What's your range for ladder testing?

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by Timnterra, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Timnterra

    Timnterra Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    To start off I've never done a ladder test before. I'm about to load up some rounds to do ladder testing with my 7mm and have heard everything from 200 to 1000 yards for ladder testing. I'm wanting to know from those experienced with Audette ladder tests what is the most beneficial distance. For further explanation I'm working up a load for my long range hunting rifle. I am not a bench rest 1000 yard shooter but I do want to take shots at that distance when possible. But my shooting will be everywhere from 100 to 1000 yards. So I don't want to pigeon-hole my self by shooting everything at 100yds or 1000yds. I suppose in theory a load that shoots well at 1000 will do the same at 100 and vice versa but I have not done this before and would like all the input I can get.
  2. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2003
    Precision shooters who ladder test at 1Kyd have seen that this does not produce the best load for 100yds, but good enough.

    I myself test at 300yds because it's the longest range with the facilities I need near me.
    I don't shoot 1kyd, but I do well out to ~600yds from 300yd ladders.
    If I were strictly a 600yd, or 1,000yd shooter, I would ladder there.
  3. jrock

    jrock Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2014
    I would recommend 400 yards minimum especially if your rounds are 3100 fps or more. Sure, it can be done at shorter ranges, heck I did a 400 yard ladder test that matched up exactly with my 100 yard single group testing. Do your final test at the distance you are shooting at.

    A good way to think about it is what is the MOA of your gun with you behind it? Say 1" for this example. At 400 yards your groups will be around 4". Run a ballistics program varying velocity to match your loads and look for difference in drop at 400 yards. You will see that the groups will overlap. Do you want over lapping groups? Not a bad thing if you keep track of each round or group while shooting the test.
  4. MudRunner2005

    MudRunner2005 Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    I ladder test at 100 for right now. It's 15 mins from my house. However, I'm thinking I might be helping to build a 1K range at my buddy's land, that is 15 mins the opposite direction from my house. But haven't heard back about any of that.
  5. Dgd6mm

    Dgd6mm Well-Known Member

    Jul 14, 2008
    I've laddered at 300 and 600 yards. I prefer 600 yards.
  6. azsugarbear

    azsugarbear Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    I look for a happy medium in distance. Too close and the groups are so tight you can't spot the nodes. Too far, and wind drift becomes problematic in skewing the results. I shoot most of my ladders between 300 & 400 yds. Wind, especially a variable wind, can produce unintended consequences and misleading results the farther out you go. 300-400 yds generally mitigates the effect wind will have in the outcome of your groups and yet opens the groups up enough to spot your nodes.