My take on the ladder test and ocw.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Preda8or, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Preda8or

    Preda8or Well-Known Member

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    I have been reading all the debates about this one is better than the other and I decided that the ladder test was the best so I loaded the ladder test charges and waited for the perfect day with no wind and waited and waited well it got here and off to the range I went. Shot all the charges at 200 yards and when I was done I was in the same place I was in before I started, During the testing there must have been some wind between 100-200 and I got nothing that I could use to determine the best load. So I went home and loaded up the charges for the OCW test went back to the range and shoot them at 100 yards and by the end of that session I knew my load. Now, I didn't start this thread to start an argument and I think ladder test is a great tool for someone with a perfect no wind shooting day and a gun that lays perfect every shot but, for the average guy I think OCW testing is the way to go.
     
  2. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Do you have any way to post pictures of the targets so we can look at what you saw. I would like a swing at reading your ladder test and I would be curious to see if Green 788 and you agree on the right OCW load (so please keep it secret to give him a chance to respond for a while) and if not why. I know I was sort of befuddled by the ladder test I shot 2 weeks ago but after looking at it and graphing the shots it jumped out at me. I will also post results from my follow up shots to tell everyone how that works out.

    I'm still not sold on OCW being able to generate anything better than average results for the average guy either. There are too many benchresters using the ladder to pass it off after a first try. Maybe you learned that the loads you are using will never be outstanding in your gun. Maybe average is all you will get with those components (just a thought). Just like anything else you have to do it a few times before you start to figure it out. And with many things the harder learned skills yeild the better results. Anyone can play the tambourine but can you play Mozart on a tambourine?

    Post your pictures and velocities and all the other relevant data and lets see if we can help you make heads or tales of it.
     

  3. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Thats a good idea Forkie, Abink has to test in wind a lot of times ( he lives in OK. ) yet the tests are able to be interpreted even a fair amount of wind . I have found that 200 yds is a bit close to read results as well .

    Jim B
     
  4. sewwhat89

    sewwhat89 Well-Known Member

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    If the rifle will not shoot lights out, ladder tests at 2-300 yards are pointless. If the gun doesn't shoot that well to begin with, about 1 MOA, you can get away with ladder tests at 100 yards.

    At the same time, a ladder test with my 300 RSAUM Sendero went into one hole at 100 yards, but strung out a 4" / at 235 yards. I only have three choices as far as known distance goes: 100 yards, 200m and 500m. The rest of the range is usually muddy and/or under water on the "LR" portion. I would bet money you can see a clear ladder at 100 yards if your 200 yard ladder looked like a shotgun pattern because of poor inherent accuracy. Just my guess!
     
  5. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree with sewwhat. I tried a ladder test with a 7 STW that didn't shoot very good at 100 yards, yet I did the ladder test at 300 yards. I still didn't find any good loads. The gun just didn't shoot good. I also think there is to much either, human error, or wind variable to do ladder testing unless you havea gun that shoots .5moa or better. Because 1 bad shot due to human error, or wind can throw the whole process off. See what I'm saying?? I placed my 300 yard target on here to get some opinoins, I loaded up all the shot numbers that people said to try, all to no avail. I"ll just continue to use my method and thats loading up 3 shells each with 1g increments, then to fine tune it, go up or down .5g to see if that tightens it up. Seems to work for me, and I shoot no more then 20 shells altogether. Lot less confusing.
     
  6. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Hey rem. I'm going to respond to yet another thing you just posted and I want to let you know I'm not picking on you at all. I have responded to your posts quite a bit lately with a slightly different viewpoint but I'm not trying to nag at you. It just seems that you are posting things that are interesting to me as well. I don't mean to crowd you. We are just bumping elbows in Len's livingroom. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    [ QUOTE ]
    I"ll just continue to use my method and thats loading up 3 shells each with 1g increments, then to fine tune it, go up or down .5g to see if that tightens it up.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I just wanted to say that while this is a valid method of finding a good load (excelent load sometimes) using a 1 grain increment can be just as frustrating as doing a ladder test with an inaccurate gun. It is too easy to pass right over a great load with no signs that it is in the increment you end up rejecting.

    My case in point is the load I currently use for my .308. I loaded backwards from the max load in .2 gr steps. This took me back 1.6 grains from max. The first group was so so. The next few loads were 2+inch groups. Then I fired a group that had 3 holes touching. Then the groups opened right up again.

    I guess I'm not dissagreeing with you in total just that I would take much smaller preliminary steps. I don't think I will ever do a work up with more than .4 grain steps. It would take more powder and bullets but I think the "shooting groups" method is best used when you creep up on the load instead of going back and forth in powder and trips to the range.

    And I will add that after my last few experiences at the range I am quickly becoming a HUGE fan of checking groups at 300 yards or more to see what really works. I'm learning to let the bullets settle into their path to find out what they want to do.

    All this is just my humble opinion and worth only what it is worth to you if it helps. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  7. Preda8or

    Preda8or Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys I threw my ladder test away the day I shot it. The group that it shot for all shots was about 2 inches and I know that is not the most accurate rifle out there. I have already posted my target on practical rifle forums and did as Forked Horn recommened because I wanted to see for my self. He picked the same load I picked. Keep in mind this is a factory stocked,sporter barreled gun. After finding the load I changed the seating depth and shot some better groups and as soon as I can I will post those pics
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Preda8or

    Preda8or Well-Known Member

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    Here it is after changing seating depth and I know this group won't set the world on fire but is getting there [​IMG]
     
  9. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Let me guess, from the little I understand of the OCW you chose 28.1 ??
     
  10. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    damn thats some good shooting. i didn't see 28.1g on the first target, only 28 and 28.2, so you went in the middle of that?? I think I like the OCW testing, i really need to concentrate and read through it thoroughly. 4ked horn, i know your not naggin at me by any means. i've just been on the comp lately getting all the last bit of info i can gather and what not before i go in the army. i'll miss thisi forum for a while, so im posting as much stuff to gather information, and posting my own stuff for others to gather for information. im still having tons of fun checking this site more then 1 time a day, its a little addicting.
     
  11. 4ked Horn

    4ked Horn Writers Guild

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    Cool. Glad you know I'm not picking on ya.

    He hasn't said yet what the load was that he picked. I just guessed it was 28.1 because 28 and 28.2 shot in the same place on the target.

    When you get through basic if you can get your mits on a computer be sure to drop in and say howdy.
     
  12. remingtonman_25_06

    remingtonman_25_06 Well-Known Member

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    I will for sure 4key. I love this forum and i love to shoot longer ranges. This is the one thing that is tearing me up most inside. I am going to miss it for a couple years thats for sure. But the good thing is, at least I'll have some money to get some of my rifles with some nice barrels. I've never had a custom barrel, never had the money. I've got big plans for my 300 rum, and I want to turn my 220 swift into a 6br now. As far as my 25-06, it shoots so damn good as it is with the winchester barrel, im afraid to mess with it!! But eventually, id like a 25-06 AI screwed onto that receiver. The first is my 300 RUM though. The barrel is bout toast, and I need a good LR rig. I want a 28" fluted lilja w/brake, i want an A-5 stock with a jewell trigger. This is the first thing I'm doing with my couple checks. I'm sending the money to my dad, and hes going to send my rifle to Kirby. I hope I have access to a computer somewhere, I think i'll go nuts w/out one. HA ha ha.
     
  13. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    Good shooting.

    As most know I am strong proponent of the ladder for extreme accuracy. With that I am talking match grade barrels normally.

    Couple points that I think this thread makes clear that have been missed in all the debate.

    1. You and your gun have to be capable of under .5 MOA to really use the ladder and in many respects you must repeat the OCW even. If you gun is not consistent, then is it out of the node, is it the scatter group or just inaccuracy of the gun?

    2. The ladder I have found has to be shot at 300-400 to really be effective.

    3. An accurate chrono is absolutely essential. Any technique (ladder or OCW) w/o a chrono you can easily miss the MV jumps and nodes. (that truly is my biggest issue with OCW) That chrono information will help you confirm any suspected tuning node. Dan and I both agree that if you get on one edge of a node, it is easy to come out of tune with temp changes. The chrono will literally show the up and down edges normally. I always start my powder fine tuning in the middle of the node and rarley deviate more than .1 gr up or down, and then go with seating depth and finally neck tension. Maybe change of primers last IF I think it warrants it.

    4. If your gun is accurate and you have good bench techniques, I have found that groups at 100 are a waste of time normally. Just one big bughole, some slightly larger and some slightly smaller, but not enought to really make any accurate assessment. So the challenge is really seeing where the node is, therefore going out to distances where you can see POI shifts in a no wind condition (early morning/late evening).

    BH
     
  14. Preda8or

    Preda8or Well-Known Member

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    Hey guy's just got in from work I picked 28 grains and so did Mr. Newberry, I used a chrony for the ladder test but I really don't understand how it helps and I chronographed the 28 grain load after I was done. When you reach a velocity jump is the a good thing or bad. I'm not putting the ladder test down, Like I said at first I thought it was better for me then the ocw test. I think they are both great ways of finding a load I'm used to loading some rounds up and just checking for the best group, but for me the ocw just worked better.