Hey there Bob, I have experience with only 2 scopes, a Bushnell sports view $39 in 1986, and still $39 in 2002. and a couple months ago I bought a leupold varix 2, 3x9 - 40mm. Its guranteed for life. $179 at Academy sports. The bushnell is ok for a cheep scope, but a stock mini is known as a scope destroyer. There are 2 good pieces of advice I can offer, install a smaller gas bushing to reduce recoil by 75%. $25 at Nw Shooters Support [email protected] , and maby a shok-buffer $11 to $15. I have also heard others say Simmons is a decent scope for the money, and I believe they are guranteed for life, unlike some others for 1 year. You might check for shure. Any 1 inch tube will fit the Rugar rings. Just remember the old saying ya get what ya pay fer!
Just a word of caution... if you are putting a scope on a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch... The distance between the rings is fixed, and if you buy a scope that the tube is too short on, it will not fit. You will have to buy a Weigand bridge. Happened to me... Arghhh!
Joe: You better stay away from cheap scopes on Ranch Rifles. They are notorious for ripping the erector tube loose from inside the scope. Many guys have had good luck, and are still shooting. I would highly recommend either Leupold or Burris. I know that they are expensive, but that rifle is only as good as the scope that you put on it. I would scour the gunshows for a used Leupold or Burris 4X. Down here, you can usually find one for about $100 (in 4X, used). If the scopes bad, send it back to the factory. Both companies will replace it, and they don't give a hoot who originally purchased it. I went with Burris on my Ranch Rifle because of how the erector tube is supported inside of the scope. But all of my bolt rifles wear Leupolds. Good luck!(edited to reflect proper content by doorgunner)
I still haven't had any troubles with my Busnell Sportsman (3-9X 32mm). I've only shot a few hundred with it, but the scope is still in great shape. I bought it at Academy for less than $40, but am thinking of upgrading to a BSA Illuminated 3-9X 40mm. I'm not sure about the clearance from the gun although a previous post from this forum states that one can fit a scope up to 42 mm with the standard (medium rings).
Pull the handguard off and file (or dremel carefully) the raised portion around the rivet. It should give you a little extra (about 3mm) clearance for your scope. I would guess that 42mm objective is about right for clearance. All I know is that Leupold and Burris 40mm will clear the handguard.
I shoot alot,but if you want a scope that will hold up to alot of action recoil"like a mini"I would by a better scope or look at a scope made for a mag. air rifle."they are made for the forward and reverse recoil"The funny thing is that a descent air gun scope is gonna cost you around $100.00 anyway.I like Russian optics and have had good luck with a Russian VOMZ"makers of the PSO AK47 side rail mount scope"it has a glass eteched ritecule and is all steel and heavy as hell.For the money find a American manufactured on sale.Also don't be afraid to look at the shotgun type scopes.Unless you are trying to shoot the mini to 200 yards the parralex should'nt be a matter.Sorry for my bad spelling.Aldo
Bob, I have had good luck with Simmons scopes, and a good source is swfa.com. I bought a really, really great centerfire scope, Simmons 44Mag for $100. They also have a decent centerfire scope, the Deerfield for $60.
Those are scopes on special, but you have to have visited one of several sites to have ever gotten the URL. Hopefully they won't hold it against me if I post it here!
Visit that site and right now they have that $60 Simmons scope (model 21031M-SPL) for $50. I ordered one a week ago and installed it on a 'bench rest' 22 rifle and its working super so far. It has a 40mm adjustable objective, and it's 4-12 power, which is all I'd ever want on the Mini if I were to mount a scope. Nice and bright optics.
I have a red dot on my Mini 14 right now, and probably will not change I like it so much.
If you want to try something even less expensive, I have an inexpensive Bushnell Sportsview 3-9x32 scope I'll let go for a reasonable offer. I paid $40 for it about 3 years ago. It probably is considered a "cheap scope" by many here, but then again, it is inexpensive and if it doesn't work out, you're not out much money! There are a lot of them on 30-06 rifles, so I'd guess it'd work okay on a Mini 14. It will not be a crisp and clear as a scope with a larger objective, or one that costs $100 used or $300 new, but again, you're not out much money if it doesn't work! <g>
Oh, the suggestion about the air rifle scope is a good one, believe it or not. Airgun scopes are tough. The problem is they are usually designed to be used at about 50 yards. Same goes for rimfire scopes (the distance, not the toughness). Since my shooting is always at 50 yards I'd not hesitate to get an airgun scope, but the 'good ones' cost as much as a 'good' centerfire scope.
A good friend of mine has 2.They are new to the market,but are gaining a very good rep.,nice,clear optics,that are pretty tough.You might want to checkout Cheaper than Dirt,awhile back they had the 4X12 40mm mildot's on sale for less than wholesale."this is when my shooting buddy got hsi"Aldo