Crimson Trace is known for its laser sights, but that's not all the company offers. We've previously reviewed some of its weapon-mounted lights. Also, a few months after they launched a new series of red dot sights, Crimson Trace also released several rifle scopes. The line of magnified optics features models suitable for tactical, long-range, and what the company calls “recreational” use.

The features of these scopes are varied, but each obviously includes a reticle. And since a reticle can come in a variety of styles, including MOA (Minute of Angle) and MIL (Milliradians), the company recently released a basic overview of how each of those work.

The Crimson Trace 3-24x56mm CTL-5324-02 uses a First Focal Plane LR1-MIL reticle.

If you've ever wondered about the differences between MOA and MIL or which better suits your needs, read on for an overview and some examples.


Crimson Trace says that this information is applicable to “shopping for your next Crimson Trace Scope,” but it's the same regardless of the brand of optic you choose. Minute of Angle is Minute of Angle, as is a Milliradian. CT explains each succinctly in the video below, so be sure to watch it for further explanation.

If you'd like to read about this subject in much greater detail and learn about the pros and cons of each type of reticle, refer to the RECOILweb article MOA vs MIL.

MOA Reticles

MOA stands for minute of angle. Essentially, one MOA is equal to 1 inch at 100 yards. It is an angular measurement that will show you the effects of how much movement your crosshairs make to affect the impact of the bullet at certain distances. An MOA scope is slightly more precise than a MIL reticle (by a very small fraction of an inch), and any ranging will be done in yards and inches with an MOA scope.

Above: It's rare to find any contemporary long gun lacking a place to put an optic, from tactical carbines to takedown survival guns. When you put a scope on it, if you do, will you use MILs or MOA?

MIL Reticles

MIL stands for milliradians (often abbreviated as mils) and is equal to 3.6 in. at 100 yards. Like MOA, this is also an angular measurement. These scopes are slightly easier to communicate ranging with than MOA, and are communicated using meters and centimeters. MILs are extremely common with law enforcement and military professionals.

MIL vs. MOA may not be fundamental to all forms of shooting, but it is important when shooting long guns, especially at distance… and particularly so if someone is shooting for defense or for food. Teach young hunters well.

“At the end of the day, both MOA and MIL have advantages and disadvantages. MOA and MIL are both extremely effective and will get the job done as long as the shooter has experience with the reticle (and has done their math correctly). Whichever reticle you decide to use for your long range rifle, always make sure your turret, spotting scope, and other tools are in the same measuring unit as your scope.”

For additional information on the Crimson Trace optics, visit the riflescopes section on

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