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my thread on hawke optics brought to light some information about mini-14s being hard on scopes. I've done some more digging and research and this seems to be a thing. the best I've come up with after reading through a lot of stuff was that brother heavy operating rod how they were made when it slams back forward creates kind of a backwards recall similar to that of a heavy Springer air gun..
not sure this is correct but that seems to be logical.
knowing that what kind of at least medium grade decent optic would be usable and reliable? I was thinking of putting one of the Hawke Vantage 4-12x50 30 WA IR with the 223/308 reticle.

I'm not sure if that will be rated for air gun. and I'm open to suggestions..

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That just Seems like a lot of scope for little mini 14..
Maybe Tract response 2-10? Can’t remember what their recoil tested to.

Honestly I’d be looking at decent LPVO


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A Mini-14 is usually a short range rifle. I might go for a 1-4x or 1-6x LPVO although it depends on the intended use. For most purposes I think something like that would be good, although if you want to hunt smaller predators/varmints you might want more magnification

I recently saw a Steiner 1-4x24 p4xi for sale for around $500. Those are good rugged scopes with daylight bright illumination.

A Trijicon Accupint 3-9x40 would give you a light, high quality illuminated scope for a bit over $600.

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Already put in my two cents in the other thread, but I’ll repeat it here. So far, so good with a SWFA 1-4 on my buffered and degassed Ranch Rifle.

At 1x, it’s almost like no scope at all as far as the view goes. Using the tip of the diamond reticle at 4x, I can hold about 2moa, maybe as good as the rifle will do. I’d prefer a finer reticle as in my Credo HX 1-6, but I’m not likely to invest that much for a utility piece.

Buffers and gas kits for the Mini are cheap and easy to install. Accuracy improved a bit after I installed them, and cases landed in the same zip code. Next up will be an adjustable gas block that should make fine-tuning simpler.


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Originally Posted by Pappy348
Already put in my two cents in the other thread, but I’ll repeat it here. So far, so good with a SWFA 1-4 on my buffered and degassed Ranch Rifle.

At 1x, it’s almost like no scope at all as far as the view goes. Using the tip of the diamond reticle at 4x, I can hold about 2moa, maybe as good as the rifle will do. I’d prefer a finer reticle as in my Credo HX 1-6, but I’m not likely to invest that much for a utility piece.

Buffers and gas kits for the Mini are cheap and easy to install. Accuracy improved a bit after I installed them, and cases landed in the same zip code. Next up will be an adjustable gas block that should make fine-tuning simpler.
yes you were the inspiration for this threat. the specific mini 14 I'm speaking of is a the 580 series with supposedly lots of new improvements since the originals and according to some people is not as hard on Scopes as the originals but who knows for sure. I'm going to have to dwell into this adjustable gas block I did and study up..

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All the parts I mentioned, and the trigger job I invested in, came from Accuracy Systems. If I weren’t so old, I’d have them build me a .350 legend, but I am…so I won’t😛


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I don’t know how hard they are on scopes. I’ve only fired one a buddy had years ago. At 25 yards the thing was a tack driver. 100 yards the thing would probably group in a paper plate or close to that. At 300 you’d be lucky to hit the side of a barn. So I’m guessing you don’t need a lot of magnification. 😂

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Originally Posted by Pappy348
Already put in my two cents in the other thread, but I’ll repeat it here. So far, so good with a SWFA 1-4 on my buffered and degassed Ranch Rifle.

At 1x, it’s almost like no scope at all as far as the view goes. Using the tip of the diamond reticle at 4x, I can hold about 2moa, maybe as good as the rifle will do. I’d prefer a finer reticle as in my Credo HX 1-6, but I’m not likely to invest that much for a utility piece.
I have an SWFA 1-4X on a 14.5 inch AR-15. Illumination is not daylight bright, but so far it seems to be a decent scope, especially since I got it on sale for $200.

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Bury the min 14 and save yourself alot of trouble.


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Fireball, what's your beef with the mini-14?

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Originally Posted by super T
Fireball, what's your beef with the mini-14?

Besides barrels made with a black and decker drill?


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Originally Posted by Fireball2
Bury the min 14 and save yourself alot of trouble.

Best advice yet. A blindfold could just as easily bring out the inherent accuracy in a mini 14 as an optic.



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I have a newer mini 14 because I understood the horrible accuracy issues had been corrected. Apparently, I am wrong. The best I can expect with reloads is 3-4" groups at 100 using a reliable scope. At 300 yards hits on a man-sized plate are problematic at best.

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Based on an example of one, I can say they certainly have their quirks. A famous one is the first-shot flyer, which from mine usually lands an inch or a bit more low at 100, easily accounted for or ignored, especially if you have another 19 or 29 ready to go right behind it. Again, buffering and degassing help.

I bought mine knowing about all the supposed issues, but it gives me acceptable accuracy for the purpose it fills, along with dead-sure reliability with pretty much zero maintenance. Haven’t had a single malfunction since I completed the degassing tests, not one. A $100 trigger job yielded a nice usable 4-pound pull that also helps with accuracy. After I get the adjustable gas block I plan to do some accuracy testing with the faucet off to see what that does other than keep the brass under control. Accuracy Systems has some bedding tricks to offer, plus a world of other options, but I’m not sending mine off as I have other rifles for shooting stuff in the eye.


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mine is the newer version. I just done the trigger job for absolutely free and have a nice just slightly under 4 pound trigger took me a whole 30 minutes..
A lot of people on here are running 20 years behind and this thread proves no exception in some cases..
I've got several ARs some at upper end ones and very nice ones I bought this mini 14 because I never had one and wanted one.. throw it on from sandbags the other day with the trigger still in heavy form and on open sights. had no problem hit in a 4-in gong at a 100 m.. which leads to the reason I'd like to put an optic on it and kind of see just how accurate it may or may not be...

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I bought one of the target model with the barrel tuner about 20 years ago. Took it to the range and could not get it to group at all. A little earlier this year I pulled it back out and was going to put it up for sale. When I went to pull the scope off I found it was loose so I took it to the range for another try. While sighting it in I was firing two shots and then checking things, I keep seeing both shots touching so after getting it set where I wanted it I shot a 10 shot group at 50 yards. I kept waiting for the group to open up but after ten shots a quarter would cover the one hole. So for now I have to say some of them, at least one, will group pretty darn well.

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It’s not realistic to expect a service-grade rifle that comes apart for maintenance with a tug on the triggerguard to be more accurate than the service rifles it’s based on. My recently-made specimen is comparable to the Springfield Saint it replaced, and much more reliable. Based on what I’ve observed at the range, it also compares well with the AR carbines many have. Never owned an AK, but video tests I’ve watched make me think it’s probably more accurate than the majority of those, and no one seems concerned much about their crummy groups, preferring to focus on their rock-solid functioning.


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Originally Posted by Pappy348
Based on an example of one, I can say they certainly have their quirks. A famous one is the first-shot flyer, which from mine usually lands an inch or a bit more low at 100, easily accounted for or ignored, especially if you have another 19 or 29 ready to go right behind it. Again, buffering and degassing help.

I bought mine knowing about all the supposed issues, but it gives me acceptable accuracy for the purpose it fills, along with dead-sure reliability with pretty much zero maintenance. Haven’t had a single malfunction since I completed the degassing tests, not one. A $100 trigger job yielded a nice usable 4-pound pull that also helps with accuracy. After I get the adjustable gas block I plan to do some accuracy testing with the faucet off to see what that does other than keep the brass under control. Accuracy Systems has some bedding tricks to offer, plus a world of other options, but I’m not sending mine off as I have other rifles for shooting stuff in the eye.
I'd say that accuracy and I can't remember the rest of the website and I am will end up with some money out of my wallet before long. if for nothing else the adjustable gas block for more than a few reasons..

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Originally Posted by super T
I have a newer mini 14 because I understood the horrible accuracy issues had been corrected. Apparently, I am wrong. The best I can expect with reloads is 3-4" groups at 100 using a reliable scope. At 300 yards hits on a man-sized plate are problematic at best.
It's just my opinion the problem with the Mini is the inconsistent chambers from the factory. If you reload get a Hornady comparator and resize your brass to better fit the chamber. Some are generous and some not so generous. if you are shooting only factory ammo and you find your mini accurate my best guess is, it has to do with your chamber dimensions. (tight verses loose chamber) I also think the Ruger barrels come from the factory, rough. I have used Brasso to smooth up my Mini barrels in the past which seemed to help with the accuracy. The skinny barrels can only be fixed with a barrel replacement or with a "strut". All new Mini's need a trigger job. A factory 7 or 8 lb trigger don't cut it. My most accurate Mini loads consist of a 55 grain hollow point bullet and AA2460 and H335 with the brass resized to fit the chamber. Also, get a gas bushing that reduces the ejection distance.

Unfortunately, the Mini is the only game in town if you live in an AR banned State. Which seems to have driven the price of the Mini's sky high. With some effort you can improve the accuracy of your Mini but I would not expect it from the factory.

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