What Is MOA And How To Use It?
If hunting is something that you love, then knowing what MOA is essential. A critical necessity MOA requires the right amount of knowledge and understanding.
If you are a novice in the world of hunting or even target shooting, then you might ask as to what exactly is MOA?
If answered in simple terms, then MOA stands for Minute of Angle. Now the next query might be as to how is it related to hunting or target shooting?
In case you think that Minute refers to as time, then you are wrong. In hunting or target shooting, Minute refers to the rifle accuracy measured in precision angle measurement.
Mathematically we have 36o degrees of angulation possible. Each degree represents a specific angle measurement. When the measurement number increases, the angle width also enlarges accordingly.
Each degree is divided further into smaller units referred to as “minute.” I degree is equivalent to 60 minutes. SO basically 1 minute is 1/60th of a degree.
While shooting a target, precision is paramount if you want the shot to hit its mark. That is the reason why even the smallest angle difference is essential.
So, one may wonder why MOA is vital in shooting?
Well, thanks to the power of gravity, bullets shot never move in a straight line and hits the target. Instead, it forms an arc when shot. The trajectory of the bullet is affected by gravity, and the speed tends to slow down.
Therefore the shot fired at the exact target from 100 yards and 200 yards will always differ. While the shot from a nearer distance will hit the precise point, the bullet fired from a range will hit the target at a lower spot.
So, the measurement of the exact spot where you were targeting to hit and the sot where the bullet hits is termed as Bullet Drop.
The assessment of the exact trajectory and deciding the MOA based on that helps in an accurate shot.
In other words, What it means is that MOA helps in correct shot prediction during target practice as well as hunting.
Understanding Minute of Angle
If MOA has to be understood well, a little bit of mathematical knowledge is essential.
While using a rifle and a scope, MOA helps to assess the shooting accuracy. For a quicker assessment of the target and shooting, it is denoted in terms of inches from a distance of 100 yards.
For example, say you are at 400 yards, then the MOA will be 4 inches. Or if you are stationed at 550 yards, then the MOA is precisely 5.5 inches rather than 4, 5, or 6 inches.
For someone who has trouble with necessary conversions, 1 MOA is equal to 2.9 cm (1 inch) per 100m.
Using MOA the right way
There is a saying among avid shooters and hunting experts that says, ”The closer the object, the lesser the chance of seeing. The further the object, the higher is the visibility.”
Understanding the difference between the point of impact and the angle of the shot is what many fail. The degree of the aim of the shot fired decides the location of the hit on the target.
We all know that rifles have a conical trajectory; that’s the reason a precision degree is needed while shooting. This is where MOA comes into play.
As mentioned above, 1 MOA is equivalent to about 1 inch at 100 yards. Though to be precisely precise, it is 1.047 inches, but 1 inch is considered in most situations.
However, on a scope, quick calculation and precise adjustment are not possible. That is the reason a click is placed on the scope.
So, while a rifle scope is being adjusted for sighting the target, the click is rotated at the desired MOA. 4 clicks are equal to 1 MOA, or if reversed and calculated, then one click is equal 1/4th of an MOA.
So in case one has three shots in a group that needs to be hit 4 inches high and 2 inches to the right of the point of aim from a distance of 100 yards, then the precise calculation will be 4 MOA high and 2 MOA to the right side.
So, the click on the scope will be 16 clicks high and eight clicks to the right. Since rifle accuracy cannot always be predicted precisely, one can make necessary adjustments after the first shot has been fired.
What are Rifles and MOA accuracy? How important is it in shooting a target?
In any rifle, Caliber is another standard measurement used for bullet trajectory assessment. However, at a shorter distance, Minute holds more accurate predictions than Caliber.
On average, a rifle shots 3 to 5 shots at 100 yards precisely. So most rifles are categorized as 1 MOA or sub-MOA rifle.
The accuracy of these rifles is predicted based on multiple factors. These include the quality of the rifle barrel, the trigger and action response of the rifle, the ammunition quality, and finally, the shooter’s ability to predict and detect the line of trajectory.
MOA is essentially the basic knowledge component one needs to know well about, to understand shooting well. After all, hunting is no fun if you have never acquired a game.