Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

heavy barrel

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 17, 2009
50
1
52
phoenix,az
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Ok. I tried a ladder test again at 550 yards & the results are still confusing. These are 3 ladders. Everything is the same(bullet, case. prime,etc...). Any input?

Test #1
DSC02389.jpg


Test #2
DSC02390.jpg


Test #3
DSC02391.jpg

 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
113
NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

1.

If you can shoot further: do one more ladder say another 200 yards out and try 39-41.5 grains.

2. if thats all the range you have or are not wanting to run another ladder, I'd try experimenting with 3 shots groups now from the same 39-41.5 in standard 10% of max incremental powder charge jumps. (refers to article for this explanation.)

Is this a shorter barreled rifle?
 

heavy barrel

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 17, 2009
50
1
52
phoenix,az
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

The barrel is a 28" Shilen heavy varmint with a tight neck chamber. The barrel & action work was done by Lester Bruno.

What is confusing is that 39.5.
38.5, 39.0 & 40.0 are all within an inch on all 3 test. But that 39.5 only works in test #3.

I was worried about running out of target so I only shot at 550 yards. This time I'll have a 6x6 target so I'll shoot at 1000 yards.

I've loaded 38.5-41.5 in .3 steps. & I'll remember to bring my chrono.
mad.gif
 

heavy barrel

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 17, 2009
50
1
52
phoenix,az
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Well, doing the ladder at 1000 yards did the trick. The results are easier to see.

Thanks a lot for helping us mortals.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
113
NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it



Awesome H.Barrel!

I love it when a shooter finds out how to 'up it a notch. Thanks for the positive report back!

your happy I'm happy,
TM
 

sandwarrior

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 21, 2007
6,464
1,931
in yooperland
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

TresMon,

I'd suggest not leaving the chrono. But make sure when anyone does this test they <span style="text-decoration: underline">don't let the chrono information interfere with this test</span>. Only use the info for your ballistic calculating to get you close at longer and shorter ranges so you can save rounds at a later time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Brighthighlight

Jered Joplin

Gunny Sergeant
Commercial Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I'm going to step out on a limb and say that ladder test should take place at 100 yards only. What you are looking for is a harmonic node in the barrel. Doing it at distance is primarily going to tell you when you maxed out your powder and speed. Try doing a ladder test at 100. When they shoot into a tight spot that's your node. Then take that info to distance and shoot 5 shot groups of the same load. Start in the middle of the node and work up and out. I think you'll find those results a little more rewarding. 50% of the time you will find that your distance load is out of your 100 yard accuracy node.
 

Lowe Left

Chief
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 3, 2009
892
5
Arizona
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Tresmon - thank you for your time and patience. I'm new to this precision game and never realized the intricacies. This was eye-opening information to me and I'll definitely use it. Thank you again.
 

user

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Nov 25, 2009
552
9
USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

can someone link to chapter 3, measuring OAL? cant seem to find it

Tres is over the PM limit.

Thanks.
 

northern shooter

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Jul 22, 2010
102
4
122
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

when you do the ladder test at say 300 meters do you zero for that range or just shoot from 100 meter zero?
 

OldmaninNeb

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Jan 3, 2009
192
0
Nebraska
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

most excellent, I'm too lazy to copy n paste, but hopefully it'll be around here for a long time. I might add bullets to the mix, I found my Cooper liked Hornady 50gr.v-max better than Sierra's Blitzking 50gr hp ... group tightened right up. also, I didn't change a thing on the scope moving out to 300 yards...and if you're lucky, you might have a friend in the hardware/grocery/store business that gets given these corrugated plastic signs with soda commercials on one side, make excellent ladder targets when they're changed out.
 

ColoYooper

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 7, 2010
42
0
65
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

VERY INTERESTING. Although I'm a little confused why shots 10 and 11 continued to climb off the paper. If shots 6,7,8,9 were at the peak where the oscillation slows and turns around, I would have expected shots 10 and 11 to be below the group. Perhaps there are multiple sinusoids and there exists another inflection point further up. I'm also not certain that even if the ring harmonics are nearly identical shot to shot, that the "strike" that caused the ring originates at the same location each time, say the top of the chamber. I've "stressed" over this in my load development and index each case with the thin side up ( after removing all cases that do not meet my uniformity standards ) Indexing may allow the ring to always originate at the top, but otherwise, if random, and you don't end up with a ladder, at least you can find the node in the middle. But you've got me curious so I am planning on attempting this, with indexed cases on my bench rifle, and non-index on two other (but accurate) rifles at 1000yds. In addition, I plan to fire 12 round in assending powder loads, clean the rifles, and fire an identical 12 rounds in descending load order. I'll update if I find anything interesting...If there is anything to this ( and I believe there is something ) then the ascending and descending holes should track fairly close. I suspect the multiple sinusoids due at least to barrel temperature changes, and fouling (even with Molly coated bullets) will prevent a strong correlation.

Actually, I think I can answer my own questions. First VELOCITY is the major contributor to the ladder at 1000yrds. At 100 yards, its buried with everything else. Thats why this is titled "Hand Loading for Long Range". Groups 10 and 11 grouped higher because they were going faster...duh.

Now I can hardly wait to see if shooting in ascending order vs descending order makes a difference. I'm less sure now than I was 1/2 hour ago ;^)
 

ColoYooper

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 7, 2010
42
0
65
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Sorry, but now I'm loosing sleep. I'm pretty certain something valid was captured on TresMon's first photo, I'm just not convinced we are coming up with the correct conclusion...Say we had a PERFECT rifle with a 3foot DIAMETER barrel that had no harmonics, was thermostatically controlled to a constant temperature, and somehow never fouled, and there was no wind. At 1000yard it would put all 14 shots of identically loaded ammo into one hole.( OK WE ARE PRETENDING HERE ) If we fired a 14 shot string, with each bullet .5 grains more powder than the previous, we would end up with a ladder very evenly spaced. Granted, the top shots would slowly group closer together then the bottom shots on the ladder. If we somehow injected a simple harmonic ring in this PERFECT rifle that oscillated only vertically. Now as we fire our 14 shot string, some consecutive shots in the string would exit the rifle as the oscillation was moving up. ie the hotter loads exited higher in the sinusoidal wave. This with the greater velocity would cause them to have a greater spread between shots compared to the PERFECT rifle without oscillation. Some consecutive shots in the string would exit the rifle as the oscillation was moving down. This would tend to cancel the shot separation due to velocity and they would tend to group closer together. Finally some consecutive shots in the string would exit the rifle at the top or bottom of the wave. These would have minimum spread modification due to oscillation and would be separated by the same distance as the PERFECT rifle without oscillation. Thus looking at the picture I now suspect the group of shots 6,7,8,9 were fired as the oscillation was moving down. Shots 1,2,3 were fired as the oscillation was moving up and shots 4 and 5 represent the shots fired as the oscillation as peaked out and momentarily stopped. These, I hypothesize are the loads to pursue.

But I'll probably change my mind 3 times before morning.
 

ColoYooper

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 7, 2010
42
0
65
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

OK I've slept on it...Its hard to argue with a PERFECT rifle ( Its like arguing with my wife ;^) I really like the experiment, and I'm extremely impressed with the results. I know we shouldn't read TOO much into the horizontal distribution in this, but it is interesting that shots 6,7,8,9 had the most horizontal spread as well. I'm pretty confident that those were shot when the barrel was moving the fastest in the downward slope of the curve. I can hardly wait for my next day at the range!
 

bible7

Private
Minuteman
Jan 18, 2010
15
0
51
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

what is the name of a very good solid rest?never used one before.thanks anyone
 

TimK

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Jan 13, 2010
1,318
264
55
Woodland Park, CO
www.timkulincabinetry.com
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Do barrels only vibrate up and down? Why aren't we looking for groups left and right also? I can't think of any reason that a particular barrel might not oscillate back and forth at any random angle to vertical. What am I missing?

I'm going to try a ladder this week, I'm just curious.
 

Jaybird39

Private
Minuteman
Aug 25, 2010
57
0
82
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I did a latter test at 300yrd.Had 3 shots in a 1"group3" high.When I got to book max the shots started to go low,2"below aiming point.Do you know why the hotter loads were going low.I though maybe they were shooting in the anti nod.Of course I've been wrong before.
 

Jaybird39

Private
Minuteman
Aug 25, 2010
57
0
82
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Come on men can't anyone tell me why the hot loads are going lower.I sure can"t figure it out.
 

Jaybird39

Private
Minuteman
Aug 25, 2010
57
0
82
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I'm testing loads with a leo.8and1/2 to 25 but I know it is not the best tactical scope.What brand and power do you recommend.When I get my loads worked up I want to change scopes.I would appreciate your expert opinion.
 

Jaybird39

Private
Minuteman
Aug 25, 2010
57
0
82
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

No one wants to answer my questions.Why?Don't want to talk to newbies?Don't know any more about it than I do?
 

SSC

Sergeant
Commercial Supporter
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

No one is answering because you haven't read the whole thread. This was discussed already. Read the whole thread again.

No one is answering your optics question because there is a whole forum dedicated to optics.

Word to the wise on this forum. USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION
 

Jaybird39

Private
Minuteman
Aug 25, 2010
57
0
82
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Thanks rb85cj7 Ifound what I wanted to know about the optics.Read the ladder test still can't understand why the hotter loads were going lower.When I cleaned my rifle it was badly fouled with copper.I was shooting 175gr sie.match.Do you think the heavy loads fouled the bore and made them shoot low.After the latter test I shot a good load that shot a 5/8" group at 300yrds the day before.After the ladder test It wouldnt stay in 4".It is a Savage and will shoot in .05min.sometimes better if I do my part.I still can't understand why the hot loads went low.Thanks again for your help.
 

cmh2007

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Aug 13, 2009
1,002
4
38
Katy TX
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Breeze67</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Breeze67</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I guess I answered my own question
100yards is not far enough away to get a good read
1-32.5
2-33.0
3-33.5
4-34.0
5-34.5
6-35.0 max
7-35.5 over max
8-36.0 over max
9-36.5 over max Still no signs of pressure but stopped

</div></div>

Same loads as before plus 10-37.0 over max
This time the distance was 300 yards
8-9-10 look real good even though they are "over max"

vh3jo2.jpg
</div></div>

mine that i shot today looked really similar to that at 300 yards...total of 6 inch stringing. for mine i went in .2 gr incriments of varget behind a 155 amax, from 44.1 gr to 46.5gr seated to the lands (2.910") and for mine the 46.5 showed no pressure signs, but shot just below where my 45.9, 46.1, 46.3 went. so i think im going to go ahead and work between 45.9 and 46.3 next but at 400 this time.
 

Hellbender

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 23, 2008
1,562
303
Lebanon, Missouri
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I've got a really dumb question, I guess, cuz I am too dense to get this ladder testing stuff. I sincerely hope I'm wrong in my thinking.

Just for discussion, choose a random shot out of your ladder.

Say, shot #4 in your ladder (37.2 grains), maybe you were lucky, and if you loaded 5 of this exact load (37.2 gr.) it would shoot a 1 MOA group (about 5 inches at 500 yards, for discussion).....

In your ladder, then, this round could impact anywhere within a 5 inch circle on your ladder.

The next load, your rifle may not like, and it's a 2 MOA load, ie, 10 inches at 500........you get the picture??

Add all this up and 2/3's of those shots don't mean a thing, unless every single load in the ladder is a 1/2 MOA or better load.

What am I missing here?
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
113
NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it


Jay bird,

Hotter loads hitting lower is from bullet timing. The bullet is timed with that load to leave the muzzle when the barrel is mechanically pointed (flexed) downward.
 

gunner52

Private
Minuteman
Nov 3, 2010
21
0
63
US
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I had some small doubts about my success in trying this, not because I didn't believe TresMon but rather my own ability's. This is my first test at 550yds.
210wnx2.jpg

I'm impressed and can't wait to refine the load. 30-06, RL-10x from 50.5 to 54.5gr, 110gr BarnesTTSX, Fed 210m, Fed brass.
This is the most awesome way to work up a load I've ever seen and I've been loading for over 15yrs. Don't know how I never heard of it. Guess your never too old to learn. Thanks TresMon.
NOTE: I did not have my best friend who is an idiot, hiding behind my car downrange, marking my target.
Gunner
 

gunner52

Private
Minuteman
Nov 3, 2010
21
0
63
US
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

TresMon, Just out of curiosity, out of 6,7,8,and 9, what was your final load? My 550yd target looks almost identical to yours and It will be interesting to see what I end up with. Thanks, Gunner
BTW: vertical spread on5,6,7,and 8 is .25MOA
 

gunner52

Private
Minuteman
Nov 3, 2010
21
0
63
US
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Some very interesting data, I will test my theory and post it. I believe my load is going to be 53.3gr. A picture in this case is worth 2lbs of powder.
ek5lp0.jpg

Gunner
 

KP '14

Lance Corporal
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 23, 2010
121
26
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Tag for later. Trying to learn the ladder test
 

palma

Full Member
Full Member
Minuteman
Jun 7, 2005
14
0
Hoover, AL
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Has anyone ever run the ladder test at a certain temp. and then run the exact same test at 30 degrees less/more than the temp. during the first test? I would surmise that, depending on the powder, the tests could differ dramatically.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
113
NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it


Palma,

No.yes, but. LOL...

It's not required to run the Audette Ladder test in different (temp) conditions. What is required is you maintain the Muzzle V that the ladder test showed you was most accurate with your rifle.

Maintaining that specific Mv will require more powder in colder temps, less powder in hotter temps.

Your right, the test would differ with temperature: It would be a ratio of powder temp & velocity & barrel flex = best bullet muzzle exit timing.

The most efficient way to keep all thing equal is to alter powder charge to maintain the one optimum MV with changing seasonal temperature (and use less temp sensitive powders.)
 

boltstop

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
May 17, 2010
231
0
57
Colorado, USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: heavy barrel</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Ok. I tried a ladder test again at 550 yards & the results are still confusing. These are 3 ladders. Everything is the same(bullet, case. prime,etc...). Any input?

Test #1
DSC02389.jpg


Test #2
DSC02390.jpg


Test #3
DSC02391.jpg

</div></div>

I've been puzzling over your effort for about a week, and I think I have it figured out.

There's a repeated pattern here - the rifle seems to be climbing in groups of three or four, dropping a little, then climbing again.

I suspect your barrel is flexing as the rifle heats on each shot. By the time you fire your third shot it's climbing away - then you're heading down range to check and mark your target. This gives the barrel time to cool and recover, which is why the next group seems to drop a little bit while climbing.

This may be better addressed by shooting one round and waiting at least a minute for the barrel to cool.
 

vossman

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Nov 29, 2010
11
0
52
SE Colo
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

That was impressive shooting. Thanks for the lessons.
 

B Man

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 23, 2010
225
2
South side of Big River
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

I'm not near as seasoned at this as most of you but wish I would have had this explained several hundred test load earlier!

Awesome write up!

Thanks,
Brandon
 
  • Like
Reactions: Coy-killa

SScott

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Thanks for sharring, great info.
I have done some form of ladder testing in the past but nearly as organized as this, thanks I will use this refined method in the future.
Sscott
After shooting this test target with Varget loads 42.5,43,43.5,44,44.5 under a 175gr SMK, I found the center of the group and used that as my average per group then I measured the distance above the aiming point to determine which ones fell closest together.(clear as mud?)
The center target was shot with my tried and true 168 gr. Varget load as a rifle test.
Rem7005RBlktgt.jpg
 

9H_Cracka

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Mar 15, 2005
2,800
5
WAY off base (COS CO)
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: palma</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Has anyone ever run the ladder test at a certain temp. and then run the exact same test at 30 degrees less/more than the temp. during the first test? I would surmise that, depending on the powder, the tests could differ dramatically. </div></div>

No ladder tests for this cowboy, but definitely testing at varying temps -

reloadthermom.jpg
 

hugo121175

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 16, 2009
592
0
46
Near Reading, PA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Need a little help..... I'm reloading for my 270WSM. The rifle is a Winchester Model 70 with a Hart 1:10 26" SS #10MTU Contour. I'm reloading for the SMK 135gr using IMR-4350.

First target is at 275yds. The two shots on top were sighters using Remmington Box Ammo. The wind wasn't being nice to me. Here are the shots in order:
1. 58.0
2. 58.4
3. 59.0
4. 59.4
5. 60.0
6. 60.4
7. 61.0
8. 61.4
9. 62.0
10. 62.4

100_3727.jpg

I think 3,4,5, and 6 look good....

The second target is at 300yds. Sighter were once again using factory Remington box ammo. Wind was a little better this day. Sighters are marked S1-S3.
1. 58.2
2. 58.6
3. 58.8
4. 59.2 (Pulled the shot and fell lower then #11 on the board...)
5. 59.6
6. 59.8
7. 60.2
8. 60.6
9. 60.8
10. 61.2
11. 61.6
12. 61.8
13. 62.2
14. 62.6
15. 62.8

100_3750.jpg

I think 6,7, and 8 look nice
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
113
NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: _9H</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: palma</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Has anyone ever run the ladder test at a certain temp. and then run the exact same test at 30 degrees less/more than the temp. during the first test? I would surmise that, depending on the powder, the tests could differ dramatically. </div></div>

No ladder tests for this cowboy, but definitely testing at varying temps -

reloadthermom.jpg
</div></div>

In winter time I drive to the range with a bag of ammo tied to my windshield wiper, and another in direct flow of the interior heater. I have a non-contact infared thermometer I use to measure the heat and average the temp of the two seperate batches of ammo. I then run then across the chornograph. Then I run the math to see how much fps per 1 degree I get on that particular load.

In summer I plunk a ziplock bag of ammo down in the cooler for the drive to the range while another bag of ammo rides in a not overly hot section of the engine compartment. Then I do the same at the range with the thermometer chrono & math.
 

TresMon

Gunny Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 3, 2007
1,241
113
NW USA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

Hugo,

Good work. If you'd double the range on your ladder test the results would be far more blatantly obvious.

I'd work off #'s 3,7&8, maybe 13 or target 2.
But giving it another 100-200yds down range would make it more clear.

Enjoy,
Tres
 

hugo121175

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Dec 16, 2009
592
0
46
Near Reading, PA
Re: Hand Loading for Long Range 4: Powderin' it

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: TresMon</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
I'd work off #'s 3,7&8, maybe 13 or target 2.
But giving it another 100-200yds down range would make it more clear.</div></div>

Thanx, I'll start working up my five round groups of those loads. I'll shoot them from the 500yd line to get a better spread.

Hugo