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Chronograph Frustration and Questions

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:52 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northeast MS
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Chronograph Frustration and Questions

I was doing load development on a new rifle today and set up my Shooting Chrony master chronograph and I almost shot it, on purpose! This has to be the most worthless chrono ever. From sun to partial cloud it commonly shows 100 fps differences in the same load. Then when I wait for full sun, every other shot is an error. I have it set up a full 15 feet from the muzzle so I know that is not the issue with the errors. What is everyone's opinion on the CED? is that the best option other than springing for the Oehler? Has anyone used the magnetic chrono discussed on snipers hide? I'm just very frustrated and ready to cut my losses and step up to a better chrono if there is one.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:00 PM
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Re: Chronograph Frustration and Questions

I have a Master and use it for everything from pellet to large magnums, rifle and pistol, without issue... Batteries ok? How about your tripod, not moving in the wind?

Other than that?
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:04 PM
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Re: Chronograph Frustration and Questions

Been where you are at with your chrony. Go ahead and keep investigating an upgrade but give chrony a call - then send it in and have it re-calibrate. If nothing else you can use it to check/compare with your new purchase. I send my chrony in at least every 2 years.

It is good enough to get me in the ball park and after that I use actual field data/testing to develop my drop chart. Most cheap chrony's are just that.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:38 PM
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Re: Chronograph Frustration and Questions

Cowboy, do they normally charge to re-calibrate? Does it normally make that big of a difference? Does yours show the huge swings in readings with varying light conditions? I havent heard of other chronos with such a huge difference.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:42 PM
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Re: Chronograph Frustration and Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by FUBAR View Post
I have a Master and use it for everything from pellet to large magnums, rifle and pistol, without issue... Batteries ok? How about your tripod, not moving in the wind?

Other than that?
Yes, new battery and rock solid tripod. There wasn't much wind either. I've gotten the same results both with and without the diffusers.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:18 AM
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Re: Chronograph Frustration and Questions

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Originally Posted by MSLRHunter View Post
Cowboy, do they normally charge to re-calibrate? Does it normally make that big of a difference? Does yours show the huge swings in readings with varying light conditions? I havent heard of other chronos with such a huge difference.
You name the problem with a chrony and I've probably got a story to tell you that is similar. One of the biggest problems with the chrony's is the sensors have a tendency to get loose. If there is ANY MOVEMENT of the sensors ever so slightly you can get really wacky readings. Some days seem good, some days Ol' Murphy takes over. I have went so far as to build a box that is cut out on both ends and placed it over the chrony and attached it to my tripod - that seemed to help the most but it sure is a PITA to get everything set up.

I was to the point of almost shooting my lying POS chrony one day when we set up 3 chrony's back-back-back. That told me more than anything.

Chrony has not charged me when I've sent it in but I will tell you I always call them, get a techs name and when I send it in I send it to his attention with a polite letter exposing what is going on. I pay the ups to them and they have ppd the return.

Does it make a difference? The first time I sent it in - it was a huge difference. Not so much after that but the first day it hits 5 below around here I send her back as I feel I won't be using it for a couple weeks.

Do you know anyone with another unit or 2. Set them up and shoot through them. Make up your own mind on your machines accuracy. When I did this the first time I started with a .22lr and worked my way up to a 300WM with about 5 other various calipers in between. By the way - they calibrate them with a pellet gun at the factory as they do not have the facility for anything bigger.

I would call them and explain your pains - give them a chance to give you some suggestions. How old is your unit???
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:04 AM
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Re: Chronograph Frustration and Questions

I wasted a lot of time, money, and ammunition with cheap chronographs over the years. Finally bought a CED, and had no problems. But, I was still paranoid, and bought an Oehler, too. I was pleased to find out that all of my set load data, determined on the CED, was confirmed by the Oehler. The CED might be a little more susceptible to low angle, bright sun causing errors. Oehler is constantly getting false readings (ie, reading a random velocity with no shot being fired) when it is below freezing, especially frosty mornings. It also needs a little bit more light. Snow messes with all of them.

For awhile, I had a plywood box for my CED and ran it off of the UV light bar, which gives very consistent readings, and protects it from sun, dust, snow, etc. But that was a pain, especially if I forgot to charge the battery pack.

If you do keep the chrony, you can try a bucket as a replacement screen. I took a white, five gallon bucket, and cut out holes in side so that it would fit over my chrony, and cut out bottom, so I could look/shoot through it. That gave more uniform results, and a friend of mine continued using it for a couple of years after I moved up. We also checked it in line with the CED, and it was pretty close with overhead light, but the more angle there was, the further off it got.

Living up north (Montana) I get a lot of low sun angles, and they seem to be the bane of all chronos, but especially the cheap ones. Even when I use my Oehler, it is on a 2x4 stand with sides so that I can lay a 2' x 4' piece of plywood along side to block the side angle sun in late fall, winter, and early spring.
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