Rifleman Q&A: What Does 'MOA' Mean?

by
posted on August 1, 2021
NEWQ&A

Q: I am new to the shooting sports, and my background is in aviation. In my field, the acronym “MOA” means “Military Operations Area.” When Air Traffic Control informs us that MOA is “hot,” we do not fly, and a “cold” announcement means we can. Does this terminology cross over to the shooting sports, and what is “DOPE?”


A: In shooting, “MOA” is an acronym for minutes of angle. The NRA definition is, “An angular measurement method used to describe accuracy capability. A minute of angle is 1/60th of a degree, and subtends 1.047" at 100 yards, which, for practical shooting purposes, is considered to be an inch. A minute-of-angle group, therefore, would measure slightly more than one inch at 100 yards, two inches at 200 yards, etc.”

From a shooter’s perspective, “dope” is a useful and descriptive word when applied to the activity of achieving downrange success. This magazine has used the phrase “Dope Bag” since at least 1921 when Col. Townsend Whelen first titled his column. Even then, it had been in use for years, referring to a sack used by target shooters to hold ammunition and accessories on the firing line. “Sight dope” also was a traditional marksman’s term for sight-adjustment information, while judging wind speed and direction was called “doping the wind.” Some shooters also use it as an acronym for “Data On Previous Engagement.”

—John Treakle, Contributing Editor

Latest

Eotech Launches Anti
Eotech Launches Anti

EOTech Launches Anti-Counterfeit Measures

EOTech has launched a campaign targeting those who create and sell illegal copies of its military sighting systems.

The .405 Winchester: History and Performance

Now largely a forgotten footnote in cartridge development, the .405 Winchester was once the most powerful rimmed cartridge capable of use in a lever-action rifle and was a favorite of Theodore Roosevelt.

Colt Mustang .380 ACP: The Pocket-Size 1911

Based off the classic 1911 design, the small Colt Mustang chambered in .380 ACP is easily concealable and shares the same classic look in its tiny frame.

NRA Reschedules The Annual Members' Meeting

The NRA has rescheduled its Annual Members' Meeting to occur on Oct. 2, 2021 in Charlotte, NC.

The Men And Guns Of D-Day: 101st Airborne Division

Watch this segment of American Rifleman Television "The Men And Guns Of D-Day" to learn more about the men of the 101st Airborne Division, their stories and the firearms they used during "The Great Crusade."

Pat Garrett's Pistol Sells for Highest Price in History

The Colt Single Action Army revolver used by Pat Garrett to kill Billy The Kid sold at auction from Bonhams for more than $6 million dollars, in what is probably the highest price ever paid for a civilian firearm.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.