to chrony or not to chrony? That's my question

204tcak

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For years, I have been reloading my meat bangers just under the pressure signs. The accuracy in many were doable to not bad for up to 150 yd shots. I personally opt not to take shots at big game farther than that.
With the rising cost and shipping fees to the bush for smokeless powders and primers along with the availability of some, has gotten me thinking about my current reloading methods. Dialing down my powder charges and finding the first tight groups will stretch out my stock of powder in the long run.
My tc 375 jdj is the first meat banger I have used in setting up for accuracy and stayed well bellow max pressure for the used powder type. A few members In this forum said I haven't reached the maximum potential with the slow burning powder but, the accuracy with it is great. Then it has me wondering, how fast is this 250 gr slug moving?
Now this bring me to the topic, should I spend money on a chrony? But, do I need a chrony when I opt not to launch slugs beyond 150 yds?
 

iofthetaiga

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For years, I have been reloading my meat bangers just under the pressure signs. The accuracy in many were doable to not bad for up to 150 yd shots. I personally opt not to take shots at big game farther than that.
With the rising cost and shipping fees to the bush for smokeless powders and primers along with the availability of some, has gotten me thinking about my current reloading methods. Dialing down my powder charges and finding the first tight groups will stretch out my stock of powder in the long run.
My tc 375 jdj is the first meat banger I have used in setting up for accuracy and stayed well bellow max pressure for the used powder type. A few members In this forum said I haven't reached the maximum potential with the slow burning powder but, the accuracy with it is great. Then it has me wondering, how fast is this 250 gr slug moving?
Now this bring me to the topic, should I spend money on a chrony? But, do I need a chrony when I opt not to launch slugs beyond 150 yds?
Personally, I don't trust "pressure signs" to accurate reflect what's going on in the chamber. I've seen enough evidence presented to convince me that, more often than not, by the time you see "pressure signs" you're already well above max... A chrony in conjunction with established load data will help determine your operating pressures, regardless of the distance you intend to shoot.

Shameless promotion:
(I have an extra brand new unused bright red F-1 Chrony available for sale if someone would like it).
 

4merguide

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Personally, although I wouldn't mind knowing how fast my round is going, I've never felt the need to absolutely HAVE to know. If I'm not showing any pressure signs and I've found an accurate load, then that's pretty much all I'm interested in. Let's face it, bullets are fast.....even the slowest ones. I think too many make too much out of fps. And with that 375 at 150 yards, I really don't think a few fps is going to make all that much difference when the bullet hits the bone. But, as you already know, "where" it hits very well could.

IMO......think accuracy and no pressure signs and call it good.....
 

iofthetaiga

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Personally, although I wouldn't mind knowing how fast my round is going, I've never felt the need to absolutely HAVE to know. If I'm not showing any pressure signs and I've found an accurate load, then that's pretty much all I'm interested in. Let's face it, bullets are fast.....even the slowest ones. I think too many make too much out of fps. And with that 375 at 150 yards, I really don't think a few fps is going to make all that much difference when the bullet hits the bone. But, as you already know, "where" it hits very well could.

IMO......think accuracy and no pressure signs and call it good.....
I absolutely agree (with the caveat of not trusting pressure signs (or lack thereof)). I usually chrony mostly for trivia's sake, after most of my load development is done. My first/only objective in loading is accuracy; I don't care so much about pushing velocity, and don't care to be anywhere near pressure signs. But, I've been surprised a few times, through no direct fault of my own, and found myself way into the redline long before the point I would have anticipated.
 

iofthetaiga

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That's a bit scary.....
Indeed. I'm not an expert, and have far less experience than some posters here, including yourself, likely; but I've been at it for quite awhile now with a few different cartridges, and although I'm a meticulous, cautious and conservative loader, I've been surprised a time or two. The worst was due to faulty published data which resulted in a locked up bolt gun with the first round; a chrony would not have helped me anticipate that, but it sure could have provided some interesting additional intel! I didn't own a chrony for a long time, and got along just fine, as do lots of folks (and sometimes ignorance is bliss). The scary thing tho, which has been definitively proven by folks far more experienced and intelligent than me, is that it's possible to be operating well into the red (and even destroy guns) without seeing any pressure signs. I trust what those folks have demonstrated, and have seen some myself; enough that tho I still don't use a chrony as much as I could or probably should, I'm convinced of it's value.
 

4merguide

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Indeed. I'm not an expert, and have far less experience than some posters here, including yourself, likely;.

No....I'm a rookie and have TONS to learn. In fact I'm headed to try and see if I can find a cartridge trimmer today so I can try and get started again......
 

jim in anchorage

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Indeed. I'm not an expert, and have far less experience than some posters here, including yourself, likely; but I've been at it for quite awhile now with a few different cartridges, and although I'm a meticulous, cautious and conservative loader, I've been surprised a time or two. The worst was due to faulty published data which resulted in a locked up bolt gun with the first round; a chrony would not have helped me anticipate that, but it sure could have provided some interesting additional intel! I didn't own a chrony for a long time, and got along just fine, as do lots of folks (and sometimes ignorance is bliss). The scary thing tho, which has been definitively proven by folks far more experienced and intelligent than me, is that it's possible to be operating well into the red (and even destroy guns) without seeing any pressure signs. I trust what those folks have demonstrated, and have seen some myself; enough that tho I still don't use a chrony as much as I could or probably should, I'm convinced of it's value.
I have been loading since 1976 and early on learned never to trust a single load source. In those pre internet days bought a Lyman book memorized the loads I was interested in then browsed the other manuals at the gun shop. I remember one case in particular [30-06] one book was listing a max load 4 grains over the other 3.
 

1Cor15:19

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Handloading/reloading without a chronograph is not unlike driving in the rain without windshield wipers. If you go slow enough and know the roads and other drivers are also safe you can get by without wipers, but the more you drive or disregard any of those rules you'll almost certainly have an accident. Maybe not a bad accident, but trouble nonetheless. An accurate, reliable chronograph provides the most certain indication that you can have concerning pressure outside of costly equipment designed specifically for such tasks. Velocity that is too high is always partnered with excessive pressure. I've several rifles that will fire ammo loaded 15,000-20,000 psi over maximum pressure with nary a traditional pressure sign (flattened/cratered primer, difficult bolt lift, brass flow on case head, etc.) though the velocity and other data proves the pressures to be extraordinary. For loading a few rounds you can make do without a chronograph by erring on the safe side (just as you can make do driving to the end of your driveway, maybe around your neighborhood without wipers), but for most reloaders the rewards of a chronograph can't be overestimated......... For less than $200 you can know rather guess; seems a small price to pay for such knowledge.
 

alaskabliss

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I use a chrony but as stated it is not a must have. I use more for two purposes. To find velocity and to find consistancy. Both are needed to be accurate and to be able to figure out your ballistics.
Ive been loading for several years and just a couple years ago finaly got a chrony. I made do till I could afford one or find the absolute need for it. I wanted dope charts for all my loads and the chrony was the first step to get those.
 

mike h

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But, do I need a chrony when I opt not to launch slugs beyond 150 yds?

I don't reload at all, but I read way too much about it on these forums because it's pretty much fascinating.

I would think that for as much enjoyment as you get out of reloading, a crono would make it even more entertaining.

Not only do you get to track your groupings, but you get a hard measurement on velocity. Something else to aim for and tinker with.

My guess is that a crono would add a whole other aspect to reloading that would make it even more rewarding.
 

Smitty of the North

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Yeah, go ahead and get a Chrony of some sort.

I agree with IO,s posts.

You can get by just fine without a chronograph. However, they sure help if you are trying to get the most, or the least, out of your load, Safely.

If the velocity is much higher than data, that is a pressure sign. It's the best pressure sign because it tells you, not just when you're pressure is too high, but where you're at with pressure. (When you compare it to your data.)

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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I would think that for as much enjoyment as you get out of reloading, a crono would make it even more entertaining.

Not only do you get to track your groupings, but you get a hard measurement on velocity. Something else to aim for and tinker with.
get
My guess is that a crono would add a whole other aspect to reloading that would make it even more rewarding.

That's true, but they can be a pain to set up, and you are downrange while you're doin it, so hope the range isn't crowded with folks in a hurry. It can complicate things too, if you get emotionally involved with ES, SD, and the other High Techy stuff that comes out.

I use mine only for the velocity, writing it down each time, and averaging it out myself.

Also, they get shot into pieces from time to time, and they can fail to work, for various reasons.

Smitty of the North
 

Smitty of the North

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I have been loading since 1976 and early on learned never to trust a single load source. In those pre internet days bought a Lyman book memorized the loads I was interested in then browsed the other manuals at the gun shop. I remember one case in particular [30-06] one book was listing a max load 4 grains over the other 3.

I can identify with that. Knowing the velocity helps with that, of course.

Smitty of the North
 

204tcak

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I may just get one. Any suggestions for a brand?


" If your 2 week paycheck is greater than the balance on your bank statement, your not living. Your just surviving. " - me
 

204tcak

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thanks for the input folks, getting one would also aid in figuring out the estimated trajectory on 204 ruger loads flying down range.

scott
 

jim in anchorage

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I can identify with that. Knowing the velocity helps with that, of course.

Smitty of the North
Well maybe. I know this is a extreme example but if I overload my 30-06 with, say 4198 to the point where the brass is flowing into the bolt face will I see high FPS? Never tried it but I think not.
 
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