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Thread: .30-06 208 amax rl22 and rl17

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Eagle River

    Default .30-06 208 amax rl22 and rl17

    Hey Guys,
    I had some work done on my rifle so I did a ladder test yesterday to rework my load development. At least to get a starting point to do my OCW testing. 217 yards was the furthest I could shoot yesterday. I would have liked to be out at 300 yards but I'll take what I can get.
    Here are the results:
    RL 22 cci 200 new lapua brass 208 amax .02" off the lands
    217 yards
    56.0gr 2673 fps
    56.5gr 2671 fps
    57.0gr 2709 fps
    57.5gr 2703 fps
    58.0gr 2743 fps
    58.5gr 2757 fps
    59.0gr 2780 fps
    59.5gr 2803 fps
    60.0gr 2832 fps Ejector Mark on case, very slightly stiff bolt

    RL 17 cci 200 new lapua brass 208 amax .02" off the lands
    217 yards
    51.0gr 2688 fps
    51.5gr 2697 fps (Not sure what happened, shooter error??)
    52.0gr 2727 fps
    52.5gr 2729 fps
    53.0gr 2743 fps
    53.5gr 2787 fps EJ Mark on Case.

    The only thing I forgot to do was run the boresnake after shooting my RL 22 loads before testing the RL 17. I've heard that powder residue from different powders can affect accuracy. I'm going to redo the RL 17 after running the snake through it. Has anyone else had that experience? Or should different powder residue in the tube not make a difference??

    I'm thinking about fine tuning with the RL 22 at 57.0gr-58.5gr load and I'll find something after I redo the ladder with the RL 17.

    I just got my approval for my suppressor. Should I do the load development with the can on or off??

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2


    My question is what do you mean by ladder testing? When I first used the term, I was talking about working up incrementally in powder charges when it meant something different.

    Here's an article on it, and here is a definition...

    Ladder Test Defined
    What is a ladder test? A ladder test is, fundamentally, a method of testing a load combination using continuous increments while looking for a cluster of consecutive shots showing similar points of impact (POI). Usually the powder charge is adjusted incrementally while noting/tracking the point of impact variations in the vertical plane, and looking for plateaus on the target. The idea being that your best load will appear where several sequential, incremental charges impact in nearly the same place on the target. Basically you are trying to visualize a "sweet-spot" in the barrel harmonics by using the bullets impact on a target.

    Ladder testing really can't be accomplished effectively at short ranges - less than 500 yds because the purpose is to test the load consistancy in verticle dispersion - the biggest factor in this being consistancy in velocity, i,e,. ES and SD. The idea is to shoot 3 or more rounds at each powder increment to look for vertical consistancy with that charge and seatin depth.

    One round on target at each charge increment isn't going to tell you anything, and how accurate is your chrony??? and how do you know how accurate it is???

    If you're going by ejector/extractor marks only for max pressure signs you can be easily thrown off. I've seen ejector or extractor marks on occasion with a single round and then fired two or three more powder increments before I saw more pressure signs. I'm not going to tell you, that you didn't see pressure signs - that's your call. I tend to get a feel for my rifle and what it's pressure signs are. With my rifles, bolt lift and primers are what I look at most as they are much more consistant than ejector marks.

    If you wanna play the game, you're gonna hafta shoot a lot of boolits.

    I see yer using using CCI primers... they'r about the only primers I can come by now and then, but I did pick up some Fed 210's a while back

    Happy hunting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Eagle River


    The ladder was just a starting point for me mostly to find the max for my rifle. I acheived a slightly sticky bolt at 60.0gr. All in all that was the purpose for my testing. I don't use EJ marks exclusively for pressure. sticky bolt lift is where I draw the line and back down from there.

    Today I did more testing at .3gr increments with the can on.

    I did the test with the can on, as that's how I'm primarily going to shoot.
    Test was a little difficult by the 3rd round robin, groups started to open up. The mirage was getting heavy and the guy next to me was shooting a crazy old gatling gun!

    I didn't mind, but it made it just a little more difficult to concentrate.
    Just about all the shots off the group are from the 3rd round.

    Barrel was getting pretty warm by now. Needed to finish up to get home to the kids...I know, I know, bad form and I didn't do myself any favors but none the less here's the report:

    Here's the velocity report with the can on:





    2783 called flyer



    err reading sl sticky bolt

    Any input would be great. I'm not sure how exactly to interpret this. but I'm thinking that the ocw might be somewhere around 57.3-57.6 gr?? Any thoughts would
    be helpful.

  4. #4
    Member marshall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Near Phoenix, AZ


    Interesting that virtually every load got progressively faster within each load sample?

    If this is still at 207 yards you are either a good shooter or you have a great rifle. Personally, assuming your hold was good, I like 57.0 and 57.3 the best. Load 57.2 to cover the +/- .1gr measure error on future loads.

    Now load up a bunch of 57.2 loads and vary the seating depths from .010 off to .110 off in .020 increments and you will find a winner in the group. Take that winner and repeat it along with two loads +/- .010 on each side. That should put this baby to bed.

    Once you find the optimum seating depth you can use it with other powders to find a hot rod if that's your game.


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