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Load Development (OCW?)

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Old 01-30-2013, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 63
Load Development (OCW?)

As everyone has to go through the load development process, the common interest of everyone i have ever been exposed to would be via the ladder method..... start low and work your way up to the desired load without excessive pressure. Some of you guys may have read or heard about it or may even use it, but it is a method that i have never had any personal experience with. Dan Newberry's optimal charge weight (OCW) method sounds pretty interesting and i would like to hear some results from some of the experiences guys from the forum. Have you heard of it or used this method before? if so does it prove to be better than the traditional ladder method?
Attached is the website

OCW Overview - Dan Newberry's OCW Load Development System
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:05 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 143
Re: Load Development (OCW?)

The OCW method works well, especially if you shoot at a range that limits you to 200 yds or less. I have found the OCW method works well at 100yds, whereas I like to do ladder tests at at least 300yds. Jason Baney over on 6mmbr.com has taken both methods and combined them to form a hybrid that involves shooting at long range while aiming at a single bullseye, but he fires multiple rounds at each charge weight in a round-robin fashion. You can read about it here:

Long-Range Load Development
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:16 PM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 63
Re: Load Development (OCW?)

Thanks for the info, i will check into that. Regardless of what method you are using, it seems like the round robbin method is very useful since it disperses all error throughout the whole range of load.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:44 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Maple Valley, Washington
Posts: 456
Re: Load Development (OCW?)

One additional refinement that you might be interested in trying is to also use Chris Long's optimal barrel timing (OBT) method to identify the 1 or 2 velocities where you rifle is most accurate and make sure you include those in the velocities you hit with whatever method of load workup you follow.

Just search for Chris Long and OBT, go to his wesite and read his paper. You will need QuickLoad and a chronograph to do this however. Using this approach I've developed accurate loads in as little as 9 shots and I've never found a rifle I couldn't get to 1 MOA or better no matter how pitiful it was. It does take some experience to figure out what really matters but that, of course, is half the fun. Good luck.
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Old 03-24-2014, 02:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lake Tahoe, Calif.
Posts: 233
Re: Load Development (OCW?)

I like most have typically tried incremental charge tests and just looked for the best grouping without placing much importance on POI relative to other charge levels; in other words judging each charge on its own group size only.

I shoot mostly between 100- 300 yards in doing my tests and just casual shooting practice. But I can go to 400 without too much trouble and 600 if I drive a while.

I have inadvertently stumbled across what Dan Newbury says about the POI of a string of charge weights. Also, I have seen where a tight ES & SD on the chrono doesn't necessarily correlate to a tighter group, though of course a very wide ES & SD lead to large groups at longer distances.

I have also noticed the correlation of a "favorite" velocity or velocities of a gun. Gee, wouldn't it be nice to be able to load up to a certain velocity regardless of bullet type or weight, and always have the same level of accuracy??!

I am currently setting up to do a strict OCW sequence at 100 yards. I'm using a powder/bullet combo I've already experimented with and know can hold low velocity variations for starters. I will chrono as I go along. It seems to me that if the OCW I find also shows a low ES and SD on the chrono, it should be good at much longer distances and result in what Jason Baney calls the "accuracy window"....We'll see.

Originally Posted by Engineering101 View Post
It does take some experience to figure out what really matters but that, of course, is half the fun. Good luck.
As in life...+1 on that.
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Old 03-24-2014, 06:56 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: NC, oceanfront
Posts: 3,264
Re: Load Development (OCW?)

Finding most tolerant load is not the same thing as finding most accurate load.
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:22 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 870
Re: Load Development (OCW?)

I think there is some truth in the OCW theory but i also think its presented in a way that makes it seem like a cure all solution.

There are a bunch of variables that contribute to how a given load will and can perform out of a rifle. Finding a tolerant powder charge is only part of the solution.
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