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Thread: Which Chronograph??

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    Default Which Chronograph??

    It's time for me to buy a chronograph. I was told the cheap $100 Chrony is not as reliable (it doesn't always display the bullet speed) as the more expensive models. It might take a couple of shots fired to get a reading from the $100 model. That could be a bummer when your working up loads - especially when shooting Barnes bullets $$!

    Any advice?

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    Member BrentC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    It's time for me to buy a chronograph. I was told the cheap $100 Chrony is not as reliable (it doesn't always display the bullet speed) as the more expensive models. It might take a couple of shots fired to get a reading from the $100 model. That could be a bummer when your working up loads - especially when shooting Barnes bullets $$!

    Any advice?
    I've never had a problem with my $120 digital chronograph. I've shot hundreds of rounds through it. I use it with archery equipment as well.

    This is the one I have. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=852429

    Midway occasionally puts them on sale if you feel like you need to spend less money.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    I have a Chrony Alpha Master, a buddy has the Beta and a neighbor has a more expensive Oehler. They all work fine when properly set up.

    Always set them at the same distance from the muzzle. Always have them level so the slant doesn't shorten the distance between the sensors. Shoot through the center of the Chrony so both the start and stop sensors get tripped, that stops errors. Shoot with morning light, darkness and high direct sunlight can cause errors.

    Proper use and set up will net good results from any of the units available.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    Proper use and set up will net good results from any of the units available.
    That pretty much sums up my opinion. I'll add this plug for the ProChrono BrentC mentioned. I have an Oehler 35P and a ProChrono. The 35P is an excellent unit and I trust it implicitly (that's for you MR), but I have used these two units together so often that I know the ProChrono is also an accurate and excellent unit. In fact it is the unit that is always in my range bag and the one I do the majority of my load development. I can set the ProChrono up in less than 2 minutes, the 35P takes somewhat longer and is bulky to pack for every session. The real advantage with the 35P is the dual reading it gives to verify accuracy and that it will read every shot with very few exceptions. The ProChrono is more temperamental, but for the cost and its level of accuracy I'd say its a very good value and certainly worth the $120.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    The 35P is an excellent unit and I trust it implicitly (that's for you MR)
    I love it...

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the info - it helped.

  7. #7

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    I've got the CED M2 and it has been flawless. Data drops into my laptop and shooting software is very easy. The cool thing is for another 80 bucks you can get the infared kit and you don't have to worry about light. With it you can shoot indoors or even at night and it will read. Another thing I like is the display and controls sit on the bench with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshall View Post
    I have a Chrony Alpha Master, a buddy has the Beta and a neighbor has a more expensive Oehler. They all work fine when properly set up.

    Always set them at the same distance from the muzzle. Always have them level so the slant doesn't shorten the distance between the sensors. Shoot through the center of the Chrony so both the start and stop sensors get tripped, that stops errors. Shoot with morning light, darkness and high direct sunlight can cause errors.

    Proper use and set up will net good results from any of the units available.
    What Iíd like is a Remotely Controlled Alignment feature.

    Just plunk it down out there in front of your gun, and press buttons until itís lined up.

    Iím really not complaining. Iím happy to have my Lil Chrony, even if it does require some care in the set-up.

    Smitty of the North.
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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    ... I'll add this plug for the ProChrono BrentC mentioned. ... The ProChrono is more temperamental, but for the cost and its level of accuracy I'd say its a very good value and certainly worth the $120.
    I just bought one a couple of weeks ago. All the other ones I could find-even ones much more expensive-had all kinds of negative reviews. The ProChrono didn't. I hope it works. I'll try it when I get my new rifle back--hopefully soon.

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    I too have the model Brent linked to. It works well and is nice and light. The only down side is it does not come with a cord to a controller/readout on the bench. Reading the numbers is no problem but I now wish I could reset the string from the bench. They do have controllers that can be purchased but they are about $50. If you look around you can find Chronos with the controller included for less then the cost of the Prochrono and controller. That said for what it is mine has worked well.

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    Member Doug in Alaska's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    What Iíd like is a Remotely Controlled Alignment feature.

    Just plunk it down out there in front of your gun, and press buttons until itís lined up.

    Smitty of the North.
    This is the best idea I've heard yet!
    Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to beat you to death with it because it is empty.

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    Chrony's are ok, until I moved up to an Oehler I purchased from the original owner.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    I have a Chrony with the remote read out and it is a little fussy if the sun is at a low angle ( morning /evening). I have found that painting the exposed part of the bullet with a black magic marker helps a lot. Shading the light sensors from direct sunlight helps also. Don't know about other brands as I have never had one.

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    I use an older CED, excellent

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Cor15:19 View Post
    .... The 35P is an excellent unit and I trust it implicitly (that's for you MR)), but I have used these two units together so often that I know the ProChrono is also an accurate and excellent unit.....,
    Well now this is the first time I've read this thread because... who cares which chrono ???

    I'm glad to read this because it confirms my suspision hat my 15 yr old ProChrono is more accurate than my new Shooting Chrony Alpha. I also agree that it (they) is/are tempomental. It is very easy to put up, but mine doesn't do ES and SD, but once again... who cares. It's a good ball park instrument that gives me a warm fuzzy when I see numbers like 3400 from 180 gr bullet

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    It's time for me to buy a chronograph. I was told the cheap $100 Chrony is not as reliable (it doesn't always display the bullet speed) as the more expensive models. It might take a couple of shots fired to get a reading from the $100 model. That could be a bummer when your working up loads - especially when shooting Barnes bullets $$!

    Any advice?
    My question for you is... why does does a chrony mattwer for working up loads?

    My next chrony will be a CED MII, but they run about $200 but have great reviews.

  17. #17

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    MontanaRifleman - I think I see what your getting at. I will first find a load that gives me the best accuracy. Once that's found I would like to see how fast it's flying to compare it with other loads.

    The only time I used a chrony it worked about half the time - bummer to fling handloads when your focused on a fps reading.

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    Member marshall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MontanaRifleman View Post
    My question for you is... why does does a chrony mattwer for working up loads?
    MR, your record clearly shows your opinion on Chrony's, that's OK. They matter to me because just drilling holes isn't good enough. I like to know how fast they're moving and if they're repeatable.

    I shot this 4 bullet group with my .308 this morning. It was running 2560fps with 175gr Berger VLD's, just 15fps slower than mid summer. It's nice to have a real number since RL-15 isn't known for it's temp stability. 15fps isn't going to make the world stop but knowing my velocity divided by my charge nets 5.7fps allows me to adjust my load for temp changes. Adding .3gr would put it right back at 2575 which is what my turrets are calibrated for. That makes a 4" difference in drop at 800 yards in case you're interested in shooting paper out there. 800 yards is beyond the ethical killing range for me with this rifle even though it clearly shoots very accurately.

    By the way, this load is absolute max in the heat of the summer for my little 20" 308 but the cooler temps will allow me to tweak it to the sweet spot. Besides relying on my group size the Chrony lets me know when I'm there. My shoulder can't tell me how fast my load is running and the Chrony aids in making a range card.

    I have made an effort to document velocities in a few of my rifles over the past year. Down here in Arizona the temps range from 30 - 120 and the Chrony has allowed me to document the differences in temps very accurately. Since I use the RL line of powders in my 2 favorite rifles the Chrony has assisted me in building a very reliable book with repeatable loads.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P3190198.JPG   DSC01388.JPG  

  19. #19

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    Marsall,

    Just so my record and opinion on chronys is not misunderstood, I think a good chrony is a very useful tool. If you notice, I asked the OP "why" does a chrony matter in working up loads? The reason I asked was that he seemed to think it mattered because he might be wasting spendy bullets with an unreliable chrony which prompted the question from me.... because what does it matter? There are plenty of handloaders who work up fine loads without a chrony. When I go to the range, I am usually the only one with a chrony and I would guess that probably only about 1 in 50 shooters I see there use a chrony. Most shooters aren't competitive or LR shooters and even some of them get by without a chrony. So it really doesn't matter how fast the bullet is going so long as they know where it's going out to maybe 300-400 yds. At 500 yds, a difference of 100 fps is going to only going ot change the drop by 2 1/2".

    I almost always use a chrony because even though I dont completely trust it, I do find it useful. As you know, I have two of them and am planning on getting a third (CED MII), so I do find them useful and if at some point I can put a high level of trust in one, all the better.

    Your technique of using difference in velocity to adjust your loads by temp is a good one and I would do basically the same thing but I would weigh it all with pressure signs and relative accuracy as well. Our hunting temps vary quite a bit here as well... from about -30 to 80 on the extremes. I like using the more stable powders like Retumbo and H1000 for those reasons. RL17 is till an unknown to me as far as that goes, but hoping to find that out this spring.

    Very nice shooting BTW

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpost View Post
    MontanaRifleman - I think I see what your getting at. I will first find a load that gives me the best accuracy. Once that's found I would like to see how fast it's flying to compare it with other loads.
    Yes, and knowing the velocity, is a help in determining if your load is safe. So, you can use it to work up your loads too.

    Smitty of the North
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