I have a couple Mini-14's (not Ranch Rifles with integral scope ring scallops in the receiver.) True Mini-14's aren't designed for scope mounting.
I have used the side-mount scope bases in the past, and had very poor luck with them. (B-Square, etc.)
I now use Amega Ranges scout mounts that replace the forend heat shield. Not only do they give you a very stable red dot mounting platform, they increase barrel rigidity and improve accuracy.
If you want to update the rear sight, I would recommend Tech Sights. I use Choate flash hider/sight for my front sights. (The Choate muzzle devices require you to drill a hole along the underside of the barrel to install the roll pin.)