2 MOA vs 6 MOA | Differences Between These Red Dot Sizes

Using a red dot sight has numerous benefits, including providing a more accurate aiming platform, extending the shooter’s range, and increasing target acquisition speed. There are various reticle sizes available on the market. However, each reticle size has its own advantages and disadvantages. The 2 MOA and 6 MOA dot sizes are popular options, but which is better suited for your use case? In this guide, we compare these two dot sizes and explain why each one is better for different scenarios. 

Meaning of MOA Explained

MOA stands for Minute of angle. It is a unit of angular measurement typically used to describe the accuracy of a rifle, scope, elevation, and windage adjustment value, and reticle size with red dot sights.

One MOA is equal to 1/60th of a degree. At 100 yards, it equates to 1.047 inches. Therefore, a rifle with 1 MOA accuracy shoots one-inch diameter circle groupings at 100 yards and 2 inches at 200 yards.

MOA, in terms of red dot sights explained, means that a smaller dot size provides the shooter with a more accurate platform at longer distances. And a larger dot reticle allows for better performance at close range and fast target acquisition.

Difference Between 6 MOA vs 2 MOA

comparison of 2 MOA red dot vs 6 MOA red dot

1) Precision Shooting

As already mentioned, the difference in the size of the SIG P365 red dot reticle influences a shooter’s performance at various distances. Smaller red dots are better for precision shooting than larger dots.

That said, the 2 MOA dot allows for more precise shooting than a 6 MOA red dot sight. The smaller size of the 2 MOA dot makes it a better option for long-range target shooting or aiming at small targets than the larger 6 MOA dot because the 2 MOA covers less of the target.

2) Range

Both the 2 MOA and 6 MOA dots have increased range over the typical front and rear sight. However, a 2 MOA red dot optic is better suited for long-range shooting because you can aim more accurately with the smaller dot. In comparison, the 6 MOA dot is perfect for close-range engagements as the large dot has a minimal impact on accuracy at short distances. Many of the Best Hellcat Red Dots are 6 MOA as they are often used for close range.

3) Self-Defense

image of a sprnigfield hellcat with red dot sight

Suppose you find yourself in a self-defense situation. In that case, having a dot that provides you with fast target acquisition and better close-range performance is better. Therefore, the 6 MOA dot is more suitable as it is easier to make accurate shot placements with the larger dot size at close range.

However, the 2 MOA dot is still effective for self-defense. Some of the Best Canik TPSF9 Red Dots are 2 MOA. Yet, I would advise you to practice shooting with this dot size at close range – allowing you to build confidence and feel more comfortable using this sight with close-up shots.

4) Target Acquisition Speed

You probably already know which sight has better target acquisition speed by now. Yes, it’s the 6 MOA red dot. The larger dot makes it more visible, allowing you to easier align the dot with the target. However, if you run a rifle, many of the Best AR15 Red Dots are 2 MOA and still have fast target acquisition.

When Is Using A 2 MOA Dot Size Best

As we saw when shopping for a new Ruger mark iv red dot, a 2 MOA red dot sight is better suited for situations that rely on precision shooting. This can be the case if you plan to hunt with your 2 MOA dot or want a red dot sight for shooting longer distances at the range.


Typically, I mount a smaller dot sight on my rifles and a larger dot sight on my pistols and shotguns.

When Is Using A 6 MOA Dot Size Best

A 6 MOA red dot sight is better for use in close-quarter scenarios. This can be either self-defense or competitive shooting with pistols.

2 MOA vs 6 MOA for Astigmatism

I have astigmatism and know how much of a pain it is to try and aim accurately with a distorted or blurred reticle. I have found that by using a smaller dot, the effect of astigmatism is minimized. Therefore, if you also have astigmatism, I suggest you opt for the 2 MOA dot – it’s more visible and less distorted.

Which One Should You Get?

That depends on your primary use case, and there is no right or wrong answer. If you want something to enhance your accuracy at shorter ranges, go with the 6 MOA red dot.

If you want a better-aiming platform for long ranges, go with the 2 MOA red dot. Additionally, if you want to mount the red dot sight on a pistol or shotgun, I would advise you to choose the 6 MOA red dot. For rifle use, a 2 MOA red dot is better.

Frequently Asked Question

Is 6 MOA too big?

When comparing a 3 MOA vs 6, it is easy to think that the 6 MOA dot is too big. However, the 6 MOA is perfect for close-range engagement such as self-defense or plinking.

Is 2 MOA too small?

A 2 MOA center dot is perfect for long-range shooting, dramatically extending the distance you can shoot with your weapon over iron sights. However, a 2 MOA dot can be too small for some who want to use it for self-defense situations. If this is the case, rather opt for the 3 MOA (a perfect intermediate dot size) or a 6 MOA dot (ideal for self-defense)

What is the difference between 2 MOA and 6 MOA?

The size of the reticle. A 2 MOA dot is smaller and provides better accuracy at longer distances. In comparison, a 6 MOA is larger and provides the shooter with quicker target acquisition.

What MOA is best for a rifle?

After testing numerous dot sizes, I believe that the 2 MOA is the best for a rifle. Alternatively, a 3 MOA dot size is also good.

What MOA is best for handgun hunting?

For handgun use, you want an aiming platform that makes target acquisition easier. Therefore, a larger red dot size is better. The best MOA for handgun hunting use will be a 3 MOA dot - it has a faster target acquisition rate than a 2 MOA and has higher precision than a 6 MOA dot.

The Bottom Line

A bigger dot, like the 6 MOA reticle, is better for short-range shooting, and the smaller 2 MOA reticle is perfect for longer distances. However, when deciding which reticle size you should opt for, consider your use case and how dot size, precision, target acquisition speed, and shooting platform will influence your performance in that scenario. If you enjoy our articles, feel free to read our interesting article on red dot technology explained.

About the author

Patrick Howard

I have been working as a gunsmith for 20 years. Rain, fog, moisture, high temperature, or even snow are all the things a product must withstand in order to be recommended by me.

Leave a Comment