Varmint Hunters Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I'm going to try the ladder test is search of the optimum powder for a 204 Ruger. I'm using a 32 grain VMAX and possibly 5 different powders, depending on if I hit a "sweet spot" right away.

Question is, what step in charge weight should I use for this case? For example, they list 26 start to 28 max grains of Benchmark. Should I increase by like 3 or 4 tenths of a grain, or 5 or 6? Seems like 2 tenths is too small of an increase where 5 is a little much. Is there a specific rule to use?

Thanks for your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
increments

Norm, I usually take the recommended max load and subtract the minimum load I want to test and then divide by the number of steps. 20 cartridges with 1 shot per load and 2 grains difference leaves you with a .1 grain increment. If you are shooting 3 shots then use .3 grains and use the extra 2 loads to foul the barrel at the load you are most interested in.

I've found .5 to be too coarse in my .243 and .2 or .3 to about right. Bigger cases can use coarser load variations. Smaller cases need finer variations.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,066 Posts
From your avatar (SP?)

It looks like you are mingling with some savvy shooters and are probably one yourself. Even though you didn't mention a couple of items, will assume you've read and assimilated enough to use at least 200 yds and 300 if available to you. Also wind flags as something head/tail on or quartering will really affect vertical impact point. ;)

Some don't put that much stock in the Audette Method, but I surely like it and think it can reveal a lot.

Someone last summer, I think, posted a series of shots and asked for interpretations. I immediately thought it was a no brainer with a nice node at the top of the page, all the while ignoring another node more centrally located. It seems the general consensus was the top node was at the extreme arc of the bbl whip and would not be the candidate to pursue:eek: So there is a learning curve on interpretation. No one flamed anyone, but it was a lesson for me.

I for one would like to see your results (pics) and your interpretations. When is this going down? Keep us/me posted if you will Norm.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Taj45

Thanks for the reply and yes, I plan on shooting 200 yards and keeping the wind and other things in mind. Depending on the weather, I hope to shoot some string the weekend of Jan 20th and will post the results when I get them compiled.

I have tried this method once before and it seemed like I ended up with a bowl of oatmeal but I only shot 100 yards and had too much of a step in my powder charge increments. So, I'm goona give it a try again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,066 Posts
Sounds like you have a plan to work

Sooooo, work your plan:D :D Will be waiting to see what you come up with.

What cal/chambering are you working with?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
Avoid powder measures when "doing a ladder"...

I agree w/ others here, just to add...I used to use my Harrell powder measure to "click" incremental charges, based on a weight/click table. NO MORE!!

I like to use 1% increments - based on dozens of 'ladder tests' - and when the increments are down in the .1 and .2 grain range, I found powder measures (including the Harrell) to have as much as .5+ gn extreme spread. :eek: When "shooting a ladder" .1 or .2 or even .3 gn increments, +/- .5 grains is out to lunch!!:mad:

Bottom line: The Audette Ladder test is a bit (as Allan Weldy says) too abstract for some to feel comfortable with. The results have to be viewed on a wholistic perspective in order to "see" the story the ladder tells. There is some art and certainly room for ambiguity in the interpritations. But, once you've done a few, they user begings to "touch bottom" and the method begins to come into it's own.

Thanks to DAA, I think it is a very useful tool, if only to narrow down "the best" as the basis for further more conventional development testing. ONe last thing...Not to beat a dead horse, but being able to measure weights down to .02 gn (DI MXX-123 fm James Phillips) when building a ladder test has significantly reduced the ambiguity in the ladder results!;)

P.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
Who ya gonna get to do the shootin' ?:D :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
hehehehe...........

Who ya gonna get to do the shootin' ?:D :D
You, ya smart 4$$~!

I just hope I got that "machine" put together right! Maybe I should tie a string around the trigger and pull it from around the corner!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
More Audette

Norm, as Paul and DAA have mentioned, accurately weighed charges are the key to valid Audette results---especially if you use smaller increments of powder charge.

If your powder measure throws +/- .2 gr and you want to use a .3 gr charge increment, the charge weights can overlap.

Unfortunately, I lack the patience to weigh charges and my Audette success is mixed. I compensate for this by bending the rules slightly to allow multiple shots at any given charge weight if I need more than one look at the particular result.

Another problem for me has been the inability to positively identify each bullet hole------have also gotten lucky and been able to easily identify each hole.

I've tried (once) to use multiple aiming points, centered vertically on a horizontal line-----a bullet hole for each aiming point. This requires a little measuring and works well but is a bit more work. Multiple shots per charge weight work well here.

As others have pointed out, a major Audette benefit is that it quickly identifies loads that won't work-----beats wasting a lot of ammo and bore wear on a losing effort.

If you expect the answers to always be obvious, Audette might not be for you. However, if you're willing to hang in there through early confusion, Audette is a very useful tool.

Let us know how it goes for you.

A. Weldy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Lucky Shooter

I'll be using a digital scale and do my fussy best in loading. The only other time I tried the Ladder I may not have understood how to read the results I got. I sort of looked at it like "Okay, a bunch of holes, now what??"
This time I will scan the targets and post them for you guys that know what to look for to give input. I will also be plotting the velocities too.
It's going to depend on the weather, we've had spring like weather since October but I guess it's to fall apart starting today. We have snow flurries as I am typing this. Though, some say back into the 50's by the weekend, then of course, there's the wind.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,066 Posts
Just one thing to consider Norm. When going the Audette route, I have the same target on the bench next to me and plot ea shot with its number which of course corresponds to the round/powder/charge. It really starts to run together after 10-15 rounds. I try to make note of even the simplest info, cause the stuff "I surely wouldn't forget" usually bites my buns.

Using a target with enough "landmarks" will of course help you to more precisely plot ea shot. Also can note if possibly forgot to position forearm against stop, wind, hiccup etc. <G> My Savage has a rounded forend and the trigger is in the pounds and not ounces so occasionally I will notice my inducing a roll during delivery, so I note it. FWIW.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
440 Posts
Don't get "locked" into the v-max bullet as the only one you try. My Cooper
.204 likes 27.3 grs of Benchmark, with a 32 gr Sierra blitzking. The same load and a 32 gr v-max is not impressive. Mine consistently shoots .2 and .3's with the Sierra. I think I've found my load.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top