When it comes to shooting and ballistics, there are two main units of measurement for adjusting the sighting of a firearm: Minute of Angle (MOA) and Milliradian (MRAD). Although both MOA and MRAD are used for the same purpose, there are significant differences between them. In this article, we will explore the difference between MOA and MRAD and their practical applications.
Minute of Angle (MOA) is a unit of angular measurement that represents 1/60th of a degree. In shooting, it is used to measure the accuracy of a firearm and to make adjustments to the sighting. An MOA is a fixed angle, and as the distance between the shooter and the target increases, the MOA becomes larger. For example, at 100 yards, one MOA is equivalent to 1.047 inches, while at 500 yards, one MOA is equivalent to 5.23 inches.
Milliradian (MRAD), on the other hand, is a unit of measurement that represents 1/1000th of a radian. It is also used to measure the accuracy of a firearm and to make adjustments to the sighting. However, unlike MOA, the size of an MRAD does not change as the distance between the shooter and the target increases. For example, one MRAD at any distance is equivalent to 3.6 inches at 100 yards.
The main difference between MOA and MRAD is the units of measurement. MOA is measured in inches, while MRAD is measured in millimeters. Additionally, the math used to calculate adjustments is different between the two. MOA uses a formula of 1.047 inches per 100 yards, while MRAD uses a formula of 3.6 inches per 100 yards.
In practical applications, MOA is commonly used in the United States, while MRAD is more commonly used in Europe and other parts of the world. MOA is preferred by some shooters because it is easier to visualize, with one MOA equating to roughly one inch at 100 yards. MRAD is preferred by others because it is more precise, with finer graduations and no need for conversions.
Another practical consideration is the equipment used for sighting. MOA and MRAD are not interchangeable, and the scope or sighting system must be calibrated to the correct unit of measurement. As such, it is important to select a unit of measurement that is compatible with the equipment being used.
In conclusion, both MOA and MRAD are used to adjust the sighting of a firearm, but they differ in their units of measurement and calculation methods. MOA is measured in inches, while MRAD is measured in millimeters. MOA changes size as the distance between the shooter and the target increases, while MRAD remains constant. The choice between MOA and MRAD depends on personal preference and the equipment being used. It is important to understand the differences between these two units of measurement to ensure accurate and consistent adjustments to firearm sighting.