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6 Best Scopes for Mini 14: Pick the Best One

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Ruger mini 14 was introduced in 1973 as a civilian version of a popular US military rifle. The mini 14 is arguably the second most popular semi-automatic rifle after the AR 15. Its popularity stems from the rugged design and effectiveness in long-range shooting. Sometimes called the ranch rifle, mini 14 is tested and trusted.

As a stand-alone, the mini 14 is a powerful weapon, but with a scope attached, it goes over the edge in what it can provide you. Getting the proper scope that will bring out the best from the mini 14 rifle might become a challenging task because of the number of scopes in the market.

There are several mini 14 variants you can choose from, including the mini 14 tactical featuring a tactical look and a short barrel, mini 14 ranch chambered for 5.56 NATO and resembling a classic hunting rifle, and the mini 14 Thirty, which is chambered for the Russian 7.62×39mm.

We’ll show you some of the best scopes you can use for your mini 14 rifles. These scopes have gone through tests and have come out on top. You’ll also see factors you can use to get the best scope for your mini 14, depending on your needs.

Without further ado, let’s see the scopes.

Best Scopes for Mini 14

To save you time and resources, we’ve made it easier for you to enjoy your mini 14 rifles by bringing out the best scopes that fit this long-range rifle.

IMAGEPRODUCTFEATURESPRICE
Bushnell 3-9×40mm Rifle Scope With DZ 223 ReticleBushnell 3-9• Affordable
• Magnification range of 3-9x
• Fast focus eyepiece
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Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm SFPVortex Strike Eagle • BDC3 reticle
• Capped turrets
• Magnification of 1-8x
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Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32mm SFPVortex Optics Crossfire • Durable scope
• Dead hold BDC reticle
• Magnification of 2-7x
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Burris FastFire III Red Dot SightBurris FastFire • Affordable
• Easy to mount
• Lightweight
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Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot SightVortex Optics Strikefire • Easy to use
• Lifetime warranty
• Long-lasting battery
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Nikon P-223 3-9×40mm ScopeNikon P-223 • Great eye relief
• BDC 600 reticle
• Zero resettable
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#1. Bushnell 3-9×40mm Rifle Scope With DZ 223 Reticle

Bushnell 3-9×40mm Rifle Scope With DZ 223 Reticle
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Bushnell optics are enormous in the industry, with many rifle owners acknowledging their capacity. This is our top pick for best scopes for mini 14 as it possesses unique features that blend well with the mini 14 and helps maximize its ability. The scope has a magnification range of 3-9X, covering a wide range of short to mid-range distances. Its magnification is accompanied by a 40mm objective lens diameter in charge of light transmission into the tube for better images. The 40mm diameter enables good light intake and distribution through the tube.

It is built like a tank with solid construction and a waterproof body so you can use the scope in wet conditions without fear of damage or a decline in image quality due to fog covering the lens. To further improve clarity, the lenses are fully coated for better light transmission and reduction of reflection. The coatings also protect the lens from scratches and dust.

Bushnell 3-9×40mm is fitted with finger-adjustable turrets for windage, elevation, and parallax adjustments. This increases your aiming speed and improves your shooting experience. Shooting requires speed, especially when targeting non-stationary targets like in hunting. With easily adjustable turrets like this, you can achieve a lot.

Its bullet drop compensator reticle helps you estimate bullet drop up to 600 yards with the extra hash marks on the lens – all at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Magnification range of 3-9x
  • Objective lens diameter of 40mm
  • BDC reticle with extra hash marks
  • Finger-adjustable turrets
  • Parallax adjustments available
  • Solid construction and waterproof
  • Affordable
  • Fast focus eyepiece

Cons

  • Bulky
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#2. Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm SFP

Vortex Strike Eagle 1-8x24mm SFP
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Vortex has always been known for quality optics, and the strike eagle 1-8x24mm scope did not disappoint. Having a magnification of 1-8x, it is clear this scope is meant for short to mid-range shooting, which is ideal for the Ruger mini 14 rifles.

The scope does have a smaller than average objective lens at 24mm diameter. This scope has so many variations, including different reticles, which means the prices will also vary. It would be best to consider this when shopping through Amazon to be sure you get the version you want.

The strike eagle is a second focal plane reticle perfect for low-light shooting as the reticle stays the same across any magnification. This vortex scope uses a bullet drop compensator three reticle which allows you to compensate for windage and elevation quickly.

The glass is coated with anti-reflective materials for better light intake. You may notice some distortion at the edges at higher magnifications. However, the Ruger mini 14 is not a long-range weapon, so you shouldn’t have to reach that distance.

Its finger-adjustable turrets are capped to protect it and help it hold zero better. It also has a side focus adjustment turret. There is no parallax adjustment in this scope which is negligible since this is a short-range weapon.

Pros

  • Magnification of 1-8x
  • Objective lens of 24mm
  • Side focus adjustment knob
  • SFP scope
  • Capped turrets
  • BDC3 reticle
  • Fully multi coated lens

Cons

  • Distorted edges at higher magnification
  • No parallax adjustment
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#3. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32mm SFP

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32mm SFP
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Another vortex SFP scope makes the list, but this time is a more popular scope among shooters. Vortex Optics Crossfire II has magnification between 2x and 7x and an accompanying 32mm objective lens diameter. All of which helps you shoot targets under 1000 yards excellently.

As earlier mentioned, this is a second focal plane scope that allows the reticle to remain the same as magnification changes. It also makes use of a dead hold bullet drop compensating reticle. In this reticle type, there are extra hash marks at the bottom of the crosshairs that allow for a better estimation of the drop. The BDC reticle is particularly helpful when shooting longer distances which may be surprising since the scope’s magnification is capped at 7x. Well, shooting at distances over 500 yards will see the BDC reticle come into full display.

Crossfire II has a good eye relief at over 3 inches even at the maximum magnification setting and a generous eye box that allows you to see through even when not lined up the eyepiece perfectly. The lenses are multi-coated to protect it and improve quality. The scope is also made from aircraft-grade aluminium for extra solidity. Its body is nitrogen-purged and O-ring sealed to make it weatherproof and keep fog away.

Its turrets are finger-adjustable and zero-resettable once you’ve locked in your target. There is no parallax adjustment knob which is not a big deal since this scope is used on short to mid-distance shooting.

Pros

  • Magnification of 2-7x
  • Objective lens of 32mm
  • Zero-resettable turrets
  • Durable scope
  • Weatherproof and fogproof
  • Dead hold BDC reticle
  • Good eye relief and generous eye box
  • Fully multi coated lenses

Cons

  • Lack of parallax adjustment
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#4. Burris FastFire III Red Dot Sight

Burris FastFire III Red Dot Sight
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Many people see this as an alternative to the Trijicon since they perform alike, but Burris comes more affordable. I see it as an excellent standalone sight in its own right and not an alternative to any sight. Burris FastFire III is a red dot sight with 1x magnification like every other red dot sight, with a superb glass quality that is easy to see through.

It has two reticle options for you: the 3 MOA and 8 MOA reticles. The 8 MOA reticle is for handguns, while the 3 MOA reticle is for when you’re shooting a rifle like Ruger mini 14. It uses the CR1632 battery, which Burris claims to last for up to 5 years. Its 8-hour automatic switch-off system will help prolong battery life and avoid dead batteries when in the field. I particularly like the auto-brightness feature that changes the brightness to match the external light condition. This feature makes shooting easier and faster. It has three available brightness settings.

With an MOA of 1, it is easy to make adjustments using the turrets in this scope. However, the turrets are small and tool adjustable, which makes using them a little less comfortable. The scope is highly durable and sealed to keep it weatherproof, but surprisingly, this hardly affected its weight as it weighs just 0.9 ounces.

Pros

  • Magnification if 1x
  • Auto-brightness feature
  • 8-hour auto switch-off function
  • Lightweight
  • Unlimited eye relief
  • Affordable
  • Easy to mount
  • Burris ‘forever’ lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Tool adjustable turrets
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Bonus Read: 5 Best Scopes For 7mm Rem Mag in 2021

#5. Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight
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Red dot sights typically do well with Ruger mini 14 since the mini 14 does not require long-range shooting. If you are shooting under 100 yards, you may find red dot sights more satisfying. The good thing is that, even when you may be required to do more than the intended short distance shooting, you can attach a magnifier and still use your red dot sight. Vortex Optics Strikefire II is a 4 MOA reticle sight you can use on your Ruger mini 14 rifles.

Glass quality is a feature vortex never jokes with, which is evident from the crisp and clear images the Strikefire II glass produces.

This red dot sight also has the option of switching illumination to a green dot. This improves your aim when in bright light as the green light is typically easier to spot in bright light while the red dot excels in low light conditions. This is not all with its illumination; there are ten brightness settings available, so you can choose the exact brightness level that matches the present light condition.
Its aluminium alloy chassis body is durable and solid, with the 30mm tube nitrogen purged to keep the fog out. It is also O-ring sealed, so it remains waterproof.

It makes use of the popular CR2032 batteries, which are easy to get and affordable. It has a 12-hour auto power-off feature that turns off the battery when it hasn’t been used for 12 hours. This feature is beneficial, especially for people who tend to forget to put off the battery after use, helping to prolong your battery life.

The turrets are tools adjustable, with caps protecting them. However, you can use these caps to adjust the knobs with your fingers which makes them both tools and finger adjustable. With its unlimited eye relief, you can mount the sight anywhere along the rifle top with any issues.

Pros

  • Magnification of 1x
  • Finger adjustable turret caps
  • 12-hour auto battery shutdown
  • 10 brightness settings available
  • Durable, waterproof, and fogproof
  • Red and green dot illumination available
  • Superb glass quality
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not great battery life
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#6. Nikon P-223 3-9×40mm Scope

Nikon P-223 3-9×40mm Scope
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The Nikon P-233 scope is excellent for semi-automatic rifles like the Ruger mini 14, and with a magnification range of 3 to 9x, it fits the bill perfectly. This magnification power is accompanied by an objective lens diameter of 40mm, which is large enough to allow the right amount of light into the tube to brighten the image produced.

This scope prides itself in the precision and accuracy of its aim with a fully coated lens and a quoted light transmission of 98%. The scope is made from durable materials so that you can use it for a long time. It is nitrogen-purged, and O-ring sealed, which not only makes it both waterproof and fogproof but surprisingly also improves its image quality.

The turrets are finger-adjustable, and with Nikon’s zero-reset feature, you do not have to do too much to aim and hit your target. It uses ¼ MOA adjustments at 100 yards and produces audible clicks as you zero, making it easier and faster to use.

Like most other scopes in this sight, this Nikon scope uses a bullet drop compensating reticle. However, it is a patented BDC 600 reticle that adds open-circle aiming points to the hash marks for estimating bullet drop common in BDC reticles. The reticle is not entirely visible at lower magnifications.

It has great eye relief and a fixed 100-yard parallax setting, which is the standard distance for this scope.

Pros

  • Magnification of 3-9x
  • Objective lens diameter of 40mm
  • Great eye relief
  • BDC 600 reticle
  • Zero resettable
  • Finger adjustable turrets
  • 98% light transmission through the lens
  • Shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof

Cons

  • No parallax adjustment
  • Poor reticle visibility at lower magnifications
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Factors to Consider When Choosing Scopes for Mini 14

We’ve established that the Ruger mini 14 rifle is different, and to utilize its features fully, you need a scope that fits. We’ve also listed some of the best scopes for the mini 14, and it’s time to show you how we came about this list. The exact steps you can take too to get your winner.

Magnification

Magnification is paramount for the mini 14 rifles for hunting, home defense, or tactical shooting. It typically shoots short to mid-range distances. The scope needs to match this shooting distance which is usually under 100 yards and sometimes even lower than 500 yards.

Scopes below 10x higher magnification levels are ideal for the mini 14. There may be exceptions, though, if you’re targeting something closer to the 1000 yard mark.

Eye Relief

It would be best if you had a scope that offers good eye relief of around 3.5” to 4” to protect your eyes from recoil injuries and provide a suitable exit pupil diameter. The Ruger mini 14 does not produce heavy recoil, so eye injuries will not be a significant worry here.

Light Transmission

Shooting with the mini 14 rifles may require going at it at odd hours or varying light conditions. It would be best to have a scope with excellent light transmission to utilize the available light to produce clear images. Check the light transmission percentage before choosing the scope for your mini 14.

Durability

This goes without saying; you need a scope that has been made with durability in mind for the Ruger mini 14. Because you might be shooting at odd hours and in challenging terrains, you may accidentally bump the scope on a hard surface a couple of times. You want a scope that wouldn’t break easily. Also, check that the scope is weatherproof and fogproof.

Summary

The Ruger mini 14 rifle has remained immensely popular because of its unique features. To fully tap into these features and make your shooting better, a scope of equal spin has to come into the picture. This article has shown the best scopes for this rifle and how you can make the decision yourself.

About Author

James Towndrow, a NRA-certified Firearms Instructor. During a career of 18 years had won several shooting competition including major leagues. Taking all those experience down the road, is now a successful Shooting Instructor in Texas, US.


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