Load Development - What Range?

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

jdw276

40 Cal.
Joined
Feb 5, 2008
Messages
1,140
Reaction score
711
25 yds, get it on paper. 32 cal, stay there, most others go to 50 and final couple 75 or 100 to see real difference if I can hold well enough.
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2021
Messages
1,032
Reaction score
1,893
Same here. If it won't group at 25, moving further out won't help. However, once it's "on", I gotta move out further to see if that load's gonna drop a whole bunch. If it does, I add more powder and repeat the steps. Takes a while, but it's fun.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2008
Messages
7,291
Reaction score
1,835
I start at 35 yard, just because that is the distance from my deck to the woodshed that I use for a back stop ,since they have built houses around me and I like a safe backstop. I figure I can still hit the broad side of the woodshed, and twelve feet of fire wood makes a safe back stop for anything that misses the target back stop.
 

SDSmlf

70 Cal.
Joined
Nov 4, 2006
Messages
4,881
Reaction score
4,885
Location
Western North Carolina
At what distance do you shoot when developing accuracy loads for your muzzleloader?
Once most of my muzzleloaders are at least on paper, load development begins and it takes place at 100 yards or possibly further. Exceptions for example, would in include 32 and 36 cal, where I may use 25 to 50 yards. Hard to tell much at 25 yards, other than most any load will group fairly well. As the distance increases so does the variation of where shots are hitting. For most roundball guns find 100 yards to be good benchmark, as I rarely shoot much further with them. Paperpatched bullets, I want to see what happens at 300 yards. Have had a few very good 100 yard groups where I usually start, that lost their way by 300, though not often. Also, I do all load development from a solid bench rest. Once load development is complete, final sight adjustment is made and practice from field shooting positions begins. Standing, kneeling, sitting, supported against a tree, off of sticks, etc. Nothing like trigger time to gain confidence in what you can and cannot do.
 

Brokennock

75 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
5,587
Reaction score
6,041
Location
North Central Connecticut
I'm shooting smoothbores, so won't be doing much real world shooting past 50 yards.
I start at 25 yards, benched, as someone else said, "if it won't group there it won't group further."
If I'm getting excellent groups at 25 yards I'll try that load at 50 yards, benched, then tweak it some more as needed. Once I have what I want off the bench at 50 yards, I'll shoot some benched shots at 25 yards again just to compare p.o.a./p.o.i at those distances. After that, no more bench.
For a rifle I still start at 25 yards to develop a good grouping load, then 50, then 100. Once I get the groups I want at 50 then 100 I will then adjust sights for p.o.i. with that load, usually back at 50 yards. Then shoot 25 and 100 to compare p.o.i. again.

Also, if the gun is completely new to me I place my target on a very large piece of brown packaging paper that completely covers the target backer, overhangs the top and bottom and extends several inches to the right and left. This way if shots are way off target I don't have to guess where the misses went.
 

ernbar

40 Cal
Joined
Jun 25, 2022
Messages
111
Reaction score
131
Location
Central Florida
What typical .36 (51 Navy) and .44 (Dragoon, 58 and 60 Army) loads are you guys finding to be more accurate at 50-100 yards?
 

Rock Home Isle

58 Cal.
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
2,003
Reaction score
3,050
Location
Johnstown Colorado
At what distance do you shoot when developing accuracy loads for your muzzleloader?
There was a time, when I sighted all my guns in at 100 yrds…then learned where they hit at each range, between and beyond. Well…now the sights are harder to see clearly, and 100 yrds is not as clear either. I still shoot it, but not with as much finesse. 2” groups at 100 yrds are a long time ago, 6” groups seem to be more the norm.

I start at 25 yrds with a new gun. Final sight in is at 50 yrds, 1 1/2” to 2” high…and I limit my hunting to within 80 yrds…though I’m not afraid to take that 100 yrd shot if it’s all that is offered.
 

Ninering62

40 Cal
Joined
May 17, 2021
Messages
339
Reaction score
446
Location
From southern Md/now in N Fl.
25 yards for me as well. If it won't group there it won't get any better further out. Saves a lot of walking too.
If a gun won’t group at 25yds, it’s better used to beat fence posts in with it or get rid of it. If I can’t shoot well enough to group at 25yds it’s time to quit shooting.
 

Latest posts

Top