Choosing The Best Mil Dot Scope For Your Rifle – Reviewed 2021

best mil dot scope

Confused about what MIL-Dot scopes are? 

I explain WHAT MIL-Dot scopes are, and go into detail on HOW they function. What to look for when purchasing a MIL-Dot scope for your personal arsenal, and WHY the MIL-Dot scopes below are some of the best choices on the market today.

First, let's learn how MIL-Dot scopes function mathematically.

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Brief Overview of MIL-Dot Scopes:

“MIL” is an abbreviation for milliradian. A MIL being 1/100th of a radian. A radian is a form of measurement that measures angles based on the radius of a circle.

Measuring the distance between the centers of any two adjacent dots on a MIL-Dot reticle scope equals 1 Mil, which is about 36" (or 1 yard) at 1000 yards, or 3.6 inches at 100 yards. With this information embedded in your mind, these scopes are terrifically accurate.

The MIL-Dot’s purpose is to gain as much information as possible to make a long-range one-time shot. Making this reticle ideal for people shooting seriously long distances that can not afford to miss.

Whether in a tactical situation or on a hunt, the MIL-Dot reticle will ensure you hit where you are aiming.

There is an abundance of math and explanation I could go into but you are all here to read about scopes not the history of the mathematical formula of MIL. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a MIL-Dot scope for yourself:

Distance

It may take you a while to figure it out, but once you have the calculation conversion worked out in your mind you can make calls on the fly.

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Products

BEST FOR RAPID POWER

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Mil-Dot Riflescope

Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Mil-Dot Riflescope

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 6.5-20x
  • Length: 14.4 in
BEST FOR WEATHER

UTG 4-16x44 30mm Scope

UTG 4-16x44 30mm Scope

  • Diameter: 30mm
  • Magnification: 4-16x
  • Length: 11.14 in
BEST FOR ACCURACY

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm FFP

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 4-14x
  • Length: 13 in
BEST FOR HUNTING

Bushnell Nitro 2.5-10x44mm

Bushnell Nitro 2.5-10x44mm Riflescope

  • Diameter: 44mm
  • Magnification: 2.5-10x
  • Length: 13.6 in
BEST FOR LONG RANGE

Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56 F1

Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56 F1 Riflescope

  • Diameter: 56mm
  • Magnification: 7-35x
  • Length: 16 in
BEST FOR WIDE RANGE

Burris Fullfield II 6.5-20X50 Rifle Scope

Burris Fullfield II 6.5-20X50 Riflescope

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 6.5-20x
  • Length: 14.5 in
BEST FOR ACCURATE SHOT

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope

  • Diameter: 32mm
  • Magnification: 3-9x
  • Length: 8.11 in
BEST FOR LONG RANGE

Night Force NX8 2.5-20X50

Night Force NX8 2.5-20X50 Riflescope

  • Diameter: 50mm
  • Magnification: 2.5-20x
  • Length: 12 in

Considerations When Choosing A MIL-Dot Scope:

1. Build quality

  • Make sure the scope you choose is made from quality material
  • Where was it made?
  • What does the warranty say? (if it is built strong they should back it up)

2. Adjustable

  • Is it easy to adjust in the field?
  • Is there a quick-adjust?
  • Are the adjustments customizable?

3. Cost

  • How much are you wanting to spend?
  • Understand there may be a higher cost for quality
  • Do not compromise if you find exactly what you want

4. Magnification

  • What is the max magnification?
  • How far do you need it to magnify?
  • What is your application of the scope? (hunting, range day, competition, etc.)

5. Lenses quality

  • What material is the lens made of?
  • Lense glare/ durability
  • Is the lens fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof?

6. Mil- Scope calculation 

  • Make sure you have the calculation part of using the mil-scope down before attempting long shots, especially in a hunting scenario. Even a small calculation error can seriously throw off your shot and make for a piss-poor day. Some scopes will have more mil dots than the standard four, seek these out for added accuracy.

1. Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50

mil dot scope
mil dot scope

The Viper 6.5-20x50 MIL-Dot riflescope from Vortex Optics is a quality scope made by a quality brand. Vortex Optics is a trusted brand among all shooting sports platforms. It would be a challenge to find any, “best of” list and not find one or two Vortex Optic products mentioned.

Manufactured in the Philippines, the Viper 6.5 is built with a 30mm main tube, which is covered by a hard-anodized finish. Fully fog proof, waterproof, and shockproof. The finish provides a rugged scope ideal for hunting and handling any outdoor condition you may find yourself in.

The MIL-Dot illuminated reticle is incredibly useful in estimating range, windage, and bullet holdover.

With an extra-low dispersion lens, this scope provides excellent resolution and color naturalism. Vortex uses a special coating to protect the lens on this scope, coined

Armortek. Capped reset turrets on the Viper 6.5 allows for quick re-indexing to zero, and the side knob parallax adjusts quickly with range numbers visible when in your shooting position.

Equipt with a fast-focus eyepiece, and outfitted with rapid magnification changes, you can quickly adjust to any moving target you have in your sights. This scope is ideal for long-range, predator/varmint hunting, and target shooting.

All of these benefits mixed with Vortex’s famous VIP warranty this is a great scope to start off our list! 

Can you really go wrong with anything Vortex? I personally have a Vortex rangefinder, binos, and scope and have had zero issues with any of them. I have taken them on hunting trips, backpacking excursions, and some field archery trips as well with zero issues!

Let me know in the comments below what you think of Vortex as a brand. 

Vortex Optics Viper

The price of Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50 Mil-Dot  varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know more about Best Vortex Scopes? Check out our guide.

2. UTG 4-16x44 30mm

best mil dot scope

UTG (owned by Leapers Inc.) is a brand that has a mission to promote quality lifestyle scopes for both hunting and shooting sports. Quality and service are what come to mind when I hear someone mention UTG scopes. 

UTG makes great budget-friendly scopes that compete with the big names in the long-distance shooting community.

With a 30mm tube, this scope is completely sealed and nitrogen filled making it shockproof, fog proof, and rainproof. You need to make sure when you are ready to shoot in a mixture of weather conditions that your scope is as unrelenting as you are.

With differing conditions in mind, the UTG 4-16x44 provides a 36-color illuminated reticle system allowing clear reticle observance in all weather and lighting conditions.

Magnification power from 4x-16x this scope has a quick power selector ring which assists with quick target acquisition and zooming in. This scope has a field of view at 100 yards of 24.4 feet to 6.8 feet.

Zero lockable target turrets and Parallax adjustments from 10 yards to infinity make this scope truly the definition of a quality scope for the money.

Made in the USA, this scope also features a built-in sunshade to achieve optimal aiming and shooting performance. If you have ever shot a scope with no sunshade or any kind of UV protection you will understand the importance of this addition.

Complete with flip-open caps and a lifetime warranty, this scope is a steal for the price. 

UTG 4-16x44 30mm

The price of UTG 4-16x44 30mm Scope varies, so check the latest price at

3. Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm

best mildot scope

The Primary Arms 4-14x44 MIL-Dot riflescope is a front focal plane scope with a non-illuminated MIL-Dot reticle.

For those who do not already know, the term, “front focal plane” in simple terms means that the reticle magnifies with the increase or decrease magnification applied to the scope.

This scope by Primary Arms features side parallax adjustment knobs that keep the reticle parallax-free and focuses from 10 yards to infinity.

The Primary Arms 4-14x44mm riflescope is built with the gun range and hunting in mind, so it is waterproof, shockproof, and fog-resistant.

Notice I said fog-resistant, not proof; this is something you should keep in mind when making a choice on a scope.

Manufactured in China, this scope is perfect for accurately ranging in the field or on the range.

With an objective lens diameter of 44mm and a 30mm tube, the magnification adjusts from 4x to 14x. This scope collects a lot of light providing bright magnification clarity which is beneficial considering this scope is non-illuminated.

Made of 6063 aluminum this scope is 13 inches in length and has an anodized matte finish which is great for ensuring the sun doesn't give up your position.

Eye relief is 3.14-3.22 inches, and the adjustment click value sits at 01. MIL. Complete with exposed turrets and a limited lifetime warranty, this scope finds itself on the list of best MIL-Dot scopes but is also competitively priced.

For the hunters reading this article, this is my hunting recommendation for the day.

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm

The price of Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm varies, so check the latest price at

Want to know how that scope works? Check out our detailed Primary Arms 4-14x44mm review

4. Bushnell Nitro 2.5-10x44mm

mil dot rifle scopes

The Bushnell Nitro 2.5 10x44mm riflescope is another competitively priced MIL-Dot scope offered by Bushnell

The Bushnell Nitro 2.5 has a great sweeping magnification range and a large 44mm objective which makes it perfect for hunters and range goers that enjoy shooting at close to mid-range distances.

The Nitro 2.5 has a protective lens coating that repels water, oil, dust, and debris keeping your lens clean and unscratched. Completely waterproof, this scope can be immersed in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes.

I don't know anyone personally that has attempted the three feet for 30 minutes but have at it if you like.

Magnification is 2.5-10x with 3.7-inch eye relief. This scope weighs in at 23.9oz and has a length of 13.6 inches. The Nitro 2.5 has a side focus parallax and is non-illuminated.

The elevation adjustment range is 14.5 MIL which matches the windage adjustment range. The Nitro 2.5 does not, however, have a rain guard, elevation lock, wind lock, or zero stop, but it does have great light transmission through its protected lenses and prisms. 

Bushnell offers a lifetime (30 years), iron-clad, no receipt needed warranty on their scopes. Bushnell is manufactured out of South Korea and the Bushnell Nitro is another scope I would recommend to any of my battle buddies.

For the price of this scope, all gun owners would benefit from having one in their collection.

Bushnell Nitro 2.5-10x44mm 

The price of Bushnell Nitro 2.5-10x44mm varies, so check the latest price at

5. Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56 F1 Riflescope

mil dot rifle scope

Nightforce is a premium, high-quality name in the rifle scope game. This ATACR 7-35x56 F1 is a beauty of a scope and made proudly here in the USA.

Parallax adjustment down to 10 meters, 100 MOA of elevation travel, precision is attainable from short to however far your rifle and cartridge combo can reach making this scope today’s highest performer.

Great field of view across the magnification range 7-35x with a first focal plane. Due to its high magnification, this scope is ideal for precision competition shooting, or just some good ole extreme long-distance shooting (if you can find the range.) 

I have had the pleasure of shooting with some Nightforce scopes and Nightforce claims they have unmatched precision and repeatability, which I would have to agree with.

This scope will allow competitive shooters to take their shooting to the next level. Outfitted with a 34mm body tube, an overall length of 16 inches, and weighing in at 39.30z this scope is also this article's longest and heaviest scope.

Click value sits at 0.1 MRAD, with an elevation adjustment range of 29 MRAD and windage adjustment range of 17 MRAD. This scope is the author’s premium-priced recommendation.

The parallax adjustment goes from 11 yards to infinity, with an eye relief of 3.6 inches. Nightforce does offer a limited lifetime warranty, which I am a little disappointed it is not as robust of a warranty plan as I have seen offered on other scopes.

No matter, this is the scope of every gun lover's dreams and will have every gun owner you know envious. 

Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56 F1

The price of Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56 F1 varies, so check the latest price at

6. Burris Fullfield II 6.5-20X50

mil dot reticle scope
mil-dot reticle scope

Burris is a brand that can trace its history back to Redfield scopes. Don Burris, founder of Burris optics worked for Redfield scopes for 12 years before striking out on his own to create Burris Optics.

In 1975 Burris released the Fullfield series which put them on the radar of rifle enthusiasts. The Fullfield series was so popular, one found its way to this top pick list in 2021.

The Fullfield II Hunting Rifle Scope is as it sounds, a hunting scope. Do not let the name fool you, however, because this scope is good for more than just hunting.

The Fullfield II is useful for long-range target shooting, varmint hunting, and tactical marksmanship as well. With a 50mm objective, the Fullfield II obtains maximum light collection.

Fullfield II specs are impressive as they should be for a scope that has been updated for over forty years. Adjustable parallax, magnification of 6.5-20x, and eye relief of 3.1-3.6 inches.

Click value sits at ¼ MOA, a length of 14.5 inches, and a weight of 19oz. This is a very comparable scope to the options put forth today.

Manufactured in the Philippines, all Burris scopes come with the Burris “Forever Warranty.” This warranty extends to any future owner as well and covers all damaged or defective pieces.

This is a popular and traditional hunting scope that can be had at an affordable price. 

Burris Fullfield II 6.5-20X50 Rifle Scope

The price of Burris Fullfield II 6.5-20X50 Rifle Scope varies, so check the latest price at

Check out our detailed Burris fullfield II review for more similar options.

7. UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope

mil dot reticle scope

UTG is on our list again but this time with the BugBuster scope. UTG (owned by Leapers Inc.) is a brand that has a mission to promote quality lifestyle scopes for both hunting and shooting sports. UTG is on our list again because they are budget-friendly scopes that perform like premium scopes.

This BugBuster has a 1-inch tube, with zero lockable and resettable turrets with a ¼ MIL per click adjustment. You can utilize the MIL-Dot reticle for range estimation and for optimal aiming and shooting performance.

Red or green illumination to diversify the applications you can use this scope in.

Magnification 3-9x, 32mm objective diameter, and eye relief from 4.2-3.2 inches. Click value ¼ MIL, weighing in at 13.9oz and has a length of 8 inches. Parallax from 3 yards to infinity. By the numbers a very comparable scope in this series. Also, the most budget-friendly scope on this list today.

The UTG 3-9X32 BugBuster comes with a 2-inch sunshade, flip-open caps, and quick detachable rings. Completely sealed and nitrogen filled which makes it shockproof, fog proof, and rainproof.

Made in the USA and with a lifetime warranty, this scope is a bargain.

UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope

The price of UTG 3-9X32 1" BugBuster Scope varies, so check the latest price at

8. Night Force NX8 2.5-20X50 Riflescope

mildot scope
mildot scope

Another high-quality product from Nightforce. The Nightforce NX8 2.5-20x50mm Rifle Scope offers exceptional clarity, resolution, and brightness in EVERY setting. 

I have been fortunate enough in the past to use some of my range buddy’s Nightforce scopes and I can tell you there is nothing else quite like them.

Nightforce scopes rule over any environment or situation you put them in; aided by their high magnification. The NX8 2.5-20x50 is a newer offering from Nightforce and has all of it’s companies’ histories to show for it.

This includes advanced DigIllum reticle illumination, zero stop technology, and MIL-Dot adjustments.

At 12 inches in length, it is also four inches shorter of a scope than the Nightforce ATACR 7-35x56 F1 previously reviewed above. The NX8 is equipped with a Power Throw Lever (PTL) that allows you to rapidly change between magnifications.

This scope is ideal for any competition shooters, long-range lovers, or guys who just have to have the newest and coolest.

The objective lens is 50mm, magnification goes from 2.5-20x and the reticle is FFP. The field of view is 41.8-6.8 feet at 100 yards, and it has a weight of 28.3 oz.

The parallax goes from 11yards to infinity, and the lum color is red. The NX8 is made of Aluminum and made proudly here in the USA.

Night Force NX8 2.5-20X50

The price of Night Force NX8 2.5-20X50 varies, so check the latest price at

Parting Shots

Choosing the right MIL-Dot scope for your personal application does not have to be a struggle. Once you know what type of shooting you will be doing with the scope, distances you would like to achieve, and the type of ranges you have access to it makes the process easier. 

After those considerations, think of the quality, price, and type of magnification you desire to achieve.

Reading through this article will give you many options, with varying specialties and price ranges. You should have all of the knowledge you need moving forward to make a MIL-Dot scope selection on your own with confidence.

 You now understand what a MIL-Dot scope is, how it functions, and what to look for when purchasing.

Which of these MIL-Dot scopes did you like the best? Are any of the choices mentioned today something you would consider adding to your collection? 

Let us know in the comment section below and be sure to check out “8 Best Prism Scopes Reviewed” to continue your homework on what exactly you are looking for in a scope!

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