Milliradians (US WW2) conversion

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Milliradians [US WW2]


Mil (US WW2)

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During World War II, milliradians (mils) were widely used by the United States military for various purposes. A milliradian is a unit of angular measurement that is equal to 1/1000th of a radian. In military applications, mils were primarily used for artillery and sniper calculations, as well as for range estimation and target acquisition.

Artillery units relied on mils to accurately calculate the elevation and azimuth angles required to hit a target. By using mils, artillery crews could determine the necessary adjustments to their guns' elevation and direction, ensuring precise targeting. Snipers also utilized mils to calculate bullet drop and windage, allowing them to make accurate long-range shots.

The use of mils extended beyond the battlefield. Military cartographers used mils to measure angles and distances on maps, aiding in the creation of accurate topographic maps for strategic planning. Additionally, mils were employed in reconnaissance and target acquisition, enabling soldiers to estimate the distance to a target by measuring its size in mils and using known values to determine the range.

Although milliradians are still used in modern military applications, their widespread use during World War II highlights their importance in achieving accurate and effective targeting. The simplicity and precision of mils made them a valuable tool for the US military, aiding in the success of various operations during the war.


During World War II, milliradians (mils) were widely used by the United States military as a unit of angular measurement. A milliradian is defined as a unit of angle equal to one-thousandth of a radian. It is commonly used in military applications, particularly for artillery and sniper calculations, as well as in land navigation and target acquisition.


The origin of milliradians, also known as mils, can be traced back to the United States military during World War II. Mils were developed as a unit of angular measurement to aid in artillery and sniper calculations. The need for a precise and easily understandable unit of measurement became apparent as the complexity of military operations increased.

The concept of dividing a circle into 6,400 equal parts, each representing one milliradian, was introduced to simplify calculations for range estimation, target acquisition, and ballistic calculations. This system allowed for more accurate and efficient communication between artillery units and snipers, ensuring better coordination and effectiveness on the battlefield.

The use of milliradians quickly spread beyond the military, finding applications in various fields such as surveying, navigation, and engineering. Today, milliradians are widely used in the civilian world, particularly in long-range shooting and optics. The milliradian system provides a consistent and universal method of measuring angles, making it a valuable tool for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

Common references:

One finger width at an arms length is approximately 30 mils wide. A fist is approx. 150 mils and a spread out hand is approx. 300 mils.

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