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Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30 family of rifles

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Old 04-10-2019, 05:29   #1
 
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Help me find a scope...

Morning gentlemen,
I’m in the market for a new scope. I’m hoping to get some new suggestions based on my criteria. I appreciate and thank you in advance for taking the time to chime in your suggestions. The only think I ask is that you please read my criteria for a scope before commenting. Thanks again.

1. Must fit with factory Ruger rings (1” or 30mm). I bought a Nikon P223, an excellent compact scope. It does not fit the spacing of the Ruger rings because the scope itself is too compact for them.

2. Must be fixed power; minimum 3x, maximum 6x.

3. Mil-Rad preferred, MilDot ok. (Not really a requirement, but a preference).

4. Generous eye relief, 3.5” or better.

5. $300 or less.

6. No Leapers, NCStar, or Nikko Sterling, lol.

Thanks again to anyone who suggests something that fits the bill. The two most important requirements for me is 1, 2 and 6.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:40   #2
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Primary Arms and their ACSS reticle, they have several offerings with that reticle. Unless money is no object ?
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:36   #3
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I've since gone to using red-dots on my Minis, but I had one of the 4x32 TruGlo Tactical Tru-Brite Xtreme, with the illuminated mil-dot reticle on my Mini 30 back when.
It's about as cheap as serviceable gets, but it worked very well with the factory rings.

I would add that prior to using a buffer in the 30, some of the spent cases struck the externally adjustable windage turret, and damaged it.
TruGlo has an awesome lifetime warranty,despite my screw up.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:05   #4
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No specific recommendation, so take this FWIW. Your Mini is a carbine, just about any scope will make it somewhat top-heavy/cumbersome. I would guess you've already considered that.

Red-dots keep it light and handy - the original concept for a carbine. I have resorted to irons and a red-dot for my two Minis, after years of toying around with scopes.

Don't go cheap, as Minis are notorious scope-killers. One rated for air-guns will survive better due to the "forward recoil" Minis have.

I'll leave it to others to recommend specific scopes, and watch - as I will soon be in the "my eyes aren't good enough for a red-dot or irons" category. Probably already there, but am in a state of denial...
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:06   #5
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I went with the CMR on both my Mini's.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:22   #6
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I went with a standard 3x9 Nikon, I have the same setup on most of my rifles with same medium ring height. It makes for easy use no matter which rifle I grab, same cheek weld, same eye relief. It’s hard to go from low rings to medium or high dot configuration. I have considered a dot from Primary Arms but I have to get used to it.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:00   #7
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Primary Arms is the best bang for your buck. Lifetime warranty on the Gen II and Gen III.
I have their fixed 3x and a 1-6x, both with the great ACSS reticle. I'm starting to prefer the 1-6x, both weigh the same.
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Old 04-10-2019, 17:16   #8
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Now you're talking SD. I grew up with a scope on my .22 Glenfield assault rifle. SO rapid acquisition on a 1x to whatever is no problem for me.
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Old 04-10-2019, 20:01   #9
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I have the 3X Nikon P223 on an aftermaket short rail that monts on the scallops with an allen wrench. That with some loctite got me through 4 rounds of the man on man competition at Carbine class. I have no complaints. Great budget rig with good quality.
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Old 04-10-2019, 22:48   #10
 
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Originally Posted by chill1955 View Post
Primary Arms and their ACSS reticle, they have several offerings with that reticle. Unless money is no object ?
I couldn’t find any fixed power, traditional scopes from Primary Arms. Thanks for your suggestion.

Last edited by jarheadgreaser; 04-11-2019 at 03:57.
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Old 04-10-2019, 22:51   #11
 
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Originally Posted by 40nascar View Post
I have the 3X Nikon P223 on an aftermaket short rail that monts on the scallops with an allen wrench. That with some loctite got me through 4 rounds of the man on man competition at Carbine class. I have no complaints. Great budget rig with good quality.
I have the same Nikon P223 3x32 scope. It is an excellent scope, but it will not fit the factory Ruger rings. This is a deal breaker for me. If I used a rail, I will lose zero every time I want to remove the bolt, the rail would have to come off. I would rather not do that.

Zero is not lost with the factory rings.

Thank you for your suggestion.

Last edited by jarheadgreaser; 04-11-2019 at 03:58.
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Old 04-11-2019, 03:27   #12
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The Nikon 2-7 or the 3-9 Pro or BuckMaster will work. I have mounted both versions on my Mini.

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Old 04-11-2019, 03:56   #13
 
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Originally Posted by kwg020 View Post
The Nikon 2-7 or the 3-9 Pro or BuckMaster will work. I have mounted both versions on my Mini.

kwg
Thank you for your suggestions, but my criteria for a new scope is that it be fixed power.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:41   #14
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Jar, forgive my impertinence, but what's wrong with a 2-7 or 3-9 if you "set it and forget it" at a specific power?.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:26   #15
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Or, what's wrong with a 1-6x that you can use both as a 1x with lit reticle, or as a medium power long range optic ?
I like my 3x PA, but it's nowhere near as versatile as an LPV.
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Old 04-11-2019, 19:03   #16
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well there are certain advantage to a fixed power scope, fewer moving parts to break or go wrong and because they are fixed power they have 1 or 2 less lenses, with fewer lenses to pass light through they are brighter especially in the low light hours, usually lighter weight because of the fewer parts.

hard to find a fixed 4x or 6x with mil dot or mil rad in it.

My low budget choice would be a 4x weaver k series or 6X k series, 38MM bell, so it fits good on a mini in the Ruger medium height rings, unfortunately they are not made any more but are still around on the used market. You can still find a new in box one if you look hard enough. Nice reticle that in low light goes to a gold color to contrast in low light, don't know how they do it but it does and it is very bright. I had a friend who had a 4x weaver on a standard mini with a S&K mount that took hundreds, yes hundreds, of hits on the turret from ejected brass before GunDoc clued him in or rotating the scope 90 degrees getting the turret out of the line of fire of the brass. Took a licking and kept on ticking.

But since they are not around anymore my next choice would be the Leupold FXll 4x33mm or FXll 6x38mm both are going to fall right at the $300 limit of your spending. All with Leupold's no BS lifetime warranty, which you should never need. I would suggest OpticsPlanet, they have a good relationship with Leupold and that comes straight from Leupold. You may have to wait a bit to get them because they are made in batches as demand comes. But are usually made every 4 weeks or so, unless you can find one in stock. The only other scope, but out of your price range is the Leupold FX3 6x42mm with a bigger bell but more available than the FXll's the FX3's run about $100 more. All the Leupold's have a nice reticle, heavy duplex that changes to a fine x cross hair so you can use the reticle to estimate bullet drop between the two thicknesses of the reticle, once you learn your scope.

Personally I have experience with the weaver k series 4x fixed power on the mini, if you sight in at 3" high at 100 yards you are about 3" low to a bit over 300 yards with low BC 55 grain fmj bullets and dead on zero at 25 yards. Personally I think 300 -350 yards is about the useful range of the mini 14 unless it has been accurized or are shooting specialized or heavy loads like the mod2 77 grainers.
Coming from a Marine Corp mindset I want a rifle that I can grab and shoot 1 load, or possible 2 that goes where I need it to go without fudging around.

If I used a rail, I will lose zero every time I want to remove the bolt, the rail would have to come off. I would rather not do that.
Expanding on what 40nascar posted; one more suggestion to keep using the Nikon scope you have. You could get a rail from Ruger, with that rail you could remove and install your bolt with the rail on. They are including rails with the new ranch rifle's, the new mini's are drilled and tapped at the factory for the rails. Rail has a slot in it to still be able to use your irons. It would have to be drilled and tapped to your existing scope mount risers/scallops but would be a lot cheaper than a new scope. Wouldn't be able to use Ruger rings but could get some Warne quick disconnect rings or any quality weaver/picatinny type rings The Warne rings hold zero when removed should you want to shoot irons. With the picatinny rail, and not subject to the Ruger ring positions, you would have greater flexibility positioning your scope for eye relief. If you talk nice to the Ruger rep they just might send it to you for free, especially if you long wind your problem, doesn't hurt to throw the veteran card at them, and tell the them you are going to have to pay to get it drilled and tapped, etc,etc. Works for me , they are mostly good folks there.

here is a good vid that shows the Ruger rail. The rail should also help to keep the cases from hitting the scope.
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Old 04-12-2019, 07:34   #17
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Originally Posted by jarheadgreaser View Post
Morning gentlemen,
I’m in the market for a new scope. I’m hoping to get some new suggestions based on my criteria. I appreciate and thank you in advance for taking the time to chime in your suggestions. The only think I ask is that you please read my criteria for a scope before commenting. Thanks again.

1. Must fit with factory Ruger rings (1” or 30mm). I bought a Nikon P223, an excellent compact scope. It does not fit the spacing of the Ruger rings because the scope itself is too compact for them.

2. Must be fixed power; minimum 3x, maximum 6x.

3. Mil-Rad preferred, MilDot ok. (Not really a requirement, but a preference).

4. Generous eye relief, 3.5” or better.

5. $300 or less.

6. No Leapers, NCStar, or Nikko Sterling, lol.

Thanks again to anyone who suggests something that fits the bill. The two most important requirements for me is 1, 2 and 6.
This is what I've got. I love it!

https://www.primaryarms.com/primary-...45-308-reticle
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:46   #18
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Originally Posted by jarheadgreaser View Post
Thank you for your suggestions, but my criteria for a new scope is that it be fixed power.
The 2-7 is pretty much the same size as a fixed 4 power.


kwg
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Old 04-12-2019, 16:08   #19
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Originally Posted by jarheadgreaser View Post
I couldn’t find any fixed power, traditional scopes from Primary Arms. Thanks for your suggestion.
You've used an ACOG in the military ?
PA prism scopes are the "poor man's ACOG".
Traditional eye relief and over the receiver mounting.
Comes in fixed 1.5x, 2x, 3x, and 5x, and all can be had with the ACSS.

Prism scopes aren't light, due to the thick glass and heavy duty aluminum housing, but the image is super sharp, and you could run over them with a truck and it wouldn't hurt it.
Even if you did hurt it, PA would replace it.
They are also more compact than non prism designs.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:18   #20
 
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Originally Posted by RJF View Post
Jar, forgive my impertinence, but what's wrong with a 2-7 or 3-9 if you "set it and forget it" at a specific power?.
Thanks for your question.

Variable power has decreased light transmission due to the extra glass required to provide that variable power capability.

Variable power scopes have more moving parts, this can lead to a greater chance of mechanical failure if the scope comes into abuse.

Variable power scopes, because of the greater number of lenses used, are more susceptible to mirage, aberration and other optic errors. This may translate into difficulty in visibility of a target and other optic related visual impairment.

With a fixed power scope you can begin to develop a more “permanent mental sight picture” (a term I just invented) for that weapon and optic combination; especially after extensive training and familiarization.

Last edited by jarheadgreaser; 04-13-2019 at 04:21. Reason: Explanation was too long.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:40   #21
 
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Originally Posted by sandog View Post
You've used an ACOG in the military ?
PA prism scopes are the "poor man's ACOG".
I was in the Marine Corps from ‘92-‘99. Last rifle qualification in ‘99 was with iron sights. I was never issued, or formally trained with red dots or magnification.

But I’ve trained myself and have owned a few of each after researching red dots and scopes. I like them and use both, with different weapons applications.

On my AR-15 (wannabe M-4) I use a C-More ATAC. On my Remington 700 Tactical, I use a SWFA SS 10x42.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:14   #22
 
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Originally Posted by Walkenbear View Post
…I had a friend who had a 4x weaver on a standard mini with a S&K mount that took hundreds, yes hundreds, of hits on the turret from ejected brass before GunDoc clued him in or rotating the scope 90 degrees getting the turret out of the line of fire of the brass. Took a licking and kept on ticking…
That is absolute genius. I love it and will employ this hack in future builds. But it has a few conditions.
1. Reticle must be “Duplex”. This would allow for the 90 degree rotation without a change to sight picture.
2. Removable caps would be aces, simply swap the turret caps so adjustments make sense again. (Or you could just re-label).
3. There would have to be no Side Parallax Adjustment knob.

Again, aesthetics notwithstanding, this is a genius hack.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:35   #23
 
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Update,
I have a BSA TW 4x30 scope that I picked up that I intended to mount onto a lever action 22LR. It is brand new and feels robust, well made, good material.

It sits on the factory Ruger medium height scope rings nicely. I think the brass should clear the turrets easily.

I have good sight picture, eye relief and cheek weld with it. Cheek weld could be better, but I might be able to remedy/improve this with a cheek riser.

My only concern is the overall quality of the BSA. I hope it can withstand the recoil of the Mini-14 and that it can maintain zero.

Wish me luck; there are no YouTube video reviews on this exact scope as of the posting of this comment. I aim to change that. (There is one in Russian, but Я не говорю по-русски)
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Old 04-13-2019, 05:38   #24
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BSA stands for "Brother, Stay Away !" Not known for their quality or ruggedness.
I hope it holds up for you on your Mini.
That being said, I had a Tasco, and a Centerpoint, two other brands that were not exactly top tier, that I used on several Mini's ( and a Marlin .45/70 ) for load development, and they did fine. I ended up giving both to friends for their .17 HMR's when their scopes had problems. It would have been nice to see how long they lasted had I kept them.

I am just wondering though, why must you have a scope at all ?
Red Dots and Mini's go together like biscuits and gravy.
A micro dot like the FastFire is around $200, rugged, great battery life, under 1 ounce weight and the size of your thumb.

I can see having the need for a scope if all you do is try for the smallest possible group on paper, or trying to connect with small rodents at distance, both of which the Mini isn't very well suited for.

For man/coyote sized targets, a 2 or 3 MOA dot is much, much quicker, especially suited for rapid acquisition of multiple targets, better in low light, and a dot doesn't impede the fast handling and balance of the Mini.

And not too bad for larger distances. By carefully centering the dot on a target or silhouette, i.e. seeing the same amount of target over the edges of the dot, good repeatability and accuracy can be had out to 300 yards, and a bit farther.

My dots are a tad bigger because I use the "protector" mount, aluminum wings that wrap around the sight.
Increased peripheral vision is the main benefit from using a T.V. screen type dot instead of a tube type, and getting the dot further down the barrel, instead of pressed up right against your head.
The FF III dot mounted on the Ultimak is the slickest sighting system I've used on the Mini, and other Mini owners have said the same.

I like a scope on my Remington 700 .308 bolt gun, but can't imagine going back to a scope on the little Mini.
You won't ever have to worry about brass hitting your optic, an empty hitting the scope and falling back into the action, your scope hitting your rear sight, or having a chin weld instead of a proper cheek weld on the stock.



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Old 04-17-2019, 17:45   #25
 
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Update: Good news and bad news. BSA held its own. But the ejected brass beat it up the Windage knob. So, I can either A. rotate the scope 90 degrees, or B. Run my spare red dot 🔴, a Vortex Crossfire ll.

Have a church shooting event Saturday. I think 🤔 I’ll run the Vortex red dot.
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