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Chronograph recommendations?

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by taylor, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to develope a load for a 45lc snubbie and figure its impossible without a chronograph.
    Is there a decent, accurate, entry level model someone can recommend?
     
  2. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The little shooting chrony F1's are OK---around $80. I eventually went with a CED Millenium II, which is the most common
    chrono at USPSA matches where they have a chrono stage.

    I've got a F1 I would part with for a fair price. You anywhere near Amity?
     
  3. North Bender

    North Bender King County Member

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    I've had an F1 Beta for many years (well, two of them, I shot the first one). They work great.
     
  4. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I, too, have a Shooting Chrony that I've had for a fairly long time. I'm pretty happy with it, but at some point I'd like to step up to a nicer, more professional one.
     
  5. North Bender

    North Bender King County Member

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    orygun, why do you want a more professional one? What is missing from an F1 that you think is needed to do what you want to do?
     
  6. nubus

    nubus Guest

    Love my F1 Chrony. Id say it's bullet proof, but I too proved that it's not.
    Don't shoot magnums at less than 10-15 feet, the LCD tends to crack!
     
  7. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've had some rounds that don't register or get recorded. The chrony won't read them, when it read all of the other rounds shot from exactly the same position and at the same target center. I would put the percentage of times that happens at less than 5%, but it drives me crazy! I like to put the chrony 12-15 ft from the muzzle. I can understand the 500 Mag giving the chrony fits, but the little inconsistency when shooting non magnum rifle rounds is what really bothers me.
    I'd also like a unit that would print it out for me. I think that I can get a printer for my chrony, but if I'm going to spend extra money, I'd hope to fix the complaint that I have at the same time.

    Don't take this as a slam on the Shooting Chrony and think I don't like the unit. I really am happy with it for the most part and if I was looking to spend the kind of money it takes to buy one, I'm sure I would buy another. I received mine as a gift several years ago (10+) and it has been a valuable tool in my load development.
     
  8. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    This is all new to me and I'm trying to picture in my mind how it works; Can you see the readout from your shooting position if its say 10ft. away? or is it remote and you have a readout next to you?
    It would be a drag to have to go up to the unit after every 6 shots to see the results, I don't think the other shooters at my gun club would appreciate that.
     
  9. nubus

    nubus Guest

    I can read the results from the bench my have had the same issue as Orygun. Infrequent, but irritating when it happens. Occasionally I'll get an "Err" code and it requires turning off and back on again to clear it. There are remote display and remote printer options in the higher end models, figure spending $300 and up for those units.
     
  10. North Bender

    North Bender King County Member

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    I see what you mean. I've had the cursed "err" message before when I shouldn't have.
     
  11. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    F1 pro's and cons: (This one) http://www.shootingchrony.com/images/F1-M1_Chrony.jpg MSRP $95

    Pro: Cheap, compact, easy to set up and use, no wires/cables to deal with.
    Con: Records one shot at a time. Not modular--if you shoot it it's a paperweight.
    Can be REALLY inaccurate if the light is hitting it "wrong".

    Suggestions: Put it on a camera tripod with tilt capabilities. Set it in the shade, or tilt it so the skyscreens are pointed directly at the sun, sensors in the shadow. Set it
    at least 10 ft from the muzzle, further if you are shooting the big boomers with a lot of
    muzzle blast.

    I ran a F1 for quite a while, then upgraded to this: CED M2 Chronograph Set

    Twice the price, but 10 times the features. And if (when) I get stupid and shoot it,
    it's buy a replacement sensor--not the whole thing.:thumbup:
     
  12. foomanchu

    foomanchu Milwaukie, OR Member

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  13. taylor

    taylor Willamette Valley Well-Known Member

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    I went to the CED M2 link and read a little.Thats one sensitive son of a gun! "if setting it up its off by 1/16" the readings will be off" "small movements of the sun will throw off the readings" "a cold barrel will give different readings"
    Plus it looks like you have to work for NASA to operate it. I think I'll go for the F1, I'm a single stage press type of guy anyways.
     
  14. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I have this one and can easily read it from 15'. I don't care for a printer because I use a laptop and Excel spreadsheets. This one will store 50 shots though. It's been very good to me.

    LINK
     
  15. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    Got a ProChrono 3yr ago. I've been thinking about getting an F1 as a backup,They are so affordable and if my ProChrono suddenly dies, I'd feel naked until I get a new one on the mail. :p
     
  16. CrossHairs

    CrossHairs Tigard Active Member

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    I use the F1 as well. It works well, depsite putting a 9mm over the rear sensor 'grazing' plastic and bending the chassis a little....did not realise I tugged on the trigger at the time! Anyway, still works perfectly.

    I did have some 'err' problems in low/intermediate ligthing conditions, so I made myself a light bar out of a couple of 'frosted' ball point pen cases and a few white LED's....works like a charm! And 'way' cheaper than buying the lighting kit, and cheaper to replace if I inadvertantly put a round through it. It will even register my air pistol in the dark of my garage now! I always intended to make the prototype look a little neater, just never got round to it.

    I've tested every load I've made with the F1, both for pistol and rifle....and I am pretty confident it's giving me the right answers.
     
  17. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Great idea! Thanks.:thumbup:
     
  18. Spitpatch

    Spitpatch Forest Grove, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Oehler is making a run again of the 35P. (P for printer). My Oehler 33 was bought at a gun show 20 years ago, after I'd used a buddy's while he did time as a teacher in Alaska. Mine originally came with the old style skyscreens, and so later I upgraded to the polyethelene hard ones with the flourescent orange diffuser tops.

    These units will track everything from a thrown tennis ball (and arrows) to a .17 Remington. On one happy occasion a bumblebee zoomed like a barnstormer thru both screens, and it registered his airspeed. I dutifully recorded his performance in my load book. 68fps for any entomologists out there interested. I think he had an appontment with a clover blossom, or he was the Chuck Yeager of bumblebees. Pretty impressive for a critter deemed aerodynamically incapable of flying. All the brain sits on the bench next to you (7x 10 box), with only the skyscreens in "jeopardy" downrange. Spacing of the screens is 4 feet, allowing for a more accurate reading than those with less spacing (though you can reset the brain for less spacing if desired).

    If I were in the market for a new chronograph, and with the adage "go first class or stay at home", I'd order the 35P. If you plan to stay in the game for any length of time, you will want the best, and will eventually be thankful no expensive electronics are ahead of a rifle muzzle. As careful as I am, my near screen base has a minor groove in it from a .257 100grain groovemaker. (I went too far when trying to get the bullet path as close to the windows as possible for best readings). I now am MORE careful, but it was a cheap lesson: the entire skyscreen assembly with spacer bar folded up like a swatted dragonfly on the ground. Five minutes of dragonfly reassembly, and I was back in business. Oehler, I have heard has replaced skyscreen assemblies free of charge when others did not get away with just a groove. I hear their guarantee works much like Leupold's: No quibble. I have never availed myself of it.

    When considering expense, consider what a good chronograph will save you over the long run. I know mine has paid for itself many times over.
     
  19. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    I have a Chrony Master Alpha. Like it cause it has the cable remote. I don't need a spotting scope to read the display. Also gives me stats instead of just the individual speeds.

    I've found that on cloudy days I get less ERR when I don't use the white caps.
     
  20. coosbaycreep

    coosbaycreep 9 miles South of Roseburg Active Member

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    I've got two of the cheap prochronos (shot the first one, but eventually paid to have it rebuilt).

    They're pretty good for the money, but there's times they don't record, and they don't seem to work very well if it's really bright out, or really cloudy.

    If I had more money I'd get a better one, but they work good enough for me.