Seriously, replacement cases cost very little for the 35P, $15.00 is alot less than a new Chrony.
I have owned two Chronys, an Alpha and an F1 Master, and they didn't qualify as "good ones" by any stretch of the immagination either. An Oehler 35P is a "good" one, I have not heard anyone ever argue that one.
The title of the thread is "Best Chrono?", so IMHO that rules out the Chrony right there.
Since your question is for "any chronograph you wanted" I would take a Doepler radar unit with an Oehler 83 with acoustic mics as a backup, since that would require an indoor ballistic lab c/w a 1, 2 or 300 yard shooting tunnel to go with it. The doepler will even measure how fast (or slow) you are walking when you go down to the targets, plus many other amazing things (like tracing the bullet's trajectory as it is in flight).
Cost for the system is about 150,000 for the Dopler (that might be low, depends on what it feeds into etc.), another 15 thousand for the 83, the indoor lab would be at least 1/4 million (**** soundproofing, bullet stop, ventilation system and lighting is expensive - plus you would need a coffee maker and some styrofoam cups...).
Have shot on a few of these, they are very nice, video on the targets, electronic target advance, digital measuring or bullet location and group spread via the 83, muzzle and downrange velocities plus BC, time of flight, constant lighting, fairly constant temperature control, all data fed into a computer with a laser printer attached.
Some industry indoor ranges have very good benches, some have shelves so that you fire from standing. Some use actual firearms for testing while others use railguns with interchangeable barrels. Backstops vary, one common system is called a snail since it is shaped to deflect the bullet or shot into a semi-circle. Everyone should have one of these things in his home - right Len.
On the other hand, I am like Brent and find that my 35P's do a great job. If I want to get technical I will use my 43 with accoustics, but it requires a laptop and is even more complicated than our VCR. Guys my age don't get along good with VCR's...
I'm not looking to shoot down planes! Cleary I didn't know there wa ssuch a range in prices for good chronographing rigs. The chronys are readily available here and I see them a lot. I've never even seen an oeler (sp??) but if that's the $h!t, then's that what I'll get. How much does that 35P run?
All I want is a rleiable means of chronographing loads, and I like the idea of the printer. That being said, I ahve Dell laptop and I can always print at home. Oh yeah, did I mention I need something that work in cold weather...
Wouldn't an indoor range be nice in your area right now!!
The 35 is about $200, comes with two screens and a 2' rail and tripod adapter... no printer. Simple, but you will have to wright down your data. It is upgadable, giving you a proof chronograph built in by adding another screen later, you can also add a printer later too.
The 35P (printer model) comes with all of it right from the begining and is $345.00, worth every penny.
Might as well by straight from Oehler, I never see prices any cheaper. They have excellent service and support, ask for Clovis, he'll set you up and ship it right out. Get there tripods, there simple and one on each end lets you line up one end at a time while not bothering the other end.
Most all the serious junkies use the 35P, top notch accurate readings, proof chronograph all in one, leader in the industry, unquestionably great customer service and gaurantee, on and on... http://www.oehler-research.com/
My Chrony brand chronies were so erratic and inconsistant, shot data was almost meaningless most of the time. They missed shots, got errors all the time. One would say my load was 2700, the other 2650, the next shot the first would say 2620, the second 2750. The spread was back and forth, alternating which was high, then which was low, some times as much as a 200 fps swing within 5 shots! Enough to drive a guy totally insane.
I wish this greif upon nobody. Those were the worst times in my whole reloading career. If you only knew...
If you already have a laptop and aren't on too much of a budget, check out the 43PBL that measures psi too. I love mine!
I think the 35P does everything I need it to do. I don't know why I would want to measure pressures etc. If it doesn't blow up in my face while test firing it, I consider it safe!
Seriously, I looked at the accessories on the 43PBL and I'm not really intersted in that stuff right now, now do I want to invest the time to play with it. There are far to many other things I'd rather spend time doing, like killing critters, fishing, dirtbiking and snowmobiling with my two boys, hunting down a new woman, etc. You get the idea.
Sheldon, the screens plug into the 43 instead of the 35, the 43 plugs into the laptop with a serial cable, that's the only difference in the hook up.
The 43 basically adds is a file system to organize and store test data as you test.
The option to plug in a strain gage as well as the acoustic target is there if you want to use it too. Anyone considering wanting these additional feature down the road might look at investing the money in the 43 they would have into the 35P is all, if you already have a laptop this is even better.
Alot of people just are not interested in the 43, some dream of one. Considering you already have a laptop, a big investment itself, and computer work isn't exactly new to you, I figured I'd point out some of the features and setup of both and you'd see what intersted you.
Here is a link to a photo album I have, it shows how my filing system is set up and organized, there's a pic or two in another album there too of the actual test screen. You might be interested in one down the road... http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4290736269&idx=7
You better watch what you say about CDN dollars, they just got to 48 cents last week! For a while they were at 62 cents, as in one hundred U.S. dollars buys 162 CDN dollars.
You guys get a hell of a deal hunting up here, if they will let you cross the border
Sorry to tell you, those were U.S. dollars I quoted. Forgot to include wages for a computer-electronics geek to run all the hardware while you are shooting, plus an appropriatly large-chested assistant to make and serve the coffee...
Much easier, as long as you have a clean background. They do a computer check on most fellows at the border. You simply fill out a form and give them 50 shrunken Canadian dollars. You can bring more than one firearm and the permit is for a year, I believe.
Interesting that your gov't has pretty much copied that bs for us to cross into the U.S. with a firearms. We must have the form approved in advance from Washington ATF, whereas you can get it all done at the border office. We must have a valid hunting licence or invite to a gunshow or whatever to apply for the form, but your gov't kindly does not charge a fee.
They are trying to take all the fun out of hunting, we've got to hold on and not let them win.
By the way, since this is originally about chronographs, I have crossed several times with my trusty 35P's but since there is no serial number visible they have to put a sticker on to prove it came down with me. The sticker has a number which is recorded on the greencard.