How to Understand Minute of Angle (MOA) – Long Range Shooting Technique
The MOA or minute of angle, is one of the terms you will come across in shooting. Indeed it is necessary that you learn what MOA is to be an accurate rifle shooter.
This guide explains what an MOA is, why it is important and how you can set it up for use with your rifle.
What is MOA?
The MOA is the standard measuring unit used to determine a rifle’s accuracy. In simple terms, an MOA is equal to 1/60th of a degree. 1 MOA is about 1 inch per 100 yards (it is actually 1.047”).
The MOA size changes according to the distance, so at 2” that is 200 yards, 3” it is 300 yards, 8” is 800 yards and so on. These are approximate measurements as the English inch and MOA are not the same. The exact figures look something like these:
That’s why it is more convenient to round the figures off. Here is a minute of angle chart to help you out.
MOA Rounded Chart
@ 1000 Yards
@ 900 Yards
@ 800 Yards
@ 700 Yards
@ 600 Yards
@ 500 Yards
@ 400 Yards
@ 300 Yards
@ 200 Yards
@ 100 Yards
What is an MOA Group Drop and Size?
The MOA is used for group size measurement. 1 MOA is a one inch group at 100 yards. 2 MOA is a 2” group at a hundred yards. When calculating at a hundred yards it is easy enough. However it gets a bit complicated when it goes beyond 100 yards.
The 3” MOA group at 300 yards is also classified as a 1 inch MOA group. But if you shoot from 300 yards with a 6” group, that is classified as a 2 MOA. If it is 1 1/2 inches @ 300 yards, it is called a 5 MOA group.
We recommend the primary arms 3x compact scope for 300 yards shooting. We got an awesome experience with this scope. 🙂
Here’s another chart to help illustrate this:
@ 700 yards
@ 700 yards
@ 700 yards
@ 700 yards
Rifle Scopes and MOA
Target and hunting scopes use.. .25 or 1/4 MOA per click. However there are also scopes which have the MOA at 1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/6 or 1/8.
An MOA calculator will show that, with a 1/4 MOA @ a hundred yards, each turret click moves the bullet impact by. .25 or 1/4 inches.
If you want the bullet impact to move an inch click the scope turret four times. If the bullet needs to move 5 inches to hit the bull’s eye, you’ll need 20 clicks at .25 MOA.
The same principle applies if you shoot from long range. Rifle sights are at 100 yards. You’ll need 20 clicks to shoot at 600 yards.
You can try the Nikon m-223 scope to get the best result at 600 yards shooting.
How to Adjust the MOA
If you are new to long range shooting, get a rifle rest as it makes a rifle more comfortable to use. A bore sight is also a big help as it aligns the scope along with your barrel. Start from 25 yards and align the scope and barrel.
Your scope should come with a turret or two for adjusting the reticle / cross hair. Usually the windage (left to right) turret is along the side. The up / down elevation turret is above the scope. Most scopes are set to 1/4” per 100 yards. 1/4 MOA.
Dial the scope until you get the focus and range you are comfortable with. Fire a 3 shot group. If the shots line up, you’ll get an idea of where the aim is relative to where you want it to be. Adjust the windage and elevation clicks until it’s at the range you want.
Tips and Reminders
Think in 1 MOA when you shoot, regardless of distance. Suppose you’re shooting at a distance of 300 yards. 1 MOA inch is at 100 yards, so 3 MOA is equal to 3 inches.
Now think in 3 inch increments so a 2 MOA is 2/3 of the 3 inch increments. This also means 1/2 MOA is equivalent to 1.5’” or 3” increments.
If you’re still having problems memorizing the increments, you might benefit from using a formula instead. Just divide the yardage distance you’re aiming for by 100. This tells you how large 1 MOA is in inches.
So if you’re @ 250 yards, divide 250 by 100 and you get 2.5. 1 MOA @ 250 yards is 2.5 inches. You can use the same formula for other measurements.
Most scopes have 1/4 MOA and that’s a good thing since it’s the most commonly used. But if what you’re using goes for 1/2, 1 or 1/8 MOA, use the click as your guide.
If you’ve got a 1/4 MOA and want to go 2 MOA, keep in mind that 4 clicks equals 1 MOA, for a total of 8 required.
Remember that MOA at 1” at 100 yards and 2” at 200 yards are both 1 MOA. This is because MOA is an angular measurement that gets larger with distance.
As I mentioned at the start of this guide, the minute of angle is crucial to ensuring your aim is as accurate as possible. A lot of the problems that shooters run into stems from a lack of understanding of what MOA is.
Hopefully the information here was able to clear things up a lot. By keeping these figures in mind you’ll have a better aim with your rifles.