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Chronograph recommendation

This is a discussion on Chronograph recommendation within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; Just as the subject says... what chrono you all recommend in the $150 or less price range? Revolver/Pistol and rifle will be test firearms used. ...


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Old September 23rd, 2019, 02:24 PM   #1
 
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Chronograph recommendation

Just as the subject says... what chrono you all recommend in the $150 or less price range?
Revolver/Pistol and rifle will be test firearms used.
Competition Electronics is not currently an option. I'm returning one I couldn't get satisfactory results from after three days, 27 shot strings and too many handloads sacrificed.
I'm leaning toward the Shooting Chrony Beta Master...



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Old September 23rd, 2019, 03:36 PM   #2
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geroux, Most of the chronographs costing less than $250 use "visible light" to activate the sensors. As such, positioning the chronograph in the right direction is important or you will get false or no readings ….. no matter what brand. I bought a CED M2 several years ago and after learning how to deal with lighting conditions, it works very well. I previously had a Chrony …. hated it because it was so fussy about lighting conditions and had a very tight "sweet spot" bullet path. The type of chronographs that clamp on a barrel are the best but they don't work with most handguns. If you have a minute, download this "ten tips for chronographing": https://rugerforum.net/e-library/162...ographing.html You may find your current chronograph will work just fine if it is positioned properly.
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Old September 23rd, 2019, 04:51 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by Iowegan View Post
The type of chronographs that clamp on a barrel are the best but they don't work with most handguns.
You are describing the Magnetospeed and I fully agree that for the guns it works with it is a superior device. I have one and its great. It's completely independent of the amount and type of ambient light, you can't shoot the display and you don't even have to go downrange to set it up. It will even record the velocities of fully automatic weapons.

It works with nearly any rifle, revolver and most .22 semi-autos like the Ruger Mk-series, S&W Victory, etc., That is, anything with an exposed barrel. It's limited when used with many older centerfire autos but there is an adapter that fastens to the Picitinny rail groves below the barrel on guns that have them. I've used mine very successfully on my S&W M&P9.

For the OP, it has one downside, it costs more than $150 but worth it.
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Old September 23rd, 2019, 06:04 PM   #4
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GP Fan, I use my CED M2 for chronographing at 100 yards and again as 4 yards. I then plug these average velocities into Ballistic Explorer to determine my bullet's actual Ballistic Coefficient. The ballistic coefficients posted in factory specs are overstated because the data is derived from bullets without rifling engraving. In other words, true BC is always less than published BC. Point being, this is one task a barrel mounted chronograph just won't do. Most of my semi-autos do not have a rail under the barrel so the Magnetospeed doesn't work with them. My CED-M2 seems to work just fine for all my applications. If I was into rifles more than handguns, I definitely would have a Magnetospeed.
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Old September 24th, 2019, 12:27 AM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geroux View Post
Just as the subject says... what chrono you all recommend in the $150 or less price range?
Revolver/Pistol and rifle will be test firearms used.
Competition Electronics is not currently an option. I'm returning one I couldn't get satisfactory results from after three days, 27 shot strings and too many handloads sacrificed.
I'm leaning toward the Shooting Chrony Beta Master...
I have used a Competition Electronics ProChrono for a few years, and it works fine for me at the outdoor range, even with the big awning roofs over the shooting benches. I've used it with .38/.357/.44 Mag revolvers, .22/.32./.45/9mm semi-auto pistols, .44 Mag carbine, .223 semi-auto rifles, 7mm-08 rifle, and M1 Garand. The ProChrono replaced an original red Chrony from the late 1980s. I rarely had any issues with the Chrony, as long as I stayed in the narrow "window" for shooting. Most chronos need to be set out a ways, to minimize muzzle blast errors. Read the 10 tips, then try again with your CE chrono.
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Old September 24th, 2019, 06:07 AM   #6
 
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Caldwell G2 https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016955798 This upside down unit has NEVER failed me. Indoors or outdoors makes no difference. Has it's own built in lighting system so sky conditions do not matter. Had a Chrony and later a CED M2. Neither of these units were reliable. Due to the orientation of my club ranges and the latitude where I live, these units would not read the bullets from about mid November until mid January. The only thing better than this Caldwell would be a Lab Radar.
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Old September 24th, 2019, 08:31 AM   #7
 
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I've been using a Pro Chrono for about 7 years now and have no complaints.
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Old September 24th, 2019, 08:53 AM   #8
 
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I use a Caldwell, its cheap and works. As others have said, light can screw with it,but you will definitely know if you are getting off the wall readings or no readings. Another pointer with this type, you need to be shooting level and straight across the sensors to be accurate. I had to clean off the sensor lense a couple times to make it read, so it appears that if anything gets on them they through errors often. Overall I do like mine even with its quirks.
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Old September 26th, 2019, 07:31 PM   #9
 
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Been using a PACT for 30+ years. No problems and everyone that has borrowed it really liked it also. Their basic model is in the $150 range.
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Old September 26th, 2019, 09:44 PM   #10
 
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I have the Caldwell basic chrono. No light kit or anything, just the small sunlight diffusers.

As others have stated, it's a little picky with lighting. If it's very cloudy, don't use the diffusers. On sunny days, you have to use the diffusers. The sensors don't like direct sunlight. This can be tough if you're trying to chrono in the early morning or early evening. With the sun at such a low angle at those times, direct sunlight can easily bypass the overhead diffusers and hit the sensors at an oblique angle. Best to chrono around late morning to early afternoon.

Even with the lighting quirks, I've been very happy with the chrono.
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Old September 27th, 2019, 12:00 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
Caldwell G2 https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016955798 This upside down unit has NEVER failed me. Indoors or outdoors makes no difference. Has it's own built in lighting system so sky conditions do not matter. Had a Chrony and later a CED M2. Neither of these units were reliable. Due to the orientation of my club ranges and the latitude where I live, these units would not read the bullets from about mid November until mid January. The only thing better than this Caldwell would be a Lab Radar.
I'm very interested in this model but have concerns about the rechargeable battery. How long does it last on a charge? We all know batteries don't last forever so... Is it easily replaceable? Can it be procured from many vendors? Or is it proprietary to Caldwell?
This thing is on sale right now at an unbelievable price!
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Old September 29th, 2019, 02:02 PM   #12
 
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I have the Shooting Chrony Beta Master and like it I use the sky screen support couplings,which are visible in my scope(not clearly) as my shooting guide,works for me!

I also have the CED M2 which I also like, I color coded the wires to keep start and end where they belonged and color taped the supports for aiming area.

The Chrony seems to set up quicker.
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Old September 30th, 2019, 05:45 AM   #13
 
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Originally Posted by geroux View Post
I'm very interested in this model but have concerns about the rechargeable battery. How long does it last on a charge? We all know batteries don't last forever so... Is it easily replaceable? Can it be procured from many vendors? Or is it proprietary to Caldwell?
This thing is on sale right now at an unbelievable price!
I recharge after every use. Typical range time is about 2 hours for me. The internal battery has not gone dead in that time. If/ when the internal battery quits, I will take it to the local "batteries plus" location to have it replaced.
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Old September 30th, 2019, 11:36 AM   #14
 
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Looks like a lot of them are 'good'. I use a Chrony F1 which sits on a adjustable camera tripod when in use. Has worked fine for me over the years. I tested back to back with another Chronograph and matched up well when I had a question on velocity... Simple 9V battery for power which lasts along time (quite a few range sessions). I do keep a spar in the bag, because I don't want to head back home to get one when I notice the screen fading! Nice and compact.

Last edited by rclark; September 30th, 2019 at 11:39 AM.
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Old October 13th, 2019, 09:15 AM   #15
 
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Plus one on the Pro Chrono, the chronys are good too. But you need good light overhead. I went to the lab radar because I often shoot early and late before or after work and in the low light the Pro-chrono often gave inconsistent readings. I still keep the Prochrono for back up, muzzleloader and handgun testing. I think I paid $125 for mine several years ago, no complaints you just have to understand the limitations.
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