Best Mil Dot Scopes of 2020 – Complete Review

| Last Updated: January 15, 2022

Many beginners don't have the idea that there are multiple reticle options that could greatly impact their hunting experience. Mil-dot scopes are best-known for their simplicity in addition to their high accuracy levels.

In the right hands, these scopes can do magic.

This article will guide you about mil-dot scopes and highlight the features of some of the best-known ones currently trending on the market.

Comparison of the Best Mil Dot Scopes

  • Comes with a 3-12x adjustable zoom
  • 30mm impressive objective lens for enhanced performance
  • The reticle has 9 dots along the axis
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  • Has tactical-style turrets
  • Reticle stays good at all magnifications
  • Shock-proof design to make it reliable
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  • Best for the money
  • Suitable for high-grade military purposes
  • Incorporates folded light path technology for enhanced light transmission
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  • Best Nikon Mil-Dot scope
  • An impressive 3.7 inches eye relief
  • Quick and accurate focus for precise shooting
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  • Best Vortex mil dot scope
  • Multi-coated lenses to improve light transmission
  • Side knob parallax for easy adjustments
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  • Best Leupold mil dot scope
  • Incorporates the twilight light management system to reduce glare
  • Suitable for multiple purposes
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What is a Mil-Dot Scope?

Mil is an angular measurement, and the mil-dot scopes are basically designed while keeping in mind the measurement unit of milliradians or also known as MRAD. There is also a misconception that Mil in the Mil-dot is short for Military when, in fact, that’s not the case.

Primary Arms SLX 4-14x44mm

Milliradian refers to the 1/1000th part of the radius of any circle. A mil-dot reticle is incorporated with traditional duplex crosshair, and you will see evenly spaced dots throughout the X and Y-axis of the reticle. The idea of milliradian was first employed in the 1970s by the US to shoot the target accurately. 

What is a Mil-Dot Scope Used for?

A mil-dot scope is immensely popular among hunters, military men, and snipers for their appreciable applications. These scopes were first manufactured by the US military with the notion of small arm optics. However, the efficiency of these scopes has made them mark their position on the market of optics. They are used for a variety of purposes. Let's discuss a couple of them.

Determination of the Distance

Mil-dot scopes are widely used for determining the distance of the target with maximum precision. They are well known for their range-finding attributes and are employed, especially for military purposes. All the features, in combination with an impressive magnification range, help you measure the distance of the prey.

Accurate Shooting

These scopes are also used by military men for targeting applications. Since they help in finding the range, you can easily set the magnification and hit the target without missing any chance.

Targeting at Long Distances

Another important use of these scopes is long-range shooting. Most of these scopes have a fast and easy focus that helps you hunt down the prey even at a greater distance. Moreover, they are incorporated with a large and coated objective lens, which is useful for hunting even in the morning and evening.

What Makes a Great Mil-Dot Scope?

Choosing a great mil-dot can be a hectic task, especially when you come across a number of remarkable brands. However, the task might become easy if we simplify your search by discussing some of the essential features that make for a great mil-dot scope.

Below are some characteristics that must not be overlooked. Let’s discuss them one by one.

Durable Construction

The durability of the product is directly affected by the quality of materials used in its manufacturing. A scope built from high-grade aluminum is likely to last for a long time as compared to the one constructed from cheaper materials. Similarly, you are recommended to opt for a model from a well-known brand as they have a proven history of delivering top-notch products.


The scope must be incorporated with a great magnification range so you can hit the target with precision. This feature not only eases the task but also improves your skills and speed.


Another significant feature of a quality mil-dot scope is weather-proofing. A model that is fog-resistant or shock-proof can effectively tackle harsh elements and weather conditions and continue to provide excellent image quality.


Many manufacturers offer a certain warranty on mil-dot scopes in order to attract customers and make the product more reliable. You are advised to go for a model that comes with a lifetime warranty in order to avoid frequent replacement or maintenance expenditures.

Review of the Best Mil-Dot Scopes

You now know the important characteristics that contribute to making the perfect mil-dot scope for your requirements. Moving forward, we have a detailed review of some of the well-known mil-dot scopes that can be considered to make a valued purchase.

Best Overall:
UTG 3-12X44 30mm Compact Scope


  • Bright view even during recoil
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty
  • Weather-sealed to combat tough conditions
  • Compact and slim design with attractive appearance
  • Manufactured from high-end materials to mark durability


  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Adjustments are hard to make
  • Buttons require a struggle for operation

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this product are immensely satisfied with its top-notch functionality. According to them, it is a beautifully designed model that has a sturdy construction. Moreover, it offers great image quality, even in ambient lighting conditions. Plus, there is a lifetime warranty on this scope, which makes it even more attractive to new buyers.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This amazing scope is meant to provide superior performance with exceptional features. It is manufactured from top-quality materials and gives a nice and sturdy appearance. There is an emerald coating on the lens to enhance the transmission of the light, and ultimately, you end up with a bright view. Lastly, the scope is completely weather-proof to endure tough conditions like a pro.

Who Would Use This Most

Made up of tough materials, this scope is just the right choice for shooting and targeting purposes. It can be used on the field, thanks to its weather-sealed design. Plus, with the help of this scope, you can shoot a target even at 200 yards distance, which is very impressive.

Bottom Line

An extraordinary product with a number of great features, this model is compact and nice looking. It delivers accurate shots even at greater distances. The design is extremely durable plus comes with a lifetime warranty to mark reliability. In short, the tough-build of this scope goes with a range of rifles.

Primary Arms SLX 4-14X44mm


  • The design is beautiful and nice
  • Comes with side mount parallax knob
  • Accurate and fast focus eyepiece for your aid
  • Composed of fine materials to make it last long
  • Completely weather-resistant to endure harsh elements


  • A bit bulky model
  • Turret might feel soft
  • Lacks any illuminated reticle

What Recent Buyers Report

This scope has entertained its users with its high-end features. They report that the design is very nice, plus the construction is extremely durable. You can easily use the scope in any environment, thanks to its weather-sealed design. Moreover, it provides a great and bright view whenever you want.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A great product from Primary Arms; this scope is constructed from heavy-duty aircraft aluminum to ensure durability. The design is nice plus incorporates a weather-resistant capability to bear tough conditions without compromising on the functionality. Lastly, the magnification is impressive, plus there is a decent eye relief for maximizing your comfort.

Who Would Use This Most

It is a tough scope and, therefore, just the perfect choice for anyone who wants a quality model for long-term use. With great magnification, it is quite suitable for long-range precision shooting. Moreover, it can be efficiently used by all military men for shooting and targeting applications.

Bottom Line

Equipped with a great set of features, this scope is built to last a long time. Not only is the design attractive, but the construction is also very durable. You can use it to achieve a variety of purposes without any hassle. Moreover, the high magnification of this scope adds to perfection. 

Best for the Money:
Leupold Mark 4 12-40x60mm


  • Comes with an impressive eye relief
  • Design is armor-coated for fine finish
  • Completely weather-resistant to mark reliability
  • Multi-coated four-lens system to add on to perfection
  • Constructed from heavy-duty materials to ensure durability


  • Careful handling required
  • Not compatible with all rifles as advertised
  • Reticle might disrupt in lower magnifications

What Recent Buyers Report

This scope has attracted many customers with its reasonable price tag. Most of the users are quite satisfied with its service and report that the design is very compact and easy to handle. Moreover, all the features are top-notch and perfectly combine to provide an accurate and clear view of the target.

Why it Stands Out to Us

In case you are in search of a reliable scope that is equipped with all essential features and at a reasonable price, then you must consider this model. It is nicely constructed and is 100% weather-resistant to combat harsh elements easily. Moreover, there is the incorporation of folded light path technology in order to enhance the transmission of light for a brighter and clearer view.

Who Would Use This Most

With a great magnification range, this model is just the perfect choice for long-range targeting and shooting application. Plus, the affordable price tag makes it the right option for those who are budget-conscious and can't afford to spend a great deal of money on a single scope.

Bottom Line

One of the most efficient scopes at such a price, this model is built to serve you for a long time period. The design is very compact and can be handled easily. Moreover, the ion-asset coating on the lens helps you avoid any color aberration or distortion to a great extent.

Best Mil-dot Scope Under $500:
Hawke Sidewinder TAC 30 6.5-20x42


  • Easily fits your tight budget
  • Built from durable materials
  • Nice design with an appealing look
  • Impressive magnification for accurate shooting
  • A shock-proof scope that handles tough conditions very well


  • Reticle is slightly large
  • Relatively less magnification
  • Not great for long-range shooting

What Recent Buyers Report

Users of this scope find it extremely useful for shooting and targeting. The most striking thing is that you get to have all the amazing features at a relatively great price. According to users, the design is very durable and quite efficient in providing great image quality and a bright view.

Why it Stands Out to Us

An efficient scope from Hawke Sports Optics, this model is well-known for its high-end performance. It is equipped with fine construction and packs a number of remarkable features. The design is good looking and completely shock-resistant to tackle tough weather conditions without any hassle. Moreover, there is an incorporation of red/green illuminated reticles to allow a brighter view.

Who Would Use This Most

If you want a scope that easily fits your budget, then this model is just the perfect option. It is great for targeting and shooting applications. Moreover, it can be employed by hunters to make some accurate shots to hunt down their prey in no time.

Bottom Line

Packed with an exceptional set of features, this scope is highly durable. It is shockproof and comes with five brightness levels to enhance the brightness. Moreover, the manufacturers offer an impressive lifetime warranty on this product to stimulate the confidence of the customers. In short, it is versatile and reliable.

Best Nikon Mil-Dot Scope:
Nikon ProStaff Rimfire II


  • Comes from a reputed brand
  • Exquisite design with appealing appearance
  • 100% weather-resistant to add on to perfection
  • Incorporates a BDC reticle for high-end performance
  • Made up of quality materials to serve the user in the long run


  • A bit pricey model
  • No details of the warranty
  • Customer service needs to be improved

What Recent Buyers Report

This product has earned many great ratings from its users due to its superior performance. According to the users, the design is very attractive and compact to fit the backpack easily. There is no issue with the functionality either. You can achieve accurate and fast shooting with the help of this scope.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Nikon is a well-known brand in the optical industry, and this scope is no less in quality than other products from the company. Not only is the design compact, but it is extremely durable as well. There is a BDC reticle incorporated to allow a clear view of the target whenever you are in the field for hunting.

Who Would Use This Most

It is undoubtedly an ideal choice for anyone who wants to own a quality scope to improve their shooting experience. This scope is very useful for military men to achieve their targeting and shooting purposes. Moreover, it can be used by hunters to hunt down the prey with accuracy and speed. 

Bottom Line

Another great scope on the list, this model comes from a well-reputed brand in the industry. The design is well constructed and capable of enduring harsh conditions like a pro. It is packed with some essential top-notch features that contribute to making precise shooting in the hour of need. Honestly, you won't find a better model on the market.

Best Vortex Mil-Dot Scope:
Vortex Optics Viper 6.5-20x50


  • Magnification can be changed easily
  • Design is good looking and easy to handle
  • Fast and accurate focus for great shooting
  • XR coating for enhanced light gathering capability
  • Manufactured from high-end materials to ensure reliability


  • Relatively large
  • No information about the warranty
  • Adjustments are not as easy as advertised

What Recent Buyers Report

This scope is very popular among hunters for its long-range shooting capability. Most of the users have found it very useful and reported that the construction is very durable. Moreover, the multi-coated lens and impressive magnification are good enough for offering a bright and clear view of the target.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Incorporated with premium construction and remarkable construction, this scope comes with a great magnification. The design is nice and equipped with a hard anodized finish to make it last longer. Moreover, it is shock-proof to ensure harsh weather conditions in the field. Lastly, there is a side parallax knob that helps you make adjustments easily according to your choice.

Who Would Use This Most

Equipped with such high-end magnification, this scope is just the right choice for long-range shooting with accuracy. The design is capable of tackling harsh elements; therefore, it can be employed by military men on the field for improving their targeting skills. Moreover, this scope is equally useful for hunters to improve their hunting adventures.

Bottom Line

A powerhouse of features, this scope is known for its fine construction. Talking about the design, it comes with an attractive design with a great finish to enhance your experience. Moreover, high-quality magnification makes it very suitable for shooting at great distances with precision. In short, this model is perfect for achieving shooting goals.

Best Leupold Mil-Dot Scope:
Leupold VX-Freedom 1.5-4x20mm


  • Lens is resistant to any scratches
  • Precise shooting for long-term use
  • Weather-resistant to enhance reliability
  • Attractive design that is user-friendly as well
  • Great aluminum construction to allow high durability


  • Some concerns over quality
  • Installation might need help
  • Customer service can be improved

What Recent Buyers Report

Just like other scopes on our list, this model has succeeded in winning the confidence of most of its users. All of them are immensely happy with this scope and report that the design is very attractive and highly durable. Moreover, you get to enjoy a lifetime warranty on this model.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This remarkable scope mainly stands out from its competitors due to its heavy-duty aluminum construction with a matte finish. It is also weather-resistant to ensure durability in the harsh environment. Moreover, it uses a twilight light management system to reduce glare, which ultimately leads to improved image quality. To put in a nutshell, it is well-known for its durability, quality, and reliability.

Who Would Use This Most

With so many high-end features, this model is just the right choice for shooting and targeting purposes. It can also be used for hunting even in low-light conditions, thanks to the improved light management system. Plus, you can employ this scope to improve your accuracy and speed for achieving precise shooting skills.

Bottom Line

Overall, this scope is nicely built and incorporates advanced technology to ease the shooting task for you. It comes with a great magnification range and multi-coated lens to enhance the transmission of light so you can continue shooting even in low light conditions. Lastly, it is backed by a lifetime warranty.

Pros and Cons of Mil-Dot Scopes

Mil-dot scopes are known to serve multiple purposes with superior performance. This section discusses some of the significant advantages and disadvantages of owning a mil-dot scope.


The major advantages associated with mil-dot scopes are as follows.

Affordable Price

Mil-dot scopes are compact in size and available at a relatively reasonable price when compared to other optics. They are more efficient and combined with all important features and still exhibit an affordable price tag.


One of the most important advantages of the mil-dot scope is the level of accuracy. These scopes let you hit the target with high precision, and there would be far fewer chances of missing the prey.

Long-Range Shooting

Mil-dot scopes can be effectively employed for long-range shooting, thanks to their impressive magnification. This is extremely useful for military men and even hunters while they are after their respective tasks.


While there are many advantages to having a mil-dot scope, there are some drawbacks as well.

Difficult to Handle

Working with mil-dot scopes is not as easy as it is advertised. They require a lot or prior calculations and a full grasp on the concept in order to get the best out of the product.

How to Use a Mil-Dot Scope

There are a lot of people who used to avoid mil-dot scopes because they didn’t know how to use it. However, it is not too difficult. You use these scopes efficiently by simply following these steps.

  1. The first step involves properly mounting the mil-dot scope on the rifle in order to avoid any incident during immediate and burst recoil.

  2. Working with mil-dot scopes requires you do some math, which mainly involves measuring the distance to which you would like to shoot. A simple way to do this is by taking the height of the object in meters or yards and then multiplying it by 1000. Now divide it by the number of mils you see. Once you know the proper distance, you are ready to move to the next step.

  3. Next, it is important to set the scope for proper magnification. Since mil dot scopes are incorporated with a range of magnification to choose from, you should first ensure that the magnification is right for the aim.

Once you know the range of your target and are done with all the above-mentioned steps, you are all set to hit the target. If you follow all these steps correctly, there are maximum chances that the bullet will land where you want it to.

In order to have a full overview of what was just described, you are recommended to refer to the video below.


The mil-dot scope is one of the most popular scopes being used by military men and snipers to ensure accurate shooting. Not only are they suitable for long-range shooting, but you can also utilize them for hunting down the prey even in ambient light. All of our reviewed models are incorporated with brilliant features to make them highly efficient. Moreover, you can always go through our buying guide to get enough knowledge about these scopes.

People Also Ask

Mil-dot scopes have been in use for a long time due to their high-quality performance. However, multiple new customers are interested in knowing about them. In order to help them, we will discuss some of the frequently asked queries by the people in this section. Hopefully, it will help them improve their experience.

What is the Difference Between Mil-Dot and Moa?

Many people confuse mil dots with Moa; however, they are not the same. Mil dots are actually more accurate, and you need to do a lot of math before hitting the shot. On the other hand, Moa requires less calculation, plus they are more suited for short-range shooting. Mil dots measure 3.6 inch difference per 100 yards, and Moa measures only 1-inch per 100 yards.

How Many MOA is a Mil-Dot?

Mil and MOA are basically different angular measurements. Mil is equal to 1.04 inches per 100 yards while Mil equals 3.6 inches at 100 yards. Since there are 1000 mils per radian and the whole circle constitutes for 6283.2 mils, the quick calculation results that 3.43775 MOA makes a mild dot.

What Does 1 MOA at 100 Yards Mean?

MOA or also known as the Minute Of Angle, is an important angular measurement and accounts for 1/60th of a degree. 1 Mao might have different sizes at different distances. However, commonly 1 MAO spreads 1 inch per 100 yards. In the case of 800 yards, 1 MAO spreads 8 inches.