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Old 03-06-2017, 07:26 PM   #1
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Default Ladder Test?

I found a thread somewhere last week that was talking about ladder test, but I can't find it today!

I did some loading yesterday so I have my "test subjects" ready, but I was wondering if you use a gun vise/lead sled type device to hold the rifle.

I have more bad days at the range than good ones...every once in while I'll have one of those days where I can't do anything wrong! I have those target framed on the wall over my reloading stuff! LOL

I have a Hawk Hill muzzle brake on my new 6.5-06, just broke in the barrel this past weekend. Fell in love with the brake...tame as a kitten. The thing will out shoot me I know it...had several go into the same hole on different loads with different bullets...but I scatter a few around...all within an inch...but looser than I want to see.

So I'm going to try a ladder test to see if maybe it could use a little tweeking! Not that it will help the shooter much...but for that good day!

I normally load something close to max and hunt with it...been working fine for over 40 years but I'm wanting to push the target back a ways and I feel this rifle is my best shot at doing it!
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Old 03-06-2017, 07:35 PM   #2
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I don't have the time right now to type everything I want before supper but what did you load, what do you consider a group 3-5 shots, if you're shooting over an inch you have your worked cut out with you if it's a custome rifle. If you can't load a few different loads and find something around a .5" you need to do some research on your loads. That's the part I love is taking a rifle that won't shoot and working a load to where I'm stacking them on top of each other. I only shoot with a front rest and rear bag, lead sleds are horrible for your stock and optics. I will load 5-6different loads till I find something that it will shoot. Usually 3 or 5 rounds in each load. If it's not a 5 shot group it's not a group. And one of the biggest things I've noticed is rarely does max load group the best. Usually have to back it off to get the accuracy. I've only owned a handful of guns that loves a max load.
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Old 03-06-2017, 08:22 PM   #3
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I usually load 5 shots every .3gr for small loads say 20-30gr and .5 for bigger for like my 243 and 708.
I find the best group then I start to load between those. Then when I find the best powder charge I start to tinker with the COL. And go from there.
I usually use my primos gun vice. I don't do this enough to justify a lead sled at $200 my primos was $50 at wally world. My thoughts for using a vice is I want to take me out of the equation and just focus on my loads.
I have a 6.8 ar I built that likes 30.6 a little overa max and a 556 that likes 24.7 under max. I shoot the 556 for fun and 6.8 I use for hunting. For hunting I like under an inch. may sound bad but I shoot barnes bullets and they are tough to get to group well.
steve

For my hunting loads I like to start near max. If they suck I drop down.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:24 PM   #4
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Well...been reading up on this today.

I think I found something of interest, at least to me. The theory behind this makes a lot of sense! Especially for hit steel and hunting.

Check this site out!
http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/#

Splittine,
A lot of what he is saying differs from your thought process, not that you're wrong...it's just different. He said "all his rifles shoot max or near max loads". And he shoots 3 shot groups...

I have already loaded 5 of each loading for my ladder test... but I still think I can follow his thought process and come to a similar result. I too started high with my loadings.
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Last edited by CaptnC; 03-07-2017 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:32 PM   #5
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A true group is 5 shots. There is no debating that, it's benchrest standard. And I burn more powder in a month than most people do in their lifetime with a boltaction rifle. Near max loads isn't a max load. Most of my guns shoot better under max load. I've had some in the past shoot great at max but the majority will not. You can get a pretty good idea of what your gun will do with a 3 shot group while testing but if you tell me you shot a 3 shot group in the .4s it means nothing to me.
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Old 03-07-2017, 07:43 PM   #6
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This a cut and paste from the above link...I have found that the best loads for all of my own rifles have been loads that were at or near listed maximums, but I do test about 5 per cent below for pressure signs, then work up...

I think it a bit of straining a knat to say one grain below max is not near max...in my world it's near max...

This guy uses three shots because he is looking for group averages. I was surprised when he said he will not use the tightest group. He wants to use the variations of a load that group together. It reduces issues from temperature change, elevation changes and just basically changes inside the case...what ever the reason.

Thats why a said it makes sense when hunting or shooting steel. Benchrest is a totally different animal.
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Old 03-10-2017, 02:35 PM   #7
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I found this on another site...it is one of the best examples you will ever see of what is talked about in the link.

The guy who shot the target had never heard of the OWC web site, but I'm sure he knew of the process. I posted the link there with his target and it was well received by the shooter!

In his thread...he mentions he continued with the load increases on the unlabeled groups...30.5 and 40.0
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