View Full Version : Ladder Load Developement

07-22-2005, 08:52 AM
Has anyone here tried the "Ladder" loading technique for cast boolits? In case your not familiar with this, check out this link


I'm planning to do this with a new 375 H&H I'm building using jacketed bullets. I was thinking maybe I could try it with my 30'06 cast first. According to the users of this method, the longer the range, the better. Since my cast loads will be going 1,500 to 2,100 fps, I thought I may try it at 100 yards first.

07-22-2005, 09:15 AM
Interesting, however I will be interested in the comments of others on this ladder method. 1Shirt

mike in co
07-22-2005, 09:26 AM
i think it is a great way to narrow in quickly on a band that has potential. ....but it needs some help from the user. the operator need to be consistant. this is easier to do with a scoped gun than with open iron sights.
a spoting scope capable of picking out individual shots at 200yds( the perfered distance, though 100 will do). steps should be based on case volume. .3 for 223 size, .4/.5 for 308 win, .5/.6 for '06...the bigger the case the bigger the step.
you may find more than one "group" on the target, and you need to decide which to chase. if for hunting, velocity must be part of the results, taget shooters are not quite as concerend. having said all this, cases seem to work well at close to full loads( of the appropriate powder with condum bullets)...

in cast bullets shooting i am really shooting in the dark.....so i start some where around 50 percent with rifle powders...(i have not tried pistol powders in cast as of yet). i look for low pressure, and medium velocity...if a scoped gun i do steps, but in iron sites..its 3-7 shot groups....

07-22-2005, 11:41 AM
This method is discussed in one of the NRA highpower rifle shooting manuals. I have given it a try, but have found that I just really do not have the attention span to do rigorous testing.

07-22-2005, 01:15 PM
Mike, please list which boolits shot and did not in your 17 twist 308 gun. The boolit length of each would be appreciated also. TIA ... felix

07-22-2005, 01:32 PM
Thanks for the link .
I had never heard of that method of load develment.

I may try it .


07-22-2005, 02:31 PM
Here's a link to the original Ladder info;


It's a little complex and discusses harmonics and such.

07-22-2005, 02:48 PM
I've used the ladder method. The reference link showed a 100 yd target with the expected poor dispersion. Use a good bench and rest! At cast bullet velocities 200 yds worked for me but in the discussions I've read (can't recall the links, can I recall the distance?) used 300 yds minimum with condoms. Other things being equal greater distance will demonstrate what the ladder method intends to show, i.e. increased dispersion will let the significant groups stand out.

mike in co
07-22-2005, 06:31 PM
Mike, please list which boolits shot and did not in your 17 twist 308 gun. The boolit length of each would be appreciated also. TIA ... felix

how did you sneak that in there.....
felix..i have only shot two bullets in the 308/17 twist...the bib 135 10 ogive and the speer 125 tnt. used the tnt for break in.....and the hand made bib's for anything else. i never worked on a group for the tnt, but have been told it works well when weight sorted.
i have berger 125's and 135's but have not shot them in this gun.
i shoot 168 in a 1/14 twist( out to 600 yds), sold the 1/13 that worked so well in winny mucka with 170 cb's.
i sold most of my molds last yr....( i wanted to try the 135 plain base cb)
the bib is 1.11 and the tnt is .940
not sure what i will do next with this.....it is an ar-10 with a br chamber, single feed, very lite trigger, luepold 36x br scope.
very small groups as is, but would like more of the 1's(0.1xx)
only 200 rounds thru it as of now
this is all at 2850-3000 fps with the 135's
getting ready to try some 165 sillywets in the 1/14...

07-22-2005, 09:13 PM
Thanks, Mike. ... felix

Ken O
07-22-2005, 09:46 PM
The ladder method is used a lot by high power long range shooters to work up their load, I believe Dr. Randoph Constatine came up with it.
There is another way to do this if you have a chrony, just load up one round each in .1 to .2 incurments, then chrony them. Make a chart and you will see that as you go up in powder the velocity climbs pretty quick, then levels off for a few tenths, then climbs quickly again. Right in the middle of the level area is the "sweet spot" for that particular barrel. You can load up a few rounds in each tenth in the level area and see which has the best SD and go with that. I work up my mid range loads (600 yards) this way, I dont shoot long range (1000 yards) yet. You want to get the SD less than 10 fps.
Its a good way of finding the sweet spot without burning up a barrel by shooting groups of five in tenth incurments. This is what I do for high power competions, but should work with CB also.