Minute of Angle(MOA): What is it and How do I Use it?
A Minute of Angle (MOA) is a precise angular measurement of 1/60th of a degree calculated to help scope producers make accurate adjustments in accordance to specific distances. Basically, 1 MOA for riflemen is equivalent to a 1.047 inch grouping at 100 yards, a 2.094 inch grouping at 200 yards, and so on. This kind of measurement is key to precision and long-distance shooting. By zeroing a scope with the correct MOA measurement at the desired distance, a shooter can improve the accuracy of their shot and note that any issue with the accuracy of a shot is due to some external force.
In order to apply this knowledge to a real shooting experience, most rifle scopes come with dials that can be adjusted by ¼ MOA per click. Bear in mind, some scopes will adjust differently, with measurements at ⅛, ⅙, ½, 1, and others, but for simplicity we will stick with the common ¼ measurement. So, in order to move the impact point of the group 1 inch at 100 yards, you would need to dial the scope 4 clicks. Similarly, if the scope adjusted by ⅛ MOA per click, you would need to dial the scope 8 clicks.
Don’t forget that MOA is an angular measurement, and as mentioned in the first paragraph, the fire group will increase in radius as the distance increases without any MOA adjustment. This means that shooting for distance requires a keen understanding of MOA to make your shots count. For example, assume you have a rifle scope sighted to 100 yards measured at ¼ MOA per click. You want to sight to 1,000 yards and you know you need to adjust 50 MOA up on your scope, so this means that you need to adjust your scope 200 clicks up, because 50 / 0.25 = 200. Or, you can think of it like 1 in. = 4 clicks, and 50 MOA x 4 clicks = 200 clicks.
There is certainly a little bit of math involved, but once you start to shoot distance and use MOA out in the field, you will become accustomed to the adjustments needed to your scope and how they affect each shot!