I have lately noticed several questions on the web about using ladder testing to develope loads and today I had a local customer come to the shop asking basically the same question and wanting to know how I develope loads. I looked at him and said he would be amazed at how simplistic my load development is. We were returning from a shooting session where he had taken possesion of his new rig I put together for him. Nice rifle, 300 RUM on a Borden Timberline magnum receiver, Lilja #7 1-9 twist barrel, McMillan A-5 stock, NF 5.5-22x 50mm. Basic full custom medium weight rifle. It took us roughly 3 rounds from a freshly machined bore and he was on a 16" gong at 1000 yards. He was simply amazed and rang the gong 7 times in a row before I told him he may want to slow down and get the barrel break in finished before he got to many rounds down the bore. To say he was happy would have been a slight understatement. Again, back to our conversation on the way back to the shop. He said he was very thankful that I had put the time into developing such an impressive load. He wanted to know what my process was for developing this load which clearly showed 1/2 moa accuracy potential even out to 1000 yards. I told him this was my standard load for the 300 RUM which is 93.0 gr Retumbo under either a 200 gr Accubond or 210 gr SMK. He asked again how I developed such an accurate load. I was kind of beating around the bush. A customer would expect to hear a story about long extensive range testing but that was not the case, it rarely is with my loads. I finally decided to come clean. I told him I started long ago with one of the first 300 RUMs I built using a Lilja barrel. Worked the load up until I noticed an ejector ring on the case head and slight increase in bolt lift, then dropped off two grains from that load and considered that my max working load. Loaded up 20 rounds of test ammo and went and tested the rifle. Shot under 1/2 moa at 800 yards I believe I tested that rifle at and ever since then, its been one of my pet loads for the 300 RUM. He wanted to know how the loads shot while working up the load, told him I had no idea, shot them over the chrono graph behind the shop and into my bullet stop offhand at 30 yards....... I admit, I was a bit sheepish telling him this. Made no real difference, did not take away from the fact that his rifle shot extremely well, even with virgin cases and this quick picked load........ To be honest, most of my rifles have their loads developed this way. Very rarely have I not done this and not had a rifle shoot to the 1/2 moa accuracy level and generally have extreme spreads under 20 fps and often much less then that. Loads developed this way have taken varmints with one shot kills well over 1500 yards, Big game with one shot kills out to 1300 yards and even hold moa accuracy levels at +3000 yards!!! Do not take my comments as saying using detailed load development techniques as a waste of time because I certainly do not believe that. I know that all testing done and case prepping and ladder testing will help get you a great load, likely I could get my rifles to shoot even better but I sit back and think the rifles and loads are already shooting as well or better then I can on average so why look for greener grass. Many of my customers send me range report of what their rifles are doing with loads they have developed with alot of effort and time at the range and they shoot the rifles better then I did when accuracy testing them. Much of this is likely because they simply are better shooters then I am and I fully admit that, but I am also sure its because of the load development. With some of the more intense and extreme chamberings and wildcats, I tell my customers there is a fine line between meaningful load development and tinkeritis which simply burns up your rifle barrels. IF they want a rifle to do load development with, they need one that is barrel friendly, not a 7mm AM for example. So, how many of you find your loads with around 10 rounds down the barrel? Or, how many of you shoot hundreds of rounds in load development to find your load? Or are you somewhere in between? I fully admit, most of my load development would cause most experienced long range shooters and hunters to look at me with a bit of doubt but I have 7 personal rifles and one long range handgun right now that I developed their current loads in less then 10 rounds each and they are all still using those loads. They were all developed without shooting a single bullet on paper and at 30 yards shooting over a chrono and just looking for the top working pressures for that combo. Simplistic in the extreme but I can not fault the consistancy of any of these loads or their accuracy or consistancy...... Lets here your load development techniques.