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Best value chrono for INDOOR testing?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ATLDave, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I'm looking for a chronograph that will work well at an indoor range - I understand many will require add-on lighting and screens to deal with the flourescent flicker of the ambient range lights. Use will primarily be testing handgun loads, so magnetospeed is out. I covet a labradar, but not looking to drop that kind of scratch. Who has a basic chrono that they like for that application?
     
  2. Riccochet

    Riccochet Member

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    Magnetospeed will work on pistols. Most pistols, anyways. Revolvers and pistols with an accessory rail are no problem.

    I think LabRadar is your only other option. Most indoor ranges, at least the ones I go to, never go cold to allow you in front of the firing line to set up.
     
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  3. JO JO

    JO JO Member

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  4. irishlad

    irishlad Member

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  5. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Sorry, won't work on the guns in question. No rails on most competition guns.

    I have no problem getting access forward of the firing line at times, so regular old screen-based chronos are an/the option... just trying to make sure I pick one that handles indoor lighting conditions OK.
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Member

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    Mine is the basic shooting chrony and I could not get it to work indoors. I even took my own bulbs to put incandescent bulbs directly above it, but the farther away florescent at the range still made it go haywire. It would occasionally work with sun screens and enough fluorescent turned off, but was still unreliable that way.

    So sorry I can't tell you what will work, but can tell you what won't - at least without more effort than I was willing....
     
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  7. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Thanks. CMV, that was the Chrony brand that you were using and couldn't get to read indoors?
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Member

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    Shooting Chrony F-1 brand/model of mine. One of the least expensive out there - at least when I bought it. Works great outdoors with overhead sun or overcast day.
     
  9. Toprudder

    Toprudder Member

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    The lighting could be a problem. Incandescent should work fine, fluorescent will not, LEDs may depend on the circuit that drives them. If you get the Caldwell kit that comes with the powered light screens and can turn off any overhead lights that are over the chrono, it may work ok.

    It has been my experience that if the lighting is a problem, you will know right away because the chrono will try to trigger on the 120Hz flicker from the lights, throwing out bogus numbers and/or error codes. What you can do, though, is build a box that the chrono sits inside, covered on all sides except for a hole in each end that you shoot through. Paint the inside black, and use the powered screens that come with the deluxe kit.
     
  10. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I know that others have successfully used chronos (without a box) in the range(s) where I am planning to use this. I suppose I should just ask them which ones they were using, as I simply cannot recall.
     
  11. CMV

    CMV Member

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    Good idea - find someone else whose works there & just get same. Much better than trial & error & fabbing up workarounds.

    Also, get the -BR model. That stands for bullet resistant - the non bullet resistant versions like mine don't hold up to rifle all that well :)
     
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  12. AshMan40

    AshMan40 Member

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    I recently picked up the Caldwell G2 Ballistic chrono setup.
    https://www.amazon.com/Caldwell-Ballistic-Precision-Chronograph-Rechargeable/dp/B01B7OYNJG/

    Its sensors are downward facing so should be less sensitive to florescent lighting. You may still need to power the LED screens when used indoors. The bluetooth interface is great since it is wireless and provides enough range for a reasonable distance. The manual says 10-15ft but I've reached 20ft indoors w/o issue. Bluetooth can be impacted by WIFi noise and microwaves (found indoors) as they share the same radio frequency. You can probably get even better range outdoors.

    I don't have a lot of range time with this chrono. My initial impression is it will work "most of the time". I've run into a few cases where the chrono was sending errors to the phone app resulting in dozens of error readings for just 5 shots fired. A reset of the chrono fixes this but that can be a pain when you are shooting at a range with others and need to call a cease-fire to reset your chrono. :(
     
  13. Mike44

    Mike44 Member

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    I have used the Caldwell model referenced in post #3 at an indoor range with florescent lighting. The light kit that comes with the chrono worked fine but the batteries for the light kit do not last long. The next time I will use the transformer provided by Caldwell and an extension cord to power the lights.
     
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  14. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    I can attest to a Caldwell's slight bullet resistance. :D
    I have the one that comes with a tripod and everything. While I don't know if it will work inside, it did survive an errant twenty two bullet...:eek:

    It comes with an overhead non-capacitated infrared L.E.D. array. It's supposed to work in the dark. If a black shroud were draped over this, it may block any of the flashing from the overhead lights. Without a cumbersome box. Two dowels taped perpendicular to the top could lengthen the "tunnel", shading the optical sensors better, while still fitting into the factory carrying case.

    I have used the lighted sunscreens at dusk and they worked perfectly.

    I will get a LabRadar next, for sheer ease of use. But hopefully mine will be ,um, "durable" for some time yet...:)
     
  15. Hondo 60
    • Contributing Member

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I have 2 chronos. A Caldwell & a Competition Electronics. The CE didn't work to well in the dark. But maybe I just didn't have it setup correctly.

    The Caldwell seemed to work better. But it wasn't perfect either. Still I prefer the Caldwell interface, but their CS is severely lacking.

    CE's CS is as good as you'll find in the firearms industry.
     
  16. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    The only one that would work for where I shoot indoors is a LabRadar and works very well.
     
  17. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    You won't regret it. Start a go-fund-me page. Or go halvies with a friend. All the the time you spend tinkering with sky screen you could be shooting.

    Get the LabRadar.
     
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  18. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I have a CED M2 with the auxiliary lights. I have not used it indoors but it worked well outdoors under all light conditions.

    I'd expect it would work well indoors.
     
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  19. sbwaters
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    sbwaters Contributing Member

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    My Caldwell works fine indoors with the led lights. More important to have it 10 feet downrange so it doesn’t get spooked by blast.

    I lust after a LabRadar but can’t justify it for the little I use a chrono. Friend has one. Delightful! Easy. Sweet! ... and I would be unlikely to wound it with an errant shot.
     
  20. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    My shootingchrony cost me $20 with a coupon out of the newspaper years ago. I have used it indoors and at night with a piece of white cardboard and a flashlight. The cheapest way I know of.

    37CCC947-CE17-41D8-82A8-503C8A2CE267.jpeg
     
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