Meaning of MOA

Meaning of MOA

MOA, the Key to Long Range Shooting Accuracy

What is “MOA” and what does it have to do with shooting? As this article explains, MOA is a measure of targeting for long-distance shooting. Learning MOA targeting leads to long-range accuracy.

Every rifle comes with built in sights, just perfect for the casual plinker or gardener trying to keep varmints out of the tomatoes. For the committed shooter interested in true accuracy at long ranges with rifles capable of meeting the demand, dovetail sights simply will not do. Of course, there are steps along the way to longer range shooting, like laser sights for swift focusing on distances within 100 yards. Suppose, however, you want the greatest possible precision in your shooting a long distances. You want a rifle sight that holds zero regardless of the caliber, the number of rounds fired, and the distance. And above all, you want to understand how to aim your rifle using MOA.

MOA means “minute of angle.” This minute is not about time—as in one hour is divided into 60 minutes—but it is about dividing things by 60. As you know, there are 360 degrees in a circle. Literally, a “minute of angle” is 1/60th of one of those 360 degrees. That sounds like a very small point, which is indeed true; there are 21,600 minutes of angle in a circle. If we consider how many MOA there are and imagine ourselves at the center of the circle, however, focusing on a target with a single MOA, we realize that our aim will be very precise.

Learning to use the principle of MOA to help us focus on a target is an exacting way to long-range shooting accuracy. To acquire a thorough understanding of the principle of MOA in shooting, we would do well to read one or more outstanding books about long-distance marksmanship. Here we’ll review two highly regarded books on long-distance shooting that do a marvelous job of describing how to understand and successfully use MOA in targeting.