7 Best Scopes For Mini 14 [UPDATED Dec 2019]

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’m going to be honest:

I made this guide mostly for myself. 

(Selfish, I know 😋)

I once wondered what the best scope for Mini 14 was. Everywhere I looked, nobody could give me a straight (and affordable) answer.

I wanted to save my hard-earned money from being wasted on a crappy scope like I did on my AR-15 scope.

So, I started doing my own research:

I painstakingly read through every single Mini 14 guide, forum post, review and Youtube video review on the planet to find the very best Mini 14 scopes. 

“But which one was truly the best?” I wondered.

I still didn’t know. So, I bit the bullet and tried each scope… one-by-one. 

I torture tested each scope…

…shooting well over 100+ rounds through each Mini 14 scope and tested ALL the most advanced scope features.

The result?

My personal list of the very BEST scopes for Mini 14 (no kidding). 

I hope this list helps you find your perfect mini 14 scope as it did 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 KILLER medium-to-long range scope and is affordable, then go for the Nikon P-223

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

Here’s why:

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The glass quality is SUPER-B! 

Nikon P-223 Ocular Lens

It’s clear, crisp and bright. 

Nikon P-223 BDC Reticle

The best part?

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

In addition, the clarity of the scope is awesome in low light. I’ve been able to hunt at night with no problems at all thanks to the 40mm OL:

Nikon P-223 Objective Lens

Moving beyond the glass, the BDC 600 reticle is INSANELY accurate and clear.

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

Notice the bubble size difference? One is MUCH larger than the other. 

However, this is completely subjective and for most people, the bubble size doesn’t bother them.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

Eye relief is a generous 3.6-inches and a very forgiving eye box.


I LOVE how I didn’t have to climb up the gun to see at 9 power. Meaning…

…the 3.6-inch eye relief was perfect for me.


The P-223 is built to last.

It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, or you’re in a tornado (don’t hunt in those) — the scope can take it all.

Nikon P-223 Solid Build

The aircraft-grade aluminum has you covered alongside a nitrogen filled and O-ring sealed design. 

In layman’s terms:

The scope’s completely waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. 

Elevation & Windage Knobs

Absolutely love the ¼ MOA turrets! 

They’re large, tactical and make a nice, sharp ‘click!’ sound when turned.

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’s also super-duper easy to zero (sighted it in with only 4 shots at 50 yards)…

…and it firmly holds zero — even with repeated recoil (shot over 160+ rounds). 

In fact:

While I was at the range, my sling keeper broke (darn it!) and the P-223  STILL maintained zero.

It gets even better. The P-223 has a zero-reset turret feature.

Nikon P-223 3-9x40 Zero Reset Feature

This literally makes returning to zero a breeze! All you have to do is:

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

It’s that easy. No additional tools or knowledge required. Just pull up the turret and return to zero. Easy.

This is ESPECIALLY handy if you accidentally turn or bump the turrets. 

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

Parallax & Magnification

I like the 100-yard parallax setting which allows for more precise aim.

The magnification knob was fairly stiff to turn at first but loosened up with usage.

And here’s the best part:

The magnification doesn’t go blurry or distort when you increase the magnification. I had it at 9X magnification with NO problems.

Mounting & Rings

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

If your Ruger didn’t come with a mount, you can use a Nikon P-Series Picatinny Mount.

Nikon P-223 P-series Mount

Whichever mount you use, the scope will hold zero with no issues.

The elastic lens caps had to go. I personally don’t want to keep them in my pocket while using the scope…

Nikon P-223 with Butler Creek Caps

…so I bought $8 Butler Creek Flip-Open covers (Eyepiece size: 19) (Objective size: 31).

Other Features

You can use the scope with Nikon’s Spot On App.

Nikon P-223 Spot ON App

It’s actually really cool and helpful. Here’s how it works:

Nikon Spot ON App

Step 1: Choose your riflescope and reticle 

Step 2: Choose your ammunition 

Step 3: Enter site-in and target distances

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 quality scope that doesn’t swallow pockets — this scope is for you.

The glass is crystal clear, durable, holds zero like a champ and is stupid easy to use…PLUS it’s 100% backed by Nikon’s Lifetime warranty.

No wonder so many people use the Nikon P-223 — it’s one of the best mini 14 scopes out there!

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).  

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

Looking for an affordable scope that offers a bit of magnification but also good at close range?

If so, get the 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

When I first mounted the Crossfire II on my Mini 14…

…I was amazed at how crisp and clear the image was at 100 yards. 

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Clear Glass

At some point, I even forget I was looking through a glass. I’d even go as far as saying that this scope is on par with the Leupold VXII or a Burris Fullfield II. (Just don’t tell the fanboys 😉)

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 100 yards

Take a look: 

Here’s the glass difference between a Leupold VX-1 and the Crossfire II (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 is MUCH cleaner and sharper. 

Also, did you notice the crosshair difference? 

That’s right — the Crossfire II uses a dead-hold BDC reticle (hence the hashmark design) which is useful for estimating range, holdover and wind drift. 

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

It’s also great for target acquisition (even moving game). If you’d like to learn more about scope reticles (including BDC), then read this scopes 101 guide.  

Eye Relief & Eye Box

At the lowest magnification (2x), there’s a great range of eye relief, the eye box is forgiving and there is minimal edge blur. 

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

Cranked to the highest magnification (7x), the eye relief and eye box become a bit more critical as well as slightly more edge distortion.

However, the image and reticle are still somewhat clear. 

(In case you’re wondering: the eye relief is a generous 3.9 inches)


The scope feels rock solid.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32

(Maybe because it’s constructed from aircraft grade aluminum)

It can also survive in almost any biome with its waterproof and fogproof build thanks to the o-ring sealed and nitrogen purged features.

In short: it’s a solid scope.

Elevation & Windage Knobs

Both turrets are capped and finger adjustable.

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

Bad news:

This scope doesn’t have a parallax adjustment knob 😥

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Capped Turrets

(Not a surprise for a scope at this price).

However, the parallax is only noticeable at around 2X magnification, but as I increased the magnification, the parallax problem slowly faded away.

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.

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

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Mount

After firing over 130 rounds, the zero remained consistent. I even took it a step further, mounting the scope on my Mossberg 930 JM Pro 12 and guess what? 

It held zero.

Also, since the Crossfire II 2-7×32 didn’t come with flip up covers, I decided to purchase Vortex Defender Flip Caps (sizes are E-10 & O-40).

Vortex Defender Flip Caps

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

Other Features

The scope feature I LOVE is the built-in fast focus eyepiece which helps sharpen the image for both the target and crosshairs. 

Vortex Crossfire II 2-7x32 Fast Focus Eyepiece

It’s super easy to use and really useful for quick reticle focusing. 

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

If you’re looking for a quality scope that is versatile, cost-effective, and solid, then go for the Vortex Crossfire II.

Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7x32 Review

It has clear glass, great eye relief and a BDC reticle. Not to mention, you’re backed by Vortex’s VIP lifetime warranty.

Truth be told:

I’d say this is hands down the best vortex scope for mini 14 and 22LR. For the price and lifetime warranty, there’s no reason you shouldn’t pick it up.  

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

My most affordable pick goes to the Bushnell AR 3-9×40.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Best Budget Scope

Why? Read on…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

The clarity of the glass is CRYSTAL clear and bright.

(Very similar to the Nikon P-223)

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 45 Yards

And since the lens is fully multi-coated along with a whopping 40mm objective lens, shooting in low-light conditions is do-able. 

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 BDC Reticle

The drop zone reticle is very accurate and I was able to stack steel at 400 yards.

For a $150 optic, I’m VERY impressed with the quality of the glass and reticle.

Eye Relief & Eye Box

The eye relief is spacious. 

It’s 3.7-inches and best of all: no more eye fatigue!

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Optics

Although I’d like to note the eye box isn’t as forgiving at higher magnifications like the P-223. 

But don’t get me wrong:

The picture sight is VERY clear, however, it’s pretty small and hard to center at longer distances. 


This scope is built like a tank (high-durability aluminum alloy).

But… it also weighs like a tank 😆

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Durable

Weighing in at around 1.3 pounds, it’s quite a bit heavier than the Nikon P-223 (1.1 pounds). 

However, that’s expected, considering it has killer features like:

  • Parallax Adjustment knob (will touch on this later)
  • Target turrets 
  • 40mm Objective Lens and…

The scope can take a beating, whether its water, dust or rust with its nitrogen purged and O-ring sealed features.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Water Proof

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The target turrets aren’t as crisp as the P-223, but they’re still firm and produce a nice ‘click’ sound when turned.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Tactical Turrets

I only have one small complaint: 

I don’t like how difficult it is to reset the turrets. I have to:

Remove the screw, lift the turret off, realign to zero and THEN reinstall the screw.

Bushnell AR Optics 3-9x40 Turrets

Whereas for the Nikon P-223, all I have to do is simply lift, turn and release the turret. Done.

But take my complaint with a pinch of salt, I’m a lazy bastard 😅 

The Bushnell scope may not be AS easy as the P-223, but it’s easy enough. 

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

This scope literally fit on my Mini 14 like… a GLOVE. 

The AR 3-9×40 was super easy to zero (I believe I zeroed it in under 5 rounds) and the scope held a consistent zero after firing roughly 80 rounds.

Once sighted in, I hit the bullseye from 125 yards without breaking a sweat. 

What more could I ask for?

Well, there’s actually one more thing: 

Flip-up covers rather than the non-mounted rubber lens covers. 

As usual, I used Butler Creek flip-up caps (Eyepiece size: 20) (Objective size: 27).

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

The Bushnell AR 3-9×40 has all of the features of a $400 dollar scopes at a FRACTION of the price.

It has great clarity, TONS of eye relief, and a parallax adjustment knob. 

In short:

If you’re in the market looking for a budget scope that screams quality, then go for the Bushnell AR 3-9×40. You couldn’t ask for a better budget scope.  

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

If you’re looking to hunt with the Mini 14, then go for the lightweight Redfield Revolution 2-7×33.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Best Scope for Hunting

It’s a hunter’s dream, beginning with its…

Glass Clarity & Reticle

Having a clear glass is vital for hunting and I can confidently say the glass quality of this scope is a STUNNER.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Clear Glass

In fact:

If you’ve had any experience with the Leupold VX-I or Leupold VX-II, you can say the Redfield has their glass.

(Probably because Leupold manufacturers Redfield 😎)

Not only is the glass clear, but it also works well in low-light conditions.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 AccuRange Reticle

I’m a STICKLER for a scope working during low-light environments, especially if I’m out hunting. And this scope exceeds my expectations. 

Thanks to the illuminator lens feature (and fully multi-coated optics), I’m able to see well through the dense, dark shadows of the spring swamps near my farm. 

But what about the reticle? 

There are TONS of reticles to choose from like the Accu-range, 4-Plex or Tac-MOA.

Redfield Revolution Different Reticles

I went for the Accu-range and absolutely LOVE it! It makes target acquisition MUCH faster.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 AccuRange Reticle 4x Magnification

For example, I use the Accu-Range reticle for quick shots close up, then I dial up the magnification for longer shots. 

(Btw: I’ve shot at 250+ yards using the Accu-Range reticle with pretty spot on results)

Eye Relief & Eye Box

Eye relief is fantastic — a solid 3.7 – 4.2 inches.

Also, the eye box is very forgiving. Had no issues with getting a good sight picture. 


If you told me an affordable scope that’s lightweight, compact, crystal clear, AND durable exists under $180…

…I’d call you a liar. 

But the Redfield Revolution 2-7×33 is EXACTLY that.

Redfield Revolution Solid Scope

It’s extremely rugged and lightweight (only 11.1 oz). It can handle my Marlin 45-70 AND my Mini 14.

It’s also completely waterproof, fogproof and shockproof. 

Elevation & Windage Knobs

The turrets are a bit mushy and not as crisp as I’d like them to be, but still noticeable. 

And I did like how the knobs are finger-adjustable, capped and easy-to-read.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Finger Adjustable Turrets

Parallax & Magnification

The parallax setting is set at 150 yards…

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Turrets

…and I’ve been SHAWKIN steel targets from 25 yards to 100 yards with no problem.

The magnification ring is smooth and easy to turn.

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Magnification Ring

I also LOVE the versatility this scope offers: 

2x magnification is great for close range varmint hunting and 7x magnification is great for shooting paper above 200 yards. It also works great with Ruger 10/22 rifles.

Mounting & Rings

Mounted the scope using the Ruger-supplied scopes rings and base. 

Here’s a quick instructional video on how to mount your scope using Ruger factory rings:

(If you don’t have the mount that came with your Ruger, you could use a Nikon P-Series Picatinny mount instead).

Once zeroed in, I was shooting keyholes at 100 yards.

In addition, holding zero wasn’t a problem. After 25 rounds of continuous firing, bouncing around in the back of my pickup truck and even soaking it in water, it STILL held zero. 

Redfield Revolution 2-7x33 Holds Zero

Something I’d have wished for is an included scope bikini, but there weren’t any. 

So, I used Butler Creek lens covers (Eyepiece size: 13) (Objective size: 15).

Or if you want to go all out, you can buy Leupold Alumina flip-up scope covers.

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

Honestly, I’m amazed by the kind of optical quality I can get for under $200…

Redfield Revolution Box

…and the Redfield Revolution is definitely at the TOP of the list.

It has all of the features a hunter could ask for in a scope: 

Lightweight, long eye relief, amazing clarity, 2-7x power for hunting in both timber and open areas, and able to hunt in low-light conditions PLUS Redfield’s lifetime warranty.

But here’s the best part of it all:

It’s made in the good ol’ USA by Leupold’s American workers. God Bless America!

Leupold Manufactured in USA

Now this scope’s too good to pass up. Just do yourself a favor: if you want a quality hunting scope, then buy a Redfield Revolution!  

Best Red Dot Sights for Mini 14

In a very general sense, I like to classify scopes as long range & accurate while red dots are close range & speedy-on-target. 

For example: 

If I’m going to sit on a bench and punch paper above 100 yards, I’d use a scope. But if I’m going to use the Mini 14 for varmints, plinking or home defense, I’d use a red dot sight (for faster target acquisition).

With that, there are two things that need to be looked out for when choosing a sight:

Effective mounting and compact size.

The red dot sights I’m recommending below fit the bill and honestly are the best red dot sights for the Mini 14 online. 

Here they are…

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.

(I’m kidding). 

The real reason why is the scope’s exceptional…

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.

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, gentlemen. 

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 try! (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. 

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

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!  

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.

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. 

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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Rick FredlyCameron BlazekMichael ClemMarkRichard Douglas 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.