What is a 20 MOA Scope Base – In-Depth Guide, Tips & More

A lot of people ask, what is a 20 MOA Scope Base?  

We are here to answer!

What is a 20 MOA Scope Base?

MOA stands for Minute of Angle. A minute of angle is simply a measurement of an angle that most riflescopes use as a standard unit of measure for adjusting windage and elevation turrets on the scope.

The 20 MOA means that you need to raise the gun barrel by 20 minutes of an angle compared to a zero MOA base to aim the scope at the same point as before.

This base allows more of the rifle scope’s elevation adjustment to be used to adjust the rifle scope’s zero height. This means less of the rifle scope’s adjustment range is wasted when adjusting the rifle scope’s zero point.

A rifle scope should have 60 MOA of elevation adjustability. Adjustments should be made by turning the elevation dial. Most scopes have an elevation adjustment range of 55-60 MOA. A scope with a 20 MOA base allows you to dial up 55-60 MOA of elevation.

The 20 MOA base is needed for long-range target shooting. However, if you want to shoot deer at close ranges, you’ll need less than 20 MOA.

Long-range shooting is the biggest factor when choosing a scope. Anything past 600 yards should be considered. A 20 MOA base is the most common choice for shooters who want to shoot at longer distances.

Note: If you want to know complete tutorials and tips about scopes click HERE.

Scope Base Basics MOA or Mil?

Modern rifles are ever popular as people continue to enjoy both long-range hunting and PRS matches. Choosing a chambering, barrel profile, and length can be confusing for new shooters.

Rifles come in many different styles, but most feature a bolt action mechanism.

A scope ring attaches the scope directly to the barrel or receiver of the rifle. This type of mounting system is called direct-mounting. A second mounting option is called indirect mounting.

Indirect mounting allows the scope to be mounted to a separate piece of equipment such as a bipod, tripod, or other support.

Scope mounts are used to attach scopes to rifles. There are 2 main types of scope mounts: Picatinny (aka Weaver) and Mil-Spec. Both are used to attach scoped weapons to receivers. A scope mount allows the user to adjust the scope’s position relative to the rifle barrel.

The difference between the two is very simple. The number represents how much cant you have in your base. With a 0MOA base, there is none. You can’t see any cant because it’s sitting flat. A 20MOA base has some slight cant in the back end and less in the front.

What is a 20 MOA Scope Base?

What is a 20 MOA Scope Base?


Which MOA do I need to purchase?

We recommend 0 MOA for short distances and 20 MOA for longer distances.

How far Will 0 MOA or MOA allow me to shoot?

A scope mounted at 0 MOA will be accurate up to 500 yards. A scope mounted at 20 MOA will be accurate out to 1000 yards.

We usually recommend zeroing a rifle at 200 yards. Most shooters will not be able to do this at 100 yards. A 20 MOA rail will point the scope down at 600 yards. 120″ or point the barrel up if you’re looking at it from the side.

One MOA equals one inch at 100 yards. 20 MOA equals two inches at 600 yards. At 1000 yards, one MOA equals six inches.

Zero MOA optic mount or an MOA optic mount?

With the zero MOA rail, you can see everything more easily because you have a better view of what’s happening around you. A 20 MOA rail is a great choice if you want to shoot accurately.

A typical rifle scope has an internal elevation adjustment range of about 40 minutes. When a rifle is zeroed at 100 yards, the reticle should be centered on the top of the elevation turret. At 200 yards, the reticle is centered on the bottom of the elevation turret.

The last 10 percent of an adjustment is the most unreliable for most people. A zero MOA rail is recommended for turrets with 15 minutes of angle.

A 20 MOA rail is the perfect distance for shooting. This rifle is designed for long-range shots. When you set it up for a close-up, you’ll get a higher magnification than usual.

A 20 MOA rail will be used by the sniper. He’ll use it to shoot at targets. He’ll utilize the scope to aim at them. He’ll also look at the target through the scope.


We hope that this article was helpful. If you have any queries feel free to reach out in the comments section below.

If you want to know more information about scopes click HERE.


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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