Ladder test

JohnyRingo

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Jan 20, 2017
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After buying a new 300 H&H Mag with a detachable magazine, I realized all the handloads from my previous rifle were way too long to be used in this new rifle. I then started over with a new load and because I am no expert, I started messing with the COAL and .5 grain powder increases. I began by loading the cartridge as long as I could for it to just fit inside the detachable box magazine because the recoil was messing with the ballistic tips I was shooting. I now know that I should have begun with finding the lands length first, but I didn't.

I then started quite bit lower in powder than my previous loads because the bullet was seated deeper. I did shoot through a chrono and noticed that for every .5 grains I added, there was considerable jump in velocity until I got to around 2950 fps, which is the velocity I was trying to get to. I then noticed that adding a half grain did not increase the velocity much. At the time, I figured I was at the point of diminishing returns and getting close to max load, so I stopped at the powder load that resulted in the last substantial velocity jump.

Now that I have researched this topic a little better, should I have used the next .5 grain powder charge instead because it represented a velocity node and maybe a little better accuracy? I am still messing with the accuracy of this rifle because I feel the cheep stock is the result of the 1 moa that it currently shoots versus 1/2 moa. I have a McMillan stock that should be here in about another 2 months.

When the weather gets a little nicer, I plan on figuring out the distance to the lands and then revisiting the ladder test. After I figure out the velocity and accuracy sweet spot, I plan on messing with the seating depth a little to further improve the accuracy. Does this sound like I am headed in the right direction? I have a buddy who wants me to develop a load for his 300 WinMag when he gets it, not because I am an expert. It's just because I know a little more than he does about the topic. I just don't want to mess up his new gun.
 
If you are going to shoot from the magazine, I doubt you will find the lands with loads that fit in the magazine. Just go to max mag coal and start from there, that is the way you are going to shoot it in reality.
 
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Yep. I have two other newer rifles with detachable box magazines that I had to start loads all over again. If I find the lands, at least I would have a baseline and then I would start at max length of the detachable box.

My buddy's rifle is going to be a Christensen's Ridgeline and I've heard their magazine is kinda short too.
 
After buying a new 300 H&H Mag with a detachable magazine, I realized all the handloads from my previous rifle were way too long to be used in this new rifle. I then started over with a new load and because I am no expert, I started messing with the COAL and .5 grain powder increases. I began by loading the cartridge as long as I could for it to just fit inside the detachable box magazine because the recoil was messing with the ballistic tips I was shooting. I now know that I should have begun with finding the lands length first, but I didn't.

I then started quite bit lower in powder than my previous loads because the bullet was seated deeper. I did shoot through a chrono and noticed that for every .5 grains I added, there was considerable jump in velocity until I got to around 2950 fps, which is the velocity I was trying to get to. I then noticed that adding a half grain did not increase the velocity much. At the time, I figured I was at the point of diminishing returns and getting close to max load, so I stopped at the powder load that resulted in the last substantial velocity jump.

Now that I have researched this topic a little better, should I have used the next .5 grain powder charge instead because it represented a velocity node and maybe a little better accuracy? I am still messing with the accuracy of this rifle because I feel the cheep stock is the result of the 1 moa that it currently shoots versus 1/2 moa. I have a McMillan stock that should be here in about another 2 months.

When the weather gets a little nicer, I plan on figuring out the distance to the lands and then revisiting the ladder test. After I figure out the velocity and accuracy sweet spot, I plan on messing with the seating depth a little to further improve the accuracy. Does this sound like I am headed in the right direction? I have a buddy who wants me to develop a load for his 300 WinMag when he gets it, not because I am an expert. It's just because I know a little more than he does about the topic. I just don't want to mess up his new gun.
Sounds like your on the right track. I like to do a second ladder in .2 grain increments to tighten up the node and find where it starts and stops and then do a Berger seating depth test.
 
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