Milliradians (USSR) conversion

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Milliradians [USSR]


Mil (USSR)

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Milliradians, also known as mils, are a unit of measurement commonly used in the field of ballistics and military applications. While the metric system is widely adopted across the globe, the use of milliradians has a unique history tied to the former Soviet Union (USSR).

During the Cold War era, the USSR developed and popularized the use of milliradians for military purposes. The Soviet military extensively used milliradians for range estimation, target acquisition, and artillery fire control. This system was widely taught and implemented within the Soviet armed forces, and it became an integral part of their military doctrine.

The use of milliradians in the USSR extended beyond the military domain. It also found applications in surveying, geodesy, and cartography. The Soviet Union's vast territory required accurate and precise measurements, and milliradians provided a convenient unit for these purposes.

Although the USSR no longer exists, the use of milliradians has persisted in many countries that were part of the Soviet bloc or had close ties to the Soviet Union. Today, milliradians are still commonly used in military and civilian applications, particularly in Eastern Europe and parts of Asia. The familiarity and legacy of milliradians in these regions have contributed to their continued use, even as the metric system has become more prevalent worldwide.


Milliradians (USSR), also known as Soviet milliradians or Soviet mils, are a unit of angular measurement used primarily in the former Soviet Union. The milliradian is defined as 1/6,000th of a circle, which means that there are approximately 6,283 milliradians in a full circle. This unit is commonly used in military and artillery applications, as well as in surveying and navigation.

The milliradian system was widely adopted by the Soviet military due to its simplicity and ease of use. It provides a convenient way to measure angles and distances, especially in situations where precise calculations are required. In military applications, milliradians are often used to determine the range and elevation adjustments for artillery and sniper rifles. The system is also used in land surveying to measure horizontal and vertical angles, as well as in navigation to calculate distances and bearings.

One of the advantages of milliradians is that they are a dimensionless unit, meaning they do not depend on the size of the object being measured. This makes them particularly useful for long-range calculations, where small errors in measurement can have significant consequences. While the milliradian system is not as widely used internationally as other angular measurement units like degrees or radians, it remains an important part of the Soviet military heritage and continues to be used in certain specialized fields.


The origin of the milliradian can be traced back to the former Soviet Union (USSR). During the Cold War era, the USSR developed advanced military technology and equipment, including sophisticated optical devices such as rangefinders and telescopic sights. These devices required a unit of angular measurement that was easy to use and provided accurate results.

The milliradian was chosen as the unit of choice due to its simplicity and compatibility with the metric system. It allowed for precise measurements and calculations, especially in long-range shooting and artillery applications. The use of milliradians became widespread in the Soviet military and eventually gained popularity in other countries as well.

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.

Usage context:

Finland and the former Soviet Union (Finland is phasing this out in favour of the NATO Mil)