Best range for load development?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Grizz1148, Sep 21, 2019.

Help Support Long Range Hunting by donating:

  1. keithcandler

    keithcandler Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
  2. Gater

    Gater Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2019
    I prefer 200 most of the time wind isn’t a problem get the load right then worry about operator error later
  3. JD284win

    JD284win Active Member

    Jul 24, 2019
    100 yards. You'll have less variables. Shoot my velocity ladder to find the velocity node I then shoot seating depth to get the group nice and tight. Then I final zero at 200 and verify out to 1k.
    Bubba Q likes this.
  4. 65WSM

    65WSM Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2007
    Read Walt Berger's book. 300 yards is where you can start to learn something. My experience is that 100 yards is worthless, ammo expended and barrel life sacrificed to learn nothing.
  5. JimmyCP

    JimmyCP Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

    Jun 12, 2018
    100 building load, 200 seating 400-600 ladder. Back to 200 for grouping back to 600 to verify, 1000 verify and then as far as I can till bullets loose stability or I run out of scope.
    corsair4360 likes this.
  6. Morse Industries

    Morse Industries Official LRH Sponsor

    Oct 16, 2015
    Deff something you'll get a million opinions on, lot of caliber and projectile length based I/we dont shoot under 300yrds for because of this on the 338lms often will actually shoot tighter groups at 400yards than 200yards. goes completely against conventional wisdom but have proven it countless times in lots and lots of testing. other calibers vary on this obviously but you also need some distance to really see into the specific variables and be able to scientifically break them down in to why its doing this and that.
    Wlfdg and Rex Tharp like this.
  7. Pete Callamaras

    Pete Callamaras Well-Known Member

    Feb 15, 2019
    Talking with a former USAF Long Range Competition shooter, his recommendation was for load development, shoot at 200 with the Chrono, then when you have the load you like, then reshoot with that load to get best seating depth.
  8. Mc Fraser

    Mc Fraser Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2018
    What do you guys use for spotting when doing ladder test?
  9. Edsguns

    Edsguns Member

    Sep 18, 2019
    If you live in the northeast "environmental factors" limit you to 100 yards for everything..
  10. fmuguira

    fmuguira Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2010
    300 makes powder charge and seating depth adjustments really stand out. Wind can have some effect if too strong with you still get the group size comparisons.

    100 is great for getting on paper and such but your true load variations jump out much more at 300.

    That said sightin distance is more personal preference, your reticle and/or dial takes it those variations according to 'what you like' !
  11. bearcat2

    bearcat2 Well-Known Member

    Jul 13, 2009
    I've found much the same with my 7 STW when using the long 180 berger vlds, not actually tighter at 400 but virtually the same size groups. It is shooting virtually 1 MOA at 200 and 1/2 MOA at 400+.

    That being said, I generally use 200 yards for load work up on most rifles, and 300 on the STW. I have a range out my bedroom window that extends to 300 so that is as far as I can shoot there, and since my reloading bench is in the next room it makes it really convenient to load some loads, walk over to the bench at the windo and test them. I've never personally experienced that phenomenom with any other rifle I have shot, but have heard of others experiencing it, always with very long for caliber bullets.

    I will state it depends on the rifle as to the range I use, above is for the long range rifles, 223, my 218 Bee Imp, etc. I do at 100, my 45/70 generally at 50 since I never plan on shooting it that far and in fifteen years other than a couple of times at a target haven't. But in general for any deer/elk rifle I work at 200 and then test at longer after I have built a load I like.
    memtb likes this.
  12. tony d willIiams

    tony d willIiams Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2019
    Very similar to above, then I practice @ 800+yards to get better at judging and compensating for wind, temperature, thermals and the rest of the variables, which include getting older and less limber.
  13. waveslayer

    waveslayer Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2012
    Have you studied the proven method of the OCW test? Dan Newberry came up with it, it has worked for me for years now. I started out doing Ladder tests buy eliminated a lot of time and the amount of reloading I had to do to find my PET load.

    Let me know if you want a link.

    Then after the OCW confirm and true Quikload to fine tune from there. For example I run some hot loads, so when the weather gets over 80° I know I nee to switch to my reduced loads because of pressure issues... QL can help with this, as well as different lots of powder, brass, etc
  14. thwatson2

    thwatson2 Active Member

    Nov 4, 2012
    Start at 100 then walk it out as far as you wish. Don’t confuse load development with sight in range
    corsair4360 likes this.