Charge weight ? for a ladder test.

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by howlnmad, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    I've never done a ladder test before, just wasted a bunch of bullets, powder and primers doing the 5 shot deal over and over. I was sitting at the bench working on some 30-30 brass and got to thinking about doing one on my Marlin 336. I got looking through my manuals and started cross referencing load weights for H-335 powder and 150 grn core-lokt bullets. Out of the five manuals that I checked, I came up with a weight variation from 28 gn min to 35gn max. Should I use these number or just pick a manual and break those down? If i did the math correctly, that should give me .35 grn between each load. 28, 28.35,28.70,29.05,29.4 and so on. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
  2. garydude

    garydude Member

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    If it was me I would start at an even number, say 28 or 29, then go up in 1/2 grain increments.
  3. garydude

    garydude Member

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    OK, found it- here's the link I was looking for. This member frequently posted great videos about load development. This one was for the 30-30. Hope it helps!
  4. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    When i set up a ladder test Howlin I work the charges backwards from MAX in .2 gr increments. I rarely ever find the best load at starting range anyway so 99% of the time I dont start there, unless Im loading for a rickety old milsurp rifle with questionable headspace.

    Get your brass ready and primed for loading and start with the max charge of 35 gr. load it and mark the bullet with a fine sharpie marker. Then the next one at 34.8 again loaded and marked with a fine sharpie marker. then 34.6, etc etc etc. until you have 20 rounds loaded and marked. and lastly load yourself 5 foulers of the lowest charge weight in your ladder test. and mark them with an F. then clean your rifle really really well. paying special attention to fouling in the bore. you want to start with a very clean bore.

    Then go set up and shoot the 5 foulers at paper to assure your on target, and if not, make adjustments. Then fire your ladder test from lowest charge to max allowing 2-3 minutes between shots for cooling. Take your time and shoot your best. the ladder test isnt going to tell you anything if youre pulling shots and flinching. Then just interpret your data and select the load you think would work best in the rifle based on the results of your test.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  5. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    So start at the max and work backwards at .2 gn intervals, got it. Shoot 5 fouling shots and clean the barrel. I'm going to make up a target with the poster board like you showed in the ladder test thread you started. I get the waiting between shots for the cool down(I've made up cases that have the primer pocket drilled and tapped for 1/8 pipe thread and a couple of fittings and a battery operated air pump to help cooling). Would it be of any use to clean between shots? Same point of aim for each shot and no flinching. I'll ask more after I shoot some holes.
  6. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    No. clean the bore before you head to the range. Fire the foulers and leave the bore fouled. do not clean between shots. Only allow time to cool. you can run the air attachment if you want just make sure you run it the same amount of time everytime. I just shoot the foulers to check POI, wait 3 minutes for cooling and shoot the test, waiting 3 minutes between each shot. then when im done I clean the bore of my rifle again. All of my rifles get the bores cleaned at the range before packing up and going home.
  7. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    And please feel free to post the results of your ladder test in the thread sticky I made Howln. Think of it as a TFF reloading community data pool thread.
  8. howlnmad

    howlnmad Well-Known Member

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    Okay, no cleaning after the foulers until the test is over, got it. Pix will have to wait until a day when my daughter is visiting from school. I can take pix but I'll be danged if I could ever download them and then post them. I'm puter sturpit.:(
  9. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    Good luck Bill. Just make sure you pick a dead calm day to shoot the test. erase as many variables as possible. And shoot 200 yds if you have it available. But i have done successful ladder tests at 100 yds. the results are just a bit harder to interpret.
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