I use both systems but I voted for mil because that's what I have on my long range guns at the moment, but only because I got a great deal on them. I actually prefer MOA. I do like the scopes I'm using now because they are Mil/Mil which makes it extremely fast to make a correction and a second shot if you happen to miss. Also makes sighting in super fast. Sighted both guns in in five shots. 3 to get in the X and 2 to fine tune. Not as fine of adjustment at long distances though.
I'm new to this site and don't use either but am waiting for my first custom to be built and would like any advice on which is easier to learn/use?
It really doesn't make a difference which you choose. Mil stands for "milliradian", or 1/1000th of a radian. A circle is 2000 π.
One Mil is one meter at 1000 yards, or 3.6" at 100 yards.
MOA, or Minute of Angle (minute of arc is the proper term, but angle is used in the firearms family), is sort of like a clock.... there are "minutes" around a circle.. each "minute" is a different angle, one MOA is slightly over 1" at 100 yards, 1.047" to be exact. A degree is 1/360 of a circle, an MOA is 1/60 of a degree.
Both require a little research and practice to learn and master, but I personally don't think one is any better than the other. I prefer the MOA system, because it's a little bit simpler for me to calculate in my head on the fly than mils. Some people are the opposite. Just make sure your drop card is in the proper format to your dials, and you'll be fine (if your scope is 1/10 mil per click, make sure your drop card shows "x" mils @ yyy yards, or if it's .25 MOA per click, be sure its formatted to show "x" MOA @ yyy yards). Even faster is to match the reticle to the turrets, like MIL turrets w/ MIL reticle, or MOA turrets w/ MOA reticle... For some reason unknown to me, most scopes will come with a MIL reticle and have MOA turret adjustments... Still not a problem, just makes the process need a little more thought required. Most of my scopes are MIL/MOA, but I have MIL/MIL and a MOA/MOA as well. I prefer Nightforce's MOA system, and recommend that. I've heard great things about Vortex's MOA system as well, but haven't used it.
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Please forgive me for my beginner question. To answer your question first I would love to just use MOA, but I'm a little confused because I think I use both. For example my scope's reticle is mil dots and i sometimes will use them to range if I don't have my laser. But my dials are 1/4 clicl MOA dials. So I use minutes to get on target, but with a reticle that has MIL dots which I'll some times use to range. Should I be picking a side or is what I'm doing ok? occasionally I'll have to convert one MIL on my reticle to 3.5 minutes, but that just makes me wonder why I have a mil dot reticle in the first place. Thank you and again sorry for the beginner question.
It is best when your reticle matches your turrets. That way you don't have to run a conversion.
For instance, with your current setup, you need to read the reticle in mils, and then multiply that reading by 3.5 in order to get your correction in MOA.
The actual conversions are:
1mil = 3.438 moa
1mil = 3.6" at 100yds
1moa = 1.047" at 100yds
However, moa turrets aren't broken up into 10ths, so for ease of use when calling corrections for MOA while using mils, you simply multiply by 3.5.
So if you read a correction with your mil reticle of 1.5 mils:
1.5x3.5= 5.25 MOA (21 clicks with 1/4moa turrets)
It gets a little more tricky when dealing with odd numbers:
1.7x3.5= 5.95 MOA
In the above example, you'd simply round that up to 6 minutes. In any event, it becomes increasingly difficult to do in your head as the numbers go up. This is why it is important to have the reticle match the turrets. Mil reticles are easily broken into 1/10 mil increments, which is what most turret clicks are set to. MOA reticles are easily broken down into 1/4 MOA, which is what most moa turret clicks are set to. So if the reticle matches the turret, you read the correction in the turret, and dial it precisely without having to make any conversion.
Which system you use, whether MOA or MIL, is of little importance. It is simply user preference based on how easily you work with those numbers. I prefer mils due to the smaller numbers, that work better in my brain. 10.7 mils to a thousand yards vs. 36 & 3/4 MOA.