What’s the Difference? Mil vs. MOA

  • Caleb Tillery

When purchasing an optic, often the buyer and seller will have a conversation about Mil vs MOA.

Some individuals will say one is better than the other but, put simply, they are both units of adjustment that should provide the same outcome.

In order to zero the weapon system, the shooter must adjust the optic’s elevation and windage knobs until the bullet impacts at the desired point at the desired distance. You can check out our article on how to zero a rifle here!

When using an optic with Mil’s, short for milliradians, the optics crosshairs will move 3.6 inches at 100 yards with one full Mil of adjustment.

It is common for optic manufactures to have a faction of adjustment to refine the zero. For instance, you may find optic with 1/10 mil adjustment. This would mean that one click of adjustment would move the crosshairs .36 inches and 10 clicks would move it a whole Mil.

Now, when using an optic with MOA or Minute of Angle, the adjustment for a whole MOA is 1 inch at 100 yards.

Much like Mil optics, manufacturers will use a fraction for each click. It is common for a MOA optic to move ¼ MOA or .25 inches with each click.

Understanding how much each click moves the corresponding optic will allow the shooter to easily and accurately adjust the optic until the desired zero is achieved. It can save a lot of headache!

Regardless, if Mils or MOA is used the adjustments are virtually the same and produce the same outcome. The best advice is for the buyer to use the adjustment type that works best with their preferred units of measurement.

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