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I bought a chronograph today

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Redneck with a 40, May 27, 2007.

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  1. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    I'm pretty excited to find out what my 40 S&W rounds are doing out of my XD 4", as well as my 357 rounds out of my 4" tracker. I've got plenty of ammo I want to test in both calibers, target loads and XTP's/Gold Dot's.:D I'm also curious as to what velocity my 40 S&W Rainier loads are pushing.

    Rounds to be tested :
    1) 155 grain Ranier with 6.5 grains of Unique (40 S&W)
    2) 165 grain Rainier with 6 grains of Unique (40 S&W)
    3) 155 grain XTP with 7.3 grains of Unique (40 S&W)
    4) 155 grain Gold Dot with 7.5 grains of Unique (This one should be smokin):D
    5) 125 grain Remington JSP with 9.5 grains of Unique (357)
    6) 158 grain Remington JSP with 16.6 grains of 296:D (This one is a big boomer)
    7) 158 grain Ranier with 7 grains of Unique (target load 357)
    8) 158 grain Rainier in 38 spl with 4.5 grains of Unique, a +P load.

    This should make for a great day tomorrow, of course I will record all of my results, which will help me tailor my loads.

    I bought the basic F-1 chrony for $89.99 at Sportsmans Warehouse today, it got really good user reviews on Miday, so I figured "what the hell".:D
  2. Idano

    Idano Member

    Oct 2, 2006
    Redneck ,

    I have the same one and I am sure you will enjoy it. I doubt if you will need your sun screens since you are shooting pistols over it, I haven't needed to use them. Some times I have to change directions in order to get good readings with the screen, which can't always be done at some ranges.
  3. xsquidgator

    xsquidgator Member

    Jan 14, 2007
    Redneck with a 40,
    How did it turn out? I've been on the verge of buying a chronograph and am curious as to how close to published fps my loads will be when I try them.
  4. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    Here are my results : :D

    357 magnum / Taurus Tracker 4" barrel / ported

    125 grain Rem JSP / 9.6 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 1309
    High Velocity = 1393
    Advertised Velocity = 1585 fps / Lee Modern Reloading Second Edition

    125 grain Rem JSP / 9.0 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 1296
    High Velocity = 1354 (general purpose load, target-field)

    158 grain Ranier FP / 7 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 1030
    High Velocity = 1078 (this is my target load)

    158 grain 38 spl / 4.5 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 811
    High Velocity = 864

    158 grain Rem JSP / 16.6 grains of 296 / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 1273
    High Velocity = 1277 (field - hiking load)
    Advertised Velocity = 1610......whatever.:p

    40 S&W / Springfield XD / 4" barrel

    155 grain Ranier FP / 6.5 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 1028
    High Velocity = 1105 (target load)

    165 grain Ranier FP / 6 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 962
    High Velocity = 976 (target load)

    160 grain plate FP / 7 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 1099
    High Velocity = 1154 (target load)

    155 grain XTP / 7.3 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 1127 (woods-hiking load)
    High Velocity = 1150

    155 grain Speer Gold Dot / 7.5 grains of Unique / 5 shot string
    Low Velocity = 1165
    High Velocity = 1215 :D (woods-hiking load)

    These are close to factory loads at 1200 fps. I'm gonna chrono my Winchester Ranger 155's, to see if they meet the advertised 1200 fps. I have my doubts.

    I decided to back off my 357 / 125's to 9 grains of Unique, I only lost 50 fps. At 9.6 grains, the blast was ferocious and it felt like the gun was being "punished".
  5. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    SE Wisconsin
    Chronographs really allow you to cut through the BS pretty fast don't they? :D

    I've only used my F1 for cast rifle loads so far, and it was an eye opener. I quickly learned that the typical 'load' with 16gr of 2400 doesn't push a bullet anywhere near the oft quoted 1500 fps that it should get- I've upped my charges to around 18 grs in 30-06 and 8x57 to get to that range and with better accuracy. I've also found out that 2400 doesn't work in My 6.5 swede loads worth a darn but Unique is very good. The chronograph has saved me a lot of time and frustration.

    I never thought I needed a chronograph, but the $70 or so I spent on the F1 seesm to be a really good investment.
  6. wally

    wally Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Houston, Tx
    Chronographs are a great toy and a good excuse to get to the range more often, "honey, I've got to go measure the velocity of this batch of ammo" :)

    But I've not had mine out of the attic in 20 years, you end up chasing differences that are meaningless as different instances of the same gun can easily show 50-100fps variations with the same loads.

    Perhaps more useful for the rifle reloader as the SD (standard deviation) is very useful parameter. Although loads with a small standard deviation can be inaccurate if the bullet is not stabilized properly at that velocity, loads with a large SD will never give good groups at longer ranges because of vertical stringing -- just use a ballistics table to compare the drop at 150 yards for muzzle velocities of 2500fps vs 2650 fps, this opens up the groups no matter what.

    Unique is a bit too fast for full house .357/.44 magnum or 10mm loads, try Blue Dot to equal the factory magnum ammo experience.

  7. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    I chrono'd my Winchester Ranger 155 grain JHP's today, advertised velocity = 1200 fps. My actual velocity from my 4'" Springfield XD is 1100 +/- 10 fps. That figures. Winchester is full of it.:p

    I also tested my 154 grain soft points (7.62x39). The advertised velocity is 2104 fps, I got 2200. I'm pleased about this.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2007
  8. the pistolero

    the pistolero Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
    Haha, that's the truth! I've shot every one of my homemade 10mm rounds over the chrony. Last week I was driving my 155-grain XTPs downrange at an average of just over 1370 fps. I am thinking I should have gotten the Alpha Chrony so I could go back & get my shot velocities later instead of writing them down when I get them, because right now it's take a shot..write down velocity...take a shot...write down velocity...:D
    From what I understand, Accurate No. 9 is also good for .357 Magnum, Redneck, so you might try that as well. I know it's worked very well for me and the 10mm.
  9. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    Another shocker; I fired off some 22 LR stinger's and got 1350 fps out of my Ruger 22/45.:what: This is smokin' for a 22 out of a pistol, pretty impressive.:D
  10. Ol` Joe

    Ol` Joe Member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Cronos give one some interesting and useful data. The true velocity of our loads varies though, and as noted can change from day to day. The factory stuff`s velocity isn`t always fudged, they record it useing min spec chambers and barrels, at a specified temp (usually 70F) and with barrel lenghts that don`t always match ours. The chamber size of our firearm, throat lenght & roughness, ammo and gun temp, air temp, bore smoothness and size, components and the lot # of them being used (different powder lots can vary by up to 10% in burn rate I`ve been told) all will change the velocity found. I have found even the lighting when useing your crono can change the readings some. The low evening and morning sun can give slightly different readings then the same load gave at noon on the same day.

    I look for velocities in the range I feel I need, and search for the load with the smallest extreme spread. SD and peak velocity are less important then a consistant velocity IMO. A 100 fps difference doesn`t make a noticable difference in bullet drop at ranges a cartridge is suitable for and as long as the load is accurate it doesn`t matter for target or plinking.
    I ran a couple of "what ifs" on RCBS load and it shows for the 45 acp with a 230 gr bullet a drop change of about .6" from 25 to 50 yd with a 25 yd zero when we change the velocity by 100 fps from 800 to 900 fps.
    The 308 with a 150 gr bullet shows .3" change when velocity is varied from 2800 to 2900 fps at 200 yds with a 100 yd zero. These differences will possibly enlarge your groups but under field conditions shouldn`t cause one to miss game.
  11. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Red, was the 158 grain .38 special load (4.5 grs of Unique) a lead bullet or plated. Thanks, Good information. P.S. .357 Magnum, Try 8.4 grains of Unique under the same 125 grain jacketed, a nice medium range load, burns clean and is super accurate in my Blackhawk and Rossi 92 Levergun. Bill
  12. StrikeEagle

    StrikeEagle Member

    Jul 8, 2004
    Chrony is a great toy for sure. :)

    When I got mine I even dug out my old Daisy BB-Gun from 1961 and chronied it. It's useful, yes... but for me, mostly it's just been another way for me to enjoy shooting. :)
  13. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    Hey whitey, my 38 spl load is with 158 grain Ranier plated bullets. I might up this load a few tenth's, try and get'em closer to 900 fps. Its a good target load regardless, accurate, low recoil.:D
  14. pinkymingeo

    pinkymingeo Member

    May 31, 2007
    The chrony is way more than just a fun range toy. You'll find that max loads in your particular gun can be way below what's published. You'll start to see velocity dropping off and fps spreads increasing. Different levels of crimp can be a real eye-opener. Try adjusting that die 1/4 turn at a time, and clock the results.
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