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Chronograph

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by 45Frank, Oct 17, 2013.

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  1. 45Frank

    45Frank Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  2. 556by45guy

    556by45guy Member

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    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.
     
  3. jwrowland77

    jwrowland77 Member

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    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.
     
  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    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.
     
  5. hunterwinco

    hunterwinco Member

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    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.
     
  6. 556by45guy

    556by45guy Member

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    I know right! After I got mine I couldn't believe how I got along without it. :)
     
  7. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    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-E...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.
     
  8. 119er

    119er Member

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    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.
     
  9. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Buy anything other than a Chrony and you'll do fine.
     
  10. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    Buy a Chrony and you'll be fine. I paid $75 for mine at Wal Mart and its been doing the job for years.
     
  11. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    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.
     
  12. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    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
    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!)
     
  13. hdbiker

    hdbiker Member

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    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
     
  14. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    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.
     
  15. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Member

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    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
     
  16. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    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.
     
  17. mtrmn

    mtrmn Member

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    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.
     
  18. hunterwinco

    hunterwinco Member

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    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
     
  19. Nordeste

    Nordeste Member

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    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.
     
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    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


    911572.jpg
     
  21. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    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
     
  22. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Member

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    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
     
  23. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    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 ...
     
  24. jcwallace84

    jcwallace84 Member

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    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.
     
  25. TooManyToys

    TooManyToys Member

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    Yes, this correct. up to 9 strings of 99 shots at a time.
    Quality unit, especially for the price.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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