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Thread: Ladder tests

  1. #1
    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Ladder tests

    I could use some good basic information on ladder tests. I've never done them, always shot groups. How are you guys doing this? What yardage? How is this more usefully then shooting 3 or more shot groups. I've read some info but honestly I'm not grasping it all the way. My reloading bench lonely and it's time to do my 308 stuff!


  2. #2
    Administrator 1911's Avatar
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    On my 308, I started out picking a starting point and then loading 5 rounds of each load, going up 3/10ths of a grain until I reach my stopping point.
    I then shoot 5 shot groups normally, I feel this gives a bit more accuracy than 3 shoot groups and also chronograph these. I then pick the best groups load and loads 1/10th at a time in both directions, for two loads. I then go fire all five loads, one shot at a time of each load at 5 different dots, so fatigue, wind, heat waves, rest movement, doesnt interefere with any particular group. I check for the tightest group and what the speeds are, so I can try and be in that node, where 1/10th gr +/- doesnt affect the speed or accuracy.
    I prefer to do this at 200yds, I just think it tells you much more, than at 100yds.

    Nice thing about 308, is they all pretty much like the same loads, so you can research the net and really narrow down your starting charge window.
    I also noticed a couple things on 20" barrels and 26" barrels. The happy place on mine and my cousins 20" in rem 700's, is 2590-2640fps, every group with most your popular powders, is very accurate with 165-175gr bullets. My Dad's R700, the 26" version, it's sweet spot is 2690-2740. All the rifles were heavy barrels.
    I do all my loads now to shoot around 2720 and I have two excellent charges, that I can use, with all bullets from 165-178gr bullets.

    www.seattleguns.net

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  3. #3
    Marksman
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    I do it a bit differently.
    I load bullets starting at the low mark given in the manual. I load one round for this, and one round for every .3 grains above this. I use a lead sled to take myself out of the equation, and I also shoot on a 300+ yd range. I've actually been doing this at 550 yards. Shoot and mark each round (you can color the bullets with a colored sharpie to tell which is which, at least for 3 or 4 rounds). The thing to look for is vertical grouping. If you find a powder range that is pretty close together, let's 43.5 - 44.1, that groups closely vertically, you can then load that powder range with .1 grain increments and shoot each again.
    This test looks for the spot that is at the top of the barrel whip, which will be your most accurate and consistent release point.


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    Marksman
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  5. #5
    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    I don't think my marksmanship skills will give ladder tests any validity. I guess a lead sled would be in order? I also don't own a spotting scope. Christmas is coming though! One question though. Do you do some low grain foulers so you can get a starting point on the paper? I've spent some good money on brass and prep so I want to do this the best I can.


  6. #6
    Administrator 1911's Avatar
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    I usually always run a couple "foulers" through before I start any ladder testing or chronographing.

    www.seattleguns.net

    Careful man, there's a beverage here!

  7. #7
    Marksman
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    My scopes are usually zero'd for 100 or 200, so I use some ammo to get it close to zero at 550, or at least on the paper. for the method I use, precise zeroing is not required, but using the same aim point is a must. I use the targets that change color when hit for zeroing, as you can see this at 550 with a 20x60 scope (mine is a cheap barska).


  8. #8
    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Cool! I figure load 3 or 4 at the starting point as foulers and also give me a starting "bottom rung" to get on the paper down low. Got to get to the range! I'm excited to try this out! Got a broke down Honda in the garage right now. Going to get it out this weekend and load up some rounds.


  9. #9
    Marksman
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    Good luck!!


  10. #10
    Sharp Shooter J-Rod's Avatar
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    Got my Lead Sled!! Got 50 pounds of shot and bags to go with it. I wish I would have bought this sooner. Alot of fun!! kind of reminds me of shooting artillery. I highly recomend one to any shooting enthusiast. Will make my ladder work ups easier. If nothing else strap the scoped AR-15 into it and give the 1000 yard gong some hell!! I did just that last weekend and it is alot of fun!


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