Dead sled for load workup

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Bigeclipse, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    i know the negatives of a lead sled such as putting too much weight on it can hurt your rifles and it does not help improve you as a shooter. The issue I’m having is I’m not 100% confident shooting some of the lightweight rifles I have for groups. Many on here have suggested that light weight rifles are a different beast all together and you need to do things like hold them into your shoulder a little harder and also downward pressure, preferably on the scope. This goes against free recoil setups which was what I typically do. I actually have found this does indeed help. My problem is, adding downward pressure on the scope while staying on target is diffulk. If I were to use a lead sled dft 2, it actually adjusts for windage and elevation leaving me a free hand to gently put some downward pressure on the scope. I understand lead sleds can change point of impact but can they change groups as well OR will you get the groups you would if you had very little human error as a shooter? I do also like the fact the sled takes human error out of the equation during load work up only. I’m still working on my shooting form so once I developed a load using the sled at least I would know the load I developed is good and if my shot is off then it is because of my shooting and not my load. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
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  2. bob4

    bob4 Well-Known Member

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    I like a sled for load working just as you state. I need to see the rifle can do it removing as much human error as possible. Never dawned on me it would change POI! I'm resting the rifle just as I would hold it while hunting.
     
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  3. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    ive been doing a lot of reading on them. it is tough to find real world experience versus people just stating what "they" have read, which is exactly what I'm doing now haha. From what I have "read" they "may" change POI and thus you should always confirm your POI after using one for load development, but from what I read, as long as you do not use too much weight or maybe even none at all, the groups you get should be "real" and ok to use to figure out which load is best for your rifle which is what I'm trying to confirm here.
     
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  4. geo4061

    geo4061 Well-Known Member

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    Hated mine. I could never shoot consistent small groups with it. Therefore, I never trusted it when doing precise load work or sighting in.
     
  5. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Were you heavily weighing it down or using it to just take a bit of the recoil down (ie no added weight to the sled)? And what size groups are you talking if you don’t mind me asking?
     
  6. yoteslayer

    yoteslayer Well-Known Member

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    The problem you have with a sled is it’s very easy to induce side pressure so it’s out of alignment just try lifting the but end of it off shooting table and then set it back down you will see how easy to get out of alignment and if you shot this way you will have a flyer so it’s very hard to do the same thing every shot to get good groups I have also noticed that guns with brakes are closer to being on than a rifle that recoils more just my experience not sure this helps good luck
     
  7. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Hmm ok. Good to know. Does it really throw a flyer far or not? For example if the flyer is only a 1/4in flyer no big deal but if it throws inch flyers that’s definitely a problem. I guess my issue is my confidence off of bags is pretty bad with light weight rifles. I have noticed that when trying free recoil the rifles bounce all over and groups can be like 3 inches. Take same rifle and load and then really hold the stock into my shoulder with down pressure and group shrinks to 1.5 inches.
     
  8. lancetkenyon

    lancetkenyon Well-Known Member

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    I have only used one a couple times. Did not like the results I got at all. Plus, they do absolutely nothing for the shooter to improve his form.

    I shoot thousands of rounds a year. Two years ago, over 3500, last year was over 2800, this year is on track to beat that. Zero have been off a Lead Sled.
     
  9. Left Hand Dave

    Left Hand Dave Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend that has been working with factory loads. He told me he was using a lead sled. I never liked them. He called me and told me with the same ammunition his rounds were hitting about 8 inches higher out of the sled then off his bags. He changed to a tac bag and seemed much happier.
     
  10. Left Hand Dave

    Left Hand Dave Well-Known Member

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    Here is another thought. Your capability is to shoot groups is a combination of your ability and the ability of the rifle/load. You need to pick the best load your testing shows. Your ability is the constant if enough groups are fired. The best load will still be the best load. The difference will be the group size between you and a more or less accomplished shooter. Then you work with that load to make yourself a better shooter. Also if it is the recoil that is the issue change to something more comfortable for you to shoot. We are not all the same when it comes to recoil and you should not let your pride dictate what you shoot.
     
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  11. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    I can understand this but then what do you do then if you are working up loads for your wife or child? Also there have been times with my Savage lightweight hunter where my loads would open to 2.5inches on a known Sub MOA load. My wife took video of me shooting and you could see the rifle bouncing 4 inches into the air every once in a while off the rest I was shooting on. Same thing happens with my Remington Mountain SS. If I "man" handle the rifle...as in hold the stock very firm in my shoulder and hold the front of the rifle down then the groups shrink back up, or even free hand shooting, it can be better then using the typical front adjustable rest with rear bag system.. I was hoping to eliminate this kind of error with a sled just for load development. I am not recoil shy. I am just trying to eliminate all error for load development. That way, when I go to shoot the rifle later and have terrible groups OR my wife shoots it...we know it is us and not my reloads.
     
  12. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    My best group so far has been off a lead sled (unloaded). .195 5 shot group at 100 with my old factory 5R 308.
     
  13. WildBillG

    WildBillG Well-Known Member

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    I have a sled and the regular sand bags. I should take them both out and my wieghts and see if there is POI change with the sled. Started shooting off the bags again because I heard bad reports about shooting off the sled. Not sure if I have noticed a group size difference between the 2. Got really worried this spring working up a load for a friends 06 it broke a blood vessel in my shoulder. Ended up turning my whole arm black or purple I guess got me thinking I may need the sled all the time. Things seem fine again now though.
     
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  14. dougduey

    dougduey Well-Known Member

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    I use a sled without any weight when I'm working up loads to take any of my human error out of the equation. It works well. When I find a nice load, I know the gun is not the issue if it doesn't group well. I verify everything by shooting off sandbags and rear rest. Then I'll test it with my bipod on the rifle. I do find that there is a slight difference in POI on all 3. I sight my rifle in using the sandbags/rear bag and then figure out what the difference is when using my bipod. I personally tend to pull my shots a little right when using the bipod