Chronograph Recommendations

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nworegonman posted this 2 weeks ago

Can anyone share any recommendations for or against models and features of chronographs?  I have never used one, but am very interested to see how my reloads are performing.  Also would use it for my muzzleloaders.  Thanks, Nick

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Glenn R. Latham posted this 2 weeks ago

I used an Oehler for years, but I wanted to chronograph my pistol loads indoors so I got one of these:

 

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1015050545?pid=628006

 

Plug it into your smartphone and it will record your shots and do the math for you.  Works fine outdoors too.

Glenn

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hporter posted this 2 weeks ago

I have several chronographs, including the one that Glenn referenced above.  I use the Caldwell a lot because it records the shot screens on your smart phone easily. 

I don't have the printer for my Shooting Chrony Beta, so the recording feature of the Caldwell comes in handy. But the Shooting Chrony has been a good reliable unit over the years and was fairly inexpensive when new. It folds up into a very small package, which is handy.  I don't believe Shooting Chrony company is in business anymore, so I would lean towards the Caldwell versus buying a used one of these.

I wanted to add a caution to Glenn's post that the Caldwell works with older smart phones that have an ear phone jack. The cable from the chronograph plugs into your ear phone jack on your phone.

I normally take an older iPad tablet to the range as the bigger screen is easier for me to see.  But the last time I took it out, I thought I would just use my cell phone this time.  But unnoticed by me, Apple has done away with the ear phone jack on the newer generations of iPhones. So it was back to notepad and pencil for me on that trip.

Caldwell does make one chronograph that is more expensive than the one in the link above, that has blue tooth capability.  That would solve the ear phone jack issue for new phones, but I have no experience with it.

Though they are not muzzle loaders, I have shot my BPCR rifles with BP over the Shooting Chrony with no issues.  These days I prefer using my Magneto Speed 3 chronograph for those rifles.  It utilizes a strap on contraption under the barrel and it is much easier to fool with at the public range from the bench.  It also connects to your smart phone.

If I were to buy another chronograph, I would seriously look into the lab radar.  It is comparatively expensive, but friends that have them love them because you don't have to shoot over screens down range. It sits to the side of the shooting bench. Probably not a good first chronograph, but it is the one I want next.

https://mylabradar.com/product/chronograph/

I just need to "accidentally shoot" my Caldwell to give me the excuse to buy one.  I know it will happen sooner rather than later, and most likely by accident.  I am planning on shooting my .54 Sharps carbine over it on my next trip to the range, so perhaps it will happen a lot sooner.  Ha Ha.

Good Luck

 

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nworegonman posted this 2 weeks ago

Thanks for the replies.  I have some reading to do.....

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Squid Boy posted this 2 weeks ago

I also have several including a 35P. All do a decent job but it got tiresome setting up at the range and having to call a cease fire while I fiddled with getting things lined up. Then I went to the LabRadar system and never looked back. I can set it up from behind the bench without stopping the firing line and it reads everything contrary to some reports. You do need to aim it carefully and I made up a little sight arrangement just for that purpose. It reads 22's out to 100 yards if it is aimed correctly. I think it has missed three shots in hundreds I have put in front of it. Including shotgun loads and black powder rifle. It is a little more cumbersome downloading the data to Excel but it's no big deal and you can capture a lot of data. One real plus is that you can calculate a BC based on velocity at intervals down the range. For cast bullets I think that is a great feature. I am thinking of putting the 35P up for sale and just using the LabRadar from here out. I did get a power pack for it at Walmart because it is hard on batteries but will run a whole day without any trouble. Worth every penny I paid just for the convenience of setting it up and taking it down. Works great. Squid Boy

"Squid Pro Quo"

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GWarden posted this 2 weeks ago

Had a 35 P Oehler for many years. Two years ago bought one of the LabRadar systems, greatest thing since sliced bread.

bob

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John Carlson posted this 2 weeks ago

I use a Pro Chrono. 

https://shop.opticsplanet.com/competition-electronics-prochrono-dlx-with-bluetooth.html?_iv_code=2PI-CRO-CEPCDLX-CEI-3820&gclsrc=aw.ds&msclkid=1fcb62ace86117b5afa00226e343dfb2&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Competition%20Electronics%3EShopping&utm_term=4584619892264778&utm_content=Products

Simple to use, does the math, can store 9 strings.

Holding public office should be viewed as an obligation to serve, not an opportunity to rule.

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Eutectic posted this 2 weeks ago

Have owned several starting with a Herter's (It was perfect just ask George Herter)
The Oehler 35P replaced it and is a laboratory quality unit.  The 3 screens are sometimes a pain to get aligned, but the proof channel is a must have for dependability.  That said, 99% of users have no need for this level of accuracy.

Crony's are nice I used an F1 occasionally for years as it was easier to set up than the Oehler. I never did shoot the F1, I was very careful. I now use a Chrony Beta which is a worthwhile improvement. With the Beta only the sensor is downrange and the sensitive area is larger. The Beta replaced the Oehler.  

I have seen the Labradar unit, they work and people like them. You don't have anything downrange so setup is easy and there is no danger of hitting the unit. At 5 times the cost of a Crony you have to weigh the cost differential. 

Steve 

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Gregor posted this 2 weeks ago

Oehler 35P owner here, about 25 years or so.  Still the Gold Standard for chronographs.  Bought a light kit for indoor use.  Works excellent.  One of the best purchases I made for my shooting enjoyment.

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harleyrock posted this 2 weeks ago

I used a Pact for years.  It performed well, but:

1. It was time consuming to set up and you had to go in front of the firing line to set up the screens, requiring a cease fire on the line. 

2. I have shot the screens several times.

3. After using, break down and pack up: see #1 above.

The Magnetospeed eliminates the problems above, but it has it's own problems:

1. Mounting on barrels with front sights or magazine tubes can sometimes be difficult.

2. Having that weight on the end of the barrel changes harmonics so you won't be able to chronograph and shoot for accuracy at the same time.

I recommend the Labradar because it eliminates all of those.  It costs more in original investment but saves money in the long run because you can shoot shots for accuracy and velocity, extreme spread, standard deviation, ballistic coefficient, velocity remaining at the target, etc.,etc. not just velocity with shots that won't be accurate enough for load development.

Lifetime NRA since 1956, NRA Benefactor, USN Member, CBA Member

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 2 weeks ago

I have used a Pro-Chrono and really like it. Always works, but I agree with harleyrock and I plan on buying a Labradar later this year. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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ray h posted this 2 weeks ago

Doesn't the Labradar have a limited velocity max? Or has that been changed. 

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 2 weeks ago

3900 fps, but that is plenty fast for anything I will be shooting. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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ray h posted this 2 weeks ago

Thanks David, that's what I was thinking. For nearly all of mine that's way more than needed but I do have some small cal varmint  rifles running 3900 to 4000. I have a 35P but hate to shut down the range while while putting it up and down. My Magnetospeed won't see 17 cal bullets, even after sending it back to them.

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Squid Boy posted this 2 weeks ago

I still have a Pact Pro that I used for a while when I didn't want to lug the 35P out. No matter how I set it up it would miss shots and that was more than a little annoying. I bought a set of their infrared screens that are for indoors and used a 6 volt motorcycle battery to power them up. The reflective tape that comes with them made them strictly a powered system since the sky is blacked out. Added a bit to the set up but it stopped missing shots and was a lot more reliable. But after switching to the Lab Radar there is no reason to go back to either one. Squid Boy

"Squid Pro Quo"

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gard72977 posted this 2 weeks ago

I just bought a LabRadar. So far I really like it.

My club has an elevated deck on the 100 and 200 yd line. You cannot use a regular chronograph.

I seems to work well. I bought the airgun trigger for my long barrel 22lr and air rifles. I really like getting the down range velocity for my lead bullets. Sometimes there is no BC information or the information is usless.

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