7 Best Scopes for Mini 14 [2020 Update]

by Richard Douglas

Not sure what scope to get for your Mini 14?

Look no further.

I’ve tested ALL the best scopes and red dot sights for the Mini 14 (plus Mini 14 scope mounts and accessories.)

By the end of this guide, you’ll find the perfect optic for your Mini 14.

Let’s get started! 

Why should you trust me? 

I’ve used them all.

Leupold scopes, Burris scopes, Vortex scopes — you name it.

I’ve shot over hundreds of rounds through each of these scopes. In that time, I’ve come to realize how a good scope felt…and how a bad scope felt.

Through this lens of experience, I write this guide. It compiles my hundreds of hours of shooting experience, research, and personal testing into one guide.

The result?

A definitive list of the best mini 14 scopes on the market.

For reference, I bought each of these scopes from my own pocket money. I paid the same price as everyone else.

No discounts were given. No manufacturer compensated me in any way (nor do I accept any). In fact, I don’t accept advertising on my site.

What you’re about to read are my personal, honest reviews of each mini 14 scope and red dot. That means I show you everything — from the good to the bad with each product.

My hope is this list helps you find your next Mini 14 scope as it has for me.

Read Before You Buy

This guide is designed to save you money.

Most people just buy whatever the ‘best scope’ a reviewer recommends. That’s a bad idea.

For one reason:

You have different needs than the reviewer. 

What needs? Well, that’s what we’ll figure out in just a moment. 

Without furtherado, here’s everything you need to know to choose the best Mini 14 optic for your needs.

The ‘Scaled Down M14’

The Mini 14 is a scaled down M14 rifle. It’s the preferred weapon of the A-Team. 

The A-Team Mini 14

It performs similarly to an AR-15 without the drama.

In fact, in gun-restricted California, many citizens covertly use the Mini 14 as a replacement for the restricted AR-15. 

It’s no wonder why:

The Mini 14 is chambered in the same 5.56 ammunition. It can hit 150 yards without a sight (with >1 MOA). With the best scope for Mini 14, it can easily hit targets up to 350 yards and over. 

That’s super cool. But let’s be honest:

You likely won’t shoot that far out. If you are, you’ll probably want to opt for a longer range gun instead.

Otherwise, here are the top 3…

Mini 14 Shooting Distances

With the .223 (or 5.56 NATO) ammo, here’s the average ranges: 

  • Close Range: <100 yards
  • Medium Range: Between 100 – 350 yards
  • Long Range: 350+ yards 

Don’t make this complicated. Simply choose a range and move forward. 

But how about the people that use more than one range? I’ll cover that in the conclusion. For now, choose your Mini 14 shooting range and let’s move onto choosing…

The Best Magnification for Mini 14 Scopes

This is the part that 95% of newbies mess up. 

Truth be told:

This is the part I screwed up, too. You see, most reviewers recommend either too much magnification or too little. 

The result? We buy the wrong amount. 

So to save you from my costly mistake, I recommend reading this section on magnification. Once you have, you’ll be ready to choose the right magnification for your Mini 14 rifle. 

Close Range (<100 yards)

The Mini 14 does well in close-range encounters.

Most people use it for self-defense, plinking or small game hunting. If that’s your use, then you’ll need a:

  • Magnification: 1 – 4X power

Alternatively, you can go with a Mini 14 red dot. I’ve got a few solid recommendations below. 

Medium Range (100 – 350 yards)

This is what the Mini 14 is popular for: 

Varmint Hunting. 

Mini 14 Varmint Hunting

Most ranchers use their Mini 14s to protect their land from pesty varmints like wild dogs, rabbits and coyotes. 

If that’s your use, then here’s the magnification you’ll need:

  • Magnification: Between 5 – 12X power

That’ll scare the varmints away for good. 

Long Range (350+ yards)

The Mini 14 simply isn’t designed for this range. (The 6.5 Creedmoor cartridge is though)

But if you must use this range (or you like to practice), here’s the best Mini 14 long range magnification: 

  • Magnification: 12X and up

That said, here’s…

The Bottom Line On Mini-14 Magnification

If your goal is to buy a good Mini 14 scope, then read this section.

Otherwise, you’ll end up burning your money away on the wrong amount of magnification. And from experience, that’s an expensive mistake. 

So again, review this Mini 14 guide again before you purchase your Mini scope. It’ll help you make the right decision.

Speaking of which, you still might have one last question on your mind: 

What if I combine ranges like short and medium range?” 

If you do, then get a variable powered scope. These scopes can change magnification. Good news, most of the Mini 14 scopes on this list are variable powered scopes. 

With all that said, I now think you’re ready for the Mini 14 scopes list below. Let’s begin!

The 7 Best Scopes for Mini 14

If you’re pressed on time, here’s a quick list of the best Mini 14 Scopes:

  1. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 – Best Medium-to-Long Range Scope
  2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 – Best Close-to-Medium Range Scope
  3. Bushnell AR Optics 3-9×40 – Best Budget Scope
  4. Redfield Revolution 2-7×33 – Best Scope for Hunting
  5. Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight – Best Red Dot Sight Under $200
  6. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 – Best Budget Red Dot Sight
  7. Burris Fastfire III – Best Compact Red Dot Sight

1. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 (Best Medium-to-Long Range Scope)

If you’re looking for a solid, affordable medium-to-long range scope then go for the Nikon P-223

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Best Medium-to-Long Range Scope

Why? Figure out by reading a bit further.

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is clear, crisp and bright:

Nikon P-223 Ocular Lens

The view remains clear throughout all zoom ranges. This is great, especially if you shoot long-ranges (since low-quality scopes lose image quality as magnification increases).

Nikon P-223 BDC Reticle

In addition, the clarity of the scope is just right in low light. I’ve been able to hunt at night with no problems.

Nikon P-223 Objective Lens

Moving beyond the glass, the BDC 600 reticle is easy-to-use and accurate. It makes longer range shots easier.

Nikon P-223 BDC 600 Reticle

I’ve been able to pluck targets out at 250 yards with 1-inch groupings. 

Once zeroed in (I’ll touch on zeroing later), the BDC does a wonderful job with compensating for bullet drop. 

In other words: I don’t have to calculate bullet drop or windage — it’s already done for me.

BDC 600 Reticle Ballistic Information

But there’s one thing…I didn’t like:

How small the BDC reticle bubbles were. 

For reference, here’s a reticle comparison with the Buckmaster 4-12×40:

Buckmaster 4-12x40 Reticle vs Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Reticle

As you can see, the Nikon’s BDC dots are very small. This makes the BDC-600 reticle a bit harder to use.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The 3.6-inches of generous eye relief is great. 

The eye box is quite forgiving. I’ve experienced no tightness at the highest magnification.


The P-223 is water, shock, and fog proof.

Here’s a video of someone firing the P-223 underwater:

The best part?

It’s relatively lightweight at 17.6 ounces. 

Nikon P-223 Solid Build

This allows you to move around freely.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets are finger-adjustable and produce positive clicks. This makes for fast (and accurate) adjustments.

nikon p-223 3-9x40 Windage and Elevation Turrets

Also, the turrets are directly accessible. Which means you don’t have to hunt for screwdrivers to take caps off — just click and it stays.

nikon p-223 3-9x40 Turret

It zeroes in fast (4 rounds @ 50 yards) and holds zero. I shot over 160 rounds and didn’t lose zero. 

The P-223 also has a zero-reset turret feature built-in.

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Zero Reset Feature

This makes scope adjustments even faster. Here’s how it works:

  1. Sight in
  2. Lift up the spring-loaded adjustment knob
  3. Rotate to your zero

That’s it. With the zero-reset feature alone, it’s worth its weight in gold. 

Parallax & Magnification

The 3-9X magnification is great for medium-to-long range. 

The views remains clear and parallax-free at all magnifications (3X – 9X). Although the magnification knob is a bit stiff, it does get better with use.

Mounting & Rings

I mounted the scope using the Ruger’s provided mini 14 scope rings.

If your Ruger didn’t come with a mount, then go with GG&G scope mount if you have a newer Mini 14 (580+ series). If you have an older version (below 580 series), then get the Amega Ranges mount.

Nikon P-223 P-series Mount

To protect your scope, get some $8 Butler Creek Flip-Open covers (Eyepiece size: 19) (Objective size: 31):

Nikon P-223 with Butler Creek Caps

They’ll protect your lens better than the included cheap elastic lens caps.

Other Features

This a bonus feature on this scope. It’s called the Nikon’s Spot On App.

Nikon P-223 Spot ON App

Here’s how it works:

  1. Step 1: Choose your riflescope and reticle 
  2. Step 2: Choose your ammunition 
  3. Step 3: Enter site-in and target distances
Nikon Spot ON App

Once you type in all of the information, you’ll know the exact yardage the BDC will be sighted in for. 

Pretty cool, huh? 

Nikon P-223 3-9×40 Review: Is it Worth it?

If you’re a medium-to-long range shooter looking for a solid yet affordable scope, then get the Nikon P-223.

Here’s why: 

  • Affordable
  • Clear glass 
  • Lightweight (17.6 Ounces)
  • Zero-Reset Turrets (fast adjustments)
  • Nikon’s Lifetime warranty included.

The Nikon P-223 does everything you need it to do. It’s also proven — with over 800 reviews and almost 5 stars on Amazon. 

In addition, the Nikon P-223 is also REALLY good for AR rifles. So if you have an AR-15 or AR-10, then this scope would work well with them. Speaking of ARs, feel free to read my AR-10 scope guide (if you have an AR-10).  

If you like it, pick one up. You’ll appreciate the type of quality you’re getting at this price point.

2. Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 (Best Close-to-Medium Range Scope)

If you need a good close-to-medium range scope, then get a Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32. 

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Best Close-to-Mid Range Scope

Here’s why…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is clear.

Take a look:

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Clear Glass

In my opinion, it’s comparable to the Leupold VX-1 glass.

Here’s a comparison between the two (at 7X FOV):

Leupold VX-1 2-7x33 vs Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 at 7 FOV

As you can see, the Crossfire II’s image cleaner and sharper.

The crosshair on the Corssfire II is better, too. It’s a dead-hold BDC reticle.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Dead Hold BDC Reticle

In case you don’t know, BDC is great for longer-range shots.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The 3.9 inches of eye relief is generous.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 at 2x Magnification

However, the eyebox becomes a bit tight at the highest magnification (7X). It also gets some edge distortion at the max magnification.


The scope’s water, fog, and shock proof. 

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32

It weighs only a light 14.3 ounces. This gives you more room for accessories. 

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The capped and finger adjustable turrets make for easy adjustments.

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 Audible Turrets

Put another way:

No tools are required (like the Nikon P-223). Just remove the turret caps and adjust accordingly.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 MOA Click

I like how the turrets are easily resettable. Once sighted in, you can set the turrets to zero. 

However, I don’t like how the windage and elevation knobs do not have a precise ‘click’ sound like the Nikon P-223. 

Don’t get me wrong:

The clicks are audible. But not as precise as the Nikon P-223.

Parallax & Magnification

The 2-7X magnification is great for short-to-medium range. 

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Capped Turrets

At 2X, parallax can be a problem, but at higher magnifications the scope remains clear and parallax-free.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Magnification Ring

Speaking of magnification, the magnification knob is real smooth and easy to turn.

Mounting & Rings

I mounted the scope using the 1” ruger-supplied rings with no problems.

Alternatively, you can purchase Vortex Hunter Riflescope 1 inch – Medium Rings. Either way works.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Mount

To protect the scope lens, get some Vortex Defender Flip Caps (sizes are E-10 & O-32). They’re a bit expensive but worth every penny.


They protect your investment in the long-term.


If those caps are a bit expensive for you, the Butler Creek Covers are a good alternative (Eyepiece size: 18) (Objective size: 27).

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Review: Is it Worth it?

If you shoot short-to-medium range,then go for the Vortex Crossfire II.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Review

It has:

  • Clear glass 
  • BDC reticle
  • Generous Eye Relief 
  • Vortex’s VIP lifetime warranty
  • Lightweight Build (only 14.3 oz)
  • Short-to-medium range magnification

This is honestly the best vortex scope for Mini 14 (and 22LR). It’s got all you need without any added unnecessary features.

3. Bushnell AR Optics 3-9×40 (Best Budget Scope)

The Bushnell AR 3-9×40 is the best budget (or starter) scope.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Best Budget Scope

Why? Read further to find out.

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is decent. It’s no Nikon P-223, but it’s not bad either. 

Take a look:

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 45 Yards

Not bad.

The drop zone BDC reticle helps make long-range target shooting a breeze.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 BDC Reticle

Here’s someone nailing 200 yard plates with the scope:

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The 3.7-inches of eye relief is great for the Mini 14. 

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Optics

However, the eye box isn’t forgiving and gets a bit tight at higher magnifications. This can make longer-range shots a bit harder.


This scope’s built like a tank. It’s waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof.

However it comes at a cost…

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Durable

…heavier weight. It weighs in at around 1.3 pounds (compared to Nikon P-223’s 1.1 pounds). 

Shave off weight by investing in a lighter mount (included later down below).

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Water Proof

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The target turrets are firm and produce positive clicks.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Tactical Turrets

Scope adjustments are a pain. You have to:

  • Remove the screw
  • Lift the turret off
  • Realign to zero
  • Reinstall the screw

That’s a lot of steps.

In comparison, the P-223 is lift, turn and release. Done. If you value fast adjustments on the move, then consider another scope.

Aside from that, the AR 3-9×40 is easy to zero (zeroed in @ 5 rounds) and held zero. I was hitting bullseyes at 125 yards and up. 

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Turrets

Parallax & Magnification

At last… we finally get a side focus parallax knob!

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Parallax Adjustment Knob

(Sing Hallelujah!)

The parallax knob is extremely useful for easy focusing and acquiring a good sight picture. 

It also comes with a fast focus eyepiece which compliments the parallax knob.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Fast Focus Eye Piece

My only gripe with the parallax and magnification knob is that the ring is more stubborn than my granddad!😂

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Magnification Ring

(It’s true, granddad!)

With that, it took quite a bit of effort to turn mine, but after a couple of uses, the ring started to loosen up. 

Mounting & Rings

I used a Millett 1-inch to 30mm One-Piece Scope Mount to mount the scope. It’s lightweight and works. 

To protect the scope, I got some Butler Creek flip-up caps (Eyepiece size: 20) (Objective size: 27). These are better than the included rubber lens covers.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9×40 Review: Is it Worth it?

If you’re looking for a great budget Mini 14 scope or just getting started, the Bushnell AR 3-9×40 is for you. 

  • Affordable
  • Great clarity
  • Decent glass
  • Spacious eye relief
  • Parallax adjustment knob
  • Great medium-to-long range magnification

In short:

The Bushnell AR 3-9×40 is an affordable Mini 14 scope. It gets the job done without tearing the pocket.

4. Redfield Revolution 2-7×33 (Best Scope for Hunting)

If  you use your Mini 14 to hunt, go with the lightweight Redfield Revolution 2-7×33.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Best Scope for Hunting

The reason?

Keep on reading to find out…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is good. Similar to Leupold XV-II’s clarity.

Here’s a look:

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Clear Glass

It also works well in low-light settings (like after dusk).

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 AccuRange Reticle

The reticle is a Mildot reticle called Accu-Range. It’s designed for fast and easy target acquisition. It even gots a bullet drop compensating feature.

Redfield Revolution Different Reticles

The best part?

The non-illuminated reticle doesn’t get lost in the shadows. This is great for hunting in dense, shadowy forests.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 AccuRange Reticle 4x Magnification

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The 4.2 – 3.7 inches of eye relief is generous.

The eye box is forgiving. And the field of view is fantastic.


The Redfield Revolution 2-7×33 is strong and light.

It’s water and shock proof.

Redfield Revolution Solid Scope

It weighs only 11.1 ounces. That makes the Redfield the lighest scope on this list. You can move around freely and still have room for extra accessories.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets are capped and finger adjustable. This makes for faster (and easier) adjustments.

That said, the turrets are a bit mushy. The positive click sounds are very faint, so pay attention when you adjust.

The scope zeroes fast and holds zero well. I shot over 25 rounds, bumped it around and even dropped it in water, and the scope still kept its zero.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Finger Adjustable Turrets

Parallax & Magnification

The 2-7X magnification is great for short-to-medium range.

2X is great for varmint hunting while 7X is great for hunting bigger game. It remains clear and parallax-free from 150 yards up.

(It also works great with Ruger 10/22 rifles).

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Turrets

The magnification ring is smooth and easy to turn.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Magnification Ring

Mounting & Rings

I used Ruger’s supplied scopes rings and base. 

Here’s how to use them:

If you didn’t get rings or a mount, then get a Nikon P-Series Picatinny mount. It’s lightweight and sturdy.

(Or refer to my Mini 14 scope mount section down below).

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Holds Zero

To protect the scope’s lens, I used Butler Creek lens covers (Eyepiece size: 13) (Objective size: 15).

But an even better choice is Leupold Aluminia flip-up scope covers.

Either way, invest in some quality flip up caps. They keep your scope pristine for years.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33cope Review: Is it Worth it?

On the Redfield box, it says “No excuses”:

Redfield Revolution Box

That about sums up this scope. If you’re a hunter, you literally have no excuse to not get this scope.

It’s got:

  • Lightweight
  • Long eye relief
  • Works in low-light
  • Clear Leupold-like Glass
  • Great hunting magnification (2-7x) 
  • Redfield’s Lifetime Warranty

The scope’s also 100% American, being born and raised in Leupold’s American factories.

Leupold Manufactured in USA

That’s quality straight from the core.

Put simply:

If you’re looking for a lightweight, quality hunting scope that’s affordable, then get a Redfield Revolution.

Best Red Dot Sights for Mini 14

Scopes are for long range. Red dots are for close range

If you use your Mini 14 for close-range applications (home defense, plinking, varmint hunting), then you need a red dot.

It acquires targets faster, lighter weight, and cheaper.

Here are the best red dot sights for the Mini 14 on the market now…

5. Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight (Best Red Dot Sight Under $200)

The Vortex Strikefire II is the best red dot sight under $200.

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot Sight Best Red Dot Sight Under $200


Because it comes with a free Vortex hat.

(Just kidding). 

Jokes aside, the real reason lies down below. Keep reading…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

Vortex never disappoints with delivering quality glass.

And the Strikefire II is no exception. It’s crystal clear and bright.

Strikefire II Red Dot

Moving past the glass, we’re met with a 4-MOA red/green dot. 

Now we’re talking! A red dot sight with the option to switch from red to green illuminated dot (like the Burris AR-536).

You might be wondering:

What’s so special about having two different color dots?

As you know, the red dot is a standard among almost all sights, but having the option to instantly switch to green dot is great if you’re shooting in bright conditions. 

Strikefire II Green Dot


Because for some people, green is more visible than red in bright conditions.

So let’s say you’re shooting on a sunny day, the green dot will be easier to see than the red dot.

Also, it’s SUPER easy to change the dot color — just hold the down arrow for 5 seconds…

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Red Dot

…and done:

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Green Dot

I also like the 10 variable illumination settings since it allows me to adjust the brightness to the exact level based on my environment.

For example: 

If I’m shooting at noon — when the Texas scorching sun is at its worst — I’d crank the brightness up a bit. Alternatively, if I’m shooting when the moon is at its peak, I’d lower the brightness. 


The Strikefire II is compatible with night vision optics. That means you can use your night vision accessories with the sight. Pretty neat, huh?

Eye Relief & Eye Box

Eye relief is unlimited.

In other words:

You can sight in real quick. Furthermore, you can mount the sight further towards the muzzle or back towards your eye…

Vortex Optics Strikefire II Unlimited Eye Relief

…which is handy if you have other accessories on your rail (like night vision, lights or iron sights).


The sight feels solid, well-made and durable.

Strikefire II Finger Durable Build

After all, it’s a 30mm aluminum alloy chassis. The sight doesn’t plan on breaking anytime soon. 

It’s also completely waterproof and fogproof, due to the nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed interior.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets are very easy to use and audible.

What’s even better is how the caps that cover the turrets can also be used to make adjustments.

Strikefire II Turrets

Which means…

…I don’t have to take off the turret caps and use a flat head screwdriver to adjust to the dials. Instead, all I have to do is simply turn the caps and that’s it! 

Strikefire II Finger Adjustable Turrets

It’s a small thing that speaks volumes. 

Mounting & Rings

I used a GG&G 1913 rail along with Medium Weaver 6 Hole Rings.

Had no issues with installation and sighting in was a breeze.

In addition, the scope held zero well. In fact, I haven’t reset zero to this day. 

The Strikefire also comes with an offset cantilever mount and flip caps which are actually easy to open/close. 

Lastly, if you’re looking to magnify your red dot, I highly recommend Vortex’s VMX-3T Magnifier.

Vortex Optics VMX-3T Magnifier

It’s insanely easy to use and built to last. 

Vortex Strikefire II with Vortex VMX-3T Magnifier

At ⅓ the price of an Aimpoint 3x magnifier, the Vortex is a STEAL. Definitely worth the purchase.


The battery life on the Strikefire II lasts for months (awesome!) but…

Strikefire II Battery Life

…it’s nowhere near as long as an Aimpoint PRO (a couple of years). 

(But again, it doesn’t have the price tag of the Aimpoint PRO). 

In my opinion, that’s doesn’t matter as the CR2 batteries are dirt cheap and you can easily stock up on a few spare batteries in your range bag. 

Strikefire II Finger CR2 Batteries

And for those of you who forget to turn off the sight after use (like myself), the Strikefire II comes with a 12-hour auto shutdown feature. Nice!

This feature is LEGIT because I have a tendency of forgetting to power off the sight when I’m done. 

Other Features

Another neat feature that I like is how the sight ‘remembers’ the last dot brightness intensity I used last.

How about an example?

If I shoot at the range today with a dot intensity of 6, then the next time I use the sight, the intensity will still be at 6.

And as an added bonus, the Strikefire II comes with a free vortex hat (yay!).

It was a cool hat…until my dog ate it 😔

Vortex Strikefire II Review: Is it Worth it?

It’s Vortex we’re talking here folks. 

It’s $200 less than an Aimpoint with comparable quality:

Clear glass, crisp and bright reticle, illumination settings and it’s DUMB EASY to use.

And if you ever have any problems with the sight, your purchase is 100% covered by Vortex’s Lifetime warranty. So, what are you waiting for? Give the Vortex Strikefire II a spin. (It also comes with a dope hat!)

6. Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 (Best Budget Red Dot Sight) 

If you’re looking to spare an arm and a leg, go for the Bushnell TRS-25.

Bushnell Trophy TRS-25 Best Budget Red Dot Sight

It’s INSANELY cheap (under $60) and performs like red dot sights in the $100 – $200 range.

Honestly, I’d say the TRS-25 is one of the best red dot sights under $100 on the market right now.

Seriously. It’s that good.

It’s compact, lightweight and reliable.

The glass is clear and the reticle is somewhat sharp (though not as crisp as a Strikefire II or Aimpoint Pro). 

If you’re interested, read my full TRS-25review. Or you could check it out on Amazon:

7. Burris Fastfire III (Best Compact Red Dot Sight) 

I’d classify the Burris Fastfire III as the ‘smart alternative to Trijicon’.

Burris Fastfire III Best Compact Red Dot Sight


Because it performs like a Trijicon, but at a FRACTION of the price.

Let me explain…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass is very nice and super easy to see through.

Burris Fastfire III Glass

In addition, the view is crisp and slightly larger than the Trijicon RMR

Trijicon RMR vs Burris Fastfire III

(Speaking of Trijicon, I recommended it in my best optic for AR pistol review).

There are two options for the reticle: 3 MOA or 8 MOA.

Definitely go with the 3 MOA if you’re using a rifle…

…and an 8 MOA dot if using a handgun or shotgun.

The reticle itself is round and sharp. If you wear glasses, have astigmatism or old eyes, you’re good to go — the reticle will still appear bright and sharp.


The sight feels durable and tough, yet INSANELY lightweight — only 0.9 ounces.

Burris Fastfire III Sight

It’s also completely waterproof. 

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The dials are a bit small and require a tool to adjust.

Burris Fastfire III Included Accessories

(Small screwdriver is included with purchase)

However, the adjustments are very easy to make (1 MOA per click) and are precisely marked.

After firing roughly 6 rounds, I was able to hit the bullseye at 25 yards.

Mounting & Rings

I mounted the Fastfire III on a GG&G low profile mount.

Installation was quick and simple. 

After mounting it to my Mini 14 and zeroing at 25 yards, it’s been able to firmly hold zero after shooting over 150 rounds.  


Battery life is really good.

Supposedly, the battery life can last up to 5 years but… 

…I haven’t had the sight for that long to attest to that statement 😅

However, the statement checks out. 

It has an auto-turnoff function after 8 hours, similar to the Vortex Strikefire II. 

In addition, there’s an AWESOME auto-brightness feature that adjusts based on your lighting conditions. 

Burris Fastfire III Red Dot

For example: 

I can walk around the house with different lighting conditions and it’ll automatically adjust to a comfortable brightness level. 

Cool, right?

And if that wasn’t enough to love, listen how plain and simple the controls are: 

Only ONE button to cycle through 4 settings (off/on and 3 brightness settings). 

But an ending note: the sight’s battery may last for a long time but you should buy a spare of CR1632 batteries —  just in case you need to swap out batteries.

Burris Fastfire III Review: Is it Worth it?

If you’re looking for an INSANELY lightweight sight that is reliable, go for the Burris Fastfire III.

It’s MUCH cheaper than Aimpoint and Trijicon while at the same time carrying similar quality.

It’s got nice glass, doesn’t feel cheap, simple to use and extremely lightweight.

And to top it all off: 

You’re fully backed by Burris Forever Warranty. So if ANYTHING ever happens to the sight, Burris has you covered. Definitely worth the buy!  

(And in case you’re curious, here’s the difference between the Fastfire III and Vortex Venom).

What’s the Best Scope for Mini 14?

These are the best scopes for Mini 14.

To recap…

My recommended scope for medium-to-long is the Nikon P-223 3-9×40.

Want the best vortex scope for mini 14? Get the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32.

If you’re on a budget and can’t spend more than $150, Bushnell AR 3-9×40 is the way to go.

However, if you want to step up your hunting game and get the best mini 14 scope for hunting, I’d highly recommend the Redfield Revolution 2-7×33.

Looking for a solid red dot under $200? Vortex Strikefire II is your sight.

If you’re on a tighter budget, the best red dot sight under $100 is the Bushnell Trophy TRS-25.

But if you want to step up your game with an INSANELY lightweight sight that screams quality, get the Burris Fastfire III.

Best Mini 14 Scope Mounts

People always keep asking me:

“Does the Mini 14 model really matter for mounting?”

The answer is a resounding YES!

But don’t worry. Because today I’m going to show you the best Mini 14 scope mounts on the market.

Whether you have an older Mini 14 (183 series, etc.) or a newer one (580 series, etc.), you’ll find the perfect mount here.

Let’s get started…

GG&G Mini-14 Ranch Rifle 1913 SCP Rail Mount (Best Mount for Newer Mini 14s)

This is the only GG&G Mini-14 scope mount review you’ll ever have to read.

The reason?

I actually bought this mount, attached it to my Ruger Mini 14 rifle and fired over 100 rounds through it. 

The result?

Keep reading to find out…

Mount Quality

The GG&G rail is rock solid. 

The screws are well-built, the mating between the rail is A-grade and the rail is sturdy. 

Afterall, it’s crafted from 6061-T6 aircraft grade aluminum and hard coated with a non-reflective matte black — Mil-Spec approved. 

The mount won’t break. But what about…


Super easy.

I’ve been able to install the mount within 5 minutes of receiving the product. (And I’m no mounting expert). 

The best part?

You do not need a gunsmith, specialized tools or Lock-Tight. Simply tighten two screws with the supplied Allen wrench and you’re good to go.

After 3 minutes of effortless installation, I took it out to the range for…


I’ve fired hundreds of rounds (over the span of a couple days) and the Mini 14 scope mount did not move…at all.

(Neither did the scope’s zero)

I had no problems with ejected casing pinging off the scope turrets. In fact, the GG&G rail mount has a relief cut in it to allow for smooth ejection without hitting the rail.

To sweeten the pot, you don’t have to remove your rear iron sight. 

At this point, the mount sounds good. But we’re left with one burning question…

Will the GG&G 1913 SCP Mount fit my Mini 14?

The general rule of thumb is that GG&G SCP scope mount will fit most newer versions of the Mini 14 — not the older. 

That said, the GG&G 1913 mount is compatible with the following Mini 14 rifles:

  • Mini 30 5854
  • Ruger Ranch .223
  • Mini 14 (190 Series)
  • Mini 14 tactical (583 Series)
  • Ruger 99/44 Deerfield Carbine
  • Mini 14 (Serial number starting with 187)

It will not work with the following models:

  • Mini 14 (183 Series)
  • Mini 14 (Serial number starting with 184)

If you have an older Mini 14 (like the 183 series), then refer down below to the second mount recommendation (the Amega Ranges Mini 14 Scout Mount). 

GG&G 1913 SCP Rail Mount Review: Is It Worth It?

If you have a Mini 14 and looking for the best ruger Mini 14 scope mounts, I highly recommend the GG&G mount

It checks all the boxes:

  • Easy to install
  • Aircraft grade aluminum
  • No outside tools required
  • Long enough to mount most optics

Don’t waste your time or money on other mounts — especially the cheaper mounts on Amazon. 

If you need a solid mount for your Mini 14, this is what you’re looking for:

Amega Ranges Mini 14 Scout Mount (Best Mount for Older Mini 14s)

If you have a Mini 14 manufactured before 2007 (or the 580 series), then the Amega Ranges Mini 14 Scout mount is for you.

I’ll go more in-depth about mounting in a bit.

But for now, let’s talk…

Mount Quality

The Mini-Scount-Mount 14 is as durable as any of the other Mini 14 scope mounts on this list.

In fact:

It’s forged from the same material — 6061 aircraft grade aluminum. The material is sturdy and the hardware is solid. Moving on to…


Not too hard.

But not as easy as the GG&G mount. You’ll have to end up disassembling the front housing on the barrel.

If you don’t have any experience with mounting, here’s a video by Sunflower Outdoor Sports showing how to to install the Amega mount:

I did notice, however, there weren’t any holes on the sides of the mount. This prevented me from attaching extra accessories like a laser or flashlight.

The solution?

Buy this Tactical Light Mount Kit rail. It’s manufactured by the same folks and only costs $20. 

Once I installed the mount (and accessory rail), I went out to the range for… 


I’ve spent 50 rounds down the range.

And the mount didn’t move an inch. Nor did my scope’s zero. The mount lived up to its claims 🙂

Will the Amega Ranges Mini 14 Scout Mount fit my Mini 14?

Here’s the straight up answer:

If you have an OLD Mini 14 (including the Ranch rifle and the AC556) that was manufactured before 2007/pre-580 series, the Amega Mini 14 mount will fit like a glove.

However, if you have a NEWER Mini 14 (580+ series), then you’ll want to opt-in for the GG&G 1913 SCP mount.  

Amega Ranges Scout Mount Review: Is It Worth It?


It’s sturdy, comes with all of the needed installation tools and is backed by lifetime warranty. 

Plus, it fits all of the older Mini-14 rifles.

That said, if you have an older Mini 14 and are in need of a Mini 14 ranch rifle optic mount, then I’d recommend going with the Amega Ranges Mini 14 Scout Mount:  

Nikon P-Series Riflescope Picatinny Mount (Best Versatile Mount)

The Nikon P-Series picatinny mount is versatile.

It can fit a bunch of firearms, including:

  • Mini 14
  • M&P 15-22
  • AR platform
  • Ruger SR556
  • Lots more


Keep reading…

Mount Quality

It’s Nikon folks.

They produce high-quality optics, binoculars, rangefinders, etc. And their P-Series picatinny mount is no different.

Crafted from lightweight alloy construction, the mount feels sturdy yet lightweight (only 6.1 ounces). 

Not too flimsy. Nor too heavy. Feels perfectly balanced.


It’s easy to install.

However, keep this in mind when installing the scope mount:

Push the mount towards the muzzle when attaching and tightening them down. The mount should be butted up against the forward point.

Still a bit confused? Here’s a quick video showing how to mount a rifle scope:

Once mounted in, it’s time for…


No problems at all.

I’ve fired over 160 rounds and the mount stayed in place. My Nikon P-223 also held zero like champ. 

Will the Nikon P-Series Mount fit my Mini 14 Rifle?

As long as your Mini 14 is equipped with MIL standard picatinny rails (like the AR-15), then it’ll fit. 

In fact:

It fit like a glove on my Mini 14 Ranch rifle.

Nikon P-Series Picatinny Mount Review: Is It Worth It?

If the GG&G mount doesn’t work for you, then get the Nikon P-Series scope mount.

(Or if you’re looking for a more versatile mount that’ll fit more than one firearm).

Here’s why. It’s:

  • Sturdy
  • Easy to install
  • Fits flattop picatinny rails
  • Allows plenty of eye relief

It’s also made in the good ol’ USA. If the P-Series scope mount sounds good to you, feel free to check out the price here:

And that’s it! These are literally the best scope mounts for the Mini 14.

Simply pick one based on your model and give it a go. And if it doesn’t fit your rifle for whatever reason, you could return it back to Amazon thanks to their 30-day Money Back Guarantee.

If you have any questions or concerns about Mini 14 scope mounts, let me know in the comments down below.

Speaking of which…

Now Its Your Turn

I hope you enjoyed my best scope for mini 14 guide.

I’m always continually updating this guide as I test more scopes. For now, rest assured — these are the best mini 14 optics on the market in 2020. 

Now I want to turn it over to you: Which scope are you going to buy? 

Are you going to get the lightweight Redfield Revolution? Or maybe a Burris Fastfire III?

Let me know by leaving a quick comment below.

And to all the veterans out there: I salute you. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I really appreciate what you do!


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MikeCraigBill O'HaraNicolas FariaNick F Recent comment authors
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What red dot sights would you recommend?


Impressive guide Richard! Definitely one of the best I’ve read so far. I’ve owned a Nikon for over 3 years and definitely could say this: It’s hard to beat Nikon’s glass. I’ve got them for all of my rifles and they rock!


DUDE…You have no idea how long I’ve been looking for a complete mini 14 guide. I absolutely LOVVVEEE how you organized each scope by its use!

I’ve settled on the Vortex Strikefire II. Solid!!!!

Michael Clem
Michael Clem

I’m sold on the redfield revolution. Just ordered it, can’t wait to test it out.

Cameron Blazek
Cameron Blazek

Great work on this guide dude

Rick Fredly
Rick Fredly

What about the Leupold mark ar mod 1 6-18×40? Bought this scope about 2 years ago and hasn’t failed me since. Lens are clear and turrets are great. You should give it a shot, Richard. Either way, I agree with a lot of scopes you recommend. Redfield Revolution is definitely one of my favorite hunting scopes. Great article, I bookmarked your site.


I have had the Nikon on my mini 14 and the ejected brass scratches the heck out of side focus adjustment.


Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 comes in different models (see below). Which one do you recommend?

Riflescope V-Plex
Scout Scope V-Plex
Riflescope (1-Inch) BDC
Rimfire Riflescope 1-Inch V-Plex

Doug R.
Doug R.

very concise and helpful review for me as a novice with the Mini14….Thank You

Nick F
Nick F

Great review thank you. Quick thing I noticed, if you mean less then 100yards use 100. Thanks for all the research.

Nicolas Faria
Nicolas Faria

The reverse symbol I meant. The symbol used was for greater than vs less than. Just realized I used the wrong *than on my comment as well.

Bill O'Hara
Bill O'Hara

Does a see under type mount actually work on a new Tactical model to allow use of the iron sights if needed, wanted? GG&G makes one and you seem to like that brand.


Hi Richard and thank you for the guide! I purchased the Vortex Crossfire II 2-7×32 Dead-hold BDC based on your recommendation, however the Vortex Defender objective lens cover O-40 size you referenced did not fit this scope. I had to return it and order the O-32, which is the correct size. Cheers!


I’m curious if tube diameters on the vortex strike fire have changed because the weaver medium rings 99688 don’t fit the 501 strike fire I purchased 🙁