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load testing

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sharkdoctor
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Post by David Ehster Thu Jun 20, 2024 10:47 am

What could be recomended as a pistol rest to be used for load testing.

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Post by Wobbley Thu Jun 20, 2024 11:09 am

Well, you could use a Ransom Rest, but that alone has a learning curve of its own.  Many never do enough “Random Rest” testing to figure it out.  Others use a “barrel test fixture” and that doesn’t require much of a learning curve but only tells you what your barrel really likes.  There is an alternative which has none of these limits but has a limit most people can live with.

That setup is a mid sized backpack that has been stuffed with an old blanket.  Mine is stuffed with a blanked wrapped around a small empty cardboard box to fill up space.  It has about 4 layers of blanket around the box so it’s soft enough and the box makes it lighter.  It is used by Laying it flat on its back and my forearm is rested across this backpack.  I can shoot targets like this at 25 but my eyes aren’t good enough anymore to get top level results at 50.  So I test at 25 and zero at 25.  My 25 zero is the center of impact should be at the top of the “X-ring at 25.  That puts the 50 yard impacts at the bottom of the X-ring.  (All with a center hold.  load testing Img_0223
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Post by sharkdoctor Thu Jun 20, 2024 11:31 am

Very simply, and quickly,  I place my gun on a carpet on a box on the bench, at eye level.   My guns have flat bottom Herrett grips and a dot sight.  Held firmly, I can shoot 1.5-2" groups (n=5) at 50 yds with the 22 or 45.  Since I know the capabilities of the 22 from the Ransom Rest (ca. 1.1", n=10), I know the sum of variation of my gun, ammo, sight alignment and trigger pull will let me know quickly if my ammo is capable to clean a target. Understand that this sort of testing will not allow you to tell if 0.467" is a better crimp than 0.469" - that takes lots of groups and proper statistical analysis (let's not go there😃!).

Good luck!

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Post by chiz1180 Thu Jun 20, 2024 12:15 pm

Ransom rest and a friend that know how to use it. Otherwise just a sandbag.
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Post by mbmshooter Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:25 pm

The Ransom Rest is probably the best to ensure the best evaluation of your pistol's potential accuracy.  However, I do agree that 
there is a learning curve to use it properly.
There are some pistol rests you may wish to consider where YOU are the one gripping the pistol and firing it.  I've personally used
my friend's rest for testing at our outdoor range here in Prescott.  I found it to be darned good.  Of course, YRMV.

Mike

https://www.knifecountryusa.com/store/product/323780.323785/caldwell-101600-matrix-gun-rest.html?msclkid=76f8bb99e2c61ca5cc1added24118d6a

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Post by Allgoodhits Fri Jun 21, 2024 6:09 am

Ditto what others have said, adding the following:

I don't think it matters, provided that the rest that you are using is solid, but not necessarily hard, does not move once the firearm has been cradled into/onto it. The bench table or platform must be solid too. Just as while shooting, your grip must be firm and as importantly the same for each shot. Trigger pull is critical; just as it is in off hand or any other type of precision shooting.

Some things that work for me:

I use three used/empty shotgun shot bags. Most will refill with sand. I refill with uncooked rice. Works just as good, but a lot lighter to carry around. One bag is filled pretty firm, one a little saggy, the other in between the two. These gives me flexibility in how the gun/hand settle into/onto the bags, depending on gun and bench/target height.

If a revolver you need to make sure that the cylinder splash is not charring or destroying your bags. Turning a bit black is not a major concern. If an auto which has a slide, make sure the slide does not drag on the bag as it cycles.

I try to get the dust cover or forward area of trigger guard with grip settled into the bags(s) with downward and forward grip/pressure. I don't want it to bounce, I want consistent recoil and recovery. Some adjustments need to be made between shots for shooting anything, except maybe a heavy .22LR. I want the weight and mass supported by the bag(s) and my hands, not just my hands. In other words I want the gun to be in contact with the bags as much as is possible depending on the gun and grip size. I do not want the actual barrel to be supporting any of the weight. I want the barrel to float over or beyond the bags. Same with slide and or dust cover. They must not come into contact with any form of support during the firing/cycling of the firearm.

Give it a go. At least 3 shotgun shot bags, filled to varying degrees of firmness the rice, or sand, if you prefer. If you do it right, it should give you as good a result as your ammo and gun are capable, at very low cost and much less time than setting up a RR and getting it to settle in. Last thing, if you jerk the trigger, you'll still get a bad result.
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Post by David Ehster Sat Jun 22, 2024 10:40 am

Thank's for the pointers.

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Post by BE Mike Sun Jun 23, 2024 8:14 am

I never thought the Ransom Rest required that much of a learning curve and I used one for many years. It does require that it is mounted per instructions and be mounted on a very solid base. Properly placing the gun in the appropriate "hand" and being very consistent is the key for each shot and don't touch the gun between shots. On another note, if I'm not mistaken,  Dr. Darius Young used to sand bag test his match pistols with a mounted high power scope. 50 yard testing is required if one is going to shoot at 50 yards. There is an old saying that goes something like this: You can get good groups at 25 yards with bubble gum and talcum powder! Very Happy
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Post by mbmshooter Sun Jun 23, 2024 2:09 pm

BE Mike wrote:I never thought the Ransom Rest required that much of a learning curve and I used one for many years. It does require that it is mounted per instructions and be mounted on a very solid base. Properly placing the gun in the appropriate "hand" and being very consistent is the key for each shot and don't touch the gun between shots. On another note, if I'm not mistaken,  Dr. Darius Young used to sand bag test his match pistols with a mounted high power scope. 50 yard testing is required if one is going to shoot at 50 yards. There is an old saying that goes something like this: You can get good groups at 25 yards with bubble gum and talcum powder! Very Happy
I also had good results using a Ransom Rest.  I definitely agree that a SOLID base is required to achieve consistent results.  We had an 8' long, 14" steel pipe set in several hundred pounds of concrete on which a 1/4" steel plate was welded.  The RR was then firmly secured to that steel base.
I don't know if Doc Young used a high power scope for testing but I do know he used a 2x Leupold scope for competition.  The .45 I bought from him came with one of those scopes as well as his HUGE Morini grips.


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