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Ballistic Chronographs - Which Ones Are Best?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 15:32
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Howdy, y'all.  Well, I'm gonna get a chronograph as soon as I can, maybe before I have a range day next Friday.  It seems like I can't really know which handloads are best without one of these critters.  So I want ask all you other chrono owners on the board which one you have or had, if you like it, if it works well, what is wrong with it even if it works well, etc. etc.
 
Please help me keep from making an expensive mistake here, boys.  I have never owned or played around with a shooting chronograph, so I don't even know what I should be looking for in a good one.  Somebody like Mr. John Barsness prolly could really add value to this discussion I hope I am provoking - so come on, John B, let 'er rip!
 
Regards,
 
Texas
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 16:08
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Well I'm not John B, and I can't remember ever staying in a Holiday Inn Express, but I have used a chronograph.
While I don't claim to be an expert on chronographs, I did a little research before I bought mine. I have a CED M2, and I couldn't be happier with it, unless it was free (oh wait, it was a Christmas present). It has a few functions that I haven't used yet, including a computor program, and It will talk to me. It seems to be accurate, it will record and save shots and shot strings. It gives me the highest, and lowest velocity in a shot string, as well as the average and standard deviation of that string. You can upgrade the skyscreens to infrared,but I haven't needed them and I have used it on really overcast days. If your skyscreens are damaged, you can buy new ones.
For 200 bucks I don't think you can go wrong. The only thing you will need extra will be a camera or scope tripod. I got a really nice one for 25 bucks. I hope this helps.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 16:49
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I'm going to hold back on this one, mostly because only yesterday I received a sample of a new German-made chronograph that will soon be on the market in the U.S. I'm going to run some tests soon, comparing it to some other chronographs.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 17:40
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First one I bought was a Shooting Chrony that met an early demise from a 180 gr Ballistic Tip. The second one that I currently own is a Pro Chrono Digital that has much wider sky screens and seems to work very well. You can get them for around 100 bucks.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 17:51
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PACT XP1 work fine for me.  Just don't let the battery get low, it will give you some very odd readings.   
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 19:23
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Yeah, low batteries are bad news on any chronograph!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 19:26
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Once again you were right on the low battery readings I was geting on my 300 WM 180gr loadings. Should have known to question the great one!!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 19:48
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"Please help me keep from making an expensive mistake here, boys. "
 
I don't believe that's possible. 
 
From what I've seen, heard and read, they all work well enough for the purpose of obtaining velocity but none are bullet proff, if you shoot them they are dead.  What varies is the extra bells and whistles and user convience.  None will work with weak batteries!
 
My 11 year old PACT Pro is still doing well.  It includes a built-in printer and a fairly sophisticated computer that gives me a LOT more information and ballistics tables I can print at the range.  The (inexpensive) screens are all that sit in harms way, so far they have survived.   I love it and would not own one that puts the major components in the bullet's path but that's a personal thing.
 
An often unmentioned additional item is the vital tripod to mount the sensors.  It needs to be fairly heavy and sturdy.  Stability can be holped by placing a mesh bag with a couple-three boxes of ammo under the head.  I use a 12 ft. strip of bright ribbon as a gage for placing my first screen in front of the bench.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 20:40
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Had a Shooting Chrony.  Don't get one.  My Pro Chrono has been great.  So far Whatever.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/11/2009 at 21:05
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Thanks, fellas, that is the kind of info I wanted to get. Anybody got an Oehler? I always heard about them when I was younger in magazines and stuff, but I suppose there are other units out now that are as good.  More comments are better, so come on and speak up!
 
Texas
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 07:00
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   I'm still using the Shooting Chrony I bought back in the mid 80's.  Like to have a dollar for every bullet and arrow the locals and me have shot across it!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 11:27
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"Anybody got an Oehler?"
 
Yeah.  But that's no help for you now, Oehler has ceased to make chronographs for reloaders.
 
Some people have reported troubles with Chronys.   Also with others,  ALL others.  Including Oehler!  
 
If we only trusted a maker that was flawless every instance we wouldn't buy much of anything.  Suspect the makers can/will fix any that don't do right.    ???
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 13:11
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My Pro Chrono is cheap and effective.  I think there can be variations between units in all brands.  Another bonus to the Pro Chrono, in my opinion, is that it doesn't have a bunch of features I'll never use.  I just want to now how fast the projectile is going.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 13:31
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This is the unit I have just started to use.  Has been working ok for the short amount of time I have tried it and has many features available.  Not too expensive at $139 Cdn - remote display unit is really convenient.
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 13:37
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Can't edit anymore for some reason.  Here is more info if you're interested:
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/12/2009 at 13:42
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Crosswire, I believe you are correct about no suppliers being perfect. And I found out about Oehler discontinuing production of reloading-grade chronographs last night with some disappointment. I read a real positive writeup on the Personal Ballistics Lab setup in an old Precision Shooting I had lying around... I thought I might get one of those until I got to the Oehler website.
 
I am leaning toward the PACT Pro XP. Heck, it is made in Texas USA! Anyway, while Googling I ran across the KURZZEIT™ PVM-21© chronograph. John B., is that the German chronograph you are about to evaluate? They are advertised on the Neconos website and sound pretty nice - but the price is also pretty eyewatering by my standards.
 
Anyhow, thanks to all for responding. I guess I'll see how fast Midway can get a PACT chronograph to me. Good shooting!
 
Regards,
 
Texas
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2009 at 12:25
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I use a $79 Chrony F1 and have had no problems.  Comes with 2 peice poles and 2-3 section reflector so you can set it up for two differnet heights.  I have hear of a few people shooting their chronies by mistake, I don't think I would ever admit to doing it if I did.  Plenty of room to shoot through if set-up right.  My is basic and only gives the numbers, no fancy calculations or printing but i can up grade to what dogger has.  All these things are is two electric eyes that detect bullets as they interrupt or change the light intensity they see then start a clock until the 2nd sensor detects the bullets.  Time betwen the sensor = speed, done deal.  You can spend a fortune and go cheap.  I like cheap and functional! Big Smile
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/13/2009 at 20:26
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Well, can't get a chrono by Friday without paying silly$$$ shipping, so I been researching more. Is anyone using a CED M2 besides Beltfed?  These seem pretty good, and the reviews by buyers on Midways site are all positive. I dunno, I'm still pondering.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2009 at 08:22
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Pro Chrono. Can't go wrong for the money.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2009 at 08:24
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Build your table like this.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2009 at 23:27
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Sweet setup, RKingston. Well, I don't have a chrono yet but I still went to the range today! Had a BLAST. I stayed from opening at 9 a.m. until closing at 5:30 p.m. Went through 87 rounds in the 280 AI and 50 rounds in the two 338 WinMags. My shoulder is a little tender, but it "hurts so good." I managed to find several very accurate loads for all three rifles, and based on the reloading books they should be plenty fast enough. I just wish I knew the velocity! Anyway, I had fun fun fun!!!
 
Regards,
 
Texas
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2009 at 23:49
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Originally posted by Texas Texas wrote:

Sweet setup, RKingston. Well, I don't have a chrono yet but I still went to the range today! Had a BLAST. I stayed from opening at 9 a.m. until closing at 5:30 p.m. Went through 87 rounds in the 280 AI and 50 rounds in the two 338 WinMags. My shoulder is a little tender, but it "hurts so good." I managed to find several very accurate loads for all three rifles, and based on the reloading books they should be plenty fast enough. I just wish I knew the velocity! Anyway, I had fun fun fun!!!
 
Regards,
 
Texas
Boy you sure shoot slow!  Bucky
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/15/2009 at 23:57
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Howdy Bud!
 
Hey, I gotta let them barrels cool between strings, you know... seems like the range going on "safe" never gets in sync with my shooting pace, either. And last but not least, I would rather be at the range than at home working off the honeydew list!
 
See ya!
 
Texas
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/16/2009 at 07:37
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Originally posted by Texas Texas wrote:

Howdy Bud!
 
Hey, I gotta let them barrels cool between strings, you know... seems like the range going on "safe" never gets in sync with my shooting pace, either. And last but not least, I would rather be at the range than at home working off the honeydew list!
 
See ya!
 
Texas
   Cool   Imagine how many hours we would spend there is the range had a coffee shop and snack bar! Cool
 
 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/18/2009 at 13:55
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Originally posted by budperm budperm wrote:

Originally posted by Texas Texas wrote:

Howdy Bud!
 
Hey, I gotta let them barrels cool between strings, you know... seems like the range going on "safe" never gets in sync with my shooting pace, either. And last but not least, I would rather be at the range than at home working off the honeydew list!
 
See ya!
 
Texas
   Cool   Imagine how many hours we would spend there is the range had a coffee shop and snack bar! Cool
 
 
My range not only has a snack bar with coffee and soft drinks, but it also has a gunshop with all kinds of stuff including ammo and reloading supplies (although a little light right now), targets, etc..
I don't get to spend enough time there, but when I do, I stay longer than I intended.
 
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