HELP WITH SATERLEE VELOCITY TEST

milo-2

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Cracks me up how y'all are fussing about this... Grown **** men (and women?) huh?
LOL, this will never change until we all use one universal way of developing a load. A good share of people end up at the same place, yet take different paths.
I too believe this crap gets redundant, but if a couple people can skim the high spots and gain, not all wasted.
I am right you know:)
 

Ryan Tockstein

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Sandy, UT
I've not been able to find any info on the correlation of seating depth and ES and SD.

So let's say you follow 25's method and find your initial speed node with a Chrono. Then you use that load with varying seating depths to find the most accurate one. Does changing the seating depth not change your velocity node at all?

If it doesn't, can't you do the same process backwards by finding the most accurate seating depth for that bullet and then vary the charge to find the velocity node?

Also, @25WSM , do you have any threads you've explained your process in detail where there isn't other noise to sift through between posts?
 

Dog Rocket

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What would this thread look like if we added in positive compensation? Wow
Shep
Funny you should mention that.

After going down all these rabbit holes myself, I have greatly abbreviated my process.

I start about book middle for initial charge weight, I load 5 each at 1% intervals until I find pressure primarily using velocity, as well as pressure ring expansion, appearance and position of soot on neck, primer appearance, bolt lift, etc...

I back off 2% from this point and shoot 4 more groups of 5 shots using max- 2%, -1.5%, -1%, -0.5%. I shoot these at 200 yards.

The group centers will very typically trend up or down just like they do in a true ladder or OCW test. So, being a believer in positive compensation, I try to choose the one striking highest above POA.

I dial it in with seating depth and I'm done.

I don't care if a load groups at 100fps below my target velocity, and I don't care if it groups at max pressure when it is 40 degrees outside.

There is a very narrow acceptable velocity window that is full speed, and as clean and consistent as it is gonna be. The 4 charge weights listed above cover that exact territory. Why mess around with any other area?
 
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RWE

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First - I should have added a little funny face or something, the bickering humors me.

I agree Milo, and I do gain something each time I visit. Either direct knowledge or something that made me think through whatever it is I am working on. That and the humor are worth it!
 

asd9055

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First - I should have added a little funny face or something, the bickering humors me.

I agree Milo, and I do gain something each time I visit. Either direct knowledge or something that made me think through whatever it is I am working on. That and the humor are worth it!
I am with you and Milo. I do learn ways to improve my methods.
 

25WSM

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Ryan changing the seating depth does change the perfect charge weight slightly. If you only move your seating depth a small amount to find the accuracy the powder charge usually stays the same. I normally only need to correct my initial powder charge by a couple tenths to get it back to perfect.
I don't know how to find other threads where I discussed in detail my methods. But I have done so many times. For a hunting rifle I keep it much simpler. It's pretty easy to get 1/2 moa and that's all I need for hunting
For my match rifles I first do the same steps as I do for my hunting rifles but then I do ladder test at long range. There is no substitute for shooting at the distance you compete at. For 1000 yard compatition I'm looking for self compensation in my loads which you get at the top of the barrel timing. This is a whole other subject that is controversial too. I know it works for me. I'm a results driven reloader and do tons of testing on many methods of loading and tuning. I try to do all my loading in a controlled manner and change one thing at a time and look at the results of the change. It either gets better or worse or no change. I keep it simple. I keep doing things that give me good results and don't do things that have not. Can't get much simpler than that. I fully recommend people do their own test to determine what works best for you. I remember one match where the current world record holder was watching me load rounds. I ask him if I am doing it right and he said no. I took those rounds out and won the match. My way works for me and his for him. I like my way because it gets me real close to perfect in very few rounds. My friend has a 28 Nosler and wanted a good load fast do he didn't burn up his barrel. 20 shots later it was sub 1/2 moa. That's fast and simple. Do your research on what your shooting. Don't reinvent the wheel. If everyone is saying Barnes shoot best jumped more than 50 thou don't start at 10 thou off. If everyone is getting best accuacy and speed with a certain powder then use it first. 6ppc n133. 6br varget 6.5 Creed h4350 are just examples. There are combinations that just work for most people. Use them and tweak it for your rifle. The wheel is a good design. You can try a square or pentagon or octagon but I can tell you you will probably go back to the wheel when all is said and done. Internal ballistics is rocket science. Reloading is not.
Shep
 

Ryan Tockstein

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Ryan changing the seating depth does change the perfect charge weight slightly. If you only move your seating depth a small amount to find the accuracy the powder charge usually stays the same. I normally only need to correct my initial powder charge by a couple tenths to get it back to perfect.
I don't know how to find other threads where I discussed in detail my methods. But I have done so many times. For a hunting rifle I keep it much simpler. It's pretty easy to get 1/2 moa and that's all I need for hunting
For my match rifles I first do the same steps as I do for my hunting rifles but then I do ladder test at long range. There is no substitute for shooting at the distance you compete at. For 1000 yard compatition I'm looking for self compensation in my loads which you get at the top of the barrel timing. This is a whole other subject that is controversial too. I know it works for me. I'm a results driven reloader and do tons of testing on many methods of loading and tuning. I try to do all my loading in a controlled manner and change one thing at a time and look at the results of the change. It either gets better or worse or no change. I keep it simple. I keep doing things that give me good results and don't do things that have not. Can't get much simpler than that. I fully recommend people do their own test to determine what works best for you. I remember one match where the current world record holder was watching me load rounds. I ask him if I am doing it right and he said no. I took those rounds out and won the match. My way works for me and his for him. I like my way because it gets me real close to perfect in very few rounds. My friend has a 28 Nosler and wanted a good load fast do he didn't burn up his barrel. 20 shots later it was sub 1/2 moa. That's fast and simple. Do your research on what your shooting. Don't reinvent the wheel. If everyone is saying Barnes shoot best jumped more than 50 thou don't start at 10 thou off. If everyone is getting best accuacy and speed with a certain powder then use it first. 6ppc n133. 6br varget 6.5 Creed h4350 are just examples. There are combinations that just work for most people. Use them and tweak it for your rifle. The wheel is a good design. You can try a square or pentagon or octagon but I can tell you you will probably go back to the wheel when all is said and done. Internal ballistics is rocket science. Reloading is not.
Shep
Oh I completely understand. I don't want to reinvent the wheel. I'm just trying to figure out the relationship between charge, seating depth, speed nodes, accuracy nodes, etc. They're all interrelated and the arguments on what works/doesn't work get tough to sift through at times. I just haven't done any seating depth testing yet. I've always just aimed for 0.010 - 0.015 off the lands and found which charge was most accurate. After playing around with my magnetospeed, I've become interested in figuring out how to find the optimal charge for velocity nodes but that doesn't always correlate to accuracy without playing with seating depth. I have tested and retested charges so many times I've used a lot of components chasing my tail. So I need to figure out the most efficient way to get a good load so I can get off the bench!
 

25WSM

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Well your half way home with it already. If you start at . 015 off and do you velocity test and find the node you like. Pick the powder charge you think is going to be best. In my experience it's at about 75% of the node width. I will then load 3 shots of that charge with . 015 off and 3 with . 010 off and 3 with . 020 off. See which way it starts shooting better. Say . 020 shot better than . 015. Then do 3 at . 025 and if it gets better then go to . 030off and do it again. Say . 030 shot worse then go back to . 025 and load 3 that are the same powder charge and 3 that are 2 tenths over and 3 that are 2 tenths under and see what's best. If 2 tenths over is better try another 2 tenths and see if it gets better. Just keep doing small changes in the direction your gun tells you to go. Once you have that basic load your good for hunting in most cases but if you want better go to longer range targets and do the powder changes again. Sometimes your best shooting 100 yard load isn't the best at 500 or whatever distance you choose. Sometimes a little change in charge weight will eliminate your verticle spread and still shoot good at 100 but be much better at distance. Once you get the verticle out you can try small seating test to see if your group will get better. You can chase it down in little steps as far as you want. I only do the micro tuning on my 1000 yard comp guns. Once my hunting rifle shoots 1/2 moa at 100 I will test it at 500 and if it's still 1/2 moa I call it good. If it not good enough at 500 I will change the powder charge first and get the verticle good. Normally your good at this point.
Shep
 

greatwhitehntr

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I was told by a crotchety old reloader/sniper,
"Barrels are like unicorn horns they are all magical some are better than others no 2 are the same and if you can't shoot 1/4 or 1/2 moa all the time why do you worry if your load is 1/4 or 1/2 moa, hey stupid are you paying attention that means it isn't do what works for you."

I personally use all of the above and have it down to my own little redneck science, I use a lab radar on all shots and load work up. I write everything down in a note book per gun. I only collect data on the 1st and 2nd shot when load is done for hunting purposes (those are the only 2 that count in my book) I can comfortably shoot to 1300 yards and up to a 15 mph wind 95% of the time and know that I am going to hit the intended target.
What I have learned is "do what works for you".

25WSM we are on the same page it just works
 

MTbackwoods

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Mar 5, 2020
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Montana
I’ve had great luck (or dumb luck) by capitalizing on others hard work. If a majority say that .020” jump for ELD’s is best, I load .020” jump. If most say they got great accuracy at 2850-2890 FPS and 2990-3020, then I know where I want my velocity to be. I did exactly this with 2 rifles and one of them I have produced numerous good loads with different bullets and powders loaded every which way. Certain bullets just like certain speeds. Make that your goal. I punched the numbers in my calculator before I started work up and found that 2850 FPS with a 180 ELD M would remain lethal well beyond my personal hunting limit. My load with that bullet is at 2882 FPS and is boring accurate out to 950. My soft limit is 600 yards and my hard limit is 800. So sometimes you gotta work backwards to find what is allowable for you. But like 25 WSM said, keep it simple
 

Chase723

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Nov 22, 2009
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To the OP, I don’t I didn’t read through this entire thread, so my response might be some ignorant garbage. That said, I use the Satterlee method and have had what I would consider good results with it. Usually, the load I end up with will easily shoot 1/2 MOA, commonly 1/4-1/3, and sometimes in the .1s. Basically, all rounds touch and that’s good enough for me. Some people haven’t had it work for them. Fortunately, over the course of 6 rifles and several bullet weights, it has for me thus far.

Making the assumption that you are capable of shooting sub 1/2 MOA consistently if a rifle is up to the task, a couple things that I think make a difference and lead to consistent results are 1) You have to have a "good" rifle with an excellent barrel. I.e. one from a reputable manufacturer that people have used to set world records with. The barrel has to have the inherent accuracy potential for you to, well, unleash it. So pick something like a Bartlein, Benchmark, Kreiger, K&P, Brux etc. Lighter triggers help too. I now shoot Trigger Tech Diamonds and mine are all set at a little under 1lb. 2) Reloading consistency. Accurate charge weights. Good brass with consistent internal case volume. Brass that’s annealed every firing. Primers are all seated well. Etc. 3) Shoot it more than once.

I start, like you, and shoot a velocity ladder in 0.2gr increments. I then shoot it again and make sure that the velocity nodes I see remain the same. Usually there are 2 nodes, a lower one and a higher one, sometimes a 3rd right about max. If it’s not obvious which is best, I then shoot another couple small ladders through those nodes in 0.1gr increments and look for the one that had the lowest ES across the node. I also compare it to the previously collected velocity data. Usually that ends up being a total of ~20-30 rounds. I then load up 6 rounds of what I think are the best 2 or 3 loads and shoot them at either 300 or 500. At this point I’ve come to expect that they will shoot ~1/3 MOA with an ES of 15-20. Literally one smudge on steel. I‘m fine with that. I just pick the best one and run with it. If theres no wind, shoot them at as far a distance as possible because the farther out you go the bigger the differences in the loads become.

The other thing about it is that the load you’ve just developed is based on the seating depth/jump distance that you started with. Keep this in mind if the groups start opening up. Often you’ll just need to chase it back to the original jump distance, and add 0.1 or so grains of powder to get your velocity back to where it was, and you’re back in action.
 
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NW Hunter

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Vancouver, WA
I got back out this afternoon to shoot the 53.6 grain charge of H4831SC that 25WSM suggested.
My Saterlee velocity test had a seating depth of .025 inches off the lands. So I moved seating depth at .003" increments.
I shot seating depths of .022, .025, .028 &.031.
All shots with the exception of the high shot on target #4 were had good fundamentals with good trigger pulls.
Here are the results...
I will follow 25WSM's thought of shooting 53.5 & 53.7 grains at .025 inches off the lands along with rebooting 53.6 again.
20200812_194429.jpg
 

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