Interesting ladder test results. Ideas?

Stgraves260

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Stgraves,

Doesn't your approach assume that the published BC for your bullet is 100% accurate as well as the click adjustments are 100% exactly 1/4 MOA correct? What I am getting at is why are you more comfortable deriving velocity which will be applied to vaious differences?

It would seem no matter the situation used you have to vaildate your click adjustements at multiple distances.
Assumption is the mother of all F-Ups if you know what I mean. Don’t ever assume. That’s why I shoot out in the field and validate. The BC on any bullet is just an assumption from the manufacture IMO. It’s a good starting point though. Some bullets shoot good using the G7 factor and some dont. I have a couple of Votex Razors Gen 2 that say .25 MOA at 100 yards. If you read the book on that scope vortex tells you that that scope is really adjudging your scope @ .26 MOAs at 100 yards. I used the .25 MOAs click method at a target at 2300 yards and missed. When I used their .26 MOAs of adjustments I hit. My Valdada scopes are spot on. When you use a chronograph to get your velocity it’s just an assumption the chronology is giving you. I say that because I used to use them with my friends that swore by them. So in my opinion if they are so accurate than why is it if you use say three different chronographs you get three different velocity’s. I don’t have anything against people who use chronographs. I just don’t use them. That’s why I have all ways said paper don’t lie. When that bullet hits that target paper or steel there is no way anyone can say you missed. The proof is on the target you hit. The equipment you use in the field is a system. They all work together. I have a G7 Range finder that I use for my 260 Rem. That system is extremely accurate. when I’m at 1140 ish feet above sea level and shoot a 1000 yard target that system uses 23.75 MOAs of adjustment To hit the target. Now when I use my Vectronix Terrapin and my Kestrel it takes 24.5 MOAs of adjustment to hit that same target. You Can spend all the money in the world and buy the best of everything and be out shot by someone who spent half the money on his/her equipment because they took the time and to creat a shooting system. I don’t know anyone who takes a chronograph out in the field hunting with them. I don’t know everyone on this planet though. If you are a Bench rest shooter none of this will make sense because you are used to sitting down at a bench all ways shooting True North at the same range at the same known distance. Your chronograph will tell you your FPS is 3100 FPS and you will say that is that. You will use the bullets manufacture B.C. Because it’s on the box. You will keep adjusting your scope until you hit that target At say 1000 yards and say it only take my bullets 25 moa of adjustment to hit that target because I know my bullets are traveling 3100 FPS and I know my B.C. Is let’s say .700 The BC on the box and the FPS from your chronographs where assumptions from the manufacture. When you use your whole shooting system in the field and that bullet hits that target you are assuming nothing. It is all facts because the proof is on the target.
 

ButterBean

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Were they dead nuts as you say accurate at 100 yards or at your longer distances? If you are talking 100 FPS spread at 100 yards you can still hold a tight group. If your talking a 100 FPS spread difference at say 1000 yards than there would be a substantial difference. I choose 700 yards to critique my powder charges and my seating depth. People use different methods to get sometimes the same results. Nothing wrong with using a chronograph if that’s what you like. They are good for if you have access to say a 100 yard range. That way if you ever have a chance to shoot longer distances at least you know your velocity to plug into your range finder or what ever device you are using. I have a 12” steel target I shoot at with a 2 1/2 “ circle in the center of it. I go back to my 700 yards and adjust my scope until I get 3 shots in the circle. I then plug those MOAs that were used on my scope into my range finder and it gives me my velocity. After that I verify my data at different yards. I use this method because it works for me. I’ve shot out to 2300 yards this way. When the bullets hit the target and you walk don’t there and see the impact, no one can say you missed. If you use a chronograph to get your velocity and you know your exact FPS doesn’t mean you can go out and hit a target at 1000 plus’s yards. There is nothing more frustrating than going down to my shooting range in Mingus Texas TacPro ( 1000 yard range ) and the first thing people want to talk about is how fast their bullets are traveling, then they get bent all out of shape because they can hit that 36” target they have down range at 1000 yards.
SMH
 

Stgraves260

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Agreed...heck even my not that enormous .300 win mag I dont think I've ever messed around with increments smaller than 0.5 grains, at least not during load work up
Agreed...heck even my not that enormous .300 win mag I dont think I've ever messed around with increments smaller than 0.5 grains, at least not during load work up
This will probably offend some people Calvin. I try and speak to people as professionals. A lot of people on here act like they no everything about reloading and their way is the best. I been reloading for over 30 years and still learning. I have to adapt to the change around me because of the new products being developed In the reloading world. When I do my ladder test I use .5 gran increments because It will show me on paper/Target if I’m heading in the right direction. If I need to I can make adjustment using .1 or .2 increments. So say if I use 42 Grains and 42.5 grains and I think I can do better than I would load some at 42.2 and 42.3 grains and see if that makes a Difference. I spoke to these reloader‘s on here as professionals and shared my starting point. I guess I should not have assumed they were professionals.
 

med358-boise

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stgraves - I think you misunderstood my comment.

You stated "I have a 12" steel target I shoot at with a 2 1/2 " circle in the center of it. I go back to my 700 yards and adjust my scope until I get 3 shots in the circle. I then plug those MOAs that were used on my scope into my range finder and it gives me my velocity".

That seems to imply that the calculated velocity from the Range Finder is somehow more valid than the measured velocity from the chronograph.

What raises questions in my mind is by inputting MOAs of "up" for 1 distance or a set of distances into a program (in this case a range finder) and asking the program to give back a velocity one would have had to input a BC and that inputted BC would have come from the bullet mfg and therefore there is an assumption that it is correct just like (by default) the process you described assumes that each click is exactly what the mfg says it is.

The mehtod you describe derives velocity which would imply published BCs and published MOAs per click are somehow more trusted than measured velocity and I am trying to understand why because I have shot the same load over 3 different chronographs and got very consistent readings.

My approach (similar to yours) is to take all three variable as a baseline and then confirm actual POI at series of ranges and clicks used to hit the target and record those. I simply do not worry whether there is a difference in actual POI versus expected POI given the initial calculated clicks, unless the difference is significant. I think the only thing we can be sure of is this rifle shoots X bullet with Y powder charge and when zeroed at distant Z requires A, B, C, D, E, & F # of clicks at set of corresponding distances thru actual testing. We can then go back and check some of the mid points between the distances previously specified and further analyze if actual POI matched expected POI given the calculated clicks.

I think trying to "solve for or derive anyone of the 3 variables" isn't helpful because the likelihood is there will always be some range where any derived or assumed conformance to published specification fails us and the risk of wounding an animal is just too great. In my opinion, the more likey culprits are published BC vs. actual BC and click adjustment not being exactly 1/4 moa as opposed to chrono measurement errors.
 
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Mike Matteson

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Were they dead nuts as you say accurate at 100 yards or at your longer distances? If you are talking 100 FPS spread at 100 yards you can still hold a tight group. If your talking a 100 FPS spread difference at say 1000 yards than there would be a substantial difference. I choose 700 yards to critique my powder charges and my seating depth. People use different methods to get sometimes the same results. Nothing wrong with using a chronograph if that’s what you like. They are good for if you have access to say a 100 yard range. That way if you ever have a chance to shoot longer distances at least you know your velocity to plug into your range finder or what ever device you are using. I have a 12” steel target I shoot at with a 2 1/2 “ circle in the center of it. I go back to my 700 yards and adjust my scope until I get 3 shots in the circle. I then plug those MOAs that were used on my scope into my range finder and it gives me my velocity. After that I verify my data at different yards. I use this method because it works for me. I’ve shot out to 2300 yards this way. When the bullets hit the target and you walk don’t there and see the impact, no one can say you missed. If you use a chronograph to get your velocity and you know your exact FPS doesn’t mean you can go out and hit a target at 1000 plus’s yards. There is nothing more frustrating than going down to my shooting range in Mingus Texas TacPro ( 1000 yard range ) and the first thing people want to talk about is how fast their bullets are traveling, then they get bent all out of shape because they can hit that 36” target they have down range at 1000 yards.
Did you mean can't hit the 36" target.
 

Mike Matteson

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That find. I just wanted to get it straight in my head. One story that comes to mind is. A elk hunter stated one time he shot an elk 5 times in the heart and it ran off, never to be found. It was hard to believe. I personal shot elk the same morning a great number of years ago. Both end up being hearts shots, hits within 1/2" of each other. We compared the two hearts. They both drop in their tracks. One was standing and the other was running. Don't ask I don't know how it happen that way. To finish up the story, he stated those elk are hard to bring down. All I can say is I was lucky that morning. The second elk was wounded, and that why I tried and finish it off. I didn't want to get into a tracking another elk all day long. Again it was my shooting at that elk either.
 

Calvin45

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This will probably offend some people Calvin. I try and speak to people as professionals. A lot of people on here act like they no everything about reloading and their way is the best. I been reloading for over 30 years and still learning. I have to adapt to the change around me because of the new products being developed In the reloading world. When I do my ladder test I use .5 gran increments because It will show me on paper/Target if I’m heading in the right direction. If I need to I can make adjustment using .1 or .2 increments. So say if I use 42 Grains and 42.5 grains and I think I can do better than I would load some at 42.2 and 42.3 grains and see if that makes a Difference. I spoke to these reloader‘s on here as professionals and shared my starting point. I guess I should not have assumed they were professionals.
Well and I've got no reason to tell anyone else they're doing something wrong if they wanna go more precise than what I do, to each his own, ain't that kind of the beauty of this whole hobby or any hobby? Being able to do what you want, what works for you? As for me, I'm not nearly good enough a shooter nor is my equipment custom level stuff to reap the benefits that may be there from fiddling around with every little thing under the sun and that's just me. And most of all: at this chapter of my life I have neither the surplus time nor components to fiddle around with tiny increments all day long. When I get a day to play around with this stuff I just gotta GO GET ER DONE!
 

Stgraves260

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Well and I've got no reason to tell anyone else they're doing something wrong if they wanna go more precise than what I do, to each his own, ain't that kind of the beauty of this whole hobby or any hobby? Being able to do what you want, what works for you? As for me, I'm not nearly good enough a shooter nor is my equipment custom level stuff to reap the benefits that may be there from fiddling around with every little thing under the sun and that's just me. And most of all: at this chapter of my life I have neither the surplus time nor components to fiddle around with tiny increments all day long. When I get a day to play around with this stuff I just gotta GO GET ER DONE!
Yes sir totally agree!!!
 

Stgraves260

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stgraves - I think you misunderstood my comment.

You stated "I have a 12" steel target I shoot at with a 2 1/2 " circle in the center of it. I go back to my 700 yards and adjust my scope until I get 3 shots in the circle. I then plug those MOAs that were used on my scope into my range finder and it gives me my velocity".

That seems to imply that the calculated velocity from the Range Finder is somehow more valid than the measured velocity from the chronograph.

What raises questions in my mind is by inputting MOAs of "up" for 1 distance or a set of distances into a program (in this case a range finder) and asking the program to give back a velocity one would have had to input a BC and that inputted BC would have come from the bullet mfg and therefore there is an assumption that it is correct just like (by default) the process you described assumes that each click is exactly what the mfg says it is.

The mehtod you describe derives velocity which would imply published BCs and published MOAs per click are somehow more trusted than measured velocity and I am trying to understand why because I have shot the same load over 3 different chronographs and got very consistent readings.

My approach (similar to yours) is to take all three variable as a baseline and then confirm actual POI at series of ranges and clicks used to hit the target and record those. I simply do not worry whether there is a difference in actual POI versus expected POI given the initial calculated clicks, unless the difference is significant. I think the only thing we can be sure of is this rifle shoots X bullet with Y powder charge and when zeroed at distant Z requires A, B, C, D, E, & F # of clicks at set of corresponding distances thru actual testing. We can then go back and check some of the mid points between the distances previously specified and further analyze if actual POI matched expected POI given the calculated clicks.

I think trying to "solve for or derive anyone of the 3 variables" isn't helpful because the likelihood is there will always be some range where any derived or assumed conformance to published specification fails us and the risk of wounding an animal is just too great. In my opinion, the more likey culprits are published BC vs. actual BC and click adjustment not being exactly 1/4 moa as opposed to chrono measurement errors.
It is very easy to misunderstand one another on here through messaging. Ill try to clarify things the best I can. Im not saying my rangefinders are better than a chronographs, it’s a whole system that I use that all works together. This part is just my opinion. If you are using a chronograph than you are probably using a ballistics Kestrel or other device that calculates your firing solution. When you plug in your FPS into your Kestrel device it will tell you the MOA,s or MILLs to adjust. Now when you are off target by a little or a lot you adjust your speed in your Kestrel until your bullet hits it target at what ever distance. ( Why do you do this? Because paper don’t lie ) You will have to do this because the measuring device that was used in your chronographs and your Kestrel had different tolerances/Quality control. Im guessing here but I think most people have read on a range finder or GPS it will say plus’s or minus 1 yard +/- 1 yard. Sometimes it +/- 10 feet. It depends on the quality of the measuring device that was used. Lets say you are loading for a 6.5 caliber 140 grain bullets and it takes 42 grains of whatever power to achieve 2750 FPS in a 24” Barrel. Now you put a custom 28” barrel on your rifle. Well the rule of thumb is you gain 25 FPS per inch of barrel length for none Magnum rifles and 35-40 FPS on Magnum rifles. ( At least thats what works for me ) So using these numbers I calculate a 100 FPS increase. I don’t need a Chronograph to tell me that. With that after market barrel and maybe a custom action can change things as well. I don’t want to go down that rabbit hole Because we are talking about why I do not use chronograph and how I do my ladder test. Say I shoot my target at 700 yard and I used a Chronograph that gave me a FPS of 2750. My bullets impact hit high. Now I have to adjust my dope on my scope until I hit my bullseye. Once that happens I plug in the MOS it took to hit my target into my rangefinder that has the firing solution and it will tell me my FPS it calculated. The FPS from the chronograph and my rangefinder don’t match, but at least the adjustments I have to make on my scope match that of my rangefinders Firing solutions. Hope this explain’s things.
 

med358-boise

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Stgraves,

Thanks, it does. I think we actually have the same conceptual belief - neither of us believes any of the elements of the system is necessarilly more accurate/precise than another but we have to pick something and you choose to "derive" velocity because you know how many cliks it took to hit at 700 yards and as you say (and I whole heartedly agree with) the target don't lie and you know for a fact it took X clicks to get that hit.

Question - given that you now have your velocity from the range finder do you then look up the MOA clicks at say 500 and shoot that distance too see how valid the "extrapolation" is for other distances? If so, I am assuming it is good otherwise I suspect you wouldn't be using this method.
 
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Mike Matteson

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I didn't think you were trying to tell anybody something wrong. I just wasn't sure as what you put down. I had some cousins that figured if they could hit a pie plate @ 100yds with open sights, they were on. I learned how to read what the deer were from them. They switch to field glasses and scopes, because of me. The season they switch over to field glass. We pushing thru an area. I had learn by then to watch behind me as much as in front of me. I spotted some deer behind us. We had passed them up. Anyway I spotted them, turn all of us around. Next week they field glasses hanging from their necks. They finally moved onto using scopes too.
 

Stgraves260

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That find. I just wanted to get it straight in my head. One story that comes to mind is. A elk hunter stated one time he shot an elk 5 times in the heart and it ran off, never to be found. It was hard to believe. I personal shot elk the same morning a great number of years ago. Both end up being hearts shots, hits within 1/2" of each other. We compared the two hearts. They both drop in their tracks. One was standing and the other was running. Don't ask I don't know how it happen that way. To finish up the story, he stated those elk are hard to bring down. All I can say is I was lucky that morning. The second elk was wounded, and that why I tried and finish it off. I didn't want to get into a tracking another elk all day long. Again it was my shooting at that elk either.
I’m sure we could share some pretty good stories. I was at TacPro shooting range 1 day with my family and this guy had a awesome custom 300 Norma Mag in a AR platform. It was a pretty sweet Set up. I talk to the owner of TacPro and he said that guy payed like $50K on that set up. If I remember correctly he said he hit a 5 gallon water bucket at 1760 yards. After I heard that I knew his equipment was dialed in and he knew his stuff. I asked him to join me and my family. I had a new gun I was getting load data for. I didn’t know exactly how fast my bullets were flying, that’s what I was there for. I all ready did my ladder test the previous week, now I was there to get my drop data. His target is on the left and mine is on the right. This was at 500 yards. The man picked up all his equipment and left. My family asked me why did he leave? They were wanting to learn how to shoot better. I showed them the 2 targets. My dad told me to never let him buy a $50K gun. My girlfriend told me that if I keep shooting like that I would never make any friends at the gun range. LoL Sorry she is setting next to me laughing because she said she Remembered that.
 

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Stgraves260

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Stgraves,

Thanks, it does. I think we actually have the same conceptual belief - neither of us believes any of the elements of the system is necessarilly more accurate/precise than another but we have to pick something and you choose to "derive" velocity because you know how many cliks it took to hit at 700 yards and as you say (and I whole heartedly agree with) the target don't light and you know for a fact it took X clicks to get that hit.

Question - given that you now have your velocity from the range finder do you then look up the MOA clicks at say 500 and shoot that distance too see how valid the "extrapolation" is for other distances? If so, I am assuming it is good otherwise I suspect you wouldn't be using this method.
Glad it helped. Yes sir I do To your question. I shoot true North when I get all my data at various distances. 200, 400-500, 700ish, 950ish, 1100 ish 1300-1400ish Yards. I verify at multiple ranges. I validate everything true North because the Coriolis effect doesn’t effect the bullet impact. Now when I’m out in the field I use my compass to verify my shooting direction so that I can Calculate for Coriolis, Cosine, wind Exedra.
Stgraves,

Thanks, it does. I think we actually have the same conceptual belief - neither of us believes any of the elements of the system is necessarilly more accurate/precise than another but we have to pick something and you choose to "derive" velocity because you know how many cliks it took to hit at 700 yards and as you say (and I whole heartedly agree with) the target don't lie and you know for a fact it took X clicks to get that hit.

Question - given that you now have your velocity from the range finder do you then look up the MOA clicks at say 500 and shoot that distance too see how valid the "extrapolation" is for other distances? If so, I am assuming it is good otherwise I suspect you wouldn't be using this method.
 
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