Are you thinking of starting hunting? Well, nature can be brutal, and you do not want to go unprepared. There are various things to keep in mind before you begin hunting – and one of the most important among them is choosing the proper scope.
The better your riflescope is, the safer you’re going to be. It will help you maintain your prey’s distance and increase your accuracy, so all you need is one shot at getting your target.
However, the problem is that most people who are new to hunting do not even know the basics of scopes. So, this article will go over some budget mil-dot scopes under $500 and walk you through all you need to know about it!
What Is a Scope?
A riflescope is a telescopic device that can be mounted on top of a rifle to provide enhanced vision and sight. These scopes are beneficial for amateurs as well as seasoned shooters. These scopes not only increase the user’s visual prowess but also provide accuracy.
A typical riflescope will consist of an objective lens at the front that allows the light to enter. Secondly, there is a focus lens, which enables the user to focus on objects. And lastly, an ocular lens at the back lets the user see what they are aiming at. There are many different types of scopes manufactured with different reticles that provide additional features.
What Is a Reticle?
A reticle can be defined as several lines in the eyepiece of a riflescope. These lines help determine the distance of the target from the shooter and estimate where the shot will land. The reticle increases the shooters’ chance of hitting the target and provides excellent accuracy for both amateurs and seasoned shooters.
There are many types of reticles that provide different features, but for this article, we will be looking at the Mil-Dot Reticle and the features it offers.
What Is a Mil-Dot Reticle?
A Mil-Dot reticle is constructed with a pattern of duplex crosshairs that feature four small 0.25 mil diameter dots on each axis. These dots have been arranged in this way to provide range estimation. With a Mil-Dot riflescope, a trained user can determine the size and distance of the target, as well as the point at which the bullet will land. The mill dot scope can also aid the user in compensating for the bullet drop and wind drifts at known distances.
This Reticle should not be confused with a BDC reticle (Bullet Drop Compensation) that provides compensation for the effects of gravity on the bullet at given ranges. However, with a mil-dot reticle, you can estimate the approximate hold-over or perform adjustments to elevate the scope.
Best Mil-Dot Scope Buying Guide
When looking to buy any kind of product, a certain amount of research and time is required to make an informed decision. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered on this matter. This guide will list some of the most important things to look for when buying a mil-dot riflescope.
The first thing to look for when you are buying any type of riflescope is build quality. The scope needs to be robust and sturdy so it can provide longevity. It should also be able to withstand harsh weather conditions and heavy recoil from the rifle. A scope’s overall durability is a crucial factor and should not be sacrificed when choosing a riflescope.
This goes without saying, what point is there to purchasing a scope if it can not be adjusted to suit long-distance shots? Not only should the scope have this option, but it should also offer a broader range of magnification. A good mil-dot riflescope will provide versatility to the user for different applications and situations. That makes it easier for the user to shoot from both close and far ranges with equal accuracy.
If you are a fan of shooting at dusk or dawn, it is crucial to have a scope with an illuminated backlight technology to help you target an object better. This feature will increase your chances of hitting a target with accuracy in low-light conditions.
4. Special Features
In addition to everything mentioned above, you also might want to check other unique features you could take advantage of when looking for the best mil-dot scope. Some of these features include sharp focus, zero locking, super light transmission, and multi-coated lenses.
5. Tube Diameter
When looking to buy the best mil dot riflescope, you should opt to look for a scope that has a tube diameter of 30mm. This is a standard size as far as quality mil dot scopes are concerned. Not only will it offer a better and clear picture, but it will also provide superior light transmission.
6. Quality of Lens
The quality of the lens the riflescope offers is a very critical factor. Low-quality lenses will not transmit enough light, which will lead to low quality of the image. Because of this, the objects viewed from the scope will not look clear and crisp.
Top 10 Best Mil Dot Scopes Under $500
After learning some of the factors that need to be considered to purchase a mil-dot riflescope, we will now list and review the top 10 best mil dot scopes under $500.
When choosing a mil-dot scope of any kind, you can find yourself a bit confused. There is a wide variety of products from different manufacturers available in the market right now. However, after reading our extensive buying guide, you have been equipped with the proper knowledge and can make a well-informed decision. Moreover, the following list should aid you in choosing the right product much quicker.
1. Bushnell Tactical 10×4 Scope
This mil-dot scope is excellent for the price, considering it is a very durable mil-dot scope. However, it has a fixed magnification which means you cannot change the magnification range on the scope. This means it is mainly for beginners and can be used relatively quickly.
The Bushnell Tactical 10×4 riflescope offers a clear lens with an excellent transmission of light. It uses an anti-fog and anti-moisture coating. This type of lens is usually installed on more high-priced scopes. This makes it a worthy contender in terms of its price and quality.
2. Nikon Prostaff 4-12×40 Scope
Nikon is a company that is more well known for its line of professional cameras. However, they have proved themselves to be a solid player in the optics and scopes market. The Nikon Prostaff scope is an undeniably perfect example of good quality on a budget.
Along with quality, this scope also offers a magnification power of 4-12x as well as adjustable zoom. It can provide a clear view of targets from a distance with quite ease due to its coated lens, allowing ninety-eight percent light to pass through it. Overall, this mil-dot scope is an excellent choice for beginners looking to buy something with superior quality and value for money.
3. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA
This mil-dot scope offers excellent performance with long-range shots and provides easy windage adjustments. The Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20×50 PA riflescope provides an objective lens that is 50mm, which is quite large. It also offers premium multi-coated glass that provides ninety-five percent light transmission. This scope is designed to be fully weatherproof and, due to this, is an excellent scope for prolonged use on the field.
As a whole, the Vortex Viper can be classified as a high-quality scope with a premium price tag that will pay for itself when all its premium features are considered.
4. UTG 3-12×44 30 mm Scope
The UTG 3-12×44 30 mm scope is similar to the Nikon we spoke of earlier. This scope is affordable and provides excellent quality, especially when compared to other scopes on the market today.
UTG has added a lot of features despite its low price point. One of the main features it offers is a 3-12x zoom that is adjustable with a 30 mm lens. This lens is coated with emeralds which offer caps that flip open for quick deployment.
Unlike many other mil-dot scopes that offer just four dots, this one provides a reticle with nine dots along its axes. These extra dots will provide more accuracy. According to UTG themselves, this scope will offer accurate shots to two hundred yards or even a little more outstanding.
From all the features it offers to the highly reasonable price point, this scope is a good contender for budget mil dot scopes.
5. UTG 3-9×32 1” BugBuster Scope
Another contender for the best budget mil-dot scope is the UTG 3-9×32 1″ BugBuster scope. The UTG 3-9×32 1’’ scope is an excellent choice whether you are a novice or an expert. This scope is completely sealed and is nitrogen-filled, which only adds to its efficiency. This scope can perform in virtually all types of weather conditions and environments as it is waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof.
It is also equipped with green and red illumination technology, which will allow you to see clearly in dark environments. Regardless of the weather conditions, you will know for sure that you’re using a reliable mil-dot scope.
This scope is especially beneficial for beginners as it meets all the demands required and helps the user improve their shooting skills as well. Despite all this, it has limited eye relief, which could be a problem for some individuals who like to use rifles with heavy recoil.
6. Pinty 4-16×40 Illuminated Scope
The Pinty 4-16×40 Illuminated riflescope is a very reliable scope. It will provide excellent visual capabilities due to its multi-coated lenses and illuminated reticle. This scope is also beneficial in dark and low-light hunting conditions due to its illuminated reticle. It will offer excellent vision regardless if you hunt at dusk or dawn.
The Pinty riflescope will offer unbeatable transmission of light which helps improve the user’s vision in low light conditions. Along with low light capabilities, it will also provide clear optical clarity, which will aid in hunting from short to long-range shooting conditions.
Aside from all of the above, it has a very durable build, which can withstand heavy recoil and rugged use. Its fog-proof and shockproof capability only add to its stable body.
It also offers a generous amount of eye relief of 3.9 inches which will protect from heavy recoil. However, on the downside, there have been reports of visibility issues at high magnification settings.
7. Tasco Varmint 2.5-10x 42mm Riflescope
One of the things most hunters like about this scope is that it offers a wide magnification up to ten times. This scope also provides a generous eye relief that will protect against heavy recoil of the rifle. Moreover, it also offers an objective lens with XL 42mm diameter, which will undoubtedly aid any user. The Tasco Varmint 2.5-10x42mm riflescope will also provide excellent performance from medium and long shooting ranges.
With a 30-06 rifle, this scope will also come with an adjustable magnification setting that will aid the user during a hunt, allowing them to adjust the scope according to their needs. It also comes with a SuperCon/Multi-layered coated lens that will improve and enhance its performance.
Although, people have complained about the reticle breaking after using it for some time.
8. UTG 4-16×44 30mm Scope
The UTG 4-16×44 30mm Mil-dot riflescope offers an adjustable magnification setting between 4 and 16. It can prove beneficial for individuals planning on using their weapons for short to long-range shooting distances.
UTG’s ACCUSHOT scope is the best when it comes to manipulating the quick and zero adjustment tool. This means the retention will only require a few seconds as well.
This mil-dot riflescope is constructed with a 30mm main tube. This will offer a large room to provide a wide range of adjustments for elevation and windage. This model has a 1-click illumination enhancing system that features different colors and brightness for the reticle’s illumination.
The sighting tool in this scope is very durable due to its fog-proof and rain-proof performance. This will allow the user to hunt even in harsh weather and terrain conditions. It also works well in low-light situations, making hunting easy regardless of what time of day it is.
The lens is coated with emerald to provide maximum transmission of light for excellent clarity. It has a sturdy build that can withstand heavy recoil from the rifle. However, this scope can be a little hard to adjust to if you are a first-time user.
9. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm Scope
One of Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm scope’s key features is the FFP reticle. This reticle will stay true regardless of the magnification setting. This scope also offers a parallax that you can adjust from the side. Along with that, it also has a quick focus eyepiece. This eyepiece will provide an excellent and clear image of the reticle and the target.
When speaking of its durability, we can say for sure that it is dependable. It offers resistance to shock, water, and fog. Your mind can be at peace with these features, knowing you will not break the scope so easily. In this way, you will not have to buy a new one to replace it.
This mil-dot riflescope is a very cost-effective solution that you can easily rely on. This model has a traditional reticle which means you will have to find your holdover and estimate the range. With this, you should be able to achieve more remarkable results. With this scope, you will not have to force yourself to use a caliber-specific BDC system.
Though, it does not offer an illuminated reticle like the other scopes on this list.
10. Bushnell Trophy Mil-Dot Scope
The last mil-dot riflescope we will review on this list is the Bushnell Trophy Mil-Dot riflescope. This company and its products are highly praised in the community due to its durable build and excellent features. This model offers multi-coated optics with enhanced performance capabilities. It provides light transmission up to 91% regardless of the weather situation.
Moreover, this scope is 100 percent waterproof, fog-proof, and shockproof. Due to these excellent features, you can conclude that this scope is highly durable for various outdoor situations. And can also withstand heavy amounts of recoil.
This product offers magnification settings up to nine times. Along with excellent magnification settings. This scope also provides a generous four-inch eye relief to prevent damage to the eye due to heavy recoil. It also consists of a one-inch tube that is constructed in such a way that it has a built-in saddle.
Bushnell’s rain guard HD technology also provides excellent protection from heavy rainfalls when hunting during the stormy seasons.
All in all, this is an excellent mil-dot riflescope that offers many features. However, there have been some visibility issues that some individuals have reported. But the majority of feedback it has received is positive nonetheless.
Regardless of what scope you choose for your rifle, you will get the best bank for your buck if you have read our buying guide. The ten scopes that have been reviewed in this guide are some of the best available on the market today under a $500 price point. Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, you will find a match for your rifle.
A mil-dot riflescope can provide one of the best hunting experiences due to its versatility and diversity of features. These features make mil-dot scopes one of the most versatile sighting tools out on the market today. They are one of the most favored riflescopes for hunters due to their excellent features and shooting abilities.
Most hunters will even recommend a mil-dot scope for novice hunters to give them the best option to enhance their experience. When compared to other sighting tools, mil-dot riflescopes will provide a wide variety of features. Due to these features, not only will you be getting the best bang for your buck, but you will also get the best kind of scope for your firearm.
After being informed on the factors to consider when purchasing a scope for your rifle, you will need to weigh and compare your options and choose what works best for you. By doing this, you will not only be spending your hard-earned money wisely, but you will also get a very satisfying purchase that you will not regret later on.
So make your hunting experience better than ever. Make sure that you properly buckle up and load on the suitable scopes before you begin. After all, nothing is more important than your safety, and if you can get that safety under $500, then it’s not a bad bargain!