Looking for a good scope for your Mini-14 rifle? We can help you figure that out!
The Ruger Mini-14 rifle is a classic ranch rifle, and it is among the most popular semi-automatic rifles in the United States, second only to the AR-15 rifle.
If you own one of these rifles and wish to mount a scope to increase its accuracy, you may have some difficulty finding a solution that works. Not to worry, we have you covered!
In this article, we’ll examine and review a number of rifle scopes for the Mini-14 rifle platform to discover the best one for your shooting need.
To begin, let’s look at the reasons why you may need a scope for your Mini-14, the things to consider before you purchase a scope and the features of some scopes, and how they performed in our tests.
- Why Do You Need A Scope For Your Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle?
- What Are The Features Needed In A Mini-14 Rifle Scope?
- BEST SCOPE FOR MINI 14 RIFLE
Why Do You Need A Scope For Your Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle?
There are various factors to consider when handling a Ruger Mini 14 ranch rifle. These factors would lead you to decide on the finest scope for this weapon.
The first thing is that the scope must fit the rifle in terms of receiver size and length. Secondly, the scope must have adequate magnification to accept the cartridge of choice.
There are now three Mini-14 rifles available in various calibers.
Before choosing a scope for this rifle, the caliber you choose will influence your decision in part. The Mini-14 has the same receiver as the Military M-14 rifle. Although it has a lower length to accept the ammunition, the scope used should have a shorter tube length than those used in the market today.
What Are The Features Needed In A Mini-14 Rifle Scope?
The Mini 14 rifle, specifically the Mini-14 Ranch Rifle, is a useful gun that is generally used for varminting and target shooting. Some law enforcement agents also use this weapon.
Many civilians use the factory iron sights that come with the rifle, but if you’re going to use it for hunting or long-range shooting, mounting a scope on it would be a good idea.
Let’s look at some features that every scope competing for the title of “Best Mini-14 Scope” should have.
We all know that the essence of mounting a scope on a rifle is to increase the accuracy of your shots. Aside from that, you also want to be sure that the scope is rugged. A scope might increase your shooting accuracy, but if the same scope cannot withstand shocks from recoil and other damaging factors, then it is as good as useless. Or, you might have to buy a new scope every week. A Mini-14 scope should be exceptionally durable and shockproof.
Although most of the calibers available for the Mini-14 rifle do not have a heavy recoil that can quickly damage a scope. The Mini is used as a truck gun or a ranch rifle; thus, it’s likely to end up in the backseat, toolbox, or moved around in the gun rack. As a result, you would need a rifle scope that can withstand a little damage without altering the zero of the scope. With a sturdy and durable scope, you can hit your target every time you aim at something with your scope, whether it’s a coyote or a deer.
If the scope is not as durable, then ensure you have a lifetime warranty.
When scouting for a great scope for your Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle, you must ensure that you take the scope magnification into consideration. Generally, you would need a modest or low magnification scope for this weapon. Looking at the size of the caliber and the receiver of the rifle, you shouldn’t go for any scope with more than 9x magnification. This is because the mini 14 rifle is not a long range shooting weapon.
A magnifying lens broadens your range of view and speeds up target acquisition. You have to be sure you can obtain your sight image fast while aiming at a coyote before it gets into cover, and a lower magnification makes it easier.
Excellent Light Transmission
Many of the creatures you would likely hunt with your Mini 14 rifle are usually active at dusk or dawn, so an excellent multicoated lens that enhances shooting in a low light condition is needed.
Also, a bigger objective lens may be quite useful while shooting in low light, allowing you to utilize every possible ray of light.
The scope’s lens coating is significant because it helps to prevent fogging on the lens’s surface. It also reduces glare and reflections while allowing sufficient light transmission into the scope to produce a better sight image. Glare reduction keeps you from being blinded and blurred by excess light.
When your scope mount is done in a way that you must look closer to see clearly, you can have a scope bite. To avoid this, you must get a scope with long eye relief. Spending some time to familiarize yourself with a good eye relief scope will save you a lot.
The quality of glass used in making the lenses of the scope determines the clarity of the image. The finest optical glass is used in high-quality scopes. Using lower-quality glass helps the scope manufacturers to save money, and these glasses are cheaper in price. I recommend you get a scope with the highest possible glass quality.
Affordability is also a major consideration when selecting a sight for the Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle. I’ve seen shooters use an unnecessary high-end scope for their rifle, which is especially common with Ruger Mini 14 guns.
When selecting a scope for a Mini 14 rifle, keep the following factors in mind:
The Mini 14 rifle is not built for long range shooting. Therefore, the scope you would buy should not be larger than the gun’s capabilities.
A Ruger Mini-14 rifle is not intended for competition target shooting. The Ruger Mini-14’s short barrel is adequate for varmint hunting and plinking applications, but it is not a 500-yard rifle.
You don’t need to spend so much money to mount a scope on the Mini 14 rifle.
Choose a scope that is easy to use, has quick target acquisition, and simple adjustments.
My suggestion for selecting the best sight for Mini 14 rifles is to match your expertise, needs, and gun features to the scope you select. For the finest results, your sight and rifle must operate together smoothly and effectively.
Now that we’ve covered the major factors when selecting and purchasing a Mini 14 scope, let’s check out the features of some of the best scopes.
BEST SCOPE FOR MINI 14 RIFLE
1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane Rifle Scope
Vortex Optics has a number of scopes that will work well with your Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle. The Vortex Optics Crossfire II, in my opinion, is the best general-purpose sight for the Mini 14 rifle. These scopes’ capabilities allow them to be used in a variety of shooting conditions and purposes.
The Vortex Crossfire II meets most of the criteria that define a great scope for Mini 14 rifles. The features provided by this optic are amazing, especially given its low price.
As a general-purpose rifle scope, this scope is capable of performing practically all of the functions a shooter expects from an optical sight. Some of the most crucial factors in Vortex Optics Crossfire II scope are its Dead-Hold Reticle, Eye Relief, Turrets and Adjustments, and Lens Coatings.
The magnification range of 2x to 7x is ideal for the Mini 14 rifle. Short-range shooting is simple to execute even at low magnification. With higher magnification, you can easily take the Mini 14 out of its effective range.
Vortex’s unique Dead-Hold BDS reticle is used in this scope. The bullet drop compensation reticle is tailored to the 223/5.56 NATO cartridge, and it provides an advantage in hitting targets and shooting accurately, which you cannot get in all scopes. The reticle of the Crossfire II is located on the second focal plane. The reticle remains the same size regardless of magnification settings. The marks on the reticle offer a genuine and reliable approach for determining windage and elevation changes at the greatest magnification.
A good eye relief and a broad eye box allow for efficient target acquisition in practically any situation. This allows for accurate shooting while keeping the shooter comfortable. A fast-focus eyepiece improves the view via this scope even more. Vortex Optics uses the greatest optical glass available and maintains its scopes within budget. Vortex Optics inspects and controls the glass quality used in their scopes, which is some of the best quality scope glass made in China.
All Vortex scopes have completely multi-coated lenses for maximum light transmission, scratch resistance, and glare reduction. Even at high magnification, Vortex Crossfire II scopes capture ambient light very effectively. The Vortex scope has capped turrets. Under the caps are finger-adjustable turrets with 1/4 MOA adjustments each click. After zeroing your sight, you can quickly reset the turrets to zero for quick and precise windage and elevation changes in the field.
Vortex builds its scopes out of the highest quality aircraft-grade aluminum. For a solid and robust base, the Vortex scope is designed around a 1-inch tube. For fog-proof and waterproof operation, the scope tube and glasses are nitrogen purged, and O-ring sealed.
When Vortex Crossfire II rifle scope is combined with Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle, you get what I call an excellent all-around combination. In my opinion, this is the greatest mini 14 rifle scope, and it excels at short-range shooting.
2. LEUPOLD VX-3I 3.5-10×40
When it’s time to choose a hunting scope for your Mini 14, you have a lot of alternatives. However, after testing so many scopes, I can assure you that this one stands out. The VX-3i scope from Leupold. It’s strong, precise, and adaptable.
Continue reading to see why this Leupold scope is a great scope for hunting with a Mini 14.
First and foremost, the glass of this Leupold scope is awesome. The lens coatings on the surface of the glass make it produce a sharp and clear image. With this scope, you can easily see your target even in a thick brush.
Furthermore, Leupold’s Twilight Max light management feature in the XV-3i scope provides a very brilliant image even in low-light circumstances. This is an excellent function to have on a scope because prey animals are most active when it’s dawn or dusk. That is why some hunters search for a night vision scope.
The VX-3i scope uses a duplex reticle.
The reticles are lovely and thin yet prominent enough for elderly eyes to notice. With a duplex reticle, all you have to concentrate on is your target.
This scope has a phenomenal 3.6 – 4.4 inch eye relief!
I have mine installed at 4.4 inches since I prefer the scout style of looking through a scope.
The Leupold VX-3i is built of aircraft-grade aluminum 6061-T6, making it both lightweight and durable.
The scope is fully fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof. And the DiamondCoat lens coating protects against dust and scratches on your lenses.
This scope’s turrets are simple to operate and precise. They manually adjust at 1/4 MOA per click with good, strong clicks. I like how the turrets can be adjusted by hand.
I was also able to zero the scope easily, and the zero has kept true after countless of hunts.
The Leupold VX-3i’s main feature is its magnification range which is from 3.5 to 10x. This meets all of my requirements for short, medium, and long-range hunting.
That amount of adaptability is unrivaled. You never know how close your prey may appear, and with the ability to adjust the zoom between 3.5 to 10x, you can hit your target at almost any range.
Unfortunately, rings or mounts are included with this sight.
You can use Leupold BackCountry Scope Mount, which comes with bikini-style scope covers. They’re an excellent fit for the scope and won’t make your Mini 14 heavy.
3. Primary Arms SLX 4-14X44mm FFP Mil-Dot
The Primary Arms SLX scope is going toward large rifle glass, such as that seen on chassis rifles.
Even small rifles like Mini 14 are often used for tasks that require a bigger scope with a higher power, more light gathering ability, and zero reset turret that allow for quick range and ballistics modifications in the field.
The primary arms scope has a short eye relief of about 3.22 Inches, and its Field Of View is about 27.2 Feet. It has a tactile and audible elevation and windage adjustment. The scope turrets are finger adjustable, and you can reset your zero quickly after zeroing the scope. It is an FFP reticle that is not illuminated, and it does not support night vision.
This scope is a low-cost scope. Although it is not a high-end optic, it is a nice beginner system that will mount on any Mini 14 rifle perfectly.
4. Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight
Most Mini 14 rifle owners purchase their guns for home defense. Ruger created an efficient and exceptionally durable rifle that is perfectly suited to short-range hunting or home defense shooting.
Even if you don’t want to go hunting, shooting with an Iron sight does not make sense; that is why Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red dot sight was introduced. The vortex strikefire II is the ideal scope for home defense with a mini 14 rifle. If you’re not interested in long range shooting, then this Vortex Optics Red dot sight may be the ideal scope for you.
Red dot sights are the best sights for close-range shots, such as home defense. They can deliver quick and accurate shots that your conventional scope would fail at. One of the most significant features is the ability to acquire targets quickly.
All the features of a conventional scope can be found in this red dot sight.
With the press of a button, you may select a green or red dot on the Strikefire II. The scope has 10 intensity settings in both colors and allows you to adjust the brightness to the lighting circumstances.
The lenses of Vortex Optics scopes are multi-coated. The lens coatings protect it from scratches, dust, and other damage, reduce glare, and allow maximum light transmission.
The scope allows for full windage and elevation adjustments. The scope’s turrets are capped and easily accessible. Each turret provides positive click sounds as it is spun.
The Strikefire II sights are made of aircraft-grade aluminum. The single-piece chassis withstands even the most powerful recoil and provides shockproof performance. Vortex Optics used O-ring seals and nitrogen purge the scope inside, resulting in waterproof and fog-proof performance even in the hardest water conditions.
Every Strikefire II Sight comes with a cantilever mount. There is no need to purchase or install additional rings or bases to use your red dot sight. Picatinny rail is compatible with the cantilever mount.
If you want magnification, you can use any magnifier that matches the Strikefire II red dot sight. Furthermore, this setup allows you to attach backup rear sight. The rear sight is an iron sight you can aim at any time.
The scope uses a CR2 battery to power the red dot. When you get a Strikefire II sight, it comes with a battery that is easy to Install or replace. This red dot is not one of those with open sights where the red dot is not boxed. What else can I say? These sights are great. I am a major admirer of Vortex Optics, and this scope is fantastic. It is simple to mount, simple to zero, and maintains zero. I often fire my shots at 100 yards with this sight, and I use low rings to mount it.
5. LEUPOLD VX-FREEDOM 1.5-4×20
The Leupold VX-Freedom scope is a compact optic with exceptional quality.
It is a fog proof and waterproof scope built to last a lifetime in the field under all conditions. this durable scope is made of aircraft-grade aluminum 6061-T6.
Whether you’re hunting or you need an optic for self-defense, the Leupold VX-Freedom is the ideal scope for your Mini 14.
The Leupold scope has a clear and bright image; there is no blurriness or distortion of any kind. Even in low-light settings, the scope offers exceptional light transmission.
This is due to Leupold’s unique Twilight Light Management System, which works in tandem with the lens multi-coating to deliver a brilliant image even in low-light situations like dawn or dusk.
The fact that this sight can be used in low-light circumstances makes it an excellent choice for defensive weapons. Hunting is also interesting when you use this scope because prey animals are most active when the illumination is poor!
The Duplex reticle is what is used by the VX-Freedom. I love the duplex reticle because it is precise and does not conceal my targets.
This optic has an eye relief range of 3.74 – 4.17 inches. Even on larger caliber rifles, there is enough clearance to avoid a scope bite. The eye box is also large.
Despite weighing only 9.6 ounces, this scope is constructed like a tank!
The VX-Freedom is made of aircraft-grade aluminum; therefore, it is durable despite its lightweight.
The entire scope is waterproof, shockproof, and fog proof. The lenses are also scratch resistant due to the unique coating.
Durability qualities like these are key in a defensive.
The turrets are dependable and simple to operate. They manually adjust at 1/4 MOA rate with smooth clicks.
Speaking of zeroing, the manually adjustable turrets allowed me to zero in with a few rounds. I’ve fired hundreds of rounds with my Mini 14 and this optic, and it’s never lost its zero.
The VX-Freedom has a variable magnification of 1.5x to 4x. This optic allows you to adjust magnification from 1.5x – 4x with a single touch.
This feature is fantastic. With it, I can quickly go from scouting the environment or trialing a target to preparing a precision shot. This is ideal for hunting as well as self-defense. No need to worry about parallax because there are just two magnification options.
If you choose the 1-inch size, you can mount it on a Picatinny rail.
6. BUSHNELL TROPHY TRS-25: BEST BUDGET RED DOT SIGHT
Choose the Bushnell TRS-25 if you want to save an arm and a leg.
To be honest, I believe the TRS-25 is one of the greatest red dot sights available for around $100.
It’s small, light, and dependable. The glass on this scope is clear, and it also has a sharp reticle with 3 MOA and 11 brightness settings. You can mount the scope on a Picatinny rail. The scope is O ring sealed, making it waterproof capability. It is also shockproof.
Mike has been shooting, reloading, and bullet casting for over 40 years. He lives in rural Indiana where he has a backyard target range. Married for almost 40 years, Mike and his wife teach adult education in their home county and have four sons with their families, totaling 10 grandkids.