300 wsm ladder test rl 17


Well-Known Member
Nov 18, 2008
I was wondering if ladder tests ever do not work or tell you absolutely nothing? I did a ladder test with a 300 wsm 180 interbonds and rl 17 and there were no bullets close in charge close to each other, also, when i have shot rl 17 over a chronograph the velocities were all over the place. any comments or suggestions on this? anyone have better luck with rl17?

i also did a ladder test with 760 and there were 2 very distinct powder ranges where there were "nodes" also, on a chronoraph velocities are predictable.

any inputs or comments would be appreciated. also, it seems no matter wht bullet, the 760 at 64 grains does well, also, with different primers. But velocity is not the best from my wsm with 64 grains of 760 which brings another question, what kind of velocities do people get out of wsm's?
What make is the rifle / custom / what barrel and length. What speeds are you getting out of the 180's

H-4350 has shot in every 300 WSM I've tried it in with 175 SMK's 180 NBT's and one I worked a load up with Partitions (5 rifles) all .5 MOA

R-22 is also great.
it is just a stock savage model 12 26" barrel, with 180s the rl 17 gets me to just over 3000 and max is around 3100, with 760 and 4350 the velocity is in the mid 2900s, never gets to 3000. also, the gun shoots everything great, it shoots factory to around .5 moa, but I am trying to get a load with a low es also, and so far that has not happened. out of curiosity i did a ladder test with 760 and one with rl 17 as i said and the 760 made sense, but the rl 17 was terrible. i think i will try h4350 though. and i have fired interbonds and accubonds at different times
I recently ran a ladder test on my f class rifle. I tried to use the load that shot two shot close together. That charge turned out to be a waste of time. In hind sight, after finding the load that the gun likes, the ladder test found it. I think that you need to look for a clocking or rotation of the group relative to the point of aim. I had two more targets that looked almost identical to the one that ended up being my load. One target was 0.2 gr above and 0.2 below. The shots were almost 1" apart. The dispersion was corrected with a change in seating depth. If you still have the target look at the relationship of the groups to the point of aim, if the there are several very similar, pick the middle charge and try different seating depth. Just my $0.02 worth.
You might also try a flat based bullet.I've got a 270 Win. that is a tight shooter with flat based Hornady SP,but doesn't shoot a boatailed bullet worth a darn.Also play with your seating depth.My 300 WSM likes them deep.
groups really aren't the problem, the ladder tests were almost more of out of curiosity the 760 test worked well but the rl 17 was terrible. it shoots factory to almost .5 moa. but with rl 17 the ES is very high and i don't seem to get the velocity out of 760 or 4350 i do out of the 17.
I've done ladder tests of a few guns over the years. I generally get good results from doing it but the trick is you need distance. 200 yards is a bare minimum, 300 is better. What distance were you shooting when you did your test?
I have been loading the 300 WSM and started with 10% less of the maximum charge. Then worked up to 95% and 100%. The 95% load of RL-17 is much more accurate and that equates to 62.7 Gr. of this powder. I use Federal 215 primers and Fedral Brass. I hope this helps in your loading.
JJ Division
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