MOA vs. Mil: How To Choose The Optimal Long-Range Shooting Technique

Introduction: MOA and Mil

Long-range shooting demands precision, and choosing the right technique can make all the difference. Among the most popular methods are MOA (Minute of Angle) and Mil (Milliradians), each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the differences between MOA and Mil techniques, compare their attributes, and help you determine which is best suited for your long-range shooting endeavors. All OuterImpact Picatinny Rails meet NATO and Mil-Spec 1913 specifications. Our rails are precision machined from billet aluminum and must meet our strict quality control specifications.

MOA (Minute of Angle)

MOA is a unit of angular measurement commonly used in the shooting sports. One MOA is equal to 1/60th of a degree, which translates to approximately 1 inch at 100 yards. MOA is popular among precision shooters for its simplicity and ease of use, especially when it comes to adjusting windage and elevation on scopes.

Strengths of MOA:

  • Simple and intuitive for many shooters
  • Commonly used in the United States
  • Directly corresponds to inches at specific distances

Weaknesses of MOA:

  • Conversion to other units can be less intuitive
  • Incremental adjustments may not be as precise as Mil

Mil (Milliradians)

Mil is another unit of angular measurement used in long-range shooting, particularly in military and tactical applications. One Mil is equal to 1/1000th of the range. Mil offers a finer degree of adjustment compared to Minute of Angle and is often favored for its versatility and compatibility with metric measurements. There are claims that Mil is better suited to longer distances beyond 1000 yards. We have not had any trouble with MOA accuracy up to 2 miles (3520 yards) but the reports are there and should be investigated as there is evidence this is correct.

Strengths of Mil:

  • Fine adjustments for precise aiming
  • Easy conversion to other units, especially metric
  • Commonly used in military and international shooting competitions

Weaknesses of Mil:

  • Initial learning curve for shooters accustomed to MOA
  • Metric-based system may be less familiar to some shooters

Comparison of Minute of Angle and Mil Techniques

Angular Measurement1 MOA = 1/60th of a degree1 Mil = 1/1000th of the range
Correspondence to InchesApproximately 1 inch at 100 yardsDependent on range and target size
PrecisionCoarser adjustmentsFiner adjustments for precise aiming
Common UsageUnited StatesMilitary and international competitions

Ideal Situations for Minute of Angle and Mil

  • MOA Preferred:
  • Hunting and target shooting in the United States
  • Shooters comfortable with imperial units
  • Situations where simplicity is prioritized over precision
  • Mil Preferred:
  • Military and tactical shooting scenarios
  • International competitions and collaboration
  • Precision shooters seeking fine adjustments and versatility
Tikka Picatinny Rail 20 MOA


Both Minute of Angle and Mil techniques have their merits in the realm of long-range shooting, offering shooters distinct advantages depending on their preferences and shooting requirements. Whether you opt for the simplicity of MOA or the precision of Mil, understanding the differences between these techniques is key to maximizing your accuracy and success on the range or in the field. The precision machined Picatinny Rails from OuterImpact provide a consistent level of quality and will work as Picatinny Rails, Weaver Rails and NATO Mil-Spec Rails, covering everything you need.

Evaluate your shooting style, preferences, and the specific demands of your shooting scenario to determine whether Minute of Angle or Mil is the ideal choice for your long-range shooting endeavors. With the right technique at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle even the most challenging shooting situations with confidence and precision. By evaluating these aspects, firearm enthusiasts can make informed decisions tailored to their specific needs and preferences when selecting optics for their firearms.

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