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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've read probably a half dozen Ladder Test suggestions and watched a few videos. So, I can open a Long Range Shooting School, right!? I was wondering if someone had some pointers.

1. "Jam" just doesn't jive with a lot of what I understand with pressure issues. Am I reading this wrong?
2. What distance should I really be shooting at? I have access to a 300yd range most any time but can get to a 700yd field at a buddy's place every quarter or so. I only ever hunt locally at 15-50yds. This exercise is for fun and skill development and should I get to go out West again. Can I start at 300yds and refine at 700yds or is this a waste of time and components?
3. Good weather? Average weather? Weather I might expect to hunt at distance? I don't want to wait until winter, as I have time now, sort of.
4. Is this all really necessary? I shot an Antelope at 235yds in high wind around 45degrees with just a little bit of load development. I would hope to be within the 300yd range regardless of what I am hunting.

http://coyotestuff.com/articles/rapid-load-development-strategy/

https://sierrabulletsblog.com/2014/07/03/long-range-load-development/

http://coyotestuff.com/articles/ildm-load-testing-aka-ladder-test/

 

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Starting with bullets jammed and working up as normal watching your chrono as you go is no different than starting off the lands and working up. You will not have issues and you won't blow your gun up.

If you have a load that shoots great .050" off and it's an upper end load and you decide I'll try it jammed .020" without working up you will have issues.


None of my long range loads are jammed though.


I start at 100yds and find a repeatable load for accuracy, typically 5-5 shot groups. I use slow powders and compressed loads because this has given me smaller spreads and great consistency on target and across the chrono. I then go to 300yds, 400yds, 600yds and 800yds. 600yds and 800yds are rounds on steel because I'm not good enough with the wind to consistently shoot groups that far.


My main loads for 600yds and in:

223 Rem
68gr Hornady BTHP Match
23.5grs H4895
LC Brass
CCI400

243 Win- This one is a real hammer from the 243 Win
105 Hornady BTHP Match
46.2grs H1000
WW Brass
CCI250

30/06

168gr Nosler CC
45grs H4895 or 62grs H4831
RP Brass
CCI200

7wsm

162 Amax
64grs H4831
WW Brass
CCI250


The 223 and 243 make up about 95% of my 600yds and in. The 243 and the 7wsm are my picks for anything further.


I know there are other ways and I'm sure there are better ways but that is the system that's worked for me. Sleek bullets make hits much easier, Scenar, HPBT Match, etc because the wind is the devil. I shoot anytime I can in all weather. I would start on nice days and once I got the hang of it go whenever you can. The hardest wind I've shot it was about 15mph at my back, I was very inconsistent.


I dial for distance and hold for wind. I should dial for wind but I don't.
 

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Im not a fan of jammed bullets, it can jack up pressures, not an issue if you start low and work up but I did have one instance where starting loads were showing excessive pressure. My more major concern in a hunting situation is the possibility of a jammed bullet staying in the lands if chambered and ejected without firing. Unless you are carrying a cleaning rod with you it is hunt over.

Im not a long range hunter but do play around on steel out to 800. All my initial development is at 100 once I have a consistent load I will then check it at longer range.
 

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You don't mention the caliber you are reloading for, nor how seriously you intend to pursue this project. Will this be for hunting, target, or for fun?

At the risk of telling you what you already know, and for any newer shooters, I offer the following.

A load that shoots well at 100 yards can be expected to group at twice that size at 200 yards--plus a little, due to the variance of wind, mirage, etc. And then 3x at 300, 4x at 400, etc.

Target shooters at longer distances choose bullets with higher ballistic coefficients. These are longer, heavier, boat tail bullets which require a faster spin through the rifling to stabilize them. This may be limiting factor for your rifle. These are often referred to as VLD-Very Low Drag-bullets and they are less affected by wind drift. Flat base bullets will usually shoot accurately up to 400 yards, and the VLD bullets are chosen beyond 400 yards. Some shooters suggest that the VLD bullets do not fully stabilize until they have flown at least 200 yards, where they finally "go to sleep". You may find that VLD bullets do not shoot as accurately as flat base bullets within 200-250 yards. And the VLD bullets are more expensive.

However, the VLD bullets are not well suited for hunting, due to their tiny hollow point cavity. Expansion, if any, is unpredictable, making them unsuitable for anything but the smaller varmints. They act like fully jacketed bullets when they hit.

If you want these for hunting, I would suggest you pick a heavier spitzer type hunting bullet and do your load and accuracy testing with that. For instance, with my 7x57, I shoot either Nosler Partitions or Speer Grand Slams, both at 160 gr. I have not been satisfied with the accuracy of 175 gr bullets though my barrel.

After that, you need a good laser range finder, and either a wind gauge, and/or a lot of practice reading the wind. Then you will need to carry a detailed ballistic table. It doesn't take much of an estimated range error to cause a bad shot at long distance, resulting in a wounded animal.

On the other hand, if you're just punching paper, or ringing steel, you can be sure of your range for every shot. Shoot whatever bullets you wish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. Considering the 225gr .358 Partition
 

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Thanks Bryan Alder for that link. Great information on this thread on this topic. The OCW makes sense to me, and as he stated ken Waters pet loads are usually right on the money, no matter what caliber I have used the loads for, from pistols to rifles. no matter what loading book I use I always go back and check against waters pet loads. harmonics, stretch, contractions of steel under that kind of strain is severe and happens so fast there is no way to visually see it.

when I used to drill oil wells and we used 4" or 6" steel pipe I was always amazed at how flexible steel pipe is under strain and pressure. I also saw some coming out the stack like spagettii as i was running by the mesquite trees..................

good thread
 

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Not a 'long range' shooter, just realistic big game ranges. (for me) I like to refer folks to the below website as this outfit has done extensive study on the expansion, penetration, weight retention etc. of all our popular calibers, bullet weights/brands on various game at the various impact velocities which is really critical as we all know.

https://www.ballisticstudies.com/

PS. click on 'Knowledgebase' and find your caliber ............really good stuff.

John
 
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