Best Mini 14 Scopes – 2019 Buyer’s Guide Review

What is a most valuable feature of a firearm?

Many people would say either reliability or accuracy. Personally, we vote for accuracy as the most important for sporting guns. We have to agree with the great Col. Townsend Whelen, one of the most-quoted gun writers,: "Only accurate rifles are interesting."

Since the first semi-automatic rifles for the civilian market came out in the early 1900s, they’ve suffered from a reputation for poor accuracy. The Ruger Mini carbines, made 70 years later were no exception.

Keep reading the article for a more in-depth look at these scopes as well as our reviews on some of the best on the market.

Comparison of the Best Mini 14 Scopes

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Bushnell Trophy 3-9x 40mm

  • Objective measured at 40mm.
  • Made from high-quality materials.
  • Magnification levels of 3 to 9 times.
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Crosman CenterPoint Adventure Class 2-7x32mm

  • 32mm objective.
  • Ideal fit for Mini 14 rifles.
  • Magnification levels range from 2 to 7 times.
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Nikon - P-223 Scope 3-9x40mm BDC 600 Range Ready Kit

  • The objective is 40mm.
  • Magnification levels of 3 to 9 times.
  • BDC dead-hold reticle for accurate and precise shooting.
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Leupold 115389 Mark AR MOD 1 Rifle

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Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50 Riflescope

  • Objective measured at 50mm.
  • Dual illumination for low-light conditions.
  • Magnification levels range from 5 to 20 times.
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How to Choose a Scope For Your Mini 14

It doesn’t take a lot to make a distinction between a great Mini 14 scope and one that may not be the best in quality and performance. It’s important to know the characteristics, features, and other aspects that play a role in your final buying decision. Here are some things you need to look for while choosing a Mini 14 Scope:

Price

If you’re on a budget, then obviously the price is more important to you. But it shouldn’t be the only reason you chose a scope. Some of the other aspects should include things like quality and performance. As a rule, you should invest in the best quality and performance that will fit your budget, even if it means spending a little more than expected.

Choose High-Quality Material

A great scope should always be made with the best quality materials. For example, most scope bodies are made with types of high-quality aluminum. It’s proven to take on a lot of impact, abuse, and will withstand all kinds of shock produced by recoil. The better the quality, the better the chance the scope will last you a long time.

Installation

All of the scopes on this list will be easy to install, which means you’ll be able to install this in a matter of a few minutes with little to no tools. These scopes fit on most straight scope mounts and even scope rings (depending on the measurement of your scope). 

Quick Take - The Best Mini 14 Scopes

Review of the Best Scopes for the Mini 14

There’s a huge range of optics that work well with the Mini 14. We’ve summarized just a few here. They’re all great choices and come in at various price points according to your budget and expectations.

Here is our list of the four best Mini 14 scopes currently available on the market. While you are looking through each one, it’s important to know what features and characteristics should be included in your ideal Mini 14 scope. That way, if you find a scope that is close to your expectations, you’ll know for sure that it’s a winner. Let’s take a look at the first scope on our list:

Bushnell Trophy Riflescope (3-9X40, Matte)

Pros

  • The image quality is quite sharp
  • Easy to sight, takes a few minutes
  • Quick install on most scope mounts
  • Super durable construction, takes on a lot of impact and abuse
  • Fast focus eyepiece does a good job moving around and acquires targets quickly

Cons

  • Some of the adjustments might be a little stiff at times
  • The mil-dots may be barely visible in some lighting conditions
  • Some magnification levels will make the image quality a bit fuzzy

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of users were quite happy with this Bushnell scope. Most concluded this was reliable and provided excellent shooting ability across many applications. One user even said he was able to land his shots on-target consistently between 300 to 400 yards out. Other users have utilized this scope for hunting and target shooting.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Bushnell is considered to be one of the more reliable brands on the market when it comes to scopes. It’s got image quality that is hard to match. On top of that, the reticle allows for dead-on-the-money shooting from some pretty good distances. Like any other riflescope, the body is durable and does a great job handling multiple episodes of shock originating from recoil.

The 3-9x 40 mm Trophy Bushnell is one of our favorite riflescopes in the economy class. It’s also tailor-made for the Mini 14 scenario we laid out above. Bushnell Company makes some of the most well-known working-man's optics in the hunting and shooting community. Their Trophy line of riflescopes let in a lot of light, making them ideal for dawn or dusk shooting when predators are most active. A Bushnell Trophy one-piece main tube riflescope does look massive on the Ruger Mini 14 with its 12-inch length. But it is surprisingly lightweight, measuring less than 14 ounces.

As an “introductory” optic, this scope provides a reasonably bright and crisp image thanks to the multi-coated optics. Bushnell's Amber-Bright, high-contrast lens coatings offer 91% light transmission.

This particular riflescope sports the Multi-X reticle that makes it popular with most hunters. The Bushnell Trophy is also available with a DOA 600 (Dead-On-Accurate at 600 yards) and mil-dot reticle that uses the second focal plane - although that might be a bit much for your for your Mini 14.

With a relatively low price, the quality of Bushnell optics is usually perceived as being average, but acceptable for practical accuracy. With low-priced glasses, it is understandable that the clarity of the optics is not pristine. Particularly on bigger magnifications, the edge sharpness is visibly degraded compared to the center sharpness. The Bushnell Trophy 3-9x 40 mm is a completely acceptable hunting scope. It’s reasonably good, although not fancy enough for the serious or recreational hunter. But that’s probably not what you’re doing with your Mini 14 anyway.

Who Will Use This Most

This scope will likely be used in either a hunting or target shooting situation. Regardless, it’s the kind of scope that will fit almost any Mini 14 rifle out there. If you’re looking for something that has durability and proven reliability, this scope will fit the bill.

Bottom Line

The Bushnell Trophy Riflescope might last you a long time and will provide you with faithful and dependable service. Regardless of your application, this might be the epitome of what a Mini 14 scope should be.

Crosman CenterPoint Adventure Class 2-7x32mm riflescope with Dual Illuminated Reticle

Pros

  • Affordable for most budgets
  • The image quality is pretty clear
  • Easy to install, takes a few minutes
  • Great for hunting and target shooting
  • Durable construction, survives weather, impact, and shock

Cons

  • Illumination does not shut off automatically
  • Batteries either are half alive or dead on arrival

What Recent Buyers Report

New buyers were able to use this scope across many applications. The majority were hunters using it to knock down many small and big game targets. One user said this was more effective with varmint hunting since he was able to hit them accurately from as far out as 150 yards.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This scope is useful for Mini 14 rifles but the big surprise is that it’s also designed to handle rifles like high-powered air rifles, especially the ones that are powerful enough to knock down varmints. Overall, it’s a scope that can pretty much handle any rifle good enough for varmint or small game hunting. Furthermore, it has illumination settings great for both daytime and low-light use.

While there were other very admirable optics in the low-powered line, the Crosman CenterPoint 2-7x32 mm Scope caught our attention. For the cost-conscious shooter who occasionally uses his Ruger Mini 14, this riflescope from Crosman's Adventure line provides remarkable features that he would expect to find in a more expensive scope.

At a weight of only 12.8 oz. and overall length of 11.5”, the short main tube stays out of your way. This Crosman product is well-made, machined of one-piece, aircraft-grade aluminum alloy tube. Though advertised as a shotgun scope with a generous 48.5 feet field of view at 100 yards, this lightweight and compact optic is fast in target acquisition and aiming. That helps make it perfect hardware for your Ruger Mini 14 Ranch rifle.

This straight-tubed scope is 100% waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. It offers bright and clear parallax-free images at 100-yard distances with just a single adjustable ocular lens. The scope provides an easy-to-focus feature with 1/4 MOA at 100-yard quick adjustments and a dual red/green illuminated mil-dot reticle.

This decent scope has a few drawbacks, such as easily losing the sight picture at 2x. This is due to a very small sweet spot. There is also limited range in low light because of the low twilight performance of the 32 mm lens.

However, the Crosman CenterPoint Adventure Class 2-7x32mm outperforms a lot of much higher-priced scopes. It offers tremendous value for the money. In the end, this budget-priced riflescope designed for field hunting and scouting will serve your Mini 14 well.

Who Will Use This Most

This scope will be mostly used for varmint hunting, especially when they’re becoming more of a problem on your property. Granted, this scope will be used for a Mini 14 only if you’re out in the country but if you’re in the suburbs, it will work with most airsoft pistols built for varmint hunting.

Bottom Line

The Crosman CenterPoint Adventure Class Rifle Scope might be the best varmint hunting scope on the market for a Mini 14. You can reach some close but impressive distances with this puppy both day and night. For something that’s versatile and can reach some decent distances, the Crosman CenterPoint might be right up your alley.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Super-clear image quality
  • It can reach targets as far away as 600 yards out
  • Adjustment for parallax, windage, and elevation are easy to use
  • Super durable construction can take on impact and bad weather among other factors

Cons

  • None

What Recent Buyers Report

One thing that stood out with the new buyers was how clear the image quality was on this scope. They were amazed by the high definition and were equally impressed with how they could hit their targets quite accurately from pretty good distances (on average, the effective accuracy was about 600 yards). One user said he is considering this scope as his new go-to for hunting varmint and whitetail deer.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Of course, we would point out the excellent image quality as a reason why it stands out to us. But it’s not the only reason. First of all, the body of the scope is quite durable. Secondly, the BDC reticle is designed to make precise and accurate shooting a possibility at many distances. Even better, you’ll be able to make adjustments on-the-fly if parallax ends up being a problem or if your windage or elevation adjustments are off.

As one of the leading companies in the industry, Nikon introduced a new line of a polymer all-weather casing riflescopes. The P223 series started in 2012.

Along with the scope, the package includes Nikon mount rings designed for the AR platform and a “Spot-On Wind Meter” that enables shooters to get on-target quickly. The- P-223 Scope 3-9x40 mm sports a one-inch main body tube with an overall length of 12.4," and weight of only 17.1oz.

The Nikon P223 optic is lighter than other all-metal scopes in its category. However, Nikon distinguished itself from the competition with a few novelties. Among these are the BDC reticle and the Spot-On ballistics program. Spot-On is a wind meter that ensures you can get on-target quickly.

This effective variable-zoom riflescope is intended for everything from range shooting to tree stand hunting. The BDC 600 reticle is optimized to correspond to the trajectory of the .223 Remington high-ballistic coefficient (BC), 55-grain polymer tip bullet. Perfect for your Mini 14!

The spring-loaded adjustment knob makes precise adjustment easy and quick. The scope has more-than-adequate 3.6" eye relief and a large field of view of 33.8 ft. at 100 yards with 3x magnification. As a standard feature, Nikon has a preset to eliminate parallax at 100 yards.

Nikon advertises that the P223 has 98% light transmission, providing crisp and clear visuals, even in poor lighting conditions. This might be a slight exaggeration, since the more expensive M-223 only offers light transmission up to 95%. Still, it’s a great choice.

This reasonably-priced Nikon offering definitely has professional-grade features. It delivers a quality target image unaffected by adverse weather conditions.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re a hunter that wants a scope with the best image quality possible, plus a reticle that will give you dead-on accurate shooting every time, you’re probably going to give this puppy a try. Once you install this, you won’t be shocked by the instant benefits you’ll get. Plus, the image quality will be so good that you wouldn’t want to put the rifle down.

Bottom Line

The Nikon P-223 Rifle Scope has some excellent qualities and features and it has the potential to be a scope that can last you a long time in any hunting application. If you want your Mini 14 to stand out as the ultimate hunting rifle, it starts with an excellent scope like this.

Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint 5-20x50 Riflescope MIL-Dot Crosshair with Green Dot Reticle, 30mm Tube

Pros

  • Excellent optical quality
  • Affordable for most budgets
  • Super accurate shooting from various distances
  • Illumination settings are nice and bright for low-light environments
  • Super durable construction can take on a lot of impact and shock

Cons

  • Turrets won’t always lock in place
  • Some magnification settings may be a little fuzzy
  • Reticle dots may not be visible in some brighter settings

What Recent Buyers Report t

As expected, this scope was a hit with most users. They were able to look through it without any issues in either daylight or low-light setting using the illumination settings. Either way, they were quite pleased with the scope’s ability to hit targets accurately. One user said he was able to reach out and touch something from well over 500 yards out.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Trijicon brand is best-known for making some bright sights so they carried it over with the illumination settings for their scopes. They are bright enough for use in low-light and even nighttime settings. It might be one of the most effective scopes you can use for night hunting with a Mini 14.

This scope from Trijicon may be overkill for the small, moderately-powered Mini 14 carbine, but if you want to push the limits of what you can do, it’s a good choice.

Trijicon is one of the names that comes to mind when you want outstanding performance from tactical optics for close work. However, the new line of Trijicon variable-powered riflescopes is perfect for shooting targets at around 1,000 yards. It competes very favorably with some other higher-end scopes such as Nightforce, Nikon, or Leupold at this price point.

Actually, the Trijicon TR23 AccuPoint is really among the top options in this category due to its superior-quality glass with multiple lens coatings. It offers extraordinary clarity and light-gathering capability with zero distortion.

The 30 mm tube ends with an awesome light-gathering 50 mm objective lens. This gives you the ability to shoot in any light with perfect accuracy. The scope body is crafted from rugged, aircraft-grade, hard-anodized aluminum. Its interior is filled with dry nitrogen to keep away corrosion and eliminate fogging.

This Trijicon scope features second focal plane (SFP), standard duplex, and mil-dot crosshair reticles. These have the unique characteristic of using both fiber optics and tritium to illuminate a small dot at the very center of the crosshairs. However, this green center dot is very small and difficult to see on a bright day. The chief benefit, though, is that this system means the scope is battery-free.

The Trijicon AccuPoint 5-20×50 employs massive elevation and windage knobs with 0.25 MOA per-click adjustment, allowing total elevation adjustment of 47 MOA. Some consider this enough for long-range hunting. However, others say that long-range shooting and tactical use requires 60+ MOA and they consider this feature as one of the scope's limitations. If you’re only using the scope for your Mini 14, that’s a non-issue. But if you intend to also use it on other guns, it’s something to consider.

With the bigger price tag and higher quality also comes size. This good-looking scope measures 13.6″ long and weighs a hefty 26.9 oz. As one the best scopes for the Mini 14 Rifle, the package includes a 3″ sunshade, lens pen, manuals, and a bikini-style scope cover.

Who Will Use This Most

If you’re a hunter that likes to go during the day or even at nighttime, you should probably give this scope a whirl. During the day, it will work for big game and varmints. At night, it’s the perfect scope to get the job done against not just varmint, but also predators that tend to intimidate or even try to attack livestock on your farm. If you want a great scope for the sake of property management, nothing will ever come close to this one.

Bottom Line

The Trijicon AccuPoint Riflescope might be right up your alley if you want a scope that can work around the clock for hunting. Whether you’re using it against big game or predators that stalk your livestock animals, this scope will do exactly what you want it to do no matter what the lighting conditions are. 

This riflescope for Ruger Mini 14 could be the Leupold series of optics adapted for the AR platform and optimized for .223 caliber. The Leupold 115389 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope comes with an advertised 3-9x magnification (the actual optical system features 3.3-8.6x zoom). It has a 40 mm objective lens with four multi-coat, anti-glare coatings.

It also features DiamondCoat, an extra layer of anti-scratch coating that defends the surface from accidental damage. It has a lockable fast-focus eyepiece with a low-profile tactile zoom lever to get the optimum magnification level with zero distortion, giving a bright, clean image.

The Leupold Riflescope utilizes a second focal plane reticle available in a duplex, mil-dot, or Illuminated FireDot-G TMR pattern. The Illuminated FireDot-G Tactical Milling Reticle is an elegant Leupold reticle variant of the mil-dot. It features an illuminated green center dot, visible day or night

It’s good to remember that the Leupold TMR utilizes 0.1 mil P5 dials with an elevation BDC dial for a .223/5.56, 55gr FMJ bullet instead of .25 or .5 minute adjustments.

Leupold built this scope over a one-inch tube made with a proprietary 2nd Generation argon-krypton gas blend that should keep it more fog-proof and waterproof. The aluminum scope body has an attractive matte black finish. It measures 12.6 inches long and weighs 11.20 ounces. That makes it one of the lightest scopes in the 3-9x 40 category.

Unlike a cheap China-made tactical scope, this has the standard high Leupold quality approaching the upper-class VX-II glass.

One word of caution: the Leupold Mark AR Riflescope features exposed tactical P5 elevation turrets. You’ll have to be careful not to bump the turrets or your shots will be off the mark.

This scope is designed for short-to-medium-range shooting and can be used for instinctive and close-range engagements. The Mini 14 rifle and a Leopold AR Scope are a great combo for target shooting, varmint hunting, and some of the local three-gun competitions.

Is a Scope Worth It?

There is nothing wrong with this handy rifle. It definitely does what it’s designed for. It’s made to be a utility rifle intended for plinking at 50 yds. For more than 40 years, the Mini 14 Rifle has outshined other semi-automatics in the .223 Remington ammo class.

But it’s important to remember that accuracy and reliability in the autoloader's action can be inversely proportional. The Ruger Mini 14 definitely doesn't belong among the tack driver rifles. However, it is worth scoping because it can dramatically diminish your point of impact (POI) groupings from an average 4" to only 1"-1.5 inch three-round groups.

Of course, Ruger has also retooled the Mini 14 production line. The newly-redesigned version is more accurate due to improved manufacturing tolerances and a heavier barrel. Many feel that with its violent jarring of the action, the Mini is particularly hard on scopes. Realistically, the impulse of .223 loads could hardly ruin a decent scope or solid mount.

The Mini was never intended to be a particularly accurate rifle. But investing in good, quality optics can enhance your shooting ability, making longer-range shots both more natural and more precise. However, considering the semi-automatic Mini 14 and its small caliber, scopes with low to medium magnification are the best solution. This compact carbine chambered in .223, of course, has a limited ballistic trajectory and effective range, and seeing further won’t make it shoot further.

Although we found numerous recommendations for straight-tubed scopes such as in the 1-4x24 or 1.5-5x20 range, we advise lower-profiled optics but with bigger glasses. The Mini 14 is not only a great plinker but fantastic for hunting predators and small game, so we want to take that into account.

When hunting for animals active primarily at dawn and dusk, bigger objectives and low-powered variable optics with the widest FOV possible are the most logical and natural solution. It’s better to have a lower-powered variable that allows for fast shouldering and target acquisition with an objective lens adequate for low-light conditions.

Conclusion

The market is overflowing with many riflescopes ranging from ordinary garbage to high-end European glasses. Finding the best of the best can be a daunting task. We hope our short overview of a few typical representative riflescopes will simplify your hunt and help increase the fun and usability of your Mini 14.

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