Chronograph


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45Frank
October 17, 2013, 05:52 PM
Looking for a quality inexpensive chronograph, maybe not the cheapest but I don't want to spend thousands either.
What do you use and is there any glitches?

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556by45guy
October 17, 2013, 06:01 PM
I've had my Beta Chrony for quite a few years now. I've never used anything but Chrony so cannot give any good/bad comparisons. Either way I am happy with it and have used it to measure .177 and .22cal pellets, 22LR, 38spl, 9mm, .45, and .223.

jwrowland77
October 17, 2013, 06:19 PM
Check out MagnetoSpeed either at Midway or Brownells. It's 265 at Midway and 275 at Brownells.

It clamps right on your barrel. No need to walk down range to setup. Clamp on, look through barrel, plug cords in (which automatically turns it on), and fire away.

Only thing is, it can only be used on rifles, shotguns and revolvers. Can't use it on semi-autos.

cfullgraf
October 17, 2013, 07:56 PM
Most of the reasonably priced chronographs using optical sensors do the job but they all have some idiosyncrasies that cause operational issues. Nothing sever but they can be frustrating at times.

The price you spend will determine the features in included. The basic units require the operator to log all the data to more advance units that record strings, do calculations and send data to a printer or computer.

The Magnetospeed is not optical but has limitations. It is mostly for rifles but will work on some revolvers and single shot handguns. It works primarily with jacketed bullets but is supposed to work with cast bullets with a change of settings. I have never tried cast bullets over mine.

A big advantage to the Magentospeed is that you do not go down range to set it up but it is not inexpensive.

I would definitely spend the money required on a chronograph where only the sensors are down range. It is not "if" but "when" you shoot them out and it is less expensive to replace the sensors than the entire chronograph.

hunterwinco
October 17, 2013, 10:12 PM
I bought a shooting Chrony F1 from cabelas and I think it was like 89.00 on sale. After 30 years of loading, I finally broke down and parted with 89.00 :D. I'm sure there are a lot of features, remotes etc etc that are nice to have, but I am very pleased with this little unit. It always reads and doesn't ever show garbage readings. It is nice to finally know the actual speed of my rounds instead of just guessing.

556by45guy
October 17, 2013, 10:17 PM
It is nice to finally know the actual speed of my rounds instead of just guessing. I know right! After I got mine I couldn't believe how I got along without it. :-)

mtrmn
October 17, 2013, 10:19 PM
I used a Chrony Beta for years now, and it has been a love/hate relationship. Like Cfullgraf said, they can be very aggravating at times. Every time I used it I had to drag out the dam book to figure out how to go back and get my data, then erase it when I was through. These things shouldn't be so complicated that an old fool like myself can't operate it. And the instructions must have been translated from another language (somewhat poorly I might add) or maybe it's just geek talk with a redneck trying to comprehend it. It knew the most effective times to screw up too. Usually when I only loaded like 5 rounds of a certain load, they will all be wasted because my chrony suddenly, mysteriously goes blind. Then when I try some of my regular loads (you know, the ones that I brought HUNDREDS of) the chrony never misses a beat.
ANYway, it got me by for probably 10 years or so, until it met it's death just the other day with an errant pistol round. Can't say that I'll miss it, didn't even cuss.
I just ordered a Competition Electronics Prochrono, I'll see how it does. At least the buttons are labeled with their function in plain english. The old chrony had a button labeled "FU"--go figure.
http://www.amazon.com/Competition-Electronics-ProChrono-Digital-Chronograph/dp/B0028MTBJ4/ref=sr_1_1/186-0862594-6781444?ie=UTF8&qid=1382058095&sr=8-1&keywords=prochrono
There is another company that I read good things about-Competitive Edge Dynamics (CED)- but their chronograph is twice the price and (in case you couldn't tell) I'm not real serious about chronos anyway. I stayed confused for a couple days (nothing new) thinking these 2 companies were the same but they are not. Competition Elecronics is not CED.

119er
October 18, 2013, 12:08 AM
I'm on my second CED M2, shot my first one trying to make it read late on a cloudy day! The CED has some software that comes with it, the display is right on the bench with you and has easy one touch functions. A little more money but usually the Chrony guys stop and ask me what kind it is. They work great within reason, like I said I shot mine because I was being an impatient doofus trying to use it when I shouldn't have. But I will say that it did read the velocity of the bullet that killed it! .357 125gr XTP @ 1450!:D No semi-auto for the Magneto Speed is a deal breaker for me. Reading reviews on Midway and such usually helps but there seems to be a lot of whining about chronographs.

Otto
October 18, 2013, 12:31 AM
Buy anything other than a Chrony and you'll do fine.

Mohave-Tec
October 18, 2013, 01:16 AM
Buy a Chrony and you'll be fine. I paid $75 for mine at Wal Mart and its been doing the job for years.

ArchAngelCD
October 18, 2013, 01:38 AM
I'm very happy with the PACT Model 1 I bought a few years back. The Chrono itself sits on the bench next to you while only the sensors are in harms way.

TooManyToys
October 18, 2013, 04:29 AM
The ProChrono Digital, from Competition Electronics is a nice unit for the money.
For a little extra money you can add a remote, printer, inside lighting, etc. etc.

(815) 874-8001 competitionelectronics.com (http://competitionelectronics.com)
They are made right here in the USA and have a a great unconditional fix & repair policy that covers anything & everything. (including if you shoot a hole through it!)

hdbiker
October 18, 2013, 12:46 PM
I've had my Beta Chrony for a dozen years now, and always had trouble with it on very bright days when sun is high. Either woulden't always register or would get a error message. I nicked one of the screen wires this summer with my .243 and now it won't work at all. I won't buy another Chrony !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hdbiker

springer99
October 18, 2013, 01:04 PM
I bought a shooting Chrony F1 from cabelas and I think it was like 89.00 on sale. After 30 years of loading, I finally broke down and parted with 89.00 :D. I'm sure there are a lot of features, remotes etc etc that are nice to have, but I am very pleased with this little unit. It always reads and doesn't ever show garbage readings. It is nice to finally know the actual speed of my rounds instead of just guessing.

Here's another vote for the Chrony's. Just pick the one with the features you feel you'll need and don't worry. I've had an F-1 for about 15years now and it's always worked(as long as I have a good 9v battery in it). You CAN spend a lot more money for one if you want to, but trust me, paying more won't yield you a higher FPS reading; 2350FPS will look the same on what-ever you buy.

Reloadron
October 18, 2013, 01:07 PM
Looking for a quality inexpensive chronograph, maybe not the cheapest but I don't want to spend thousands either.
What do you use and is there any glitches?
Define "inexpensive" as one man's inexpensive is another man's expensive.

Next, you need to decide what features you want in a chronograph. Generally speaking the more features and nice to haves add to the cost.

Personally I like a chronograph that allows a PC interface and allows more flexibility in working with the data. While my older Oheler 35P doesn't allow PC interface I like the built in printer function. I can take the small printout, jot some notes on it and place it with the ammunition. Notes to include the gun used, maybe ammunition temperature and other variables.

Anyway, I would define inexpensive and determine the features you want. Then look at what is out there and work from there.

Just My Thinking....
Ron

Hondo 60
October 19, 2013, 12:30 AM
I like my Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph, but the brain is down range. :(

Chronograph Users

My observation:

There ain't but 2 kinds of chronograph users...
1. Them that's shot theirs
2. Them that's gonna shoot theirs.

I'll admit, I'm in the first category.
Scoped rifles are the bane of a chronograph's existence.

CE charges 50% of the msrp or less to replace one that's been shot.

mtrmn
October 19, 2013, 08:38 AM
I like my Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph, but the brain is down range. :(

Chronograph Users

My observation:

There ain't but 2 kinds of chronograph users...
1. Them that's shot theirs
2. Them that's gonna shoot theirs.

I'll admit, I'm in the first category.
Scoped rifles are the bane of a chronograph's existence.

CE charges 50% of the msrp or less to replace one that's been shot.
Yes, I shot mine several years before I finally finished it off. That time I was using an AR15 with a carry handle mounted scope. Line of sight WAY above the path of the bullet. But the FMJ bullet passed on through part of the metal body and did not affect operation, so it was a mere flesh wound. Next time it was shot with a cast pistol bullet right through the brain pan.

I thought about welding together a metal bullet deflector for my new one, but that would pretty much negate the safety of my backstop downrange by bouncing bullets off course. And it would be ANOTHER piece of gear I'd have to lug back and forth.

hunterwinco
October 19, 2013, 10:52 AM
Springer99...you make an excellent point about the battery. I even remove the battery after use and keep a spare 9v in my range bag. I often wonder if some problems can be corrected with proper/fresh power

Nordeste
October 19, 2013, 12:09 PM
Pro Chrono Digital is your chronograph. Reads as accurately as a CED M2 (which is the "official" IROA chronograph) and it is significantly cheaper.

You gotta be careful not to shoot it, but you have to be careful anyway if you are shooting, or reloading.

SlamFire1
October 19, 2013, 12:14 PM
My chrony only calculates averages for strings of 32 rounds or less. Shooting more rounds over the screen loses data as the unit only remembers 32 rounds. This is not what I want as I want to shoot 50 rounds at a time, since all my ammo boxes are 50 rounds.

So, does anyone make a chronograph that will average strings of 50 rounds or more?

Darn RCBS Ammomaster Chronograph averages strings in 10 shot chunks. Useless in my opinion!

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/911572/rcbs-ammomaster-chronograph


http://media.midwayusa.com/productimages/440x330/primary/911/911572.jpg

Reloadron
October 19, 2013, 02:21 PM
While I am not 100% on this it looks like the Pro Chrono Digital (https://www.competitionelectronics.com/view-shooting-products.html?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=20&category_id=7) will record and save 9 strings of 99 shots so that should get you what you are looking for.

They also offer a USB interface for a PC that uses their own software. I have no clue how good these things are but the advertising looks good. :)

Ron

35 Whelen
October 19, 2013, 02:25 PM
Why don't you average 25 rounds, record it, average the next 25, total the two averages and divide by 2?

I've been using chronographs since they first came on the market in the late '80's. All of them, with the exception of an old Pact PC2 (which was stolen several years ago), have been aggravating at best. In most cases if the lights not perfect they either don't read or give erroneous readings...especially in bright sunlight. Just last week during a temper tantrum after trying to chrono some handgun loads, I threw in the trash a Chrony Beta Master and a CED Millennium.

I wanted to like the CED and ALMOST ordered a set of their infrared screens. But after you spend $100 the screens, you have to have access to 120V power or buy the $57 rechargeable battery pack.

Midway's highest rated chronograph is the CED out-front stand alone unit. Since all of my shooting is done here at the house and I don't have to worry about a cease fire to reset my unit, I'm thinking I'll buy one of those. If it turns out to be a POS at least I won't have $200+ in it!

35W

JimKirk
October 19, 2013, 07:14 PM
I have had good luck with my old Pact Model 1 ...

I did find out that they no longer have the replacement parts to the old type sensors I have ... so If I shoot them ...I'll have to upgrade the sensors to the new type M7 ...

jcwallace84
October 19, 2013, 08:13 PM
I recently bought a ProChrono and am really liking it! I just saw another post on THR that compared it with a more expensive chrono. I was previously TRYING to use my father in laws ancient yellow chrony F1, which never once registered more than 1 or 2 shots in a row of all variations of bullet type, speed, blackened with sharpie, sunny blue sky day with and without diffusers, cloudy days with and without diffusers, all times of day. I'm not sure if the ones made within the last 20yrs are any better. They were nice cause they fold up compactly and fit well in my bag, but I don't need to lug it around all the time anyway.

TooManyToys
October 20, 2013, 02:46 AM
"While I am not 100% on this it looks like the Pro Chrono Digital will record and save 9 strings of 99 shots so that should get you what you are looking for.
They also offer a USB interface for a PC that uses their own software. I have no clue how good these things are but the advertising looks good.

Ron "


Yes, this correct. up to 9 strings of 99 shots at a time.
Quality unit, especially for the price.

DIXIEDOG
October 20, 2013, 08:39 AM
I like my Pact XP pro chrono....the parts for the sensors are cheap or so I've been told:o I got the IR version so I can use it indoors as well as outdoors, I like having the "brains" on my bench along with a printer.....as soon as I get the info I want I print it out and put it in the case with the ammo.

Reloadron
October 20, 2013, 08:54 AM
Yes, this correct. up to 9 strings of 99 shots at a time.
Quality unit, especially for the price.
I am tempted to invest in one (ProChrono) just to see how it works out with the accessories. I am curious about the PC interface and the cost is really inexpensive. I'll never give up my Oehler but there is always room for another chronograph.

Ron

SlamFire1
October 20, 2013, 12:52 PM
While I am not 100% on this it looks like the Pro Chrono Digital will record and save 9 strings of 99 shots so that should get you what you are looking for.

They also offer a USB interface for a PC that uses their own software. I have no clue how good these things are but the advertising looks good.


Thanks, looks good.


Why don't you average 25 rounds, record it, average the next 25, total the two averages and divide by 2?

Does that create a true average, extreme spread, standard deviation of 50 shots, or is that simply an average of two averages?

I will bet someone in college statistics would be able to give a good answer, but I believe, to obtain the correct statistics for 50 shots, I will need the 50 shots as data points.

5thSFGroup
October 20, 2013, 03:35 PM
Just a note on the Pro Chrono. I had to deal with customer service on replacing some parts.....My wife killed one of the sun shield supports. They were very responsive, very quick and very reasonable........as in free.

It does well in bright conditions and reduced light but not REALLY reduced light as in thirty minutes before sun down. Very late in the day is not good but I do mean late in the day.. I probably should not have been trying to test a load then but it had gotten late when I finished and tried to squeeze in a reading.

Otherwise...very reliable, not quirky. Great customer service.

jcwallace84
October 20, 2013, 07:28 PM
Thanks, looks good.




Does that create a true average, extreme spread, standard deviation of 50 shots, or is that simply an average of two averages?

I will bet someone in college statistics would be able to give a good answer, but I believe, to obtain the correct statistics for 50 shots, I will need the 50 shots as data points.
I am not a statistician, I really could benefit from understanding it better!

So anyway, I was wondering about a different question. But to try to answer yours, if you have 2 sets of numbers and combine them together, you can use that in excel to get your avg and SD. ES is easy. I believe the more shots you put into a group would increase the chances of increasing your ES, and not do much to the SD or avg. As long as you measure the shots all in the same conditions, and you don't let one of the rounds warm up while sitting in the hot chamber of your gun, then it should be a practical way of getting the stats you want.

But my big question is how many rounds do people usually use to feel comfortable that they have good numbers? I use either 5 or 10. But if I shoot more I see velocities increase as the chamber warms up.

Reloadron
October 20, 2013, 10:15 PM
Thanks, looks good.

Does that create a true average, extreme spread, standard deviation of 50 shots, or is that simply an average of two averages?

I will bet someone in college statistics would be able to give a good answer, but I believe, to obtain the correct statistics for 50 shots, I will need the 50 shots as data points.

Depends on how you go about it. I have an old print out here with some velocities for load data. We can use 5 shots as the example. Numbers are in FPS (Foot / Second).

3157
3198
3177
3207
3164
-------
15903

So 15903 / 5 = 3180.6

So the Mean (Average of 5 shots) is 3180 FPS.

If I add the first 3 shots and then the last two shots I can add those two numbers and then divide that by 5 and the mean will be the same. The standard deviation is based on a deviation from the mean. The problem is the formula for standard deviation is a little complex.

However, as mentioned, all of the data can be easily done using Excel Functions in an Excel spreadsheet. The pain in the butt with that is all the data needs to be entered into the spreadsheet. So if I shoot 10 strings (10 different loads) of 5 or 10 shots each I need to enter between 50 to 100 numbers into my Excel spreadsheet. That being a PITA!

This is where a Chronograph is nice that can interface with a PC and either populate an Excel spreadsheet with the data in CSV (Comma Separated Value) format or have it's own software to create a populated table with all the data.

So in conclusion dumping the data manually into an Excel spreadsheet is a PITA. Having Excel do the math functions for Max, Min, Spread, Mean and Standard Deviation is relatively simple assuming the user has Excel.

That would be my take on all this anyway.

Ron

Andrew Leigh
October 21, 2013, 02:23 AM
When developing loads I expect a long day at the range so setting up my Beta Chrony is not an issue. Also note that if you shoot too low over a chronograph that results tend to vary, make sure that the BULLET PATH is slightly above the ventre of the verticle displacement between the sensor and screen i.e. your scope cross must be circa 2" higher than the centre line.

Like a previous poster I also get ticked off with having to refresh my memory with reading the manual. Could not be bothered. In the early days I always recorded my results on paper, I have since bought a small netbook which I uses.

As far as the calc's go, almost all of us have MS Office. Excel has all the functions standard. Here is an extract from my log. I hate fiddly bits of paper and want to view my results live and compare them immediately.

http://i1133.photobucket.com/albums/m582/CZ550/Data.jpg

Andrew Leigh
October 21, 2013, 02:27 AM
The answer would be the same for the average but not for the min and max or the std dev.

cfullgraf
October 21, 2013, 11:00 AM
Like a previous poster I also get ticked off with having to refresh my memory with reading the manual.

I agree.

I use my chronographs so infrequently that I have to refresh my memory on its use about every time I drag it out.

I use my chronograph a few time a year, usually I will have some loads to test out, do a couple of sessions with the chronograph and then put it up for several more months.

TheCracker
October 21, 2013, 08:03 PM
F1 chrony has worked just fine for me. Should be able to get one for less than one benjamin

mtrmn
October 22, 2013, 07:51 AM
"Like a previous poster I also get ticked off with having to refresh my memory with reading the manual."

Yes, and being the previous poster I will add that I was specifically griping about the "shooting chrony" brand of chronograph. Why can't they just label the buttons properly and after one or two uses you could operate it without having to drag out the manual again???? But I've been told that I like to whine...

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