Best Scope for Mini 14 | Best Gun Scope


The best scope for Mini 14 rifles will vary based on your needs. Before we can explore what makes the best scope for Mini 14 variants, we need to define what we’re talking about. What is the Mini 14? Why would you want to mount any scope to it, much less the best scope? Once we’ve established that, we will also deal with why the Mini 14, with a scope, might be the right choice for you. We’ll also discuss how to shop for the best scope for Mini 14 rifles. This is a process you could apply to shopping for any rifle scope.

What is the Mini 14?

Did you grow up watching shows like “The A-Team?” The show was popular with middle-aged and older shooters. The program featured the Mini 14 prominently. If the AR15 is one of the most popular rifles in the country, then the Mini 14 isn’t far behind. Like the AR15, the Mini 14 is a light, maneuverable .223 rifle. It comes in multiple variants. The Mini 14 is a semi-automatic weapon. It is intended for law enforcement, military, and “tactical” civilian applications. The rifle is also excellent for varmint hunting. For those wanting an all-purpose ranch and range gun, there is its 7.62×39 mm counterpart, the Mini Thirty. (Ruger has made the Mini Thirty for about four decades. A lot of 7.62×39 ammo was available when the rifle was introduced. A rifle chambered for this round just made good sense.)

Mini 14 Features

The Mini 14 has many features that make it a great all around .223 (5.56mm) rifle. It is manufactured by Sturm, Ruger, and Company. The company has made the rifle for almost five decades. Bill Ruger, in fact, was one of its designers. (The other was L. James Sullivan.) Ruger designed the rifle to be inexpensive to produce. It takes its inspiration, however, from the M1 Garand. If you compare the two rifles together, then the similarity will be obvious. They both look much the same because they share design parentage.

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Mini 14 rifles underwent a few major design changes until the early 2000s. Ruger improved the rifle’s accuracy at that time. They also changed the design to make the rifle even less costly to produce. Every Mini 14 produced today has an integral scope base. They also have a gas system specifically designed to help make the rifle more accurate. Some versions have heavy, tapered barrels. You can also buy a Mini 14 in multiple finishes, including the stainless steel that was so iconic on “The A-Team.”

Mini 14 Variants

Mini 14 variations include the Ranch Rifle and Mini Thirty. These are not the same thing, even though they were originally identical. There is also a Target Rifle. This is a very accurate version by design. The rifle, in other words, is used with a scope. There is also a Tactical Mini Thirty. “Tactical operators” would appreciate this model. Some rifles have pistol grips and folding stocks. The tactical model has a shorter barrel and a flash suppressor. A version of the stock is available that has rails (which is very much needed in some tactical circles). You can hunt deer with a Mini Thirty but, in many states, you could not hunt deer with a Mini 14. That’s because many states make it illegal to hunt deer with a cartridge as small as .223. The ballistics of the 7.62×39 round offer performance similar to other popular deer rounds.

Ruger has even made some versions of the gun intended for law enforcement and military applications. Some of these have threaded barrels to accept suppressors. They also have bayonet attachment points. (At the time, this would have been for the M7 bayonet, which has since been replaced by the M9 bayonet.) You can sometimes find these rifles in civilian hands, but they’re rare. These are law enforcement rifles. They are also military and security rifles. Ruger distributed them accordingly.

The Forgotten Full Auto Mini 14

There is even a version of the Mini 14 that can fire on full automatic or in three round burst mode (as well as in standard semi-automatic mode). This is the AC 556 model. Most Mini 14 and Mini-30 owners have never heard of it. The rifle is really the same as a standard Mini-14 except for the modes of fire. The barrel is shorter, though, and it can accept a launcher for smoke and tear-gas grenades. Military and law enforcement personnel, obviously, would use these for crowd control purposes. Ruger does not service this model of rifle any more. They stopped making it a twenty years ago.

Calibers of Mini-14

The platform is available, or has been available, in calibers other than .223, 5.56, and 7.62×39. These include .222 Remington offered in the Eighties. Apparently, this was for shooters in Europe. Ruger also built some bolt action versions of the rifle. These were for the United Kingdom. (The United Kingdom banned semi-automatic rifles in the Eighties.) Ruger also made some rifles in 6.8 mm Remington over a decade ago. These were made for five years or so. A Mini 14 “Tactical” version was offered in the .300 Blackout just a couple of years ago. No doubt this was for tactical shooters who were up on the latest trends in ammunition.

Who Uses the Mini 14?

It is tempting to ask who uses the Mini 14 officially, given the popularity of competitors like the AR 15. There are some military or law enforcement personnel using variants of the Mini 14 in Australia, Bermuda, France, and even Hong Kong. The rifle as used in what was then Rhodesia. Personnel in the United Kingdom and in Honduras also used the Mini 14. Emergency service police in New York City were once issued Mini 14 rifles, too. These weapons were replaced. (NYC personnel now use the M4 carbine.)

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Some sources say the Organized Crime Control Bureau in NYC still uses the Mini 14. In addition, so did some correctional departments in Georgia, California, and North Carolina. Even some Marine embassy guards used them. Some sources claim the famed Delta Force used them from time to time, too. To what extent that might have been, or even if it is true, is unknown to most civilians.

Shopping for the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles

The process for shopping for the best scope for Mini 14 rifles doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s very simple, in fact. Firstly, ask yourself what you will use your rifle to do. Will you be hunting? Is target shooting more your style? Are you interested in a Mini 14 for tactical applications? Secondly, ask yourself under what conditions your rifle scope will be used. Different scopes are better for different situations. Thirdly, consider the features you absolutely want to have. You don’t want to purchase a scope that lacks critical features or qualities, after all. At the same time, consider your budget. You don’t want to pay too much for a scope. You also don’t want to pay too little. In other words, you get what you pay for. Consider both price and features against quality when making your selection.

Every Scope is Different… and Only One is the Best Scope for the Mini 14 Rifles You Own

Different people will rank scopes differently. This depends, again, on their priorities. The best scope for Mini 14 will be different for a hunter compared to a target shooter. It will also be different for someone who wants a “tactical” rifle. In other words, the purpose drives the need. Stated another way, necessity is the mother of invention. Invention, in this case, refers to the feature set of your scope. You’ll need to assess each scope to determine if it’s the best one for you. Most importantly, it must have the features and level of quality that meets your budget limits. Remember, though, not to go too “cheap.” We present you with a sampling of Ruger Mini 14 scopes, therefore, that we think will serve you well. Take a look and see which ones meet your criteria.

1. Best Scope for Mini 14: Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Mate BDC 600

best scope for mini 14

Our first pick for the best scope for Mini 14 is the Nikon P-223. There are several reasons this scope is a good choice. It is an imported, polymer scope that offers great eye relief. This means it can be shot safely. It has a BDC 600 reticle, too. This was developed specifically for the .223 and 5.56 cartridges. In other words, this is a great choice for a Mini 14 in those calibers. The scope also has tactical zero-reset turrets. Additionally, it offers positive click reticle adjustments. This makes it easy and fast to zero the scope. Finally, the scope has 100-yard parallax setting. There is a lot to this model.

What Features Make this the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles?

This scope has multiple features that make it a good pick. Firstly, it is waterproof. This means it resists the infiltration of moisture that could otherwise cloud the lens. At the same time, the scope is fog proof. It is also filled with nitrogen and O-ring sealed. It is, in other words, a very durable scope that will hold up to multiple field conditions. This means you can hunt with it, operate with it, and shoot targets with it. The scope should serve you well no matter what the weather or conditions. It is part of a series that is known for its quality and that is very popular with .223 rifles.

Why Shooters Think this is the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles

Shooters who consider this the best scope for Mini 14 rifles have lots to say about it. Firstly, they love that it is water proof and fog proof. They also like the fact that it was designed for popular .223 rifles like the Mini 14 and AR 15. In other words, the scope was built around the cartridges these platforms fire. There are P-series scopes for a variety of rounds, including the 300 Blackout. Shooters who use this scope also praise its 80 MOA max internal adjustment, its generous eye relief, and its tactical turrets. They also favor its light weight design. The overall fit and finish also score high marks.

2. Best Scope for Mini 14: Primary Arms 4-16 X 44 Rifle Scope with Illuminated Mil-Dot Crosshair PA416X

top scope for mini 14

Our second pick for the best scope for Mini 14 is this scope by Primary Arms. There are multiple reasons we selected it. Firstly, it offers 4-16X magnification. It’s also a second focal plane scope. In other words, the reticle is the same size no matter where the magnification is set. This makes it easier for you to make shots consistently at multiple magnifications.  Secondly, the scope has a MIL-DOT reticle. The reticle is also illuminated. You can switch from long to short shots and back again with this arrangement. Finally, the scope is extremely durable. It’s shock proof and water proof. That means it also resists fogging.

What Features Make this the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles?

This scope has many great features to brag about. The applications of a second focal plane scope with an illuminated Mil-Dot reticle should be obvious. Additionally, the scope has locking turrets with a re-settable zero. The clicks are 1/4 MOA. You can both feel and hear them as you dial them in. There is also a side parallax adjustment knob. This prevents parallax. In other words, your target will look clear and sharp, even at long range. A CR2032 battery is shipped with the scope to provide power for the illuminated reticle. There are fully one dozen brightness settings, too. This means you can adjust the brightness to suit you across a wide range of applications.

Why Shooters Think this is the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles

Shooters who use this scope have plenty of positive things to say about it. They love its durable construction and give it high marks for its shockproof, fog resistant design. They also like the audible and tactile quality of the adjustment turrets. Being able to hear and see the adjustments makes dialing in the scope that much easier. Users of this scope also give it high marks for its illuminated reticle. It’s very easy to see what you’re aiming at thanks to the scope’s second focal plane reticle. This scope can up your game in multiple ways, in other words. The shooters who use it praise it highly.

3. Best Scope for Mini 14: Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope

best scopes for mini 14

Our third pick is the Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint. It makes the grade for several reasons. Its aiming system uses both aiming point illumination and fiber optics. This means it’s easier to see your target even at long distances and in low light. The dual-illumination system automatically adjusts the illumination of the aiming point. In other words, it automatically adjusts to the ambient light conditions. Don’t worry, though, there is a manual override for the brightness setting. Plus, the scope has multi-coated lenses to reduce glare. This means the sight picture is bright and clear. The coating also helps reduce distortion. The fiber optics, meanwhile, do not require batteries. The scope instead contains a tritium phosphor lamp. It’s all internal.

What Features Make this the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles?

This scope has several features that make it a great choice. Firstly, it is constructed of aircraft grade aluminum. This means it is durable and rugged no matter what the environment. Secondly, it has a second focal plane reticle. In other words, the reticle is the same size no matter what magnification is used. Second focal plane reticles typically produce more accurate shooting. Finally, the scope features “zero forward emission.” In other words, the reticle doesn’t project illumination from the objective lens. This is very important in low light conditions. This scope really offers a great overall mix of features and qualities. It’s well worth consideration for your Mini 14 rifle.

Why Shooters Think this is the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles

Shooters who mount this scope have several nice things to say about it. Firstly, they praise its durable, aircraft grade aluminum construction. At the same time, they are very excited about the battery-free fiber optic aiming point and tritium lamp. In other words, they love the high-tech nature of the scope, which can be used in multiple light conditions with ease. Secondly, they are very happy about the manual override and the scope’s field performance. Thirdly, shooters who use this scope say they find it easy to hit their targets. This is due in part to the second focal plane reticle. A reticle that is the same size at every magnification is easier to use, arguably, for accurate shots at multiple ranges.

4. Best Scope for Mini 14: Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescope

scope for mini 14

Our fourth pick for the best scope for Mini 14 rifles is the Vortex Crossfire II. It makes our list for several reasons. It comes in multiple configurations as part of an overarching product line. The V-Plax reticle it contains is a popular, all-purpose model that is used for hunting, target shooting, and other applications. Also, the scope has a nice, long eye relief and a forgiving eye box. This lets you get your rifle on target fast. Focusing and refocusing the reticle is also very easy. Additionally, the lenses are fully multi-coated. This means that your sight picture will be bright, clear, and free of glare.

What Features Make this the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles?

This scope comes with plenty of great features. Firstly, it is O-ring sealed and nitrogen-purged. This means it resists the infiltration of moisture. The scope is, as a result, water proof. It is also fog proof. Most importantly, the scope is constructed from a single tube of aircraft grade aluminum. This means it is shock proof and very strong. You want a durable scope when shooting under a variety of field conditions. The Vortex Crossfire II won’t let you down. Finally, the scope offers capped reset turrets. They can be adjusted with your fingers and are set in MOA clicks. You can also reset them to zero after you get them sighted in.

Why Shooters Think this is the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles

Shooters who use this scope have great things to say about it. Firstly, they love the fully multi-coated optics. At the same time, they are very happy with the bright, clear sight picture. Secondly, they like the rugged construction. Additionally, they are very happy with the long eye relief. In other words, shooters who use this scope praise how easy it is to use. They like how fast they can get on target and how easy it is to adjust the scope. These are all extremely important features in a quality set of optics. The Vortex has a great name and an excellent reputation. It’s no accident that we’ve chosen to recommend it here.

5. Best Scope for Mini 14: Leupold VX-1 3-9x40mm Compact Waterproof Fogproof Riflescope, Matte Black

top scopes for mini 14

Our fifth and final pick for the best scope for Mini 14 is the Leupold VX-1. It has a lot going for it. It is water proof and fog proof, something the manufacturer stresses. Lenses are multicoated from edge to edge. This means they offer extremely good contrast. The sight picture is bright and clear, even in low light. Turrets are 1/4 MOA finger-click adjustable. The manufacturer proudly states that they offer absolute dependability for the useful working life of the scope. There is also a 3:1 zoom ratio erector system built into the scope. In other words, you can use the scope in a variety of conditions and applications. You can also expect to perform well across those different applications.

What Features Make this the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles?

This scope has several great features, starting with the 3:1 zoom ratio. This is Leupold’s most popular zoom ratio. As the manufacturer explains it, this feature keeps the scope relatively lightweight while keeping the cost reasonable. At the same time, the scope is versatile enough to be used for almost anything you’ll need. Most importantly, however, the scope has excellent fit and finish. If you buy a Leupold, you expect great quality. This scope does not disappoint. It is O-ring sealed to keep out moisture. It also has great overall optical clarity.

Why Shooters Think this is the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles

Shooters who use this scope have a lot to say about it. Firstly, they love the scope’s high level of quality. Fit and finish are excellent and get high marks from users. Secondly, users of this scope are very happy with the 3:1 zoom ratio. There is a reason this is the company’s most popular zoom ratio, after all. Finally, users like the light weight and the price point for the quality. The consensus is that this scope is a good value.

Finding the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

Different scopes do different things. Scopes are not, in other words, all created equal. Scopes that cost the same may have wildly different quality levels. Some will have features that others do not. On the other hand, scopes that have the same features may have very different prices. You could pay a lot more for some scopes and get exactly the same features. It is often said that you get what you pay for. This is true only up to a point. After a certain price level, the increase in fit, finish, and quality you gain will be only so much. It may not be worth the higher price tag, but only you can determine this.

Preference also plays a role. You may think you have found the right scope. Another shooter, looking at the same scope, might disagree. Who is right? When it comes to rifle scopes, sometimes there is no right answer. In the final analysis, the best scope for Mini 14 rifles isn’t the one other people think is best. It’s the one that you believe best fits your needs. If you follow some simple guidelines, then you’ll make the right purchase. Firstly, take a look at what you’ll be shooting. What will you use your rifle to do most often? Are you a target shooter? Do you intend to go hunting? Do you consider yourself a “tactical” shooter? Secondly, ask yourself what features matter most to you. Are there qualities your scope must have? What features would be “deal breakers” for you if the scope did not have them?

Thirdly, consider your budget. You don’t want to pay more than you have to pay to get a good scope. At the same time, you don’t want to go too cheap, either. A scope that costs too little might be of poor quality. In other words, it might fail when you need it most. A good scope will help you to get the most out of your Mini 14. The best scope for Mini 14 rifles, however, will make you a better shot consistently. Good luck, shoot well, and be safe.

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