Mrad Vs Moa: Mastering Precision in Rifle Scopes for Sharpshooters

Mrad Vs Moa

Bullet trajectory is affected by various elements such as wind, gravity, and velocity. Consequently, the moment the bullet leaves the bore, it begins to drop or descend, causing its path to curve instead of remaining straight.

To account for this drop, precision marksmen shooting over longer distances employ either MRAD or MOA as their chosen units of measurement.

One can say that MRAD (Milliradian) and MOA (Minutes of Angle) are units of measure used to quantify and adjust for the angular deviation of a bullet’s flight path from its point of impact (POI). But how do you decide what is your type? That is exactly what I am here for!

So, read on and allow yourself to make a more informed decision while choosing between the two.

mrad to moa

What’s an Moa Scope?

In the context of optics, an “MOA scope” refers to a rifle scope that has adjustments and reticles (crosshairs) calibrated in minutes of angle. One MOA is 1/60th of a degree, and at 100 yards, 1 MOA is approximately 1.047 inches. We usually round it off to 1 inch at 100 yards.

Now, let me explain in detail what moa means; suppose the round target you want to hit with the bullet is just like a pizza. The pizza has 360 slices cut into it because there are 360 degrees in a circle. Now, each slice or degree is further divided into 60 smaller parts called ‘minutes.’ When you divide it into 360 slices, each slice is like one of those minutes of angle.

Couldn’t grasp the idea? Let’s take another example. Think of a degree as it is just like an hour. Just as an hour is a unit of time, a degree is a unit of angular measurement that describes the adjustment needed for scope reticles.

mrad vs moa

Just like a minute is a smaller subdivision of an hour, a Minute of Angle (MOA) is a smaller subdivision of a degree. Adjusting a scope by one MOA for long-range shooting is like moving the minute hand by one minute on the clock.

So, in short, an MOA scope is like a clock where you make precise adjustments in smaller increments (minutes) within the larger unit (degree), just as you would adjust the time in minutes within the larger unit of hours.

MOA allows for fine adjustments when zeroing a rifle or making precise shots at different distances. For example, if a scope has 1/4 MOA clicks, each click of the adjustment turret will move the point of impact by approximately 1/4 inch at 100 yards.

moa to inches

What’s an Mrad Rifle Scope?

It is worth noting that while MOA is a common unit of measurement in the United States, in other parts of the world, scopes may use the metric system, and adjustments might be in milliradians (MRAD or mil). However, both are equally effective and equally successful.

A MIL scope isn’t intended for use with the imperial system; rather, it is designed for the metric system. So, while using it, you should be working and thinking in centimeters and not in inches.

Derived from a radial line and equivalent to approx. 5.73 degrees, milliradian scopes represent one thousand of a radian. The milliradian system or MRAD system subdivides the circumference of a circle into 6.28 equal sections (each measuring 57.3 degrees in a mil scope). Hence, we can say that, unlike MOA, this unit of angle measurement does not yield a perfect circle.

Consequently, every circle possesses a circumference that spans 6.28 radians. These radians are further divided into 1,000 parts, known as milliradians. MRAD scopes are intricately designed to offer both precision and speed, featuring holding points along both the horizontal and vertical crosshairs.

mrad scope

It is important to note that each adjustment click on an MRA scope corresponds to 1/10th of a milliradian, which makes up about 0.36 inches at 100 yards. Do you now notice that it works on a larger value per click as compared to MOA adjustments? It means, unlike the MOA system, with the MIL system, you will be doing great with minimal turret rotation to calculate distances.

Just so you know, MRAD scope is considered superior to MOA scopes for longer-distance shooting because it makes it easier for a shooter to calculate precision angles. That is the reason MRAD scopes are often chosen by military and police snipers.

mrad to inches

Turrets on Moa Vs. Mrad Rifle Scopes

Turrets on MOA and MRAD/MIL scopes serve the same purpose but work on different systems. They allow the shooter to make adjustments to their point of aim (POA) in order to fix their point of impact (POI).

MOA turrets are calibrated in minutes of angle. Each click of its turret typically corresponds to 1/4 MOA or 1/8 MOA adjustments. So, it means one turret click moves your shot about 0.25 inches at 100 yards, while four clicks make 1 MOA (approx. 1 inch at 100 yards). Evidently, if you zero a scope at 100 yards and dial up 1 MOA, you will hit about 1 inch high on the target.

On the other hand, a Mil-based scope has turrets calibrated in milliradians. Each click on MRAD turret corresponds to 1/10th of a milliradian. At a hundred yards, one mil is approximately equal to 3.6 inches. Therefore, 1 MRAD adjustment will shift the POA by 3.6 inches at a hundred yards.

what is mrad

Reticles in Moa Vs. Mrad in Rifle Scopes

Imperial measurements and metric measurements are relevant not only to rifle scope turrets but to reticles as well. MOA is often considered the favorite adjustment system for shorter-range shooting, while MRAD offers greater precision for extremely long distances. So, it is significant to match MOA turrets with MOA reticles and vice versa.

Reticles in MOA and MRAD are like the different scripts in the language of precision shooting. MOA reticles speak the language of inches. Each hash mark or division on a MOA reticle represents one minute of angle.

On the contrary, MRAD is the precision engineer using the metric system. Each hash mark on an MRAD reticle represents one milliradian. MRAD offers fine-tuned accuracy as it is considered the maestro of precision.

It offers an accurate shot whenever you fire a bullet to hit the bullseye at extremely long ranges. Moreover, the mil values are easier to communicate during group shooting.

moa to mrad

Moa Vs Mrad: Which Is Better?

Want to know the answer? Let me ask you some questions! How do you format degrees of angular measure? Which system do you find yourself familiar with? Is your map in yards or meters? Which system is being used by your friends, and how would you communicate with them?

Do you see that it’s a question of personal preference when it comes to choosing between the two systems? The essence of the MOA or MRAD tussle lies in how we measure angular degrees, whether you calculate distance in meters/centimeters or yards.

If you cannot decide between the two, let me make it known to you that some scopes even blend these systems, featuring a mil-dot reticle alongside turret adjustments measured in one-quarter minutes of arc.

One thing more, if you are going for shooting along with some friends, I’d recommend you choose a particular type as it is convenient to select the same system and speak the same language.

mrad to moa


Which Is Easier to Use: Moa or Mrad?

It totally depends on the shooter’s preference. If you like to think of distance in meters, you better choose MRAD. However, if you measure in an empirical system, then MOA is better.

Does the Military Use Mrad or Moa?

The military likes to work with the MRAD system for precision shooting.

How Many Moa Are in a Mil?

In the calculations of MOA measurement and MIL measurements, roughly 3.5 MOA is equivalent to 1 mil.

Final Thoughts

The question of MOA or MRAD boils down to personal preference. One can say that MOA is favored for simplicity and quick adjustments, while MRAD excels in precision for long distances. You should go with whatever aligns with your style.

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