MRAD Vs. MOA: An Ultimate Comparison

mrad vs moa An Ultimate Comparison

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There are several options and types of rifle scopes in the market to purchase from. In some instances, there will be either adjustment choices in MOA and MRAD. Your reticle and one of the settings will determine the correction to the width and height to obtain a nice target shot. It is possible to use both adjustments, but each type requires a specific way to calculate.   

When we’re talking about the MRAD vs. MOA dilemma, it’s important to note that both the turret and reticle are the main components of a proper scope alignment.

The reticle can either be a red dot or crosshair which offers an aiming point accurately within a scope’s FOV. Reticles are laser etched on glass directly or curated from wires. They’re advanced currently to compensate for both windage and bullet drop, aka Bullet Drop Compensating scopes.¬†

On the other hand, Turret is a scope’s twistable knob that is utilized to adjust reticles. The main turret types are ballistic turrets and target ones. They were initially designated to aid in accurate long-range targets. With external MOA markings, utilizing tall turrets helped shooters with fine adjustments when lowering or raising bullet impact. However, ballistic turrets came in 100-yard type increments offering speedy and simple ways of adjusting the bullet trajectory.¬†¬†

When zeroing in on optics, turret and reticle are in unison used to achieve high precise long-range shots. This is inclusive of purposefully turning the turrets to move the crosshair in various directions. Today’s scopes provide accurate and high magnification, measuring capabilities as well as better clarity. Nonetheless, with various scope products that are complex in the current market, it might be a fret to understand and even use the measurements and marks accurately. Therefore in this article, we will be discussing the main scope alignment systems, MRAD and MOA.¬†

How Does a Long Range Rifle Scope Work?    

Long range types of scopes can be used with both various reticle and turret types. Standard rifle scopes are manufactured with reticles, which are designated specifically for close turrets and range shots. 

This enables a shooter to adjust the reticle’s position by removing a turret cap firstly then using tools to adjust its placement.¬†

Nonetheless, long range scopes feature quick-adjust turrets and range finding reticles to help them adjust the reticle’s position and then return it to its initial aim by pressing down the turret’s top. Unlike standard rifle scopes that are best meant for shooting at stationary targets, tactical rifle scopes are perfect for long-range targets that require rapid scope adjustments. It is also noteworthy that even with a tactical rifle scope; you will need to choose a scope that can accurately measure angles in MRAD or MOA.¬†

What is MOA?

This is an initial for minutes of angle that’s based on minutes and degrees. It is typically an angular measurement. There are 360 degrees in one circle, and each degree is 60 minutes totaling 21600 degrees, meaning that an MOA basically is a 1/60th of one degree. This angle measurement type is utilized to correctly calculate the bullet impact’s correction and distance to a specific target.¬†

With 1 MOA you often make calculations at 91.4 meters (100 yards). However, you may need to rely on 1.05 MOA at 100 yards. You can use this calculation to 100 yards only. Longer distances will result in a 5% off, consequently leading to a miss.

Calculating in MOA
100 yards (91.4 m) 1/4 MOA = 0.26″ of 0.66 cm
100 yards (91.4 m) 1 MOA = 1.05″ of 2.67 cm
200 yards (182.8 m) 1/4 MOA = 2.1″ of 1.33 cm
200 yards (182.8 m) 1 MOA = 2.1″ of 5.33 cm
300 yards (274.3 m) 1/4 MOA = 0.79″ of 2.00 cm
300 yards (274.3 m) 1 MOA = 3.15″ of 8.00 cm

How Does MOA Apply to Shooting?   

It is important to note that in MOA, the angle you need to measure is the one between your aim point and the projectile’s physical impact. This can be quite confusing to beginners since aiming at the impact point seems straight via the scope. However, your rifle’s barrel and line of sight are angled evenelly against one another to form a trajectory. Then it falls towards the impact point because gravity pulls the projectile downwards.¬†

This implies that the further you’ll need to shoot, the more time a bullet needs to drop. The drop increases exponentially. This projectile drop in correlation to the point you’re aiming at forms two various points, which are separated via a measurable distance in size as well as an angle measurable in MOA. Consequently, it brings both the point of impact and aim in line to get perfect accuracy. Thus it is crucial to know how to calculate MOA to get accurate, precise targets.¬†

Key MOA Advantages

  • Most ballistic tables are typically in yards and feet
  • It is familiar to those who reside in countries that utilize imperial measurements
  • 1/4 MOA adjustments are twice as refined as 1/10 mil adjustments
  • It is easier to use MOA if you think in inches
  • Best for hunters
  • Effective and accurate¬†

What is MRAD?   

This is an acronym for milliradians/MIL based on the radial line, an angle’s unit. Hence a circle’s length is equal to the radius’s length. You can accurately calculate the bullet’s correction and distance to the target using this angle measurement type. Realistically, MRAD deflection is .9999 centimeters at 100 meters or 99.99 centimeters at 1000 meters. When calculating using MRAD, we speak of MIL, implying that 100 yards are equal to 1 MIL.

Look at this Helix Rifle Scope 6-24×50 FFP and SFP w/ Zerostop .

i.e. 1 MIL = 100 yards

Calculating in MRAD
100 yards¬†(91.4 m) 1/10 MIL = 0.36″ of 0.91 cm
100 yards (91.4 m) 1 MIL = 3.6″ of 9.14 cm
200 yards (182.8 m) 1/10 MIL = 0.72″ of 1.82 cm
200 yards (182.8 m) 1 MIL = 7.2″ of 18.28 cm
300 yards (274.3 m) 1/10 MIL = 1.08″ of 2.74 cm
300 yards (274.3 m) 1 MIL = 10.8″ of 8.00 cm

How Does MRAD Apply to Shooting? 

Scopes that use MRAD style are great for tactical scenarios wherein high precision shootings are needed. For instance, military forces in the USA utilize MIL scopes for various precise weapon sets inclusive of mortars, machine guns, and snipers. This is due to the fact they can compensate for changes and speedily measure targets in the distance. When you become better at adjustments, you’ll achieve high precision measurements with no time.  

Key MRAD Advantages

  • Best for military purposes
  • No need to dial the turret up severally; hence long-range adjustments become effortless
  • Provide accurate and speedy precision¬†
  • Base 10 metric values easily calculate
  • Veterans rely on MRAD
  • Highly effective

MRAD Versus MOA Comparison 

In regards to comparison, both systems are equally correct and effective. It isn’t about which system is superior to others but all about your preference and needs. If you’re comfortable with imperial measurements then the MOA system will be a good choice.¬†¬†

However, if you prefer a metric system then, MRAD will come in handy. Regardless of your choice, you’ll need to comprehend the nitty-gritty aspects of both systems because they tend to overlap in various ways. It is also noteworthy that some scopes use both systems whereby there’s a mil-dot reticle with turret adjustments in a ¬ľ minutes of arc.¬†

MRAD vs. MOA for Hunters 

The one MOA at 100 yards concept is simple to grasp. It is also perfect for medium-ranged distances. Nonetheless, MIL scope is also good to hunt moving targets at long-range distances.

MOA offers more precision, but it needs several adjustments on turrets. MIL turrets need fewer clicks, which come in handy if you’re tracking a target at about 600 yards per se. Regardless you may utilize any system and even conjoin them if you are a pro in calculating off head.¬†

MRAD vs. MOA for Competitive Shooters  

MRAD system works better in competitive shooting. You may utilize MOA if you’ve become seasoned in using it. Realistically speaking, it is not easy to shoot at 1/10 of a meter vs. a quarter of an inch. Hence you can easily communicate with them. Long ranged sports shooters have recently been using MRAD.¬†

When you commence participating actively in several competitive shooting games, you will realize that target size, called misses, elevation holds, and wind halls, amongst others, utilize angular measurements. Thus altering the reticle becomes straightforward when your peers offer instructions without you translating the measurements.  

MRAD and MOA Scopes: Key Differences   

There are some important key differences between MOA vs MRAD scopes:

  • ¬ľ MOA adjustment is effortless¬†
  • MRAD is easier to handle
  • Technically, 1/4 MOA clicks are a bit more accurate compared to the 1/10 MIL
  • MIL scopes have 2 digit readings, while MOA scopes utilize digits

MRAD to MOA Conversion 

It’s best not to mix the MRAD and MOA reticles and turrets because that will only confuse you. However, if you do need to convert the two, you can do it according to the formula:  

Converting MIL to MOA: MIL x 3.438
Converting MOA to MIL: MOA √∑ 3.438

Which is Easier to Use: MRAD or MOA?  

That depends on how comfortable you are with a certain scope type will be dependent on how comfortable you are with it. Choose MRAD if you need a metric system and MOA for imperial. So it all comes down to your preference, since both have similar accuracy,

However keep in mind that shooters prefer MRAD mainly because it’s used in the military.


All said and done, remember that since MOA scopes provide increased accuracy degrees at close range – they are best used for hunters. Meanwhile, MRAD scopes give very good, accurate precisions on long-distance ranges. And if you’re new to both systems, we suggest to try both and try to understand MRAD vs. MOA differences to get a choice.