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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. Ehtereon11B

    Ehtereon11B internet infantryman

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    I have one buried around somewhere. Haven't even taken it out to use yet. I mostly load hunting cartridges right now and the chrono won't play into much on FTX bullets. I'll probably dig it out eventually when I start playing with HP handgun rounds and have a story to tell of shooting the rods off.
     
  2. utbrowningman

    utbrowningman Member

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    Well, sounds like the concensus is not mandatory; good if you have one; and just fine if you don't. Maybe someday as a "nice to have".
     
  3. bds
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    bds Member

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    I now shoot mostly at indoor ranges where you can't set up chronos. So even if I wanted to, I can't set up chrono testing unless I drive longer to outdoor ranges and weather is not too hot/cold/wet.

    So until I can schedule outdoor chrono testing, I determine the most accurate loads using holes on target (tightest consistent shot groups) and verify muzzle velocities/SD numbers when I can.
     
  4. joneb

    joneb Member

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    chronogragh ? Can't wait to shoot one :D

    Look at the target and listen to your gun.
     
  5. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Nice to have.

    Far from essential.

    Basic math and a load book will give you the rough data you need for about 90% of things.

    Now, if things aren't working the way they should- they can be a great diagnostic tool.


    Much like a BHN tester..... Many folks have them who aren't actively enriched by their possession, other than to say its another tool they have.
     
  6. rskent

    rskent Member

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    I use mine about once a year. Only for my match rifle ammunition. Its nice to see that everything is running well.
    Truth is that I haven’t changed my loads in several years so I probably don't need to.

    A friend of mine put a bullet through the face of his chronograph. Priceless. :eek:
     
  7. kerreckt

    kerreckt Member

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    I'm in the "nice to have" camp. I have reloaded for 30 years and use published data for my recipes. It wasn't until I started reading websites such as this one that I considered needing one.
     
  8. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

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    For "long range" hunting, a chrono is a necessity.
    Without knowing velocity you'll have no clue as to trajectory at extended ranges.
     
  9. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    ^
    Well I don't know about that. I don't think military snipers all run their rigs over a chrony but what they do do is see where it actually hits for that rifle.
     
  10. Baryngyl

    Baryngyl Member

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    I am going to get a crono in the next month or so, before I use it the first time I plan on having a angled piece of steel that sits in front of it to protect it.


    Michael Grace
     
  11. erikk8829

    erikk8829 Member

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    Reloaded for about 45 years without one and did fine. Then one day I was given one and that went great for a year or two till I put a 55gr from a 220 swift dead center @ about 4Kc end of story:D
     
  12. huntershooter

    huntershooter Member

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    Military snipers have ballistic reticals (mildot) that are built to accommodate SPECIFIC ammo.
    There is no need to chrono their load(s), that has already been done for them.
     
  13. KevinR

    KevinR Member

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    I reloaded 357's for a long time. I would have never known that my rifle could push a 158gr SJSP to 1700FPS if I did not have a chrony. I also had no idea that barrel length had such an adverse effect, until I started using a chrony. The chrony took my hobby and firearm purchases to a entirely different level. I highly recommend a chrony.
     
  14. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    I'm going against the grain here. I loaded for several years without one, wouldn't dream of trying to load without one now. You can get a serviceable chronograph for $100 and it is money well spent.

    If nothing else it is a safety issue. You use the chronograph speeds to let you know if you are approaching a dangerous load. If a load manual says 50 gr of powder X is a max charge and should be giving you 2800 fps don't believe it. Start low and chronograph your loads. When your chronograph says you are at 2800 fps you are shooting a max load at the max safe pressure in that rifle. In my gun that may take 50 gr. of powder X. But in your gun you may reach 2800 fps with only 47-48 gr of powder. Wth another gun 50 GR of powder may only produce 2700 fps and it would be perfectly safe to go up slightly on the powder charge in that rifle.

    Without a chronograph you could be 2-3 grains below book max and still have an overpressure load and have no idea.
     
  15. rayatphonix

    rayatphonix Member

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    I reloaded for some time without a chronograph and was able to come up with better loads than I could get with factory ammo. However, once I bought a chronograph I was better able to understand what was happening with my loads and I can now arrive at a new recipe quicker. It's also made my loads much more consistent. While it's certainly not a requirement, it's a fantastic learning tool that taught me more about reloading than booke ever did.

    I also agree with JMR in that it tells you when you're approaching dangerous points in your loads. It's helped me know when to back off and try something else several times.
     
  16. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    The chronograph is a great tool when developing loads of a wildcat cartridge.

    Many times a shooter has a fire breathing monster wildcat rifle that someone built claiming that it will out shoot anything on the planet and to find out that burning all that extra powder he's almost as good as a 300 Winchester Magnum.

    Samething with handguns, super performance loadings just don't meet up to standard factory stuff.

    A chronograph has taken the wind out of many a shooters sails (boasting).
     
  17. wanderinwalker

    wanderinwalker Member

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    I put the chronograph in the "good to have but not essential" side of things, for most reloading.

    It does however reveal interesting things. Like how one of my 4" .357s is 100-fps slower than the other. Or that my 9mm load with Power Pistol and 115gr JHPs run 1250-fps even .4gr below max. Or that the average velocity loss from the 4.5" G-17 to the 3.5" G-26 is about 100-fps, hardly the "significantly neutered" performance many think short-barreled pistols produce.

    And it once got me to switch powders for .223 with 69gr match bullets, because the velocity was nowhere near what the book listed with the original powder.

    The chrony also told me that my .44 Magnum rifle (20" barrel) was the equal to a sabot-slinging .50-caliber muzzleloader, roughly 1700-1800 fps with 240/250gr bullets. (Kind of takes the wind of people who look down on pistol caliber carbines but hunt happily with 100gr of Pyrodex and a 240gr sabot thinking they have a "200-yd muzzeloader".)
     
  18. Cleftwynd

    Cleftwynd Member

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    I agree with wanderinwalker, it sure is revealing! I even chrony factory ammo now as it is interesting to see how inflated their claims are, lol.
     
  19. jmr40

    jmr40 Member

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    It isn't telling you how inflated their claims are, it is telling you how loose the tolerences are in your gun.

    Factory ammo is chronographed in guns with chambers and barrels cut to the absolute minimum specs. Close tolerences mean higher pressures and faster speeds. That is the speeds they actually got with their guns The closer your guns specs are to the minimum, the closer your speeds will be to their claims. This is why you often see different guns shoot the same ammo 100 fps or more faster than another identical gun.

    This is a good thing. They know that if their loads are safe in the test guns, they will be safe in shooters guns with less tight specs.
     
  20. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    Yup. Load data has proven to be off by a considerable margin with my gun vs. theirs. I've seen variations in excess of 200 FPS both directions. That changes trajectory quite a bit!

    I'd been "apprentice reloading" for years without one, but got one at the same time I picked up all my own gear a decade ago. I can't imagine not having one now.

    There's really no reason not to, with serviceable units from $100. I have a Chrony Gamma Master. It's on it's 3rd sensor & housing unit (one time me, one time my friend), but at only $70, it's not that big a deal when you do the inevitable. There are two types of chronograph owners: Those who have shot their chrono, and those who will shoot it ;)
     
  21. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    Right, i have had two chronographs expire from lead poisoning.
     
  22. 1stmarine

    1stmarine Member

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    The only reason for the chrono is if you want to know your own numbers. If you follow the reloading manuals and compare to others with the same barrel/rifle using the same bullets and powder loads most likely your speed spreads will be in the same neighbor.
    If you can get accurate loads and get them to be consistent one after another that is the most important part. The proof that you are doing that will be the printed groups in the paper target.
     
  23. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

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    there ya go.. woodchuck or bear, the animal doesn't care if miss them at 1,600 fps or 2,400 fps..
    they're pretty underwhelmed with any result except for terminal accuracy and repeatability.
     
  24. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Just be aware there's only 2 kinds of chronograph users.

    Them that's shot it & them that's gonna shoot it.
     
  25. renegadeshooter1

    renegadeshooter1 Member

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    chronograph

    i've never used a chrony and this may seem dump but are they hard to use and are they really a must
     
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