Should I switch to MOA?

blackburbot

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Feb 21, 2011
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Been said a thousand times...do what is comfortable to you.. Don't worry what everyone else does because it's comfortable to them. When you give driving directions to you say turn right/left or east/west/north/south.... At the end of the day it gets you in the same place just communicated differently.
 

BallisticsGuy

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May 8, 2016
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I would admonish OP to avoid racing paper like he's doing. Smaller increments are not entirely meaningful when the normal distribution of shots is greater than the value of 1 click be it .36" or .26" @100yrds.

MOA math is base 60 which is not easy for most people to intuitively use. It's also implemented at least partially with fractions instead of purely decimal for values <1. Converting in your head from fractions to decimals or vice versa ends up being necessary eventually. If you were brought up always using fractions instead of decimals then MOA might actually be easier for you to use in your head. Some of us remember the days when fractions mattered to teachers.

MIL is base 10 which is stupidly easy for humans to deal with in their heads, partly because you can just move decimal points around for a lot of operations and partly because we have 10 fingers upon which to count. If you learned decimal math or learned both then MIL is going to be better inasmuch as it's easier for a human brain to use, especially since there's no converting back and forth between decimal and fractional values.

When you start reaching out really far and in variable conditions you're eventually going to need to interpolate data. Interpolation in MILs is way easier after about 500m simply because the values for common drops start to get up into double digits when using MOA while you can usually go to ~800m or farther with common rifle rounds before getting into double digit MIL values. Interpolation only matters when using a DOPE card. I don't use gadgets for my DOPE in the field. I use printed data so it's a big factor for me.

In the end, it really matters not a single bit. They're just different angular units of measure. It's no different than deciding to measure linear distances in yards or meters. One is in the end easier to use but a lot of us only know the other.
 

Revolting Peasant

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Guess I am in the same boat as OP. I swapped over to Mils on some of my scopes for all the “right” reasons. I can use it. My problem is spotting for others. If I am not on my Mils grid riflescope and am on a spotting scope, I see the miss in inches or feet. I just can’t get it in my head calling corrections in Mils.
Guess I need a spotter with a Mils grid. Just have to find one I can afford. RP
 

MachV

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May 31, 2001
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Been doing both in the field and at work for years, I can swap back and forth easy enough.
The problem for me has been I get close but not precise. My hunting and shooting partners saw this before I did and it was easier for them to switch to just one system, they chose MOA so thats where my new scopes are going.
 

skipglo

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First, I don't want this to be a MOA vs MIL debate since that's been hashed out many times over, but I'm looking for feedback on whether you all think I might be better off switching to MOA scopes. My first intro to shooting years ago was with a Primary Arms 1-6x scope which was MOA, it took practically nothing for me to learn that system having grown up with the Imperial system it just makes sense to me. 1" at 100y, 2" at 200y, and so on and so forth. Yes I know it's not a "perfect" 1" at 100y, but for simplicity purposes it's good enough until you're shooting out really far.

However, when I recently got a little more serious about shooting I bought into the MIL system as I know it is much more common / standard in the shooting community. I figured I'd just make myself learn it but that hasn't gone so well, possibly because I just don't get out to shoot often enough to make anything stick. Either way, I can't help but wonder if I should just switch back to MOA. Also if I'm not mistaken, isn't MOA more precise using .25" clicks vs .36" clicks?

Here's the example that made me really start thinking this over ... or maybe over thinking it? I was out shooting yesterday with a friend who is a new shooter with a new rifle who had not yet sighted in his MOA scope and we had setup at 150y ... the 150y wasn't by choice, it's just what we were limited to. He shot a group that was about 3" high and 4" right. It was very quick and easy for me to think through, "1 moa is 1.5" at 150y, give me 8 clicks down and 10 clicks left" and we had it set. Even now, sitting here with time to think about it, the thought of coming up with that correction in Mils isn't terrible at that range but it takes way more thought than the MOA correction. Knowing that 1 MIL at 100y is 3.6" I can come up with 1 MIL = 5.4" at 150y (past a few hundred yards I'd probably need to get my phone out to use the calculator) and I'd call an estimated correction of .6 down and .8 left and see where that got me. Should be close, but without pulling out my phone to use a calculator it's tough. I do have a dope sheet stuck in my wallet that I list the MIL size in inches in 25y increments to use for quick corrections.

Sorry for the long post, but would I be better served in the long run by switching to MOA since it works easier for me, or am I better served by sticking with MIL's and getting more familiar with it? I know either works and the general recommendation is "use what you're comfortable with" but I'd also like to use what's most commonly used if possible. It seems that the MILs guys also understand MOA and can call corrections for that easy enough, but not necessarily visa versa. I do plan on fixing the "not shooting enough" problem so maybe with more practice I'll come around on MIL's ... otherwise I have a gen 1 Viper PST 6-24x50 and a gen2 Viper PST 3-15x44 for sale! lol
Stay with MAO.... I've converted the other way... everything MIL....I like the time it saves dialing for long shots and ranging.....
 

Dog Rocket

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This is from another forum, but addresses the issue succinctly:

Quote: "The key is to stop thinking in linear measurement in every aspect except distance.

The average uninitiated MOA shooter goes through this thought process....

"My drop at 400 yards is 36 inches, so 36 inches at 400 yards is about 8.5 MOA, so 1/4 MOA clicks means I need 34 clicks".... the same thought process is also commonly used for a miss correction...e.g. ( I missed by about 6 inches so....etc.)

The proper way to think of it is this..."My 400 yard drop is 8.5 MOA, so I need to dial 8.5 MOA...or, I missed by 2 MOA, I need to make a 2 MOA correction" (How do you know that? Because your scope has a handy dandy ruler built right into it )

The proper use of MILS and MOA is exactly the same. A) Memorize your drops in the angular measurement. B) Measure your misses in the angular measurement. C) Dial or hold that angular measurement." : end quote.
 
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johnnyk

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Dec 24, 2001
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MOA is more familiar to me but I have one Mil scope but it doesn't really matter to me. Applied Ballistic app does either system and Strelok Pro does both at the same time. All I have to do is input the range. :)
 

PredatorSlayer

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Also, why does there even need to be math anymore? I print all my dope charts in MOA and tape them to my gun(most the time the objective of my scope, see avatar) My wind is in MOA at 10mph, so the only math I am doing is with my wind holds. I validate my drops out to 1000 or 1200 before I print my chart. With rangefinders and ballistic calculators it just doesn’t matter anymore.
 

Chase723

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Nov 22, 2009
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273
Use either. If it’s FFP even better. While Mils and MOA are angular measurements, on paper at any distance they still have a nice linear correlation (that is, if you are inclined to think that way). MOA is conveniently 1” per 100 yards. 0.1 Mils is 1cm per 100 meters. Not sure either one is more convenient then the other. I personally don’t think that way at all and think in terms of a correction based on Mils or MOA because I use a FFP scope with a reticle that matches my turrets, so regardless of distance you can make a precise correction just by looking at it...IMO that’s definitely the better way to think about it/do it, but to each his own. Just don’t mix angular measurements, and yards/meters etc.
 

SteelBanger

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Dec 4, 2019
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IL
This is from another forum, but addresses the issue succinctly:

Quote: "The key is to stop thinking in linear measurement in every aspect except distance.

The average uninitiated MOA shooter goes through this thought process....

"My drop at 400 yards is 36 inches, so 36 inches at 400 yards is about 8.5 MOA, so 1/4 MOA clicks means I need 34 clicks".... the same thought process is also commonly used for a miss correction...e.g. ( I missed by about 6 inches so....etc.)

The proper way to think of it is this..."My 400 yard drop is 8.5 MOA, so I need to dial 8.5 MOA...or, I missed by 2 MOA, I need to make a 2 MOA correction" (How do you know that? Because your scope has a handy dandy ruler built right into it )

The proper use of MILS and MOA is exactly the same. A) Memorize your drops in the angular measurement. B) Measure your misses in the angular measurement. C) Dial or hold that angular measurement." : end quote.
You nailed it Dog, I've been mixing the "wrong" way to think of it and the "proper" way to think about it. I have my dope printed out so when I'm shooting at any given distance I think about it like "my 400 yard drop is 2.4mils ... but then when I spot a miss my head was switching to linear measurements and thinking "I missed 3" low and 7" right" and then trying to come up with the "x inches = y clicks correction based on that. Again in MOA that's pretty easy for me to do but not at all in MILs.

I now see the folly with that method and will get myself to stop thinking that way. I only got into shooting about 8 years ago and didn't have anyone to help / mentor me so I'm all self-taught and I know I still have a lot to learn. Even thinking back over the years I can think of all the times I did exactly what you said above, trying to convert inches to a number of clicks instead of x number of MOA ... man I made that way harder than it needed to be.

Thank you again for the great explanation!
 

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