Ysterhout Dot Net
I've updated these notes over time. Presentation of content was haphazard, is now more logically presented, and content evolved as I learnt. I've made improvements and discovered new [ to me ] techniques that simplify the exercise to the point where good results are guaranteed in the absence of faulty equipment.
Having started out reloading target rifle rounds as an extension of my new target rifle shooting hobby, I find myself several years later coming full circle, feeling that I'm ending back at the beginning again, ready for a fresh start.
I did not start out with the primary intention of learning to shoot a rifle well. I assumed I would reload, go shoot targets, and as long as the reloads were decently put together, shooting accuracy was just a matter of course. Similar to what I was used to for pistol shooting.
My goal when I started was to produce consistently accurate ammunition for my new hobby. Today I see how this objective was majorly flawed and completely naiive. In hindsight, my objective should have been to learn to shoot accurately first. Learn to hold zero properly, learn what a stable platform is and how to get it stable, then learn to produce consistently accurate ammunition. The reason is simply that precision load development requires precision shooting. You can't produce a precision load without shooting it first.
It soon became apparent that to get best performance from target rifle shooting, rifle reloads need to be precise, and shooting ability has to be systematically and continuously cultivated. The more I shot, the more I found that I wanted to be able to shoot better, and produce accurate ammunition.
My casual rifle reloading as a hobby turned into an earnest attempt to produce the best, most consistent ammunition possible, and a desire to achieve accuracy on the target at ranges to 1000 yards.
My first step to gathering information was to follow in the footsteps of those who had published useful information. I was advised that all I needed to do was a ladder test, then load and shoot. I was unaware or the critical concepts of Optimum Charge Weight, low ES and using seating depth or neck tension to change group size. I had no idea that components on a platform could be faulty.
There is a world of knowledge at the other end of the keyboard, but interspersed with those valuable nuggets are distracting, useless pieces of information disguised as common practice. The number of people that consider something to be true does not make it so, and the number of people that consider something to be incorrect does not make it so either. Take the time to examine each opinion critically, you will gain better understanding and personal benefit.