What is MOA and MIL-DOT ?

Isn't this what the military and tactical shooters use?

Yes, while sportsman use scopes with reticles and turrets marked in yards, the military and most competition shooters use mil-dot markings and some use MOA markings. Both of these are a measure of the angle one must raise the point of aim to hit the target. MOA stands for "minutes of angle" (1/60 of a degree) and each moa equates to approximately one inch at 100 yards. MIL stands for milliradians ( 1/1000 of a radian) and each mil equates to 3.6 inches at 100 yards (3.6" is 1/1000 of hundred yards). While this seems complicated and it is, there are advantages to using this method if you choose to spend the time to learn it. Most hunters don't. You can change your scope to either mil or moa dialing with just with a change of the turret. Many target shooters use an app on their smart phones to enter in shooting parameters and conditions and the app spits out the number of mils or clicks to adjust their scope. Each mil raises the point of aim 1/1000 the distance to the target so its easy to know what the adjustment is , for example 1 mil equals 1 yard at 1000 yards or 1 meter at 1000 meters.

Most hunters prefer to deal in yards ( ballistic ) , most shooters deal in moa, and most competitors use mils.


Sure you can shoot long range at lower zoom - but why? Most shooters prefer at least 18 power and the 5-22 range of the Nightforce is very popular. The newest scopes have a 6x range allowing 4-24 in the case of the new Leupold VX-6, 5-30 power in the new Swarovski and 5-25 in the new Nightforce. If you need a scope to shoot close range the 6 power low setting on a 6-20 may not be low enough for you. However, some long distance shooters do use as low as 14 power as it remains quite sharp even in less expensive scopes while the most expensive scopes like Schmidt & Bender are so sharp even the 14 power may be enough for some shooters. Remember: You can always turn high High-Zoom scope down but you can't turn a low zoom up!

What Scope Optic Size ?

The larger the objective the more light that can be gathered and the brighter the scope will be at dusk. However most shooters feel 50mm is enough and going to 55 or 56 is not needed and doesn't allow the scope to be mounted as close to the stock as would be preferred. Leupold's VL scope had a contoured front piece allowing its huge 56mm to still mount low on the stock.

What Scope Tube Size ?

To allow greater recticle adjustment and stronger structure most long range scope manufacturers are now offering scopes in 30mm which a jump up from the 1" tubes. Note this does tend to increase the weight.

Glass Quality & Manufacturer Reputation

Its not unusual for our rifles kept a lifetime and even to be passed down through generations. A quality scope will hold its value to you and you will appreciate its value long after you have forgotten its price. Buy the best scope for you that you can afford. It doesn't have to be the priciest. Any of these scopes we recommend will serve you well. Leupold has a long tradition of providing quality optics to American hunters and their custom shop will even engrave or customize your scope for you. Swarovski is recognized as a world-leader in optics and you can be sure your scopes clarity won't leave you wanting. Nightforce provides the most bulletproof scope made and is a standard for military and competition use. However that durability makes it almost double the weight of the other scopes listed. If you do a lot of hiking you may want to save that pound.

How Big is your rifle?

If you want to shoot elk out to 1000 yards we recommend the 30 caliber plus ultra magnums: 300 RUM, 338 RUM, 338 EDGE, 338 LAPUA, 300-378, 338-378, or .340 WEATHERBY. Up to 600 yards the .338 Win Mag is a viable choice. At either distance we prefer the .338 caliber over the .300 or 7mm calibers on elk due to the proven extra knockdown power of the larger sectional area and the option to shoot 300 grain Berger or GameKing bullets which are very resistant to wind drift. For Antelope any flat shooting rifle may fit the bill. For deer - any muley large enough to shoot at 1000 yards may be nearly as tough as an elk. There are many shooters and some long-range seminars that prefer the 300-378 for up to 1000 yard shots. The downside of all these ultra-magnums is that you will want a muzzle break on them which means you must wear hearing protection to shoot them or risk some hearing damage in as little as a single shot. That's the price you pay for a hard hitting 1000 yard rifle. For targets the little 6.5mm does great at 1000 yards. Even with the best equipment it may take a lot of practice to feel confident at distances beyond 400-600 yards but selecting the right equipment is the first step to being a long range shooter.

A very important piece of the puzzle: Your Rangefinder

The accuracy of your rifle and scope combo is only as good as the distance variable you feed it - garbage in garbage out. Your rangefinder must provide accurate readings out to 1000 yards and convert to a true ballistic range or holdover amount by factoring in inclination, air density, and the ballistics of the bullet you are shooting. This is a lot to ask. The Leica 1600b Ballistic Rangefinder and the G7 rangefinder are two that are designed to accomplish this. How accurate they are is for you to decide. At 1000 yards most target shooters like to do their own calculations using charts or an app on their smartphone and then adjust their scope the number of clicks specified. A hunting situation may not allow the time for this. Any rangefinder designed for less than 1600 yards will likely not range animals at 1000 yards. If your rangefinder does not account for inclination or elevation, temperature or air density then you will need other equipment and conversion charts or app to account for these factors. Or you can have your reticle and turret matched to the elevation and average temperature you expect to hunt in and just use actual distance adjusted for inclination. Note for inclination of 10 degrees true ballistic range is only 2.5% less while for 20-25 degrees ( very steep) true ballistic range is 10% less. So for a 10 degree hillside you would subtract 25 yards at 1000 yard range and for a 25 degree hill you would subtract 100 yards at a 1000 yard range.

• Calculating Distance without a Rangefinder - MOA
• Rangefinding Scopes - Holland Advanced Reticle System & Shepherd Scopes
• Long Range Scope Packages - 1000 Yards out of the box.

<page 3>
Leupold Offers a unique approach with its light gathering VX-L scope which when matched with their Varmit Reticle and CDS M1 turrets makes an impressive combination. Their custom shop will personalize it for you for custom ballistics and even engrave your name and choice of North American game figures on the bell.
The Leica 1600b Ballistic Rangefinder while not inexpensive is the type of rangefinder that is practically indespensible for modern long range shooting. Why: At 800 yards a 10 yard error in range is a 6" change in impact!
1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7
Choosing a 1000 Yard Scope Page 2: