Zen and the Art of Better Shooting Through Understanding Minutes of Arc (a.k.a. Minutes of Angle)
Look straight out, toward the horizon. Now look straight up. You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon or remember every word your geometry teacher said to know that the two spots you just looked at are about 90° apart. There’s a pretty big swath of the universe between those two points – roughly half of everything that the Earth isn’t blocking your view of.
Now let’s pretend that you are looking down range at your blue target stand 100 yards away and it occupies, say, 1º of your field of view. There is an aerial view of this at right. Using the math that we all, of course, remember from trigonometry class, we can figure out that if the red line (distance to target stand) is 3600 inches (100y) and the brown angle (half of the portion of your field of view occupied by the target stand) is 0.5º, then the pink line (half the width of the target stand) is 31.41 inches wide (3600*tan 0.5º). Therefore, the blue target stand that occupies 1º of your field of view at 100 yards is 62.83 inches wide. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz on this part.
So, why do we care about this and what does trig class have to do with shooting? Because most shooters have heard of MOA (minutes of arc, or minutes of angle) and some of them even have a basic idea of what it means or, at least, pretend to when clicking around the adjustment knobs on their scopes. One minute of arc is 1/60th of one degree. If your blue target stand at 100 yards in the diagram takes up 1º of your view, then it is 60 MOA wide. If you can keep all of your shots in a 63″ circle at 100 yards, you and your firearm are capable of 60 MOA shooting. Congratulations, dead-eye! Continue reading
Project Appleseed is a program offered by the Revolutionary War Veterans Association (RWVA) that focuses on American Revolutionary War education, basic firearms safety and rifle marksmanship skills. The program started in 2006 in North Carolina, stemming from commentaries under the byline of “Fred” that ran alongside his surplus rifle-stock advertisements in Shotgun News. From those humble beginnings, the program has grown to much larger proportions with thousands of attendees at hundreds of events across the nation every year.
The RWVA mission statement reads, in part:
Through Project Appleseed, the Revolutionary War Veterans Association is committed to teaching two things: rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage. We do this for one simple reason, the skill and knowledge of what our founding fathers left to us is eroding in modern America and without deliberate action, they will be lost to ignorance and apathy.
I first started hearing “buzz” about Project Appleseed around 2008 or so and Continue reading