Not even the shooting world was spared from the debate between using inches or centimeters. If anything, it’s actually more confusing, with various gun sights and optics bouncing between the two. 

MOA will take you down the inches route. Mils, also known as MRADs, are going to lean you in the direction of the metric system. Both are common. So what should you pick when choosing the best for your scope

Mils vs. MOA


MRAD Measurements
You may want to pick the measurement system that is most common among your fellow shooters. (Photo: Don Summers/

At the end of the day, both of these systems work just fine. The measurement system you pick will likely depend on what type of shooting you are going to do the most. 

More people involved in precision tactical shooting like the Mid-Atlantic Rimfire Series matches are leaning toward mils. Since most people are using scopes with mils measurements, it’s just generally easier to use the same system for communication purposes. Having the same system for competitions allows you to speak to each other in the same language.


That might make the simple answer seem like you should pick mils. But that’s not necessarily true. Hunters tend to favor MOA, and it is a classic measurement used by American shooters. As long as your dials match your reticle, either mils or MOA will suffice. They are both easily converted as well.

Some older scopes did have a mix of mils measurements and MOA reticles, which would require you to do conversions when shooting. That’s not normally the case anymore, so you should really just aim for the one that fits your purposes and that you are comfortable with when shooting at longer ranges.

revolver barrel loading graphic