How To Use a Mil-Dot Scope For Dummies

In the military, measurements are made in mils. The military is not referred to as mil. Milliradian is shortened to mil. The military uses angular measures called milliradians. A milliradian is a contraction of a milliradian, which is a part of an arc formed when two radius lines start at the center and terminate on the circumference of a circle.

Whether you’re referring to a circle or a pie, a mil is a mil. A circle has a diameter of around 6,283 million milliradians.

Radians are utilized in physics and mathematics, although the majority of shooters aren’t familiar with them. 1/60th of a mil is equivalent to one degree. Accordingly, 1 mil is equivalent to 1/360 of a radian. The term “Mil-Dot” is used to refer to the separation between two dots in a scope. It is expressed in mils, or one-thousandth of an inch.

How To Use a Mil-Dot Scope For Dummies

What Makes Mils Necessary?

Even though both mil and MOA are angular measures, mil should not be confused with MOA. Visit our detailed explanation for more information about MOA and how they function.

If the ballistics of the weapon and the ammunition are understood, mil can be used to holdover for bullet drop. If the wind’s direction and speed are also known, it can also account for wind drift.

Having said that, mil-dot reticles are practical as a range-finding device. You may estimate a target’s size using your reticle at a given distance, or you can estimate a target’s distance at a known size.

The Mil-Dot Reticles

Your scope’s accuracy will rely on its quality. Your findings’ consistency and repeatability will depend on this. We must first discuss where your reticle is located in the erector tube, though.

Do you have a first focal plane (FFP) or second focal plane (SFP) reticle on your mil-dot scope? Is it important? Absolutely!

If your scope is in the SFP, the reticle is placed behind the component that holds the magnifying glass. Why is this crucial? This implies that unless you’re using the manufacturer’s recommended magnification level, which is often maximum power, you won’t be able to utilize the mil-dot reticle for range finding, size calculations, or compensating for bullet drop.

If your mil-dot scope has the first focal plane, the reticle is placed in front of the assembly that houses the magnifying lenses. Your mil-dot reticle will be consistent to use over the full power range since the reticle grows/shrines as you increase/decrease magnification. No matter what magnification setting you’re at, you may use it at any moment to calculate distance, size, and bullet drop.

Additionally, each sight will have a unique mil-dot reticle. Complex dots and lines can be used to cover up to or greater than 1000 yards across the elevation and windage crosshairs. Some might merely have a windage crosshair to compensate for wind drift, necessitating elevation changes with a unique or customized turret to control bullet drop.

How Do You Drop Bullets Using Mil?

The mil-dot reticle used by each sight will be unique. Complex dots and lines that span up to or more than 1000 yards are available. Some scopes might merely include a crosshair for windage. For bullet drop, you’ll need a customized turret.

A military-style reticle is known as a mil reticle. Mil reticles are typically difficult to use and quite intricate. They do, however, make it simple to observe the target you are aiming at.

When the bullet strikes the earth, it descends 14 cm. The distance is multiplied by 0.7 to account for the mil modifications. When the bullet strikes the target, it falls 242.3 cm. 4.8 times the mil adjustments are applied.

At a distance of 200 yards, bullets move at a speed of around 4.5 feet per second. When they travel this far, bullets lose around four and a half inches of height. At 500 yards, bullets move at a speed of more than seven feet per second. When fired from this distance, bullets drop by around 73 inches.

Mil-Dot transitioning from MOA scope usage is difficult but doable. You’ll achieve greater outcomes if you’re patient and practice. Mil-Dot scoped rifles are best for tactical and long-distance shooters.

A distance measuring unit called an MOA is utilized. Minute Of Angle is its full name. One-sixtieth of a degree is one minute of angle. A circle has 360 degrees, 60 hours in a day, and 60 minutes in an hour. In other words, one-sixtieth of a circle’s diameter is equivalent to one minute of angle.


Why would you use a mil-dot scope? Just a new way of gauging and getting dead on. It isn’t fundamentally superior to an MOA scope, and vice versa for MOA and mils. Mils can be used to gauge size and distance, although most people merely want to account for wind and bullet drop. It’s difficult to go shooting at any range and expect to hit your target dead center without understanding how your sight works and measures angles. Distance down range is determined by these angles.

Learn how your rifle and bullets operate, as well as how to utilize your sight to make the best measurement decisions, by practicing a lot at the range.

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