Best Mil Dot Scopes Under $500 – Reviews and Usage Guide 2018

Are you looking for the best mil dot scope under $500 to buy?

If so, you’re in the right spot.

As you already know, a mil dot is one of the most popular scopes—loved by marksmen, snipers, and hunters alike.

When in the hands of an experienced or talented shooter, this scope can do magic! It enables you to effortlessly and accurately place shot after shot on your target, regardless of the range and windage.

A mil dot costing under 500 bucks doesn’t have many differences from the top-end models.

You can expect it to bear the same quality as the high-end models and still offer you a handful of premium features and function.

Below, we’re going to discuss 9 top-rated mil dot scopes that you can find on the market today for under 500 dollars.



Editor's Rating


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What are Mil Dot Scopes?

First…we understand what a mil dot scope is.

As we’ve just stated above, a mil dot is one of the most popular scopes available today. It looks and works just like the traditional dot reticle.

Unlike the traditional model, however, it features extra dots situated along the crosshairs. These go a long way in compensating for the force of gravity effects that tend to pull a bullet towards the ground (or bullet drop) as it flies towards your target.

Generally, this scope is extremely easy to use and will let you hit the farthest target you can think with a greater, consistent amount of accuracy.

The scope also shows a great deal of versatility, in the sense that you can move it from weapon to weapon without any issues. You’ll just need to re-zero your firearm and you’re good to go.

Now let’s turn our guns to the NINE best-quality mil dot rifle scope models that will cost you under 500 bucks…

Our Best Mil Dot Scope Picks:

1. UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot, QD Rings

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We start our list with the UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope, AO, RGB Mil-dot. This is a 1-inch diameter tube scope built on a true strength platform for reliability and sturdiness. This is a scope that will stand up to the shock of your rifle’s heavy recoil for a longer time.

The red/green dual illumination together with a larger eye relief makes this UTG product a no-nonsense for serious shooters who often shoot in the most diverse environments and weather conditions. Add to the fact that it comes completely and 100 & sealed and you’ll get a completely shockproof, fogproof, and rainproof scope.

The Emerald coating found in this riflescope facilitates maximum transmission of light—which takes the overall performance of the scope to the stars.

The 2-inch sunshade, high-quality flip open lens cap helps protect the lens from damage when not in use. The red mil dot ensures easy range estimation for the ultimate aiming and shooting performance.

Highlighted features:

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    Emerald coating maximum light transmission
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    Premium zero lockable and resettable turrets
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    Range estimating mil dot reticle
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    Adjustable objective (from 3 yards to infinity)
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    Red/green dual illumination
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    2” top-quality flip-on lens caps
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    Durable, fogproof and waterproof scope

2. CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24x50 AOE Red and Green Illuminated Gun Scope

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CVLIFE Hunting Rifle Scope 6-24x50 is also a great mil dot scope designed for mounting on a variety of rifles. It comes with a FREE mount for super-easy mounting and has an ultra-clear sight to make it easy for you to view your target from yards away.

Its specification reads 6-24x50, which means it presents you with a magnification power ranging from 6 all the way to 24 through a50mm objective diameter. It offers you a pretty big field of view (28 ft @ 100 yards), which facilitates faster target acquisition.

The scope has both red and green illumination. It also presents you with up to 11 settings for the two types of illumination to help you set your preferred amount of brightness based on your hunting conditions).

Because it allows you to lock the turrets, you’ll be able to avoid the zero-ability loss without any problems.

Like the previous scope, it also has multi-coated lens for maximum light transmission. It is also waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof, so that you can use it in different weather conditions.

Highlighted features:

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    6-24x magnification
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    50mm objective diameter
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    Field of view: 28 ft @ 100 yards
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    Click Value: 1/8 inch @ 100 yards
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    Dual red and green illumination

3. Nikon ProStaff 4-12x40 Riflescope w/ MILDOT Reticle 6732

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For the shooters who swear by Nikon optics, this is the ideal Nikon mil dot scope for you. This scope has a classy and sleek look. It presents you with a standard adjustable zoom and lets you carry the magnification from 4x all the way up to 12x.

The scope’s lens comes with fully multicoated to boost light transmission and deliver high contrast and brighter images.

As one of the top mil dot scopes, it also makes it easy for you to engage your target at various windages without necessarily making on-the-fly adjustments to elevation settings. Instead, it lets you use the different aiming points directly built into the reticle itself.

Similar to all the other Nikon riflescopes, this model is also optimized to use the Nikon Spot On Ballistic Match Technology. This unique technology lets you discover the best aiming point on your reticle for different yardages. This will make it easy for you to determine the ideal ammunition and load to use for your shooting.

Another benefit of using this scope is that it provides you with precise 1/4-inch click reticle adjustments. These will help you get zeroed faster while maintaining your setting—even with heavy recoil.

The Nikon riflescope is also shockproof, waterproof and fogproof. And it comes backed by Nikon’s limited lifetime warranty as an assurance of its quality and dependability.

Highlighted features:

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    Mil dot reticle with built-in aiming points
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    Uses Nikon’s fully multicoated lens
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    Easy adjustments with the spring-loaded instant zero-reset turrets
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    Quick focus eyepiece
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    Compatible with Nikon’s Spot On Ballistic Match Technology

4. Tasco Varmint 2.5-10 x 42mm True Mil-Dot Reticle, 1/4 MOA Turrets Riflescope

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I recommend Tasco Varmint 2.5-10 x 42mm True Mil-Dot Reticle to all the shooters looking for a budget mil dot scope. Despite an affordable price tag, this scope also manages to deliver an outstanding performance at both immediate and long ranges.

One of the top features that enhance the performance of this scope involves its quality HD optics. These deliver the brightest images you’ve never seen. It also has a variable magnification of 2.5 to 10x to help you pull your target image closer for more accurate shooting.

Because it comes with Multi-Layered coated optics, you can trust it to transmit nearly all the available light, further enhancing the clarity of your target no matter how far it stands from you

The extra-large objective lens (up to 42mm) allows you to easily view your target, promoting faster target acquisition.

Regarding overall build quality, this mil dot features top-quality materials. And it has been used and tested to confirm its resilience and ability to hold up to the harshest conditions you’ll be using it in. Besides, it is waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof for increased durability.

On top of all this, it presents you with a limited lifetime warranty, which means you can buy the scope with total confidence knowing that you’ll have an option if it starts misbehaving.

Highlighted features:

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    Quality optics w/stunning HD quality
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    100% quality materials
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    Beautiful design plus durable, long-lasting construction
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    Variable 2.5-10x magnification
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    True mil dot reticle
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    Multi-layered coated optics
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    Limited lifetime warranty

5. Leupold 115390 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope with Mil Dot Reticle

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If all you’re looking for the best mil dot scope for ar 15, you can’t go wrong with this Leupold 115390 Mark AR MOD 1 Riflescope. One thing we can all agree on is that Leupold leads when it comes to the production of top-notch optics for guns.

This riflescope isn’t an exception. Bearing an inch long design, it has an anodized aluminum housing which makes it a highly sturdy and reliable scope that will stand up to the massive recoil produce by your rifle.

The lens of the scope boasts of the special multi-coat 4coating (unique to Leupold products). The coating is tasked with facilitating maximum transfer of light that reaches your eyes. This will result in even brighter and crisper images of your target.

The scope also boats of 2nd generation Krypton/Argon waterproofing. This unique gas blend not only helps make this optic waterproof but also keeps it safe and unaffected by the effects of thermal shock.

For those who didn’t know this scope has seen a widespread demand across the globe due to its unrivaled performance. And its mil dot reticle is now a standard for all the military branches in the US.

Highlighted features:

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    Anodized aluminum housing
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    Mil dot reticle with vertical and horizontal Scandia
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    Multi-coat 4 ensures maximum light transmission
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    2nd generation krypton/argon waterproofing
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    1-inch main tube
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    8.60X maximum magnification

6. Bushnell Trophy Rifle Scope with Mil-Dot Reticle

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Bushnell Trophy Rifle Scope is a pretty versatile scope that will meet most needs of all big game hunters out there. It is a shorter, one-piece tube that will stay out of your way while enabling you to fell your target game with the ultimate precision.

It features fully multi-coated lens which translates to brighter, clear view of tour target.

Obviously, this scope appears on this list because it has a mil dot reticle which facilitates faster aiming of your target for easy shooting. The 3-9x magnification variable magnification enables you to set your desired magnification level depending on your hunting situation.

Other essential features of this product include a fast a focus eyepiece, 1/4 MOA fingertip elevations and windage adjustments, and a waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof construction for use in the harshest weather conditions.

Highlighted features:

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    3-9x magnification; 40mm objective lens
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    Mil dot reticle
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    1-inch tube diameter
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    Shockproof, fogproof, waterproof construction
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    Fully multicoated lens

7. UTG 4-16X44 30mm Scope, AO, 36-color Mil-dot, w/ Rings

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Another UTG shows up on our list of the top-rated mil dot scopes priced under 500 bucks. Like the previously discussed UTG, this model is also built on a true strength platform for unparalleled dependability.

The mil dot scope starts earning its badges when it comes to transmission the available light. It has the same Emerald lens coating as our previous UTG which enables it transmit all the available light for the best clarity. It offers you a pretty big magnification range (4x to 16x) plus a ring to help you easily and quickly acquire your target.

The integrated EZ-TAP Illumination Enhancing (IE) System has also made this scope popular among the hunters and shooters. It comprised red/green illumination and up to 36 color modes to let you use this scope in different weather and light conditions.

Like in all the other scopes we’ve featured on this list, this scope also has a mil-dot reticle that makes it easy for you to estimate the range—for the ultimate aiming and shooting experience.

Best of all, this scope comes complete with quality flip-open lens caps, Picatinny/Weaver rail rings, and zero lockable/resettable turrets.

Oh! Don’t forget it also has a waterproof, fogproof, and shockproof design for increased reliability.

Highlighted features:

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    Emerald lens coating for maximum light transmission
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    4x to 16x magnification power
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    Shockproof, waterproof, and fogproof performance
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    Red/green illumination
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    Premium zero lockable & zero resettable turrets
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    Mil dot rate range estimating reticle
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    High-quality flip-open lens cap

8. Monstrum Tactical 4-16x50 First Focal Plane (FFP) Rifle Scope with Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle

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As a release from Monstrum, this tactical riflescope comes with truly premium features and functions that enable it to deliver greater performance at an incredibly low price. It provides you with a first focal plane mil dot reticle that ensures easy holder correction and quicker range estimation.

It also offers you a variable 4-16x magnification, which allows you to enjoy precision close to mid-range targeting at distances as far as 800plus yards. The scope also features an adjustable objective lens that facilitates sharper target image focusing, range estimation, and even eliminates cases of parallax.

The scope’s etched reticle remains visible with/without illumination. And this allows you to enjoy enhanced reticle visibility in low light situations or at night. Turning on and adjusting the reticle illumination has been made easy, as you just need to use the highly effective touch-button switch.

We also can’t fail to acknowledge that his scope comes with a strong, durable construction of Aircraft grade 6061 aluminum for maximum reliability and longevity. Keep in mind it is also nitrogen filled and sealed for fogproof and waterproof performance.

Apart from the Monstrum Tactical 4-16x50 scope, additional items you’ll find in the box include heavy-duty Picatinny scope rings, anti-reflective honeycomb filter sunshade, removable lens cover, drawstring carry bag, and a CR2032 3V battery—all at the same affordable price.

Highlighted features:

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    High precision tactical riflescope
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    4-16x magnification
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    50mm adjustable objective lens
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    1st focal plane mil dot for quicker range estimation
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    Touch button red/green reticle illumination

9. Monstrum Tactical 3-12x42 AO Rifle Scope with Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle

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Finally, we have the Monstrum Tactical 3-12x42 AO Rifle Scope, the best mil dot scope under 300. The scope comes with a slightly lower cost than its cousin above. Nevertheless, it is all also a full-featured scope that you can use for target shooting, tactical use, and hunting.

The scope also has an adjustable magnification that starts from 3x up to 12x. This will allow you to target objects as far as 500 yards or more. It also comes with an adjustable reticle illumination with up to 5 brightness settings in both green and red colors—for enhanced visibility in low light conditions or at night.

Just like we’ve seen in the other Monstrum, this model also features an adjustable objective lens. Again, this lets you enjoy sharper target images while eliminating parallax and facilitating faster range estimation.

It has a similar construction to the previous product. That is, it’s made using sturdy aircraft grade 6061 aluminum to ensure lightweight and durable performance. Because it’s also nitrogen filled and 100% sealed, it will provide you with an effective performance in the harsh weather conditions as well.

The scope’s package has other goodies like offset reversible scope rings (30mm diameter, mounts to any Picatinny rail-equipped rifle), a set of lens covers, and one 3V CR2032 battery.

Highlighted features:

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    Adjustable 3-12x magnification
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    Adjustable reticle illumination
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    Adjustable objective lens
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    Mil dot reticle for faster range estimation
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    50mm objective lens

How To Use a Mil Dot Scope For Dummies

Have never used a mil dot before?

In the attached video below, you’ll learn some exclusive info on how you can use your new mil dot reticle scope to measures objects as well as estimate the range.

(This is a well-done guide, so you’ll know how to sue your mil dot scope by the time you’re done watching it).

What Parameters To Look Before Buying?

There are certain parameters that come into play whenever you want to buy the best mil dot scope for the money.

These parameters will help you narrow down your choices to a few models that blend with your personal specifications and expectations.

Let’s discuss these crucial factors below:


One of the most crucial factors that can make or break a mil dot is the overall durability.

The best scope for you should be designed using the highest quality materials for unmatched resilience as well as long-lasting performance.

It doesn’t matter what you intend to use your scope; make sure it has what it takes to hold up to the toughest outdoor weather conditions.

Also, make sure the scope you buy is waterproof and fogproof to prevent. This will enable you to use it in different weather conditions without any issues.


No one would want to buy a mil dot that does not meet their performance expectations.

Therefore, you should take your time to search for a scope that actually delivers. At under 500 bucks, it’s still possible to find the best performing product that’s compatible with a wide range of accessories, e.g., the holographic sight, leading to optimal results.

Some of the features that translate to a surefire great performance include:

  • Fully multicoated lens
  • Superior light transmission
  • High magnification
  • Quick focus eyepiece
  • Premium zero locking
  • Built-in aiming points, to name but a few

While still at it, make sure the scope you buy enhances faster target acquisition and enhances accuracy and precision.

Ease of Use

The perfect mil dot scope for you should also be easy to use.

It should present you with a handful of user-friendly features as well as an easy overall operation.

You should be able to make easy and quick adjustments to the rifle for quick target acquisition and precision.

Going through the feedback given by previous users of a given scope that tell you how easy to use a given scope and help you make an informed selection.


Yes, we’re discussing scopes under $500 on this list, but I’ll still advise you to check how budget friendly the scope you wish to buy is.

Know the amount of cash you’re willing to spend on your new scope and let that budget help you narrow down your choices to fewer models for easy selection.

While setting your budget, don’t lean too much on the lower price end that you end up with a cheap scope that will end up disappointing you.

Final Verdict

With a budget under $500, it’s possible to find yourself a quality mil dot scope that will meet most (if not all) your shooting needs and preferences.

The biggest benefit of owning this scope lies in its incredible versatility and increased accuracy at varying ranges and windages.

All the 9 scopes I’ve recommended to you above are made of quality and performance. I can guarantee that they won’t disappoint you.

Order the perfect scope for you from this list and start enjoying all the benefits that come with a mil dot.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
best karambit - July 4, 2018

Thanks for the high quality review. Very informative about the general tech and terms concerning Mil Dot Scopes and great detail on the brands/models. Much appreciated!

Frank - November 15, 2018

Your website have good market prices


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