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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
not sure what do with optics as far as my mini 14,

i wanted to buy something for it not sure what to decide, i have a older ranch model with the flip up sight, and a single front blade, it is pretty bad to look through when compared to other sights, i was debating whether i should throw on a red dot, rifle scope, or buy tech sights,

i have never used red dots but i plan to mount the scope or red dot in the traditional mount location, i have excellent vision so i was planning on using the optics out to 300 yards or so as a maximum, i heard it is rough on the optics to mount int that location but i don't want to add a rail or anything else to the rifle, i like it in its stock configuration

i have my eye on a nice 2 x 7 power scope but not sure if i wanted a red dot which would work for the mini, i don't really want to spend over 120 because i am using this for pretty much hunting purposes only, so a list of options for the mini 14 would be nice

also was considering the tech sights but i am not sure if i would love them enough for them to be 70+ dollars, plus i figured if i didn't like the scope or red dot i could put it on another one of my rifles..
 

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"Pretty much for hunting" to me dictates a scope. A 2x7x32 Nikon Prostaff is what I put on mine. Shorter, and lighter than the standard 3x9x"42" these days. It was recommended by folks here to stand up under the "bolt bang" of a mini. Can't really call it recoil!
 

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I just recently put the double UTG rail on my 184 series with a red dot. I went with that over the scout type as my eyesight isn't all that great, I'm right handed but left eye dominant. It takes alittle tweaking to get the mount level with the bore and some loctite to keep it from working loose. Its other advantage is that it keeps irons clear.
 

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I've put an Ultimak rail on my 14 with the intent of adding a red dot after I "mastered" its iron sights (actually Tech Sights). Not sure that will ever happen now, mastery being such a fleeting thing. Among the things I learned at Appleseed is that virtually all the things I saw as weaknesses of the iron sight are actually strengths. It's not just that iron sights don't need batteries...
 

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Among the things I learned at Appleseed is that virtually all the things I saw as weaknesses of the iron sight are actually strengths.
I'd be interested to hear more detail about the strengths of open sights from your perspective and what you considered weakness. I am of the opinion that all shooters need to master iron sights before using optics, but then I think all drivers should be able to drive a stick...
 

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I learned to drive on a stick and wish I could go back an re-learn to shoot on iron sights. Perhaps that's what I'm after now? I think that that iron sights have sight picture, field of view and perspective advantages over scopes. It is the contention of many Appleseed instructor-types that iron sights produce as much accuracy, especially at 25-100 yards, as scopes. That's the part I'm working hard to add to my set of beliefs. I don't doubt their experience and skill one bit; I'm just looking forward to seeing it myself.

Before Appleseed (BA?), and even immediately afterward, I saw my inability to keep the front sight post and the target in anything resembling focus as a weakness. I also saw the width of the front post on my Mini 14 as a weakness of iron sights. To my rookie eye, the sight picture through the Tech Sights on my Mini 14 was blurry and vague and why I didn't make Rifleman and topped out with an AQT of 192.

Now, after a lot of forum discussion over at Appleseedinfo.org with instructors and shoot bosses, I see that I'm actually doing well for a first time Appleseeder. 192 is a pretty good AQT for a guy with aging eyes who just took up this whole shooting thing a few months ago. Rather than obsess about sights, scopes and rifles, I need to work on the fundamentals and practice. Great advice. Among the details they point out is that the target is supposed to be blurry when you focus on the front post because at 25 yards (or more), the human eye (or any lens) can only focus on one end of that 25 yards at a time. You are much better off focusing on the front post and keeping sight alignment correct than you are focusing on the target and letting sight alignment drift. Element 4b. Even front post width isn't a big deal. I figured that a needle width front post would be better since the 400 yard targets look about that wide to me. Problem is that it's harder to focus on the needle than it is on the 8 MOA standard front post. Weaknesses turned out to be strengths. Smart guys, those iron sight inventors.

We Americans come from a long line of marksmen. Hitting targets from a long way out is in our heritage. So is doing it with iron sights. It can definitely be done, even by me. Now I hope to prove it to myself.
 

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I've gone through several weapons classes with just irons on mine. Although I do have the choate front sight/flash hider, its the way to go with a mini in my opinion, although I do want an eotech somewhere down the line.....
 

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That was exactly my thinking Junkman, to the point that I replaced the stock hand guard on my Mini with an Ultimak rail. The idea of a scout scope is really appealing. So is a red dot scope up on the barrel. Ever tried it out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well if i am going to go strictly irons are tech sights a good option? i love to use irons, especially on bolt action rifles, it is not as quick as a scope or red dot, but what i am asking is the 70 dollar tech sights a huge improvement compared to the normal sights where not having a scope wouldn't be such a big deal?
 

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in my case

I love iron sights out to about 100 yds.
Took the 3x9x40 Nikon off the mini Tac. when I reaised the short barrel lent itself to fast acquisition with iron sights .
My current bitch is I went to the range today and forgot the Allen Wrench needed to adj. the factory sights.
As a result it shoots a fairly tight group about 4 " high and I could do nothing except go home.
Ticked me off plenty.
So now I'll be searching old threads and trying to pick the best option.
Richard
 

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the Mini is not a target rifle, but sure makes a dandy 'social' rifle. I am using a Vortex Strikefire dot sight on my 188 series Ranch Rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
the Mini is not a target rifle, but sure makes a dandy 'social' rifle. I am using a Vortex Strikefire dot sight on my 188 series Ranch Rifle.
i did a lot of work done to it and had it tested with controlled variables, it shoots sub moa with hand loads, which is excellent, it out shoots my AR, but i put 200 dollars into it, and they cost about the same now,

i know what my rifle is capable of but i like using sights a lot but the factory ranch sights are horrible..i also know what i am capable of, however the factory sights deter these to things quite a bit so that is why i am looking to do something about it, i just love the feel of a mini and the garand action, hence why i want this to be my go to rifle.
 

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The OP's question was what optic to put on an older Mini 14 with the flip up rear sight. It's not a bad sight, but it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of adjustability and I don't like the open sight as much as the ghost ring design made famous (at least for me) on the Garand. You'll still need a tool to adjust the Tech Sight, but it's a big improvement and arguably a better fit for the Mini 14 than any scope.

Hmmm, that's pretty opinionated. It's just an opinion, it's an opinion reinforced by two days at an Appleseed Shoot and the conviction of the shoot boss and several instructors who hit targets way down range with iron sights just as accurately and reliably as with scopes. I'd try a decent iron sight system for your Mini 14 and leverage its heritage. If you decide irons suck, you can always mount the scope on the rail or rings designed for the Mini 14 or a red dot on a scout rail like the Ultimak or Amega. Just the $0.02 of a guy headed to Texas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The OP's question was what optic to put on an older Mini 14 with the flip up rear sight. It's not a bad sight, but it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of adjustability and I don't like the open sight as much as the ghost ring design made famous (at least for me) on the Garand. You'll still need a tool to adjust the Tech Sight, but it's a big improvement and arguably a better fit for the Mini 14 than any scope.

Hmmm, that's pretty opinionated. It's just an opinion, it's an opinion reinforced by two days at an Appleseed Shoot and the conviction of the shoot boss and several instructors who hit targets way down range with iron sights just as accurately and reliably as with scopes. I'd try a decent iron sight system for your Mini 14 and leverage its heritage. If you decide irons suck, you can always mount the scope on the rail or rings designed for the Mini 14 or a red dot on a scout rail like the Ultimak or Amega. Just the $0.02 of a guy headed to Texas.
i can't seem to get a good picture, i doubt it is because i am holding it incorrectly but i can not align it the quickest compared to other sights.
 

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If you just need an optical sight get a red dot. I shot a Bushnel red dot on my SKS for a long time. For 300 yards and my eye balls it would call for a 9 or 10 power. They are also handy for looking at your hits on a 100 yard target. I have a truglo 3 x 9 with a BDC reticle. It is holding up fine so far and the view is very clear in it. Not as fancy as some scopes but its on a $485 gun so it will work.
 

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I used to run a 2-7x scope on my Mini.. but after shooting mine for a while with irons and a hooded front sight via Mo-Reaper.. I sold my scope. I never scope my Mini anymore, but I'm also only shooting within 100 yards. With just irons, I can shoot steel plates out all day off hand. Scope totally changes the handling characteristic of a handy Mini.
 

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I've shot scout before, and its not my preferred style. If I were you, Headedtotexas, i'd get one of those rails that mounts on the ruger ring mounts on it, and go from there. I had one on it just so I could try my friends trijicon, and it worked great. Scout just isn't my thing, if I had to pick.
 

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1.5-4x is the perfect match for the mini

I have never been one to buy expensive optics as I know I am the limiting factor in most cases. I put the high end ati stock on it, cut the barrel down just behind the original sight's roll pin cut 16.25". Mounted a CMT flash hider and suddenly my cheap Bushnell red dot was not enough. I bought a 1.5-4x Primary arms cqb scope and I was blown away by the clarity. If you can't see it with 4x, don't shoot it with a .223!
You're a better shot than me if you can iron sight a coyote at 300yds. This gun has taken 6 coyotes in 2012 (so far) one at 325 yds the others were from 250 down to 75 yds.
CHill
 

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Since the OP stated that his intended use is hunting out to 300 yds, a scope would seem to be the logical option. That is a long way out for someone with less than perfect vision to use factory irons. I agree with one of the earlier poster's, A Nikon pro-staff in 2x7 or 3x9 would seem ideal for this application. They are probably the best scope for the least money, and about the amount that you have budgeted. I myself would probably go with an eotech for 100 yd or less applications, but at about $500 that is way above your limit. Good luck.
 
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