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Topic: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development? (Read 224 times) previous topic - next topic

Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

This is an honest question, not meant to stir up trouble.

From a strictly load development standpoint, are there merits, and pitfalls employing a device like a Caldwell Lead Sled in order to make load development more about the equipment, and less about the shooter?

Some of the terms and pearls of wisdom I've seen on the forum include: "3-shot groups are more about the rifle, 5-shot groups are more about the shooter", "...with proper bench manners...", etc.

Considering the extremes, an inexperienced shooter paired with an inherently accurate rifle will most likely produce similar results on the target as an experienced shooter paired with an inherently inaccurate rifle. Maybe.

Anyway, I have a Lead Sled sitting in a box, never been opened. Is it Pandora's box, or a useful tool?

 
Chris

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #1
Just my opinion chris but theirs no place for it in load development.. or any where else for that matter.. leave it in the box.. the load needs to be developed just like your going to shoot it after its developed..
Grant

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #2
I agree.  I took the opportunity to test several changes in rifle 'hold', fore end stop pressure, and rest ear pressure this weekend during a match.  This was on a 21lb fully rested F-open rifle.  The seemingly small things can be huge downrange.  If you were very recoil sensitive and were trying for 1" groups at 100yds for a hunting rifle I see no issues with using one for load development from a precision concern.  My only issue with a heavily weighted down sled with a hard stop on the arse end is shock loading the action bedding/stock and optics.  About 20 years ago I used a led sled for testing loads in a .300 Win Mag, 180gr bullets and broke a Burris Posi-lok and a Nikon Monarch scope back to back.  My father had his beautiful .300 Weatherby mag stock split at the tang and the bolt cut out.  No Mas on the Lead-Sled for me.  The sled was weighted down with a 25lb 'bar-bell' weight and a sand bag weighing at least 15 lbs.  There was a thin neoprene pad between the recoil pad and the metal stop on the back of the sled.  I have heard of many similar occurrences.

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #3
With Grant on this one.  Have a couple in the shed gathering dust.  Will admit, I pu** out and use it now and then when patterning 3.5 inch turkey loads.  "The thunder rolls and the lightning strikes." 
If you have the shot, take it.

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #4
Maybe some very specialized shooting applications other than load development such as checking turret stability in a side by side double scope set up. Otherwise, like Grant, I don’t think it has much application in load development for your rifle. Mainly because muzzle velocity can be significantly affected by how the rifle recoil is managed. Without any give in a leadsled during recoil, muzzle velocity will be higher than if the same rifle and round was shouldered. One of my friends shoots his 50 cal frequently even though he has a bum shooting shoulder. He never shoots it without using his leadsled set up. So in that setting yes it is fine to use the sled for load development because it is the consistent  way that rifle is managed.

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #5
Robin nailed it.  For every action, there is a opposite and equal reaction.  That must have stuck during one of my semi conscious school moments
If you have the shot, take it.

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #6
Thanks guys, I'll sell it.
Chris

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #7
Props also to jvw2008.  When you look at a thumper laying in a led sled before you engage the bang switch, realize the principle of free recoil is about to be violated and broken/jumbled up chit might be the result.  Not a physics or math major and still figured it out.  8)
If you have the shot, take it.

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #8
You'd think I know this stuff from past experience, lol. I remember when I tried a fiber-optic front sight on my shotgun, figured it was a shortcut to an early bag limit, what a mess, ever seen a pheasant laugh at you as it does a barrel-roll out of range  :o?

Chris

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #9
Chris.
We have all been there.  Circa 1985.  Simmons 8 Pt  scope on a 870 slug gun..  Five rounds out, sounded and looked like a child's kaleidoscope.  "The strain was just more than he could stand."
Wayne
If you have the shot, take it.

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #10
I know some pretty knowledgeable guys who say they are very VERY hard on scopes. I've never used one.
I did win one off the prize table at the 600 yard Nationals and told them to draw another name I didn't need it.

It's similar to the thread the other day where it was suggested recoil management can be the cause of fliers.
It's fairly easy to recognize when we do something different and pull one but what happens after the trigger is pulled because of the hold or the way the gun is supported is a totally different thing that's not as obvious or easy to identify.

Even a 60#+ unlimited heavy gun has to be set up the same and track the same every shot or even the best tuned load will pitch one out.

If pictures weren't such a PITA I'd post some up and prove it.

Dave

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #11
I sure see a lot of them on the public range....but none with the BR guys I shoot with.  I guess that may tell you something ;)
Bob
If everything seems under control......you're just not going fast enough

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #12
What made me even think about the one sitting in my garage is an article I read about how to sight in magnum revolvers. I know, that's a far cry from sighting in a rifle but, that sort of fact has never stopped me from forming a bewildering connection :).

The author highlighted 3 forces at work; pitch, roll and yaw. Two of those, pitch and roll, are described as the natural forces exerted by the gun's recoil, the third, yaw, is attributed to shooter-induced issues with hold and improper fitment.

In any event, the general idea is pitch, the rise of the muzzle, and roll, the twist of the gun owing to the bullet being spun, are forces that can be controlled with sight adjustment. Yaw, on the other hand, belongs to the shooter and must be solved there.

My thought with the Leadsled is it might let me dial out the shooter-induced errors so the rifle's true nature is understood; a long way of saying "how accurate is the rifle". After reading the comments here I see where a Leadsled would respond to pitch, and perhaps roll, in ways a shooter cannot, that by itself would make it an exercise in collecting useless information (thanks for that term Dave, lol).

Leadsled anyone? :)

 
Chris

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #13
This is a tale of how I would up with my last LS.  November 2013, was on the road to TX Panhandle to hunt mule deer and whitetails.  Academy had a deal going on Sig P238's. Wanted one for my wife.  Drive right by the Academy in Bossier City.  Walked in and headed for gun counter.  They had the high end LS stacked up.$98.  Told the young man pushing them I would pick one up on my way back in a few days.  Told me I couldn't.  Asked why the F not?  Deal only for today.  Then sign me up da**it.  Was driving a Tacoma at the time.  It looked like the Clampett's ride when they rolled out of AR headed for CA.  But, I found a spot.
If you have the shot, take it.

 

Re: Does a Lead Sled have a place in load development?

Reply #14
I don’t use a sled for load development. I know some guys who like it and that is their choice. For me the entire load and accuracy development needs to have the human factor all the way. There is no trigger assist I know of. There is no breathing assist I know of other than concentration. I’m not recoil sensitive. The kick to the shoulder has never been a problem but that all gets back to how you have to adjust your hold of a certain rifle compared to others. No sled for me.
Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.
Every man has got to know his limits.