Best Mil Dot Scopes 2019: Mil-Dot Scopes For Every Budget


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There’s a lot of confusion when discussing the best Mil Dot Scopes.  In this instance the mil abbreviation isn’t referencing the military.  The MIL in mil dot is short for milliradian. Milliradian, is the angle formed when the length of a circular arc equals 1/1000 of the radius of the circle.  Typically used to estimate bullet drop on long distance rifles.  Scopes that have this reticle have evenly spaced dots throughout the X and Y-Axis.  The length between each dot is 1 mil and will aid your shot calculations.  Successfully using a mil scope requires a lot of calculations, so you’ll need a fine grasp on the concept.


What’s The Best Mil Dot Scope?

1)  Primary Arms 4-16X44 Illuminated Mil Dot Scope

Image of Primary Arms Scope With Mil Dot Reticle

Notable Features:

  • Moderately Priced Scope
  • 4-16x44mm Magnifcation
  • Illuminated Mil-Dot Reticle
  • Durable Water Resistant Design

Primary Arms has long been a leader in the optic market.  With a huge lineup of scopes that are loaded with a ton of features.  There’s not a lot of affordably priced options and this scope is priced to sell.

When looking for a scope, Primary Arms is sure to meet all your needs.  Featuring a mil-dot reticle this is the perfect scope for mid to long range shots. 

With the easy to use reticle you’ll be able to quickly transition between short and long range viewing.  The reticle is easy to see and quickly tells you exactly where you’re aiming. The 4-16x44mm reticle is perfect for both short and long distance shooting. 

You’re going to have an extremely bright sight picture thanks to the multi-coated lens and built in illumination.  Easily dial in your windage, elevation and preferred brightness with the easy to use turrets.  With its crystal clear lens it’s easy to see why so many people love this Primary Arms scope.

Not just a pretty sight picture, it’s durable as well.  Made out of a durable aluminum alloy this scope is completely shockproof and backed by a 1 year warranty.  The body is water and fog resistant which is a bit of a disappointment.  Water Resistance should be fine for most shooters, but I would have liked to see a completely waterproof body.  At this price it’s going to be tough to beat this Primary Arms Scope.


2.  Bushnell Elite Tactical 10X40 Mil-Dot Rifle Scope

Image of Bushnell Elite Mil Dot Scope

Notable Features:

  • Premium Rifle Scope
  • Fixed 10x40mm Magnification
  • Clear and Bright Sight Picture
  • Durable Waterproof Construction

Normally I prefer variable power scopes, but this fixed power option is well worth a look.  Bushnell’s Tactical 10x40mm Scope is perfect for long range shooting.  Paired with a mil dot reticle it will be easy to estimate long distance shots.

Bushnell’s Elite Tactical Rifle scope is in a class of its own.  I don’t normally like long range fixed power scopes, but it’s hard to beat the quality of this optic.  Fixed magnification optics take a lot of the guesswork out of Mil-Dot range calculations.  With it’s fixed 10x magnification you’ll be able to easily extend out a few hundred yards.  Using a crisp mil dot reticle you’ll be able to accurately measure shot placement.  The 40mm objective lens lets in all the light you’ll need providing a crisp bright sight picture.  The fixed magnification long eye relief glass provides a crystal clear focused image.

Bushnell really built their Elite Tactical scopes to withstands some serious abuse.  With its sturdy design and shockproof body this scope will definitely last.  If it doesn’t it’s backed by Bushnell’s Lifetime Replacement warranty.  The 1 inch tube is Argon purged for complete waterproof and fogproof protection.  If it does rain the RainGuard HD breaks up moisture keeping the lens clear. Bushnell’s fixed 10x rifle scope is perfect for any mid to long range shooter.


 

3.  UTG 4-16X44 Mil-Dot Scope

Image of UTG Mil-Dot Scope

Notable Features:

  • Affordable Rifle Scope
  • 4-16x44mm Magnification
  • Durable Water Resistant Design
  • Illuminated Reticle
  • 36 Color Combinations

UTG’s 4-16x44mm Mil-Dot Rifle Scope is another great option.  UTG has been making high performance scopes since the 90’s.  You aren’t going to find a better illuminated scope at this price.

This really is a nifty little scope with a ton of features.  By far the coolest thing about this UTG scope is its illumination.  Using UTG’s innovative EZ-Tap illumination system you’ll be able to choose between Red/Green or multi color mode which has 36 other colors.  With so many illumination options you’ll be able to dial in the reticle that works best for you.  Multiple illumination settings allow you to brighten up the sight picture in low light conditions. The mil-dot reticle is crisp allowing you to easily estimate range.  With a clear and bright sight picture you’ll be able to shoot in all weather/light conditions.

The design is shockproof and will handle the recoil of any high powered rifle.  The only problem with this sight is that it lacks full waterproofing.  The water/fog resistant design is fine for heavy rain, but won’t protect against being submerged.  Water resistance should be enough for most people, but full waterproofing would have been nice.  The emerald lens coating will both protect your glass and increase light transmission.  The 4-16x44m magnification is perfect for long range shooting.  You can’t go wrong with UTG’s bright illuminated reticle at this price.


 

4.  Bushnell Trophy 3-9x40mm Rifle Scope with Mil-Dot Reticle

Image of Bushnell Trophy Mil Dot Scope

Notable Features:

  • Affordably Priced Rifle Scope
  • 3-9x40mm Magnification
  • Clear and Bright
  • 100% Waterproof Housing

Bushnell’s trophy lineup of scopes offers a lot of bang for your buck.  Their budget scope lineup comes loaded with everything you need for accurate shooting.  The durable design and crisp mil-dot reticle are perfect for any mid range rifle build.

Bushnell has a long lineup of trophy scopes that are all affordable yet durable.  With multiple magnification options and reticle designs you’ll be able to find a scope that works for you.  Coming in at a fraction of the price of the competition it’s hard not to love this Bushnell scope.  It has a surprisingly clear and bright sight picture for the price.  The multicoated lens is bright during the day, but becomes a little dim close to dusk.  You might also notice slight optical glare when the suns at its peak.  That being said it’s plenty clear for most shooters.

Bushnell really pulled out all the stops designing their trophy scope.  With a nitrogen purged tube the housing is 100% waterproof and fogproof.  That’s something that some of the expensive mil-dot scopes can’t even say.  Designed to be used as a hunting scope the body is very durable and shockproof.  It will more than handle the occasional drop and bump.  The Trophy Scopes 3-9x40mm magnification is extremely versatile for big game hunting or target shooting.


 

5.  Tasco Varmint 2.5-10x42mm True Mil-Dot Reticle

Image of Tasco Scope With Mil-Dot Reticle

Notable Features:

  • Value Priced Scope
  • 2.5-10x42mm Magnification
  • Durable Water Resistant Design
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty

Tasco’s Mil-Dot Varmint scope is perfect for any mid range rifle.  Designed to take down both predators and prey this Tasco scope is perfect for your hunting rifle.  At half the price of the competition it’s well worth the price.

It’s hard not to love this affordable Tasco Rifle Scope.  Tasco has long been one of the best budget scope manufacturers on the market.  They’ve been making durable yet affordable scopes since the 50’s and have yet to disappoint me.  Like everything in life you get what you pay for so don’t be expecting the clarity of a 200$ scope.  If you properly set your expectations you’ll be more than satisfied with Tasco.  The sight picture could be brighter, but the image is clear.  The Mil-Dot reticle is crisp and functions properly.  While the scope isn’t waterproof it is water resistant and backed by a lifetime limited warranty.  So if you do somehow manage to damage the durable housing Tasco will fix or replace your scope.


Mil Dot Scope Buying Guide

When shopping for a new scope you’re going to have to factor in a few features. The following guide should help set you in the right direction.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to find a great scope.

  • Magnification:  Mil-Dots are designed to help with long distance shooting, so you’re going to want a decent magnification.  At the very minimum you should start with a 3-9x magnification and work your way up from their.  For shooting out past 200 yards you are going to want to increase up to 4-16x magnification.  You might also want to consider a high magnification fixed range scope.  Fixed range scopes take a lot of the guesswork out of ballistic calculations.  You’ll be able to quickly estimate your range and setup your shot.
  • Durability:  Durability is really going to be all over the place depending on your price range.  Figure out what kind of recoil you want to handle and choose accordingly.  All of the above scopes will handle a decent amount of impact.  However the water resistance rating will vary wildly from one manufacturer to another.  If you’re going to take your rifle out into the field go with complete waterproofing.  You never know when you’ll have a heavy rain or your truck bed will flood.    Most of the time you can rate a scopes durability based on its warranty.  If it has a lifetime warranty it’s probably a pretty safe purchase.
  • Price:  Price will also vary wildly from 1 manufacturer to another.  As magnification increases the price will typically increase.  I’ve found that most scopes around 100$ offer the most bang for your buck.  Weigh in the added features on more expensive scopes to see if they’re worth the upgrade.
  • Illumination:  A few of the above scopes offer an illuminated backlight to light up the reticle.  On budget scopes illumination can often increase the perceived brightness on dim sight pictures.  You might also like the added color options some scopes offer.  They take hard to see black reticles and make them stand out.

Final Verdict

We really like all of the above scopes on this list.  Either because of their durability and crystal clear sight picture, or because of their value price.  If you’re willing to spend a little extra cash you can’t go wrong with the Primary Arms or Bushnell Elite Tactical Scope.  Their durable designs and bright sight pictures are well worth the price.  You can also go with the more affordable UTG or Bushnell trophy scopes.

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