Review - SuperCHRONO Accoustic Chronograph

Discussion in 'Videos Of Tech Stuff And Reviews' started by scotsgun, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. scotsgun

    scotsgun Well-Known Member

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    Note : Apologies for the pics. I used my phone and managed mostly to get partial pics of feet, bushes, cows in the next field, etc. Everything but the intended thing to be photographed. Unfortunately this has resulted in much less pictures than originally intended.

    OK, so my old chronograph finally died after months of faulty readings or flat refusals to work. I was tired of the same optical types which required firing between the poles and could only really measure velocities at the rifle; not further down-range. A bit of research and advice from friends led me to the SuperChrono Accoustic Chronograph. Essentially a chronograph that measured velocities acoustically by measuring the crack of the bullet as it travels across two sensors. Promised benefits included:

    • No more limitations in poor light.
    • No need to shoot between poles.
    • A much greater readable area (approx 60 inches above the chrono and 31 inches either side).
    • The ability to place it anywhere along the bullets flight in order to confirm velocities at different distances.
    • Can be used regardless of weather and light conditions, including rain, snow and fog.

    Approximately $380 dollars later and the parcel arrived at home. Removal of the wrapping and bubble wrap and I discovered the unit packaged in a vac formed blister pack, complete with cardboard backing card which unfolded to show instructions on both sides. Instructions which were brief and straightforward. Despite the purchase price, the packaging does not instil one with confidence and quality.

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    Setup
    The unit is supplied with an allen key (metric size) which is used to remove the battery pack lid and install 4 x AA batteries (not included). There’s also a threaded hole on the underside with which to fit a photographic tripod. There’s also a sticker repeating the siting instructions for those who couldn’t be bothered reading the original instructions or have forgotten.
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    Operation
    I’ve recently acquired a Remington 700 in 22-250 which i’m having problems working up a load for so decided to bring the chrono along. The day was winds of between 30-40mph, gusting to 50s, showers and poor light conditions. Ideal for testing its capabilities.

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    I set the chrono approximately 40yds from the target and then withdrew a further 150yds approx. The handheld laser read 192yds in total. The chrono has a pair of sights similar to those found on a lever action rifle, mounted at the front and back. Provided you sight along these sights and position the unit in line with the bullets path, it will record the velocity of the bullet as it travels over it. The only other consideration is ensuring that it is level. This is helped with the addition of a small spirit level positioned on the top face.

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    The chrono will read the velocities in either feet per second (ft/s) or meters per second (m/s). You can switch between both without fear of losing your readings at any time and an average will be calculated upon pressing the average button. Just remember to clear old readings by pressing the reset button. I didn’t and got thoroughly confused.

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    At the end of the day my friends and I had successfully recorded velocities using calibres including .243, .223, .308, 22-250 and 25-06. The only failures occurred when we deliberately acted like numpties and attempted to confuse the unit.

    Numpty Tests
    How could we cock up and how far could we deviate from the instructions in order to confuse the chronograph? We began by leaving the unit uneven. The readings didn’t change substantially until the front was elevated to approximately 20 degrees. By that time it was reading 200-300 ft/s less than expected. However the easiest way to confuse it was to change its direction from that of the bullets path. We aimed it 45 degrees from the bullets path and in doings so reduced the recorded velocity by approximately 1000 ft/s !
    Shooting either side didn’t seem to change effect it much. We eventually worked out to stupid distances of approximately 4ft either side of the target before concluding that anyone shooting so badly has no right to own a rifle in the first place.

    My Results
    I’d love to be able to tell you that all my shots resulted in a neat little clover leaf on the target and that I went home with a big smile on my face. The chronograph performed faultlessly but I didn’t. My 22-250 load consisted of 52gr Hornady Amax bullets, CCI primers and 35.5grs of Varget. Unfortunately the velocities ranged from 3605 – 3632ft/s which resulted in bullets scattered all over the 3.5 inch target at 190yds. Obviously i’ve messed up my reloading somewhere.

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  2. phorwath

    phorwath Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the write up. Sounds like it functioned as designed. I like the ease of using this unit down-range. Way downrange.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the packaging and instructions. If Leupold had packaged the unit, it would probably be selling for an extra $300.
     

  3. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Very pleased by your willingness to put up the funds to try this thing. I've been looking hard at it and was a bit hesitant to do the try thing. :rolleyes:

    Now if it could be made to send the reading back from down range, that would be super neat.

    I think I'll jump on it anyway.:)

    Thanks a ton.....:)
     
  4. CA48

    CA48 Well-Known Member

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    Nice write up. This unit looks promising, I wonder how close the
    numbers would be comparing it side by side to other top brand chronys.
     
  5. JonnyVang

    JonnyVang Active Member

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    Be aware. The superchrono must be level with the bullet path, not with the ground.
    Due to the relatively slow propagation of sound waves it is very important (more than on traditional light sensor chronos)
    If you use your time to set it up properly I it seems to work very well.
     
  6. scotsgun

    scotsgun Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned this to the guy I bought it from who said that a bluetooth version which sends back to your phone is in the pipeline. They're also going to make my model upgradable for this option

    Also I should have mentioned that I had tested it against an optical chronological the night before, inan indoor range. However my pics were so bad that I decided not to include the comparison. The model was a ProChrono and the results were pretty similar (when the optical one worked - it failed a couple of times).
     
  7. CA48

    CA48 Well-Known Member

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    Now your talkin!
     
  8. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I just ordered one. Having owned a few different chronographs, I believe the data produced is the weak link due to lighting, bullet surface, etc. While I always confirm with actual drops, it would be nice to have accurate velocity information under any lighting condition. Acoustic technology for this application is considered far more accurate then conventional chronographs....... I hope to find out if this is true.
    Saw this on -utube

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnJilZEzIHM&feature=youtube_gdata_player]SuperChrono demo and use - YouTube[/ame]
     
  9. cowboy

    cowboy Well-Known Member

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    Greyfox: Where did you order yours from ?
    Let us know how long it takes to get one and even better let us know your thoughts. Thanks
     
  10. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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  11. scotsgun

    scotsgun Well-Known Member

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    I bought mine from a dealer in the UK. Nice husband and wife outfit, both shooters snd honest. You'll find them at: Shooting SHED
     
  12. joseph floerke

    joseph floerke Well-Known Member

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    awsome review i think i am getting one.
     
  13. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

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    I would also check out the Magntospeed. It operates on the principal of the bullet passing through magnetic field. and has many of the same benefits as the Superchrono. It may very well be better than the Superhrono. I have now used the Superchrono and while I have gotten some good velocity data out of it, its not that user freindly. It requires perfect alignment and carefully measured distances from the rifle to get accurate results. I have also ordered a Magnetospeed and will do some comparisons when I get it.
     
  14. yama49

    yama49 Well-Known Member

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    Look forward to your reviews greyfox, I was looking at the mag speed, then i come across this post, now im wondering which way to go..