3 MOA VS 6 MOA Reticle – Which To Pick? Most People Pick Blindly

In this quick guide, we are going to breakdown 3 MOA VS 6 MOA reticle to help you better understand how they work and why pick one over the other beyond just the obvious specs.

Most people just pick randomly without knowing why one over the other. 

So Let's check it out.


There are tons of red dot sights out there and many of them offers up to 3 or more different reticle sizes. Typically 1 MOA, 3 MOA, 6 MOA and even 12 MOA.

Different dot sizes can benefit your particular shooting applications

Reticle Size Covers The Target Differently

3 moa vs 6 moa dot sizes comparison
  • Is it a rifle or pistol?
  • Is it for distanced shooting?
  • Will the smaller dot tremor more due to hand motion?
  • Does the shooter have astigmatism?
  • Is the dot covering too much of the target for a precise shot?


FN 509 ls edge trijicon sro 5 moa

Features FN509 LS Edge With Trijicon SRO 5 MOA

6 MOA covers:

  • 6" diameter at 100 yd
  • 3" diameter at 50 yd
  • 1.5" diameter at 25 yd


  • Faster to pick up for close range targets
  • Less emitter starburst or reticle smear
  • Much bigger dot for shooters, less emitter refraction, a fix for astigmatism
  • Less hand motion translated to the reticle for steady aim
  • Similar size to pistol front sight post


  • Covers up too much of the target sitting far away
  • Not great for precision distance shooting
fn509 trijicon sro pov in action

Browse More 6+ MOA Red Dot sights


swampfox sentinel hellcat pov

3 MOA covers:

  • 3" diameter at 100 yd
  • 1.5" diameter at 50 yd
  • 0.75" diameter at 25 yd


  • Best balance between precision and speed
  • Great for hitting small steel targets
  • Covers a 3" diameter hit zone at 100 yd
  • Great for PCC


  • Hand motion tremors the reticle
  • Hand sway tremors the reticle even more at long distance

Ok! I Get The Point - So Which Dot Size To Get?

springfield hellcat best optic mount adapter

If you have to pick ONE dot size for pistol use, pick the 6 MOA.

  • Much bigger dot to see and acquire at close up
  • Better dot clarity with less emitter refraction for astigmatism
  • Roughly the same size as most front sight post
  • Less reticle tremors for steady aim. 

It has more pros over cons and it works well for pistols for close range applications.


Can You Shoot Up To 100 yards with a 6 MOA dot?

Yes a pistol can potentially shoot up to 100 yard accurately, and the 6 MOA dot covers up the target too much.

When Is A 3 MOA Dot Useful?   

The 3 MOA is a much finer dot than the 6 MOA, and it's a great in-between reticle size for PCCs and rifles.

Hope you have enjoyed this content, if there is anything you would like to add to the topic. Please email badassoptic3@gmail.com

Ying Xu

US Air Force veteran nuclear weapon officer. Aerospace engineering bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas. Experienced as a certified NRA range safety officer. Working as a search engine expert for BadAssOptic.com