As an Amazon Associate, this site earns a commission from Amazon sales.











June 12th, 2020

Angular Measurement — Mil vs. MOA — What You Need to Know

Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series
Visit PrecisionRifleBlog.com for a discussion of MIL vs. MOA.

Many guys getting started in long range shooting are confused about what kind of scope they should buy — specifically whether it should have MIL-based clicks or MOA-based clicks. Before you can make that decision, you need to understand the terminology. This article, with a video by Bryan Litz, explains MILS and MOA so you can choose the right type of scope for your intended application.

This March-FX 5-40x56mm Tactical FFP scope features 0.05 MIL Clicks.
Mil MOA reticle ranging PRS tactical minute angle precision rifle series

You probably know that MOA stands for “Minute of Angle” (or more precisely “minute of arc”), but could you define the terms “Milrad” or “MIL”? In his latest video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballitics explains MOA and MILs (short for “milliradians”). Bryan defines those terms and explains how they are used. One MOA is an angular measurement (1/60th of one degree) that subtends 1.047″ at 100 yards. One MIL (i.e. one milliradian) subtends 1/10th meter at 100 meters; that means that 0.1 Mil is one centimeter (1 cm) at 100 meters. Is one angular measurement system better than another? Not necessarily… Bryan explains that Mildot scopes may be handy for ranging, but scopes with MOA-based clicks work just fine for precision work at known distances. Also because one MOA is almost exactly one inch at 100 yards, the MOA system is convenient for expressing a rifle’s accuracy. By common parlance, a “half-MOA” rifle can shoot groups that are 1/2-inch (or smaller) at 100 yards.

What is a “Minute” of Angle?
When talking about angular degrees, a “minute” is simply 1/60th. So a “Minute of Angle” is simply 1/60th of one degree of a central angle, measured either up and down (for elevation) or side to side (for windage). At 100 yards, 1 MOA equals 1.047″ on the target. This is often rounded to one inch for simplicity. Say, for example, you click up 1 MOA (four clicks on a 1/4-MOA scope). That is roughly 1 inch at 100 yards, or roughly 4 inches at 400 yards, since the target area measured by an MOA subtension increases with the distance.

one MOA minute of angle diagram

MIL vs. MOA for Target Ranging
MIL or MOA — which angular measuring system is better for target ranging (and hold-offs)? In a recent article on his PrecisionRifleBlog.com website, Cal Zant tackles that question. Analyzing the pros and cons of each, Zant concludes that both systems work well, provided you have compatible click values on your scope. Zant does note that a 1/4 MOA division is “slightly more precise” than 1/10th mil, but that’s really not a big deal: “Technically, 1/4 MOA clicks provide a little finer adjustments than 1/10 MIL. This difference is very slight… it only equates to 0.1″ difference in adjustments at 100 yards or 1″ at 1,000 yards[.]” Zant adds that, in practical terms, both 1/4-MOA clicks and 1/10th-MIL clicks work well in the field: “Most shooters agree that 1/4 MOA or 1/10 MIL are both right around that sweet spot.”

READ MIL vs. MOA Cal Zant Article.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
August 20th, 2018

Bigger and Better — Box to Bench Precision Targets

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

Wouldn’t it be great if you could put up one BIG target that would handle a myriad of important tasks at the range: Zeroing, Load Development, Click Value Verification, and Click Tracking Repeatability Tests. Well the team at Box to Bench Precision (B2B) has developed what may be the most versatile (and biggest) precision targets ever developed. With precise grid geometry, and razor-sharp printing, B2B’s targets are probably the most advanced shooting targets ever created.

B2B’s 100 Yard Long Range Load Development and Scope Tracking Target will perform many functions. This big, 30″ x 23.5″ target has specific aiming points for various tasks. In the upper left, there are 11 small orange circles for precision load testing. Over on the upper right are 7 more small, orange circles for doing a Seating Depth Comparison test.

The bottom half of the target has larger black-on-white circles that serve multiple functions. Use the corner circles to do a “Box Test” to confirm scope tracking. On the bottom row is one B/W circle to confirm zero and another to use for velocity testing. There’s another great feature on this target — running up the center of the target is a tall line that shows elevation in both MILs and MOA. That helps you confirm the TRUE click values of your optic. You’d be surprised how many scopes are slightly off — not exactly 1/4 MOA, 1/8 MOA, or 1/10 Mil as advertised. That’s why Long Range shooters absolutely need to verify their click values.

Click Tracking Grid Target
Need to test the click tracking of your optics? B2B developed an advanced target just for that task. The Rex Grid Target (shown below) provides a highly precise grid for testing elevation and windage clicks. The unique grid design has small tics denoting 1/4 MOA, 1/2 MOA, and 3/4 MOA. 1 MOA is marked with a “+” and the 5, 10, 15, 20, & 25 MOA elevation lines are bolded for better visibility. There are aiming points at 5 MOA intervals over the full grid.

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

B2B Precision also makes adhesive, stick-on targets. This 5-Sheet Pack offers 145 Hi-Viz Target circles with precision Milrad dimensions. There are both 100-yard and 100-meter calibrated versions (120 dots for 100m pack).

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

Buyers Praise the B2B Targets
We’ve handled the B2B Targets, which are printed on high-quality, tear-resistant card stock. We can attest the printing is very precise — with accurate elevation and windage values. These aren’t your ordinary targets — they are LARGE — nearly three feet tall. Verified buyers praise these targets, one noting how the B2B target revealed his scope was not tracking properly:

“Thank you for talking to me about the MIL and MOA markers on your targets. They are very accurate. While using the Long Range 100-Yard Load Development/Scope Tracking target and my new scope, it helped me realize that my scope wasn’t tracking correctly (both turrets). So, I sent the scope to the manufacturer. When it came back, and using your target as my known constant… the scope is now ‘spot-on’ accurate. These targets are a great tool to gain a better understanding of your rifle, scope, turrets etc., all on one sheet.” — Stan, 2018

“Almost too nice to put holes in. I was in the printing industry for thirty-five years and these are really well done. Quality paper and precise printing, should be able to see bullet holes easily with these!” — Dan, 2018

Box 2 Bench Precision B2B target dots Milrad Mil Scope checking target

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Optics No Comments »
March 24th, 2017

Verify Your TRUE Scope Click Values with Tall Target Test

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

Have you recently purchased a new scope? Then you should verify the actual click value of the turrets before you use the optic in competition (or on a long-range hunt). While a scope may have listed click values of 1/4-MOA, 1/8-MOA or 0.1 Mils, the reality may be slightly different. Many scopes have actual click values that are slightly higher or lower than the value claimed by the manufacturer. The small variance adds up when you click through a wide range of elevation.

In this video, Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics shows how to verify your true click values using a “Tall Target Test”. The idea is to start at the bottom end of a vertical line, and then click up 30 MOA or so. Multiply the number of clicked MOA by 1.047 to get the claimed value in inches. For example, at 100 yards, 30 MOA is exactly 31.41 inches. Then measure the difference in your actual point of impact. If, for example, your point of impact is 33 inches, then you are getting more than the stated MOA with each click (assuming the target is positioned at exactly 100 yards).

Scope Click Verify Elevation Tall Target Bryan Litz NSSF test turret MOA MIL

How to Perform the Tall Target Test
The objective of the tall target test is to insure that your scope is giving you the proper amount of adjustment. For example, when you dial 30 MOA, are you really getting 30 MOA, or are you getting 28.5 or 31.2 MOA? The only way to be sure is to verify, don’t take it for granted! Knowing your scopes true click values insures that you can accurately apply a ballistic solution. In fact, many perceived inaccuracies of long range ballistics solutions are actually caused by the scopes not applying the intended adjustment. In order to verify your scope’s true movement and calculate a correction factor, follow the steps in the Tall Target Worksheet. This worksheet takes you thru the ‘calibration process’ including measuring true range to target and actual POI shift for a given scope adjustment. The goal is to calculate a correction factor that you can apply to a ballistic solution which accounts for the tracking error of your scope. For example, if you find your scope moves 7% more than it should, then you have to apply 7% less than the ballistic solution calls for to hit your target.


CLICK HERE to DOWNLOAD Tall Target Worksheet (PDF)

NOTE: When doing this test, don’t go for the maximum possible elevation. You don’t want to max out the elevation knob, running it to the top stop. Bryan Litz explains: “It’s good to avoid the extremes of adjustment when doing the tall target test.I don’t know how much different the clicks would be at the edges, but they’re not the same.”

Should You Perform a WIDE Target Test Too?
What about testing your windage clicks the same way, with a WIDE target test? Bryan Litz says that’s not really necessary: “The wide target test isn’t as important for a couple reasons. First, you typically don’t dial nearly as much wind as you do elevation. Second, your dialed windage is a guess to begin with; a moving average that’s different for every shot. Whereas you stand to gain a lot by nailing vertical down to the click, the same is not true of windage. If there’s a 5% error in your scope’s windage tracking, you’d never know it.”

Scope Tall Test level calibrationVerifying Scope Level With Tall Target Test
Bryan says: “While setting up your Tall Target Test, you should also verify that your scope level is mounted and aligned properly. This is critical to insuring that you’ll have a long range horizontal zero when you dial on a bunch of elevation for long range shots. This is a requirement for all kinds of long range shooting. Without a properly-mounted scope level (verified on a Tall Target), you really can’t guarantee your horizontal zero at long range.”

NOTE: For ‘known-distance’ competition, this is the only mandatory part of the tall target test, since slight variations in elevation click-values are not that important once you’re centered “on target” at a known distance.

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip No Comments »