MOA vs MRAD vs MIL Rifle Scopes 2023
Which one is better: MOA or MRAD?
First the quick answer should you pick MOA or MRAD?
If you live in the United States about 85% of scopes are going to be in MOA. We’ll talk about why that is later and why it might be misguided. if you are in military then there is a high chance that you are using a MRAD scope though not all of the military only uses MRAD, if you live outside the United States there is a much higher chance that you are shooting with an MRAD scope, if you are a competition shooter including in the United states about the 90-95% of competition shooters are shooting in MRAD scope. Now I have to say that’s not because its anymore precises, it’s a little bit less precise it’s just the way things are things have kind of justice evolve to that. but when I have heard from a lot of people that are outside the United states they sometimes also prefer an MOA scope, if they just watch a lot of hunting videos in the United states have heard from quite a few year appeal listeners and play and people around the world that just say I just hear so much MOA away it’s just so common that I just get in MOA scope because that’s what we hear most of the time and it kind of helps with everything that I am learning on the Internet. Now we got to do a deep dive on each of these systems. first let’s talk about MOA so MOA way stands for Minutes Of Angle so the way the system works is you take a circle you divide it into 360 degrees so this is the angular unit of measure. we can all figure out right we already know what it means to turn 90 degrees, but it’s too coarse of an adjustment to just have those degrees for a fine rifle scope. we would need to be much smaller of our degree than that and so within each degree.
There are 360 degrees in a circle. Now take one of those degrees and divide it into 60 equal parts. Just one of those parts (1/60) is one Minute of Angle or MOA.
You can have on the market, but if you don’t sight it in using either system, it’s useless.
We have 60 minutes, meaning minutes of angle thus MOA so if you do the math on that circle, you will see that 360 degrees times 60 minutes in each one of those degrees means there are 21,600 minutes if you were to do a whole 360 with your gun. Now there is this myth that MOA is more like the imperial system and mill is more like the metric system and that’s just not true at all. Here’s where it comes from on a target shooting at 100 yards one away is pretty close to one inch it’s actually 1.047 inches and if you want to wear that number comes from by the way fun fact you just get Pi and divided by 3, but most of the time when people are talking about MOA system at 100 yards they are going to say, you are an inch high and that means you’re one MOA high. So, you remember earlier where I showed you the circle 360 degrees and then I said that was too coarse of an adjustment for a rifle scope and so we go to the minutes which is 60 minutes in each one of those degrees well even 1 MOA away is too coarse of an adjustment. I mean if we shoot an inch shy, we will just make a click but now what if we were only half and child 100 yards now we just can’t quite get there and so on most rifle scopes one moa is divided into 4 quarters and the way this is expressed you might see somebody say go up 2.29 MOA away now you understand MOA.
So now let’s talk about the middle system which is Meridian or MRAD so this was developed in kind of World War One times because they wanted a unit of measure that was angular but also on a base 10 unlike the MOA system basically what they did is they took a circle cut it up into 6.3 chunks with 57 degree angles either each and then put 1000 little sub tensions little Millet radiance in each one of those radians and that’s the embedded system.
So if you were to take that circle there are 6280 mills in that circle at 100 meters 0.1 mile adjustment is equal to one centimetre on the target. whereas the moa system divides everything into quarters you know 4.25 MOA in the middle system everything is in tenths, and you will see 6.1 mill or 7.4 mill adjustment.
So let’s put this together now so you can actually see it on a scope so this is an MOA scope you can tell quickly because it says one click is 0.25 MOA it will almost always say that somewhere on the scope then we will see the numbers here and you will say from zero to one of them MOA and you will see their 4 clicks well 3 clicks in between because this is divided in quarters so if it’s said to go 2.5 MOA up I would look for up and I’m goanna go up 2.5 MOA and I am ready to shoot now often a ballistic solver is going to say something more precise like 2.47 well I only have 2.25 and 2.5 and so you just round up to 2.5 this is a mile based scope says right here one click equals a 10th mill and so you will see the numbers here but now you will see their further apart from zero to one because there are 10 little sub tensions between those 2 numbers and so if something said to go you know to from zero from zero to one mail I have that there or if it said go to 1.1 mill then that’s just one more click that I may have caused a problem for you earlier where I talked about how 1 MOA is basically one inch at 100 yards and 0.1 mill is one centimetre at 100 meters that may make you think that this is imperial versus metric and that’s just not the case.
let me blow your mind ready one mill is one meter of adjustment at 1000 meters but ready for your mind to explode also one mile of adjustment is one-yard 1000 yards one mail is one inch 1000 inches one mile is one jim at 1000 jims that’s what I mean by mill is not a metric adjustment works with any system. The thing is that because metric is a 10 based you know from millimetre to centimetre to meter right it’s all based on 10s and it’s going to line up just perfectly in the mill system. when we get into the imperial system well it’s not 10 inches is a foot it’s 12 inches is a foot. there are like it’s not a 10 base system and so things don’t compress down as perfectly so if we are shooting at 100 yards at a target and I click up one click on both scopes the MOA and the MRAD, the MOA scope when a 0.25 MOA that one clicks which equals about one inch or 1.047 inches that MRAD scope when up 0.1 mills which is 0.36 inches.
MOA vs MRAD: Which rifle scope is better?
Now let’s start talking about the pros and the cons of each of the Scope (MOA Vs MRAD)
1. The mill is a coarser adjustment than the MOA which also surprises people because they wait a minute you said all those competition shooters generally end up shooting a MOA based scope, but it’s a more course adjustment when they want the finer system of MOA that’s true. There are places where it really matters that competition shooters do tend to shoot MOA and some certain disciplines but generally it’s such a small difference that it doesn’t end up mattering even at extended ranges.
2. If you understand inches and you’re just going to be looking in target and you say that’s 3 inches high and you just can’t funeral centimetres in your brain because you are a red blooded American, there can be an advantage to going to an MOA system. because it’s roughly one inch is one MOA at 100 yards. but if you think about a different way you would just say 4 clicks is one inch at 100 yards on an MOA scale or 3 clicks is one MOA roughly on a mill scale.
3. The mill system is it’s a little bit easier to remember and communicate. when you are inner shooting situation let’s say you are hunting and your spotter says no up 0.5 or 5.9 mills. but in the MOA system the same adjustment may be 20.75 MOA just a few more numbers. when you already have a lot in your head and you are making a quick decision, it is a little bit quicker to go in the middle system, what do I pick MOA or MRAD? I almost always get scopes in a MOA and that’s just because the vast majority of this audience lives in the United States. The 85% of you guys pick MOA scopes and so for that reason. I’m the guy on the MOA scope it’s just because when I buy those scopes to review most of you guys it just doesn’t break your brains if I’m talking MOA. but I also own MRAD scopes, it’s not that hard to understand bold systems. it does take some practice to understand both systems so for me, do I have a preference is MRAD or MRAD better no not there boss just different systems. I usually just pick them away because its more common what you guys like to see better.
The short answer: it’s the shooter’s preference. If you think in the metric system (meters/centimetres) then it is easier to deal with MRAD. If you measure in the empirical system (yards/inches) then MOA may be easier.
Both types are equally successful for long-range shooting depending on how well you know the system you’ll be shooting with. MRAD can be somewhat easier to communicate to others and 90% of the professionals are using MRAD, because there are more options in the MRAD system.
MRAD is the standardized system for military and police snipers.
When calculating MOA and MIL measurements, approximately 3.5 MOA equals 1 mil.