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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious to know if anyone else uses this load development method? I discovered it 2-3 months ago and to date I have successfully used this method in my development of three (3) custom cartridge loads. (One .45-70 Govt, and two .308 Win)

For me, I have modified the 10-Round ladder test to a 20-Round ladder test for two reasons: (a) I am not confident that I’m testing the appropriate range of powder loads in order to find the best charge, and (2) I believe a bigger data test sample would help me identify a chart trend more easily.

Compared to my old ‘hit & miss’ method, I can now find an ideal charge load within 40-60 rounds and a couple of weeks time. (In the past it could take me hundreds of rounds and on average two months time.)

The difference between 40 - 60 rounds depends on ‘accuracy’. If I find the smallest StDev, but the shot pattern accuracy is mediocre (at best), I will perform a 3rd round ladder test changing only the ‘seating depth’ of the bullet. What I’m looking for is the area (range) where the cartridge gives me the most accuracy (smallest shot pattern spread). That, then becomes my new custom cartridge load for that rifle (with the bullet being tested).

If I’m unsure of the best bullet to use, I can find the powder charge with the smallest StdDev and then test the bullets (under consideration) to see which produces the smallest pattern spread while also maintaining a small StdDev. That would take more that 60-Rounds, but significantly less than it has in the past.

Look forward to hearing what others have to say, and/or their experience using the Satterlee Load Development Method.
 

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The Ole Gun Crank
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If I am doing a 10round test I have found that 200yrd. works better for groups, than 300yrd. I tend to shoot better at 200 than 300.
once I find a couple nodes that look promising I load 5 rounds each 1/2 a grain up and 1/2 down and shoot for groups. That might be as many as 30 rounds depending how many shots are in the 10 round cluster. I look at Velocity, and deviation, always checking for pressure signs.
sometimes I will change primers or seating depth to see what effect it has on the loads.
I do not see what a 20 round test will tell that a 10 round can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
If I am doing a 10round test I have found that 200yrd. works better for groups, than 300yrd. I tend to shoot better at 200 than 300.
once I find a couple nodes that look promising I load 5 rounds each 1/2 a grain up and 1/2 down and shoot for groups. That might be as many as 30 rounds depending how many shots are in the 10 round cluster. I look at Velocity, and deviation, always checking for pressure signs.
sometimes I will change primers or seating depth to see what effect it has on the loads.
I do not see what a 20 round test will tell that a 10 round can do.
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Being fairly new to custom load development, I do not have confidence in my ability to select a 10-Round test range that would cover the necessary ladder of charges required to find the best charge load range. That is why I use 15-20 rounds, but mostly 20. (I do check for pressure signs after every test shot. And stop if the pressure indications begins to build. I am not looking to create ‘hot’ loads. Just looking for greatest accuracy.)

My first 20-Round test ladder group - 2 grain increments - is just to find the optimal test node (range). The second 20-Round group is to identify the 4-5 most promising charges and create 4-5 rounds of each to shoot for (spread) Accuracy and StdDev.

If a 3rd round is needed, that would be to test Seating Depth to identify the most accurate shooting Ogive node. Again this is usually 4-5 rounds for each seating depth being tested, and 5-10 increments tested in 0.002” increments.

I have not yet begun testing different primers to see if they might further improve Accuracy / StdDev. But I have begun to think about that.

BTW: I currently do not have access to a 200 or 300 yard range here in the NE. I zero my rifles for 120 yards. I hope to shoot at a 200 yard range in the near future in order to test my scope settings out to 200. (There are not too many 200+ yard ranges in MA. A 600 yard range is the longest in the state, but it is not open to the public. You have to be a member, or shoot in their competitions. Most hunting shots are 100 or less yards and it’s a shotgun and/or muzzleloader state.)

Thank you for your comments. I will try to include some of your ideas in my future load development. Best Regards!
 

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The Ole Gun Crank
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at a 100yrs. Its hard to distinguish between the nodes because the spread of the bullet holes on the target will be so close together.
I plot all my shots on a grid target . I number each shot 1-10.
I also record each Velocity spread and deviation on the same sheet..
With a short range you might be better of using a method that Dan Newberry developed a few year ago. I use a variation of this sometimes i also use a white target its easier to see the holes.
http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/ocw-instructions/4529817134
20200815_110139.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
at a 100yrs. Its hard to distinguish between the nodes because the spread of the bullet holes on the target will be so close together.
I plot all my shots on a grid target . I number each shot 1-10.
I also record each Velocity spread and deviation on the same sheet..
With a short range you might be better of using a method that Dan Newberry developed a few year ago. I use a variation of this sometimes i also use a white target its easier to see the holes.
http://optimalchargeweight.embarqspace.com/ocw-instructions/4529817134
View attachment 236524
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Thanks again for your comments and suggestions. I have found “ Dan Newberry’s Optimal Charge Weight Load Development” method and will certainly give it a thorough read and consideration.
https://www.twincityrodandgun.com/docs/Dan Newberry - OCW.pdf
 

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