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Short Range Load Development
Discussion regarding the reloading of ammunition and tuning of loads for accuracy
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hunterjoe21
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:47 pm    Post subject: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

Apologies in advance for typos...I'm posting from my phone.

I can safely shoot 50 yds at home. Has anyone tried developing loads @ a shorter range with the intent to eventually stretch said loads too 100, 200, and 300 yds?

I guess the real question should be...can I gather enough data shooting @ 50 yds to determine whether a given load is worth loading and shootinv @ longer ranges?

Thank you in advance for any insight.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

well if I can get into 50 yards of an animal I will take shots that I wouldnt from further back...yes the data is relevant. a lot of guys sight in hunting rifle at 25 yards as this is GENERALLY very close to where bullet will first cross line of sight and if its approx 3000fps and 1 1/2" between scope and bore it SHOULD be close to 3"high at 100. so yes very relevant.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:44 am    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

Elevation isn't a problem, it's easy enough to sight your rifle in at whatever height above the target centre you like. Where things start to get a bit out of whack is with windage.

If you have a smallish windage problem it won't necessarily show at 50 yards, but it can be quite some way off at 100 yards. Only way I can see to check for this problem is by having another target back a ways behind your first target. a witness target if you like, for confirmation of fall of shot. If you have a windage problem it should become evident on the second target. Of course this may mean moving your first target a little closer than 50 yards, but the Trajectory Data on PB should tell you exactly where you need to be.

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 4:48 am    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

I sight some of my AR at 25 to 50 yards as that puts them on at 200 yards depending on the bullet. I often will shoot a grouping at 50 yards just to make sure my left-right is correct, especially on a windy day. You will still be able to see how well you groups are during load development just the groups are half the size that they are at 100 yards. I wish I had a personal 50 yards firing range.

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MacD
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:26 am    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

I normally sight at 20 yards and then go to 50, 100 and then 200. I like to think this allows me to start with coarse corrections at 20 and then progressively finer adjustments at the longer ranges. For example, an aproximately half inch correction on a 1/4" scope at 20 yards requires 10 clicks, versus 4 at 50, 2 at 100 and 1 at 200. Another way to look at this is that one click at 20 yards will only move POI about .05 ".

Vince mentioned windage issues and I agree. The other problem is rifle scope cant which only is noticed at longer ranges. If your rifle scope is canted then dialing up windage for longer ranges causes your POI to stray left or right depending on the direction of the cant. The worse the cant the greater the effect. Cant can most easily be seen at shorter ranges by levelling a target with a pronounced cross and then, with the rifle held plumb in a rest, standing back and looking through the scope and comparing the crosshairs to the cross on the target.. A better method is with a scope levelling device but the visual method is pretty accurate. Once the scope is adjusted, take aim and any cant caused by holding technique shows up as misalignment with the target.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:17 am    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

The distance to your target during load development is somewhat irrelevant on hunting loads out to about 300 yards !!!

Three points that you need to keep in mind during your assessment of the data.
As slim alluded to, group size will be cut in half. A 1 inch group will show up as a 1/2 inch group. A 1/2 inch group will show as a 1/4 inch group. So as you could imagine the initial thoughts may not represent the true standards by which most people judge by.
Secondly, Once you find the harmonic node the barrel likes, it will be harder to hone in on the the specific charge weight that falls in the center.(because of the tighter groups)
The last point point deals with bench technique and shooters ability. It's just easier to shoot good groups at shorter ranges. Be realistic about what you see. Once you find what you think works confirm it at longer distances.

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wiersy111
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 9:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

I always start out at 25 or 50 yards. I usually find the smallest group possible at the shorter distance and then go to longer ranges to fine tune the loads. I usually get very good results by doing this.

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:46 am    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

hmm maybe I should re word that....sighting in at 25 is good way to CHECK that rifle is CLOSE to where it should be.
but as others have said the group size is 1/4 of what it should be at 100.
another very relevant point is you can easy see with naked eye the big ragged hole in target at 25..where as if you walk 200 to target to check,then 200 back if you are carting around a beer belly you will need a breather before being steady enough to continue shooting, also 25 yards of level ground with a good safe back stop is a heck of a lot easier to find than 200.

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wiersy111
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:07 am    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

Elvis have you been watching me walk down range to check targets?

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

wtf Higher powered scopes and spotting scopes fix that problem.......no need for huff and puff !!!

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MacD
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

If you are hunting big game a sighting test at 25 yards is a good way to check if a scope has been knocked out of adjustment. I find 50 is good for load development as holding on the exact same aiming point is easy and groups are easier to measure through the scope than at longer distances. At least to me anyways. The need to extend this out to longer ranges depends on your need for accuracy at those ranges. It also lets you create a bullet drop table for that specific load. That bullets have a predictable trajectory is, after all, the underlying tenat of programs like Point Blank. So my answer to the original question from HunterJoe is, IMHO! 50 is a pretty reliable distance for load development for longer ranges.

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Dawgdad
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:43 am    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

If that is what you have it can be useful to weed out things that just don't work but you will still need to assess the performance at actual use distances.

IMHO - Doing a ladder or OCW test at less than 200 can be misleading. OCW really works best at 300.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Short Range Load Development Reply with quote

Dawgdad wrote:
IMHO - Doing a ladder or OCW test at less than 200 can be misleading. OCW really works best at 300.

Never thought about it like that before but it does make sense !!!
The sweet spot will probably be a lot easier to identify.

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