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Republican!!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love toys, but I think I'm getting to the stage in reloading tha I'm really curious about what I'm actually making and their performance, hence, a chronograph.

I see there are several one the market starting at around $100 Some have a little fancier electronics and or computer interfaces, but I'm figuring the device should be similar around the board. Right?

I hear some have problems in low-light or high-light. What do you guys know about them from your experiences?

Thanks.
 

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Ausmerican.
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I have been thinkng along this line and would also be interested.
 

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Check the forum library, our resident expert Iowegan has posted a very good reading if you get a chrono.
I have a Pro Chrono Digital, cost $100 on sale. I also bought the remote unit with cable for about $80 more, can't remember exact price. It has been a great unit. Has always worked in sun and shade. I even nicked it twice with full magnum loaded .357 lead bullets. The manufacturer sent me a new housing for $10.
There are other good ones at a reasonable price as I'm sure you will hear about.
 

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Banned
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Personally, I prefer a chronograph that uses skyscreens separate from the chronograph itself. It is not unusual to read about someone accidentally shooting the skyscreens or the chronograph if it's a model that incorporates the skyscreens into the body of the chronograph. It's a lot less expensive to replace skyscreens than it is to replace an entire chronograph because of an errant shot. It may sound silly, but it happens all the time. Take a look at the PACT model 1. It cost a little more up front but may be more affordable in the long haul plus it has all of the measuring features you'll ever need. ;)
 

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Only one I have experience with is my Chrony F1. I've only used it outdoors. Cloudy or sunny it works just fine. I've had another brand chrono back up mine and both read within a few fps of each other, so I know we are either both wrong ... or in agreement :) . I like how it is so compact too. Set on a camera tripod to allow for adjustable height. Easy to read numbers in 'normal' light conditions. No bells or whistles ... but just gives you the velocity reliably from shot to shot. I am happy with it. YMMV.
 

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Larry the Conservative
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I own the bullet looking one from RCBS. It was a gift I should have exchanged, but anytime the wife buys me a gun item, I'm hesitant to do that (I want her to buy me toys). It works fine and I've had no functional problems with it. My son-in-law, who is still breathing, shot one of the arms of the screen with a 45. The grazing hit broke two parts and when I called RCBS to purchase replacements, they sent them gratas. I did offer to pay, after all he did shoot the thing and the guy laughed and asked me if it was deliberate, which it was not, and few days latter I was all fixed up. The bullet may look cheesy, but RCBS takes care of their customers.
 

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There is another thread that asks the same question:

Which Chronograph - Topic

A side discussion of chronographs and their (inevitable?) fates reminded me of this thread.

Don't attempt to chronograph loads from the offhand position. (With pics!) - Topic

It starts out with pictures of a Chrony that had been dismantled by a 405 grain 45-70 bullet travelling about 1700 fps.

Nicely done.

I like ones with the remote readout/control head, which is nice not only for reading the display (and safety, too), but since the controls are there, when you need to reboot or clear memory etc, you have the buttons right there instead of in front of the firing line.

My chronograph now wears $50 worth of "insurance" in the form of a couple of pieces of channel iron. I have tested it. It will protect from a shallow hit from a .500 S&W with barely a skid mark.

Lost Sheep, Good Luck
 

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Republican!!!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm getting serious about getting a chronograph now. I might have one by the end of the month. It looks like I'll get the Chrony F1. I might get the Gamma; it seems to have a few more features. I also want to be able to hook it up into my laptop. Looks like all I'll need is the computer interface. I'm assuming that it will give me some sort of spreadsheet like data. That's what I'm hoping for so I can track how the rounds are turning out.

I did some price shopping and the best prices seem to be on Amazon.com, plus I can get it with 2-day free shipping. What's not to like about that! I know I can use it at the outdoor range. I'm wondering if it will work at the indoor range, too. It's no big deal if it won't work inside, but it's nice for days where being outside doesn't work.

It costs a bit more, but I think this comes with everything except the computer interface.

Amazon.com: Shooting Chrony 7000136 Gamma Master Chronograph with Ballistic Chrony Printer, Silver Green: Sports & Outdoors

What do you think?
 

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Republican!!!
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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Just use a simple notebook and pencil handy to jot down the velocities for each load at the range. Keep it simple. That way you have a bound hard copy if you ever need to go back to it. I manually enter data into LibreOffice Calc (or whatever you use) at home. Built into the spreadsheet is all the functions you will need.

For average (AVG)
=AVERAGE(A1:A40)
For Std deviation (SD)
=STDEV(A1:A40)
for Min
=MIN(A1:A40)
for Max
=MAX(A1:A40)
for Extreme Spread (ES)
=MAX(A1:A40) - MIN(A1:A40)

Simple! I just made several columns in my spreadsheet so I can enter data for up to 10 test sets at a time up to 40 shots. That way, I come home, open the notebook, and enter the data. Bingo there is all the final data I am looking for. This is my 'scratch' spreadsheet.

Column A
data 1
...
data 40

avg of column
SD of column
ES of column
Max of column
Min of column

I have another spreadsheet where all the final 'results' are placed as the single velocity data is no longer needed once calculated

Template for the final loads spreadsheet is simple too.

Powder, Bullet, Primer, AVG, SD, ES, Shots, barrel, comments

.45 Colt
8.5g Unique, 250g RNFP, CCI-300, 970, 17, 59, 20, 5 1/2", Accurate
9.0g Unique, 250g RNFP, CCI-300, 1021, 19, 62, 20, 5 1/2",

.45 ACP
...

.357
...

and so on for each caliber. I keep all the caliber loads together in one spreadsheet. Export as PDF for reference and print it out once in awhile to keep my hard copy binder up to date.

I also have a LibreOffice writer document for each gun I own, so if there are any thoughts that I think should be written down (or pictures of targets when developing loads) I'll update that particular document. I store all the changes (and when) to the gun (like firelapped with 70 shots, or reamed, or new sights), serial number, when bought and such in this document too.

Anyway that is how I approach it! Probably a hundred or more ways to do the same thing :) .
 

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I have a Oehler it's good but now they come in a package with a lot of items and are expensive. Think a crony would be a better buy. Was at the range a few years ago and watched a croney take a 45 colt. It went straight up in the air. He was shooting off hand.
 

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Republican!!!
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11,412 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just use a simple notebook and pencil handy to jot down the velocities for each load at the range. Keep it simple. That way you have a bound hard copy if you ever need to go back to it. I manually enter data into LibreOffice Calc (or whatever you use) at home. Built into the spreadsheet is all the functions you will need.

For average (AVG)
=AVERAGE(A1:A40)
For Std deviation (SD)
=STDEV(A1:A40)
for Min
=MIN(A1:A40)
for Max
=MAX(A1:A40)
for Extreme Spread (ES)
=MAX(A1:A40) - MIN(A1:A40)

Simple! I just made several columns in my spreadsheet so I can enter data for up to 10 test sets at a time up to 40 shots. That way, I come home, open the notebook, and enter the data. Bingo there is all the final data I am looking for. This is my 'scratch' spreadsheet.

Column A
data 1
...
data 40

avg of column
SD of column
ES of column
Max of column
Min of column

I have another spreadsheet where all the final 'results' are placed as the single velocity data is no longer needed once calculated

Template for the final loads spreadsheet is simple too.

Powder, Bullet, Primer, AVG, SD, ES, Shots, barrel, comments

.45 Colt
8.5g Unique, 250g RNFP, CCI-300, 970, 17, 59, 20, 5 1/2", Accurate
9.0g Unique, 250g RNFP, CCI-300, 1021, 19, 62, 20, 5 1/2",

.45 ACP
...

.357
...

and so on for each caliber. I keep all the caliber loads together in one spreadsheet. Export as PDF for reference and print it out once in awhile to keep my hard copy binder up to date.

I also have a LibreOffice writer document for each gun I own, so if there are any thoughts that I think should be written down (or pictures of targets when developing loads) I'll update that particular document. I store all the changes (and when) to the gun (like firelapped with 70 shots, or reamed, or new sights), serial number, when bought and such in this document too.

Anyway that is how I approach it! Probably a hundred or more ways to do the same thing :) .
Great stuff! Thanks for all the info. I'm sure at first I'll feel like I'm on information overload, but this should help point me towards making sense and use of that data.

BTW - Congrats on your new bumper sticker!
 

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Republican!!!
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11,412 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It sounds simple but it happens often
Yeah, I'm sure you're right. But I will try to avoid it. I practice keeping my finger off the trigger until I'm ready to shoot. That "should" take care of it. ;)
 

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Republican!!!
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11,412 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have a Oehler it's good but now they come in a package with a lot of items and are expensive. Think a crony would be a better buy. Was at the range a few years ago and watched a croney take a 45 colt. It went straight up in the air. He was shooting off hand.
I've heard nothing but good things about the Chrony, so I'm sure it will serve me well. And by getting the Gamma Master, I should have all the features that will keep me happy for a long time. ;)
 

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I practice keeping my finger off the trigger until I'm ready to shoot
While that is good :), the best way is to shoot from a rest. Get everything lined up before hand. Ie, NO off hand shooting through the chronograph. Setup takes a bit longer but worth it... Plus you kill two birds with one stone, checking for accuracy and velocity.
 

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The least expensive chronos require you to use pencil and paper for data recording, and keep all the electronics at the device. As you move up in cost, the sensors of course remain at the chronograph, but the calculations and display are in a remote unit connected by cable. For more money you can get more calculations, more recording, and a PC interface.

I strongly recommend a chrono with the display separated from the device. This makes the display easy to read and protects some of the expensive bits from gunfire. If you have and use a PC, I'd also recommend that interface simply because you will record and save more data and it can prove useful. You will also need a tripod.

The CED M2 chrono I use is light-weight, easy to set up, and has a nice combination keypad and display with a lot of features. It does more calcs than I need, stores way more data than I really need, and easily downloads to my spreadsheets. I also bought my tripod from them to ensure compatability. A complete set of replacement screens and support arms costs $21.95 . . . ask me why I know :) . . . and arrived within 3 days.
 
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