What Is MOA on a Scope

MOA, an abbreviation used for Minute Of Angle, is a term you will hear and read repetitively while learning about shooting. Also, the term MOA, its concept, and usage is quite essential to understand shooting entirely. To briefly define MOA, we can say that it is an angular measurement of 1/60th of one degree of circle, often used in long-range shooting. 

Basics of MOA

You must be thinking of MOA as some rocket science until now, but it is quite an easy concept. We are here to make it effortless and straightforward for you. Let us begin with the absolute basic idea. Minute in MOA means 1/60th portion of a degree, just like a minute is 1/60th part of an hour in time. 

The portion, i.e., 1/60th part of a degree, might seem very small, but the difference it makes is enormous. It can create a significant effect while you are hitting your target, especially long-range ones. So, to achieve accuracy, one must know all about MOA. 

Why Do We Need MOA

Yes, that must be your next question. Well, here we are to explain it to you. If you have ever noticed a bullet or are interested in shooting, you must know that the bullet makes an arc while traveling. As it travels some distance, the velocity decreases, and the force of gravity acting on it becomes stronger. This provides bullets a steep arc to travel in or fall. The path followed by a bullet is called bullet trajectory. 

You might have noticed that you are hitting lower than the target point when you shoot for targets at a significant distance, say 500-600 yards. This distance between the point where your bullet hits and the actual target is called bullet drop. To cover this bullet drop, we need to measure in degrees, and that is why we need the concept of MOA. 

The Relationship Between MOA and Distance

The first thing you need to learn about is that MOA is independent of distance. Let us make it clear. MOA is an angular measurement rather than being a linear one. 1 MOA or 1 minute is equal to 1 yard or 1.047 inches, but mostly it is rounded off as 1 inch while hunting or shooting. When you make a 1-minute adjustment on your scope, you can expect a 1-inch change of bullet impact at 100 yards. 

Understanding Minute of Angle

If you want accuracy in your shooting, you need to understand using MOA. This will help you in solving bullet drop. To eliminate or solve bullet drop, first, you need to know what your bullet drop actually is. 

How to Determine Bullet Drop

Set up a proper distance for shooting and hit some fires. You must know the bullet drop. After this, you must recall what size 1 MOA translates to at this given distance. For instance, if you were shooting in a distance of 200 yards and missed your target by 2 inches, you have to make some adjustments.

1 MOA translates to 2 inches when the distance between the shooting point and target is 200 yards. Now, you quickly know that you need 1 MOA to compensate for this loss of 2 inches. Here is the formula to calculate the size of MOA at any particular distance. 

(Distance between shooting point and target in yards)/100= inches per MOA for the distance 

You can multiply the distance in yards by 1.047 inches for greater efficiency and divide the answer obtained by a hundred. 

How to Calculate Bullet Drop

After you have calculated MOA at a certain distance, you need to calculate bullet drop. Continuing the example provided above, consider that your bullet drop is 40 inches. The formula for bullet drop is 

Number of inches of adjustment needed / inches of MOA at that certain distance = needed MOA adjustment

(40 inches)/ (2 inches) = 20 MOA adjustments needed 

MOA Turrets

Riflescopes in the market have 1/8 MOA turrets, 1/4 MOA turrets, 1/2 MOA turrets, and 1 MOA turret. The range of MOA turrets means that turrets will turn in such increments, i.e., 1/2 MOA turret will have 1/2 increments and so on. 

Every time you circle the turret, it will produce a clicking sound. The line appearing will guide you about adjustments. To explain it by example, if you have ¼ MOA adjustments on your scope, getting to 10 MOA will require 40 clicks. If 1 MOA needs four clicks, then 10 MOA will need 40 clicks.


The concept of MOA is not hard to understand. You just need little attention and knowledge of calculations to grasp the idea altogether. If you know your distance from your target and your bullet drop, you are all set. You can calculate MOA in no time. So, let’s grab the theory and gear up to shoot your targets without worrying about the large distances. 

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