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MOA or Mils?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by kis2, Jun 12, 2011.

?

MOA or Mils

  1. I prefer matching MOA

    17 vote(s)
    32.1%
  2. I prefer matching Mils

    30 vote(s)
    56.6%
  3. I prefer MOA on my turrets, Mils in my reticle

    6 vote(s)
    11.3%
  4. I prefer Mils on my turrets, MOA in my reticle

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    I'm doing some scope dream shopping, and thinking my next one will have MOA turrets and a MOA reticle (since my brain is biased to that). Something like the nf NP-R2.

    This just got me thinking, how many of you precision shooters out there use matching units, or different units in turret/reticle. And why you chose the unit of measure/setup you did?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    kis2, this is a question that will get different answers, depending on where you ask it. If you go to someplace like snipershide, you'll be an idiot if you want anything other than a FFP reticle with a mil/mil setup.

    Personally, I run a Nightforce 5.5-22X50 with an NP-R2 reticle in an moa/moa setup. I'll just lay out why I chose this route. First, I went with the NF because it's a helluva scope. I think NF will give you a prize or something if you can kill it. Just kidding. Secondly, I prefer SFP reticles because in all of the scopes that I've seen with FFP reticles, the reticle covers more of the target at maximum magnification and I'm just fine using a SFP reticle for ranging.

    I went with MOA because I'm a target shooter. I don't have dreams of being a "real" sniper and am worried about more than just hitting man sized targets. I shoot at small stuff and the MOA scale allows finer adjustments than the mil scale does. This is probably a bit over simplified, but a mil scope will adjust the point of impact by roughly 1/3 moa with every click. An moa scope will adjust the POI by 1/4 of a moa with every click.

    If you don't need the finer adjustments, the mil scale also has its advantages. First, it's simpler. The reticle will be marked in mils or tenths of a mil. All you have to do is think in tenths. I'm probably not doing a very good job of explaining it. I'm an MOA guy and never left that camp. I will say that I've talked to guys that shoot long range and they shoot in pairs, alternately shooting and acting as spotter and they've told me that mils makes communication easier.

    In any case, if you are dream scope shopping, I'd suggest that you check out the Nightforce line. They are the best bang for the buck when you start talking high end scopes. Depending on what your needs are, check out both the 15X and the 22X. If you want to look at a MOA setup, check out the NP-R1 reticle. It's a bit more cluttered than the NP-R2, but I have had situations where the NP-R1 would have taken some of the guess work out of dialing. For a mil setup, look at the MLR reticle.

    You might also want to take a look at the new Super Sniper 20X that SWFA is releasing. It's a FFP scope, but still worth checking out. You may like that and you can get the scope for around $1K right now. Reports so far put the SS about on par with the NF, although I AM a Nightforce fanboy and will stick with them.
     
  3. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    TonyAngel, thanks for the reply, it's great news you have this scope already! I have a few questions for when you have time...

    Illumination: with no batteries, how's the reticle look, good? Is the illumination adjustment still under the focus knob? seems like a pain.

    Does the entire eyepiece move when you change mag? seems like that would be a pain with flipup caps.

    with SFP, what mag setting is the reticle accurate at? FFP doesn't do anythingn for me :)

    Finally, with the moa knobs, how much adjustment do you get per rotation?

    I'm sold on the nightforce line, and the 5.5-22 seems like the way to go. I'll look into the npr1 based off your recommendation.

    Kinda hijacked my own thread there... back to the point, I'm in the MOA camp as well. I'm sure mil is a great system too, but I figure I'll stick with what I know and continue to get more proficient with it. In my mind, it works slick. I'm real excited for a moa reticle.
     
  4. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    I disagree on several points. There's nothing wrong with moa/moa and it's popular on the hide and just as easy to communicate.

    Sfp is ok for static shooting at known ranges as long as you have all day to twist knobs.

    Nf is ok.
     
  5. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    With no battery, the reticle looks as it should. From what I've gathered, the purpose of the illumination is to aid in the use of the scope in conjunction with night vision equipment. That is why the illumination control is where it is. It's a set it and forget it proposition. It is not and was never meant to be a daytime bright illuminated reticle. It simply doesn't need it. In the time that I've had the scope, I've only used the illumination a couple of times just to provide some contrast between the reticle and the background. When I set mine, I did it in pitch black darkness. I set the brightness so that it just barely bloomed in that environment. With that setting it has worked when I needed it to.

    Yes, the entire eye piece moves when you adjust the magnification. When I first got the scope, I had the same feeling that you do; however, since I've had the scope for as long as I have, I don't think that I could go back to using a scope with a conventional adjustment ring. Being able to just grab the whole eye piece is really convenient. I don't use a rear flip up cap. I just cut off the eye piece portion of the cover that came with the scope and attached it to the body with a couple of zip ties. When I need the cover, I just pop it on.

    On the 5.5-22X, the reticle is accurate at all settings, provided that you do the simple math and is one of the reasons that I suggested the NP-R1 rather than the NP-R2. I sort of have an idea of the types of shooting that you do and you do much more long range than I do. With the NP-R1, the graduations are at increments of 1 MOA rather than 2. So...at 22X, each graduation accurately represents 1 MOA. At 11X, each graduation is accurately represents 2 MOA, at 5.5X each graduation represents 4 MOA.

    I have an older NF, so I only have 10 minutes of adjustment per rotation. The NF scopes being sold now all have Hi Speed turrets that give you 20 minutes per revolution.

    Check out Nightforce's website and click on the "library" link. It will lead you to a bunch of PDF documents.

    If, after shopping you decide that you're not wild about spending over $1500 on glass, at least check out the Sightron SIII line. They have a long range model with an MOA reticle that goes for around $900. I also have a Vortex PST on my rimfire rifle and it's pretty nice. I got it for $750, but to tell the truth, the more I use it, the more I don't like it. I'm just not crazy about the turrets.
     
  6. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    To add an example for illustration:

    In zaks steel safari match last week, the winner stated he used a USO 3-17x that was on 13 power the whole match. If that were a sfp scope he would have had to dial windage for almost every shot. My guess is few if anyone dialed windage in the match and everyone just held instead using their reticles.

    So sfp presents the shooter with a dilemma: crank up the magnification so you can hold wind or lose more time trying to find the targets
     
  7. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    taliv- I can appreciate your comments on windage, it makes good sense. However, going back to what TonyAngel said, if I know what my SFP reticle is calibrated for on 3 different settings, surely I can select a field of view appropriate for what I'm doing at the time. Then I can leave it set (like the match winner did) or just be aware how the changes affect my measurements. and obviously more time behind the same scope would make you more proficient at your given technique. Is that not a valid thought?

    For me, I'd rather have the SFP, all things being equal. But I'm also not a match winner :)

    TonyAngel, thanks for the answers! I figured that's how I'd treat the illumination as well (I was actually looking for a model without it, to save some cash on a feature I don't really need. then I realized they all have it)

    I was hoping they had the presence of mind to place the mag/calibration levels evenly apart so you could use them just as you stated (2x value, 1x value, .5xvalue). That's great!
     
  8. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Man, regardless of the sort of optics equipment you are used to, I think that calling a Nightforce just "ok" is unfair. Of course, it is an opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs.

    I can understand what taliv is trying to say with the use of the above example, but I think that it is a bit of an exaggeration of the advantage offered by a FFP scope. I really don't think that 13X was some magical magnification that the shooter purposely used. He probably just dialed down to something that allowed him a wider field of view. In any case, it's a misrepresentation to say that a guy shooting with a SFP reticle would have been dialing for wind or loosing time trying to find the targets. I never dial for wind. In the above example, a shooter using a SFP 5.5-22X NF could simply have used 11X magnification to get to an easy scale to convert and then hold for wind. I do it quite often.

    I'm not saying that FFP reticles don't have their benefits, it just isn't always the best answer. For some, a SFP reticle is more flexible over a broader range of uses. In this particular instance, what I know of kis2 tells me that he shoots at targets ranging from paper to targets of opportunity.

    I do a fair amount of shooting at paper and appreciate that SFP reticles (for the most part) cover less of the target. To have that, I'm willing to make the necessary sacrifices.

    In any case, kis2 isn't a newb at this stuff. I'm sure that he's just scouring for opinions to make sure that he doesn't over look anything. Again, I do have to mention the SS 20X. It looks to be a nice scope and might pick one up just to try it out. I have an 18" build idea smoldering in the back of my mind and that SS looks like it might sit nicely on top of it.
     
  9. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Ooops, I was typing while kis2 was.
     
  10. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    Oh, I know that your rifle went in for a refit. I just don't know the profile of the barrel that you got. I went with the 50mm objective, as opposed to the 56mm, because my barrel is heavy and I would had to have gone with high rings if I went the 56mm route.
     
  11. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    i was tempted to say "if it's what you want, then go for it" but honestly, sometimes people just want the wrong things. If all things are equal, including price, choosing a SFP over a FFP would be a bad choice. what redeeming feature does SFP have? what can it do substantially better than a FFP? I took the high score in 2 1000 yrd F-class matches last year with a FFP scope, so even on paper targets, it's not like the P4F reticle in my S&B obscured the 5" x-ring. (in fact, it's about 1.3" wide at 1000 yrds) so it's not really clear to me under what practical circumstances that would be a problem.

    beyond that, you don't really KNOW it's calibrated on 3 different settings until you test it. there is usually some variance in manufacturing. and it assumes you can dial it exactly to 11x or whatever. and if it's off say a quarter to a third power, what does that do to your simple math? nothing i guess, if you want to re-label it.

    think about it this way: if you had no detents (clicks) on your elevation knob, only numbers printed on the outside, and if you needed 6 minutes up on the gun, and you just freely spun the dial around (like you would the power ring) to about where it says "6 minutes", is that good enough for you? at the same time that you think 1/10th mil increments aren't granular enough?

    and yes, there wasn't anything magical about 13x. he could have used 11x.

    price is the only reason i can think of that would cause me to buy a SFP instead of a FFP. I'm not saying everyone has to buy a FFP and that SFP are useless. but if you're just dreaming about them, dream about a better one :)

    i own two NF scopes. very happy with one, very unhappy with the other. i averaged it out.
     
  12. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    hahaha, I can see what you're saying taliv:) very valid points. I think you're right, there probably isn't anything a FFP can't do that a SFP does way better. And I know I was the one who said 'all things being equal', but they aren't, you pay for that FFP. Worth it to me? I need to think more perhaps.

    let me think out loud here for a moment though, bear with me:

    lets make the assumption I get a scope that, upon testing, proves that it's calibrations work on the three different levels. nightforce has some real nice markings on their magnification levels to line up with, but I misdial my setting by an entire half power (so 11.5 instead of 11). how far off does that put me? like .1 moa? heck, at 800yds I can't even estimate any kind of moderate crosswind accurately enough for that to be an issue.

    That entire paragraph is based off my 'top of the head' math (which could be way off :rolleyes: ) and theory. obviously the cleanest way to not worry about any of this is buy FFP.
     
  13. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    TonyAngel, my barrel is coming back a lite palma, so I would THINK it should clear a 56mm with my current seekins rings, which are medium. To be honest, 50 or 56, I doubt I could appreciate the difference. but hey, go bigger if you can right?
     
  14. TonyAngel

    TonyAngel Member

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    I also wanted to point out that the SS has a FFP reticle.

    taliv, I can understand that you are using your S&B as an example, but I really don't think that scope falls in the same category. It is hardly what I'd call a "bang for the buck" scope, which I think the NF is. Put simply, your S&B is a better scope than the NF is and it sounds like the reticle option that you opted for helps you to cover all bases with the FFP scope. Still, I don't think that you're S&B falls into the category of run of the mill FFP scopes. Of course, I assumed that kis2 had an idea of what he wanted and that the NF was within his price range. I do believe that the S&B is, at the least, another step up in price range.

    kis2, unless I'm mistaken, the palma profile barrel should clear the 56mm objective with your medium rings. When you go shopping, don't forget to check out the used market at places like ar15.com and snipershide. Lots of good guys on those sights selling used equipment for reasonable prices.
     
  15. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    tony, i wasn't trying to compare them... or say either brand was better or anything. just saying the reticle as an example, doesn't hurt you when you dial up the magnification

    spot checking:
    USO PCMOA reticle is 1.2 MOA wide
    my NF has a .1875 MOA dot and a .125 MOA dot
    NF also offers a .030 MOA crosshair

    point being... the S&B P4F reticle is actually among the thicker reticles available and still only covers 1.3" of a 5" x-ring at 1000 yrds.
     
  16. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Knowing what your SFP scope is calibrated at at 3 different magnification settings is great when you're not in a hurry and under no stress. If you've just "lost" the target you're trying to find, and crank the power down a bit, what are the chances that you'll remember to reset it to exactly 8x or 10x or whatever before you call wind and make the shot when in a hurry?

    On the poll question, mils make more sense across the board: less digits, one tenth is one click (ie, vs. 0.5 to 0.75 being one click), more reticles are in mils than MOA (for spotting commonality)

    Let me put it this way. FFP scopes totally dominate matches like the Steel Safari. The level of magnification the winners typically shoot at is 12x-15x. Many people like to use 4-16's, 3.2-17's, and 5-25's, and this means that the max power (where a SFP scope is typically calibrated) is not where the scope is being used.

    The FFP scopes are more flexible and more usable than SFP. The only reason FFP scopes are considered "special" or different is that they are relatively new to the US shooting community. If you look at them feature for feature and application for application, the SFP is clearly the one that has a more specialized application (ie, requirement for extremely fine reticle at max power).

    -z
     
  17. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    Mil-dot reticule and MOA turrets all day.

    The key is to quickly mil out the range then Know what is your dope and keep your chart handy (ie: in the back of the scope caps) so you can quickly put the correction. One I use is the Nightforce's NP-R1 reticle that has 1 MOA increments and high speed turrets that allow you to get 20MOA for every turn.

    I prefer mil subdivisions or the oblong dots.

    Less is more. Simple is good.
     
  18. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    There is a significant advantage to having your turrets in the same units as your scope-- namely, you can apply dope corrections directly using the reticle. EG, dialed for 400, need quick holdover/unders for 350 and 500, just look at the difference on the data card and hold that in the scope. If you have mixed systems you have to multiply or divide by 3.4

    -z
     
  19. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    My current setup has minutes on the turrets and a mildot reticle. While I've learned some great techniques for range estimation, I have had ZERO fun trying to do hold overs (which is more important to me). So I'm pretty squarely against mismatching, unless someone can show some compelling reasons.

    Zak,

    Do you have or know of any good articles describing how to pracitcally use mils? I would appreciate it.

    I think with either SFP or FFP, you have to commit to some level of training so mistakes under stress don't happen. Based off of what you're saying, it seems the FFP system is more intuitive, and less apt to errors you'd otherwise have to 'train out' with SFP. I don't think I disagree, I'll just have to see if it's worth it to me. I'm also confused about nightforces reticle offerings for FFP. For the record, Nightforce does seem to be the only thing in my price range, but I will take a look at others whilst window shopping.
     
  20. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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  21. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    I am so used to converting that I don't even have to thing about it but I agree having both the reticule and the turret matched can be faster specially if you are training from scratch. I also can see how the NP-R1 could be easier for many folks.

    I also like some of the BDCs for hunting with rangefinder but that is a different post and story.
     
  22. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    kis2,

    Ranging using mils is widely known and it should be easy to find that formula.

    As for using the mil units for elevation and windage, it's no different than MOA, the numbers are just different. To convert MOA to mils just divide by 3.42
     
  23. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    To mil out the range is easy...

    1 mil = 3.6" at 100yards

    yards = (Target size x 27.78 ) / Nr.of Mils

    examples:
    6ft person (72inches) at 200 yards - 3.6x2 = 7.2 then x 10 = 72in .... 10 mills ...200yds
    same person at 400 yards would be 3.6x4 = 14.4 then x 5 = 72in.... 5 mills....400yds
    same person at 1000 yards would be 3.6x10 = 36 then x 2 = 72in.... 2 mills....1000yds

    for decimals of mils keep in mind the shape of the dots. Army circle is .22, marines oblong is .25. Fine mil reticules with mil subdivisions are easier.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  24. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    my google skills are failing me today. Does anyone have a single source that reviews the SWFA taliv linked to? if it's built like a rock, that's a good price! sadly, if it's only happening this month, I won't make the group buy.

    thanks for the inputs all
     
  25. pdd614

    pdd614 Member

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    Tony,
    One myth I always here is that " a ffp reticle covers up too much of the target at high power." This is simply not true. A ffp reticle covers exactly the same amount of the target throughout the power range. The reticle is growing right along and at the same rate the target is. Actually, if you think about it they just have it backwards, because a sfp scope will cover more of the target at low power.
     
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