The Meaning of MOA: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of MOA? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the abbreviation MOA, including its definition, usage, and more!

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What does the abbreviation MOA mean?

According to The Lodge at Ammo To Go and NSSF, the abbreviation MOA stands for minute of angle. This is an angular measurement that represents 1/60th of a degree. 1 MOA can spread about 1 inch per 100 yards. It spreads exactly 1.047 inches per 100 yards. MOA is a number that tells the shooter the size of the shot dispersion in inches or diameter at 100 yards away. If a firearm is sub-MOA, this means that the MOA of their gun is below 1-MOA. The larger the MOA dots, the larger the area in diameter it will cover. Larger MOA dots are better for home defense as opposed to distance target shooting. A 4 MOA dot will cover more area than a 2 MOA dot. Rifle scopes have dials that usually let you increase or decrease in ¼ MOA increments. Therefore, 4 clicks equals 1 MOA in difference. Using the MOA scope will help you to adjust the angle degrees and MOA turrets. There are many different ammunition companies that offer a digital magazine or digital access to magazine content on popular phones or tablets that go further into detail on the unit of angular measurement and what MOA equals.

You should always think in increments of one MOA at whatever distance you are shooting from. Try thinking in terms of MOA rather than in clicks on your scope. Understanding MOA will help a shooter understand a rifle’s accuracy and help it zero in on a scope or bullseye. This is a simple measurement that can help a person increase their accuracy with a bullet when firing shots from a firearm. This is also considered an MOA adjustment. While it may seem daunting to do calculations or use a formula when shooting, figuring out the MOA is simple and can help you take out targets more accurately. Using the best MOA will be different for long distances and long range shooting with a hunting rifle versus short range shooting, so always calculate your MOA based on the given distance.

According to The Free Dictionary, the acronym MOA can stand for much more than just minute of angle. This abbreviation has a plethora of other potential definitions. While these definitions are still valid, they are less common, and should be used sparingly. If you do decide to use one of these alternate definitions for the acronym MOA, make sure that you provide the reader with the proper context so that they can infer the correct intended meaning. 

  •  Motor Oil Additive
  •  Move on Already
  •  Union Ministry of Agriculture (India)
  •  Missouri Optometric Association
  •  Method Of Accomplishment
  •  Mall of Asia (Philippines)
  •  Monsters of Art
  •  Massachusetts Orthopaedic Association
  •  Mission Operations Area
  •  Mark of Amber (gaming, Dungeons & Dragons)
  •  Mode of Action
  •  Mercenary of Abaddon (gaming clan)
  •  Minnesota Orchestral Association
  •  Medium Observation Aircraft
  •  Man of Action
  •  Moyen-Orient et Afrique (French: Middle East and Africa)
  •  Measure of Aggregation
  •  Memorandum Of Agreement
  •  Mall of America
  •  Management Operations Audit
  •  Municipality Of Anchorage
  •  Memorandum of Association (legal document)
  •  Managed Object Agent (Nortel)
  •  Method of Analysis
  •  Miscellaneous Offences Act (Zimbabwe)
  •  Maîtrise d’Ouvrage (French)
  •  Matrix Output Amplifier
  •  Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics
  •  Ministry of Agriculture
  •  Making of America (Cornell University)
  •  Master of Arms (weapon)
  •  Medal of Honor (game)
  •  Minute of Arc
  •  Mouse Anatomy Ontology
  •  Mount Olympus Academy (Joan Holub Goddess Girls series)
  •  Macromedia Open Architecture
  •  Missing On Arrival
  •  Match on Action
  •  Mark of Athena
  •  Morons of America
  •  Military Operating Area
  •  Made of Awesome
  •  Minions of Abyss (gaming clan, Israel)
  •  Museum of Art
  •  Minimum Order Amount (retail)
  •  Mechanism of Action
  •  Michigan Optometric Association
  •  Marketing Outsource Associates, Inc. (Columbia, MD)
  •  Meteorology, Ozone and Aerosol
  •  Medical Office Assistant
  •  Mercenaries of Alliance (Star Wars gaming guild)
  •  Mission Oriented Approach
  •  Military Operations Area
  •  Method of Administration (various organizations)
  •  Market Opportunity Analysis

How can the acronym MOA be used in a sentence?

The acronym MOA will most commonly used in a sentence when discussing the minute of angle for a firearm. There is always the chance that someone can use the acronym MOA to stand for something different. If they are doing this, they should be sure to provide the appropriate context within their sentences so that the person can infer the correct meaning. Using an abbreviation or acronym in a sentence is a great way to memorize its definition. You can also try making flashcards or quizzes for yourself. Try using this abbreviation of the day in a sentence today in order to remember its meaning. Below is an example of using the term MOA in a sentence. Tommy and Billy are going hunting. They are at target practice. Tommy is getting frustrated.

Tommy: I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I feel like my point of aim is right on the money. Maybe it’s the kickback, but I don’t feel anything. Maybe I’m just a bad shot.

Billy: Let me take a look. Have you adjusted your MOA?

Tommy: I don’t even know what that is, so no!

Billy: There we go. I took it down a few clicks. Try it now and see if it’s better!

Overall, the term MOA means minute of angle. This is a term that is used when speaking about firearms and ammunition. The minute of angle is an angular measurement that represents 1/60th of a degree. This will tell someone the diameter of the shot dispersion at 100 yards away. Learning about the MOA is very useful if you are a shooter or hutner, or someone who enjoys target practice. 


  1. MOA – What does MOA stand for? | The Free Dictionary  
  2. What is MOA and How to Use It | The Lodge at 
  3. Minute of Angle (MOA) | NSSF