3 moa vs 6 moa – Know The Difference

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No shooter wants to miss shots on the field, especially in a combat situation. You can not get your accurate shot by choosing the right gun with the right optic. It would be best to learn what Moa is and how it works to get your shot right. Selecting the right Moa can be confusing for shooters, but it is too important a topic to ignore. 

The range of Moa available in the market is from 1 to 12 Moa. But here, we will discuss the difference between a 6 Moa and 3 Moa. This 6 moa vs. 3 moa comparison will help you choose the Moa of your preference.

What is Moa?

Moa is the angular measurement that is equal to 1/60th of a degree. For understanding it better, consider a circle. We know that a circle has 360 degrees. Out of that 360 degrees, take 1 degree out. Further, divide that 1 degree into 60 parts. Now you have the 60th part of 360. This tiny part makes a big difference in the accuracy of your shot.

3 Moa vs 6 Moa: The Difference

The main difference between a 3 moa and a 6 moa is that the 3 moa is a smaller dot, while the 6 moa is a bigger dot. The smaller size of the 3 moa gives more precision. But at a close range, you need more focus to adjust the 3 moa reticle on the target. It is more suitable to use for long-range shooting. And, the larger 6 moa is brighter and more visible. Due to its visibility, it is easier to track. So, a 6 moa dot gives faster target acquisition.

Moa and Red Dot Sights

Moa comes into play while we use a red dot sight. Red dot sights have become popular due to their quicker target acquisition. You don’t need to align your weapon’s front and rear sight with the target in a red dot sight. You place the reticle or red dot on the target you want to hit. It would help if you had Moa for achieving accuracy in hitting your target. 

3 Moa

Are you wondering what 3 moa is? 1 moa equals 1-inch at 100 yards. So, 3 moa is 3 inches at 100 yards. In other words, at 100 yards, a reticle with 3 Moa will cover a 3-inch diameter or make a 3-inch circle. At 50 yards, it will cover a 1.5-inch diameter, and at 25 yards, the diameter will reduce to 0.75 inches. 

You can also say that a 3 moa will produce tight small groups.

6 Moa

Like 3 Moa, a 6 moa is equal to 6-inches at 100 yards. At 50 yards, it becomes 3-inches, and at 25 yards, it further reduces to 1.5-inches. We have already mentioned that a 3 moa reticle will make a 3-inch circle on the target. Following the same principle, a 6 moa reticle will cover a 6-inch diameter or make a 6-inch circle.

6 moa vs 3 moa: Pros and Cons

6 Moa Pros
  • Faster reticle.
  • It works well at night.
  • The reticle is easier to use at close ranges.
  • More visible red dot.
  • A bigger dot is suitable for weak eyesight.
  • Suitable for most weather conditions.
  • Less starburst or reticle smear.
  • Ideal for those who have astigmatism.
6 Moa Cons
  • It covers more target area due to the larger diameter.
  • It does not give accuracy at longer ranges.
  • Difficult to co-witness with the front sight.
3 Moa Pros
  • It gives more accuracy at a longer range.
  • Dot covers less of the target area and offers a more precise sight picture.
  • You can use it at various distances.
  • Suitable for target shooting
3 Moa Cons
  • The reticle is hard to see
  • Less visible in bright light.
  • Needs more focus at short range
  • More hand motion shakes the reticle.

What should I pick?

There is no right or wrong answer when choosing your dot size. Your priorities as a shooter will decide whether to pick a small dot or a larger dot. A 6 moa red dot sight gives more accurate shots at close range, so it is a more suitable option for a pistol or a shotgun. Shooters use 6 moa red dot sights for self-defense and competitive shooting.

Contrary to this, a 3 moa red dot reticle gives more precision. So, it is more suitable for long-range shooting, and shooters use it with rifles. So, use 3 moa red dots for target and high precision shooting.


What does Moa stand for?

MOA stands for Minute of angle.

What is Moa in shooting?

Moa is used to refer to the accuracy of a weapon and its optic combined. It allows us to achieve accuracy with consistency in every shot we take. When you take a shot at your target, the moa size that you use will define the area you can expect to hit your target. You can also say that is the potential limit of your hitting point. 1 Moa is one inch at 100 yards, so 1 moa will cover a one-inch diameter circle. 

Is 3 MOA or 6 MOA better for a pistol?

6 moa is the most popular reticle size used with a pistol. The visibility of its larger dot allows for faster target acquisition. Also, a 6 Moa performs better at shorter distances than 3 Moa. As pistol owners usually shoot at shorter distances, a 6 moa is better to use with a pistol.

What is the difference between 3 MOA and 6 MOA?

A 3 moa dot is smaller in size than a 6 moa. The larger diameter of a 6 moa allows it faster target acquisition. And the small size dot of the 3 Moa allows it more precision. 

Moreover, 6 moa is more suitable for short-distance. Shooters use it with shotguns and pistols. In contrast, a 3 moa is better suited for longer ranges and used with rifles.

What is the best MOA for a pistol red dot?

6 moa would be the best Moa for a pistol red dot. For targets that are close and fast, you need quicker target acquisition. A 6 moa dot provides that due to its bigger diameter.

Is a 6 MOA red dot good?

The 6 moa red dot has a larger diameter. So, it is easier to place the reticle on the target, which allows quick target acquisition. But, it is not suitable for shooting at long ranges.

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Hannah Anderson is a gun enthusiast. She developed a knack for guns and ammunition when as a teenager she started accompanying her grandfather to his hunting ventures. Now, she shares her passion and immense knowledge on the subject with the readers.

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