Which Chronograph works best all around. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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roadgrader
11-23-2012, 14:33
I searched but didn't find an answer. It could be my search fu is weak. It looks like reloading will require a chronograph to test my work ups. Any recommendations?

Kentguy
11-23-2012, 14:56
roadgrader,

I have a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/852429/competition-electronics-prochrono-digital-chronograph

Works exceptionally well, easy to set up and run. You can shop around for a better price but I would highly recommend this unit.

Boxerglocker
11-23-2012, 15:08
I too have and use the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph, highly recommend it.

They routinely go on sale for $99 at Midway.

rdstrain49
11-23-2012, 15:22
I've used a PACT Pro for a number of years. No problems, no complaints. It's kind of like a Glock. It just works.

http://www.pact.com/

roadgrader
11-23-2012, 17:09
thanks for the quick response.

Kwesi
11-23-2012, 17:21
The one you don't shoot while testing. Seriously I chose the CED M2 IIRC because the electronics are on the table next to you (18' cable).

Bullfighter
11-24-2012, 07:46
Cheapo Chrony user here. Doesn't spit out tons of data in various manipulations, but it has given me a speed for every projectile thrown over it and hasn't malfunctioned or missed a reading one time. My thoughts were to buy this one and if I really used it to buy a "better" one later. I haven't needed the better one yet.

fredj338
11-24-2012, 12:23
The one you don't shoot while testing. Seriously I chose the CED M2 IIRC because the electronics are on the table next to you (18' cable).
PLus good screens. Unless you just want the occasional PF, forget the cheap Chrony line, even the expensive ones have the same crappy screens. The idea of shooting at the guts of a chrono seems like a bad one, so not a fan of the CE Pro. I have a Pact, same problem as the CHrony, pooor screens. The Oehler is top dog, but way spendy. If I were buying today, it would be the CED.

WiskyT
11-24-2012, 12:51
PLus good screens. Unless you just want the occasional PF, forget the cheap Chrony line, even the expensive ones have the same crappy screens. The idea of shooting at the guts of a chrono seems like a bad one, so not a fan of the CE Pro. I have a Pact, same problem as the CHrony, pooor screens. The Oehler is top dog, but way spendy. If I were buying today, it would be the CED.

Agreed. There isn't much point in getting an expensive "Chrony" brand chrono. If you want something cheap that will give you velcoity readings and basic statistical data, the Chrony works and it used to be the only cheap option out there. There are others in the same price range now, but I haven't tried them to know if they are better or worse.

If I was interested in all of the plug 'n play software spreadsheet producing one step downloading and tabulating type stuff that is out there, and willing to spend that kind of money, I'd get something with more user friendly screens.

As it is, I'm happy with simple velocity and ES, SD, high, low, and Avg. that my Chrony spits out.

WiskyT
11-24-2012, 13:17
The one you don't shoot while testing. Seriously I chose the CED M2 IIRC because the electronics are on the table next to you (18' cable).

Yes, but shooting the screens can be expensive too. I've posted my tips before, and they are nothing revolutionary, but I'll post them again for those who haven't seen them before. These tips were brought about by the mother of all invention, necessity. I have grazed my original Chrony several times. It had a lot of black tape on it when I finally killed it by centerpunching it with a round. When I got my new one, I decided not to make the same mistakes.

First, don't use the steel rods that come with chronographs to support the diffusers if at all possible. With the Chrony brand, you can use bamboo grill skewers. I'd imagine they'd work with other brands but I don't know for sure. If you hit a metal rod, it will send a lot of the bullet's energy into the housing and do damage. The bamboo rods simply break away and cause no further damage.

Second, have a target behind the chrono for an aiming point. If you don't, your eye will eventually drift to the chrono when you fire and the bullet goes where you look. I set a target up at 20 feet without the chrono in place. I make an aiming point on the target and fire a group. I fire as many rounds as I want until I'm comfortable and have a group. 5 rounds is usually enough, but fire 100 if you need to.

Next, place the chrono directly in front of the target so that the group is in the sweet spot of the viewing area. Then, continue to shoot at the aiming point and your rounds will go through the screens and into the group. You must maintain your discipline and NOT look at the chrono. Pretend it isn't there. You are simply shooting a group at 7 yards which is easy to do.

Also, you must have a tripod. You must be able to adjust the height of the chrono to your circumstances. If you have to bend or stand on your toes to shoot over a chrono that is on a milk crate or stepladder, you will eventually shoot your chrono.

In these pics, I used a target that was left up at the range. If you look closely you can see the small group that is mine.

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee460/Wiskyt/1025111500.jpg

http://i1228.photobucket.com/albums/ee460/Wiskyt/1025111500a.jpg

PBR Sailor
11-24-2012, 13:20
roadgrader,

I have a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/852429/competition-electronics-prochrono-digital-chronograph

Works exceptionally well, easy to set up and run. You can shop around for a better price but I would highly recommend this unit.

I have the CE chrono listed on the link. I have been using it for several years and it works.

FullClip
11-24-2012, 13:40
I've got a Chrony Beta Master that seems to work for me. I haven't shot it yet, but my brother shot the one I gave him the first time he used it. (he's an idiot anyway. :supergrin:)

It gives me velocity of each shot, average, deviation and all the stuff I need. I don't use it often enough and ain't a computer geek, so working the little computer type thingy confuses me unless I have the instructions with me. (I'm an idiot like my brother..:supergrin:)

I will try WiskyT's tip on not using the steel rods. They are a pain in the butt.

F106 Fan
11-24-2012, 14:13
The one you don't shoot while testing. Seriously I chose the CED M2 IIRC because the electronics are on the table next to you (18' cable).

^^^^ This

Richard

njl
11-24-2012, 20:27
They all work much better before you put a round or two into them. :)


First, don't use the steel rods that come with chronographs to support the diffusers if at all possible. With the Chrony brand, you can use bamboo grill skewers.


Thanks for the reminder. Last time you mentioned this, I bought a 100pk (all I could find) but forgot to put any with my chrony. I just grabbed 4 and am about to test fit them. Do you cut off the pointy ends?


Second, have a target behind the chrono for an aiming point. If you don't, your eye will eventually drift to the chrono when you fire and the bullet goes where you look.


I strongly agree here, and an added benefit is (if you can go hot/cold frequently enough) you can keep the targets for reference ("what sort of group did I get with this load? oh, here's the chrony target.").


I set a target up at 20 feet without the chrono in place. I make an aiming point on the target and fire a group. I fire as many rounds as I want until I'm comfortable and have a group. 5 rounds is usually enough, but fire 100 if you need to.

Next, place the chrono directly in front of the target so that the group is in the sweet spot of the viewing area. Then, continue to shoot at the aiming point and your rounds will go through the screens and into the group.


Here, we differ. I generally put the chrony target out at 7yds, but I put the chrony closer to me (2-3yds away). It takes a little extra setup time to get the chrony properly aligned such that shooting through it, I'm aimed at the bullseye, but having it closer to me leaves more margin of error without hitting the chrony/screens/uprights. For the setup, I put up a target first, step back to the shooting position, hold out my arms (don't even need the pistol), line up the shot, and then walk forward to adjust the chrony (elevation, rotation, inclination) to get it just right. It usually only takes a few iterations to get it just right.


Also, you must have a tripod. You must be able to adjust the height of the chrono to your circumstances. If you have to bend or stand on your toes to shoot over a chrono that is on a milk crate or stepladder, you will eventually shoot your chrono.


Agreed...mostly. Depending on setup, you might get away with using something like a Bogen Magic Arm...but those cost about as much as a half decent tripod and require something sturdy to clamp onto...so unless you already have one, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Ideally, the tripod should be inexpensive, but heavy enough to support the chronograph and not be affected by wind.

fredj338
11-24-2012, 20:34
C chrono closer than 10yds is likely to produce errors do to muzzle blast. This is ture with any brand. The Chrony brand are fine for the occasional PF check but I liek to test ammo & get vel readings at the same time, the Chrony is a poor choice IME. Small, poor screens means a very small window to shoot over, why so many shoot theor Chrony. CED has very good sreens, Oehler still makes the best screens & if I do shoot one, it's only $15 to replace.

njl
11-24-2012, 21:15
For pistol ammo, the chrony does just fine at just a couple yards. It certainly doesn't need to be out at 10yds. I don't think I go that far out even for rifle (M1 carbine, AR15) testing.

BTW...I just got done modifying the bamboo skewers. The ones I had were a little long and a little too thin. I shortened them to just a bit longer than the non-extended chrony rods, and found that the torque put on them by the crony and screens would cause them to jump out of the chrony. A single layer wrap of duct tape fixed that. I'll try them out next time I use the chrony.

Another tip for the chrony...carry a spare battery. If it's acting weird, doesn't want to give you readings, try replacing the battery. I shot my first one with my first AR reloads thinking I had to get the bullet closer to the eyes. Turns out my battery was about dead, and that's likely why it kept giving me ERR codes rather than good readings.

WiskyT
11-24-2012, 21:15
They all work much better before you put a round or two into them. :)



Thanks for the reminder. Last time you mentioned this, I bought a 100pk (all I could find) but forgot to put any with my chrony. I just grabbed 4 and am about to test fit them. Do you cut off the pointy ends?

With the Chrony brand, you can just put the pointy end down. Carry more than 4 because 4 is the minimum. If you break or loose one, you are stuck without a chrono.

I strongly agree here, and an added benefit is (if you can go hot/cold frequently enough) you can keep the targets for reference ("what sort of group did I get with this load? oh, here's the chrony target.").

Group size doesn't tell me much a 20 feet. I consider a load acceptable if it keeps all the shots on a paper plate at 25 yards.

Here, we differ. I generally put the chrony target out at 7yds, but I put the chrony closer to me (2-3yds away). It takes a little extra setup time to get the chrony properly aligned such that shooting through it, I'm aimed at the bullseye, but having it closer to me leaves more margin of error without hitting the chrony/screens/uprights. For the setup, I put up a target first, step back to the shooting position, hold out my arms (don't even need the pistol), line up the shot, and then walk forward to adjust the chrony (elevation, rotation, inclination) to get it just right. It usually only takes a few iterations to get it just right.

6 feet is too close to get reliable readings. 20 feet works all the time with a Chrony brand. Other brands might work closer but I haven't tried them. Muzzle blast will screw up your readings big time

Agreed...mostly. Depending on setup, you might get away with using something like a Bogen Magic Arm...but those cost about as much as a half decent tripod and require something sturdy to clamp onto...so unless you already have one, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. Ideally, the tripod should be inexpensive, but heavy enough to support the chronograph and not be affected by wind.

I don't remember how much my tripod cost, but it is cheapo from a big box store. I've never had it blow over or any problems with it

njl
11-25-2012, 00:21
I don't think I've had any trouble shooting through the chrony just a few yards away. I guess this might depend on the powder/load. i.e. if your loads have tremendous muzzle flash, it may need to be farther away.

WiskyT
11-25-2012, 08:08
I don't think I've had any trouble shooting through the chrony just a few yards away. I guess this might depend on the powder/load. i.e. if your loads have tremendous muzzle flash, it may need to be farther away.

I've had lots of trouble like that. Even at 10 feet Like Chrony says I get messed up readings. I'm not talking about "Errors" either. I'll shoot a string that goes like this: 950. 975. 630, 940, and 965. When I move it farther out with everything else the same I get 1090, 1110, 1100, 1075, 1115.

I can walk in closer and watch the velocity drop dramatically. I once walked in to contact distance and got a load down to 350fps that was running 1000 or so.

Kentguy
11-25-2012, 08:57
Amazon.com: Vista Explorer 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Tripod Bag: Camera & Photo@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31U3BJ4Oa2L.@@AMEPARAM@@31U3BJ4Oa2L

I purchased this tri-pod, very nice unit (with carrying bag) for $20. light weight aluminum, two bubble type levels, lots of height adjustment ability, my Chrono fits perfectly on top.

I always use a tri-pod/Chrono when I test ammo with a target of any kind just behind my set up - As far as targets go you can either use a traditional style or picture of your ex-wife/girl friend works great as well... Just kidding :supergrin:

njl
11-25-2012, 09:25
I've had lots of trouble like that. Even at 10 feet Like Chrony says I get messed up readings. I'm not talking about "Errors" either. I'll shoot a string that goes like this: 950. 975. 630, 940, and 965. When I move it farther out with everything else the same I get 1090, 1110, 1100, 1075, 1115.

I can walk in closer and watch the velocity drop dramatically. I once walked in to contact distance and got a load down to 350fps that was running 1000 or so.

That's really odd. I thought it was more common to get absurdly high readings when too close. To read low, the second sensor would have to miss the bullet and pick up something else moving over it behind the bullet or both sensors would have to miss the bullet and pick up something slower moving...which seems unlikely. Are you loading 9mm with black powder? :)

Thinking about this some more, maybe the first sensor could pick up muzzle flash gases moving faster than the bullet, and then the second sensor either picks up the bullet or trailing edge of the flash? It'd be really cool to see some high speed photography of this happening.

fredj338
11-25-2012, 11:32
Move the screens back to 10 feet min, you'll get better results. Buy a better chrono, you'll get better results. I have tested the Chrony, CED & Oehler back to back to back. They all read within 10fps of each other. The diff, the Oehler never misses a shot. The Chrony can miss up to 50%, depending on bullet palcement. The screens are tiny & poorly made, so the bullet has to fly directly over & not more than 8" high, why so many are shot.
Again, the Chrony works, but it is very limited. If you use a chrono a lot as I do, I do not accept limitations in my equip. I like to test vel & accuracy at the sme time, from 15yds to 300, the Chrrony can be made to work, jsut a lot more effort is req'd. This is true of any tool, for any task. A better tool makes any job easier. The diff in the CED & Chrony BM isn't worth considering, the CED is a better tool. If you just want te occasional vel reading, then the Chrony is doable.

TH237
11-25-2012, 13:07
I too have and use the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph, highly recommend it.

They routinely go on sale for $99 at Midway.

This is the one I use, I love it. It records your shots, is easy to use, and the price is right.

SARDG
11-25-2012, 17:34
I too have and use the Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph, highly recommend it.

They routinely go on sale for $99 at Midway.

This is the one I use, I love it. It records your shots, is easy to use, and the price is right.
I have that chrono as well. I also have the Chrony Beta with printer but have largely retired it.

The CE, being one simple piece, is fast and easy to set up. I have no problem in NOT shooting the electronics. The display is good, but I really don't care. I shoot, see if it registered, shoot the string, walk up and advance the string, walk back and shoot another string. I have the remote for it, but never use it. I shoot, take the CE home and transfer/print out the data with the software. If you have the software, you can use your laptop for a remote display and for remote 'control'. It's all very quick and efficient. I also find the CE more user friendly than the Chrony.

njl
11-25-2012, 22:35
I put 150 rounds over my Beta Master Chrony yesterday and had just one shot fail to register (ERR2). A few of those were .22lr (which I use to test the setup). The rest were various 9mm and .45acp with Universal, WST, and Longshot.

jr05
11-29-2012, 20:07
My Pro Chrono Digital works excellent, no regrets.

ImpeachObama
11-29-2012, 21:57
If you hit a metal rod, it will send a lot of the bullet's energy into the housing and do damage.


I really hate when that happens. Don't use this when your eyes are tired and you've been at this too long on a excessively hot day.

Jitterbug
12-02-2012, 10:06
I was doing well with my 18 month old Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph, until I put a 135 gr. SBGD through the center of it with the S&W 442 the other day...I had run several 5.56, 9mm and .44 Mag loads through it with success and I was being extra careful with the little beast, but it got the better of me and drilled the Chrono.

In shopping for a new one I note that on their website they claim they will replace a unit in "any" condition for 1/2 price...so $60 bucks and shipping? I sent them an email yesterday so we'll see.

I would really like to get the CED or PACT unit with the brain separated by a cord, since I'm sure that no matter how careful I am it's only a matter of time before I shoot the new one...again.

However over at Midway reading the reviews neither the CED or PACT are given consistently high reviews. I realize many guys don't read directions and get to close to the units but...it seems hit or miss with lot's of lemons???

Any users of the new CED's or PACTS?

fredj338
12-02-2012, 13:48
^^THIS^^
WHy I don't like shooting at the guts of a chronograph. It has to be one of the more stupid ideas anyone has come up with. Get one that has the guts sitting on the bench. It's much cheaper to replace a $15 screen.