Since 1973, Ruger has made the Mini 14 rifles so the public can know the power of military weapons and utilize them for self-defense and hunting. Mini 14 comes in three different varieties like Ranch, Tactical, and Mini 30. The Mini 14 rifles have been used by hunters, ranchers, securities, law enforcement, and shooters.
We have used all three varieties of the rifle and fired many rounds equipping different optics as scopes, sights, and clip-on. After extensive field research and testing, the best scope for Mini 14 should be the one that copes up with your range of shooting.
- In close-range you cover 0 to 100 yards. It is applicable for self-defense. A red dot sight or RDO is a suitable optic for target acquisition.
- In medium-range, it will be 100 to 350 yards of coverage which is recommended for hunting coyotes, varmint, or wild dogs.
- In long-range, the range of detection will be above 350 yards, which is rarely recommended in Mini 14. But if you are interested, you can practice it too.
If you want the best of three – red dot sights are best for the fastest target acquisition whereas riflescopes are best for the range. So, you can choose between sights and scopes based on your use.
Here we have reviewed the best scope for Mini 14 along with the best Mini 14 weapons sights.
What is Mini 14?
Ruger Mini 14 performs the same as AR-15. In places where people are restricted to use AR-15, Ruger Mini 14 rifles are the best replacement. The Mini 14 is chambered with 5.56 ammunition same as AR. It can hit targets up to 150 yards with less than 1 MOA without using a scope.
You can double the range by using the best scope for mini 14, to say up to 350 yards. But the reality is most of us won’t shoot for that far. In case, if you do, you will most likely need a long-range rifle.
Mini 14 Shooting Ranges and Magnification
The magnification you need from the scope depends on the shooting distance. So, you have to choose a range in the first place.
- Close Range: <100 yards
- Medium range: 100 to 350 yards
- Long Range: >350 yards
Don’t complicate the process, instead think of your gaming, choose a range, and step forward to choose the magnification.
Choosing a right magnification
This is where most of us got screwed.
Most of the influencers confuse us to choose either too high or very low magnification. As a result, you will lose money to nothing.
To prevent that mistake, we have given a guide to choosing the magnification based on the shooting range.
Close Range – 0 to 100 yards
The required magnification: 1-4x
The Mini 14 rifle is very well suitable for close-range shooting and self-defense. Small game hunters and plinkers can opt for this range. For close range with 1-4x magnification, you can use the best red dot sights for mini 14 to get better shots. Anything over this magnification power results in blur. I would recommend Sig Sauer ROMEO5 red dot sight for this range of shooting.
Medium range – 100 to 350 yards
The required magnification: 2 – 9x
The mini 14 with medium-range is great for hunting varmints, wild dogs, and coyotes.
It is popular for varmint hunting among ranchers. The pesty animals like varmints or coyotes hide in light brushes and hill areas. In this case, you will be using 2 to 9x magnification to see clearly from that far.
Long Range – 350+ yards
The required magnification: 10 and above
As a matter of fact, the Mini 14 is not designed for this range. Even if you use the best scope for mini 14, this range is not that easy to acquire. But if you like to practice with this range, you can magnify between 10x and above.
10 Best Scopes for Mini 14 to try in 2022
1. Vortex Strike Eagle 1-6x24mm Riflescope
Vortex Strike Eagle is our top choice for the best scope for mini 14 rifles. It is a versatile option if you are involved in different hunting disciplines. When it comes to hunting with Mini 14, the scope has the optimum magnification and relevant reticle options to work with.
|Objective Lens:||24 mm||Magnification:||1-6x|
|Reticle:||Dead-Hold BDC||Eye Relief:||3.5 in|
|Weight:||18 oz||Illumination:||Red LED|
It is a great scope for Ruger precision rifle for gun competition and fast pace hunting.
The mini 14 rifles are named for close-range shooting, so the scopes should also come with ideal zoom, eye relief, and lens system.
The 24 mm objective lens of the scope allows high light transmission so you get every little detail. The multi-coated lens and extra-low dispersion glass used in the optical system ensure crystal clear and vivid pictures of the target. It increases the resolution and captures maximum colors even in low light conditions. The 30 mm lightweight tube makes it portable.
You get a minimum 1x to maximum 6x magnification power for the target acquisition in close-range hunting. The variable magnification allows you to zoom in on targets with minimal distortion and more details.
The Dead-hold BDC reticle fit 5.56 ammunition with what Mini 14 is chambered. The illuminated BDC reticle makes the best pair with Mini 14. The center halo design in the reticle helps us to aim and shoot fast-moving targets in close range.
Apart from the inside features, the scope is well-built on the outside also. The anodized aluminum tube brings ruggedness and high resistance to the elements.
The fast-focus eyepiece helps to get them moving targets with minimal loads and fast reticle aiming. The eye relief is a bit lower than the standard (3.75) like 3.5 inches, however, the durable construction of the scope prevents recoil impacts.
The scope is fit to work in all weather conditions as it is made waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof.
Overall, a good choice for mini 14 rifles at close-range and for fast aiming in varmint hunting, 3 gun competitions, and target shooting.
2. ATN ThOR LT 3-6x Thermal Rifle Scope
If you are into hog hunting, you probably need a 5.56 load and a semi-auto rifle to hit the targets. The Mini 14 is one of the best semi-auto rifles that works great with 5.56 ammunition for hog hunting.
|Objective Lens:||50 mm||Magnification:||3-6x|
|Reticle:||Multiple||Eye Relief:||90 mm|
|Refresh Rate:||60 Hz||Color Mode:||White Hot/Black Hot|
|Sensor:||160×120 px||Display:||1280×720 px|
The nightmare animals like hogs, coyotes, and varmints come out in the late evening for their food. So, can only hunt them in the nighttime. It put you in a situation to must have a night vision scope to track the predators. This ATN ThOR LT is one of the best digital thermal scopes for mini 14 to hunt hogs.
Unlike a daylight night vision scope, this digital thermal scope detects heat energy and shows it in different color modes like white hot, black hot, and infrared.
It is a 2-in-1 riflescope for day and night hunting that you can mount on air rifles, crossbows, and other light firearms.
The 160×120 pixels ATN Obsidian Core LT sensor provides high-resolution pictures in the 1280×720 pixels HD display. It detects heat energy using cutting-edge technology even in thick forests, brushes, and pitch darkness. These are the features that ask you to pay a few more bucks than usual day riflescopes.
As an expensive optic, the scope compromises the price with its built-in features like e-compass, 3D accelerometer, geolocation, Wi-Fi connectivity, video recording, and one-shot zero.
The one-shot zero makes adjustments with clicks thus you don’t have to spend time on zeroing the scope for each time.
It has standard 3.5 inches eye relief with a fast-focus eyepiece. As a close-range shooter, you won’t need much of this limit. The recoil-resistant design compensates if you feel the eye relief is a bit low.
The IP-rated weather-resistant construction with aluminum alloy material prevents you from pausing the hunting activities due to adverse weather conditions. The scope is built in a way to withstand heavy recoils and punish climate conditions.
Overall a high-tech optic, if you are looking for the best thermal scope for mini 14 to hunt hogs at night.
3. Sig Sauer ROMEO5 1x20mm Red Dot Sight
If you are looking for lightweight and low-budget weapon sight for your Mini 14 to just begin practicing in the range, start with this Sig Sauer ROMEO5 red dot sight.
It has 1x fixed magnification so the scope won’t too heavy and offers accurate aiming and target acquisition.
|Objective Lens:||20 mm||Magnification:||1x fixed|
|Eye Relief:||Unlimited||Reticle:||2 MOA Red Dot|
|Operating Temperature:||-40 – 140 Fahrenheit||Illumination:||Red LED|
|Weather Resistance:||Yes||Water Resistant:||Yes|
The weapon sight gives us two night vision modes so you can bring it for late evening or early morning hunting also. To provide opportunities to hit the targets in all daylight conditions, the sight has 8 illumination settings.
We should mention their MOTAC feature, the motion-activated illumination power up the sight if there are movements and shuts down where there is nothing to detect. It increases safety and prevents you from being caught by a predator because of illumination. This feature works also as a battery saver to extend the run time of the sight.
If you never hunt far than 100 yards and don’t need high magnification, then go no further, Sig Sauer ROMEO5 red dot sight is the one for you.
The weapon sight can work between -40 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit temperature which is enough for close-range shooting even in the darkness.
The coated objective lens with 20 mm is the range you usually get from any Class-B weapon sights. Unlike the riflescopes, the ROMEO5 has a click value of 1/2 MOA which is an additional benefit.
Overall, if you hunt for a long time and need a lightweight optic to magnify the targets between 100 yards, Sig Sauer is the worthy choice.
4. EOTech 512-A65 Holographic CQB Weapon Sight
If you are buying a scope for varmint hunting at a medium-range, choose a holographic sight. You can hunt or scare away the varmints for good using these sights. To recommend, we took EOTech 512 holographic sight for this review.
For a short-distance target shooting in tactical situations, EOTech 512 Holographic sight is the best scope for Mini 14. It is easy to mount, sight, and aim the targets at close ranges. The simplicity of the sight is the advantage that most enthusiasts love about it.
|Objective Lens:||22 mm||Magnification:||1x fixed|
|Reticle:||65 MOA Ring and 1 MOA Dot||Illumination:||Holographic|
|Eye Relief:||Unlimited||Operating Temperature:||-4 – 122 Fahrenheit|
|Weight:||10.9 oz||Water Resistance:||Yes|
EOTech 512 is popular for its affordable price and lightweight. The zeroing is the best and quickest so far we tested. We get 20 daylight settings so tune up the sight with the reticle brightness to get the maximum visibility in all light conditions. The 65A reticle is easy to use. The only backdrop about the scope is it doesn’t night vision technology so you can only use the scope for day hunting.
The adjustment click value is less than 1 MOA which is great for medium-range shooting. With the fixed 1x magnification with this adjustment, you can hunt varmints up to 350 yards effectively. The target acquisition and portable design are added advantages of holographic sight in addition to an extended battery life of 1000 hours.
In 350 yards of shooting, having 30 yards of the field of view is much appreciable and benefitable. You can see almost everything in front of you. The unlimited eye relief and wide field of view shorten the aiming time and provide more successful shots.
The anti-reflection coating of the lens reduces glare and provides precious measurements of the target which is most wanted for hunting a moving target.
The scope is not only weather-resistant but also water-resistant up to 3 m in deep water.
The universal scope mount and quick elevation/windage adjustments are the best user-friendly features that welcome users from all disciplines.
Overall, EOTech 512-A65 Holographic is the best day scope for mini 14 for medium hunting and shooting.
5. Vortex Razor HD Gen II-E 1-6x24 Riflescope
Vortex Razor HD Gen II is a lightweight scope with quick swift movements. If you need a scope for close to medium-range shooting, this may be the right scope for you.
We tested Vortex Razor with Mini 14 in hunting and tactical. It shows the same brilliance in both places. Its long eye relief of 4 inches and fast focus eyepiece gave us expected accuracy in long-range shooting.
|Objective Lens:||24 mm||Magnification:||1-6x|
|Reticle:||VMR-2MRAD||Eye Relief:||4 inches|
|Illumination:||Red LED||Brightness Settings:||11|
|Exit Pupil:||4 – 24 mm||Battery Life:||150 hours|
We were able to see targets close up and in a situation with very bad lighting conditions. It is all because of the daylight illuminated center dot in the scope. In addition to this, its VMR-2MRAD reticle shows crosshairs that perfectly fit with the long-range target shooting.
As the scope has 1 to 6x magnification, we check the optic for close and medium-range shooting. The performance and output were really impressive. Though it was mentioned to work for long-range, we prefer you to use this for medium and close range. If you do coyote hunting, you can prefer this scope.
We tested the scope in the afternoon with bright sunlight, still, we got clear pictures, the 24 mm objective lens allowed maximum light transmission that we got 7/10 successful shots in the sheet.
The main housing of Vortex razor is made from Aircraft grade aluminum which is durable and runs for a long time if maintained in the right way. To tackle the worst conditions of shooting range and weather, the scope is finished with an anodized exterior that may add up a little weight however it prevents scratches and bumps.
We checked if the new HD extra-low dispersion glass in the multi-coated lens provides the difference in image clarity, and it does. We are impressed with the enhanced image clarity and difference in picture quality.
Overall, the best close to medium range scope for mini 14 for self-defense, plinking, and hunting wild predators like coyotes, varmints, or dogs.
6. Vortex StrikeFire II Sight w/ 4 MOA Dot
To get the maximum field of view and split-second target acquisition, choose this Vortex StrikeFire II Red Dot. You can shoot for long range with both eyes open using the scope. The easy rear-facing controls for power and adjustments with two settings in the scope are ideal for night vision. Thus, it shows the Vortex scope is suitable for all lighting conditions.
|Objective Lens:||30 mm||Magnification:||1x fixed|
|Reticle:||4 MOA Red/Green Dot||Eye Relief:||Unlimited|
|Illumination:||Red, Green||Brightness Settings:||10|
|Operating Temperature:||-22 – 140 Fahrenheit||Waterproof:||Yes|
The ten dot intensity levels of adjustments are easy to switch between. It is one of the best red dot sights under $200.
We have tested its crisp and clear glass lens which is multi-coated and allows high light transmission without glare.
The 4 MOA reticle is great for Mini 14 and AR 15 rifles. You can switch between red and green dots. This specific feature is beneficial to nighttime hunters as the green light provides high contrast in low light conditions.
The unlimited eye relief with a 30mm objective lens and extended field of view provides the expected result at the range.
The aircraft quality aluminum construction with a hard-anodized finish provides fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof features.
With the minimal settings on, you get a maximum of 80,000 hours of battery. The automatic shut-off works after 12 hours of use.
The red dot sight has 0.5 MOA adjustment clicks with audible dials.
Magnification power is the same as other red dot sights with a fixed 1x. It is suitable for close-range shooting.
The Strikefire II red dot has a cantilever ring mount. The optic bore center is suitable for AR-15 and Mini 14. It also has flip-flops for a lens.
If you wanted long eye relief, extended battery life, and multiple brightness settings for day and night vision, Vortex Strikefire II is for you.
7. Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9x40mm Riflescope
The Leupold VX-Freedom is a high-quality hunting optic with special features and essential specifications. It is suitable for self-defense and hunting with Ruger mini 14 rifles.
The glass of the optic provided a crisp and clear picture even after we tested it under bright sun and low light conditions. The 40mm objective lens allows colors clearly and the pictures are with no distortion and blur. Thanks to the Leupold Twilight Light Management System.
|Objective Lens:||40 mm||Magnification:||3 – 9 x|
|Reticle:||Duplex||Eye Relief:||4.2 – 3.7 in|
|Filed of view:||33.1 – 13.6 ft||Weight:||12.2 oz|
|Illumination:||None||Adjustment Value:||0.25 MOA|
We tested the pictures in the day and night with different lighting scenarios and circumstances like in the brushes, plain area, and in the range.
You can’t always predict the dangers while hunting so if the scope provides clear vision even in the worst light conditions, it is really a lifesaving investment.
About the reticle, VX-Freedom uses a Duplex reticle. The crosshair lines are thin but still enough for aging eyes. It is precise and nice and it does not scare away the predators which are very important.
The range of eye relief for the scope is between 4.2 and 3.7 inches.
Mostly the Mini 14 rifle owners like us used to set it at 3.75 inches which is the standard range. This range prevents scope bites of recoils, so this optic’s eye relief is plentiful to Mini 14 and even other high-caliber rifles.
The machine’s 6061-T6 aircraft-grade aluminum construction of VX-Freedom is strong enough despite its low weight at 12 ounces. The durable line layers provide waterproof, fog proof, and shockproof performances. The special multi-coating of lenses have been made to be scratch-resistant, though we did not test it, we got good reviews for this feature from customers who used it.
Zeroing is easy with the MOA adjustments. It has a 0.25 MOA adjustment click value. We zeroed the scope with three shots each from two groups.
With one click zoom, you can magnify between 3 to 9x. If you wanted a Mini 14 scope for defense or hunting or both, pick this VX-Freedom from Vortex.
8. Bushnell AR Optics 1-6x24mm Riflescope
Another high-quality scope we can recommend for accuracy and target acquisition would be the Bushnell AR Optics scope. The optics are built with Bushnell’s standard features like a multi-coated lens, variable magnification, plentiful eye relief, a wide objective lens, and a user-friendly reticle option.
We are happy with its overall build quality and performance especially after seeing how it improved precision even under the worst lighting conditions and harsh weather.
|Objective Lens:||24 mm||Magnification:||1-6x|
|Reticle:||Illuminated BTR-1||Eye Relief:||3.7 in|
|Exit Pupil:||4 – 24 mm||Weight:||16 oz|
|Adjustment:||Mil Rad||Range:||100 MOA|
You get variable magnification for 1x and 6x. The two Throw Down Power Change Levers (PCL) have different lengths so you can easily zoom the magnification range in the field.
The scope uses an Illuminated BTR-1 reticle which helps target acquisition even in dusk and dawn with its accurate aiming points. The reticle is perfect for medium to long-range shooting.
It is compatible with high-caliber reticles which double the precision for each round.
The capped turrets of the scope protect the optic against hard use. These target turrets are indispensable as they are integrated into the scope to provide high-precision adjustments.
The fully multi-coated lens of the scope allows high light transmission. You get great clarity and vivid images despite darkness or weather in the field. If you are using your Mini 14 for varmint or coyote hunting, you need a fast target acquisition and target range as these are fast-moving animals. If this is the case, the Bushnell AR Optics improves acquisition and provides accurate aiming.
The scope retains the accuracy and aims for a long time that you can mount and demount the scope in between without losing it. The Mil rad adjustments with 100 MOA range allow you to go through the scope controls flawlessly.
The only downside we have seen in the scope is its weight. The 16 ounce of optics system is nearly heavy but it is manageable for us, it may differ in others.
9. Leapers UTG 2-7x44mm Scout Riflescope
The Leapers UTG 2-7x44mm Scout Riflescope is one of the rugged and durable firearm optics with a 30mm one-piece tube for high color and light transmission. The True Strength Platform with 100% seal and nitrogen-filled optical system provides shockproof, rainproof, and fog-proof performance.
|Reticle:||Mil-Dot||Eye Relief:||9.5 – 11 in|
|Exit Pupil:||6.3 – 22 mm||Weight:||25.4 oz|
This is UTG’s one of the best scout scopes with plentiful eye relief from 9.5 – 11 inches. It is one of the log eye relief riflescopes for shooting or hunting. The firearms where the scopes can’t get direct-mounted above the action can make use of this scope.
UTG installed an innovative EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing System which has Dual Color mode with RGB and 36 brightness settings. These multi-color modes help to get great vision in all light and weather conditions.
Another high-tech feature we see in the scope is its 1-click illumination memory. It means the scope can go back to the previous color and brightness settings with a click.
The scope has Zero resetting turrets and zeroes locking features that make zeroing easier and provide consistent and precise 0.25 MOA click adjustments for windage and elevation settings.
The reticle is a 6 Mil-Dot Tactical Range Estimating Etched Glass reticle that shows ultimate performance for long and medium-range shooting.
If you use your Mini 14 as a scout rifle then this UTG scout scope would be a great addition of quality to your game. Its forward mount is suitable for scout rifles with Picatinny/Weaver scope mounts.
Overall, the reticle is great with high visibility even without illumination. Still, the illumination makes it easy for crosshairs to line up in darkness.
10. Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40mm Riflescope
We have already reviewed Bushnell AR Optics scope with different optical systems and magnification. If you wanted the same technology with different range applications, to say, for short to mid-range shooting or hunting, Bushnell AR optics 3-9×40 mm scope is a decent choice. It can provide a clear range of vision for 150 to 200 yards.
|Reticle:||Drop Zone-223||Eye Relief:||3.5 in|
|Exit Pupil:||4.44 – 13.33 mm||Illumination:||None|
|Weight:||19 oz||Weather Resistance:||Yes|
You get variable 3x to 9x magnification which you can switch using an adjustable length throw lever for easy and quick with gloves on.
The multi-coated lens and premium grade aluminum construction of scope is made for inclement weather and low or no light conditions.
The target turrets and parallax focus deliver unreal accuracy and precision with adjustments. Plus, the Drop-Zone 223 reticle is installed in the scope that goes great with .223 ammunition. So, for distance target shooting, this high-caliber reticle provides precision marks of targets up to 500 yards.
The aluminum housing with rugged design and fog proof, shockproof, waterproof, scratchproof, rustproof, and dustproof features make the scope unbeatable. It holds zero well after so much dragging, accidental drops, and unexpected bumps.
If you need a scope for practicing target shooting with Mini 14, it would be the best choice.
Now, it’s your turn!
As we said in the beginning, the best scope for mini 14 is the one that well suits your range and shooting needs. Follow the instruction we provided earlier in terms of choosing the scope magnification by considering the range. Once you made the right choice at that step, it will be easier for you to move further.
The above riflescopes for mini 14 are handpicked and tested in different range and light conditions. If you choose one from the list, it won’t go wrong.
You are one step away from a great target shooting experience, take one with the right companion!