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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I had the chance to get out and shoot my new-to-me mini. It is a 185 series with a shortened barrel, muzzle brake added. Shooting with just the factory sights with a slight breeze i had a couple 5 shot groups at 5 to 6 inches. I was shooting off the tailgate of my truck with a bag rest up front. I would say with a scope I am sure I could do much better. So has anyone mounted rail on the reciever on an older model mini? I think this might be more stable than the B-Square type side mounts. If so, did you have any ejection problems? The gun smith at my LGS seems to believe he could tap a piece of rail on just not sure if the clearance is sufficient. Opinions, personal experience?

Jimbo
 

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So I had the chance to get out and shoot my new-to-me mini. It is a 185 series with a shortened barrel, muzzle brake added. Shooting with just the factory sights with a slight breeze i had a couple 5 shot groups at 5 to 6 inches. I was shooting off the tailgate of my truck with a bag rest up front. I would say with a scope I am sure I could do much better. So has anyone mounted rail on the reciever on an older model mini? I think this might be more stable than the B-Square type side mounts. If so, did you have any ejection problems? The gun smith at my LGS seems to believe he could tap a piece of rail on just not sure if the clearance is sufficient. Opinions, personal experience?

Jimbo
I recently picked up a new model Mini 14 Tactical with the Synthetic Stock (not the ATI Folder). I was getting decent groups with iron sights, but I decided to add a scope. I don't shoot long-range so I wanted a 1-4 or something similar. I ended up with a Nikon AR223 1-4x20 scope and it turned out to be a decent optic. I used Warne QD 1" rings in Medium height and it clears the rear sight perfectly. The scope balances well and is a great addition to the rifle. The QD rings let me pull the scope off if I want to go back to irons easily.

.

And here's a picture of the rifle with the scope mounted (please excuse all the fingerprints :D):


I hope this helps you out. Hopefully I'm not way out in left field on this one.

Best,
Matthew
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nice weapon, my biggest issue is that the older mini's do not have a provision on the receiver for scope rings. I can go with a side mount and I have looked into adding rail on the receiver. I may look into rose rings if I go with a rail, I am hoping I will still have clearance for the open sights.

Jimbo
 

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Jimbo,
Sorry man. I'm an idiot. I totally didn't even pay attention to which Mini you had. Dumb. :)

Best of luck with it. If you can get a rail on top, that would be the easiest way to go and you could choose from a bigger selection of rings.

Keep us posted on how it goes.
 

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S&K mounts are pretty solid, i don't think the cheapest but they hold a zero on all of my rifles, and the construction is excellent. the mount is a traditional scope mount over the action. you can find something cheaper, but the S&K is no drill no tap, runs around 70 dollars.
 

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Would you consider a Scout setup?

My 185- has a 16.25" barrel w/Choate FS/FH, trigger job by GunDoc, Ultimak Scout Rail, Leupold 2.5x IER scope. No other mods.

Best five shot group is 1.38" from sandbags at 100yds. Attested to by Range Officer at Garland Public Shooting Range, Garland TX.

You can have some fun with your 185- Mini.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i will be extremely happy if i can achieve groups like that. I may give a scout scope a try, how does it affect the balance of your gun? My LGS says they can install a rail, and I also looked at the S&K mount suggested by Bulletjunkie, but I am not sure I want to lose my open sights.

Jimbo
 

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There are essentially 3 options to scoping a non-Ranch Mini.

1. Side-saddle mount: Allows you to "see under" your scope to use iron sights. Many have reported trouble with maintaining zero, as the mounting bolt/knob can work its way loose.

2. S&K-style mount: Rock-solid optic mount. Requires removal of rear sight "guts" to mount. Not an option if you want to keep your irons.

3. Scout-style mount: IMO the best solution, but then again I like forward-mounted optics. Takes some getting used to, but may be more than you want to invest (~$130 for the rail, then $100++ for optics) in a "let's see how this works" proposition...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There are essentially 3 options to scoping a non-Ranch Mini.

1. Side-saddle mount: Allows you to "see under" your scope to use iron sights. Many have reported trouble with maintaining zero, as the mounting bolt/knob can work its way loose.

2. S&K-style mount: Rock-solid optic mount. Requires removal of rear sight "guts" to mount. Not an option if you want to keep your irons.

3. Scout-style mount: IMO the best solution, but then again I like forward-mounted optics. Takes some getting used to, but may be more than you want to invest (~$130 for the rail, then $100++ for optics) in a "let's see how this works" proposition...
All good points, either way I am in $100++ for the optics, mounts - B-Square and S&K about $70, LGS installed rail $120+/-. Now if the LGS installs the rail I may or may not (rail thickness/configuration) be able to use my sights. Scout rail, there are options from $80 on up, I need to confirm the best bang for the buck.

I have my eye on a Redfield 2-7x Revolution $139 @ Bass Pro (I have $50 in Bass Pro cards) and a $30 rebate. From what I have heard it is an awesome scope. But, I really am not opposed to trying the scout configuration, from what I read its either love it or hate it, but the guys that love it bring up some good points, quick target acquisition, two eye open shooting, open sight compatible, and no drill/tap required. My two questions are weight distribution (is it front heavy) and scope recommendations, I am putting this on a 24 year old $500 +/- gun, so I don't want to break the bank. The other option although maybe crazy is a red dot forward on a scout rail and a magnifier on a B-Square, this would probably be the most expensive (not to mention heavy) but it is an option. decisions, decisions...
 

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All good points, either way I am in $100++ for the optics, mounts - B-Square and S&K about $70, LGS installed rail $120+/-. Now if the LGS installs the rail I may or may not (rail thickness/configuration) be able to use my sights. Scout rail, there are options from $80 on up, I need to confirm the best bang for the buck.

I have my eye on a Redfield 2-7x Revolution $139 @ Bass Pro (I have $50 in Bass Pro cards) and a $30 rebate. From what I have heard it is an awesome scope. But, I really am not opposed to trying the scout configuration, from what I read its either love it or hate it, but the guys that love it bring up some good points, quick target acquisition, two eye open shooting, open sight compatible, and no drill/tap required. My two questions are weight distribution (is it front heavy) and scope recommendations, I am putting this on a 24 year old $500 +/- gun, so I don't want to break the bank. The other option although maybe crazy is a red dot forward on a scout rail and a magnifier on a B-Square, this would probably be the most expensive (not to mention heavy) but it is an option. decisions, decisions...
I, for one, find forward-mounted optics excellent for my application (coyote/varmint hunting, max. 200 yard shots). Of course, I'm running a slightly, umm, old-fashioned(?) system. A Ranch Products gas-block mounted rail and a Simmons 2-7x32 pistol scope. My girlfriend and range buddies would rather use the irons on my Mini, as they find it "uncomfortable" to focus on a scope that far forward, but the Ranch Products mount allows the irons to be seen under the scope.

If you're open to the idea of Scout-style optics, I say go for it. I only say what I said in the previous post because some guys just aren't sure and would rather spend less money to go with something they're sure will work for them. If all else fails and you hate the Scout setup, you can always offload the rail and optic here at PU -- there are a few of us who'd gladly take it off your hands... ;)



 

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Weight distribution is the "love it/hate it" factor with scout set ups. Google the weight specs for the scopes you are thinking about. Take a water bottle or something of simmilar weight and tie it over your gas block and swing it around for a bit.

Peronsonally I have a red dot on my ultimak, so its light. I had a pistol scope on there for a while, but it was too heavy and the effective range of the scope was way longer than the effective range of my rifle set up. Think about your effective range and judge a power based on the POU of the rifle.

Weaver makes a nice little "classic scout" optic that I have been considering.
Weaver K-Series Scout Scope Review
It has a slightly shorter eye relief than a pistol scope, allowing me to center it more over the rifle, but still give me the eye relief that I am wanting for a scout set up. However that will depend on how effective my bedding job was....
 

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subscriber, do you have that setup on one of your guns?
I like to use open sights on my Minis, but found those bits when exploring options for sightless Remington 700 models. I captured the details in case I changed my mind.

I don't like too much bulk in a sight and value keeping the sight line low - the stock Mini can be used with one sight setting from contact to 200 yards without being more than an inch low or high because of the low sights - try that with an AR. Then there is the matter of sight height for optimal "cheekweld" with the original stock - high sights and you need a pad.

Any secure mount that still allows the bolt to be removed would fit my bill. Your linked mount may be stiffer than the one I pointed to - good, and better if the sight of your choice has significant weight.
 

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The military now mounts low power 1.5 scopes on all combat rifles, and they have rails to mount night scopes in front of those as well.

Iron sights work better in the rain than does a scope. With the desert being rain free, it is not an issue in Afghanistan or Iraq though.

The Ruger mini's are primarily semi auto versions of combat rifles. If youre going to mount a scope on it, then it should be a low power 1-to-4 not the usual hunting variety 3-to-10, if you plan to use it for home defense, bugging out, etc.
 

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Its not uncommon for older mini 14s to post up 5-6'' groups at all.

The biggest reason why is because of how skinny the barrel is. A strut can cut those groups in half, some claim even more than that, and are right around $100.

Accu-Strut and Mo-Rod are two that are very common
 
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