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Thread: Chronograph advice

  1. #1
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    Default Chronograph advice

    I'd like to get a chronograph as a birthday gift to myself in the near future. Mostly to check on and compare reloads -- I doubt I'll ever get deep into the technical comparison stuff as I don't do enough volume at the range.

    Suggestions on brands? Features that are must-have versus nice? Anyone with one sitting in their garage that we could make a deal on?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member North Polar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toofewweekends View Post
    I'd like to get a chronograph as a birthday gift to myself in the near future. Mostly to check on and compare reloads -- I doubt I'll ever get deep into the technical comparison stuff as I don't do enough volume at the range.

    Suggestions on brands? Features that are must-have versus nice? Anyone with one sitting in their garage that we could make a deal on?

    Thanks in advance.
    The beta chrony runs pretty cheaply and stores the last 10 rounds fired. Its not the greatest but if you are just checking velocity it works quite well. Now if you need more data then that, the other models they sell can do far more.

    IF you are in fbks and ever want to try mine out, just let me know

  3. #3
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    I have a PACT and it works well. Not terribly expensive and customer service on the rare occurance when needed, is great. They do give you greater insight into your loads and shooting; I think worth the money. J.

  4. #4
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    I have an Oehler Research but they are no longer made and I would agree with OldRgr, get a Pact. I have several pieces of equipment made by Pact and all are top shelf and trouble free. My next Chrony will be a Pact.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Default Chronograph advice

    I have three chronographs, two are made by Oehler, the latest being the model 35P proof version. That one has two channels, with one verifying the first as a backup. I also have a little Beta. My 35P is the best of the lot, but the other models work well for most applications as well.

    When I lived in Colorado for a quarter of a century, I did a lot of long-range shooting/hunting, which included everything from Prairie rats/dogs to antelope and Elk on the other side of the canyon. Since I hand loaded back then, it was important to have consistency in my loads, and to also have a base to work up my ballistic charts from – which were taped to my stocks of my Remington .220 Swift and my Weatherby .300. I did not have, nor where laser rangefinders prevalent for most of that time, so you had to be good at range estimation to along with the ballistic figures. The point being … knowing the precise velocity for shooting over 300 yards was important. With my zero range properly set for both calibers, anything under 300 was just about point-and-shoot.

    The higher quality models like the 35P, which I believe is not made anymore, are pricey. The more budget minded models like my Beta can do the basics quite well if you do your job setting them up. Gun to gun the same load can vary more than you may expect, so they are nice to have just for piece of mind, and accuracy across the ranges. If you have hunting buddies, go in together and share one, as you do not need them all of the time. Sharing is a nice way to go since the cost per shooter is low for the thrifty end models.

    Keep in mind that no matter how well you load, how well you chrono and document your loads, the shooter shoots them. You will better served to practice shooting more than any other component of the process. Like a piano, some can tune them, some can play them!

    Have fun with your new toy!
    Last edited by Proud American; 06-08-2009 at 16:38. Reason: add a word or two

  6. #6
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    I have owned two over the years and used a few others. I have an Oehler Research 35P that I bought about the time they came out in the early 90's. It is a very fine unit and I would recommend one except as it has already been stated they are no longer available from Oehler. If you could find one used it would be worth considering as I just spoke with Oehler Research and they will continue to offer all parts and service on these units should anything happen. It is a bit bulky to set up with the four foot rail, but it does such a great job measuring every shot and then averaging and providing standard deviation for each shot string. This is very convenient and having the proof screen allows me to instantly know if the velocity measurement is accurate. You will get some false readings with any chronograph, without the proof screen it may be difficult to distinguish between a false reading or an inconsistent load.

    My other chronograph is a Competition Electronics ProChrono. It has recorded thousands and thousands of shots. I have compared the two chronographs and find they are remarkably similar in their velocity findings, but again the 35P quickly indicates a false reading even if its only 50-100 fps. The really nice thing about the ProChrono is the setup time. It takes about 30 seconds to set it up and then you are own your way. In fact it is so easy to set up I almost never shoot without it. Even on days I am plinking I'll take it along to record velocities of the particular gun in those conditions. It is an inexpensive unit and you could even buy two of them, one for near the muzzle and another near the target. Using a little math you can compute the the real world B.C. of your bullet in your rifle by measuring actual deceleration over a given range. I would not hesitate to recommend this model and with a $100 price tag its pretty tough to beat. Chrony and Pact are also very viable options, but for the most bang for the buck I give the nod to Competition Electronics.

    I know you can load accurate ammo without a chronograph, but once you begin using one, start keeping a log. You will quickly discover a whole new world in handloading and shooting.

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    Default Thanks!

    Thanks to all for the advice! Now it's time to go shopping -- and I'll feel better about laying out the Visa card after your input.
    jq

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