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Chronograph recommendations?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Oyeboten, Oct 29, 2009.

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  1. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    I would like to have a Chronograph for Hand Gun Bullet Velocity measuring.


    Any recommendations for Brand and Model you find to be 'user-friendly' and reliable?


    I will be seeking a used one, most likely, via the 'e-bay' way of faith...or, via our own Buy-and-Section, here.
     
  2. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    IMO FWIW the less expensive chronographs like the Shooting Chrony F1 at around $80 and the ProChrono at a tad over $100 measure velocity as well as the more expensive ones that run $200+. The difference is mostly the bells and whistles like remote readout, and laptop connector or printer. I'm quite happy using a basic model and recording the data on paper with pencil to enter the data into a spread sheet later to crunch the numbers. While my chrono will read out SD, ES, and Average velocity for a 10 shot string I'd just as soon have the numbers generated by Xcel.

    The chrono you choose depends more on how deep you pocketbook is and if the features of the model fit your needs.
     
  3. mongoose33

    mongoose33 Member

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    I have the Competition Electronics ProChrono. Works fine.

    If I had to do it over again, I'd probably get one that either had a remote or a printer, perhaps both. But in the end that's a price issue as much as anything else.
     
  4. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Thank you both...


    I've never been around one in use...never been around one in any way at all, ever, to have had any introduction whatever.


    So...I feel totally out of the loop on this.
     
  5. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Member

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    I have a ProChrono with none of the remote accessories and don't miss them one bit. I manually record my data after a string of shots. That lets me and the gun calm down, cool down and change a target if needed.
    Absolutely invaluable if you're developing loads. The problem with having a chrono is that you'll find yourself making excuses for load development because it's much more fun when you know all the info. Now if someone would just come up with something reasonably priced to measure pressures I'd be as happy as a pig in mud.......
     
  6. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    After owning two Shooting Chrony's, and now own a ProChrono Digital, I would never get a SC again. The PCD simply works well, where as my first SC F1 bought in 1993 worked pretty well, the other (F1 Master) was total garbage. It read fast, missed shots/error messages constantly, VERY light sensitive, many impossible low/high crazy readings, and had a shooting area about 10% of my PCD. Went to use SC's much self touted trade in plan, and they reneged because my "Black" F1 Master was not eligible, only the "Green" model?

    Using the PCD is a pleasure; you switch it on and shoot through huge screens with easy to get reliable results. I don't miss the teathered remote at all, and like that the PCD is made and supported in the US. Cons... The display is a bit small on the PCD, and you only get 9 strings in the memory of 99 shots. I would much rather have more strings of less shots. For me, a good chronograph is essential equipment, and I can't imagine not using one. They really cut through the BS, and add a dimension to handloading that is very intriguing. Best of luck in whatever you choose.
     
  7. Quickdraw McGraw

    Quickdraw McGraw Member

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    I have the ProChrony and really like it! I also have none of the bells and whistles (record everything manually).

    I shoot a lot of cast boolits (lubed and some gas checked) and have put a piece of lexan in front of it to protect it from lube splatters and possible checks coming of. Got a 12" X 12" piece of scrap free from a window and glass place!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    I shoot 95%+ cast as well, and added a thick clear plastic lid to my PCD to protect against lube splatter:

    [​IMG]

    Going to do some final fitting so that it has a true "snap fit", or make it easy access during string changes. Also going to use my old SC plexi laminate for use during gas check shooting... Good score on that Lexan.
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Same here.
     
  10. MAXM

    MAXM Member

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    + 1 for ProChrono Digital.
    Bad experience (two times) with Chrony.
     
  11. Deavis

    Deavis Member

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    My experience that I've posted before:

    I have yet to hear anything from Pact despite mailing and calling them multiple times. Very poor customer support in my opinion. The CED Millenium Pro has continued to perform well and once you get used to it, it is a breeze to use. Cloudy, sunny, windy, whatever, it works. I've never used the cheaper chronos because I want the ability to download data to my computer.

    If you feel that you absolutely must have a printer, I'm willing to bet that 99% of the time, being able to D/L the data is more useful thatn that little printout that will get lost eventually. You can create quite a dataset on your computer to analyze your reloading practices by D/Ling your data versus just writing it down in a book or saving that printout. To me, that is worth the extra money over a shooting chrony, it saves me considerable time in analyzing the data.
     
  12. psyop

    psyop Member

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    Pro Chrono...havent used anything else nor do I see a need to. Reasonably priced.
     
  13. PO2Hammer

    PO2Hammer Member

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    I've been using a friend's Chrony F1 while he avoids winter in Florida (wuss). it doesn't record anything, or have a remote display, but it's cheap and it works.
     
  14. jsg

    jsg Member

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    I have the Chrony F1. It works but I wish it had a remote display. I don't mind writing down my data after each shot but if you shoot with more than one person on the range, it can be a real pain to read and tinker without making the other guy stop and unload so you can walk out there a few feet past the firing line.
     
  15. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Thanks everyone for your contributions on this matter.


    I ordered one from 'Midway' earlier to-day, after carefully regarding your various mentions.


    So...I ponied up, and a Brand New "Item Number 852429 Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph" shall be arriving next week sometime.


    Wooooo-Hooooo!


    I'm REALLY looking forward to using it!
     
  16. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    When and I mean WHEN you shoot the face of that Pro, then you'll wish you had looked at the Pact or Oehler!

    Jimmy K
     
  17. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    My Chrony Beta Master has a remote and it's very convenient, particularly since the chrony is about 15' away. I write down the velocity of each shot and then transfer the data to an Excel spreadsheet when I get home. I could care less about a printer but a remote is a must have for me.

    :)
     
  18. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    Lol...


    Maybe!



    Should I use Clothes Pins or Tape, or? - to hold the Target on those 'Rabbit Ear' things?

    I don't want it sliding down and covering the read-out...



    (Just kidding...)
     
  19. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Oehler's are good but they were discontinued 8 years ago.
    I have owned two Shooting Chronys and they're a POS.
    Best chrono for the money is a CED M2. I don't think I've ever read a complaint about Competitive Edge Dynamics chronographs.
     
  20. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Member

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    You guys might consider replacing the metal rods with 1/8th wooden dowel. A friend nicked one of the metal rods once (no damage) and I immediately switched in case it happens again....
     
  21. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    You are really going to enjoy what it will add to your reloading experience, and I look forward to your thoughts/evaluation after trying it out. CE has a policy that covers shot-up machines, as follows:

    COMPETITION ELECTRONICS, INC., will recondition to working order any
    ProChrono Digital returned to it regardless of condition upon the purchaser's remittance of payment of 1/2 of current retail price, if it is still manufactured
    by COMPETITION ELECTRONICS, INC.


    Good luck with your nice chronograph!
     
  22. MCMXI

    MCMXI Member

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    I have a Shooting Chrony and it works just fine. Like ALL chronographs, lighting is important and many of the errors encountered by chrony users are a direct result of improper lighting. Essentially they all do the same thing but it would be interesting to read an extensive chronograph review of the most common models. As for the CED M2, it looks like a decent model. The PC interface is useful and it comes with a remote. The built in calculator seems redundant, but perhaps it's included so that the user can figure out how much they just spent on ammunition!

    :)
     
  23. jfh

    jfh Member

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    I'm a bit behind on the "latest and greatest" but, eighteen months ago I first tried a Chrony Beta Master and then a CED M2 after my early (? brand--big, twenty years ago, made in TX) needed rebuilding (bad electronics).

    I found the Beta Master to be satisfactory, but a bit iffy with the sun-and-shade issues, and maybe a bit susceptible to muzzle blast. The CED M2 I found delightful, but I was then shooting up to 500 rounds or so a week for a reloading project data gathering, and I truly appreciate the easy data download and the storage capacity of the CED M2.

    This year, I've had a Chrono out twice--and any model would do finel, I suspect. But--for building long-term computer-based data bases, the CED M2 can't be beat, IMO.

    Jim H.
     
  24. Galil5.56

    Galil5.56 Member

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    Well, that is exactly why I hate Shooting Chrony chronographs; erratic performance where one may be "good", another off the line, junk... Some work OK but finicky, other's are complete POS and that was my experience with them. Both were set up correctly (proper light/new battery/completely unfolded/ 20 ft away/proper diffuser use, etc.....) My second SC would get constant error messages, crazy velocities, read WAY fast (same lot of ammo and firearm), or just flat refuse to trigger a reading. Also it had a shooting area of 3" above the center eyes... Any bullet outside of say an imaginary 3" tube and not precisely over the eyes was an error or no read. Ironic, but in the exact same or even more challenging conditions the ProChrono digital just works without all the B.S. Drama I had with Shooting Chrony products. Although the PCD does not have a remote that can view velocity, it does have one to change strings, and they also have software that allows downloading to your PC.

    I really am happy for folks who like their SC (considering it's accurate), but enough was enough for me, and their crappy CS was the icing on the cake. BTW, some Chrono's don't need visible light, as they use IR and can be shot in total darkness with accurate results. Lastly, Taffin did a review of 4 popular model Chronographs, and a little googling might be worth the effort.
     
  25. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I have a Shooting Chrony F1 with remote readout that I place on the shooting bench, so I don't have to keep walking to the unit. I also have the pushbutton cable that allows me to go back through the velocities, look at Av, ES, etc.

    Yes, there have been erratic records, but that definately has to do with my not setting it up properly with respect to lighting and/or the lighting somehow changes (cloudy to sunny and vice-versa).

    For the price, I am a happy camper.

    Calling a Shooting Chrony a POS is just like me calling a Taurus revolver a POS because I had a negative experience before I even purhased it -- so I DIDN'T PURCHASE IT!
     
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