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Apparently I need a chronograph

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by drgoose, Jun 1, 2010.

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  1. drgoose

    drgoose Member

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    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.
     
  2. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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  3. MifflinKid

    MifflinKid Member

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    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.
     
  4. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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  5. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    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.
     
  6. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I've got one for sale right now. Almost new, and only one bullet hole. Make me an offer.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. qajaq59

    qajaq59 Member

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    MichaelK, I think maybe your rifle is shooting a bit low. LOL
     
  8. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    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
     
  9. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    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
     
  10. exbiologist

    exbiologist Member

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    My F1 chrony still works despite having a bullet hole in it
     
  11. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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  12. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    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.
     
  13. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    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.
     
  14. Wingnut13

    Wingnut13 Member

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    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
     
  15. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    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.
     
  17. 375shooter

    375shooter Member

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    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.
     
  18. ForneyRider

    ForneyRider Member

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    I use the Chrony Beta. Chronies are handy for figuring out bullet trajectory.
     
  19. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    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.
     
  20. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    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 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.

    :)
     
  21. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    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.
     
  22. HighExpert

    HighExpert Member

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    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.
     
  23. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    BUMP - mistake.
     
  24. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    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.
     
  25. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    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!
     
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