In this buyer's guide, let's take a look at the best scopes for Ruger Mini 14 in 2020 since there are so many more options available than before.
Most optics will work on this gun and some of the good ones are:
In this post, we gonna show you some great optics for this gun, and some great mini 14 optic accessories.
Let's get started…
Best Scopes For Ruger Mini 14 Rifle – Including Red Dot
Be sure to check out our best optics pick list for Springfield M1A
Vortex Viper PST 1-4X Gen 2 – Best 1-4X Scope For The Money
The Vortex Viper PST 1-4x24mm is a good all-around mid priced 1-4X scope for the mini 14 without spending too much money.
The scope is fairly popular for the AR15 style rifles on the market with:
- Illuminated reticle for low light target acquisition
- Zero-stop 0.5 MOA /Click turret system integrated with fiber optic rotation indicator
- Built with one-piece durable 6061 T6 aerospace grade aluminum for ruggedness.
- 2 MOA easy to pick up reticle on second focal plane
This 30mm tube scope provides improved strength and wider elevation and windage adjustments than a 1″ tube. On top of that the scope is shockproof hard anodized for increased durability. If you're new to shooting this would be the first scope I would use.
In addition, the VIPER PST has a great brightness control knob, which allows the user to quickly turn on and off the illuminated reticle with a single click between each intensity level. That means the user doesn't have to click through each brightness level until it's turned on or off.
- The Viper PST Gen II takes incredible performance and rock solid features to new heights. The 1-6x24 second focal plane riflescope is incredibly versatile and ideal for close to medium range...
- Users who dial their turrets for drop and wind compensation will appreciate the laser etched turrets, adjustable parallax and the RZR zero stop. A fiber optic rotation indicator ensures you can keep...
- The reticle offers users highly functional, intuitive, and detailed hold points, yet remains uncluttered for optimal viewing and features 10 intensity levels with off positions between each setting.
- Extra-low dispersion glass increases resolution and color fidelity. XR fully multi-coated lenses increase light transmission. Armortek coatings protect the lenses from scratches, oil, and dirt.
Holosun HS507C – Best CQB Micro RDS (Even better than Trijicon RMR)
For any CQB shooters who want a 2 MOA size micro red dot on their Mini 14 rifle so that it's lightweight, compact and simple. The Holosun 507C is the best option.
It's as strong as Trijicon RMR built with 7075 T6 aluminum, and its battery life way exceeds the RMR by almost 5X with 100,000 hrs and almost 200,000 hours on just the dot mode.
Using just one CR2032 battery on top of solar fail-safe backup, this thing will last from the time your kid is born to the time they graduate 6th grade.
For a home defense mini 14 setup, this thing is gonna be ready for you as soon as you pick it up with great sight picture cheek weld and its gonna stay on forever.
The 507C model also gives you multiple reticle options, which is great for CQB rifle applications:
- 32 MOA Ring with 2 MOA Dot
- 2 MOA center dot only
- 32 MOA Ring only
As far as the quality, performance, and price go, expect this optic to take over the Trijicon RMR/SRO in the marketplace very soon.
Vortex Razor HD GEN 2 1-6X SFP – Best LPVO On The Market
The RAZOR 1-6X is the gold standard for 1-6X low power variable optics. Perfectly suited for sporting rifles like AR15 and other popular rifles. Commonly seen in the competition field where shooters rapidly engage paper and steels with speed and accuracy.
When it comes to picking the best low power variable optic for the Ruger mini 14, the Razor HD Gen 2 1-6X24 is the one to go after. For the price you're getting the best on the market without spending over $2000 like the NightForce ATACR 1-8X.
The optic is a one-piece 30mm size tube built with aerospace-grade aluminum providing shockproof performance and maximized alignment, which is critical for retaining zero on centerfire rifles.
Additionally, The capped L-Tec turrets provide fast, accurate & easy to read adjustments, which also include an integrated locking mechanism prevents accidental adjustments.
Besides its industry-unique Stealth Shadow hard-coat anodization finish, the scope body is durable against scratches, oil and dirt. You can read about it on Vortex's website here.
If you go with this optic, please be sure to get a quality pair of 30mm scope rings since a one-piece scope mount doesn't seem to be easy for installation on the mini 14.
- The Razor HD Gen II-E sheds nearly a 1/4 pound from its predecessor, is feature rich, and extremely accurate in short to medium applications. The JM-1 BDC reticle features an illuminated center dot.
- The APO optical system delivers stunning image quality through premium, high density, extra-low dispersion glass. All lenses are fully multi-coated with XR plus anti-reflective coatings to increase...
- A low-profile locking illumination dial has 11 levels of brightness with off positions between each setting. The second focal plane reticle with a daylight bright center dot provides red dot...
- Streamlined zero resettable turrets track precisely and offer ample adjustment in a single turn. An ultra-forgiving eyebox with generous eye relief promotes fast target acquisition and optimal...
The Vortex Crossfire II 1-4X24 is the cheaper version of the Vortex Viper PST. Both are 1-4X24mm, and the only difference is the turret & brightness adjustment systems. The Crossfire doesn't have the Zero-Stop, which the user can't tell if the scope has returned to zero or not.
Other than that you gonna get basically the same optical performance as the VIPER PST, and it's a great affordable option for many Mini 14 owners, for teaching first-time shooters or just plinking around.
If getting the same optic performance and also saves about $400 is important to you, then the Vortex Crossfire II is the way to go.
- The 1-4x24 Crossfire II Riflescope is one of many configurations in the Crossfire II line. The V-Brite reticle uses the v-plax Format with battery-powered electronics to illuminate the center dot for...
- With long eye relief and an ultra-forgiving Eye box, you'll be able to quickly get a sight picture and acquire your target. The fast focus Eyepiece allows quick and easy reticle focusing.
- Anti-reflective, fully multi-coated lenses provide bright and clear views for the user.
- Capped reset turrets are finger adjustable with MOA clicks that can be reset to zero after sighting in.
What To Look For In A Scope For Mini 14
For what this rifle is designed to do for long-range, a 9X or 10X power scope is about what you should get.
For the most common type of shooting with this rifle, a 4X or 6X is plenty magnification.
Low power variable optics provide great CQB advantages and the ability for long distances, and we highly recommend using it.
Please check out: Vortex Razor 1-6X VS. NightForce ATACR 1-8X
Scope Tube Size
30mm or 34mm tube size optics are the most common on the market. Generally speaking, 34mm tube size optics are built geared towards long-range shooting allowing more MOA/MIL turret travel than 30mm.
For a 5.56mm Ruger Mini 14, a 30mm tube scope, which is most of the scopes we recommended, they will be just fine.
Eye relief distance of 3.5 to 4″ for a scope is a good amount to protect your eye from the scope bite, and also see clearly without any scope shadows.
Most optics we have listed above have great eye relief distance at 1X and magnified.
Since the 5.56 doesn't kick that much, scope bite is not even a major concern. But what's important is exit pupil diameter for magnified scopes.
For the Mini 14 used on farmlands, it's quite often that people use the rifle to kill wild hogs, predators and other animals. Sometimes the hunt happens during dusk and dawn when the light condition is dim.
During low light conditions, the human eye pupil enlarges to about 7mm, so if the exit pupil diameter on a particular magnification setting, which gives about 5-7mm, then the shooter can see better in low light conditions.
If the scope exit pupil diameter at a particular magnification setting is smaller than the eye pupil in low light, then the image will be much darker.
NOTE: But it doesn't work in complete darkness
Optic Mount Selections
There are many optic mount accessories available for the Mini 14 if you don't already have the model with integrated optic mount on the rifle.
Similar to optic mounts for the M14, there are many great options and some require a bit more custom fitting to make them work right.
Please check out this page below for more detail on our site: Best Mini 14 optic accessories
Practical Application Of Mini 14
If we have to summarize everything in one statement about the practical use of the Mini 14, it will be: The Mini 14 is a scaled-down version of the 7.62mm M14 (M1A) for personal defense & hunting.
For Unfriendly Gun Law States:
For anyone living in California or elsewhere due to the gun restriction laws, the Ruger mini 14 is a way better rifle to use than “Degraded AR15”, where using a user-unfriendly AR-style rifle is equivalent to using a gun with HORRIBLE ergonomics.
Should You Stick With Mini 14 OR M14 Chambered In 308?
It's the age-old comparison of 7.62X51mm VS 5.56X45mm.
One goes super fast & accurate, and the other flies slow but hit like a sledgehammer.
If cost is a concern for you, then stick with the Ruger Mini 14. In fact, there're newer models of the Ruger Mini 14 have been released in recent years since 1974 with much more improvements:
- Heavier barrel profile for increased accuracy & reduced barrel harmonics
- Beefier internals & externals for increased durability
- Tighter tolerance for improved accuracy
- Better gas system redesign from the M14 for cutting down cost
- Multiple chassis options
Is Mini 14 The Same As M14?
Watch this video by Forgotten Weapons as Ian McCollum breaks down the history and mechanics of this amazingly popular rifle.
What's the difference between a Mini 14 and a ranch rifle?
The core of the Mini 14 rifle design is the same across all variations. The main difference between a Mini 14 and Mini 14 ranch rifle is the receiver.
Regular Mini 14 has a rear sight similar to the ones found on M1 Garand and Springfield M14. The Ranch rifle has a Lyman style dovetail rear iron sight, which can also accept Ruger branded scope rings.
Ultimately the core mechanics among these Mini 14 rifle variants are the same.
Ruger Mini 14 Optic FAQ
Why Use LVPO for Ruger Mini 14
Low power variable optics are great for the Ruger Mini 14 rifle because it's optimized around the performance perimeter of the rifle.
LPVO doesn't pack too many features that are unpractical on a Mini 14, which is great for 5.56mm platform guns for CQB & mid range shooting.
In fact, the Mini 14 is very much comparable to the AR15 platform if you dig deep into the history of this rifle.
How Far Can Mini 14 Shoot?
Mini 14 is chammbered in 5.56mmX45, the standard 55 gr bullet can travel up to 300 yards with the most effective hits with ~2900 ft/s muzzle velocity.
It can also push past 500 yards but the the velocity and energy drops down to 1650 ft/s, 61″ drop. For military applications, it barely has any lethal effect at that range.
Which Ruger Mini 14 Model Has Optic Mount?
The tactical models of the Ruger Mini 14 has optic mount installed right out of the box.
These models are: 5831, 5888 and 5831
The Ruger Mini 14 model rifle is one of the greatest 5.56mm rifles ever built, with its scaled-down design philosophy from the Springfield M14 rifle chambered in 7.62x51mm.
It has continued to improve among its modern production models line up. When buying a great scope for this rifle, the key is to find an optic that packs enough features to fit the performance perimeter of the rifle and the 5.56mm cartridge.
Holosun 507C is great for CQB only application, while the Vortex Viper PST 1-4X is the best for the money for an LPVO. If you want to spend just a little bit more, then the Vortex Razor HD 1-6X is your best option.
Hope you find this informative and helpful… Happy shooting.
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