Best Scope for Ruger Mini 14 – 2022 Complete Guide

The Ruger Mini-14 has been popular since Sturm, Ruger & Co. introduced it in 1973 as a compact, non-military version of the M14. However, no rifle is complete without a sturdy scope, especially for hunters and sportspeople.

Finding the perfect scope can be a pricey experiment, so we’ve cultivated a list to save you time while looking for the best scope for Mini-14.

  • Best overall
  • Durable and lightweight construction
  • Is shockproof, fog proof, and waterproof
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  • Best value for the money
  • Anti-reflective lens that's fully multi-coated
  • Long eye relief with a fast-focus eyepiece that allows for easy reticle focusing
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  • Best scope for mini 14 tactical
  • Includes an asymmetrical reticle design to better estimate range, target size, and even wind-drift
  • Shockproof protects it from hard recoil
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Why your Mini-14 needs a Scope, and What is it Used For?

There are different types of magnification for a Mini-14: scopes and sightings. Scopes give a better magnification, while sightings don’t allow you to see as clearly at as great a distance.

Both allow you to see at a greater distance and have better aim. However, we’re focusing on scopes because they’re simply better quality. Because they are more versatile, scopes tend to be more popular. 

Every marksman needs a good scope, no matter what you’re shooting. Scopes can gather more light, thus providing an extra-clear picture, even at low-light levels of the day, such as dawn and dusk.

When Would a Scope for Mini-14 Come in Handy?

If you’re on the fence about getting a scope, you really shouldn’t be. Having a scope can improve your overall shooting experience, whether you’re aiming for pests around the farm or a target.

Long-Range Sightings

An iron sight may be good enough to help you see short distances, but a scope takes you further. With scope for Mini-14, you can sight your prey (or target) from a more considerable distance. 

Depending on the weather, what you’re shooting, and the location, this distance can keep you safe, warm, and dry. 

Better Vision in Dim Light

Two of the most peaceful times of day, dawn and dusk, make for scenic shooting. However, because the light is dimmest at these periods, shooting can become difficult.

A scope lets in more light only because it has a bigger lens than a sight. This extra light can make all the difference in the world of hitting your target accurately, even in low-light settings.

Improved Accuracy

A scope can improve your accuracy. It can boost the accuracy of your shot if you’re shooting at a distance, low-light levels, or a small target.

With the level of magnification a scope can give, you won’t have to struggle to find small pests in tall grass or hit the center of your target again.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Scope for your Ruger Mini-14?

When it comes to any equipment, no two are going to be the same. There are some basic things you’ll need to consider, such as eye relief (or how far your eye is from the scope) or how heavy it is. However, the specs are the most important aspect of a potential scope.

Magnification Level

Depending on your specific needs, you may need eight to nine times magnification, while others may only want three times magnification. 

For example, if you hunt in a dense forest, high magnification probably won’t help, so there’s no reason to spend more. However, if you shoot on flat, open ground, you may need more.

Fixed VS Variable Power

Some scopes are “fixed” powers, while others are variable. Fixed means you get one magnification level, but variable power gives you the ability to increase (or decrease) your levels.

Variable power gives you an increased range of sight, but it often costs more.

Size of the Objective Lens

The objective lens diameter (OLD) typically will determine how much light your scope lets in. The more light, the easier it is to use at all hours of the day.

Typically, that means a larger lens is superior to a smaller one.

Review of the Best Scope for your Ruger Mini-14

Let’s get to the down and dirty of why we’re here: to find the best scope for Mini-14. We’ve sorted through scope after scope and come up with the top three best scopes for your Mini-14.

Top Pick

Barska 6-24×40 IR Point Black .223 BDC Riflescope



What Recent Buyers Report

Reviews have praised the scope’s reticle and its ability to cycle between zoom ranges. They have pointed out its ability to keep to zero, even after they have fired many hundreds of rounds.

One criticism leveled at the scope has been its clarity when zoomed beyond 18x, which several buyers have found to be an issue.

Why It Stands Out to Us

Barska’s 6-24×40 IR Point Blank .223  BDC Riflescope boasts a lightweight construction. Its durability makes it a standout choice for rigorous use, especially as it is shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof.

With adjustable 6-24x magnification, the Barska riflescope can be relied upon for both mid and long-range targeting.

The reticle is glass-etched, also acts as a rangefinder, and can be illuminated to accommodate poor-light conditions. This comes in three color options, giving operators a decent choice when lighting isn’t what it could be.

Bottom Line

Without question, Barska has produced a high-quality scope with this model.

It delivers reliable performance at mid to long-range, while its adjustable 6-24x magnification and illuminated reticle give users plenty of options. The scope’s durable construction only adds to its versatility.

Best Budget Option

Vortex Optics Crossfire II Second Focal Plane, 1-inch Tube Riflescopes



What Recent Buyers Report

Most users seem quite happy with this model scope for Mini-14. They say that the eye-relief is great and really appreciate the lifetime warranty that comes with it.

Many shooters find this scope to be of great value and quality. They also appreciate that it doesn’t seem to get in the way of any recoil when firing.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This is our best budget pick precisely because it balances great value for excellent quality. It’s a sturdy scope that has a great zoom function for when you really need to see things in detail.

The reticle may get fuzzy at maximum magnification, but you can compensate for this by adjusting your eye relief to clear it up.

The Vortex Optics Crossfire gives you a crystal clear image with great color retention, making it easy to aim and fire with outstanding accuracy. Plus, we love that you get a lifetime guarantee with your purchase.

Bottom Line

While we aren’t thrilled that the reticle can get blurry with maximum zoom, we appreciate that there is an effective workaround.

All in all, this is the best budget option available: it’s high quality for a great price.

Best Scope for Mini-14 Tactical 

Bushnell 3-9×40 Riflescope with DZ 223 Reticle

Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Matte BDC600



What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers who need a tactical scope seem thrilled with this Nikon model. However, it needs to be stressed that this scope works best specifically for tactical, long-distance shooting.

Some users made the mistake of buying it for close-quarters shooting and didn’t find it useful.

However, shooters that used it for its intended purpose have found it incredibly helpful, of excellent quality, with crystal clear glass. 

Why It Stands Out to Us

For tactical shooting, there is no better scope than the Nikon P-Tactical. It’s sturdy, offers premier zooming capabilities, and has excellent light absorption. 

While a few shooters found the BDC circles difficult to see, the problem fixes itself when you properly zoom in. It’s specifically designed to be used as a second point of sight for enhanced magnification, and it works well.

Best of all is how it holds zero even if it (and your Mini-14) get knocked about a bit. 

Bottom Line

There’s no denying the quality of this tactical scope. When used properly, it works like a charm, magnifying up to nine times with a 600 yard BDC.

No matter the light levels, the glass remains clear, and this scope is easy to see out of for increased accuracy when firing.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Scope for Your Mini-14

There are cheaper scopes available, but they won’t have the same quality as one of our top three. To get the most out of shooting, you need to invest in high-quality gear.

You Get Better Stability

There’s nothing worse than needing to reset your scope after each shot. With a quality scope, you can expect it to maintain zero even after taking a beating from a strong recoil.

This way, you won’t have to recalibrate repeatedly and can focus on your shooting session or hunt.

Quality Scopes Give Clearer Magnification

One of the biggest benefits of getting a quality scope is how clear the magnification is. If you’re aiming at a small target or one that’s a good distance away, you want something that is going to give you a good, clear image when you magnify.

Otherwise, you may have a blurry mess that impedes your accuracy.

Bigger Lenses Mean More Light

Not only will magnification be better with a quality scope, but the lenses will be superior as well. The larger the lens, the clearer the glass, the more light gets through.

When more light gets through, you’ll not only get a better picture, but you’ll be able to aim better too.

How to Use Scope on your Mini-14

Once your scope has been properly mounted, you’ll need to do the following:

  1. Align the reticle and adjust the eye relief. The reticle is what shows you where you are aiming. Typically, a reticle will look like a cross, but it may also look like a circle or X. Once you’ve rotated it until it’s in focus, then you can adjust the eye relief to ensure you won’t injure yourself during recoil.
  2. Acquaint yourself with your scope. Before you go shooting, it’s smart to get comfortable using your scope. Play around with it so you can easily adjust windage, parallax, the objective lens, and the eyepiece. This way, using your scope in the field will be familiar.
  3. Get comfortable with your lens. Whether you have a single or variable power lens, you’ll want to get used to seeing through it. Most high-quality scopes are going to be variable, so you should get familiar with adjusting it and getting it into focus at different settings.
  4. Adjust to high levels of magnification. The greater the level of magnification, the darker the target may be. The closer in you zoom, the less light is coming into your lens. Becoming familiar with how dark the highest magnification settings are is crucial to maintaining accuracy while shooting.
  5. Maintain sight picture. Rather than relying on your iron sights, you just need to align your scope with the front sight tip on the barrel. This way, you get a clear and accurate picture of where you’ll be shooting.
  6. Practice using your scope. Before you head out to shoot, it’s a good idea to get used to shooting with it in a safe and stable environment. This may be the shooting range you’ve set up in your backyard or something similar, but get used to your scope before going on a shooting trip.

For a full overview of what was described above, please refer to this video!


While you’ll have to determine which scope you get based on your budget, you also need to consider how you shoot before you purchase.

If you’re looking for something to help strictly with long-distance shooting, the tactical scope is the way to go. However, the Barska stands out as our top pick thanks to its ability to zoom in and its clarity.

People Also Ask

Have you got another question? We’ve got the answers here!

How far can a Mini-14 shoot accurately?

The Mini-14 has an effective range of about 200-300 yards (or 600-900 feet).

What’s the difference between a Mini-14 and a ranch rifle?

The main difference is that the Mini-14 Ranch has rear sight with scope mounts in the receiver that can flip up and down. The standard has no scope mounts in the receiver and a basic rear sight.

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox

Joseph Fox writes on a variety of topics ranging from reloading ammunition to gun cleaning. He has been featured on various publications like thetruthaboutguns, Sofrep & many more. Joseph is also the founder of Gunloading, where he reviews different types of reloading & firearm products available on the market.