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Reload but do not chronograph?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by utbrowningman, Nov 12, 2012.

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  1. utbrowningman

    utbrowningman Member

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    I do small amounts of realoading for my .30-06 and soon will for my son and his .30-30. In time I'd like to add .38 and 9mm. I do not have a chronograph no do I see one on the horizon. I still see value in reloading as I have the brass and a single stage press and it is cheaper in the long run. Am I really missing out on final performance if I don't have a chrono? Paper bullseye results will give me accuracy answers but not velocity numbers.
     
  2. Steve2md

    Steve2md Member

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    You'll need the velocity numbers to get hollowpoints to their optimum speed for expansion, but otherwise, I don't find them necessary. The proof of accuracy, in the end, is on the paper, not in the chrony numbers
     
  3. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    I loaded for years without a chronograph before my wife got me one for Christmas one year. The chronograph amounts to a "nice to have" but I was loading good accurate ammunition long before the chronograph found its way to me. Again, a nice to have but far from essential for making good loads.

    Ron
     
  4. cpt-t

    cpt-t Member

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    utbrowningman: I think I know what you are saying, and I am the same way. I have been reloading on my own since 1963, but helped my Grandpaw and His old friends when I was a kid. I am not a real High Tech reloader just load what the books recomend. And I have yet to buy a chronograph, Don`t get me wrong they are really nice to have but I have yet to buy one yet. I reload most everthing my Son and I shoot, about 25 or 26 calibers at this time. If I am missing something I have yet to discover my short commings. But like I said I am a low tech type person.
    ken
     
  5. eam3clm@att.net

    eam3clm@att.net Member

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    The only way I see a chronograph as a must have is when using military surplus powders, since they seem to vary from lot to lot.
     
  6. bds
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    bds Member

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    As others posted, for me accuracy is everything and holes on target speak volumes.

    More consistent chamber pressures will lead to more consistent muzzle velocities and SD numbers which will ultimately lead to tighter shot groups.
     
  7. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    For me, reloading is about accuracy first and foremost. The manuals can give you an idea of approximately where you are, but the chrono will nail it down exactly. That said, I would rather have something going a little slower and having the groups all be cloverleafs, than going faster with fist size groups at the same distance
     
  8. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I agree.
     
  9. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

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    To me, velocity is everything. Not maximum velocity, but consistent velocity. I'm fairly new to the reloading game, but I think a chronograph is important, although not an absolute necessity.

    I build guitar amps and, while it's possible to build an amp without a voltmeter, it's nigh unto impossible to diagnose a problem without one. That's how I view a chronograph. When everything is working, they're just a nice way to verify that. When something goes wrong, such as POI has changed significantly with the latest batch of rounds that are theoretically identical to the previous batches. That's when you need a chrony. I just use it all the way along the process. I even chrono the powder coming out of the thrower. :)

    Now, if I can just keep from shooting it for another couple of months.

    Matt
     
  10. James2

    James2 Member

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    Not necessary. Reload and enjoy!
     
  11. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    I have reloaded for 20 years, it was fun, but then I purchased a Shooting Chrony for $80. I can't believe what I was missing. Its a lot more fun when you can see what that charge of your favorite powder is doing. The Chrony opens up so many other doors. You will love it if you purchase one.
     
  12. StretchNM

    StretchNM Member

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    They are nice to have and will reveal alot. Just when you think your loads by the manual are giving you "approximately this much velocity", the chronograph will surprise you. With that said, I have to agree with the others: neat to have but unnecessary.

    Utbrowningman, you'll probably have one before long. Until then, you're not missing out on a lot.
     
  13. 918v

    918v Member

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    I chrono my loads after I get my accuracy.
     
  14. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    I too reloaded for years before buying a chronograph and didn't have any issues building good effective and accurate ammunition, both handgun and high powered rifle. Now that I own one, I use when I'm doing a new load developement, but other than that it pretty much stays in the box.

    GS
     
  15. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I loaded nearly 20 years without a chronograph only to learn I didn't need one once I got it.
     
  16. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    I've never had one either. I gather they're super reasonable now.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Same here. Useful, and fun, but not essential with a good reloading manual for the bullet you are using.
     
  18. jr_roosa

    jr_roosa Member

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    I think I saved my gun with one. I found a "safe" load from a manual to be way too hot in my 1911. I would have beat the hell out of my gun with that load.

    J.
     
  19. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I don't have a chronograph because the ranges here do not allow them. I think one I joined recently might, so maybe I'll get one soon.
     
  20. bds
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    bds Member

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    Having said that, chrono is essential in proving your loads meet USPSA/IDPA minimal power factor requirements.
     
  21. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Is it a necessity?
    Probably not to every reloader, but to some? ya (see bds's answer above)

    Personally, I don't think I'd like to try any new loads with out one.
    It's not a be all, end all, but it sure is peace of mind to me.
     
  22. Mike 27

    Mike 27 Member

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    I would not mind having one but still haven't picked one up either. I would like it for my bow and my reloads but just haven't found it a must yet.
     
  23. GaryL

    GaryL Member

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    I went for a long time without a chronograph. I was able to get an estimate of my 30-06 load velocity by simply using ballistic tables knowing the BC of the bullets I was using. At best it's an estimate. But without the chronograph you can't verify which published loads more closely match your load with different components, or a plot curves vs charges to see if something odd is happening. So it's a useful tool, not a necessary one.

    Considering how many hand loaders have gotten along ok with Lee dippers and no scale ....
     
  24. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    For me, a chronograph fits the category...

    "Tough to justify when you do not have on but can't live without it once you have one".
     
  25. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    I'll bet there are a whole lot more successful reloaders that don't have chronographs than there are that do have them.

    Not that they're bad or anything. Just that they are something of a luxury rather than a necessity.

    I have borrowed one from time to time but never could justify buying one. The one I borrowed was used more for regulating my sons airsoft guns than anything else.
     
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