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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We can say right from the start, this is not a method that will be practical for many because it involves numerous trips to the range before final results and trends can be seen. Most of us that reload are familiar with ladder tests, i.e. starting with a charge and increasing subsequent loads by some incremental amount to help determine which load shoots the most accurately in a given rifle. These types of tests consist of shooting 3 to 5 shots per charge and are performed in one range session.

What I want to do is shoot a 4x3 ladder, i.e. 4 charges, 3 shots per charge. If you've read some of my threads you might be thinking that I've stated numerous times that 3-5 shots just aren't a large enough sample to be reliable predictors of what we could expect from a given load. And I still hold to that BUT, this will be a series of trials, 7 or 8, I haven't decided which yet. Each trial will be the same charges and ladders. The purpose is to establish repeatability for each charge. over time I would normally shoot 20 rounds per charge, but this will let me see what happens over a period of time. I'll shoot a set, record the results and graph the accuracy of each charge. I've already shot two sets and I thought it would be good to show how the graph looks thus far, So here's an accuracy graph with two sets plotted. BTW, notice the the blue plot has 5 charges. I wanted to see what the 23.7 gr charge would look like and it seemed a bit hotter than I wanted, so I eliminated it from future sets, as evident in the orange plot. Remember this is just the first two sets of 7 or 8 sets. I will add sets as I shoot them.

The left, vertical axis is accuracy in MOA and the horizontal accuracy is charge weight in grains.

Update: now 4 sets

And I've changed the chart type again - kind of a work-in-progress. It became clear the balls may more distracting than helpful so I changed the balls to small dots. The problem remains that some dots within a charge lie over a dot which makes it appear a dot short, but it's just that dots get hidden.

I've also added red average bars. These bars show what the average accuracy is for all sets in the charge. Essentially, the charge with the lowest bar has the lowest charge/group accuracy.
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Update: 5 set results:
This time I decided to leave the previous results, 4 sets, and just add the 5 set results. That will allow us to see what changed and by how much.

I also made the 5 set dots bigger so they would easy to distinguish from the previous sets. It looks like a winner is clearly emerging - the 23.5 gr load.

I added some high/low numbers for the 22.9 and 23.5 loads to identify the accuracy ranges.



The weather prediction for tomorrow is not looking good, so I may not get to shoot the 6th set tomorrow. Just have to wait and see when the weather rolls in.

The 6th and last set:
Well the weather they expected didn't show up. At least not yet anyway - it's beautiful, sunny, and hot! So I shot the 6th set.

Because of the consistency and repeatability over 6 days of tests, I've decided to call it done.

The results were very consistent from day one. Below is a graph of the accuracy of for all 6 sets. Today's set is identified with the large dots. The average accuracies are indicated by the red diamonds, The charges with the lowest average is likely the charge to go with although there are 3 I could choose.

However, one of the charges, 22.7 gr was only shot 3 times so the results for that charge may not be truly indicative. I'm debating whether to shoot the charge 3 more times to finish it out.

One thing I really like is that essentially the next to lowest charge, 22.9 gr, and the highest charge, 23.5 gr, for all practical purposes, are the same accuracy. They would be even closer if I hadn't got that one great group of 0.14 MOA with the 23.5 charge.

That's good, because I can use the lower charge for most applications and if I need more muzzle velocity/energy I can go to the 23.5 gr charge.



I've got a lot more analyzing to discuss, but I've already run past my bedtime for the day.

This approach should let us see how a gun/load performs over time rather than in a one-day session. It should be interesting to follow and revealing. This will take some time. Even if I could shoot one set every day, I have 5-6 days before all the shots are fired. Throw in a couple of rainy days and/or days I just can't make it to the range and we can see how 5-6 days could turn into a couple of weeks or so.

But, what I hope we will see is the consistency of each charge and hopefully one charge will have a dip, indicating better accuracy. Or will they all be just about the same? If the latter case is true it means all the charges are essentially equally accurate and consistent.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Thought I'd add a couple of pics to show what individual sessions look like. The notes on the targets give the details so I won't repeat them, but will point out that they're all the same loads, just the date shot and type of target is different..

In this first one, these are all good groups, but notice especially the lower right dot!



Again, these are all good groups, but notice the upper left dot!



With three groups in place so far, the consistency is looking good! If it will just continue looking good for 4 more sets!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Fourth set added in OP.

And this is today's (7/28/2020) target - dots are 1 inch.

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Do you shoot them in the same order each session?
Sorry to be so slow, but right after I posted the update, it was my bedtime. Gotta babysit my brother-in-law all night.

To answer your question, yes, I shoot them in the same order every time.

Well almost. The lowest charge looked pretty good so I wanted to see what would happen if I lowered the charge two tenths grain more. So I added a 22.7 gr charge.to today's set

I was hoping that it wouldn't look that good, but it did look good! So for the next three sets I'll include that charge too.
 

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On the same day of the week at the same time as the previous week while wearing the same shoes and using the exact same shooting platform. What about humidity?? Temperature?? Wind speed and direction?? You know the sun moves throughout the year thus more or less heat will be radiating of the ground......lol anyways good luck in your endeavors. Just how much coffee are you drinking from shooting session to session???
 

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As for as the coffee, according to the latest studies, you have to drink a minimum of 4 cups per day to get the full protective benefits. I probably push that a little bit. You think that's why my groups are so big? 😷
 
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As for as the coffee, according to the latest studies, you have to drink a minimum of 4 cups per day to get the full protective benefits. I probably push that a little bit. You think that's why my groups are so big? 😷
I say if you're not drinking at least one pot a day why bother.
 
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Today's 5 set results have been added in the OP and here's the target for today (7/29/2020):

And now it's my bedtime until 10:00 tonight. 😖

 

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Today's 6 set results have been added in the OP and here's the target for today (7/30/2020). This just may be one of the best set I've ever shot!

There may be more to it than just the gun and the loads though. Through most of this test, I used a very light trigger hand. In fact, I pulled the trigger with my index finger and the web of my thumb. The tips of the other fingers were barely touching the front of the pistol grip. The gun was rock steady as I pulled the trigger. Of the 90 shots involved in the test, I can only remember two that I could claim I might have pulled ever so slightly. The rest were as clean as it gets.



And now it's my bedtime until 10:00 tonight. 😖
 
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