Chronograph needed for reloading?

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Bigeclipse, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Yes

    99 vote(s)
    86.8%
  2. No

    15 vote(s)
    13.2%
  1. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys,
    I started reloading for my rifles and pistols this year. Pistols for savings and rifles for accuracy. So far all has gone well(knock on wood) but I tend to stay on the low side of charges in my Nosler manual to be safe(for now). What are your thoughts on a chronograph? Do I need one or is it simply a nice to have? I dont shoot extreme long range or competition (not now at least). Farthest I shoot is 300-400 yards so when I stated I am loading for accuracy in my rifles...I am not talking EXTREME one ragged hole accuracy at 100 yards...just want to be under 1MOA in my rifles. So what say you...is a chronograph needed or simply a nice to have? I know people have reloaded for decades with out one but im talking now. Also, If I end up buying one...which one? Again, I dont need anything fancy...just something that works and is dependable...hopefully in the ~100 dollar range.
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    I think they are a valuable tool and will help in every way for your shooting/hunting.

    For your needs and for convenience Plus cost. I would recommend the Magneto Speed #1

    I have been very impressed with mine and set up is a breeze.

    J E CUSTOM
     

  3. kcebcj

    kcebcj Well-Known Member

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    A chronograph is certainly not necessary and I reloaded for years without one but have owned a Ced M2 now for around 5-6 years and use it when first starting a new load. I built a stationary mount for it 16 feet from the front of the bench (I have my own range here on my ranch) The Ced is not the most accurate but at around 200 bucks it works for me. I have found the readings are accurate enough to use in Quick Load for the first time going out to the 460 and 800 yard targets. Gets it on the paper quicker and I can work from there.

    I agree with JE Custom above pertaining to that new Magneto Speed #1. New technology great stuff. It has a lot of advantages over the older technology.

    I think a chronograph whatever type is a good tool and should be part of the mix. Good luck with your decision.
     
  4. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    That looks like a great product but a but a bit more than id hoped to spend. I was looking into something like the Prochrono. I basically would be using it to make sure my pistol loads arent to hot and for my rifle, that I could make sure shot to shot is consistant while looking for accuracy nodes. I realize the magneto allows for use in low and bright light and such but I feel like saving that extra 150 bucks is worth dealing with light conditions. Maybe im wrong though...haha
     
  5. thekyrifleman

    thekyrifleman Well-Known Member

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    Not absolutely necessary to have one. I reloaded for a lot of years and didn't miss it. Having said that, they are nice to have, and I now have and use mine regularly. Try the Shooting Chrony, $100.00. I have used the same one, through several upgrades for at least 25 years. Plenty accurate.
     
  6. LaHunter

    LaHunter Well-Known Member

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    Sep 30, 2012
    I would say yes, you should definitely use a chrono. You do not absolutely have to have one, but mv and mv variability/consistency are valuable pieces of info that you can only get with a chrono. I use mine just about every time I go to the range.
     
  7. ragsflh

    ragsflh Well-Known Member

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    got a magnetospeed best there is.with the 100.00 one you will have lots of errors.lets says you are doing ladder loads that you loaded up/you get 2 or 3 errors.load some more.with magneto speed no errors.mine has paid for itself just because of erros etc.now i will still use my chrony on pistols.you can shoot the magnetospeed at dark and it still works.just some info.
     
  8. BountyHunter

    BountyHunter Writers Guild

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    While some say not necessary and reloaded for years without one, I reloaded with the old lyman 310 tool and lee dippers for years too. But today is 2014 and we know more than we did then.

    a chrono is an indispensable tool for a lr shooter to build accurate loads.

    buy a quality chrono and you will never regret it.
     
  9. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Is it a necessity? Certainly not. It is however a tool which you can use to become more proficient and consistent.

    Keep in mind that 90% or more of hunters will never shoot anything but factory ammo and get by just fine. They are not us however.

    The further out you desire to shoot the more you need to limit and eliminate variables that affect accuracy.

    Further, a chrony can save you a lot of time and money figuring your actual drops and calculating your dope as you move on out.

    I don't know anyone who has ever bought one that felt like it was a waste of money short of a few who bought cheap chrony's that were not reliable.

    One thing about it, there's no other way to figure out how consistent your loads are for velocity without one and as you get further and further out in range that becomes more and more critical to success.
     
  10. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to talk you into a magneto speed but you will spend $200.00 on a so so chronograph
    and for another $75.00 you can have a chronograph that requires very little set up, you can shoot multiple targets without moving the screens and changing your set up. Also you can use it on your pistols (Except Autos) and on a shotgun also.

    The light is always a problem with conventional chronographs no matter what the price.

    The other advantage to owning a chronograph is what you learn while using it for load
    development.(It has saved me lots of time, money and helped me produce better loads.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  11. WildRose

    WildRose Well-Known Member

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    Chrony's are like optics, spend what it takes once to get quality even if you end up having to save a little longer.

    Trying to go cheap usually ends up being a lot more expensive by the time you finally get what you wanted to start with.

    There may be some cheap and highly reliable chrony's out there somewhere but I haven't seen them.
     
  12. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    actually that is an issue as ALL my pistols are autos...is there a decent chronograph that will work with those as well. Even though the Prochrono is only 125 bucks or so...I had heard it was basic but accurate...
     
  13. daniel brothers

    daniel brothers Well-Known Member

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    NOT... having a crony is like cooking your own supper every night...
     
  14. joseph floerke

    joseph floerke Well-Known Member

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    I dont use one at all to establish mv i go with the best way that i like the best everything lines up perfectly.