
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A barrel marked 5.56 NATO shoots both and a barrel marked .223 "should" only be used with .223. Not sayin it can't, just sayin you shouldn't. Really no argument unless you think the barrel is incorrectly marked.
 

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Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
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17,314 Posts
Rover, Or maybe it's the person that makes a post that doesn't contribute to the topic, like this one???
 

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Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
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Again .... some people just can't read or comprehend. As I stated before, a barrel chambered for 223 Rem will safely shoot 5.56x45 but not 5.56 NATO. A barrel chambered for 5.56x45 will safely shoot 223 Rem but not 5.56 NATO. A barrel chambered for 5.56 NATO will safely shoot 223 Rem and 5.56x45.

It doesn't get much easier than this!
 
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A barrel marked 5.56 NATO shoots both and a barrel marked .223 "should" only be used with .223.
That is not true in the newer Mini 14s case. You need to reread Iwoegans explaination.
 

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Older, & I mean real old minis, maybe not, but, as another poster stated, this comes up quite a lot. I'm sure a lot of guys by older minis on Gunbroker, with no manual, & it is a legitimate question. Another poster I think supplied the dates of a .223 only mini. And if there is any question, you can call Ruger.
 
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