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ladder test? does it work

 
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  #8  
Old 03-20-2007, 11:51 AM
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Re: ladder test? does it work

I agree JPretle. The ladder isn't for finding the best grouping, or even best load. It's for finding stable load areas. I watch ES as well as grouping.
Then group shooting with variance in a stable area for best grouping. Then seating depth, and neck tension adjustments can be made for better grouping still.

After a standard 30rd 300yd Ladder, I normally shoot 3rds each around the best areas for confirmation. I use a cheap video camera from radio shack to record the shots, and an Oehler w/20'screen spacing.

I can say it doesn't work well for every barrel. And every imaginable factor needs to be held constant during testing under best conditions. Including barrel temp.
But if anything, you'll usually see loads to avoid for sure. I've seen some crazy flyers while moving up in load. I've seen high velocity shots hit way low, and low ES areas with alot of horizontal for some reason. Drawn figure 8s with one barrel.
A latest barrel tested using a ladder simply walked up the paper with each shot touching the previous. No hope of determining anything from it in this case. So I'm always lookin for the next good method.
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  #9  
Old 03-20-2007, 12:39 PM
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Re: ladder test? does it work

Catshooter

I have no idea where you got the idea that if a barrel did not vibrate "someone" said that it would shoot little groups. I have never seen that said anywhere about a ladder.

Just where and who said that?

Your disagreements are based on wild assumptions and assumes that the shooter does not apply a modicum of common sense.

For example the vibration thing and the 1 1/4 MOA refer with POI shift.

First off IF my gun will only shoot 1 1/4" groups, forget the ladder. Hell, forget any technique because they all do not work equally well!

IF you are shooting 1 1/4" guns, then buy a $10 hand lee loader and plastic dippers and slap em together. Doubt you will do any worse. Just slap something together that does not blow up the gun.

You have to have a gun capable of shootin at least .5MOA or you are correct you cannot tell anything. but surprise surprise, that is with any technique. You have to shoot in no wind conditions, you have to be capable of shooting tight groups. You have to understand enough about reloading, ie what probably will work or not to be able to put together reasonably accurate ladder loads to test. If you cannot do all that, then Federal Premium factory is the answer.

You can and will change the barrel harmonics with any change of components and there is no magic MV area.

I have never seen a match grade gun that could not use the ladder to extremely quickly and accurately put together a top notch load.

When my guns shoot sub 1" groups at 300 or 400 with the initial ladder loads, the technique works. Fine tuning the seathing depth and neck tension will normally take them down much further.

I have taken guns from the gunsmith shop after building, broke in one night, initial ladder the next (did not have time for neck tension and seating depth workup) and then went to match the next day and won state championships.

IF you have a accurate gun and can shoot, then the ladder along with a decent chrono will give a very accurate load IF that combo of components is capable of it.

BH
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  #10  
Old 03-20-2007, 01:19 PM
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Re: ladder test? does it work

[ QUOTE ]
First off IF my gun will only shoot 1 1/4" groups, forget the ladder. Hell, forget any technique because they all do not work equally well!

IF you are shooting 1 1/4" guns, then buy a $10 hand lee loader and plastic dippers and slap em together. Doubt you will do any worse. Just slap something together that does not blow up the gun.

[/ QUOTE ]

I never stated a range for that 1-1/4" group - calm down, you are loosing it.

Then I can assume that we disagree???

.
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  #11  
Old 03-20-2007, 01:41 PM
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Re: ladder test? does it work

The Ladder Test works for me. It takes a bit to get to understand what's going on as the test is so much different than what I am used to (load 3 shoot 3, try something other powder weights then load 3 and shoot 3, again and again and again.

When I do the shoot 3 thing I end up getting things to shoot really well. Problems are takes lotsa powder and bullets. The bigger problem is that I end up with a load that shoots super under only the 'specific' conditions under which the load was developed. Variations in temp/season etc, different powder lots and who knows what else caused the groups to fall off drastically.

With the ladder test, I have found that, the variables have much less affect.

FWIW.
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  #12  
Old 03-20-2007, 02:31 PM
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Re: ladder test? does it work

I am going to give the ladder test a test. Once the weather around this WC Minnesota lakes country settles down
and warms up a tad. The wind has been blowing for three days. Range time soon however. Have a couple guns I need to develop loads for. This will be different than the way I am used to as well. Will post my results later.
1kstr
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  #13  
Old 03-20-2007, 02:44 PM
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Re: ladder test? does it work

'Calm down'?!? From what I can see, you're the one who gets on a soap box ranting and raving every time anyone even mentions the words 'ladder test'. It's like an open sore with you... you just have to keep pickin' at it.

For what it's worth... I do agree with you on a few points. The classic ladder test makes some assumptions about the shooter and his gear (as far as capabilities, etc.) that may not be true for everyone. It tends to ignore certain things such as barrel heating/fouling (something Dan Newberry's OCW method attempts to redress). And finally, it makes huge assumptions about the tendency of a given gun/load to behave in a predictable way as far as nodes, going so far as to trust one round per increment as an indicator of that gun/load's behavior. Statistically, a sample size of one is pretty unsound, no doubt about it.

All that aside... the method works. Not for everybody, and not with every gun, but it usually works. Given a reasonable idea of where to look, a shooter can find a sweet spot in relatively short order, fine tune the load, and be about their business, whether that be practicing or hunting or competing, in fairly short order. If a person is really concerned about statistical sample size... once you have what looks like a winner of a load, *then* go thru and load up 10 or 20 and verify that it performs the way you want. That's just plain common sense no matter how you find the load in the first place.

Anywho, sorry about the counter-rant, but I just get vexed watching someone try to convince the world that something shouldn't work... when it usually <u>does</u>.
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2007, 03:11 PM
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Re: ladder test? does it work

[ QUOTE ]


I didn't say it wasn't harmonics - never said that!!



[/ QUOTE ]

OK, you said it was vibration. Functionally equivalent for a discussion like this.
[ QUOTE ]


Any math major can give you the math laws that define this, so this is NOT my theory or opinion... a mathematician would wet his pants laughing at the "Ladder theory". The sample pool is just not large enough to give you accurate information to draw from.


[/ QUOTE ]

Funny you should mention that, as I have a degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. A Ladder test is not a single data point. It is a series of experiments that give data points across the range of its independent variable (powder charge).

If I run a ladder test and vary the loads by .3 grains, its no different than if I run the test and vary them by .1 grains or maybe .005 grains. When I run a ladder test, I'm not looking 'INITIALLY' for the best load. I am looking for an area to use for 'FURTHER' investigation. I believe a ladder test is an excellent process for THAT! With the fewest number of shots.

That further investigation may be a more granular ladder test of .1gr increments to verify the original test and put a little finer point on my understanding of the results.

Note the following chart. The first chart is the Vertical spread for an entire Ladder test for a 7mm Rem Mag using RL-22 powder. I had borrowed a 1/2 lb to see how it shot. I liked the node around shot #19. So I purchased 10lbs of RL-22 and decided before I really honed in on a load, I'd rerun that portion of the test to eliminate lot to lot variation with the powder. I loaded (using the new lot of powder) loads 15-21. The second chart are those loads.



You might notice that the general shape of the 2 tests are very similar (not EXACT). But the SAME node can clearly be seen between the 2 tests. The y axis is the 3 shot total vertical spread in MOA from the point of aim. The load I chose was actually .1gr higher than load #19/#5.

Verifying the load with groups, they have all been under .5MOA (3 shot groups), not bad for a rifle that weighs less than 8 pounds. I found this load with a powder I had NEVER used before in a total of 36 shots (including 3 foulers before each test). I then verified with 3 3shot groups at my chosen load, so a total of 45 shots and I have a load that is 3000fps, 162gr bullet typical group size of .4MOA at 200yds.

[ QUOTE ]


And all that assumes an accurate barrel... factory barrels can be so poor that they just can't shoot small or predictable groups, so with ladder theory, you can chase your tail for weeks and never find anything.

.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, the above ladders were shot with a factory 24" Remington barrel in a 700 action. I've bedded the action in a Brown precision Kevlar/foam stock and swapped in a Timney trigger, but the barrel/chamber are factory.

Oh, this rifle isn't much different accuracy wise from any of my other Model 700's. Maybe I am just REALLY lucky???


Later,
Don
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