Longrange Accuracy

Like a test pilot exploring the limits of his flight envelope, Skip Talbot test-fired his .50 caliber at quite extreme ranges—up to 3,000 yards, the greatest credible accuracy experiment I've yet come across. Firing his custom civilian match rounds at an 8 x 10-foot

sized 55-gallon drums 1,250 yards away during demonstrations of M2 ball accuracy and penetration. I hit the drum about 70 percent of the time, while a couple of our marksmanship instructors did a bit better.

Dr. Kaplan, a master shooter and guest instructor at several sniper courses, once demonstrated how fast and easy he could hone in with his AMAC sniper rifle. Starting with the scope set for 400 yards, he fired just two spotter rounds, then put the third through a waist-high

The Nightforce NXS 5-25x56mm has a superb reputation for heavy rifle sniping.

silhouette target 1,500 yards away. This was with Thunderbird civilian rounds.

Some of the most accurate civ ilian .50-caliber shooting involves the "free recoil" firing technique., by which the gun is heavily sandbagged, then fine-adjusted. At the instant of firing, only the shooter's finger touches the gun. Skip Talbot used the free-recoil technique to shoot his world record group, as do many benchrest shooting champions.

Most rifle scopes compatible with .308 rifles are not suited to their bigger .50-caliber cousins. First, many scopes cannot handle the greater Gs of heavy recoil, even though recoil is considerably dampened by a muzzle brake. It isn't that they're shaken apart, but their waterproof seals can crack, and die elevation and windage gears may slip.

Second, the greater distances of .50-caliber engagements imply higher magnification to achieve target clarity. This higher power also suggests a larger objective lens, so there's little or no decline in the exit pupil, which is the cone of light that reaches your eye. This can prove critical in low-light situations.

But most ¡mportantlj', a .50-caliber scope needs more elevation—more Minutes of Angle— to coincide with the greater engagement

This special version of the USMC Unertl lOx scope has a BDC calibrated for .50-caliber trajectory.

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Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.

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