So, you like your rifles.
However, your issue is that you’re just getting to the heart. There are still plenty of things you need to figure out.
In this case, which is best: Mil/MRAD or MOA?
The difference between MRAD and MOA (which is best) has been a long-standing debate amongst gun enthusiasts. Sure, both have their advantages. But the only way for you to figure out which is best for you is getting to know yourself first.
As a side note, Mil refers to Milliradian, and MOA refers to Minute of Angle. They are not a measurement of meters, centimeters, yards, feet, or inches, but rather a representation of an angle.
Now that we got that out of the way let’s do some introspection first.
To aid in the confusion, we’ve listed down some important questions you need to ask yourself before moving forward in your quest for the best scope.
While there are other questions for you to consider, these are some of the top inquiries we believe can inch you closer toward one preferred system or another.
- What type of gun do you have?
- Do you inherently think in yards or meters?
- Is your dope card in yards or meters?
- Do you use yards or meters as the measuring system in your rangefinder?
- In terms of system, what are you already familiar with, MOA or Mil?
- Do you use your scope to measure distance?
- What is your hunting range: close or long-range, or extreme long-range?
- What are you using your scope for hunting or military use?
- What are you hunting: big game, small game, varmints, etc.?
- Does your spotting scope have a reticle?
- Are you looking to match your scope system to your reticle?
- What system does your spotter know?
Now that these questions have given you an initial idea of what may be a good system for you, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of which of the two systems is great for hunting, beginners & shooting.
Let’s get cracking!
In this area, we call a tie for both Mil and MOA.
To be honest, being a beginner or professional doesn’t matter. What does matter is what measuring system you know better: The metric system (centimeters and meters) or the US Standard system (inches, yards, and feet)?
If you’re more comfortable with the metric system, the Mil makes it easier to operate the scope and do the necessary calculations.
On the other hand, if you’re more comfortable using the US Standard system, the MOA makes working with inches and yards easier.
We call another tie between Mil and MOA when it comes to hunting.
This area begs the question: What’s your hunting range?
Most hunters in short-range shots err on the side of ease by positioning the crosshairs of their reticle a tad higher than their target to cancel out gravity (hold-over).
For long-range shots, then some accuracy, a little mathematical problem-solving, and a long-range scope are needed.
There are two schools of thought for short- and long-range shooting. One is that MOA is great when you know inches and yards best. The other is that Mil is for more comfortable hunters with centimeters and meters.
While both make a ton of sense and make things easier, they are not the end-all-be-all of shooting. You can still do some calculations in your head to convert to the necessary measurements.
However, others think this takes the fun out of shooting. But if you’re up for a little challenge, then why not?
We’ll be giving the medal to MOA on this one.
An amazing field advantage for extreme long-range shots is First Focal Plane (FFP) Mil rifle scopes — those with 0.1 mil increments detailed on both the elevation and windage crosshairs.
When combined with the metric system, the Mil scope can be used for target size and distance.
However, one flaw we see with the Mil scope is how difficult it is for the inexperienced to measure down to the 1/10th or even finer accurately. And as a reticle for long-range shooting, the Mil can get busy and may cause more distraction than necessary.
This is why if you’re looking for long-range accuracy, the MOA makes for finer and easier adjustments.
MOA scopes can go even as fine as 1/8 MOA increments. The only caveat is that to effectively use those long-range adjustments; you’ll need precise formulas that sustain a true 1 MOA equal to 1.047 inches.
The Mil and MOA tie for Beginners and Hunting, with MOA gaining one point more for accuracy in Shooting. But can we say this makes MOA better than Mil?
If we consider the painstaking calculations you have to do to get as close to your target as possible, we can safely say that the real winner is…
…the scope and system that you feel most comfortable using!
However, when hunting with a buddy or spotter, both parties must get on the same page.
If you’re a beginner, shadow a pro who’s comfortable with both scopes and learn the ropes as you go. You’ll get a first-hand feel of each scope and find your way from there.
If not possible, invite someone who has the same preference as you for a more harmonious hunting experience.
And there you have it — the verdict on which is the better scope: Mil or MOA?
Are you surprised by our verdict? Or did you spot this coming from a mile away? Let us know in the comments!