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Mildot vs MOA Reticle

I have been looking at scopes a bit, and have been tending to disregard mildot reticles since MOA makes more sense to me. But should I be discounting mildots? I can do mental math fairly well, and am sure with a little practice I could get either system down. But then I wonder if that is actually what people are doing with their reticles?

Do those of you with MOA reticles actually think "I am about 1 1/2 inches low at this range and then hold accordingly?" Do those of you with mildot think "I am about a half inch high, so I need to now divide by 3.6, add the coefficient of my pellet (mind you carry the 1), multiply by the square root of a ham sandwich..."

Or do you all just know "At this range/magnification, I should hold this many dots/lines on this reticle..." and pop goes the sparrow?

you keep dope in the format you decide to use. 3.5 MIL or 11.9 MOA. same thing, different unit of measurement.

if i am shooting 900yds with my pb, i'd rather dial or hold for 10 mils than 34.2 moa, but that is just me.

since mils is broken down into 10ths, and moa is broken down typically into 1/4ths, the adjustment for moa is slightly finer.

.25" (1/4 moa) vs .36" (1/10 mil) @ 100 yards.

perhaps a more important factor can be what the people you shoot with use. it is easier to call shots for your buddies if everyone is using the same units.

this isn't a chart for an air rifle, but you get the idea.

once you work up the "dope" for your rifle (ammo, tune), it doesn't matter really what units you are using.

the idea is you find your dope at the range over time and keep a dope chart for your rifle (under those conditions).

different weather conditions will affect your dope enough to cause a miss so it is a good idea to keep a databook or spreadsheet,

eventually you will have the correct dope, or elevation and wind calls, when you are hunting and won't have to try to "calculate" it on the fly.



Jan 15, 2021
Texas, United States

    you keep dope in the format you decide to use…

    @puddleglum This is key for me. When I pick up a rifle that I’ve practiced with long enough I’ve memorized my holdovers/holdunders. If I forget I can consult DOPE (notes). Then I usually remember if I’ve shot the gun/scope combination enough. 

    Recently I’ve read that more shooters are moving away from MOA. I’m not sure where the writer of the article got their information, lr why that is if it’s true. Personally, I’m not a calculative shooter. The numbers in my reticles don’t amount to much to me aside from knowing which ones to use for holds at specific distances. 

    MOA is a slight bit of a finer adjustment at the turrets. Occasionally (not often) i will use the reticle to measure things and determine a range. I think in inches so MOA is a bit better for that. That being said, I don't particularly care for one system over the other. I have both and I have no qualms using either. Generally speaking, I'm using the hashes as a known holdover mark more than anything else.
    If you have a drop chart why not just hold where the chart says. Do most people use their reticle for measuring range? Rangefinders are so cheap and accurate and easy to use just range and shoot. It doesn't matter what reticle you have Strelok will show you where to hold. I have a Hawke scope with a mil reticle and moa knobs. Why they would do that I don't know. If I use the reticle I hold on the line for that range after ranging the target. If dialing I click to where Strelok says. You always have to confirm the info Strelok gives but it's easy to correct for your particular set up.
    What type of shooting do you do. For Airguns I use MOA. For my powder burners I use MilDot. With the shorter distances I shoot with Airguns the MOA has a tighter reticle. Now shooting longer distances the Mil Dot is really simpler to use. So if 1/4” to .36” does not make a difference to you, go with MilDot.
    here’s what i think….

    i go with what reticle i can read best. i do holdovers so i like to be able to have a few hashmarks numbered so i dont have to count too many dots and get lost. either way if you click or hold over, you will probly have a rangefinder and dope card, or other means of figuring your aim point.

    i have both kinds and they are all equaly comparable.
    Here's something useful for everybody. Helps me when I forget distances. For me I use mill reticle & I also pre recorded the drop every 10 yards out to max shooting distance. Then write down the most used distances on a sticker cut out to fit the scope caps. 
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    A lot of good scope input and knowledge about many different preferences and processes from a lot of experienced shooters on this thread. I guess it shows that there are many different to "skin a cat".

    To me, it doesn't really matter which. I see that a pellet/slug landed 2 hash marks low using the reticle, I click up 2 harsh marks "worth" on the turrets. I rarely know(or care) what the actual empirical or metric distance is. As long the info I see on my reticle is in agreement with clicks on the turrets, everything works and the next round lands where it is supposed to. This agreement must be VERIFIED through testing.

    Most of my shooting is pesting/hunting or PRS style practicing at different distances(10 to 150yards). To accomplish this most efficiently, I use FFP scopes with clean mil reticles because (as someone mentioned early) it's easier to click base 10 numbers(.1mil per click) than fractions(1/8 MOA per click). I use Strelok Pro ballistic app for elevation and hold for windage. 

    If I shoot benchrest tournament targets or field target, I opt for SFP high mag scope with an MOA target reticle because sometimes I need a finer adjustment per click than .1 mil.

    I hope this helps. Good luck
    Perhaps this will help.


    It has nothing to do with metric, It has to do with geometry.

    I have and use scopes with both systems. The only thing that upsets me is a scope with MOA turrets and a Mil reticle. Of course that really shouldn't be a problem either as long as the dope is correct.
    I think you may be confusing terms. A mildot reticle is a series of dots or footballs depending on the manufacture. The dots are setup in MOA. MIL's is a different form of measurement. MIL reticles are generally hash marks. You might want to look closer into the difference between MOA and MIL's.

    Underlined assertion is not correct. Dots are dots. Mildot reticles have dots. MOA reticles have dots. The spacing between the dots is different. One thing @OP should keep in mind is to ensure his optic has MOA turrets if it has an MOA reticle and MIL turrets if it has a MIL reticle. You can make other combinations work but you'll find yourself doing the math every time you want to zero or move your cross hairs.
    I was moa guy also grew up using sae system inches vs metric I got a 2 scopes on sale that were mildot ffp so I ended up going with mtc range finder put in my pellet gun info and bc then I've been ranging the animals and stuff at different yardages and my app on the phone spits out hold over or dial info and I've been writing down the dope in a small note book it also works with moa biggest thing I found is get a mil/ mil scope or moa/moa scope so reticle matches the turrets 


    Apr 13, 2020
    CA, United States
      I just ordered a Hawke Airmax 30mm 4-16X50 FFP with the AMX reticle. So I guess I will be learning my way around Mils.

      the key to use Mil reticles is to use meters as distance, it just makes so much sense. The. If you need to know the yardage just time 1.1. Very simple math all divisible by 10 vs 12 inch to a good and to yards. I do still use MOH for wind and FPS for speed but that’s only because everyone talks in fps.