What’s the Best Scope for Mini 14 Rifles? (UPDATED 2018)

Ask anyone with a Mini 14 in their gun cabinet about their most versatile rifle. You’ll be in for an evening of hunting stories!

Also known as the M14, Ruger’s Mini 14 is a top choice for hunters, security, range shooters, and law enforcement. Although it is a powerful rifle, it doesn’t kick back with heavy recoil like others in its class.

However, that’s not the only aspect that makes it perfect for anyone to use.

Here’s what you should know:

M14 Specs

If there are features you don’t like straight out-of-the-box, you can customize it to your preference. With so many options for barrels, sights, and stocks, you can design one yourself. Although over 580 models available, combining your favorite features of several models is possible!

So where exactly did the M14 come from?

The Story

Using its military predecessor as inspiration, the Ruger Mini 14 was made suitable for public use in 1974. Over the years, Ruger took criticisms of its loyal customers to make improvements. As a result, just about all of their 580+ modern models since 2005 boast better accuracy and trigger control.

After losing popularity with the public, it is back in favor again. Talk about a true Phoenix story!

Today, the Mini 14 is used by U.S. Border Patrol, National Park Service, and crew members of Military Sealift Command vessels. Of course, the M14 is still in the hands of expert shooters like you too!

Take another look at yours – doesn’t it feel like something is missing?

What’s a Rifle Without a Scope?

Sure, a chef can create a mouthwatering 3-course meal without using flash freezers and deep fryers. Of course, it turns their job into a much bigger challenge. The same can be said for a bare M14.

Without the best scope for Mini 14 rifles, every bullseye you hit will only happen after tireless practice and experience. Even then, you’ll still miss some here and there. What can you do to resolve this irritation we all know too well?

We don’t have an answer…we have five answers right here sorted by best feature!

Which Mini 14 scope will help you get your next bullseye?

Best Scope for Extreme Long-RangeNikon M-308 4-16x42mm BDC 800
Best for Short to Medium RangesBushnell Optics 1-4×24 Drop Zone-223
Best Deal AroundBushnell Optics 3-9×40 Drop Zone-223 BDC
Best Fixed Scope for Close-RangeNikon 8496 P-233 3×32 BDC
Best for Medium to Long RangesNikon P-233 3-9×40 BDC 600

1. Nikon M-308 4-16x42mm Riflescope BDC 800

Nikon M-308 4-16X42 Riflescope BDC 800 Reticle, Matte 16463

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 1-in Length | Weight: 1-lb | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

  • Parallax-free from 10 yards and beyond
  • Nikoplex Reticle
  • Built-In 20 MOA slope

  • Uncomfortable eye relief past 8x
  • Expensive


This is by far the biggest, baddest scope on our list. With an eye relief of 4-in and 2.6mm exit pupil at 4x power, that’s just beginning of what you’ll get.

Automatic zero-reset tactical turrets save time in the field that you don’t have to waste. Some scopes offer manual zero-reset that is often victim of flimsy springs. That will never be an issue here.

In terms of the classic Nikon view you love, this scope offers provides 95% light transmission. While this is slightly lower than the 98% available on the other scopes here, it’s still excellent. While it gives you clear view in several light conditions, the adjustable parallax further improves clarity.

What about the reticle? They’ve taken the simple Nikonplex crosshairs and designed them with marks for serious shooters. In order to account for several distances reaching out to 800 yards, they follow a pattern of circles, dots, and hash marks.

However, if you want this super-powerful magnification, automatic zero-reset, and Nikon clarity, it’s going to cost you. The price on this scope is not for the faint of heart, but neither is the kind of shooting you’ll use it for either.

Is It the Right One for You?

If long-distance just isn’t long enough for you, push the boundaries with this Nikon scope. Although it’s made for .308 rounds, it still works perfect on your M14.


2. Bushnell Optics 3-9x40 Drop Zone-223 BDCBushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 BDC Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets and Side Parallax, Matte Black, 3-9x/40mm

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 12-in Length | Weight: 3-lb | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

  • Economy Price
  • Side parallax adjustment
  • Rustproof and Nearly Scratchproof

  • Turrets don’t lock
  • Thin crosshairs hard-to-see in low light


Are you looking to bring home the bacon (literally!) without shelling out your entire paycheck? We have good news – you can improve your shot without gouging your wallet.

Although it’s the cheapest scope on our list, you definitely aren’t getting cheap quality from Bushnell. It still has all the features to make it the best scope for Mini 14 rifles. Beyond its fully multicoated optics and durable shell, the fast focus eyepiece offers quick target acquisition.

That means just because your target is on the move doesn’t mean it’s out of your hands.

With an adjustable parallax knob, even moving targets at long distances don’t stand a chance. While many scopes only offer built-in parallax-free settings up to 100 yards, this one gives you the control. Pair this with the Drop Zone-233 BDC and you’ll dominate the field out to 500 yards. Nothing will get by you!

However, there is one small aspect that might slow you down. Since the turrets don’t lock, you’ll have to learn to readjust quickly! Locking and zero-reset turrets aren’t a standard feature on most scopes, so it’s a small sacrifice to make for a great deal.

Is It the One for You?

If you like variety in your shooting style and don’t think you have the funds to conquer it all, you do.  With this scope, you can knock out any target from short to long distances. Who knew the best scope for Mini 14 rifles could be so affordable?


3. Bushnell Optics 1-4x24 Drop Zone 223Bushnell Optics Drop Zone-223 Reticle Riflescope with Target Turrets, Matte Black, 1-4x/24mm

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 5-in Length | Weight: 1-lb | MOA Adjustment Clicks: 1 MIL

  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Designed for .223 REM/ 5.56 NATO (55-62 grain)
  • Sharp, simple controls

  • Erector cap may prevent low-set mounting


Are you comfortable in close quarters? Well, we can guarantee that your target won’t be.

This close-to-mid range Bushnell scope takes away all the guesswork with simple, ergonomic controls. With adjustments set to 0.1 mil clicks, you could almost replace your flyswatter (actually, don’t try that at home!). Either way, the insane accuracy could win you a few bets at the range.

While the Drop Zone-223 BDC reticle does have aiming points out to 500 yards, that’s really pushing mid-range distance. However, it is a testament to its reliability. Although it’s perfect for building confidence in beginners, it’s appreciated by experts all the same.

The only downside to consider here is weight and mounting. Keep in mind that this is a 1-lb scope with an erector cap that could prevent low-set mounts. If you have to mount this scope using higher rings, it won’t be the end of the world. You’ll just have to adjust to the balance of the rifle in your hands.

Otherwise, you’ll get fully multicoated optics that provide amazing clarity and a tough outer shell. It’s nearly scratchproof and won’t rust, even in the roughest environments!

Is It the One for You?

This is the best scope for Mini 14 owners that stay close to their target. While it’s not made for long-range shooting, it’s precise at mid-range and eerily accurate up close. The fast focus eyepiece makes it ideal for fast-moving hunters and target shooters. Then, its reliability and simplicity make it perfect for anyone from beginner to expert.


4. Nikon 8496 P-233 3x32 BDC

Nikon 8496 P-223 3x32 Matte BDC Carbine

Magnification: Fixed | Dimensions: 8-in Length | Weight: 2-oz | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ½

  • 100-yards parallax-free shooting
  • BDC Carbine reticle
  • Fully multicoated optics

  • Large Turrets
  • Can be tough to zero in


Using a fixed scope requires minimal adjustments, leaving you little room to second guess your shot. Since it’s so straightforward, it shines as the method that many old-school shooters prefer.

In the manual for this scope, it recommends zeroing in at 200 yards – the same distance for which the crosshairs are designed. However, as a fixed scope with 3x power, it’s really not capable of shooting accurately beyond 100 yards (yes, even in professional hands).

On the other hand, its ½ MOA adjustment clicks and parallax-free settings are ideal for 100-yard shooting. If you want to try it out for yourself, the BDC Carbine reticle is made specifically for .223 Rem/5.56 NATO rounds with 55-grain polymer tips. The only issue will be adjusting to large, awkward turrets.

Regardless of what distance or ammo you choose to shoot, or how accurate the results are, your target will be clear. Nikon never fails to provide quality optics and this scope is no exception. It’s the best scope for Mini 14 to use from dawn till dusk.

Is It the One for You?

If you don’t plan on shooting over 100 yards, this is exactly what you want. Small game hunting, weekend plinking, and farm defense are the best situations for this scope. However, due to its difficulty to zero in, we do not suggest it for beginners.


5. Nikon P-233 3-9x40 BDC 600

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Mate BDC 600

Magnification: Variable | Dimensions: 16-in Length | Weight: 1-lb | MOA Adjustment Clicks: ¼

  • Easy zero reset
  • BDC 600 Reticle
  • 6” eye relief

  • Questionable turret durability
  • BDC dots difficult to see


Are you a morning person? We didn’t think so.

With the amazing Nikon glass quality, you don’t have to rise with the sun to get a good day’s hunt. The fully multicoated optics on this scope provide 98% light transmission, allowing you to move right on into sundown.

Even if your target is far off in the distance, it’s no match for the maximum 9x power. The Nikon P-233 allows you to frequent open environments clear of trees and mountains like this one. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, the parallax correction will prevent irritating slip-ups.

However, be aware that when you make your adjustments, the turrets are a little sloppy. While some claim they have clean clicks, others report they are mush.

For a little bit of extra oomph, the BDC 600 reticle layout features BDC dots for every 100 yards up to 600. That means you’ll never have to guess before pulling the trigger. However, this will require some adjustment on your end since the dots are somewhat faint.

Overall, this scope is made to last all day. Here’s the catch: as you lose light in the evening, your accurate shots will narrow down to lower magnifications. So if you do prefer long-range shooting, daylight is your best friend!

Is It the One for You?

You can’t live without this scope if you hunt large game. With enough experience, it’s capable of shooting accurately up to 600 yards. Some people claim they’ve gone farther, but we file those away with the “record-breaking fish” no one ever saw.


That’s NOT All, Folks!

As you can see, there’s something here for everyone and all from the most trusted brands. Which one do you think is the best scope for Mini 14 rifles?

If you haven’t fallen in love with any of these, you probably don’t know your M14 very well. All of these scopes are calibrated specifically for 5.56 NATO and .223 Remington rounds. Although you can use them on rifles that use other calibers, the accuracy will skew slightly.

Are you looking for a scope that you can bounce from rifle to rifle? You’re in luck because we have more reviews down below!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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