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I was talking with a retired friend yesterday and the subject of ladder test came up. He knew nothing of it so I explained the best I could. When I mentioned the .2 grain increments he went off saying that is being too picky. I should instead go for 1 grain increments and spend less time letting barrel cool down. He has been hunting and shooting for more than 50 years and I normally respect his advice but I am sticking to JLA's system here. I prefer to pay attention to details and do whatever is needed to get the optimum results. After all, perfection has a rather narrow spread.
Maybe he likes a pipe wrench and I like a full featured scan tool
 

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i know what you mean. i have tried to explain the ladder test to many i know and actually i know that none of them have used it. they are just not patient or make the time for it. most of them also dont believe in any kind of barrel break in procedure.
 

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I start out with .5 grain increments usually, then when I find a goop shooting, I might then tweek it using .2 increments. I also use three to five round shot groups (usually three).
 

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This boils down to shooters preference. Hunters looking for a minute of deer accuracy are satisfied provided the rifle they use produces a repeatable, ethical shot on their game. Some of us like to see a five shot group under 1moa - we go home with a smile. Then there are the gurus like JLA who possess the talent to reveal the true potential of a firearm. After reading and understanding the ladder test posted in the sticky's it is easy to see the value of the method.
 

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Ladder testing,,, which I call a load development is the best way to go. Some guys (especially a 50 year veteran shooter) are set in their ways and even though they see things one way they still shoot great and have successful hunts, at least some of them anyway. The thing is though, ladder tests are no good if you don't have a good solid bench rest to zero off of and, if the shooter minimizes error to a good degree.
 

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Any so called accuracy test is fine provided the tester uses the same procedure repeatedly. The end desired result is the tightest possible groups and the sights being adjusted to shoot at the desired point of aim, and those results being able to be repeated every time.
What I find more important for my hunting rifles is the poi of that first shot fired on a cold morning. After i work up what i determine to be my most accurate load, and sight my rifle in accordingly, my procedure is to store my rifle out in the cold, (i'm fortunate enough to be in the country where i can do so) overnight, to simulate as much as possible, hunting camp conditions, step out to my "backyard" range and fire one shot from a hunters firing position. I've set a 4x4 post to simulate using a small tree for support, or i might fire from a kneeling or sitting position. Any position that will simulate actual hunting conditions. The result I'm looking for is exact first shot bullet placement matching my point of aim, that would be necessary for a one shot kill.
 

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My son and I are new to reloading but this test makes sense to me. I am 63 and old guys can still learn new tricks.
 

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I was talking with a retired friend yesterday and the subject of ladder test came up. He knew nothing of it so I explained the best I could. When I mentioned the .2 grain increments he went off saying that is being too picky. I should instead go for 1 grain increments and spend less time letting barrel cool down. He has been hunting and shooting for more than 50 years and I normally respect his advice but I am sticking to JLA's system here. I prefer to pay attention to details and do whatever is needed to get the optimum results. After all, perfection has a rather narrow spread.
Maybe he likes a pipe wrench and I like a full featured scan tool
That's just simply 2 different schools of thought Todd.

His idea of fine accuracy is hitting a 16"X16" kill zone of a whitetail deer at 100 yds.

Mine is simply hitting the same bullet hole again and again at the same distance.

It takes 2 different kinds of tools to do the jobs and 2 different methods to optimize those tools.
 

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I start out with .5 grain increments usually, then when I find a goop shooting, I might then tweek it using .2 increments. I also use three to five round shot groups (usually three).
same here. .5gr and when I find the one that goups best. I try it up and down on the next test.
 

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I did it when I was target shooting but for hunting its not worth the effort. The less time I spend shooting at a piece of paper the better I like it.
 

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I did it when I was target shooting but for hunting its not worth the effort. The less time I spend shooting at a piece of paper the better I like it.
I don't go hunting any more so I live for killing paper!! I love little bitty three shot groups.
 

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I love itty bitty 10 shot strings.
 

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Yep, that's even better, I just can't seem to do them, so I am happy with three!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
normally I would agree with hitting a 16x16 area being good enough but I like knowing my rifle/load can hit a .7" (or better) spot in case the need arises. "he's standing behind a tree but I can see his heart" or "there's 3 of them standing together crowded". While I seriously doubt I would go for a head shot, I like to know it's always and option.

you either have options or an empty freezer
 

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I personally favor the high neck shot. Course with a SUB MOA rifle its not hard inside of 300 yds on even a small deer. Neckshots are not only very humaine because it almost always completely severs the spinal cord, but the animal almost always bleeds completely out saving you the hassle of stringing it up and waiting for it to bleed thru a slit in its neck you made with your knife.
 

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Any so called accuracy test is fine provided the tester uses the same procedure repeatedly. The end desired result is the tightest possible groups and the sights being adjusted to shoot at the desired point of aim, and those results being able to be repeated every time.
What I find more important for my hunting rifles is the poi of that first shot fired on a cold morning. After i work up what i determine to be my most accurate load, and sight my rifle in accordingly, my procedure is to store my rifle out in the cold, (i'm fortunate enough to be in the country where i can do so) overnight, to simulate as much as possible, hunting camp conditions, step out to my "backyard" range and fire one shot from a hunters firing position. I've set a 4x4 post to simulate using a small tree for support, or i might fire from a kneeling or sitting position. Any position that will simulate actual hunting conditions. The result I'm looking for is exact first shot bullet placement matching my point of aim, that would be necessary for a one shot kill.
now THATS how to set up a hunting rifle for real world use!
 
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