Load development, bench or prone?

terrance250

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Just curious how others here test their load development, weather it be groups, OCW, ladder, ect. In the past I've done everything off a bench from 100 yards, but the bench isn't portable.

I'm getting ready to ladder test from 300 yards, and will have to shoot from the prone. This got me thinking maybe I should do all my shooting from the prone since that's how I'll have to shoot the majority of the time anyway.

Anyway, just wondering what others do here.

Thanks

 

rth1800

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    When checking for pure accuracy, I would suggest the most solid position you can find. It is not a shooter test, it is an ammo/rifle test. For me this is prone with bags and a tight sling.
     

    FreshKills

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    I like dirt,because it can be found anywhere.
     

    Victor N TN

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    Personally, I go to the bench. I can get a more solid sight picture that way. I can also repeat shots better that way.

    I have to agree with rth above. When I'm working up a load I'm testing the ammo. Not the rifle and not me.
     

    FreshKills

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    Have yet to see a bench that was more stable than the ground it set upon.
     

    gcoulsey

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    I run most tests from bench, but when I have chosen a load, and start shooting bigger batches (x50 for example) i move to prone, bipod and rear bag for final zero setting. Because that's how I shoot out in the field.
     

    Fuzzball

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    Shooting prone or from a bench includes the shooters skill.

    If you wanted to test your load for absolute accuracy a bench would likely do that better but, since you are going to be using the ammo from prone, it will actually make no difference and may, in the final analysis, be better.

    Good luck!
     

    FreshKills

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    It is very easy to discern how hard one is holding,long before breaking the shot. If a guy can't gun prone and call his hold,there is little help elsewhere.

    Stock design may sway me to a bench now and again,though unwillingly.
     

    Victor N TN

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: FreshKills</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Have yet to see a bench that was more stable than the ground it set upon. </div></div>

    Some of us old farts have health problems that look like a cartoon going prone. That's why 99% of my rifle shooting is from a bench. But I agree. Prone on the ground with a solid rest or bag is probably the best for most younger people. It just takes me a while getting up and down.
     
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    CoCaDoRi

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    Whilst still able... prone. Why test different than you will shoot?

    BR rifles different story.

    Like, kind and quality play a part.
     

    FreshKills

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    Nothing is more consistent,than consistency.

    It's THE money maker.
     

    Leaddog

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    I am a prone shooter, but I test my loads from the bench at 100 yards, usually behind a chrono. When I am finished, I'll re-zero my rifle from the prone position with the load I'm going to use.
     

    MitchAlsup

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    Bench for dialing the load recipie,
    prone for dialing the rifle and shooter.

    Rational, when developing a load, one wants to take the gun and shooter, as much as possible, out of the picture.
     

    FreshKills

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    I want the gun and myself in the picture,as much as possible,because it is only those results that I care to weigh.
     

    rth1800

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    FreshKills,
    Was a bench mean to you on the playground bro?
     

    ChadTRG42

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: MitchAlsup</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Rational, when developing a load, one wants to take the gun and shooter, as much as possible, out of the picture. </div></div>
    Just curious- how do you remove the gun and shooter more on the bench than shooting prone?
    My typical set-up for testing customer loads' is with a Sinclair F-class bipod and rear sand bag. This gives the rifle very little movement. If I'm testing my personal rifles, a Harris bipod is used with same rear sand bag.
     

    milanuk

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    I do much of my load development at a range that has benches with poured concrete tops, supports, and now a concrete pad - solid enough for me. It's also closer to my house, and has no real restrictions on which ranges are available when - but shooting beyond 100yds is a problem from prone because of the lay out. So I do most early testing from 100-300yds at the bench, and then when I start testing longer strings and want to verify the load holds together at distance, then I go to the other range - and shoot prone.

    I have moved away from doing load development off a front rest (except for guns that are going to be shot exclusively that way) vs. my usual bipod, though - different skill set (for me) and I find I shoot about as well off a 'pod as I do from a rest.
     

    Victor N TN

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    Chad,

    I think you should use what you feel like using. You have enough experience to know what a solid rest is. Whether that's from a bench or the dirt below it. As long as the rest itself (not meaning a mechanical rest but whatever is holding the forend of the rifle) sandbags, bipod, pack, mechanical rest or any combination of the above, HOLD THE RIFLE STEADY. For newbys that are just learning to work up loads, I suggest a good steady rest of some kind. Then shoot from whatever position they are the most comfortable with and can control their breathing and hold the best.
     

    FreshKills

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: rth1800</div><div class="ubbcode-body">FreshKills,
    Was a bench mean to you on the playground bro? </div></div>

    I'm afforded the luxury of not being forced to guess. Very easy for a good man to arrange that which is at his feet,in splendid fashion.

    Admittedly,I'm not much into fluff,doodads or trinkets,while most are far more enthralled with such things.

    I was off shooting,while you were at the playground.
     

    FreshKills

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    I'm routinely guilty of cutting to the chase and haven't the time nor inclination to make easy things difficult.

    We are all creatures of our environment and not everyone has a 1500yd+ range in their backyard,which is something I understand. If forced to slum a Plan B,all a guy can do is make best of it and weigh the results in fairness.

    When it boils right down to it,keeping crosshairs where one wishes,is but a modest task anyhow.
     

    vman

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    If im working up a load for accuracy then i would like to eliminate all variables so that what i see down range, on the paper, is a better indication of whats happening inside the gun and not outside the gun

    If i do my part, and my rest does its part, and im 100% confident in those variables, then all i have to care about is the seating depth, powder charge and runout.

    If you then take to your bipod and fail to acheive the same accuracy that you were getting on a bench with a rest, then your technique needs to be worked on... im not saying all bi-pod shooting should = bench rest shooting, but im saying if your hitting a target at 1000 on the bench but not off a bi-pod, then maybe you should look at your technique and not your load. But if your not confident in your load because you never nailed it from a bench, then how do you know if its your load or your technique?

    I like to treat load development and personal development as two different things.
     

    sixfiveguy

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: vman</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If im working up a load for accuracy then i would like to eliminate all variables so that what i see down range, on the paper, is a better indication of whats happening inside the gun and not outside the gun

    If i do my part, and my rest does its part, and im 100% confident in those variables, then all i have to care about is the seating depth, powder charge and runout.

    If you then take to your bipod and fail to acheive the same accuracy that you were getting on a bench with a rest, then your technique needs to be worked on... im not saying all bi-pod shooting should = bench rest shooting, but im saying if your hitting a target at 1000 on the bench but not off a bi-pod, then maybe you should look at your technique and not your load. But if your not confident in your load because you never nailed it from a bench, then how do you know if its your load or your technique?

    I like to treat load development and personal development as two different things. </div></div>

    Very well put, couldn't agree more! +1
    smirk.gif
     

    jr81452

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: FreshKills</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Have yet to see a bench that was more stable than the ground it set upon. </div></div>

    Guess you've never heard of a foundation? Structures are routinely more stable than the ground they sit upon. In my AO, ground = loose sand. Were my above statements false, my house would have fallen long ago. Likewise, my primary range incorporates solid concrete benches upon an 8" thick steel reinforced 10'x 90' slab. One would be hard-pressed to claim more stability from the sand. Like others, I do load testing from the bench, and shoot from the ground.

    You do realize that you can include more than one thought per post; Larry?
     

    sharac

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    For load dev. one would need vice as there is always a shooter error present (though minute...). I experimented with a known load, shooting from bench with rear bag (off bipod) and i varied amount of shoulder push on a rifle. Difference between almost no push (rifle almost free, only contact with my cheek to get a scope pic and slight touching of a shoulder) and strong hold with rifle pulled into should and bipod loaded as much as desk allowed was almost 2" @ 100 meters - pure vertical (horizontal was ok). While this is extreme range it will ruin any ladder/ocw test if shooter isn't consistent...
     

    AJ300MAG

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I'm afforded the luxury of not being forced to guess. Very easy for a good man to arrange that which is at his feet,in splendid fashion.

    Admittedly,I'm not much into fluff,doodads or trinkets,while most are far more enthralled with such things.

    I was off shooting,while you were at the playground </div></div>

    Danm that lingo looks familiar, swear I've seen it somewhere before...
    whistle.gif
    grin.gif


    I'll work up loads on a bench, take em to the ground once I'm satisfied with the load preformance. If I start seein them "called flyier" I know it's the loose nut behind the trigger...
     

    FreshKills

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jr81452</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: FreshKills</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Have yet to see a bench that was more stable than the ground it set upon. </div></div>

    Guess you've never heard of a foundation? Structures are routinely more stable than the ground they sit upon. In my AO, ground = loose sand. Were my above statements false, my house would have fallen long ago. Likewise, my primary range incorporates solid concrete benches upon an 8" thick steel reinforced 10'x 90' slab. One would be hard-pressed to claim more stability from the sand. Like others, I do load testing from the bench, and shoot from the ground.

    You do realize that you can include more than one thought per post; Larry? </div></div>


    While undoubtedly much to your chagrin,I'm well versed in gunning from the sand and think highly of it as a control means. It affords the luxury of comforts not available by other means,which isn't a detriment to Precision...or even close.

    My sole thought is results and it just happens that I realize same,though by no accident.

    Next you'll wax eloquent upon how your bags are concrete filled.
     

    aqualung

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: jr81452</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: FreshKills</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Have yet to see a bench that was more stable than the ground it set upon. </div></div>


    You do realize that you can include more than one thought per post; Larry? </div></div>

    Yeah, but how else will he get his post count up??

    N
     

    Victor N TN

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Victor N TN</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Play nice... </div></div>

    Guys, play nice. Remember baiting is also a time off offense. I'm not saying anyone is doing it openly. But I kind of feel it brewing. Larry is trying to be nice. Give him a break. His personality may not be like yours. He may be a bit abrupt. But just watch out.
     

    terrance250

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    Re: Load development, bench or prone?

    Thanks for the replies, and I apologize for starting any shitstorms. I was genuinely curious. I can be a bit of a perfectionist and am wanting to make my OCW testing @ 100, and ladder testing @ 300 as uniform as possible.

    I think I may just build another bench, try both methods, & see what works best for me.