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Now that I have a chronograph...

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Crashbox, Apr 7, 2013.

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  1. Crashbox
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    Crashbox Member

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    ...one of my main concerns is properly sighting through the three triangles so as to minimize the possibility of taking one or more sensors out via the projectile. I have yet to set it up and use it, and I might be overthinking this, but it seems that one of those nifty laser bore sighters could help considerably with initial alignment. I was born very myopic and my vision isn't any better now that I'm older... and I would really like to avoid perforating my new toy.

    Do any of you out there have any tricks, tips, etc. on sensor alignment/setup? If so, I'd like to hear about them. Thank you very much in advance.
     
  2. Caliper_Mi

    Caliper_Mi Member

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    I shot mine with my AR. The high sights got me. Not so much of a problem with the lower sight plane on pistols and such.

    Put a mark on the rods about 3" above the body of the chrono and paint everything below that red. Don't shoot if the red is above your sights.
     
  3. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Painting red on the rods is not a bad idea but do remember what your sight offset is.

    First, haste makes waste when it comes to chronographs. I have shot two chronographs when I got in a hurry for some reason.

    Second, as I am setting up for each shot, I pan down to see the base of the sensors then pan back to my shooting position. I do it to make sure that I know where the base is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  4. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I use a bubble level to plumb my chronograph

    [​IMG]
     
  5. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

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    my tripod has bubble levels built-in. came from Best Buy.
     
  6. Crashbox
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    Crashbox Member

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    The level gave me a possibly useful idea: I have one of those multi-axis LED laser levels, I could set it on the rail and aim back toward the firearm as well as ahead. I may need some sort of spacer/support for the level because the sensor mount rail is four feet long and quite narrow, but it may be workable nonetheless.

    Thanks for the responses so far, please keep 'em coming.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  7. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    You bought the Oehler 35P as I recall. So you have 3 sensors for the three screens. They come with a 4 foot section of 1/2 inch diameter EMT. The screen spacing is 2 feet. I am guessing you didn't get the two tripods for setting it up?

    While a little flimsy the tripods I got with mine years ago are adequate. When shooting off the bench I set up the rifle lined up on my target. Then about 10 feet downrange from the muzzle I setup my screens aligning both tripods. I set my screens up so looking through the screens back to the muzzle the muzzle is centered in the screens.

    I use the 2' spacing between screens on a 4' rail. However the distance can be changed and the internal dip switches set accordingly. I never found a need for a level but if I was going to use one I would get a level with a magnetic base and set it on the steel EMT rail between two of the sensors. Again, I never had a need and found I could easily eyeball the setup.

    You will like the 35P as it is a real nice unit.

    Ron
     
  8. 1SOW

    1SOW Member

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    Set it up properly and ALWAYs set up a target aligned with the chrono.
    Sight on the target from a rest and forget the chrono.

    This checks your load for groups as well as chrono data, AND prevents chrono shootings .
     
  9. Crashbox
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    Crashbox Member

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    I did get the two tripods with the kit.

    It does sound like I may just be a little paranoid about the whole thing, but the 35P is a significant investment.

    Lotsa good tips and tricks here, thank you all so much for sharing.
     
  10. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Take a practice shot --- through a practice chronograph

    You can test precisely where the bullet will fly in relation to the sensors and your point of aim this way: (I describe a much more elaborate set of steps than necessary so you can visualize what is going on. Take shortcuts as you wish.)

    Make a second chronograph out of cardboard and duct tape.

    Set it up (with screens and everything) where your real chronograph will be placed.

    To each screen, tape a sheet of clear plastic so you can see the bulletholes of the bullet's flight path.

    Weight the cardboard chronograph down so muzzle blast or the tearing of the bullet through the clear plastic will not move it.

    Fire a round over the cardboard chronograph as if it were the real one.

    Evaluate the results and change your point of aim as necessary.

    When satisfied, shoot over your real chronograph

    Same thing golfers do with practice swings.

    My Chronograph wears channel iron, angled to deflect bullets. It (the iron) can take a low-angle hit from a full-power 500 Smith & Wesson without damage.

    Good luck, Thanks for asking our advice.

    Lost Sheep

    p.s. When I set up my Chronograph, I sight through the instrument back to the shooting position to like up the instrument, then return to the firing line and sight from the shooting position to the target and see if the chronograph is in the proper place. I usually have to make two or three tripe before everything is perfect.

    Remember, if the instrument is not parallel to the bullet's flight path (vertical angle or horizontal angle or combination of both), the reading will be off proportional to the cosine of the angle of error. (Cosine if zero degrees is 1.0000 and goes down as the angle increases.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2013
  11. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    Considering the investment I would say being a little paranoid is pretty normal. :)

    Follow the advice of Lost Sheep. Also I like to use some twist ties to secure the sensor lines rather than let each dangle. Another small trick is run a piece of string from muzzle through the screens to check alignment.

    When you send that first live round down range just focus and relax like the screens aren't even out there.

    Here is mine setup post haste on the deck. Yours should look the same just like in the book.

    [​IMG]

    Enjoy the new cool tool....
    Ron
     
  12. dirtykid

    dirtykid Member

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    I use the same level as Slamfire, (for my rifles anyway)
    I set my rifle on the bench,with the scope centered on the 10-ring,
    then I use the laser-part of that level, and set it on top of my elevation cap, with the laser on the top-side of the level,then I set up the chrono,with the screens just-above the laser-level height , the laser on the level is about 1-3/4" thick, then the scope centerline is about another 2" above the muzzle centerline.
    This puts the path of the bullet right about 4-5" above the chrono-base.
    So as long as I dont try and shoot the bottom of the target, OR
    in the case of my 1st chrono, I realize the height I had set the rifle at wasnt comfortable,and re-position it a tich lower,,
    That resulted in me shooting the chrono INTHE FACE !!!!
     
  13. springer99

    springer99 Member

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    This is the correct answer. Used the same process for over 10yrs. and my old F-1 is still going strong.

    (now watch; the next tme out, I'll probably kill it!)
     
  14. Beanie-Bean

    Beanie-Bean Member

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    Crashbox,

    I bought a couple of wooden dowels from Home Depot or Lowes, and cut them to length to hold up the deflectors/screens. They're always part of the gear load out when I'm testing out new loads.

    I won't say why I ended up going with this solution...
     
  15. j2crows

    j2crows Member

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    As was said earlier...Haste makes waste. Don't ask how I know!!
     
  16. Crashbox
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    Crashbox Member

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    Many thanks to everyone who has thus far posted, it is a tremendous help to me. And ReloadRon, thank you for posting your Oehler setup, a picture really is worth a thousand words in this case.
     
  17. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    I think a chrono would be cool, although I mostly just plink.
    I too would be afraid of shooting my checkbook.:p
     
  18. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    .....we need to meet up at the range!
     
  19. Crashbox
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    Crashbox Member

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    Sounds just fine to me, OilyPablo- you are certainly welcome to shoot through it.

    I have a feeling that having one of these will be very similar to having an engine hoist (which I also have)- "...and forty newfound friends are by your side..."
     
  20. Cherokee

    Cherokee Member

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    I have a target set just behind the second screen (I have an old Oehler from the 80's) and take my first shot high; adjust my aim after that to get good readings. Haven't shot the screens yet.
     
  21. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    Stealing & corrupting a line from former NFL Head Coach Bum Phillips:

    There ain't but 2 kinds of chronograph users.
    Them that's done shot their chronograph and
    Them that's gonna shoot their chronograph.

    If you've had one more than 5 years & ain't shot it yet, you ain't trying :neener:
     
  22. rg1

    rg1 Member

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    One tip when chronographing with a scoped rifle is to turn the magnification down to the scopes lowest power. With a 3x9 set on 9 you can't see the rails but on 3 power you can see the blurry outline of the rails and screens.
     
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