Quickest way to find an accurate load

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Gobears16, May 26, 2019.

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  1. ar10ar15man

    ar10ar15man Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2018
    you mean you have to do some homework PRIOR to actually shooting ?
    who would have guessed!
    stx and Wedgy like this.
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
    Actually you have to do some homework before you start loading so you have a clear direction/path to better loading. Choosing the right components before you start will prevent the hit and miss approach.

    I have actually added another element to accurate loading and that is more/better concentric ammo. Never change more that one component or condition at a time and you wont get caught chasing your tail.

  3. ar10ar15man

    ar10ar15man Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2018
    way too many "reloaders" do not know enough to pick valid stating points which is why i tell them to do a simple ladder, then 3 shot then 5 shot groups.
    with a new cartridge, i start with a ladder. will do it with my 338 edge
  4. Wolf76

    Wolf76 Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2014
    I actually do bullet seating tests first.
    Then I start with a recommended load from nosler. Their accuracy loads are typically very close. I'll tinker from there.
    Gobears16 likes this.
  5. Wedgy

    Wedgy Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2013
    You really have to stretch it out there with the Edge...I think I had around 3" of vertical from 97 to 102 grains of Reloder 33 at 650 yards, topped out at 106 grains. Funny how fast the Chargemaster empties, but you have time to do other things while it's spewing out powder. LOL
    HARPERC likes this.
  6. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    For the last several years I have found that the fastest and most productive way to develop a load for a cartridge which I have no prior experience is to start with a “focused” search in the web. There are quite a few sites (like this one!) I consider viable, with some very knowledgeable participants. Whether for target or hunting, I will gather and analyze 5-10 posts, threads, articles, etc that line up with my requirements(bullet, ballistics, preferred powders, Brass, etc.), and attempt to establish a selection of promising loads. Also, I have usually found at least a few shooters that have extensive experience the particular cartridge of interest.....most all, very helpful. From there I will select one or two of those loads which appear viable and shoot a ladder to find the sweet spot for my barrel. The search process is usually conducted early in the preparation process, filling in dead time....Why re-invent the wheel if it’s not necessary. IMO.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    Bravo 4, Gobears16 and Canhunter35 like this.
  7. fiftybmg

    fiftybmg Well-Known Member

    May 16, 2016
    First choose powder, bullet, primer and brass.

    None of those choices are simple, but you have to start somewhere, and if you change any of those, you need to develop the load from the beginning again.

    Then, load at least 3 rounds per powder weight, in increments, from the middle of the published load data to the max. You decide what increment you are happy with, and be sure to allow the barrel to cool between strings.

    See which load gives you the least velocity variation, you want a maximum of 5 fps difference. Jackpot if each of three shots is exactly the same on the chrony.

    That is the basis of an accurate load, which can be tweaked by adjusting bullet seating from max AOL down, in increments of 0.001 .

    At this point, you may not be at max velocity or max pressure, but don't worry about that if you want accuracy. The consistent velocity is more important for accuracy than being at max pressure.

    Case fill is vital for consistent velocity, if you can find a powder to give you exactly 100% fill with no compaction, it may be the right one.

    Should your load test not give you less than 5 fps variation, change powder or primer. Repeat untill < 5 fps variation is achieved.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    Gobears16 likes this.
  8. Mike6158

    Mike6158 Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2003
  9. Rum Man

    Rum Man Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2017
    I just finished a 338 Edge build with a Proof barrel and had things figured out in 24 rounds. I did countless hrs of homework first . Thanks to this Forum !
    Great guys and some good info !

    Rum Man
  10. Buzzsaw

    Buzzsaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    EASY, see what works for other shooters first. You will see a pattern, Pick 1 bullet and one powder which seems to work for the majority.

    Measure YOUR rifle's length to the land with your bullet, OR load to magazine length, OR measure a factory round.

    This has always worked for me in my CUSTOM rifles which will actually shoot .50 with just about everything.

    I will not wear a barrel shooting hundreds of rounds chasing a magic group which wont happen unless luck kicks in.
  11. Michael Cantor

    Michael Cantor Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2018
    I agree with JE Custom,
    I try .005, 010 and 015 off the lands with a factory chamber, usually .010 works best.
    I minimally resize just to fit my chamber if using full length dies.
    Or use bushing dies.
    Try Wolf primers believe it or not, they have the least standard deviation of any primer... fed gm match and cci BR included.
    Gobears16 likes this.
  12. lightshooter

    lightshooter Active Member

    Apr 30, 2016
    In the past I would do an OCW test at 100 yds and shoot round robin targets (a target for each load), but for my most recent barrel I did a ladder test at 300 yards shooting at the same target (a big white sheet of freezer paper with an orange dot). I marked the tips of the bullets with colored sharpie that transfers to the target so I could keep track of the load. I also place a go pro camera down by the target. On the 1st round of 5 shots start with the lowest charge working up to the hottest load, (look for pressure signs). The next round of 5 start with the hottest load to the lowest. When you’ve shot them all focus on POI. Look for consecutive charge weights that have near the same POI. Shooting over a chronograph will give you your es and sd. I got to the same results in less rounds. Once I found a node then I did the same test for seating depth. I should of stated in the beginning I did research what powders/primers were working for other people with bullet I chose, and I started either 10% or halfway between min and max load and loaded in .5 increments until I was 1 grain over max (not recommending this, at your own risk). I did a quick search on you tube and this explains this method.
  13. Lee Goodwin

    Lee Goodwin Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2018
    Sorry, but what is SDs.? please.
  14. 2C/1H

    2C/1H Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2010
    check out the 6.5 guys on YouTube they do an interview with Scott Saterlee regarding a 10 shot ladder test....

    it works like a charm every time! As long as you have solid reloading skills.

    You'll get a velocity node or probably several in the first ten shots then you run another five to ten shots to confirm accuracy and ES on whatever node you decided on.

    As others have said ... pick your components wisely and find what the min and max load range is before hand.

    It's almost a sin how efficient it is and I've done it for calibers ranging 6.5 to 338 Edge. I end up with single digit ES/SD everytime.

    Don't hesitate to pm me after you've checked out the video for clarification or help understanding your results once you shoot the ladder test.

    good luck,
    lightshooter likes this.