decision on chronograph

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by dmax1800, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. dmax1800

    dmax1800 Well-Known Member

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    I'm new to long range shooting and reloading. I've used the optimal charge weight method to develop a load for my 300 win mag. I think that I've got a load that will work. I've been having problems with the load not being consistently accurate from day to day. I sometimes shoot when its in the 70s and low 80s which might explain the inconsistency. I'm wondering if a chronograph would help determine what is going on with the consistency.

    I've looked at reviews on Midway and Brownells and talked to Chrony, CED, Oehler, and Competition Electronics. CED says that lab testing in Germany shows that their M2 is about as accurate as an Oehler (99.6% and 99.8% accurate), but the M2 got a lot of 1 star ratings on Midway. CED also said that theProChrono is 95.4% accurate. CED says that their chronograph is used at a lot of shooting competitions. The ProChrono has a lot more 5 star ratings than 1 star ratings on Midway and Brownells tech recommends ProChrono. There are both good and bad recommendations here on LRH for both the M2 and ProChrono. The Shooting Chronys tend to get several bad recommendations on Midway and here on LRH.

    A lot of guys here on LRH say that a chronograph is useful in developing a load for long range shooting. My gunsmith says that he couldn't develop a load without one, but he is in to custom rifles for ELR shooting. I'm trying to decide if a chronograph is worth $120 to $200. Then if it is worth the money, which one do I get?

    Can you help a newbie???
     
  2. Brno308

    Brno308 Active Member

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    I find a chronograph essential in load development. For one you need your MV to calculate correct trajectories. As to which chronograph, I'll suggest you go with what you can reasonably afford. I use the Chrony Beta and this answers my needs.
     

  3. coyotekiller82

    coyotekiller82 Well-Known Member

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    I have a prochrono that I use. It seems pretty darn close with MV that when used in my bal program, the drop charts are very very close.

    Just follow the instructions that come with it and try not to shoot it.

    We even use it to chrono arrows for our bows to establish FPS to make sure our specs meet tournament rules.

    The price is right for budget minded shooters as well!
     
  4. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    Spend $75 more and get a Magnetospeed V1 Chronograph.

    In my opinion, their benefits will easily surpass their slightly higher price. Ask anyone who has ever used a Magnetospeed Chronograph and I would be shocked if 100% of those asked didn't agree.
     
  5. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

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    A chrono is helpful but not essential. You can determine velocity by drops. One of our members who hasn't posted in a while never used a chrono and was quite successful at LR hunting to over 1K.

    To the OP, we had a shoot in Townsend Montana last month and a few of us got together and fired 4 different loads from 4 different rifles with a Magneto Speed and over an Oehler at the same time. The magneto speed was pretty much dead on, within a couple of FPS of the Oehler. The Magneto Speed will be my next chrono. I have a ProChrono and a Shooting Chrony Alpha. I think the ProChrono is slightly better.

    The benefits of the Magneto Speed are, very simple and easy to use and light conditions will not affect it unlike all the other optical chronos. It might affect POI slightly but most guys say it doesn't affect accuracy (group size) and no significant POI change.
     
  6. Damascus

    Damascus Well-Known Member

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    You absolutely need a chronograph if you plan on doing any sort of precision handloading... doing so without one is like "loading in the dark"..

    I used my grandfather's Oehler for years, which quit on my last Christmas... Since then, I bought a Shooting Chrony Alpha Master series unit, and used it 4 times, first time, it clocked 75% of my shots... every time after that, when I would turn it on, I would immediately get an error message on the display - "Err 2" or sometimes "Err 9".. which indicate problems with the photosensors, but believe you me, I have tried it in every conceivable lighting imaginable... it just simply malfunctioned, permanently.

    Since then, I got a Millenium, and it works wonderfully. I've also used Pro Chrono Digital as well, and recommend them both.
     
  7. rinodods

    rinodods Well-Known Member

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    Well said. I love mine. gun)
     
  8. M1AShooter

    M1AShooter Active Member

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    I've had a Chrony Gamma for about 10 years, and it would always record the MV on the display, but only send to the printer about 8 or 9 out of every 10 shots. It recently started giving me similar error messages - completely out of the blue. Chrony said to clean the sensors (which I already had). It's dead and I'm looking for another brand. :-O
     
  9. benchracer

    benchracer Well-Known Member

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    If your load is changing that much from day to day, you may have settled on a load that is a "false node". If you kept your targets from load development, you may wish to re-examine them and re-shoot some of the groups that show promise. A true accuracy node should be fairly wide in terms of the velocity window/powder charge that produces accurate shots. Consistency and repeatability are the hallmarks of an accuracy node. If you don't have those two things, you are outside of the node in your rifle.
     
  10. dmax1800

    dmax1800 Well-Known Member

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    I've already done this a couple of times. Would get a 3/8" group with 73.0 grains one day, 3/8" group with 73.2 grains another day, and not even close with either on a third day. Then get a 3/8" group with 71.9 grains on 2 days, but a third day again not even close.

    I've decided to get a ProChrono (its in my shopping cart at Midway) and see what's going on with velocities. Maybe that will help determine whats going on with my accuracy consistency. I'm shooting off of sand bags, so hopefully its not something I'm doing. Its a Benchmark #5 barrel, the stock has been bedded, the action trued and a Timney trigger installed with about 2 3/4 pounds of pull. It should shoot 3/4" groups every day. It has shot 3/8" groups, just not consistently.
     
  11. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    +1. Save yourself some time, ammo, and aggravation due to variations caused by varied lighting conditions.
     
  12. dmax1800

    dmax1800 Well-Known Member

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    I like the idea of a magnetospeed not being light sensitive, but I'm concerned about it changing the POI. Anything hanging on the end of the of a free floated barrel has got to effect POI. If it does it once, will it be absolutely consistent? I'm not just after velocity, but also group size in trying to develop a load.
     
  13. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Some rifles may change POI some may not, I have muzzle brakes that are heavier than my Magneto speed and they do nothing. I've come to the conclusion that I don't care what the magneto speed does to my groups because I'm getting solid, consistant velocity data every time I pull the trigger so I can shoot groups without it on if I want and still use less components than owning any other Chrono other than the Oehler.

    I have several Shooting Chronys and they are a waste of money, you will not get relevent data from day to day with one and you can't really tell what is accurate data or not. I've shot loads from the same rifle over Shooting Chronys, Oehlers, and the Magneto speed and the Oehler and Magneto were right with each other and the Shooting Chrony was close on a couple load and over a 100fps of on others.
     
  14. B23

    B23 Well-Known Member

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    When I first heard about the Magnetospeed Chronograph I did as much research as I could and read everything I could pull up. One of the first reports I read about the Magnetospeed there was some discussion about the bayo changing POI. Some claimed it raised their POI but they all said it had zero affect on their group size. I haven't used my Magneto all that much but I did use it on a couple different rifles that were night and day different from one another, 17hmr 17gr bullet & 300 Allen Express 230gr Berger, and I noticed no change in POI or group size. That's not to say it's not possible just that I didn't have any issues with POI changing.

    IMO, the Magnetospeed is one of those "game changer" new products. After using it and then checking its accuracy by shooting it inline with a Oehler 35P then Broz doing the same inline test with his Oehler 35P, I feel 100% confident the Magneto is giving good information.

    Most shooters that have chronographs, have had many. With the exception of the smart guys that stepped up and bought a Oehler right from the start, most people have had multiple different chronographs and they had multiple because non of them worked on a consistent basis. My dad had 3 or 4 before he got tired of messing around with junk and bought a Oehler. I know of many others shooters who have also bought 3-4 chronographs over the years because the ones they had only worked some of the time and the weather/sun/light conditions was always an uncontrollable variable. Not only does the Magnetospeed give good information but it sets up ready to use in, easily, 2 minutes or less and weather, sun or light has NO affect on how or if it works.

    Oehler makes one of the finest consumer grade chronographs on the market and their customer service is beyond excellent!!! But, having used both the Magnetospeed and the Oehler 35P, for me, the Magnetospeed is the easy choice.

    If you plan on getting serious about your shooting/reloading, save yourself a lot of frustration and either buy the Magnetospeed or a Oehler 35P. Over time you'll not only be money ahead but you'll be thankful you did.