Our Recommendations for the Best Mini 14 Scope [Top Choice 2023]

Nikon P-223

When it comes to .223 Rem semi-automatic rifle, the Ruger Mini 14 has been a popular choice for a long time, over 40 years to be exact.

Now that you own one of these little gems, you may be wondering, what is the best mini 14 scope? Well, I have done the research and come up with a list of my top picks for you to choose from.

My favorite scope for the Mini 14 is the Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC.

This is a nice scope that is crystal clear. This scope is variable and features a lifetime warranty, generous eye relief, precise ¼ MOA hand turn, tactical style zero-reset turrets. The positive click reticle adjustments will get you zeroed in quick and hold zero, even under harsh recoil conditions.

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All About Scopes

If a beginner shooter walks into a shop and chooses a rifle, he will have a lot of questions, have done a generous amount of research, and decide how he wants to use his rifle. As he talks to the store clerk and decides on a great rifle, plunking down a grand, he decides to throw in a cheap scope.

What this beginner hunter doesn’t understand is that a good scope is just as important as a good rifle, if not more important. Think about it. You can hit a target with a mediocre rifle and a great scope, but if you have a top of the line rifle and a lousy scope, you will miss a lot. Wasting all that expensive ammunition.

Types of Scopes

There is a difference between rifle scopes and gun sights. Both devices help shooters aim and hit a target. Some sights are simple while others use lenses that are similar to scope lenses. The biggest difference between sight and scopes is the magnification.

Different Types of Sights

There are a few different types of sights. Open sights are where you line up a rear and a front sight on a rifle. This is a basic sight that most pistols and rifles have.

Aperture sights are just like open sights except the rear sight is a ring and you line up the front sight in the middle of the ring.

Red dot sights project a red dot on top of the image of the target. The red dot does not project out the end of the sight.

Laser sights project laser beams toward the target.

Scope Terminology

If you are looking for a scope that is 3-9×40, like our top pick, the Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC, it’s best to know what the numbers mean.The first two numbers mean how much magnification power the scope has.

This scope has a range of 3-9x magnification. This means the image you see through the scope is at least 3 times larger than how it appears to the naked eye. Having two numbers (3-9) means that this scope is variable.

Variable means you can change the magnification settings. If 3x the magnification isn’t enough, you can increase the power all the way to 9x bigger than what the naked eye sees. Some scopes are fixed. This means that you can not increase or decrease the magnification power.

40 refers to the size of the objective lens, which is 40mm on this scope. The size of the lens tells you how much light it will let in. Larger lenses let in more light, but they also add on more weight and expense. 40mm is usually sufficient for most hunters.

The type of scope you need depends on what you will be hunting. Hunting big game at around 100 yards or less does not require a high powered rifle scope. The longer the distance from your target, the higher powered scope you will need.

Also you will need to consider where you will be hunting. Dense forest hunting will not need as high powered magnification as an open field.

Hunting Safety

If you hunt for food or sport, you need to have patience, skill, and be focused. You also need to be safety conscious.

It’s a good idea to take a hunter’s safety course. Most states, if not all, require a safety course before getting your hunting license. The IRA and the IHA (International Hunters Association) have courses for hunters safety.

There are five guidelines for hunting safety you can follow to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable hunting experience:

  • Treat every gun as if it is loaded. Never point the gun at yourself or another person. Practice muzzle safety by keeping it pointed in a safe direction, like the ground.
  • Be sure of your target. You want to make sure there is nothing between you and your target. You want to make sure your target is not a human. You want to have a humane kill, so make the first shot count.
  • Wear hunter orange. You may not be the only hunter out. You want to be visible and you want others to not mistake you for an animal.
  • Don’t hunt alone. You should hunt with at least one partner. If there are any accidents or issues you want someone to be able to help you or get help, if necessary.
  • If you are in a tree stand, be aware of your surrounding. Tree stands are not the biggest areas and they are high up. If you fall out you can be hurt so practice safety measures while in a tree stand.

Top Mini 14 Scopes

Let’s get to our top picks for scopes for a Mini 14.

1. Nikon P-223 3-9×40 BDC

Nikon P-223This scope is for shooters who like getting first time shots at longer distances. It features a fast focus eyepiece, multi-coated optics, generous eye relief, water and fog proof, and parallax free setting at 100 yards.


  • Made from polymer
  • Generous eye relief
  • BDC 600 reticle
  • ¼ MOA
  • 100 yard parallax setting
  • Nitrogen filled
  • O ring sealed


  • Lifetime warranty
  • Easy to zero in
  • Rugged
  • Clear glass
  • Bright
  • Holds zero


  • Turrets may feel mushy
  • Hard to see crosshairs in low light

2. UTG 3-9×32 1” BugBuster Scope

UTG BugBuster ScopeThis is a great scope. It’s completely sealed and nitrogen filled so it’s waterproof and fogproof. Sun shades, flip open lens cap, and quick detachable rings make this a scope with plenty of options, for a great price.


  • 1 inch tube
  • Resettable turrets
  • Adjustable objective
  • Large field of view
  • Red and green illumination
  • Completely sealed
  • Nitrogen filled
  • Flip open lens cap
  • 2 inch sun shade
  • Quick detachable rings


  • Great clarity
  • Easy to adjust
  • Feels solid
  • Made well
  • Adjustments are user friendly
  • Great scope for the money


  • Limited eye relief
  • Quick detach levers seem a little loose
  • Heavy

3. Nikon P-223 3×32 BDC Carbine

Nikon 8496 P-223 3x32 Matte BDCThis scope is just as good as the other P-223, but gives you an option if you like a fixed magnification power. The entire P line is multi coated for extreme brightness and is optimized for use with Nikon Spot On Ballistic Match Technology.


  • Generous eye relief
  • BDC Carbine Reticle
  • Fully multi coated optics
  • Precise ½ MOA
  • Nitrogen filled
  • O ring sealed


  • Very clear
  • 3x setting is useful in close to medium range
  • Holds zero
  • Lightweight
  • Built to last
  • Affordable
  • Good eye relief


  • Made in the Philippines
  • Crosshairs are hard to see, especially in low light
  • Turrets are large

4. Bushnell Optics Drop Zone 223 BDC Reticle Riflescope

Bushnell Optics DropThis scope will help you master every tactical scenario. It zeros at 100 yards with aiming points out to 500 yards. Fully multi coated optics for brightness and a fast focus eyepiece deliver maximum reliability and accuracy.


  • Target turrets
  • Fast focus eyepiece
  • Fully multi coated optics
  • Aiming points out to 500 yards
  • Side focus parallax adjustments
  • Sealed
  • Made from alloy


  • Affordable
  • Crystal clear
  • Good low light performance
  • Durable
  • Well made
  • Holds zero
  • No fogging


  • Heavy
  • No locking turrets

Final Thoughts

A 3-9×40 is a great all around hunting scope that you will probably use for the rest of your hunting life. It works for a coyote that’s 70 yards away from you, to a white tail that’s 130 yards away from you, the 3-9×40 will be what you need.

Our Pick
 Nikon P-223
Best Mini 14 ScopeNikon P-223 3-9x40 BDC

This scope is for shooters who like getting first time shots at longer distances. It features a fast focus eyepiece, multi-coated optics, generous eye relief, water and fog proof, and parallax free setting at 100 yards.

Check Price

With such a big variety of scopes to choose from, budget may be the determining factor for you. This is one reason why I really liked the Nikon P-223 3-9×40. It is a high quality scope with some nice features that won’t break the bank.

If you like this review, visit our Gun Scopes resource page for more gun scopes reviews.

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Chris Browning

Hey everyone I'm Chris. Founder and editor at Gun News Daily. This site was originally started by my father who passed it on to me. Gun News Daily has been reporting on gun news and conservative politics since 2001. We are the original gun news source. Life-long Second Amendment Supporter.

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