Obtain an ample supply of black-tipped .50-caliber armor-piercing ammunition, enough so you can test-fire, zero, and tactically employ cartridges from the same lot. These AP rounds usually are more consistent and accurate than M2 ball ammo.
Test-fire the guns one at a time against a target that's at least 400 yards away You don't need optics yet since you're just learning which gun shoots the tightest groups.
Set each gun for single-shot firing and sandbag it heavily so you can shoot it with free recoil, meaning only your trigger finger touches the gun. Use the T&E mechanism to adjust aim, picking a concise aiming point that's proportional to the sight blade.
After confirming you're on-paper, shoot two five-shot groups at two clean targets, waiting long enough between shots so the barrel doesn't heat up. Manually load each round exactly the same as al) others. After inserting a round, let spring power pull the retracting slide handle from your hand, then smartly slap it shut. Reconfirm your aim and adjust the T&E as needed before firing each shot.
A realistic accuracy goal is 10 to 15 inches at 400 yards, which equals 3 to 4 MOA. Granted, this isn't sniper-level performance, but it would be most exceptional to do much better. In a 1954 sniper application test of a Browning .50 fitted with lOx scope, the best five-round group was only 8 MOA, so I'm betting that you can do much better than the folks at Aberdeen Proving Ground.
So how bad is 3 MOA? At 1,000 yards it means you'll be firing 30-inch groups, or a pattern about twice the size of a human torso—you should score 50 percent of the time. And if the truth were known, the Korean and Vietnam War reports of .50-caliber sniping kindly omitted the fact that there were several misses for each hit. But the hits were well worth the misses.
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