Ladder Testing for Long Range Load Development by LRO's Ryan Furman

tumbleweed

Active member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
101
Reaction score
26
Points
28
Location
Oregon Coast
Great video Ryan! Thanks for sharing! This is almost identical to how I've been doing it. Results are consistent and definitive with 2 shots and gives you kind of an average to rule out anomalies or bad data. I still use sharpie colored bullets and often use two colors on one powder charge to help identification, I don't get them mixed up that way.

If there's any advice i could add to performing a ladder on a new barrel... avoid the whole virgin brass or barrel speed up issue by just putting 75 rounds through it while cleaning/breaking in and fireforming all at the same time. Use cheap bullets and whatever suitable powder you have around. You can also use factory ammo loaded with the same brass you intend to handload with. Save your premium components for after the barrel stabilizes and perform this ladder just once.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Unclebuck

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Alberta
Great information, thank you for sharing. My question is, because my shooting area for long range is quite far for me and I have access to a range near by out to 300 yards, would 300 suffice? Any suggestions? I too am developing a 300 win mag with similar consumables etc.
 

bspooley

New member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
1
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Colorado
Great video! I now understand the value and how to properly do a ladder test . On the barrel speed up issue, what are your thoughts about breaking the barrel in before you do a ladder test? My thought is that you avoid having to adjust your charge weight later because you've already gone through the barrel speed up phase.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Great video Ryan! Thanks for sharing! This is almost identical to how I've been doing it. Results are consistent and definitive with 2 shots and gives you kind of an average to rule out anomalies or bad data. I still use sharpie colored bullets and often use two colors on one powder charge to help identification, I don't get them mixed up that way.

If there's any advice i could add to performing a ladder on a new barrel... avoid the whole virgin brass or barrel speed up issue by just putting 75 rounds through it while cleaning/breaking in and fireforming all at the same time. Use cheap bullets and whatever suitable powder you have around. You can also use factory ammo loaded with the same brass you intend to handload with. Save your premium components for after the barrel stabilizes and perform this ladder just once.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I can't get on board with the wasting 75-125 rounds. I have my load on most barrels in under 50 including seating depth testing. As I stated in the video once you find the load you just drop charge back down to the velocity the node is at after the speed up caused by the switch to once fired brass or the barrel speed up. There is no way I am wasting 75plus rounds of a barrel good for .5 moa accuracy for around 700-900 rounds. I am glad if it works for you. I would NEVER recommend that to a new shooter.
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Great information, thank you for sharing. My question is, because my shooting area for long range is quite far for me and I have access to a range near by out to 300 yards, would 300 suffice? Any suggestions? I too am developing a 300 win mag with similar consumables etc.
I would not waste my time with a ladder test at 300 yards. The data scatter is often too much to see the node. It may work but most often does not and I can not recommend a method that has the possibility to waste precious barrel life. I would recommend the OCW test and I will be talking about that in a future video.
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Great video! I now understand the value and how to properly do a ladder test . On the barrel speed up issue, what are your thoughts about breaking the barrel in before you do a ladder test? My thought is that you avoid having to adjust your charge weight later because you've already gone through the barrel speed up phase.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
I will never agree with wasting barrel life. With the way I described, I am shooting an accurate load in around 50 rounds. It gives more confidence and in the case that the first combo you try does not work you will be better off. If you wait and just waste barrel life and the first combo does not work now you are getting into a barrel with 175-200 rounds plus, wasted with no load. I have yet to see a barrel my method does not work on and it wastes no barrel life. The other issue with the idea of wasting barrel life before starting is some cartridges make little change with once fired brass and some don't really speed up much(typically smaller cartridges). Again if it works for you great. I will NEVER recommend it to new shooters. Most magnums die around 700-900 rounds and wasting 100 rounds or 10 percent makes no sense, especially when there is a way to avoid it.
 

Unclebuck

New member
Joined
Apr 14, 2020
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Alberta
I would not waste my time with a ladder test at 300 yards. The data scatter is often too much to see the node. It may work but most often does not and I can not recommend a method that has the possibility to waste precious barrel life. I would recommend the OCW test and I will be talking about that in a future video.
Thanks for the reply, looking forward to seeing the OCW test, hopefully in action!
 

Rjk300

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
146
Reaction score
92
Points
28
Location
NE, Ohio
Great info, thanks for taking the time to gather and share! Would it be accurate to say that when you find your accuracy node it falls into a velocity node as well since you have very little vertical dispersion?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

elkguide

Active member
Joined
Sep 21, 2018
Messages
293
Reaction score
70
Points
28
Location
Vermont
After watching and enjoying this great tutorial, the only question is.....

when is the next installment coming?!?

I guess that you must be an "essential worker" Ryan, since Broz said that you were working today but for those of us that have been put into a forced retirement, thank you so much for sharing your experience/knowledge with us and I hope that you can find time to follow up soon.
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Great info, thanks for taking the time to gather and share! Would it be accurate to say that when you find your accuracy node it falls into a velocity node as well since you have very little vertical dispersion?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

For the most part this test does show you a velocity node that coincides with an accuracy node. This velocity node is exactly what allows you to keep in the node as you change from new to once fired brass as well as maintaining your load in the node as the barrel transitions through speed up. Just because there is little vertical dispersion however does not necessarily mean it will have small ES in velocity due to positive compensation which is another topic of discussion altogether. On another note I have found that when you switch powders to a different burn rate the barrel is not necessarily going to have an accuracy node in the same velocity window because the pressure curve has changed. I would actually say it would be rare to find the different powder to shoot in the same velocity window unless the burn rates are very close.
 

tumbleweed

Active member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
101
Reaction score
26
Points
28
Location
Oregon Coast
I can't get on board with the wasting 75-125 rounds. I have my load on most barrels in under 50 including seating depth testing. As I stated in the video once you find the load you just drop charge back down to the velocity the node is at after the speed up caused by the switch to once fired brass or the barrel speed up. There is no way I am wasting 75plus rounds of a barrel good for .5 moa accuracy for around 700-900 rounds. I am glad if it works for you. I would NEVER recommend that to a new shooter.
I can respect that. I think we just look at things a little differently. I like to get that 60-80 rounds done quick with no having to make multiple trips up to my shooting spot, setting up targets for ladders...then repeating when the barrel stabilizes. In the mean time you deal with some velocity migration and trying to stay on point at ELR. Being a cheap skate, i'd just as soon not waste premium components during this period either. Anyway, thanks again for the great video Ryan!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
After watching and enjoying this great tutorial, the only question is.....

when is the next installment coming?!?

I guess that you must be an "essential worker" Ryan, since Broz said that you were working today but for those of us that have been put into a forced retirement, thank you so much for sharing your experience/knowledge with us and I hope that you can find time to follow up soon.
I appreciate that someone finds it useful. I put a great deal of thought into this video trying to make it as straight forward as I could. I will get to work on putting together an OCW video which will most likely be the next. I hate to give a time frame but keep an eye out.
 

jaybigboy34

New member
Joined
Mar 6, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I can't get on board with the wasting 75-125 rounds. I have my load on most barrels in under 50 including seating depth testing. As I stated in the video once you find the load you just drop charge back down to the velocity the node is at after the speed up caused by the switch to once fired brass or the barrel speed up. There is no way I am wasting 75plus rounds of a barrel good for .5 moa accuracy for around 700-900 rounds. I am glad if it works for you. I would NEVER recommend that to a new shooter.
Do you have to change your seating depth as the barrel wears in? So if you're normally 10 off the lands do you keep the same ogive reading from your original load even though it could be 30 or 40 off the lands? Thank you
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Do you have to change your seating depth as the barrel wears in? So if you're normally 10 off the lands do you keep the same ogive reading from your original load even though it could be 30 or 40 off the lands? Thank you
Typically if you have determined that your rifle prefers a certain bullet .010 off(just one example), then as the throat moves/wears you will maintain the same distance to the lands. Many refer to this as "chasing" the lands. As this happens pressure will drop and after the throat has moved enough you may find you need to increase the powder charge a tenth or two to keep velocity up.
 

ShtrRdy

Active member
Joined
Aug 5, 2015
Messages
400
Reaction score
37
Points
28
Location
High Plains
Thanks for putting this together Ryan. I haven't tried a ladder test since a long distance range is quite far away, but I like to work up a load when the barrel is young and the brass is new and tweak the powder charge like you said. It works. We just have to be aware of the velocity changing and "sweet spot " moving as the barrel settles in and the brass fits the chamber.
 

DropTines

Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
67
Reaction score
8
Points
8
Wow!! This is exactly what I needed. Thank you for putting this together.

I’ve been chasing the velocity node at 100 yards and still haven’t felt I have the magic combo in two guns. I’m excited to start over.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Raining

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Here is a ladder I did at 600 yards. I am not a good shot so I always like to get more samples. Electronic targets help a ton with shooting fast to keep the conditions the same (As you can see the ladder hit on different parts of the target each time). I would say it is pretty clear when you look at all 5 that 3,4,5 is the node, around 1/2 to 3/4 MOA (This is F Class target so that 10 ring is 6" wide). This is a 6 Dasher, I don't shoot large magnums and I am not confident in my skills so I am OK with wasting components to make sure I am seeing repeatable results.

Have you seen some of the data from the Precision Rifle Blog about how Mark Gordon basically did a ladder test with seating depth. It was a pretty interesting read. I think I will try a seating depth ladder test at 600 with my #4 load and see what the results are. If I find a forgiving seating depth I might repeat the charge weight ladder test to see if the same charge weight, or close to it has the tight spot. Ladder.jpg
 

youngbuck

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
38
Reaction score
12
Points
8
I was surprised to see it was nearly an hour long. The hypothetical and actual targets helped explain your method. Nice work and thank you very much!
 

lintond

New member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Hillsboro, OR
That was great! As a new reloader I am soaking up this information big time and love your videos. I got a bit lost when you added the second shot string on the white board, but that all cleared up when you showed the actual targets. Thanks for doing this.

Also your insight on what to do with barrel speed up and virgin vs fire formed brass makes total sense, but I never would have thought to do that on my own. Will keep an eye on that as I move into once fired brass.

Currently I have been trying to determine a my charge by doing a ladder test base off velocity, then a seating depth test. I'm concerned my shooting abilities might make reading the data difficult on your test, but I'm going to give it a try on my new 223 I am putting together.

How would compare that to shooting a ladder like yours?
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
That was great! As a new reloader I am soaking up this information big time and love your videos. I got a bit lost when you added the second shot string on the white board, but that all cleared up when you showed the actual targets. Thanks for doing this.

Also your insight on what to do with barrel speed up and virgin vs fire formed brass makes total sense, but I never would have thought to do that on my own. Will keep an eye on that as I move into once fired brass.

Currently I have been trying to determine a my charge by doing a ladder test base off velocity, then a seating depth test. I'm concerned my shooting abilities might make reading the data difficult on your test, but I'm going to give it a try on my new 223 I am putting together.

How would compare that to shooting a ladder like yours?
I personally feel the velocity only test(I will never refer to it as a ladder) is worthless. If you are not looking at accuracy in some way it is a waste. I could show you numerous targets with great es and horrible accuracy. I could also show you targets with not great es and great long range accuracy(not the lucky 100 yard group). I have tried the velocity only method on know accurate rifles with known good loads and the data(when reverse engineered) is unreliable. I feel if you are not looking at groups at 100 or vertical at 1k(or a reasonable long distace) you are wasting time and money.

For your 223 I would suggest 600 yards over 1k.
 

lintond

New member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Hillsboro, OR
I personally feel the velocity only test(I will never refer to it as a ladder) is worthless. If you are not looking at accuracy in some way it is a waste. I could show you numerous targets with great es and horrible accuracy. I could also show you targets with not great es and great long range accuracy(not the lucky 100 yard group). I have tried the velocity only method on know accurate rifles with known good loads and the data(when reverse engineered) is unreliable. I feel if you are not looking at groups at 100 or vertical at 1k(or a reasonable long distace) you are wasting time and money.

For your 223 I would suggest 600 yards over 1k.
Ok I’ll give it a try! That’s good feedback. I’m okay with burning barrel life since I’m learning. The goal is to get my load development techniques up to snuff.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Here is a ladder I did at 600 yards. I am not a good shot so I always like to get more samples. Electronic targets help a ton with shooting fast to keep the conditions the same (As you can see the ladder hit on different parts of the target each time). I would say it is pretty clear when you look at all 5 that 3,4,5 is the node, around 1/2 to 3/4 MOA (This is F Class target so that 10 ring is 6" wide). This is a 6 Dasher, I don't shoot large magnums and I am not confident in my skills so I am OK with wasting components to make sure I am seeing repeatable results.

Have you seen some of the data from the Precision Rifle Blog about how Mark Gordon basically did a ladder test with seating depth. It was a pretty interesting read. I think I will try a seating depth ladder test at 600 with my #4 load and see what the results are. If I find a forgiving seating depth I might repeat the charge weight ladder test to see if the same charge weight, or close to it has the tight spot. View attachment 4779
A couple things stand out to me with your post.

1) I am not convinced 600 yards will be enough to determine good 6br or improved loads from great because it is too accurate. longer distance would help for sure.

2) Were those targets shot on the same day? Sunlight has a direct effect on how our eyes see the target and an absolute effect on poi.

3) You don't mention if you did a seating depth test at all. Seating depth testing must be done regardless of the method used.


Having said that I would do seating depth testing at charge #4 and tweak from there.
 

PAXMAN

Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
73
Reaction score
29
Points
18
Next up: Primer testing. You should use the same rifle used during ladder test in the ocw test.
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Next up: Primer testing. You should use the same rifle used during ladder test in the ocw test.
I have done this several times(do a ladder and the OCW) for data collection purposes with several rifles and bullet/powder combinations.

I don't believe in primer testing unless the primer you originally chose for load development just will not provide the es/accuracy you are after. I have swapped primers several times and exactly zero times has it improved my load. In my personal opinion to fully test a primer you need to do full load workup from scratch not just swap it.
 

Raining

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
A couple things stand out to me with your post.

1) I am not convinced 600 yards will be enough to determine good 6br or improved loads from great because it is too accurate. longer distance would help for sure.

2) Were those targets shot on the same day? Sunlight has a direct effect on how our eyes see the target and an absolute effect on poi.

3) You don't mention if you did a seating depth test at all. Seating depth testing must be done regardless of the method used.


Having said that I would do seating depth testing at charge #4 and tweak from there.
600 is as far as I have access to.

Yes, all shot on the same day. When I settle on a load I need to start trying to pay attention to the flags and clouds/sun position to learn the wind and light effects.

I have not done a seating depth test. I know traditional test is group size but I have put down 10 shot groups of the same charge weight with 6.5 creedmoor and got groups from .4 moa to .9 so I don’t think I am consistent enough of a shooter to use group size to choose seating depth.

I plan on using #4 powder charge and do a ladder with different seating depths and see if I can get consecutive seating depths that have similar poi. If it works out I will have a stable powder charge and not have to chase the lands as much.
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
600 is as far as I have access to.

Yes, all shot on the same day. When I settle on a load I need to start trying to pay attention to the flags and clouds/sun position to learn the wind and light effects.

I have not done a seating depth test. I know traditional test is group size but I have put down 10 shot groups of the same charge weight with 6.5 creedmoor and got groups from .4 moa to .9 so I don’t think I am consistent enough of a shooter to use group size to choose seating depth.

I plan on using #4 powder charge and do a ladder with different seating depths and see if I can get consecutive seating depths that have similar poi. If it works out I will have a stable powder charge and not have to chase the lands as much.
I think you have a solid plan. Let us know. I see you are new to the site so welcome aboard. I would suggest you start your own thread so we can follow along as you find your load. Feel free to tag me.
 

Greyfox

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
308
Reaction score
26
Points
18
Excellent video Ryan! Finally, a “ladder” test description that coincides with the observations that I have experienced during load development. A question. Being a creature of habit, over the years, I tend to stick with a particular cartridge for a particular application and have done this test with the same cartridge, powder, load, multiple times with different rifles. While the there may be some fine adjustments, I have found that the optimal load, velocity, accuracy, and even ES for a given cartridge/bullet/load are very similar. For example, my 300 WM’s are very similar, and just about identical to the example in your video, 75-76gr of H1000, Fed215M, Berger 215. the same holds for my 6.5x284’s and 6.5x47’s, and I can generally zero in on the optimum load without extensive samples being run, and they prove to be effective at long range. Wondering if you have seen this.
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Excellent video Ryan! Finally, a “ladder” test description that coincides with the observations that I have experienced during load development. A question. Being a creature of habit, over the years, I tend to stick with a particular cartridge for a particular application and have done this test with the same cartridge, powder, load, multiple times with different rifles. While the there may be some fine adjustments, I have found that the optimal load, velocity, accuracy, and even ES for a given cartridge/bullet/load are very similar. For example, my 300 WM’s are very similar, and just about identical to the example in your video, 75-76gr of H1000, Fed215M, Berger 215. the same holds for my 6.5x284’s and 6.5x47’s, and I can generally zero in on the optimum load without extensive samples being run, and they prove to be effective at long range. Wondering if you have seen this.
In general yes. I am sure you have seen this but some of our favorite powders seem to have relatively large swings lot to lot. I have also seen some variance when changing barrel lengths and even more when playing with different free bores as, I think, is to be expected. Again generally speaking a particular set of components in a certain cartridge are relatively repeatable.
 

Raining

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
I think you have a solid plan. Let us know. I see you are new to the site so welcome aboard. I would suggest you start your own thread so we can follow along as you find your load. Feel free to tag me.
Will do, might be a while though as the range is closed for the rest of this month bc of the corona virus and I suspect when the end of this month rolls around they will extend the closure.
 

Kjw

New member
Joined
Nov 16, 2018
Messages
17
Reaction score
4
Points
3
This is some really good stuff. A few things have locked up the gears but with the video, being able to go back and rewatch has been awesome. Understandable why the video took so long to make, endless scenarios and possibilities to try and explain. Just got some 156 Bergers for my 6.5/284. I’ll be curious to see how it plays out
 

Whitetail84

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
150
Reaction score
16
Points
18
Location
South MS
The only problem I have with the video is I needed it a year ago. Thank you for demonstrating and showing actual targets for this method of load development. I believe actually taking the time doing this will help me and others actually save some barrel life. Great video
 

lintond

New member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Hillsboro, OR
The only problem I have with the video is I needed it a year ago. Thank you for demonstrating and showing actual targets for this method of load development. I believe actually taking the time doing this will help me and others actually save some barrel life. Great video
Agreed I needed this a couple months ago before I put a couple hundred rounds through my 28 Nosler.

I’m going to do this on my 6.5 CM that I did a velocity test on a couple weeks ago. Going to compare and see if I get the same node.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

lintond

New member
Joined
Mar 31, 2018
Messages
28
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Location
Hillsboro, OR
I personally feel the velocity only test(I will never refer to it as a ladder) is worthless. If you are not looking at accuracy in some way it is a waste. I could show you numerous targets with great es and horrible accuracy. I could also show you targets with not great es and great long range accuracy(not the lucky 100 yard group). I have tried the velocity only method on know accurate rifles with known good loads and the data(when reverse engineered) is unreliable. I feel if you are not looking at groups at 100 or vertical at 1k(or a reasonable long distace) you are wasting time and money.

For your 223 I would suggest 600 yards over 1k.
Ryan turns out the spot I was hoping to shoot at is locked up. My local gun range allows me to shoot to 300 yds. Would you still do the ladder test or would you try something different? Really wish I had better local access to shoot longer distances without a long drive. This would be for 28N, 6.5CM, & 223.
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Ryan turns out the spot I was hoping to shoot at is locked up. My local gun range allows me to shoot to 300 yds. Would you still do the ladder test or would you try something different? Really wish I had better local access to shoot longer distances without a long drive. This would be for 28N, 6.5CM, & 223.
If it were me in your situation I would do the OCW test at 100 yards. It will be my next load development video but it will be after bear season at the earliest. There are a couple good resources in the mean time if you are not familiar with it.
 

Raining

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2020
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Points
3
Ryan turns out the spot I was hoping to shoot at is locked up. My local gun range allows me to shoot to 300 yds. Would you still do the ladder test or would you try something different? Really wish I had better local access to shoot longer distances without a long drive. This would be for 28N, 6.5CM, & 223.
As far as I know there are 4 types of load dev.

1. Audette Ladder test. Which is what this thread discusses. I believe the goal is to look for positive compensations, where the barrel is "whipping" up and this slower bullets leave at a higher point and thus cancels out the slower speed (at least partially). IDK if this is correct or not. But it doesn't really matter what causes it, you want a charge weight range with consistent POI at 600+ yards in the y axis.

2. Optimal Charge weight (OCW). The goal of OCW is to find a stable zero. You shoot incremental powder charges just like the Audette Ladder Test but this time at 100 yards. You shoot round robin (each charge weight at its own target),
ex
40.0 @ target 1,
40.2 @ target 2,
40.4 @ target 3,
40.6 @ target 4,
40.8 @ target 5,
41.0 @ target 6,
41.2 @ target 7,
41.4 @ target 8,
41.6 @ target 9,
41.8 @ target 10.

Then you wait for the barrel to cool. And shoot the following:
41.8 @ target 10,
41.6 @ target 9,
41.4 @ target 8,
41.2 @ target 7,
41.0 @ target 6,
40.8 @ target 5,
40.6 @ target 4,
40.4 @ target 3,
40.2 @ target 2,
40.0 @ target 1

Then you wait for the barrel to cool. And finally shoot the last string:
40.0 @ target 1,
40.2 @ target 2,
40.4 @ target 3,
40.6 @ target 4,
40.8 @ target 5,
41.0 @ target 6,
41.2 @ target 7,
41.4 @ target 8,
41.6 @ target 9,
41.8 @ target 10.

You look for consecutive powder charges that have the same POI relative to POA in the y AND x axis.a

3. Shooting for groups (Shoot a group per powder charge or seating depth, pick the smallest group). This is something I typically see people do for a seating depth test after doing either OCW or Audette Ladder test. Keep in mind, you need to be very consistent shot for this to provide valid results.

4. Scott Satterlee Ladder. This is where you shoot 1 round per powder charge and look for flat spots in a graph of powder charge vs muzzle velocity. People like this test because it uses few components and doesn't rely on being a consistent shot. It is also statistically irrelevant. Every time I have shot 10 shots per charge weight, my powder charge vs muzzle velocity graph is a straight line.
 

lbirch

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
1,552
Reaction score
1,034
Points
113
Location
St. George UT
I've never tried this method. Very good explanation of how to. I might have to sometime.
 

Sod Farmer

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2019
Messages
88
Reaction score
50
Points
18
Location
Iowa
Just got back from my 1000 yd range. I want to thank Ryan for sharing his experience, and Broz for starting this thread. While the ladder test does take considerable time and effort (to and from the target), it does give a level of confidence in choosing a specific load. I can also tell you that for someone like me, who is relatively new at the long range game, it brings into sharp focus, the importance of basic skills such as consistent cheek weld, site picture, trigger control and being relaxed to absorb the recoil. For me, the ladder test was time very well spent! Thank You Ryan!!!
 

tumbleweed

Active member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
101
Reaction score
26
Points
28
Location
Oregon Coast
Hey all, I picked up some ADG brass for my 30 Nosler as the Nosler brand stuff I started with was absolute garbage. I knew I would need to shoot another ladder to tune in on the sweet spot again.
From previous experience doing this switch on another 30 Nosler with the same chamber and throat, I knew I'd need to increase charge to get back in the original node and speed range.

Rifle specs:
-Rem 721
-27" 1 in 9 Broughton 5c #5
-JB 30 Nosler chamber set up for 215 Berger
-HBN coated barrel and bullets

Previous load was 79.3 grains of H1000 at .035" jump for 2895fps. This load is tuned down for longevity, I'm purposely using a lower node.
I shot a pressure test/coarse ladder at 200 yards with Magnetospeed on to identify which charge would put me in the desired speed range for a longer distance ladder.

Below is a ladder I shot at 580 yards in good conditions. This is the way I set them all up on paper. Only a slightly shifty left to right breeze. The rifle is accurate enough that 1000 yards would have been better, but this shooting spot was handy and I knew this distance would tell me enough.

You'll notice I put a color key on the target to identify charges with bullet colors. I also like to transpose bullets into a straight line after shooting to help identify the sweet spot. I know what charge I'm going to do group testing with...what do you guys think?



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
I think 81 grains is it on that target but I don't believe you hit the "low" node let alone the high node. You should be able to run up to 86plus with adg and a proper throat and the low node will most likely be around 83(maybe 82.5 looking at your target). HBN will be even higher. I would be curious to know your 81 and 82.5 velocities.
 

tumbleweed

Active member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
101
Reaction score
26
Points
28
Location
Oregon Coast
I think 81 grains is it on that target but I don't believe you hit the "low" node let alone the high node. You should be able to run up to 86plus with adg and a proper throat and the low node will most likely be around 83(maybe 82.5 looking at your target). HBN will be even higher. I would be curious to know your 81 and 82.5 velocities.
So as i mentioned, I'm deliberately running this on idle for longevity and barrel life. You were spot on with 81 grains Ryan, that's what I loaded up a couple hours ago. I suspect this is the low node, 81 grains produced right at 2900fps...keeping in mind that I'm running HBN, this would probably be 79 grains with a naked bullet.

I know there's a 3010fps node that we've tuned in a couple other 30's with using H1000. I also know RL33 or N570 would probably reach the high node of 3100 but I'm not interested in pushing it with this gun, I have a big full custom RUM for that.
I actually loaded up 3 rounds of each...80.9, 81 and 81.1 just to take a look at group shape. Probably shoot those at around 300 yards.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rfurman24

LRO Rifle and Gear Review Editor
Staff member
Joined
May 27, 2015
Messages
1,132
Reaction score
504
Points
113
Typically one around 2900, 3000, and 3100. Personally If I were going to settle for the 2900 node I would build a 300WSM(I am) but it is a great day to be a gear head with all the choices. It does look like it is going to shoot.
 

tumbleweed

Active member
Joined
Mar 6, 2017
Messages
101
Reaction score
26
Points
28
Location
Oregon Coast
Typically one around 2900, 3000, and 3100. Personally If I were going to settle for the 2900 node I would build a 300WSM(I am) but it is a great day to be a gear head with all the choices. It does look like it is going to shoot.
The junk Nosler brass i was originally running in this would only allow 2900fps. I think it must have been a bad batch. I was getting false pressure signs, sticky extraction and super springy brass even with annealing. I just had to put up with it having no other brass options at the time. It did shoot lights out then too. I like to be able to shoot 3-4 times back to back without a bunch of heat to deal with and feeling guilty. Lol


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Bullseye

New member
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
5
Points
3
So I have a question. I have never used a ladder test before but am gonna try tomorrow or the next day. What load do you use to get on paper at 1000 yards before you have done any load development. Just pick a low end charge weight and walk it in then start your test?
 

Rjk300

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
146
Reaction score
92
Points
28
Location
NE, Ohio
I would make sure you are zeroed or very close at 100 or 200 yds. If your using a chrono then you should have a start velocity to put in your ballistic calc. Then have a 4’x4’ or even bigger target at 1k. I would then use your best educated guess on velocity if you don’t have a chrono hopefully your pretty close because 100fps could put you off 1.5 moa or so depending on velocity and bullet. Now after this with a good velocity input you should have hits on target and you can make adjustments if needed between charge weights. Any adjustments once on target should be made between charge weights so you can monitor vertical dispersion at that charge weight. Hope this helps!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jimbires

Active member
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
116
Reaction score
94
Points
28
Location
central Pa
I plug all my info into JBM and get a elevation to dial . I use a velocity I found while doing a seating depth test at minimum powder charge , or I use a velocity from quickload . I hang a big target so if I'm off a little , I can keep my hits on paper . I do not make any scope corrections during the ladder . it doesn't matter where your hits are on the target , just so they are on the target .

 

Bullseye

New member
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
9
Reaction score
5
Points
3
Thanks. That’s what I planned on doing but had to ask.

 

asasa11

Forum Sponsors

asasa11
Top