Scopes with mil dot reticles should present a mil dot scale for both elevation and windage, which is an excellent aid for on the fly adjustments. Mil dot scales should be easy to see, but since they are commonly used for long range shooting, they cannot be too thick. If the mil dots are too thick they can obscure the target at longer range. A mil dot scale also works best with mil adjustment turrets.
(Disclaimer: Though these products usually are under $500, there are price fluctuations. The real, current price is the one found on the Amazon page.)
Here are the 4 best mil dot scopes under $500 that we could find:
Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 PA Mil Dot
- Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 PA SFP Riflescope Mil-Dot MOA
- Price: $499.00
- Price as of 08/14/2020 01:01 PDT
The Vortex brand is quickly carving itself into the optics world not with a chisel but a jackhammer. The Vortex Viper is evidence of this. This optic provides shooters from a magnification between 6.5 to 20 power. The included mildot reticle provides a useful option for shooters who need holdovers for long range shots and windage adjustments.
The Vortex Viper features a large 50mm objective lens size, which allows most weapons to mount the optic with low or medium profile scope rings. This large objective lens also works with the fully multi coated glass that allows 95 percent light transmission.
The Vortex Viper’s clarity is brilliant and provides a tremendous amount of detail and definition. The scope uses premium high-density glass to deliver the remarkable clarity, and its adjustments are smooth and easy to make on the move. The scope is well designed and extremely well made—easily one of the top mil dot scopes for the money.
Leupold VX-Freedom Scope
- Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4 x 20mm Riflescope
- Price as of 08/13/2020 23:06 PDT
The Leupold VX-Freedom is an option for those looking for a mildot scope for the AR 15 and its variants. The VX-Freedom provides the high quality you expect from Leupold optics, and with its 1.5 to 4 power variable optic. it is easily capable of reaching out to 600 yards.
The VX-Freedom lenses are fully multi coated that reduces glare significantly, and brings a high level of light transmission and clarity to the optic. The optic’s sight picture is clear edge to edge.
The optic utilizes fingertip adjustable turrets that provide slight, precise, changes to the optic’s zero. This allows the user to make small, precise adjustments to not only hit the target but also hit the bullseye (check out what its reticle looks like here). The Leupold VX-Freedom is an excellent option for a mil dot scope on an AR.
Hawke Sidewinder Mil Dot Scope
- Hawke Sidewinder TAC 30 6.5-20X42 Mildot Riflescope
- Price: $489.99
- Price as of 08/14/2020 03:31 PDT
The Hawke Sidewinder is a powerful 6.5 to 20 power optic with a 42 mm objective lens. The Sidewinder is exceptionally powerful and well suited for long range shooting. It utilizes a precise mil dot reticle that can allows easy holdovers for long range corrections and spot windage. The mildot reticle is also illuminated with the option for red or green illumination, as well as featuring five different brightness levels. And the reticle itself is etched into the glass and does not necessitate illumination.
The Sidewinder has fully multi coated optics that provide excellent light transmission as well as lens protection from abrasions and light scratches. The optic is also fully waterproof, shockproof, and purged of fog. The Hawke is also rated for any firearm, meaning excessive recoil does not affect the optic. This is due to the optic’s internal coil erector that supports the internals during recoil.
The Sidewinder also has side parallax adjustment for easy focusing and rapid range transitions. Right beside this parallax adjustment knob is fingertip adjustable turrets for elevation and windage. The Hawke Sidewinder also has a magnification ring that features a ring outfitted with serrations and small indents for a sure grip and a controlled rotation. The Hawke Sidewinder comes with a sunshade, and a hard carrying case for secure storage when not in use.
Primary Arms 4-16x44 MIL-DOT Reticle Rifle Scope
- Primary Arms Classic Series 4-16x44mm SFP Rifle Scope - Illuminated MIL-DOT
- Price: $159.99
- Price as of 08/14/2020 02:08 PDT
Primary Arms are imported optics that are designed for be both functional and affordable. They produce a wide variety of designs that includes both red dots are variable optics. In terms of mil dot scopes, we are looking at the latter.
The Primary Arms SFP is an affordable variable magnification scope that allows for precise and long range shooting. The variable magnification runs from 4 to 16, which is perfect for most full-power calibers. This level of magnification makes it easy to hit targets as close as 50 yards with ease, and out as far as 700 yards.
The reticle system is of course a mil dot system that allows for easy elevation and windage adjustments. This Mil Dot system is also illuminated for low-light shooting. You have a total of 12 brightness levels and the illumination seems to last nearly forever. The relatively low level of illumination means you get plenty of juice out of a single battery.
The Primary Arms SFP design means the reticle stays the same size throughout the entire level of magnification. This means the mil dot reticle is only accurate at the highest level of magnification. The Primary Arms SFP optic is water, shock, and fogproof as well. This is an excellent optic that is affordable, reliable, and perfect for a budget Mil Dot build--without doubt, one of the best mil dot scopes around.
The Best Mil Dot Scopes under $500 Conclusion
A mil dot scope is one of the most versatile optics on the planet. With a budget of 500 dollars you have the expectation of getting an excellent optic that can fill a wide variety of different roles. Mil dot scopes are favorites of marksmen, and snipers for a good reason. They are high effective and allow talented shooters to place shot after shot on target regardless of range and windage. And we hope you’ve found the ideal mil dot optic for your needs.
Owner of Reloaderaddict.com, Boyd Smith is a major handgun enthusiast, and although he owns Glocks, he prefers the revolving wheel type. His go-to guns are a Smith & Wesson 642 Performance Center for carry and a Ruger GP100 in the nightstand biometric safe (he has kids). He loads both revolvers with old-school 148-grain Federal Gold Medal .38 wadcutters. It’s OK if you think he’s a wimp. Email him.