Minutes of Angle and Mils

Written by Bill McDonald

There is some confusion among shooters about minutes of angle (MoA) and mils.  Both are units of angle measurement, of course, but they definitely are not the same. A minute of angle is 1/60th of a degree of angle, and a mil in 1/1000th of a radian, a different type of angular measure.  In a full circle (360 degrees) there are 21600 MoA (360 degrees x 60 minutes per degree), and 6203.2 mils** (2 x pi x 1000 milliradians).  Therefore, in each mil there are about 3.5 MoA.  This is interesting, but of more importance to a shooter looking through a scope sight is how far does the aimpoint move for each MoA or each mil of sight adjustment on the turret knobs.  The table below has been prepared as a reference for shooters:

Range Distance                 1 MoA is equivalent to                1 mil is equivalent to

100 yards                                  1.05 inches                                 3.60 inches

200                                             2.09                                              7.20

300                                             3.14                                             10.80

400                                             4.19                                             14.40

500                                             5.24                                             18.00

600                                             6.28                                             21.60

700                                             7.33                                             25.20

800                                             8.38                                             28.80

900                                             9.42                                             32.40

1000                                          10.47                                              36.00

1100                                          11.52                                              39.60

1200                                          12.57                                              43.20

1300                                          13.61                                              46.80

1400                                          14.66                                             50.40

1500                                          15.71                                              54.00

So, it is pretty clear that mils are a much coarser adjustment than MoA.  It is well to keep this in mind when either shooting or shopping for a new telescope sight.

**Please note: The number given above of 6203.2 mils in a full circle contains a typo.  The correct number is 6283.2 mils in a full circle.

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4 Responses to Minutes of Angle and Mils

  1. Bob Schoeler says:

    Thank you. I have scopes with both. This will make a great quick reference card. Do you have the exact formula so I can expand this to longer distances? If so I would appreciate it. BOB

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    • Bill McDonald says:

      Hi, Bob, Thanks for your question. There are two formulas, one for MoA and one for mils:
      For MoA: Deflection (in inches) at Range Distance R (in yards) = 1.0472 * R / 100
      For mils: Deflection (in inches) at Range Distance R (in yards) = 3.60 * R / 100
      As an example, suppose you are shooting at a target 1900 yards downrange. Then, changing the sight one MoA would give an aimpoint deflection of 1.0472 * 1900/100 which is 1.0472 * 19 or 19.8968 inches, which rounds off to 19.90 inches. The formulas are good for all range distances measured in yards and fractions of a yard.

      Bill

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  2. Ed says:

    Mil’s are broke down in to 1/0th’s…where MOA are 1/4…so they should be a finer adjustment ?

    Like

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