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Chronograph

Discussion in 'Ammunition & Reloading' started by Janes, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

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    Is an F1 chronograph any good. I don't want to spend too much.
     
  2. PotshotJim

    PotshotJim Oregon Member

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    I have one and I like it. If it bothers you to write down the data on a clipboard, buy one of the models with more features. I have considered buying the high end model with the printer, but powder and bullets are expensive and it doesn't bother me to write down the info. I scanned the record sheet that comes with the Chrony and print them out to take shooting.
    After I shoot a string and write down the info I shut off the Crony, walk to my target and replace it or tape it, write on it, then walk back and turn the Chrony back on so that it is reset for a new string. Then I gather up the brass from that string, put it in the cartridge box and load the magazine for the next string.
    I made a remote cable/switch for scrolling through the data from my shooting position with stuff I had on hand and it makes it more user friendly.
    When I get home I put the record sheets in a binder with the targets and the cartridge loading stickers from the ammo box and enter the info into Excel for reference. Sometimes I include pictures of the brass if there's anything that is unusual to note. I like to keep track of things. I am never in a hurry when I'm testing ammo and the time spent writing the info for each string lets the barrel cool off.
     
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  3. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

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    Thanks for all of the good information. Mainly I will be testing a Ruger 44 mag. Is there anything else you can learn besides just the speed of the round you are shooting? I just wonder how much I would be using one
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    The Shooting Chrony Chronographs are OK. If you can I would recommend that you step up to a "Master" model that has the remote readout. I made the mistake of purchasing one that has the readout on the "box" and under certain lighting conditions it's impossible to see the display clearly. With the remote, all your readings are right there on the bench next to you, unaffected by sunlight or distance.

    Also, the "Master" models let you reset or move to another string without having to shut down the firing line if you're shooting with other shooters or at a range.

    Printers are nice but an expensive indulgence. I have a different brand of Chrony that cost me almost 3 times the cost of the F-1. My big problem with the printer is that I forget to write on the tape which round/load I'm testing so when I get home all I have is several "tapes" that I have to guess which load they belonged to. Maybe I'll learn in a few years:laugh:

    Also, the "Master" models provide statistics for the string of shots it's recorded. You can automatically see the shot speed, and then the Average Speed, Extreme Spread, Standard Deviation, Average Deviation.

    If you're into "statistics" just remember that the more shots you record over a chronograph at a session, the more they mean. A 5 shot string is not as meaningful as a 25 shot string. With the Chrony brand, I believe the max for a string is 10 shots before it starts "writing over" the earlier shots. That's why I bought the "other brand" as it will record up to 100 shots in a single string. I will often shoot as many as 50 rounds just to make sure that the "statistics" are more real.

    It all depends on what you want. If you do opt for the F-1 then either have good vision or factor in the price of some binoculars to see the readout 10-12 feet away. Those numbers sure get fuzzier and fuzzier with every passing Birthday.
     
  5. rrojohnso

    rrojohnso Vancouver, WA Member

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    I concur with DS. The point about 10 shot string is true. For my needs, the 'Master' works well (no printer). I have a method of plotting my shots and the speeds of the rounds in a data-book style layout. I have a friend who has a really nice Chrony, but you have to have an eagle eye to read the box from the bench... so I like the remote of the 'Master.'

    One thing is true - a Chrony is a great tool to have.
     
  6. PotshotJim

    PotshotJim Oregon Member

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    My F1 will do a 32 shot string.
     
  7. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have a Shooting Chrony and I'm pretty happy with it. I do watch how many shots I fire within a string, because I want all of my data. Because I'm paranoid, I write down the numbers after each string I shoot. One that would print it out for me would be nice. Also, trying to clear the memory on the Shooting Chrony is more complicated than I think it should be.
    But, since I have this one, I live with it's faults. To really fix the issues that I have with this one would cost more money than I'm willing to part with.
     
  8. PotshotJim

    PotshotJim Oregon Member

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    Here's an instance where my Chrony was useful:

    My uncle gave me a couple cans of W296 that was dated 9/2/95. It smelled right and looked right so I loaded some 300BLK with it and I rolled some identical loads with the W296 I have that was made this year and fired them in sequential strings. They worked perfectly and were the same fps. The ES and SD was actually a little better with the old powder, but not enough to think the powder was the difference.
     
  9. Jamie6.5

    Jamie6.5 Western OR Well-Known Member

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    I predict the biggest problem you will have when learning to use your chronograph is,...

    How disappointed you are likely to be when the velocities of you favorite loads fall short of the "optimistic" ones published in reloading manuals.
     
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  10. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    That's why it's important to know the original test barrel length when the "data" was obtained.

    Also, that one learn how to correct chronograph readings for the distance from the muzzle. Many ballistic's programs provide an "Instrument Correction" tool.

    If the test barrel for a typical 30 cal rifle was 24" and the data showed 2600 fps then you shoot it in a 20" bbl you can loose 100-150 fps right there. Another10-20 fps if you have your chrono "way out there".
     
  11. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

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    I would Like to have one, but don't think I would use it much after I found an accurate load
     
  12. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    They come in handy even after that. Believe it or not, loads change due to temperature and barrel wear. Sometimes I swear they do even due to the shooter's attitude.

    I will always have a chronograph around to test new batches of powder and when shooting in a new "season" when the temp's changed a bunch. Saves a lot of money on "sighters" when you have accurate info to plug into a ballistic's program. Between my QC when I build the ammo, and data from all kinds of ambient temps, I am able to get not only "on paper" when making huge range adjustments but often within a few "clicks"

    Never discount the need for a chronograph if you make your own ammo or want dead on accuracy when changing ranges frequently.

    BTW, my ballistic's computer is the Horus Vision software built into a watch. The H.R.T. by 5II. It's scary accurate.
     
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  13. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Boy! Ain't that the truth!
    But then, you do get real input about what you're doing.

    Deadshot brought up many different factors that need to be considered, too. This is all part of the learning curve. How far you take it is up to you. (seems to be he's taken it pretty far!)
     
  14. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    When I retired I ramped up my shooting and reloading. I've taken advantage of my extra time to explore a lot of things I always used to either ignore or just took for granted.
     
  15. nwbobber

    nwbobber Longview, Wa. Active Member

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    I think if you get a chronograph you will find that you use it more than you predict. It provides data, and you can't really learn what small tweaks do to your loads without one. With that said, the F1 is probably all anyone needs. With that and a paper and pencil, you can do unlimited strings, and let your PC do the math for you. I use an excel spreadsheet for record keeping, just enter the data when I get home. I have had a chrony for many years, one of the basic models, it has always worked fine. I can still see the screen ten feet away, so that helps.
    These days, when I find myself buying powder that is available, rather than the old standbys for my pet loads, it seems that developing new loads is what I do now. My chrony stays in my shooting bag.
     
  16. Stevenav

    Stevenav Redmond Active Member

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    Question. I got back into reloading after a long hiatus... I used to use my bro's chrono.. If I were to buy a new one for myself... what would you recommend. Best value for the money sort of thing.
     
  17. HotRod61

    HotRod61 Happy Valley Active Member

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    A Chronogragh was one of the first things I purchased when I started to get into reloading. I still use it when working up a load . I purchased the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronogragh. It has served me well....HotRod
     
  18. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    For those who don't have, and don't want to spend money on one, some ranges have "chronograph rentals".

    An example of this is the Plantation Range just South of Bellingham. They have one set up (unless it's raining) and shooters can use it for $0.25 per shot over it. Not real practical for load development but good for those that just want to measure the speed of a pet load.

    This is obviously an out of the way range for many but it might pay to check around with other clubs or public ranges. I know that my range has a "loaner" for members.
     
  19. Janes

    Janes Enid, Oklahoma Member

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    What is the difference of the blue and green chrony
     
  20. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    The internal electronics. One's pretty much a stripped down unit and the other can store multiple strings. Even if you don't have a printer you can go back and review shots on the saved strings.

    Here's the full lineup:

    Shooting Chrony® Models & Master Chrony® Models

    The difference between the two is small but having the ability to store multiple strings so you can read different load speeds later is nice.