In this guide let's breakdown MRAD VS MOA for all you long-range shooters. If you are new to buying rifle scopes, this will help you understand which one to buy.
Comparing MRAD and MOA
What Does MRAD Stand For?
The MRAD method is a way to measure and align a scope that was created in the late 1800s for use in artillery. It's made with a base-10 formula and is known for its high accuracy and easy adjustments. MRADs, also called MILs, are widely used by the military, police, and other tactical groups because they provide consistent measurements over any distance.
MILs are often used in scopes and are adjustable in increments of 1/10th of a mil. At 100 yards, a 0.1 mil click is equal to 0.36 inches, and a full mil is equal to 3.6 inches.
Like MOA, MILs are an angular measure, meaning that the length it represents increases with distance.
For example, 1 mil at 100 yards is equal to 3.6 inches and 7.2 inches at 200 yards. It doesn't matter if you use the metric or U.S. system, as the beauty of MILs is that it can be used with either.
What is 0.1 MRAD at 100 yards
At 100 yards, 0.1 MRAD (or milliradians) is equal to 0.36 inches.
Follow this equation:
0.1 MRAD * (36 inches/MRAD) = 0.36 inches
Where 36 inches/MRAD is a conversion factor that relates milliradians to inches at 100 yards.
How many inches is one MRAD at 100 yards?
By following the equation:
One MRAD at 100 yards is equal to 36 inches.
How many inches is an MRAD at 200 yards?
An MRAD at 200 yards is equal to 72 inches.
This is because the length represented by an MRAD increases proportionally with distance. So, at 200 yards, one MRAD would equal double the length it represents at 100 yards.
What Does MOA Stand For?
A Minute of Angle (MOA) is a way to measure the size of a target, the size of a group, or how far shots spread out. At 100 yards, one MOA is 1 inch. To find out how big MOA is at a different distance, you can multiply 1.047 by the distance in yards and then divide by 100.
Sometimes people use a simpler way to measure MOA, called Shooter's MOA (SMOA). They say that one MOA is equal to 1 inch at 100 yards. This is easy to work with at short distances, but it's not very accurate at long distances. For example, at 1,000 yards, one SMOA is actually 10.5 inches, not 10 inches.
Using MOA to Measure Target & Distance
To make it easier, shooters think of MOA as inches. At 100 yards, 2 MOA is 2 inches, and at 400 yards, 1 MOA is 4 inches. This way, they can figure out how big MOA is just by multiplying by the distance.
MOA scopes can be adjusted in tiny steps of 1/4 MOA, which is about 1/4 inch at 100 yards.
When people talk about long-range shooting, they often use MOA to describe the size of a target. For example, a target that is 2 MOA wide at 500 yards is 10 inches wide (2 MOA x 5 inches = 10 inches). When using an MOA scope, you will use MOA to measure the size of a target and make adjustments, instead of inches. The same is true for MIL scopes."
How Wide is 1 MOA at 100 yards?
1 Minute of Angle (MOA) at 100 yards is equal to 1 inch. Based on this math, 2 MOA at 100 yards will be 2 inches.
The equation for converting 1 MOA to inches at 100 yards is as follows:
1 MOA * (1.047 inches/MOA) = 1.047 inches
Where 1.047 inches/MOA is a conversion factor that relates minutes of angle to inches at 100 yards.
Which Is Easier To Use: MOA or MRAD
MRAD Vs MOA FAQ
How To Convert Between MOA and MRAD
To convert between MILs and MOA, you can use these formulas:
- Multiply MILs by 3.5 to get MOA (precisely: Mils x 3.438 = MOA)
- Divide MOA by 3.5 to get MILs (precisely: MOA / 3.438 = mils)
This conversion may be necessary when shooting with a partner who has a MIL spotting scope and you have a MOA rifle scope. Quick conversion can help you make accurate adjustments. The same goes for when using pre-packaged ammunition with drop data in a unit that doesn't match your long range scope.
In that case, you need to convert it to your reticle and turret type without using a ballistic drop table.
Note: In a circle, there are 21,600 MOA. To convert MOA to inches at 100 yards, divide MOA by 3.4377 and multiply by 1.047. The result is 3.599 inches, which can be rounded up to 3.6 inches.
Precision shooters often use ballistic calculators to perform the calculations for them and some popular ones include:
- JBM Ballistic Calculator
- Strelok Pro
- Shooter for iOS and Android
- Applied Ballistics Mobile App
- Hornady 4DOF Ballistic Calculator
- Sierra Infinity Exterior Ballistics
- Berger Bullets Long Range Shooting Calculator
Scope Turret Options
MOA scopes come in different levels of precision: one-eighth MOA for precision scopes, one-fourth MOA for standard scopes, and one-half MOA for red-dot scopes. This means that each time you turn the dial, you're adjusting the scope by a fraction of an inch.
For example, four clicks on a one-fourth MOA scope is one MOA (1 inch at 100 yards). This variety can make reticle alignment tricky, as some scopes produce measurements like .25 inches at 100 yards, .50 inches at 200 yards, or .75 inches at 300 yards.
If you miss a target while shooting at 100 yards, you can adjust the reticle for a more accurate shot using the MOA scope. The amount of adjustment you make will depend on how far off the shot was. For example, if the shot is one inch above the bullseye, adjust the point of aim by one MOA (4 clicks on a one-fourth MOA scope). To adjust the left or right aim, use the other turret.
Competitive Shooting With MOA or MRAD?
MRAD is a better option for competitive shooting
- Preferred in competitive shooting
- Most competitors use it
- Trend of long-range sport shooters switching to MRAD
- Facilitates communication with other shooters
- Makes changes to scope's reticle easier based on instructions from other shooters
- Much more precise
Hunting With MOA or MRAD Scope?
Some hunters like to use MOA reticles and turret designs, which stands for Minute of Angle, and is a way to measure how far off your shot was. MOA is good for medium distances but needs more adjustments.
Others like to use MIL, which is short for Milliradian, and is good for long distances but takes fewer adjustments. You can use the one you feel comfortable with or even use both, it's up to you. The most important thing is to find what works best for you
What Reticle Do Snipers Use?
The U.S. Army is using a new grid-based reticle called the "Mil-Grid Reticle" for its Precision Sniper Rifle program. The reticle consists of a grid system and auxiliary crosshairs, providing the snipers with precise targeting and range estimation capabilities.
\The Mil-Grid Reticle replaces commercially available reticles that incurred license fees and lack of standardization within the sniper community. The new reticle offers improved accuracy over commercial offerings, saves costs, and streamlines training.
The Mil-Grid Reticle will be mounted on the Mark 5HD riflescope and will be used on the MK22 Mod 0 bolt-action multi-caliber system.
As the content creator of badassoptic.com, My background in the firearms industry and shooting sports gives me the experience to recommend tried and true products and keep away subpar ones.