what is a click in measurement

What Is A Click In Distance?

The military uses a number of acronyms and slang phrases like click and you might be wondering, what is a click in distance?

Military jargon helps service members communicate more information in fewer words, creating a unique culture within the Armed Forces.

You’ll hear the term “click” if you spend a lot of time around a military base or a service person.

What Exactly Is A Click In Distance?

The military uses the term “Click” to refer to one kilometer, 1,000 meters, 0.6214 miles, or 3,280.84 feet. A kilometer is a unit of measurement in the metric system that describes the length of a specific distance.

How To Spell The Word “Click”

The phrase “click” (spelled with a “c” instead of a “k”) 

Origin Of Click

Some military historians claim the word was coined by the Australian Infantry in Vietnam. Infantrymen, according to legend, navigated by bearing (compass direction) and measured distance by pacing (this was, of course, prior to GPS devices).

One or two troops would be assigned to count their paces in order to maintain track of distance. 100 meters equals 110 paces on flat land, 100 paces downhill, or 120 paces uphill. By changing the gas regulator on the Australian L1A1 rifle one mark, the soldier could keep track of each 100-meter “lot.”

The soldier would signal the section commander with hand signals after moving it 10 marks (1000 meters), then indicate movement of 1000 meters by lifting the rifle and rewinding the gas regulator with a thumb movement, resulting in an audible “click.”

Military jargon is used by the United States Armed Forces to quickly communicate thoughts and concepts between service members.

The word “click” (or “klick” depending on the military circle) is an excellent example. A click (or its several spelling variations) is simply a kilometer in the military.

A “click” is also a term used by soldiers while sighting in a weapon.

Since World War I, the United States Armed Forces have used metric systems.

Soldiers from the United States and the United Kingdom found it easier to switch to the metric system in order to understand maps made by the French during WWI.

Non-Military Uses Of The Word ‘click’

When sighting a weapon, such as a rifle, the phrase “click” (spelled with a “c” instead of a “k”) is used in military jargon. One “click” on most weapons equals one minute of arc or one inch of distance at 100 yards. 

Moving the rifle’s site adjustments “one-click” will modify the point of contact by one inch for targets 100 yards away, two inches for targets 200 yards away, and so on.

One Minute of Angle (MOA) at 100 yards is really a tad over one inch (There are 360 degrees in a circle, each divided into 60 minutes). At 100 yards, one degree is 62.83 inches if we round to the nearest 1/100 of an inch. 

One MOA, or 1/60 of an inch, is 1.047 inches, however, rounding it helps with quick calculations. The name comes from the clicking sound that the sight adjusting knobs make when they are turned.

The Distance Of A Click In Miles.

1 click is equivalent to 0.6214 miles

When a soldier radios, “We’re 10 klicks south of your position,” they are referring to a distance of 10 kilometers or 6.2 miles.

The Distance Of A Click In Yards

1 click equals 1 minute of arc or 1 inch at a distance of 100 yards.

In other words, altering a weapon’s sights by one “click” changes the bullet’s impact by one inch for a target 100 yards away.

Other Common Military Distance Measures


Velocity is a phrase used to characterize the speed of a projectile, such as a pellet, bullet, or slug, as measured in relation to the muzzle as it exits the gun’s barrel. This method of measurement is widely used by the Army to define the capabilities of various weapons. 

Artillery guns, for example, have a low velocity when the velocity is less than 762 m/s, and a high velocity when the velocity is between 914 m/s and 1,067 m/s. Tank guns have a high velocity when they travel between 472 and 1,021 meters per second.


A knot is a unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour, or 1.852 kilometers per mile, that is used in aviation and naval military branches.

Nautical miles

A nautical mile is a unit of distance used in space, air, and maritime navigation, as well as when establishing territorial seas. On the perimeter of the planet, one nautical mile equals 1.852 kilometers or 1,852 meters. It’s also the same as a minute of latitude.


A kiloyard is a length measurement equal to 1,000 yards (914 meters). Although this unit of measurement is no longer widely used, some military branches continue to refer to 1,000 yards as a kiloyard.


Longitude is a phrase that refers to the vertical lines that connect the world’s North and South poles. The longitude of a location is defined as the distance between north and south as measured by the Prime Meridian and a vertical point.


Horizontal lines parallel to the Equator are referred to as latitude. Degrees are used to represent latitudes, with each degree equaling around 69 miles.


A rod is an old English measurement of 16.5 feet or 5.5 years that is sometimes used in the military.


A furlong is equal to. 220 yards or a quarter-mile

What Is A Click In Distance?: FAQs

Why Does The Military Use Clicks Instead Of Miles?

Klick is preferred to the term kilometer since it is shorter and easier to pronounce. This measurement can be used and recognized by military people all across the world.

Is A Click 1 Mile?

No, 1 click is equivalent to 0.6214 miles.

What Is MGRS?

The Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) is a geocoordinate system used by NATO to locate various points on the globe. The Universal Polar Stereographic grid system and the Universal Transverse Mercator grid system were combined to create this system. 

Military members will be provided or create an MGRS coordinate, also known as a grid reference, which consists of three components: the grid zone designator, the 100,000-meter square identifier, and the numerical location, while using the MGRS. 4QFJ34891234, for example, is an MGRS coordinate.

One meter, ten meters, one hundred meters, 1,000 meters, and 10,000 meters are all supported by the Military Grid Reference System. The lower the meter quantity represented by the MGRS coordinate, the fewer numbers will be included in the coordinate.

What Is A Mic In Military Terms?

40 mike-mike. (U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and U.S. Marine Corps). A 40mm grenade or M203 grenade launcher, such as is often mounted underneath an M-16 or a variant thereof. 60 mil.

What Does Sierra Whiskey Mean In the Military?

It means “Well done”

What Does Bravo Juliet Mean?

It’s basically a military code that reads “FJB.” This abbreviation was used to mock Joe Biden after his frank comments about COVID safety over the winter.

What Does Fruit Salad Mean In The Military?

It’s slang for a service member’s decorations and ribbons displayed on their dress uniform.

What Does Roger Tango Mean?

It means “message received.”

Why Do They Say “Stay Frosty?”

Originally a military terminology possibly referred to maintaining one’s composure, but with added emphasis due to the need to remain attentive in dangerous situations.

Why Do They Say Tango Down?

The phrase “tango down” is claimed to have originated in military jargon. The letter T became slang for target, or “enemy,” in the NATO phonetic alphabet, which was devised in the 1930s. Downing a target means “shooting” it, especially when grounding an aircraft, but it also means “neutralizing” or “killing” it.

What Does The Term Bravo Foxtrot Mean?

A Blue Falcon, also known as a Bravo Foxtrot, is someone who causes problems for other members of their squad, either by causing drama or betraying them.

What Do 40 Rounds Mean In The Army?

The crest is the XV Corps’ symbol from the Civil War, with the slogan “40 Rounds” referring to a XV Corps Soldier’s rapid answer when asked to present his Corps’ badge, which he did while tapping his ammo box.

Why Do Marines Say Oscar Mike?

Oscar Mike is military slang for “On the Move,” and it was chosen to represent the founder’s energy and the Veterans he assists.

What Is A Click In Distance?: Final Words

Military terminology is frequently unfamiliar to civilians. The phrase “Click” is one of those words that most people are unfamiliar with. If you’re not careful, you could use the word wrongly, hence the need for this article.

Click is part of a military metric system that dates back to World War I and is still widely utilized in all areas of the military today. 

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