Mil-dot reticles are one of the most famous types of reticles that are used and liked by gun enthusiasts. This type of reticle is also one of the most versatile reticle types than you can find at the market nowadays—you can use it for your hunting pursuits and for shooting competitions near you.
With its quality, it also comes with a cost that matches its performance. But do you know that you can find mil-dot scopes at the markets that are priced under $500? Well, if you do not, then this is the time for you to check the scopes that we would feature here.
Although, looking for a high-quality mil-dot scope can be a tedious task that would require a lot of time and research from you and considering the volume of available mil-dot scopes at the markets.
To help you with that and to give you convenience, we would be helping you choose from the best mil dot scopes under $500 that you may find at the markets. With the quality of the mil-dot scopes that we found, you surely would be amazed that you can buy them for a price that is below $500.
Now that you have known that you would be able to have a high-quality mil-dot scope for just a price of below $500, it is the time that you discover them all. Here are they:
10 BEST MIL-DOT SCOPES UNDER $500
10 Best Mil-Dot Scopes Under $500 in 2021
1. Vortex’s Optics Viper 6.5-20x50mm Parallax Adjustment SFP Riflescope
Vortex’s Optics Viper 6.5-20x50mm Parallax Adjustment SFP Riflescope is one of the scopes that are offered for a very high quality despite the low cost it has.
Its magnification setting is one of the most powerful magnifications that you would ever encounter since it can be used for both short-range shots and long-range shots—to be more specific, this scope has a magnification that ranges from 6.5X to 20X.
Also, this scope is equipped with easily adjustable turrets that make it very user-friendly even for beginners and first-timers—these turrets would also give you the full control over this scope under any situation.
➣ Second Focal Plane
The second focal plane of this scope would allow you to see your targets more by not having to change the reticle size even when the magnification setting changes too.
When you are shooting long-range targets, your view of the target will not get blocked by increasing the size of the reticle when you increase the magnification with the use of this feature. Well, this is a feature that you are going to love once you experience it.
The material used for this scope is aircraft-grade aluminum—with this built, this scope is made to withstand almost any condition that might happen in the field.
Also, even the most forceful recoils have no match for the strength that this scope has. To back it up, the type of material used for the construction of this scope is proven and tested by a lot of manufacturers. Also, shooters and hunters can testify that scopes made from this material are indeed long-lasting.
2. Burris’ Optics Drop Tine Riflescope
One of the scopes with a high-grade optical glass is Burris’ Optics Drop Tine Riflescope. This scope has properties that are glare-reducing and anti-reflective in order to provide more crisp images of the field that you are viewing even under the harshest conditions.
With a magnification setting that ranges from 4.5X to 14X, this scope is made more flexible; thus, having the versatility to be used from short to long distances. Without changing your position, you would have the ability to do adjustments for a clearer view of the field—this is made possible by the parallax focus of this scope.
➣ Waterproof and Fog-proof
This scope is completely sealed and nitrogen filled too—both of which are great factors in making this scope durable and reliable. For the durability, the complete sealing of this scope makes it waterproof—thus, protecting it from damage by not letting any water penetrate through it. For the reliability, this scope’s nitrogen filling is what makes it fog-proof in performance.
Even if you encounter extreme moisture changes or temperature changes due to changes in altitude, this scope’s performance would not be prevented by fog.
➣ Easy Adjustment Eyepiece
This scope’s easy adjustment eyepiece is what makes it very helpful to have precise and accurate shots. In just a matter of seconds, you would be able to switch from one setting to another without experiencing any difficulty.
With this useful and functional feature, you would be amazed at how easy to use and configure this scope even if you consider yourself a beginner or a first-time shooter. Truly, it has helped a lot of hunters and shooters in many ways.
3. Mueller’s Target 8-32x44mm Riflescope
This scope’s best asset is probably its magnification—it ranges from 8X to 32X. With Mueller’s Target 8-32x44mm Riflescope’s range, you would have the option of doing a lot from medium range shots to extremely long-range shots in the fields.
This 30-millimeter tube scope is made from high-quality materials that make its construction sturdy and lightweight for more convenience. Also, this scope is made to have the best quality of lenses with anti-reflective properties that balance the overall brightness, color, and contrast of the images of the field that you are viewing through it.
➣ Easy Adjustment Turrets
The turrets of this scope are built to have a simple design that would surely assist you to have easy adjustments. With these turrets, you would be able to focus more on targeting and shooting.
This scope’s turrets are one of its best features that made a lot of hunters and shooters love it. With that said, this is one of the best scopes, that is why you should consider buying it.
➣ Fast Focus Eyepiece
The fast focus eyepiece of this scope would cause the reticle to focus easily and quickly. With this feature, you would be able to acquire targets faster than you can before.
Speed is an important factor when you are shooting in the fields, and that is where this scope comes in handy. Through the help of this fast-focus eyepiece, you would be able to experience shooting like a professional and skilled hunter.
4. Athlon’s Optics Talos 4-16x40mm SFP Riflescope
When you are looking for the best mil dot scopes sold at a price range of under $500, you would easily notice Athlon’s Optics Talos 4-16x40mm SFP Riflescope since it stands out among other rifles.
Its reticle is etched directly on its glass for two purposes—the first one is to make it more durable by making it resistant to shock and recoil while the second purpose is for the reticle design to not fade over the entire lifetime of this scope.
This scope has a weight of 16.2 ounces, and it has a length of only 12 inches. Also, this scope has an eye relief that ranges from 3.35 inches to 3.8 inches.
The durability of this scope is proven in a lot of ways—one of these ways is its built or construction. The material used for building this scope is common to the most durable scopes that you would find at the markets.
To be specific, it is made from a heat-treated aircraft-grade aluminum. Enhanced with its matte finish, this scope is also would have the ability to resist and prevent both scratching and corrosion from doing any damage to the surfaces of its housing.
➣ Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
This scope is designed and built to have fully multi-coated lenses that are very reliable in offering the maximum possible light transmission from the fields.
It transmits the light through this scope’s objective lens. As a result of that, this scope would have the ability to offer bright images with detailed and defined quality. Also, with this feature, you would still be able to use this scope during low-light to no-light conditions in the field.
5. Tasco’s Varmint 2.5-10x42mm True Mil-Dot Reticle Riflescope
The physical appearance of Tasco’s Varmint 2.5-10x42mm True Mil-Dot Reticle Riflescope is one of the most elegant and classy that you would ever see at the markets.
Its black finish has a touch of ash gray—overall, it looks like faded black, which is very pleasing to the eye. This scope is built with multiple layers of coating for its lenses.
Also, this scope is sold with a limited lifetime warranty that would give you the assurance of having it repaired or replaced if needed. With this scope’s magnification power, it is considered as one of the bests when it comes to intermediate and long shots.
➣ Objective Lens
The objective lens of this scope is constructed to have a massive diameter of 42 millimeters, which makes it very useful in a lot of ways. First, a scope with a massive objective lens permits more light to enter through it; thus, producing brighter and clearer images of the field that you are viewing through it.
Another benefit is that you would have a larger view of the field when you look at it through your scope.
The magnification of this scope is one of its best features. With a range of 2.5X to 10X, you would have the ability to do more accurate and precise shots from medium distanced targets to long distanced targets as well.
Also, with a scope this versatile, you would be able to do more and experience more when you have hunting trips, shooting competitions, and even target shooting practice.
Comparison Table for top five products
|Product||Vortex Optics Viper SFP Riflescope||Burris Optics Drop Tine Riflescope||Mueller Target Riflescope||Athlon Optics Talos SFP Riflescope||Tasco Varmint Riflescope|
|Magnification||6.5 - 20 x||4.5 - 14x||8 - 32 x||4 - 16 x||2.5 - 10x|
|Objective Lens||50 mm||42 mm||44 mm||40 mm||42 mm|
|Tube Diameter||30 mm||1 inch||30 mm||1 inch||1 inch|
|Reticle||Mil-Dot, Dead-Hold BDC||Ballistic Plex||Target Dot||BDC 600 IR, Mil-Dot||True Mil-Dot|
|Exit Pupil||7.69 - 2.5 mm||9 - 3 mm||5.5 - 1.37 mm||9.2 - 2.5 mm||16.8 - 4.2 mm|
|Eye Relief||3.1 in||3.1 - 3.8 in||3.2 in||3.8 - 3.35 in||3 in|
|Field of view @100 yds||17.4 - 6.2 ft||22 - 7.5 ft||9.3 - 2.5 ft||24.1 - 6.28 ft||35 - 9 ft|
|Weight||22.4 oz||18 oz||26 oz||19.1oz||19.1 oz|
|Length||14.4 in||13 in||16.25 in||12.9 in||14 in|
6. Nikon’s Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope
Nikon’s Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope has a quick focus eyepiece, which makes it very easy to use for long-distance shots. It also has some zero-reset turrets that would help you go back to the original elevation setting you have even after switching to a lot of settings already for the windage and the elevation.
This scope has a large objective lens, which has a diameter of 42 millimeters. With that size of objective, this scope would have light-gathering capabilities that are very useful, especially when used in conditions that are very low in light.
➣ Ultra-Clear Coat Optical System
The design of this scope’s lenses is made to specifically help you get brighter and more crisp images both in bright situations and dim situations. With that said, this scope’s ultra-clear coat optical system would help you to get better visibility at almost any lighting condition that you might face in the fields.
Hunters and shooters prefer scopes with this type of coating because it adds up to the total versatility and reliability of the scope.
➣ Quick Target Acquisition
When you are hunting in the forest, it is inevitable that you would encounter targets that are fast-moving. The only way to keep up with that is by having enough speed to target and shoot too. Well, you need not worry about that with this scope.
This specific would make you acquire targets in less time than you expect. Even at night, you would never have a problem with spotting quick targets in the field.
Sorry for the inconvenience, Nikon Monarch 3 BDC Riflescope is discontinued by the manufacturer and therefore the product is not available on Amazon and OpticsPlanet.
7. Pinty’s 4-16x40mm Riflescope
Pinty’s 4-16x40mm Riflescope is another scope that you should consider when you are looking for the best mil dot scopes. The illuminated mil-dot reticle of this scope is available in three different colors—blue, red, and green. You would have the freedom to choose between those three.
Besides its durable built, this scope is made to be long-lasting with the enhancements that make it waterproof and fog-proof. With the features it has, this scope just proves that it is one of the must-have mil-dot scopes available nowadays.
➣ Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle
This scope’s illuminated mil-dot reticle would be of great help for you to see better images of the field that you are viewing through your scope. Even in situations that might seem dark, you would still find this scope reliable and useful.
Also, this scope’s illuminated mil-dot reticle would help you to have faster target acquisition at night, dawn, and dusk. This is a feature made specifically for hunters who love to go on hunting trips in the field during low-light conditions.
With the material used for the construction of this scope—the premium quality of aluminum-alloy—this scope is one of the most durable scopes you would ever see at the markets.
This built makes this scope so strong that it would withstand even the harshest recoils that some firearms may bring. Also, this scope can withstand even when accidentally dropped or when it bumped into something that might cause powerful impacts.
Pinty 4-16x40mm Riflescope is currently unavailable on Amazon. We will update the information if it gets available on the site.
8. Bushnell’s Tactical 10x40mm Riflescope
If you are one of those hunters and shooters who like to often make adjustments with the use of your scope, then Bushnell’s Tactical 10x40mm Riflescope is the best mil-dot scope for you.
With its fixed magnification at 10X, you would be able to focus on just a range that you want. This 1-inch scope is made sturdy, strong, and with a blacked-out finish for the purpose of concealment or stealth.
This scope has an eye relief of 3.5 inches. Also, it has a very lightweight design along with its compact length—its weight is only 15.9 ounces, and its length is only 11.5 inches in total.
➣ Waterproof and Fog-proof
With the added features on this scope’s built—the argon purging and the rain guard HD anti-fog technology—this scope is truly one of the best that can be bought from markets nowadays. With the rain guard, this scope would have the ability to prevent water from penetrating through this scope’s insides.
While the argon purging and the anti-fog technology ensure that this scope would not get affected by ambient temperature changes—to be specific, it makes the scope fog-proof in performance.
➣ Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
With this scope’s fully multi-coated lenses, you would experience better light transmission. Even when you use this scope during the darkest times of night, this scope would still deliver its outstanding performance.
Also, with the better transmission of light comes images that are brighter and of true colors across the whole light spectrum. Multiple layers of coating are always better than just having a scope that has a single layer of coating only.
Bushnell Tactical 10x40mm Riflescope is discontinued by the manufacturer and therefore the product is not available on Amazon and OpticsPlanet.
9. Leupold Mark’s MOD1 3-9x40mm Riflescope
Leupold Mark’s MOD1 3-9x40mm Riflescope is a scope that specializes from short-range shots to long-range shots. Well, that is due to the magnification setting that it has—3X to 9X. It has a large objective lens of 40 millimeters, which causes it to produce images of the field that are bright and clear no matter the magnification setting you are using.
Also, this scope is backed by Leupold’s lifetime warranty that would not make you doubt about getting and buying this one. This scope model from Leupold is designed, constructed, and assembled in the country of the USA.
This scope is made from an aircraft-grade aluminum material that is proven to be durable and has properties that contribute to making it high in strength despite the lightweight it has.
With that built, this scope is made to last long in the field even when used for hunting trips that are extended. This scope would surely make you confident that no matter what you throw at it, it would still endure and perform as it is expected.
➣ Multi-Coat 4 Lenses
Shooting in extreme low-light conditions would never be a problem that you would encounter with this scope. Its lenses are coated with multiple layers for it to gather as much light from the field.
With the function of this scope, you would be able to see brighter and crisper images of the field that you are viewing through it. Thus, eventually adding more accuracy and precision for it to offer much better shots when compared to singly coated lenses.
Leupold Mark MOD1 3-9x40mm Riflescope is no longer available on Amazon and OpticsPlanet. We will update the information once it gets available on these sites.
10. Nikon’s PROSTAFF 5 Mil-Dot Riflescope
The last one out of our 10 best scopes is Nikon’s PROSTAFF 5 Mil-Dot Riflescope. This scope has a quick focus eyepiece that would allow you to have an easy focusing reticle.
This scope is optimized with Nikon’s spot-on ballistics match technology. In simpler words, the exact aiming points would not be hard to discover, and precision would be improved.
It also has some adjustable turrets that are very easy to use. This scope has an overall length of 13.6 inches, while its total weight is 18.2 ounces. Its eye relief ranges from 3.7 inches to 4 inches.
➣ Adjustment Turrets
The adjustment turrets of this scope are very easy to use that even beginners and first-time shooters appreciate. When making quick adjustments, you would never experience any problem or hassle, even if you are moving through the field.
Also, your precision and accuracy would be much easier to control with the use of these easy adjustable turrets.
➣ Fully Multi-Coated Lenses
This scope’s fully multi-coated lenses would assist you in having higher light transmission while having glare reduction properties too. Also, these lenses are enhanced with properties that are anti-reflective in order to ensure the reliability of this scope.
Even at any time of the day, you would get the assurance of using a scope that would help you to have brighter and clearer images of the field that you are going to view through it.
Nikon PROSTAFF 5 Mil-Dot Riflescope is discontinued by the manufacturer and therefore the product is not available on Amazon and OpticsPlanet.
Factors that Should be Consider Before Buying Mil-Dot Scopes Under $500
➣ Tube Diameter and Objective Lens
The standard size for a mil-dot scope’s tube diameter is 30 millimeters while there is no standard for its objective lens’ size, but the bigger the objective lens, the better. Both the tube diameter and the objective lens are important for they greatly affect the quality of images that can be produced by a scope.
Also, the light transmitted into the scope is also affected by the size of these two factors. So, it is important that you consider them first before finally buying a mil-dot scope.
➣ Adjustable Magnification
For mil dot scopes, it is better to have a wide range of adjustable magnification. With a good magnification, you would become more flexible in the field, and you would be able to use your scope for different ranges of distances.
But having a fixed power scope or a scope with a fixed magnification has its benefits too—you would be more focused on the range that you are trying to specialize at. It is up to you whether what magnification you want to get. Generally, the greater the magnification is, the better your experiences would be.
➣ Rugged Durability
One of the most important factors that you should check too is the durability of your mil-dot scope. You have to take note of the materials that are used for the construction of your scope as they are ones that would give your scope the strength and the ability to withstand different conditions that are deemed to be adverse.
Also, for guaranteed durability, you have to make sure that your scope is waterproof and fog-proof too. With a scope that is resistant to harmful elements, you would have more freedom of using it under any weather condition you want to.
➣ Easily Adjustable Turrets
For a scope that would make you comfortable, you have to choose one that is designed to have easily adjustable turrets. For your convenience, make sure that you would not get confused when making some quick adjustments. Especially if you are a beginner, a scope that is easy to use and adjust would be a great advantage for your use.
➣ Optics: Lens Quality
The lens quality is an important feature to consider too. High-quality lenses tend to produce images of the field that are more detailed and better in quality. With that considered, it is imperative that you choose a scope with high-quality lenses in order to experience shooting with more accuracy and precision.
If the lenses you choose for your scope are of low quality, you will suffer you from having poor quality of views, and it would greatly affect your performance. And you may not be able to have the option of using your scope at night when you do not consider having high-quality lenses.
With that said, consider a scope that would give you the best images that you are going to view through your scope to ensure that your shots would always hit your targets.
When choosing a mil-dot scope that you are going to use in the field, it is important to take everything into consideration—from the way it is built to the way it performs in different conditions. With a lot that you can choose from, you might get confused, and you might make the wrong decision; that is why we wrote this article to be of great help for you as you decide on getting a mil-dot scope under the price of $500.
The last tip that you must consider is to get a scope that is easy to use. With a scope like that, you would be able to feel more relaxed in the field, and you would perform better since you know that your scope would not confuse you. Remember that it is still a matter of your preference, and you have to be smart about choosing the best mil-dot scope.