Mini 14 scope selection - Shooting Sports Forum


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Old 11-05-2019, 19:24   #1
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Mini 14 scope selection

Looking for advice on scope selection for a new 580 series ranch with the factory wood stock. Id like a traditional crosshair vs red dot or fancy reticles. Im planning to use the factory Ruger picatinny rail and mount the scope as close to bore axis as possible. Not opposed to a straight objective as long as its not sacrificing too much light in dusk or dawn conditions.

Whatís the general consensus for magnification for varmint size objects within the minis performance range and more importantly eye relief? Do minis require untypical eye relief with the factory wood stock? I donít have the gun yet so im not sure about the eye relief needs. Looking in the $200-$300 range.
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Old 11-05-2019, 22:37   #2
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
Whatís the general consensus for magnification for varmint size objects within the minis performance range and more importantly eye relief? Do minis require untypical eye relief with the factory wood stock? I donít have the gun yet so im not sure about the eye relief needs. Looking in the $200-$300 range.
General consensus around hear with either be iron sights or a red dot for a Mini. They truly shine when it doesn't have the extra weight of a scope. But if you are really in need of scoping one, then the best for magnification, weight distribution, quality, and price would be a Leupold VX Pig-Plex: https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/leu...dCatid=5121132 I've got a couple of old 20mm scopes from Leu that are 25years old that still work. You really cant beat it. And as far as eye relief goes, just get a regular scope. Mini 14's are just like any other hunting rifle like bolt actions and such. Ruger scope rings work the best for traditional type rifle scopes, and they should come with the gun.
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Old 11-06-2019, 18:33   #3
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Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
General consensus around hear with either be iron sights or a red dot for a Mini. They truly shine when it doesn't have the extra weight of a scope. But if you are really in need of scoping one, then the best for magnification, weight distribution, quality, and price would be a Leupold VX Pig-Plex: https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/leu...dCatid=5121132 I've got a couple of old 20mm scopes from Leu that are 25years old that still work. You really cant beat it. And as far as eye relief goes, just get a regular scope. Mini 14's are just like any other hunting rifle like bolt actions and such. Ruger scope rings work the best for traditional type rifle scopes, and they should come with the gun.
Thank you for the recommendation. Im a Leupold guy. At least thatís what Iíve put on all my bolt guns. I have an Aimpoint red dot on a Colt AR and itís fine, just not what I prefer using past 75-100 yards on game animals or really varmint hunting either. Just personal preference, not any serious conviction about it.

I just picked the gun up from my ffl this afternoon. It did indeed come with the scope rings and optional picatinny rail. Do you by chance know if Ruger or any other reputable mfg sells lower profile rings than what comes in the box? They seem kind of tall and i like my scopes as low as possible.
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Old 11-07-2019, 13:18   #4
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post

I just picked the gun up from my ffl this afternoon. It did indeed come with the scope rings and optional picatinny rail. Do you by chance know if Ruger or any other reputable mfg sells lower profile rings than what comes in the box? They seem kind of tall and i like my scopes as low as possible.
More than likely they packed #5 ruger rings with the rifle, and those are designated as "high" rings that fit a 52mm diameter scope. Ruger makes different ring heights and #4's (medium height for 42mm diameter objective) are as low as you can go with out the scope riding on the rear iron sights. The lowest scope ring they make is a #3 that fits scopes with a 32mm objective, but you would have to take off the rear iron sight for them to fit with a scope. Here is a chart just to clarify: http://media.midwayusa.com/pdf/refer...ring_chart.pdf Ruger specs on ring height for Mini 14's are #4's and #5's just because of the rear iron sights. More than likely you can call Ruger and ask if you can exchange for smaller height rings for the ones that came with the rifle since they cost $35 each. But here is an example of a scoped Mini 14 with #4 (medium height) Ruger rings. It sits about a quarter of an inch from the rear irons. And even though I have M1 carbine sights on mine they are the same height as stock Mini 14 sights that comes on the newer rifles:
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Old 11-07-2019, 16:26   #5
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
Looking for advice on scope selection for a new 580 series ranch with the factory wood stock. Id like a traditional crosshair vs red dot or fancy reticles. Im planning to use the factory Ruger picatinny rail and mount the scope as close to bore axis as possible. Not opposed to a straight objective as long as its not sacrificing too much light in dusk or dawn conditions.

Whatís the general consensus for magnification for varmint size objects within the minis performance range and more importantly eye relief? Do minis require untypical eye relief with the factory wood stock? I donít have the gun yet so im not sure about the eye relief needs. Looking in the $200-$300 range.
Here you go!

https://www.primaryarms.com/primary-...45-308-reticle
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Old 11-07-2019, 18:53   #6
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I normally keep a 3-9x40 on my 580 Mini but tonight I put a 1-6 30mm scope on it. I won't get to check it out for at least a week. The 3-9 was letting me get consistent under 2" and occasionally I would get a 1" group. I have used both Ruger rings and a rail on the ring mounts and I find I shoot better at distance with the scope.

Since the 1-6 went on the picatinny rail I bought some 30mm LOW rings from Midway. The low rings do clear the rear sight. Ruger medium rings do clear the rear sight as long as your eye piece isn't too large. It also depends on your eye relief. With a 2-7 scope I had I had to remove the rear sight to get the scope to fit.

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Old 11-09-2019, 16:07   #7
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Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
More than likely they packed #5 ruger rings with the rifle, and those are designated as "high" rings that fit a 52mm diameter scope. Ruger makes different ring heights and #4's (medium height for 42mm diameter objective) are as low as you can go with out the scope riding on the rear iron sights. The lowest scope ring they make is a #3 that fits scopes with a 32mm objective, but you would have to take off the rear iron sight for them to fit with a scope. Here is a chart just to clarify: http://media.midwayusa.com/pdf/refer...ring_chart.pdf Ruger specs on ring height for Mini 14's are #4's and #5's just because of the rear iron sights. More than likely you can call Ruger and ask if you can exchange for smaller height rings for the ones that came with the rifle since they cost $35 each. But here is an example of a scoped Mini 14 with #4 (medium height) Ruger rings. It sits about a quarter of an inch from the rear irons. And even though I have M1 carbine sights on mine they are the same height as stock Mini 14 sights that comes on the newer rifles:
Excellent, thank you. Exactly the information I was looking for, and then some. I stumbled across the Ruger chart today, it was either Brownells or Midway, can't remember because I frequent both often. You were right, my factory supplied rings are stamped with a 5, approximately 0.565" base height according to my dial caliper.

Question for you.. I'm OK with a 32/33 mm obj. and found the Ruger low rings in stock at Midway. Can you verify with certainty whether or not the bolt can be removed without having to remove the scope if the low rings were used? That would be a deal breaker for me because I don't want to have to remove my scope every time I do a complete disassembly of the gun.
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Old 11-09-2019, 17:05   #8
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
Question for you.. I'm OK with a 32/33 mm obj. and found the Ruger low rings in stock at Midway. Can you verify with certainty whether or not the bolt can be removed without having to remove the scope if the low rings were used? That would be a deal breaker for me because I don't want to have to remove my scope every time I do a complete disassembly of the gun.
oh yeah sure dude. You can remove the bolt with the rail attached, but much easier with just the rings. Here is a video on it. Be warned the kid in it has a squeaky voice, but he is a pretty sharp little feller:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xclqD3t-STs&t=22s
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Old 11-09-2019, 19:03   #9
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Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
oh yeah sure dude. You can remove the bolt with the rail attached, but much easier with just the rings. Here is a video on it. Be warned the kid in it has a squeaky voice, but he is a pretty sharp little feller:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xclqD3t-STs&t=22s
I was thinking of skipping the rail all together and mounting the low rings directly on the receiver. In this configuration, I'm thinking there will not be sufficient clearance to remove the bolt. Im more concerned with bolt removal than the objective size because my primary goal is the scope cross hairs being as close to the bore axis as possible. Have you seen this configuration allow bolt removal?
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:25   #10
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
I was thinking of skipping the rail all together and mounting the low rings directly on the receiver. In this configuration, I'm thinking there will not be sufficient clearance to remove the bolt. Im more concerned with bolt removal than the objective size because my primary goal is the scope cross hairs being as close to the bore axis as possible. Have you seen this configuration allow bolt removal?
Well in the video in my last post shows the guy removing the bolt with an attached rail to the receiver. So there for in hindsight the bolt can be removed with Low Ruger rings attached. The only thing extra you will have to do is dissemble the bolt stop/ejector to get the bolt out at that angle.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:02   #11
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After going back and looking at the picture you posted in post #4, I'm leaning toward medium rings and a 40mm objective scope. I've read in multiple places about ejected cases potentially contacting the optic and besides the bolt removal issues, it seems like a gamble going with low rings mounted directly on the receiver. Too many unknowns without spending alot of extra money on multiple ring and scope combos for the sake of experimenting. If ejected cases hit the scope and caused extraction issues, obviously that's a no go.

Plus it appears the area the bolt needs to be lifted to for removal would be right where the turret adjustment knob is on the scope. With low rings mounted directly to the receiver, that could present a problem. This is something the rail alone can't sumilate. Of course without actually trying it, I can't say for sure.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:30   #12
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
After going back and looking at the picture you posted in post #4, I'm leaning toward medium rings and a 40mm objective scope. I've read in multiple places about ejected cases potentially contacting the optic and besides the bolt removal issues, it seems like a gamble going with low rings mounted directly on the receiver. Too many unknowns without spending alot of extra money on multiple ring and scope combos for the sake of experimenting. If ejected cases hit the scope and caused extraction issues, obviously that's a no go.

Plus it appears the area the bolt needs to be lifted to for removal would be right where the turret adjustment knob is on the scope. With low rings mounted directly to the receiver, that could present a problem. This is something the rail alone can't sumilate. Of course without actually trying it, I can't say for sure.
Well hey buddy if you are leaning towards a 40mm objective then you really need to stick with the #5 scope rings. You cant get scope caps on with #4 scope rings and a 40mm objective. On mine you could squeeze them on but it was riding the hand guard. As you can see in my video the 40mm objective sits pretty low with the #5 scope rings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_gU1SJnSk0
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:39   #13
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Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post
Well hey buddy if you are leaning towards a 40mm objective then you really need to stick with the #5 scope rings. You cant get scope caps on with #4 scope rings and a 40mm objective. On mine you could squeeze them on but it was riding the hand guard. As you can see in my video the 40mm objective sits pretty low with the #5 scope rings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_gU1SJnSk0
Nice rifle, I really like the stock color you have. The mag release demonstration was rather funny, haha.

Did you ever see signs of casings contacting the scope when you had the medium rings on it?
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Old 11-11-2019, 07:20   #14
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
Nice rifle, I really like the stock color you have. The mag release demonstration was rather funny, haha.

Did you ever see signs of casings contacting the scope when you had the medium rings on it?
When I had a Nikon p223 with the rapid action turrets on #4's, the vertical adjustment turret got smacked pretty hard and broke the reticle. The bushnell elite I'm using now, has very small turret caps, and does not get hit by ejections. The under belly of the scope does not get hit at all, as my ejections are straight out the side. Just avoid scopes with big knobs. But you can get some 3M automotive vinyl tape, and add a piece to the underside of the scope for just encase. I still plan on doing so.
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Old 11-11-2019, 16:01   #15
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OK thanks. I ended up ordering the #4 rings and a Leupold vx-freedom 3-9x40mm scope. I googled the nikon p223 just to see an image and yeah, those caps do look a little bulky, however the new leupold kind of does but I'll see when I get it it in. My other leo scopes are older models and are pretty low profile at the turret caps. If the threads are the same I might swap caps with one that's currently on one of my bolt guns. Regardless, thanks for your input in this thread, it was very helpful for me.
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Old 11-14-2019, 17:59   #16
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Originally Posted by SEHunter View Post
Excellent, thank you. Exactly the information I was looking for, and then some. I stumbled across the Ruger chart today, it was either Brownells or Midway, can't remember because I frequent both often. You were right, my factory supplied rings are stamped with a 5, approximately 0.565" base height according to my dial caliper.

Question for you.. I'm OK with a 32/33 mm obj. and found the Ruger low rings in stock at Midway. Can you verify with certainty whether or not the bolt can be removed without having to remove the scope if the low rings were used? That would be a deal breaker for me because I don't want to have to remove my scope every time I do a complete disassembly of the gun.
Taking your scope off with the Ruger rings is a no brainer. I have found only very small variations in accuracy if none at all with the Ruger rings. All have pretty much been less than 1/4 MOA if that.


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Old 11-24-2019, 13:50   #17
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That’s really acceptable poi change, I would say, for most if not all applications. The dovetail pinch fit (or whatever you call it) of the ruger rings to receiver really lends itself to repeatability by design.

OCD is a mother, and unfortunately i have it. If I'm off 1/4” or 1/2” moa from removing the scope, its enough to make me zero the scope again. Even if it were 0” in change of poi, the unknown would bug me and mess with my shooting confidence, so I’d still be inclined to feel the unnecessary need to re-zero.

All that to say I installed the #4 medium rings with a Leupold vx-freedom 3-9x40 scope (not sure about the new name but whatever). No rail, rings mounted directly to the receiver. Objective sits maybe 1/8” above the new hogue handguard. I mounted the scope loose enough to be able to slide back and forth, removed the horizontal windage cap and did trial and error on scope position until i was able to remove and reinstall the bolt. The final position of the scopes turret adjustment block section is near center between the rings, probably about 1/8” to 3/16” closer towards the buttstock end ring. Eye relief is good, scope is plenty far away to not hit my brow.
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