What is M.O.A?
“Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything.”
Last post we interviewed Mitch Gerlinger, Owner of M.O.A. Targets, and titled it “Who is MOA?” This week we discussing WHAT is MOA. If you’ve never heard the term MOA and are curious, this is your lucky day. MOA stands for Minute of Angle (or minute of arc). Minute of angle is the mathematical formula used to express the measurement equal to 1/60th of a degree on a full 360 degree circle. At 100 yards, one minute of angle (so 1/60th of a degree) works out to 1.047 inches (1.047” or 0.2908 MilRad, or 2.908 cm @ 100m), which is BASICALLY one inch at 100 yards. So what does this all mean? Well, it means that if you’re shooting one MOA off at 100 yards, your bullet will hit the target almost one inch off its mark. We now have a way of measuring the angle we need to correct for when we are at the shooting range.
Have you ever been at the shooting range, maybe trying to sight in your rifle, and you look at those little dials on your scope and have no idea what you are supposed to do? This is where Minute of Angle comes in. Typically, if you have a quality scope, you should be able to look at your manual, or at the scopes top turret, and it should tell you what each click will equal in Minutes of Angle (commonly it is one click of the scope per ¼ MOA). This means that for every MOA off you are you will need to click your scope that direction four times. Since we know now what one MOA is at 100 yards and we know what each click of our scope equals in MOA, we can now accurately sight in our rifle.
Let me give you an example: If my grouping hits three inches low at 100 yards I know I need to adjust my rifle scope UP three MOA. If my rifle adjustments work out to one click per ¼ MOA I now know that I need to adjust my scope UP by 12 clicks. ( 3 inches X 1 click ¼ moa = 12 clicks for an adjustment of three MOA) Now, this is not always the case at different distances. At 200 yards you will, most likely, not simply have a two inch difference in where your bullet hits the target. This is due to the fact that all projectiles, even bullets, fall at an ever increasing rate (thanks gravity). As a general rule a standard bullet will be traveling at a high rate up to 100 yards and will be able to maintain a relatively straight trajectory. Beyond this distance the bullet will begin to drastically slow down and give gravity more time to work its magic, thus causing more drop on the bullet. Due to this drop, we cannot simply say that for every 100 yards your bullet will drop one inch, but we can use the MOA formula to figure out how many MOAs we need to adjust at different distances. Let’s say that we are now shooting at 200 yards and our bullet hits four inches low. Well, we know that one MOA at 100 yards is about one inch, so one MOA at 200 yards will be two inches. Now we need to ask ourselves “how many MOAs at 200 yards will fit into the inches the bullet dropped?” well, four inches divided by two inches= two MOA. So we need to adjust UP two MOA.
As you can see, this simplifies being able to adjust at many different distances. If I am shooting at 300 yards and my bullet hits 12 inches low I know that one MOA at 300 yards is thre inches. 12 inches divided by three inches = four MOA and so on…and our targets make it very easy to measure for MOA. For example, our 6 inch targets are six MOA width at 100 yards, or one MOA at 600 yards..
So why is all of this important? Well, simply put, accuracy counts. I know, I know. Sometimes it is fun to go out with the buddies with their awesome firearms and just blast lead into the landscape.We all do it from time to time, and that is perfectly fine, assuming you can get the ammo to do it. But when it comes down to good marksmanship, accuracy counts. Minute of Angle is an amazing tool to help you with your accuracy. Imagine not having to spend so much time sighting in your rifle because you don’t quite understand the process but, rather, being able to use the MOA formula to get on target and have some fun HITTING your mark. We want you on target…We want you on OUR targets.
Check out more of our targets here.