MOA vs. MRAD: Guide on the Best for Hunting and Shooting

MOA vs. MRAD Guide on the Best for Hunting and Shooting

There’s a buzz in the air and the quiet energy around you is permeating your bones.

You’re excited about your first hunting or shooting event, but one worry keeps going through your mind: You can’t quite decide which scope to use — the MOA or MRAD!

The ongoing debate on what the best rifle scope is can leave beginners with a lot of questions on which one is right for them when it comes to range, ease of use, and accuracy.

However, with the constant scope and rifle improvements, it looks like there will never be just one definite choice.

To determine which one suits you best, you need to ask yourself a few questions: What are you looking for in a scope? What are you comfortable with? What additions do you currently have or want to invest in? How much math are you willing to do?

If you don’t know yet, don’t worry.

In this MRAD to MOA comparison article, we aim to provide clarity to the confusion by showcasing the differences between MRAD and MOA – including its PROs and CONs – and leave the decision-making to you.

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

For Starters

Keep in mind one rule of thumb: the best scope to use is the one you’re generally comfortable with using.

In essence, both MRAD and MOA systems are equally accurate and efficient. There isn’t one superior scope over the others. It’s all about your preference and needs.

If you’re comfortable with inches, feet, and yards, then the MOA system is for you. If you prefer centimeters and meters, then go for the MRAD.

Whatever your choice may be, one requirement is to fully grasp the basics of both systems. This is because they overlap in numerous ways.

Also, note that some scopes use both systems. For example, there are Mil-dot reticles with turret adjustments in 1/4 MOA.

For Hunting

MOA vs. MRAD rifle scope for hunting

A single MOA is equal to 100 yards, making it a quick and easy concept to grasp. This scope gives enough precision for medium-range distances. However, the further the distance, the more accurate your math must be — at precisely 1.047 inches.

Due to being more precise, the MOA requires more turret adjustments.

An MRAD-based scope, on the other hand, makes a better tool when hunting moving targets at a longer distance. It comes in handy when you’re hunting a game at 500 yards since an MRAD requires fewer clicks to make a needed correction.

Regardless, start with comfort in mind. It helps to put your strengths into play.

Practicing on one system makes room for drastic improvements, of course. But if you’re good at making on-the-go mental calculations, then a mix of both scopes is always ideal.

When all is said and done, the smartest choice is always the scope that is the simplest to use for you.

For Shooting

Again, MOA offers the best precision. So, if you’re a competitive shooter who is seasoned at using an MOA, by all means, keep using it.

However, for competitive shooting, the MRAD is generally recommended because the average person who isn’t as well-versed with mental calculations won’t be able to determine the difference between 1/10 of a meter and 1/4 of an inch.

Another reason why MRAD is the choice for most competitive shooters is that it makes for seamless communication with others. Nowadays, many of those who are used to MOAs are even transitioning to MRADs for its simplicity.

Most competitive shooters will be using angular measurements, from elevation to wind holds and beyond.

As you participate in more competitive shooting tournaments – if you wish to make scope adjustments easier (and win more competitions in the process) – it’s best to be on the same page as your shooting buddies and/or competitors.

Long story short, to eliminate the need to translate every measurement when participating in competitive shooting events, go for the MRAD scope.

For Clarity

You may have heard that the military and the police force have now standardized the MRAD scope, but it isn’t because it’s superior to the MOA.

Their goal in doing so is merely for uniformity’s sake and to make communicating with others easier.

The only things that make a difference between MRAD and MOA are:

  • Your ability to make quick mental calculations
  • Your preference in terms of measurement systems
  • Your ease in using formulas that improve the shooting precision at long ranges

Again, it has more to do with personal preference than the features themselves. So, we highly recommend trying out both scopes and choosing the one that most aligns with your shooting style.

In the end, the choice is yours!

man shooting with rifle scope


And there you have it — our verdict for the never-ending MOA vs. MRAD comparison. We hope we’ve shed some light on this area.

Hopefully, you will be able to pick the scope type that suits your style and needs well. Good luck and happy shooting!

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