Ladder Test for MZ?

LanceS4803

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Jun 3, 2014
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Middle TN
50cal inline, 209 shooting BH209.
Working up a new load with heavier bullets, and want to get serious this year about accuracy. (All past MZ kills have been at less than 50yds. Not too worried about long range accuracy.)

Has anyone done a ladder type test for optimal powder charges? With a smokeless rifle you are usually shooting dozens of shots at 0.2gr increments to find the node.
How the heck do you do this a MZ? I guess 80 to 120 in 5 grain increments? With only one shot at each weight, that's still 9 shots, and you still haven't fired multiples at each charge weight.

Tips or past experiences?
 

Dr. Vette

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Dec 30, 2009
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Holland, MI
Which bullets?

I tried 100, 110 and 120 grain increments (weighed equivalents) of BH 209, 3 shot groups of each. You'll see a best load; if needed you might then do 105 or 115, but that's all there is. Even with the 100/110/120 you'll see a pattern.
 

LanceS4803

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Jun 3, 2014
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Middle TN
For whitetail I used to shoot 250gr Barnes MZ (beautiful expansion!). Worked on mulies, too.
Switched to 260gr Scorpion PT Gold, which performed fine on whitetail.

But, going for elk now and want to go heavier.
Picked up some Barnes 290gr Spit-Fire TMZ and 300gr Hornady SST.

I do like the Harvester crush-rib sabots, so will hope to continue using them.
 

ENCORE

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Near a lake with no fish
I would suggest you work up your most accurate charge for the bullet energy you expect.
I've done Satterlee tests with BH, but one has to remember, its a black powder substitute with many variables. Even changing lot numbers can make a significant change.
 
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