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6 Best Scopes for Mini-14 Rifles in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on

close up Monstrum Tactical 3-9x40 (FFP) Rifle Scope

You can have the best rifle in the world, but if you throw a bad scope on top of it, you’ll never hit your target. It’s important to get the proper scope the first time, so we took the time to review the top options out there.

We have reviews of the six best scopes for your Mini-14 rifle, and we also developed a comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything that you need to know before making a purchase.

You’ll soon have the perfect scope to throw on your Ruger and hit the range or field!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Five different magnification levels
  • Three different reticle options
  • Best Value
    Second place
    MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight Scope MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight Scope
  • Affordably priced
  • 11 brightness levels to choose from
  • True 1x magnification reflex sight
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Riflescope Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Riflescope
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Great clarity and brightness
  • Excellent eye relief: 3.5" to 4.5"
  • TRUGLO TRU-Brite Xtreme 4 X 32mm Compact Rifle Scope TRUGLO TRU-Brite Xtreme 4 X 32mm Compact Rifle Scope
  • Affordably priced
  • Superb 5.5" of eye relief
  • Illuminated reticle with two color options: red and green
  • Monstrum Tactical 3-9x40 (FFP) Rifle Scope Monstrum Tactical 3-9x40 (FFP) Rifle Scope
  • Great magnification range: 3x to 9x
  • Illuminated reticle with two color options: red and green
  • Excellent eye relief at 4" to 4.5"
  • The 6 Best Scope for Mini-14 Rifles — Reviews 2021

    1. Vortex Optics Crossfire II Riflescopes — Best Overall

    There are few names in the industry as big as Vortex Optics. It’s an American company that makes top-notch scopes and warranties them for life. Its Crossfire II line is no different and earns the Vortex Optics name.

    Not only do these rifle scopes come with the lifetime warranty, but they also have an incredible array of performance features. First, they have multiple magnification and reticle configurations to choose from. They all provide generous eye relief and have a fast-focus eyepiece and fantastic brightness and clarity.

    The only drawback is that they don’t have an option with only 1x magnification, but that’s not uncommon for traditional rifle scopes. These are great choices all-around and our pick for the best scope for Mini-14 rifles.

    Pros
    • Lifetime warranty
    • Three different reticle options
    • Five different magnification levels
    • Good mix of affordability and performance
    • Fast focus eyepiece
    • Generous eye relief
    Cons
    • No option with 1x magnification

    2. MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight Scope — Best Value

    MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot Sight Scope

    There’s little doubt that the best scope for a Mini-14 rifle for the money is the MidTen 2MOA Micro Red Dot sight. MidTen offers this scope for an affordable price, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not getting a great scope.

    It’s a red dot reflex sight through and through, which means you’re only getting 1x magnification. However, you also get unlimited eye relief, and the 2 MOA red dot reticle comes with 11 different brightness levels.

    Whether you’re shooting on an extremely bright day or in the middle of the night, there’s a setting to help you find your reticle. Keep in mind that this sight only comes with a 1-year warranty. While it’s better than nothing, it’s not great either.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • True 1x magnification reflex sight
    • 11 brightness levels to choose from
    Cons
    • No magnification
    • It only comes with a 1-year warranty

    3. Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9×40 Riflescope — Premium Choice

    Nikon P-Tactical .223 3-9x40 Riflescope

    If money is no object, then the Nikon P-Tactical rifle scope might be precisely what you want for your Mini-14 rifle. It has a great magnification range, starting at 3x and topping out at a convenient 9x. Moreover, the scope has instant reset windage and elevation turrets that Nikon elevated to make it easier to adjust.

    It also has a quick focus eyepiece and outstanding clarity and brightness. At minimum magnification, this scope has an impressive 4.5″ of eye relief, and at maximum magnification, you get a generous 3.5″.

    However, not only is this scope expensive, but there are also multiple complaints that Nikon doesn’t always honor the warranty because it no longer makes rifle scopes. It’s a big gamble to take with such an expensive scope.

    Pros
    • Great magnification range: 3x to 9x
    • Has zero-reset turrets
    • Raised elevation and windage turrets for easy adjustments
    • Quick focus eyepiece
    • Excellent eye relief: 3.5″ to 4.5″
    • Great clarity and brightness
    Cons
    • Very expensive option
    • Warranty is not always honored

    4. TRUGLO TRU-Brite Xtreme 4 X 32mm Compact Rifle Scope

    TRUGLO TRU-Brite Xtreme 4 X 32mm Compact Rifle Scope

    The TRUGLO Tru-Brite Xtreme rifle scope is an outstanding choice for your Mini-14 rifle. Not only does it feature an illuminated reticle, but it also has an impressive 5.5″ of eye relief. This makes it super easy to line up your shot and look through your scope, no matter what position you’re in.

    Additionally, the illuminated reticle has two color options that you can cycle through: green and red.

    The real drawbacks to this scope start with the fact that it only has the one magnification setting of 4x, and it doesn’t offer fantastic brightness and clarity, despite the illuminated reticle. This is a good option for the price point, but it’s not on par with more expensive options.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • Illuminated reticle with two color options: red and green
    • Superb 5.5″ of eye relief
    Cons
    • Only one magnification level: 4x
    • It does not offer great brightness on the optics

    5. Monstrum Tactical 3-9×40 (FFP) Rifle Scope

    Monstrum Tactical 3-9x40 (FFP) Rifle Scope

    Another rifle scope with a generous amount of eye relief is the Monstrum Tactical scope. At its maximum magnification of 9x, it offers an impressive 4″ of eye relief, and that number increases to an even more impressive 4.5″ at its minimum magnification of 3x.

    It has an illuminated reticle, and you can cycle through two color options of red and green. Additionally, you get exceptional brightness and clarity with this scope, making it a top-notch choice.

    However, it only comes with a 1-year warranty, and it’s undoubtedly on the more expensive side of things when you’re looking at rifle scopes for your Mini-14 rifle.

    Pros
    • Great magnification range: 3x to 9x
    • Excellent eye relief at 4″ to 4.5″
    • Illuminated reticle with two color options: red and green
    • Great clarity and brightness
    Cons
    • More expensive for what you get
    • Only has a 1-year warranty

    6. Visionking Rifle Scope 3-9×40 Riflescope

    This affordable rifle scope can’t quite stack up to the more expensive options. While you do get an illuminated reticle that has a diopter dial that lets you control the brightness levels and has excellent visibility and clarity, that’s where the perks stop.

    The eye relief is extremely sharp at 2.5″, and you only get a 15-month warranty. Furthermore, you don’t get a parallax adjustment, which affects your view at different distances. It’s a decent scope for the price point, but if you have more money to spend, you can get a better option.

    Pros
    • Affordably priced
    • Illuminated reticle with diopter dial
    • Great visibility and brightness
    Cons
    • Sharp eye relief: 2.5″
    • Only has a 15-month warranty
    • No parallax adjustment

    Buyer’s Guide – Choosing the Best Scope for Mini-14 Rifles

    When you’re picking out your next rifle scope for your Mini-14 rifle, you’re bound to have a few questions. That’s why we developed this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything that you need to know. You’ll soon be ready to pick out your rifle scope and know exactly what to do when you get it!

    How Much Magnification Do You Need?

    When picking out the best scope for a Mini-14 rifle, you’re not looking for a ton of magnification. That’s because the maximum range of a Mini-14 is only 200 yards. So, a scope with 9x magnification is plenty for what you’ll be able to use it for.

    Since a Mini-14 has such a short maximum effective range, it’s more important to ensure that your minimum magnification goes low enough. Ideally, you want something with 1x to 2x magnification, but 3x magnification works too.

    Anything higher than that, and you’re severely limiting the range at which you can effectively use your rifle.

    What Is Eye Relief and How Much Do You Need?

    Eye relief refers to the distance between your eye and your scope to clearly see through it. If you don’t have enough eye relief when you pull the trigger, the recoil will send the scope straight into your eye. While a Mini-14 doesn’t have the largest recoil out there, it does have a decent amount for a small-caliber rifle.

    But having extra eye relief does more than just protect your face. It also makes it easier and more comfortable to use your scope, especially if you’re in a non-traditional shooting position.

    Sharp eye relief means that you’ll need to get more “over” your rifle when aiming, and if you stay in this position for an extended period of time, it can get incredibly uncomfortable. When you can invest in the extra eye relief, you won’t regret it.

    prism eye relief_Piqsels

    Image Credit: Piqsels

    What Is Parallax?

    Parallax refers to the image distortion that the lens produces on different objects. For traditional scopes, this usually affects closer objects. The higher the magnification, the farther away an object needs to be so you can view it without distortion.

    This is why you’re better off with a scope with a lower minimum magnification for a Mini-14. While you might think that more magnification is always better, if you have too much, you’re going to get a distorted image, making it hard to hit what you’re aiming at.

    For a reflex sight, parallax refers to the red dot itself moving when you’re looking at it through different angles. Good reflex sights are parallax-free, so you don’t have to worry about the dot “moving” while you’re lining up your shot.

    Why Brightness Matters

    When you look through a rifle scope, you’re looking at a magnified field of view. While this is incredibly useful for seeing distant objects, one of the main tradeoffs is that it limits the amount of light coming through the optics. You’re only getting light from the magnified area.

    While this isn’t a problem on bright days, it can be next to impossible to see through your scope if you’re shooting in low-light conditions. Companies like Vortex Optics do a great job at providing scopes that bring in as much light as possible. This makes it easier to see through your scope and can be the difference between a successful day at the range or a day full of frustration.

    scopes close up_Shutterstock_Krasula

    Image Credit: Krasula, Shutterstock

    Do You Need an Illuminated Reticle?

    Another factor for brightness is the reticle. That’s because reticles offer more than just a point for you to aim your rifle at. Different reticles allow you to adjust your shot for various distances.

    But if you can’t see the different hash marks on the reticle, you won’t be able to make the necessary adjustments. While this isn’t incredibly important with a Mini-14 because of its short effective range, it still can be a significant factor even at 200 yards.

    Most illuminated reticles allow you to switch between a green and red reticle, which allows you to see it no matter the color of your target. That said, if you’re getting an illuminated reticle, it’s a good idea to bring a few batteries with you every time you head out. Otherwise, if your battery dies, you won’t have a reticle to look through while you’re out in the field or at the range.

    Reflex Sights vs. Regular Scopes

    When you’re looking to get a scope for your Mini-14, there are two major styles to choose from: a reflex sight and a traditional scope. There are pros and cons to each and what you want depends on what you’ll be using your rifle for.

    Reflex sights utilize a red dot marker and don’t provide any magnification. What they do provide is quicker target acquisition, a wide field of view, and unlimited eye relief. Moreover, reflex sights are extremely easy to use. You want a reflex sight if you’re exclusively shooting close-range targets.

    Traditional scopes are what most people want while hunting or target shooting. That’s because they offer magnification. While this limits your field of view, it allows you to hit targets that are farther away. Traditional scopes have a wider range of use for a Mini-14.

    Why Do You Need to Sight in Your Scope?

    It doesn’t matter what kind of scope you purchase; you’ll need to sight it in to get an accurate shot. Sighting your scope means lining up the scope with the gun’s barrel so you can hit your target at a predetermined distance.

    Most people sight their scope to 100 yards, but you can sight your scope at any distance. Just know that the distance matters because it affects bullet drop, and most scope reticles account for a scope that’s adjusted to 100 yards. This makes it easier to hit your target at various distances. After you’ve learned how to sight your scope, you’ll be hitting the bullseye with every shot.

    A Note on Warranties

    There’s no doubt that a warranty on your scope is a big deal. It’s the manufacturer’s guarantee that you’re going to get a product that’ll last. That’s why a company like Vortex Optics offering a lifetime warranty on its scopes is such a big deal, because if your scope ever breaks, it will fix it, no matter what.

    Many lower-priced scopes only have 1-year warranties. While this is better than nothing, chances are that a few years from now, you’re going to end up needing to replace it, which means you’ll likely be spending more money in the long run.

    But remember that a warranty is only as good as the company that sets it. For instance, Nikon offers lifetime warranties on all its optics. But as it ventures further away from rifle scopes, it will honor fewer warranties.

    So, it’s just as important to find a reputable rifle scope company when evaluating warranties. As Nikon has shown, not all lifetime warranties are created equal.

    Rifle Scope Diagram

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    Conclusion

    While doing your research to find the best scope for your Mini-14 rifle can be a bit of a headache, it can make all the difference in the end. Learning the terminology and finding precisely what you need is one of the most important things that you can do to improve your experience at the range and in the field.

    When it comes to hitting your target, the right scope can make all the difference. Hopefully, this guide walked you through everything that you need to know to pick out the right scope for you. The next time you hit the range, you’ll see the difference that a great scope can make.

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    About the Author Robert Sparks

    Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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