Ladder Testing-load development methods (help!)

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Big_Tex22, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Big_Tex22

    Big_Tex22 Active Member

    Aug 26, 2005
    Posted this on bullets and barrels thread also

    Been reading about the "Creighton incremental load development method" in an article I found on a web search. I guess probably everyone on this site probably does something like this with ladder testing and all, but Im young and just starting to get into this reloading stuff a little more seriously. This method really opened my eyes on building a load, seems like doing this you can choose ONE bullet, primer, and powder you want to use and make it work by only changing the charge, is that right? The article really went in depth on barrel vibrations and the recoil effect, and how velocity and time in barrel matching with the vibration and recoil can be tuned for any bullet, primer and powder to become accurate in a barrel. Stringing 1 round of a .3 gr increments of powder charge with the 20th being max load. Then shot 1-20 in sequence at 200-300 yards so the "ladder" reveals nodes at which vibration and recoil affect begin to cancel out at certain velocities. Again, I feel that this is a common method you all probably practice I guess?

    Ive always just gone about testing 3 or so bullets with a mid range powder charge in each. Group 5 shots to find the best bullet. Then with that bullet, try 3 or 4 different powders, again group 5 of each, settle on a power. Then vary the charges of that powder and group, then the primer and group, then the OAL and group. I know, this turns into a marathon!! And when I get done, how do I know I shouldnt have changed tried changing OAL before I changed Primers, or any of it???? I guess Im sounding dumb by now but its not the first time, so I dont mind. I just got my first chrono so I guess I gotten a little more interested and trying to become a little more effective of a reloader, that's when I've stumbled on to this ladder stuff.

    My main question when I go to string 20 rounds is the barrel heating up. Do you completly let the barrel cool between each shot? The article didnt mention how barrel heat affects recoil affect and vibration, it just seems to me that this would be a big factor when reading a ladder string and corresponding velocities??? Also I think I might have read one poster on here that when chronographing and stringing shots together at fairly long ranges that you cant see each shot on paper clearly, using a video camera on target to see the holes pop in order? That seems pretty practicle, and using my wifes camera maybe she wouldnt mind me slipping of a sand bag and making camera splinters!!!!

    Any input for a rookie about load development methods? And maybe more specifically barrel heat during stringing??
  2. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

    Jun 13, 2007

    go to this link and just my way of doing it detailed out.

    yes, let the barrel cool between shots. you might find that you have to go down to the target between shots to accurately record and mark each bullet impact. that is key along with accurate MV.