Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA) — Mil-Dot and Mils

By Dave Dolbee published on in How To

Several Shooter’s Log customers have asked for explanations of minute of angle and the measurement term “milliradian” (mil) and how to use a mil-dot scope to measure the distance to your target at the range and in the field. In the accompanying two videos, the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Ryan Cleckner explains both concepts and how to put them to best use.

Looking for more long range shooting instruction? Cleckner’s book, Long Range Shooting Handbook, is the complete beginner’s guide to long-range shooting written in simple every-day language so that it’s easy to follow. Included are personal tips and best advice from his years of special operations sniper schooling and experience, and as a sniper instructor. If you are an experienced shooter, this guide will help you brush up on the principles and theory of long-range shooting.

Understanding Minute of Angle (MOA) – Long Range Shooting Technique

Understanding Mils (Milliradians) — Long Range Shooting Technique

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Do you prefer to use Mil-Dot or Mils and why? Share your best argument or experience in the comment section.

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Comments (3)

  • Steve


    Practice, practice, practice. Good video, great advice.


  • Bob Campbell


    Excellent! I learned quite a bit with this one

    Good job


  • Spencer Schultz


    I bought a mil-dot scope 10 years ago, but not because of the dots. I use it on an air-rifle & very rarely shoot over 30 yards. Even when I take head shots on squirrels at 25- 30 yards, I hold maybe 1/2″ over their head.
    Mil dot scopes are useless or me. 90% of what I shoot is benchrest at 300 yards or less.
    I prefer the inch system because I’ve used it since 1970. My guns are sighted in a specific range. Even with informal bench rest I only shoot for as small a group as possible. Even if a group is off an inch or so, I could care less if it’s centered on the bullseye. A small group proves everything I need to know as to whether I have an accurate load or not. If I can shoot 5-shot 1/2″ groups I’m pleased. If I can shoot groups under 1/4″ I’m ecstatic. I believe hunters & competition shooters are the people who have a need for Mil-dot.


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