Apparently I need a chronograph


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drgoose
June 1, 2010, 09:45 PM
Since the actual muzzle speed is apparently a very useful measure, it looks like I need a new gadget.

Which ones do you recomend and why. Let's not aim for the Rolls Royce of chronographs.

Thanks.

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Walkalong
June 1, 2010, 09:57 PM
Competition Elecronics ProChrono Digital (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=852429)

Cheap. Works great. Just don't shoot it.

MifflinKid
June 1, 2010, 10:36 PM
How about the Shooting Chrony Beta Master Chronograph?

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=244882

Mine is very reliable. It folds up and fits in a small box that I keep in my truck along with an inexpensive tripod. I like running the unit via the control module from the bench. I got mine on sale for about $100 about three years ago.

It has shown me a lot about my loads.

JimKirk
June 1, 2010, 10:40 PM
http://pact.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=18&Itemid=69

Get one of these, then you don't have to worry about shooting the brains out of it! Maybe you can shoot one of it's eyes out, but the rest goes home in good shape. Replace the eyes for < $20 each. Had one for 30+ years still going strong!

Jimmy K

Grumulkin
June 2, 2010, 08:50 AM
Since the actual muzzle speed is apparently a very useful measure, it looks like I need a new gadget.

Actually, it isn't that "useful" though it will satisfy your curiosity as to how fast your bullets are going. A chronograph should not be used to decide if pressure is safe or unsafe but you probably already knew that.

MichaelK
June 2, 2010, 11:29 AM
I've got one for sale right now. Almost new, and only one bullet hole. Make me an offer.
http://i141.photobucket.com/albums/r55/kawalekm/chronograph.jpg

qajaq59
June 2, 2010, 01:05 PM
MichaelK, I think maybe your rifle is shooting a bit low. LOL

JimKirk
June 2, 2010, 03:29 PM
The crosshairs are in the "o" in Chrony... so his gun is shooting high!!!:D:D

Not sure why they would put a target on a piece of equipment....

Unless they know you gonna shoot it and have to buy another one!!!:what::what:

Jimmy K

Quoheleth
June 2, 2010, 03:34 PM
MichaelK - duct tape and baling wire will fix that good as new.

Seriously...so, other than determining velocity, what else can/will a chrono help you accomplish as a reloader? I've often wondered if it's something I should invest in but when I see $100, I think that's almost 4 boxes of cast bullets, 1/3 the price of a new-to-me used firearm, or 3-1K boxes of primers.

Q

exbiologist
June 2, 2010, 03:35 PM
My F1 chrony still works despite having a bullet hole in it

Legionnaire
June 2, 2010, 05:35 PM
The Alpha Master (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=306796) is on sale at Midway. I like mine.

Sheepdog1968
June 2, 2010, 06:12 PM
I was thinking the same thing myself. Then, I noticed that at the local rifle range I can rent one for $8 for the day. That's what I'm going to do myself. Thought you might want to see if that's possible at your local ranges.

Another thought I had prior to this was to see if someone local had a chronograph and if they brought the chronograph, I'd let them shoot my rifle(s) to get the data. I thought that might be a win win.

1SOW
June 3, 2010, 09:07 PM
Like Walkalong: Competition Elecronics ProChrono Digital

With handguns: It is actually difficult to estimate the bullet speed based on load data and "feel".

It can be a BIG surprise to run it through the Chrony and find out you were way off from what you wanted. With a Chrony you can save powder or find out you need a different powder to get the load you really want.

If you are going to Plink, Compete, Hunt or SD load the chronograph is a necessary part of efficient loading.

Wingnut13
June 4, 2010, 01:08 AM
I have the Chrony F1.... or the base model anyways. I bought it from Kempfs Gun Shop last year for $78. I figured the price in with my reloading setup as a necessary item. Works great, and for $8 a range session I would own one pretty quick! I like to reload sub sonic stuff and it helps me stay honest. ~Wingnut13

Hondo 60
June 4, 2010, 09:53 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=852429

This is the one I have. works great - I replaced the steel dowels with wood.
So if I shoot the dowel or diffuser it won't hurt the brains.

Walkalong
June 5, 2010, 09:56 AM
As others have posted, a chrono is not a magic wand, but it can show you little things you would never know without actually getting the numbers.

It can show you numbers settling down as you bump up .1 gr at a time in a pistol load. 6.4 may be better than 6.3 for consistency. Of course, it has to prove its self on target, because no matter how good the numbers are, if it isn't accurate (or at least accurate enough for the application) it isn't any good.

I even fine tune rifle by .1 at a time depending on the application. It may show you that 27.2 through 27.4 all shoot great, but it may show you it is finicky and has to be 27.3 (and 67.9 degrees, and partly cloudy, and you have to hold your mouth right, and ....). The heck with that, I like loads that have a wide sweet spot.

375shooter
June 6, 2010, 09:35 AM
My Chrony Beta has given me years of trouble-free use. If I shot mine accidentally, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new one.

ForneyRider
June 21, 2010, 06:27 PM
I use the Chrony Beta. Chronies are handy for figuring out bullet trajectory.

ranger335v
June 21, 2010, 06:53 PM
The "Rolls" chronograph is no longer made so we are left with Fords, Chevy's and a couple of Buicks.

As you can tell, they all work and the owners tend to be proud of them so it's not how well it works, it becomes how easy is it to use. Some like one thing, some the opposite. I don't like having the guts out front of a muzzle. I do like having the console on the bench for easy reading and resetting between strings, inexpensive skyscreens, having an intergrated printer that produces a hardcopy readout, an internal ballistics computer that predicts tragectories that can also be printed at the range for others. Meaning, I like my PACT Pro.

No ballistics program can give us highly accurate projections of trajectory but most of them come pretty close, at least inside maybe 400 yards.

1858
June 21, 2010, 11:20 PM
How do you know that your chronograph is accurate ... particularly if you only shoot handguns inside 50 yards? I've found that my CED M2 chronograph (http://www.cedhk.com/shop/products/CED-M2-Chronograph-Set.html) shows a significantly slower velocity compared to the Shooting Chrony Beta Master that I was using. I honestly don't know which one is correct but due to the cost difference, and the spacing between the sensors, I tend to think that the CED is more likely to be the accurate one. I could be wrong though.

:)

PO2Hammer
June 21, 2010, 11:45 PM
I've been using a friend's F-1 Chrony. It's OK, but I hate the three piece sky screens and two piece wires, slow to set up. Plus it has no memory.
When I buy my own it will have one piece screens and wires and at least a 5 shot memory. SD and ES calculations would be a plus.

HighExpert
June 24, 2010, 07:10 PM
The main use I make of my PACT is to determine SD for the match ammo I load. If your SD is below 12fps, you are doing the job and can depend on the ammo to be consistent. It also helps when developing a load for extreme temperatures, either increasing or decreasing when the velocity changes dramatically. Good Shooting.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 24, 2010, 07:12 PM
BUMP - mistake.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 24, 2010, 07:13 PM
The main use I make of my PACT is to determine SD for the match ammo I load. If your SD is below 12fps, you are doing the job and can depend on the ammo to be consistent. It also helps when developing a load for extreme temperatures, either increasing or decreasing when the velocity changes dramatically. Good Shooting.
ShootingChrony will make you an offer.
They will "buy-back" any Chronograph of theirs that has been accidentally shot and will send you a new one at minimal cost to you!
I hope you didn't destroy it more or trash it.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
June 24, 2010, 07:21 PM
I have the ShootingChrony F1 with the detached monitor that runs to my bench and I also purchased the switch which is a momentary contact which shows the number of each shot, speed of each shot, average speed of group of shots, extreme spread between highest and lowest measurements.

That switch has saved me many times when I forgot to write down the FPS of a shot when working up loads.

May I also add that, before I ever owned this, I used to estimate from my various reloading manuals, using the Sectional Density among other things to estimate my bullet speed.

After I started using this to test loads that are pet loads for over 25 years, I realized that some rifle bullets are actually going about 400 FPS FASTER than what I had thought. That changed the entire trajectory - making the gun a lot more flat-shooting than I had thought all along. No wonder I was missing far shots. So, last summer, I shot a woodchuck at 500 yards with my 22-250!

Before that, I would have been aiming way too high, then wondering why I never hit anything past about two hundred yards!

Tim the student
June 24, 2010, 09:20 PM
If your SD is below 12fps..

What makes it 12, as opposed to 15 (or 11)? I don't understand why 12 is the magic number. I understand the concept of SD, and I get that lower is better, I just don't understand where 12 came from. Can someone answer that for me?

What would be acceptable for handgun velocities? .223?

1858
June 24, 2010, 09:31 PM
What makes it 12, as opposed to 15 (or 11)? I don't understand why 12 is the magic number.

It isn't so don't focus on one number. It's ludicrous to assign one value to SD given the velocity range of ammunition. Take two extremes, an 800 fps pistol cartridge compared to a 3,000 fps rifle cartridge. The desired SD won't be the same for both. Also, don't become a slave to SD. Look at the target below comparing my reloads, Federal Gold Medal Match and American Eagle ammunition. Now look at the velocity data. American Eagle had the lowest standard deviation but is it the "best" load for my rifle? Hardly!!

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/rem700_308win/range_targets/2010/02_14_10/01.jpg

http://128.171.62.162/hawthorn-engineering/thr/rem700_308win/range_targets/2010/02_14_10/chronograph_data.jpg

:)

Robert Wilson
June 24, 2010, 09:45 PM
A chronograph should not be used to decide if pressure is safe or unsafe but you probably already knew that.

Why do you say that?

Tim the student
June 24, 2010, 11:41 PM
Thanks 1858.

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