reasonable chronograph

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by gabby, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. gabby

    gabby Active Member

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    I've never had or used a chronograph. I'm going to buy one. I woulld like your opinion -input- recomendations on this. I don't think I need anything elabarate. Just something that will let me know what speeds I'm dealing with. Thanks Mike
     

  2. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    The problem with Chronos is that the less expensive ones will have you pulling your hair out wishing it it would work right every time.

    My advice is cry once and get a CED M2. Mine and the others I see in use around here have been near flawless.

    Now someone will be along shortly to tell you they suck:D but I think if you look around the reviews will be vastly more positive than negative.
     

  3. woods

    woods Well-Known Member

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    I have had a Shooting Chrony and now have a MidwayUSA - Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph

    [​IMG]

    It has a very wide opening, an easy to read large number digital display, non-jointed legs and non-jointed skyscreens. It has not missed a reading in 2 years. The Shooting Chrony was a real frustration with error messages, broken skyscreens and jointed legs.
     
  4. Natty Bumpo

    Natty Bumpo Well-Known Member

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    I bought a Shooting Chrony Masterbator (oops, I mean Master Beta) this summer. During the low light of early morning, it will not usually read velocities. When the sun is bright, use the screens over the sensors. Other than the low light issue, it has worked fine for me.

    Not sure how you test accuracy of a chronograph. If you had 2 and they gave different readings, how would you know which one is right? Sort of like having 2 clocks: you're never sure exactly which time it is (unless one's an atomic clock. But there are no atomic chronographs).
     
  5. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    The most important use for chronographs is bragging about velocity on the internet.
    This may seem cynical, but this is a real need and motivation. I can get 4200 fps from my .223 with Blue Dot powder and 35 gr Vmax bullets. That information is not useful directly and the load is not useful. But the chrono is indirectly useful.
    It gives us a frame of reference to document and discuss our hobby, but it will never give us a better load than we can get without one.

    I have shot a hole through two "shooting chrony"s.
    I have shot a hole through one "pro chrono"
    I am now on my second [my fourth chronograph] "pro chrono"

    If I shoot a chonograph once per 10 handguns shots, and never shoot a chonograph with a rifle, then I can skip chronographing handguns for a year and get many rifle data for cheap.

    I like the pro chrono much better the the shooting chonys.
    The pro chrono triggers better.
     
  6. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

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    +1 For the CED Millenium it is the best available today and is well worth the price..
     
  7. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

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    I'm gunna disagree w/ you on that one!
    Knowing your velocity is key in determining a starting point for creating a drop chart. Also, many here use a chrono to help check for consistant velocity rounds. I have an inexpensive master crony and I still feel it is a good investment for $70. I don't trust every reading it gives but after shooting through it several times I feel confident of the true speed at which the bullets are going. It has worked several times in concert w/ JBM calcs to create accurate drop charts for my rifles.
     
  8. Forester

    Forester Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I have to take some issue with Clark. A chrono is useful for much more than bragging rights.

    I shoot every single round during load development through a chrono and you find that velocity is a darn good indicator of pressure. Thats one solid use.

    The next for me is drop charts, when you have settled on a load the chrono data will get your drop charts pretty close, and you can fine tune them to match the real world from there. I suppose this could be done without chrono data but havig it sure gets you in the ballpark quickly.

    Third is deciding on otherwise equal loads or components. Velocity variation matters when you get out there aways. And you need to know what the trade off is for a change from one component to another. For example: my .308 shoots 168 and 175 Bergers equally well, it would take hundreds of rounds to pick a real winner between the two from an accuracy standpoint. From the Chrono I know though that the 175s require such a trade off in velocity that the higher BC%2
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  9. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "I don't think I need anything elabarate. Just something that will let me know what speeds I'm dealing with. Thanks Mike"

    Okay Mike, for that anything on the market is "reasonable", they all work.

    But, as an alternate view, I've never known anyone who bought a new truck and later said he wished it had less horsepower. Never known anyone who buught a new boat and said he wished it was a tad shorter. Never knew anyone who bought a new house and said he wished it was a bit smaller. Etc.

    Meaning, going inexpensive at first will cover your "present needs" but not your needs, or at least your wishes, later. The Chronys are inexpensive. The "Pro Chrono" single units are simple to set up. Both types put the works in the line of fire and, if you are clumsy, they will surely get blown away. (And the width of the legs and overhead diffusers on any of them is larger than the actual sensitive focused portion of their photo lenses.)

    I agonised over the same questions as you. I chose to bite the bullet, so to speak, and spend a bit more to get a much more capabable chronograph. My PACT Pro was double the cost of a good Chrony but still not tremensously high from MidwayUSA. (It only has the two inexpensive sky screens in harms way, haven't shot them yet but I've only been using it about 12 years so far :))!

    The main unit sits on the bench in front of me. It includes a printer and an internal computer which can do multiple tasks. It records the shot string, gives a running average and does standard deviation, extreme spread, etc. It also calculates and prints trajectory and windage charts for any range and wind I wish. It can compute "point blank" ranges for any set of condition I feed it. It can factor in the altitude, temp, humitity, sight height above the bore. It can also figure the ballistic coefficent of any bullet I can give it data on muzzle and 100 yard velocities for. It does gun recoil energy, kinetic energy and momentum of the bullet. Etc. And it's quite easy to set up too.

    Or you can get a minimum unit which will give velocity if you really don't think you will ever want more data. But .... bigger, faster, stronger is always better? :D
     
  10. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Writers Guild

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    Absolutely. I agree with Forester 110%. ANd I will add that chronos also provide you with loading node information of where the powder is combusting at it's most efficient and consistent rate. I can't do what I do without a chrono. It would be impossible.
     
  11. stxhunter

    stxhunter Well-Known Member

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    you can't go wrong with the CED i left mine sitting on the picnic table at the ranch for a week it got rained on twice. i changed the batterys and it worked good as new
     
  12. gabby

    gabby Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for all your replies. Boomtube; I really enjoyed your reply, in fact I had a good laugh. I wish you were here, we could change the " I've never known anyone" to I've only known one person..... I've got a Chevy 4x4 double cab that I'm going to have to replace one of these days and I was thinking of something smaller. I'm going to wait for awhile and see what Baraka Bozo does. It might have to run on electricity or maybe...... wishful thinking? I've got a 19' boat I'm going to sell next spring. I'm just not able to wrestle the boat on the trailer like I used to.( Montana has some stiff breezes at times). I already have it's replacement: a drift boat. I think we lucked out on the house we bought. We were thinking of something bigger but why have double the maintenance, cleaning and heating bill? What's this got to do with a chronograph? Not much except you have to assess your needs. First on my list is safety. I have a new 270 Win. barrel on a Enfield action. I re barreled from 30-06 to 270 for recoil and accuracy issues. With a medium load of H-4831 (54 gr. - 140 gr. Ab) the primers are starting to crater, flatten and it kicks like a mule. ( a young mule, sharp and crisp) It never kicked like that when it was a 30-06. The second is for the drop chart. I have a CZ 550 action, 25-06 AI shooting 130 gr. wildcat bullets which is coming along just fine-I think. With 59.5 gr. of H-1000 I shot a 3/8" 3 shot group. Recoil seems acceptable. I've done some research and Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital keeps coming up. I think I'll get one. At one time it was faster horses,younger women,older whiskey and more money. Now it seems like it's gentle horses, spending time with the grand kids,stay out of the whiskey and your on a budget. I may be getting long in the tooth but every time I see that beautiful sunset I turn around and run in the other direction. Thanks Mike
     
  13. Clark

    Clark Well-Known Member

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    On Oct 27 I saw a 125 pound man who had been packing out a big bull elk with 10 trips. He had a boat ~25 feet that he drove onto his trailer with in a foot of the winch, and attached the winch line from the bow. He was covered with blood, and yet not a move nor word was wasted as he explained to me how he got the elk and how I should find some. He runs Big Sky Rec V in Boseman. The launch was at Devil's Creek.

    I have launched and trailered a boat a thousand times. I have watched a thousand others do it, in Seattle. Seeing great boating skill in MT was ironic.
     
  14. linksmechanic

    linksmechanic Well-Known Member

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    I hate chronos, no matter the brand. I'm always looking for magical es and sd numbers. Depending on what time of the day it is no matter which I use the numbers are different that the day before. I have found the only way to be consisent is to build a "coffin" of sorts and install lighting or the infared screens. If you don't have your own place to shoot this can be a real pain dragging to the range and real joke to set up. For the most part I only now use the chrono to get a base line and then use exbal to correct the reading if it's off for my drop chart. I then shoot a ton at distance to judge es and sd. I've found this is way more consistent. By the way I have one shooting chrony, a ced m2 and sold a oehler 35 recently. The last 2 were big step past the first 1 but not flawless.