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What Ranges would you test for 50

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Post by Soupy44 Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:19 am

Jon's post about 4gr BE shooting that group with 200gr SWC blew my little mind a little. Even more so that 3.8gr was about the same.

I never really tested my loads when I started shooting. Figured I'd notice at some point that something was up.  This only bit me in the butt with my revolver, but that has been fixed. Not really seeing it with my 45s, but I'm running out of my initial wad and EIC loads.

I plan to use N310 for both, wad and EIC. I love the cleanliness, and I plan to have a load that's good for the NC span of temps of 40ish to 90s as I hear it's temperature sensitive. Our State Championships are in Oct and we often start the day in the 40s, but usually warm up nicely to at least the 50s if not 60s. And I have plenty on hand.

The bullets I have in mind:

Zero JHP (probably for EIC, but open to using in wad gun)
Zero SWCHP
Brazos 200gr SWC
Brazos 185gr SWC

I was going to do 4-4.9gr for all of it. I didn't really care about recoil at 50 until I heard of 3.5gr shooting well at 50. That sounds nice!

Anyways, I've read a lot of past posts and now I'm in info overload. Sorry for the long post, and I know I'm being a bit OCD about this. Just trying to be efficient with my components, mainly primers. 

Thanks for helping a panicked soul!

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Post by BE Mike Fri Jun 17, 2022 10:53 am

An accurate load I got from Dave Salyer many, many years ago was 4.5 grains of Alliant Bullseye with a Nosler 185 gr. JHP. I found it very accurate at 50 yards with any good accurized 1911. I don't see why that load wouldn't shoot just as good with your Zero 185 gr. JHP. A shooting buddy tried out that load, but with 4.6 grains of Bullseye and got a sub 1" ten shot group at 50 yards. He was using a Ransom Rest and a new Rock River wad gun. If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have believed it. My groups averaged about 2" at 50 yards.
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Post by Wobbley Fri Jun 17, 2022 11:49 am

IMO, for the vast majority of pistols and shooters, test at 25.  Your acceptance criteria can be adjusted.   For testing at 25 with a Ransom, I’d shoot 15 shots.  You can put the first out of each mag over the target if you like.  So 18 shots per group, 15 “in the group”.  If all 15 shots are within a 1.7 inch circle CONFIRM that the group is within the 10 ring at 50.  If it isn’t within 1.7 at 25, testing at 50 is a waste of time.
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Post by sharkdoctor Fri Jun 17, 2022 12:32 pm

Are you going to shoot at 50yds?  Then you need to confirm precision/accuracy at 50yds.  25yds will be fine, but not necessarily the converse.  Bullet spread from 25 to 50 is not linear.  You also need to know if that first shot is in the group - you don't get to shoot it "into the berm" during a match.  I also suggest you keep all the shots.  One may only throw out shots when you think something was "off" before you see where they went.

My apology that the above is only a few brief notes re: testing.  That being said, your best bet is to start with recommended loads that have seen extensive testing and use, e.g. 3.8-4.0 B'eye w/185-200gr bullet, and the "Salyer load" described above.  Much interesting history to be found here re: its development. 

Testing is fine, but it is difficult to determine "the best" load.  It needs to be "good enough".  To see the variability one might encounter, look at Gil Hebard's testing of a SW52 (p105?) in Pistol Shooter's Treasury.  10/10 shot groups for each gun /ammo combo.  It is an interesting exercise to look for statistically significant differences, and gives an indication of the variability one might encounter.

Good luck!

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Post by inthebeech Fri Jun 17, 2022 4:15 pm

Who the blazes is testing with primers at a hondo per brick? 
Testing?!
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Post by Allgoodhits Fri Jun 17, 2022 4:45 pm

FWIW an accurate load at 50 will be an accurate load at 25. The reverse may not be true.

Using VV N310

Using Zero 185 JHP-C or Nosler 185 JHP bullets with an OAL of 1.200" +/- .0015 with a charge of 4.1 to 4.5 gr should be a very good load. How your gun is sighted and sprung are contributors to the variables. IMO load shorter, you may be able to load lighter.

Using Brazos 200 or 180 SWC Hi Tek coated bullets, then I load at about 1.240" OAL. Trying to have dimension from base of brass to shoulder in the .930" range. With the 200s I can run 3.7 - 4.0 gr VV N310. I like the feel of 3.9 best. In my guns, 3.7-3.8 gr is too light with the 180s. 3.9 VV N310 works well in both 200 and 180 Brazos. I think the 180 is worth trying at 4.1 - 4.3 gr for 50 yds.

BTW, using WST with the same powder charge "by weight" works well too.
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Post by Soupy44 Fri Jun 17, 2022 6:37 pm

Apologies, I'm looking for powder weight ranges. English has never been my strong suit!

I fully intend to test at 50 from a ransom rest. Bought new Starline brass to be sure, but might end up using mixed in the end.

Beech, I was lucky enough to have a significant stockpile of LPP. Been trading them for SPP for revolver testing. I'm also (lucky?) enough that I almost never practice live fire. Dry fire and electronic trainer for me with a 3yo and 1yo at home.

When I find a load for the wad and EIC guns,.I have enough components to load match ammo for a few years.

4.5gr BE is my current EIC load, 4.2 for SL.


Last edited by Soupy44 on Fri Jun 17, 2022 8:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by chiz1180 Fri Jun 17, 2022 7:12 pm

When I did ransom testing for my wadgun, I tested charges from 3.8-4.2 bullseye in 0.1 increments with a zero 185 SWHP. I found that 3.9-4.1 all shot sub 2.5" with 20 shots groups in my gun. Moral of the story, a good gun will shoot well with just about any decent ammo. Definitely test at 50, using a ransom rest at 25 yards is a waste of time.  I personally stopped chasing lighter loads when I realized they tended to be a bit dirtier and I don't pay attention to the amount of recoil when I am shooting. 4.0 Bullseye with a 185gr or 200gr projectile is still a relatively soft load.
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