Minute of Angle or, as commonly referred to by shooters, MOA sounds fancy but in reality, it’s very simple. In this post, I’ll attempt to explain in simple terms why MOA is used in marksmanship, and how it can be a useful tool when measuring for accuracy and distance.

OK, let me give you an example of how MOA works in a practical sense.

The .300 Winmag rifle we used in the Navy SEALs was a 1 Minute of Angle gun. Meaning that with match-grade issued ammunition the gun could shoot as accurately as 1 MOA. This means that at 100 yards the gun could hold one-inch diameter groups.

These would equate to: 200 yards = two-inch diameter; 600 yards = six-inch diameter; 1,000 yards=10-inch diameter

If you are holding dead accurate at 1,000 yards the best you could hope to achieve is putting the bullet within a 10-inches diameter of accuracy.

There are several rifle systems, like the Cheytac, that are capable of .5 MOA. In that case, you would just half what I’ve listed above. Make sense? It’s really that simple.


There Is More to Consider Than the MOA

However, note that not all ammunition is created equal. This is why serious rifle shooters know their ammo and sometimes reload to save money on match-grade or to control the batch. In the SEAL snipers, we would record the ammunition lot number for our records. We would also record the velocity of the rifle’s signature to enter into our ballistic software. Some rifles would shoot 100 feet per second faster or slower than others.