Our editors pick the products & services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Learn more.

MOA and MRAD – What Should You Know

So, it’s time for that hunting trip with your friends and you all are ready to go. However, you hear one of your friends discussing in meters which is a totally different measurement from yours. Then you wonder why he’s discussing in meters when your MOA turrets have its adjustments in yards. The logical reason for this is that he’s using MRAD and you’re using MOA.


MOA and MRAD are entirely two different measuring systems. Now, most Americans are pretty familiar with MOA when it comes to rifle scopes. This is especially common in the US for hunters that don’t require extremely long shooting ranges or require too many adjustments. It is just a few that may be familiar with MRAD.

So, since we’ve seen that MOA and MRAD are totally different measuring systems, I’m sure you’d want to know more about these two terms. You don’t need to look too far because we’ll be going into details about MRAD and MOA for you to get a better view of this topic. So, continue reading as we discuss all you need to know about MOA and MRAD.

Get to know What MOA on a Rifle Scope is

When we talk about MOA (Minutes of Angle,) we’re referring to the manner of your bullets distribution on a target using 100 yards in inches. MOA is a system that is based on minutes and degrees. We use this kind of angle of measurement to compute the distance to a particular target together with the MOA turret correction meant for the bullet trajectory.

Your MOA can be computed by simply doing a multiplication of the yard by 1.047. Then you will divide the value by 100. So, for 200 yards, one MOA will result in 2.094 inches and 500 yards will equal 5.235 inches. Again 1000 yards will give rise to 10.47 inches, etc.

MOA is basically an angular measurement and we can break down the calculation into this: the circle has 360 degrees then there are 60 minutes in a degree. This will then give us 21,600 degrees in total.

Take for example, targeting a round thing such as a pizza. Because of the round shape of pizza, we can tell that the target is 360 degrees and we have 360 degrees in a circle. Then in a degree, we have the number of minutes to be 60. Therefore, when we say one degree equates to 60 minutes with 360 degrees in a circle, then it implies that we have a total of 21,600 minutes. So, dividing the pizza circle into 360 pieces of pie will make each pie to be a minute of angle.

Get to know What MRAD on a Rifle Scope is

Now, for MRAD (represents milliradians or MIL in short form), it is most favored in police and military operations these days. You will usually hear it being regarded as a MIL-dot reticle in the artillery world. It was initially meant for artillery operations around the late 1800s. So, this is why MOA is very popular in the States especially among common hunters when compared to MRAD.

MRAD is also an angular measurement just as MOA is an angular measurement. However, we know that in a circle, MOA has 21,600 minutes, but in MRAD, the circumference of a circle is usually divided into an equal section of 6.28 which measures 57.3 degrees each.

So, this will result in a circumference that of 6.28 radians long. This means each circumference of the circle is 6.28 equal sections. Hence, when one radians has 1,000 milliradians, the resulting milliradians in the circle will be 6,280.

So, when it comes to the MRAD rifle scope, it is normally expressed in the traditional mildot or offered as a Christmas tree reticle style. The milliradian scopes are meant to give speed and precision alongside both the vertical and the horizontal crosshair. This will assist in the measurement of the target.

Note that every click with the milliradian scopes is equals to 1/10 of a particular milliradians. So, this is also equal to 0.36 inches approximately at 100 yards. This implies that the adjustment of the milliradians eventually has a bigger value for each click compared to MOA (have in mind that MOA is approximately equals to 1 inch at 100 yards).

One great advantage to milliradians particularly with long range shooting is that there won’t be any need for dialing the turret up too much. Hence, this ensures that long range shooting is adjusted quicker with minimal turret rotation. For this reason, this is why milliradians rifle scopes are the most preferred option for military and police snipers.

MRAD vs. MOA: The Relation with Scope Turrets

There are different kinds of shooting situations that will tell which type of shooting is ideal for competitive shooting (be it long range or short-range shooting). Therefore, when it comes to choosing between MOA vs MRAD of rifle scope, it basically boils down to the shooter’s preference.

Both MOA and MRAD measurements are commonly used in relation to rifle scopes. And the measurement is usually done using a circle with a radius of 100 yards. So, at 100 yards, one minute of angle is equals to 1 inch while at 100 yards, a single MRAD is equal to 3.6 inches. Now, if we want to compare MOA to MRAD, in each milliradian, we have approximately 3.44 minutes of angle.

The rifles mostly manufactured in North America and even Europe are usually designed to use MOA instead of MRAD. This is basically because MOA offers the shooter a finer degree of measurement compared to MRAD when at a closer range. But when it comes to shooting at a longer range, you will need to put into account some additional factors when it comes to an extended shooting range.  

Furthermore, you should note that the tactical scopes of MRAD and minutes of angle have adjustment increment that varies. Take an example, MOA increments adjustment usually feature rapid adjustment turrets with half minute, quarter minute, then eight minute adjustments. This is with each successive adjustment and this offers an excellent degree of precision.

Therefore, take note that MRAD scopes are excellent for shooting that involves long distances when compared to MOA. This is mainly because the use of MRAD makes it easier for any shooter to compute precision angles accurately.

The Relation of MRAD and MOA to Scope’s Reticle

MRAD and MOA have a relationship with the scope reticle just the same way they apply to turrets and they offer similar advantages and disadvantages.

An illustration is that MOA will offer you a measurement that is more accurate when your range of target is short and in the shooter won’t have to rapidly do some adjustments to the turrets. However, for MRAD, they provide a more accurate measurement at extended ranges.

Furthermore, it is recommended that you always pair the reticle of MOA with MOA turret. And you should also pair the milliradian reticles with MRAD turrets. This is done so there won’t be any confusion between the various kinds of angular measurements.


Between MRAD and MOA, which angular measurement is better?

Depending on how well you’re familiar with the system you’ll be shooting with, both MOA and MRAD are great for long range shootings. However, the angular measurement, MRAD may be kind of easier to communicate to others. Also, a good number of professionals make use of MRAD reason being that more options in the MRAD system are made available.

Which angular measurement between MOA and MRAD does the military make use of?

The standard angular measurement system the military makes use of is MRAD. Also, police sniper makes use of MRAD.

Between MRAD and MOA, which one is easier to use?

When it comes to which one is easier to use between MOA and MRAD, the straight-up answer is that it totally depends on the preference of the shooter. However, if you’re more comfortable thinking in the metric system which is in centimeters or meters, then using MRAD should be easier for you. On the other hand, if you prefer to measure in the empirical system which is in yards or inches, then you may find it easier to use MOA.

MOA and MRAD: Which is the best option for hunters?

So, because hunting often requires relatively close range shooting of about 300 yards or less with minimal fine adjustment required, the best option for hunters is MOA scopes. But when it comes to extended or long range shooting precision, MRAD scopes are usually the best option to go for. This is because they offer an excellent degree of precision at relatively long ranges.

How many MOA can you get in one MIL?

You can get approximately 3.5 MOA in one mil.

Between MRAD and MOA, which is more popular amongst long range shooters?

When it comes to long range shooting competitions, most shooters often prefer MRAD scopes. This is because MRAD scopes provide a more accurate shooting in long range shooting and it’s easier to calculate precision angles with MRAD.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top