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Old 01-01-2017, 11:58 PM
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I have been reloading for awhile and have never felt the need for a chronograph, Now I have several different pistol powders that I want to develop loads for. I want to develop light loads for plinking and training, I have arthritis and it is starting to create some problems with my wrists. But I still want to have the ability to shoot full power loads.

And I guess I want to be sure I am getting the most out of my loads as well as improving accuracy of my loads. would this be a reason for investing in a chronograph?

The powders I have on hand are CFE 2 bottles, Hp-38 2 bottles, AA#2 7 pounds, AA#5 6 pounds
universal 2 bottles, titegroup 1 bottle, SR7625 5 bottles. ramshot comp half a bottle.

my research tells me the simplest to use with less likely of shooting the Chronograph is LabRadar. So let the information flow,

I load for 9mm, 40cal, 38spl, 44spl 44mag., 45ACP, 45 Colt, M1 carbine, 5.56, 308win,
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:08 AM
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If you get the labradar, you will be the most popular guy at your club with people wanting to use it. Excellent but pricey.


You didn't say what calibers you load, but a chronograph can certainly see what you are getting from YOUR guns, and is a fun hobby into itself. As to getting better accuracy, well, chrono variance and group size don't always correlate well, especially at usual short pistol distances. Long range rifle shooters can get downright religious about reducing load variance.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:09 AM
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I've been using a $100 Competition Electronics chronograph for close to 20 years. If you take precautions, you should be able to shoot between the chronograph and sky screens without any problems.

A chronograph is a handy piece of kit for load development. What I like most about them is that I can verify muzzle velocities when changing powders or using the same brand and type of powder from a different lot.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:16 AM
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You could shoot several chronographs and not spend as much as one labradar.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njl View Post
You could shoot several chronographs and not spend as much as one labradar.
And this is quoted for truth!

The LabRadar unit looks fantastic, but was much more than what I wanted to spend. A couple of years ago I bought the Caldwell Ballistic Chronograph and found it much less than satisfactory. They are supposedly sending me yet another replacement, but I'm not holding my breath. A few weeks ago I went ahead and bought a Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital chrony along with the Bluetooth module to connect it to my smartphone and I've done 1 range visit with it so far and I am happy.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:05 AM
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I have the ProChrono, a Magnetospeed and the LabRadar.
The only one easy to use with handguns at an indoor range is the LabRadar.
If you can afford it get it.
No setting up down range if it's possible to do so at all.
Everything is right there beside you .. literally inches away.
I recommend using a tripod unless your bench is concrete.
Ours are plastic and bounce.
The LabRadar wants to be as stable as possible.
The readings are slightly off from the ProChrono but will be good for developing loads.
Search for threads in here about the LabRadar.
I published a comparative test I did using both last summer.

The learning curve is a little steeper than the optical or magnetic chronos but you will get it within a day or 2.
The trick is to get as close as possible to the chrono without subjecting it to too much blast.
A revolver needs to have the cylinder entirely in front of the unit.

This thing produces much more data than just a single velocity reading.
It can and will record the velocity continuously for the bullet's entire flight.
You can pick 5 ranges to display the velocity on the screen for each shot but hidden in a file is the whole darn thing.
This allows you to calculate the actual BC of a bullet at the range you are going to use it at.
Big bore bullets will track to longer range than those skinny .22's.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:22 AM
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Used a Shooting Chrony for more than two decades. I get generally repeatable results from it.

I've hit the supports for the skyscreens a few times over the years, but I make my own replacements out of milk cartons and bamboo skewers in place of the aluminum rods and plastic screens supplied by the factory and my results are still comparable.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:04 AM
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Nemo288 gave you the details on the Labradar - I'll only correct him by saying the Prochrono is only a little off from the Labradar . . . if you set the optical chrono up carefully and identically each time.

Nearly equal in accuracy and costing less is the MagnetoSpeed, but it attaches to your barrel so (a) it changes POI and (b) can't be used on many pistols and some revolvers. If you believe in barrel tuners, then the MagnetoSpeed probably also has an affect on group size when attached directly to a barrel.

Unlike the above types, optical chronos must be set up downrange when the range is cold, are negatively affected by changes in lighting, lack of light, and weather, and for most of us require a ready supply of Purple Hearts OTOH, they cost a LOT less and can give you the info you need.

Having a CED M2, a MagnetoSpeed V1, and a Labradar . . . I can tell you there's nothing like a Labradar but it may well be overkill for your actual needs.

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Old 01-02-2017, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by carpriver View Post
And I guess I want to be sure I am getting the most out of my loads as well as improving accuracy of my loads. would this be a reason for investing in a chronograph?
It may be an unpopular opinion, but no.

If you're interested in tighter groups, your best bet is to invest in some bags or even a Ransom Rest. The latter would be rather extreme option, and really only worth doing if you're shooting very precisely at very long ranges (think 50 yards or so).

A chronograph is really more of a diagnostic tool than anything else. If you're getting inaccurate ammunition, and you chrono the load and get erratic results, that can be meaningful. It's also handy when you're consciously working up a load--a nonlinear relationship between velocity gains and increases in charge weight is a sign that you're getting close to the top.

At the same time, you can have exceptionally accurate ammunition that produces somewhat erratic velocities. The most accurate load is rarely the one that chrono's the best.

So is a chrono worth getting? Sure. It's a fun tool to use. But it's not a tool you really need.

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The powders I have on hand are CFE 2 bottles, Hp-38 2 bottles, AA#2 7 pounds, AA#5 6 pounds
universal 2 bottles, titegroup 1 bottle, SR7625 5 bottles. ramshot comp half a bottle.
You never mentioned caliber specifics, but HP-38 is stellar for producing light recoil in .45 AP. It's fairly low-impact in .38 Spl, but I've yet to really try down-loading below the starting load. Bullseye and WST have been my traditional low-recoil .38 Spl powders.

Hodgdon Clays is another noted low-recoil .45 powder, but I've never seen any on the shelves locally. And lots of guys rave about the AA powders.

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my research tells me the simplest to use with less likely of shooting the Chronograph is LabRadar. So let the information flow,
It's all about the setup.

I like to place the chrono at 7 yards, and set up a blank paper target at 10. The chrono itself should be 6-8" below the height of the muzzle. An aiming point on the paper is made or placed at muzzle height--bring a tape measure to make this easier. And an adjustable-height tripod is invaluable. The gun itself is rested fairly close to the muzzle, to make it harder to drop the muzzle and hit the chrono.

Some report that placing tape on the screen legs helps with aiming, but I've never bothered.

I also shoot slowly, especially with heavier calibers that might induce a flinch.

Brand-wise, I personally quite like my Shooting Chrony. I got one with a remote display and control, which I rather like.

And for the price of one LabRadar, you can afford to shoot several less-expensive chronographs. The LabRadar really shines:

--in sub-optimal lighting (indoors, shooting close to dusk or dawn, etc)
--with very heavy rifle calibers, especially with muzzle breaks, where the muzzle blast would cause incorrect readings on a traditional chrono, or even blow it over
--on very busy ranges where setting up a traditional chrono would be a huge hassle
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:45 AM
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I started with a Chrony about 20 years ago, moved to Oehler within a year and now have a LabRadar. I never shot any of them, but the Labradar is vastly superior due to the ease of set up. Getting an optical chronograph lined up down range is a pain when other shooters are around. The fact that you can pull the SD card and load the data analysis to an Excel spreadsheet makes it even better.

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Old 01-02-2017, 06:59 AM
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I agree with everything wise-a said but his recommendation for any of the Chrony line. They just have crappy screens & your bullet placement has to be very precise, why they get shot, a lot.
So like most things, spending a bit more $$ will get you a better tool. If you use it a lot as I do, then I want a quality piece of gear. I have an oehler, bought after struggling with an early pact unit. It always works & easily allows me to shoot groups at 300 & still get readings.
I have only seen the Labrador in use, seemed pretty simple & nothing to align. If I was buying, it would probably be that.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:06 AM
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For decades Oehler has been the gold standard that all others were measured by. New, it has a price that competes with the LabRadar but you might find a used one cheaper.
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:56 AM
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Get The LabRadar. It's worth every penny.

My LabRadar is my first chronograph so I have nothing to compare it to, but it has changed my entire reloading experience.

It's easy to set up, accurate and even fun to use.

It's really taught me a lot about reloading, powders and the different calibers.

Forget the traditional chronographs and get a LabRadar.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:41 AM
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If you're going to be a serious chrono guy, buy an expensive one. But if you're going to be a chrono hobbyist like most of us, one of the $100 ones will serve you well. I've sprung for two "better" ones and came back to a ProChrono Digital with their Bluetooth adapter. I compared readings with a Pact (when it actually worked) and a CED M2 and the difference was in single digits so I see no need to buy anything else.

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Old 01-02-2017, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by fredj338 View Post
I agree with everything wise-a said but his recommendation for any of the Chrony line. They just have crappy screens & your bullet placement has to be very precise, why they get shot, a lot.
So like most things, spending a big more $$ will get you a better tool. If you use it a lot as I do, then I want a quality piece of gear. I have an oehler, bought after struggling with an early pact unit. It always works & easily allows me to shoot groups at 300 & still get readings.
I have only seen the Labrador in use, seemed pretty simple & nothing to align. If I was buying, it would probably be that.
Heh, I knew that was coming.

The Chrony's not been bad to me. The only time I really get a lot of errors is dusk. Since I started using it only when the sun was above the trees, I don't think I've had a single error.

But same deal as usual between me and Fred--I also would not mind an Oehler, but hey, money's money.

The LabRadar is definitely a neat piece of kit. If the cash for one isn't that dear to you, it's definitely worth it.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:25 PM
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Another ProChrono + Bluetooth Adapter user here. I haven't had it very long, nor used it all that much. I've never compared its results to others. I assume it's accurate enough.

I'm simply logging here this is what I'm using. It is easy to use. I like the Bluetooth adapter A LOT. It keeps string statistics easily.

I read a number of months back that there are two types of chrono users: Those that have shot their chrono and those that have not. I'm already in the former cateogry. I nicked one of the metal rods holding up one of the screens. Following that episode I got some wooden dowling in case it ever happens again.

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Old 01-02-2017, 09:36 PM
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I like that my CED M2 has the electronics back on the table with me, and the cheaper parts down range.

One surprising cost of a chrony is that I had to buy a high quality tripod to hold it. Replacing the tripod would cost more than replacing the screens.

On the CED M2, it won't work late afternoon as the sun gets low. And screens need to be set out about as far as the cables will allow, lest reading will be of the muzzle blast. I was weirded out when I got 2,400 fps from a .38 Super.

In spite of what all kinds of people will tell you, the chronograph will not tell you PRESSURE.

Wise A gives good advice: 'It's also handy when you're consciously working up a load--a nonlinear relationship between velocity gains and increases in charge weight is a sign that you're getting close to the top.'

I had conflicting references for N105 in .38 Super with 125 gr bullets. Max was 10.4 grains, yet old VV docs said 11.0 grains. Beyond 10.4, I saw only slight increase in velocity from added powder. Hence 10.4 is correct max for my gun.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:12 PM
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Thanks for all the comments, you guys always provide the best information.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Wise_A View Post
Heh, I knew that was coming.

The Chrony's not been bad to me. The only time I really get a lot of errors is dusk. Since I started using it only when the sun was above the trees, I don't think I've had a single error.

But same deal as usual between me and Fred--I also would not mind an Oehler, but hey, money's money.

The LabRadar is definitely a neat piece of kit. If the cash for one isn't that dear to you, it's definitely worth it.
Just my exp using all kinds of diff chronos. I even had one with foil screen back in 1975. The Chrony line all use the same crappy screens. The bullet must be placed exactly over the center of the screens, no more than 8" high, on good days. So makes aligning at say 300yds, a bit more diff. They are accurate, just as accurate as the Oehler, but you get far more errors with the Chrony.
We did a test with a Chrony Master, CED & Oehler, back to back to back. Fired 2 strings, then swapped positions so they all had the same position once. The Oehler never, missed a shot, the CED maybe 5%, the Chrony, almost 50%. The tiny screens just don't allow any deviation.
So for the hobby guy that wants to check PF once & awhile, Chrony will work. If you use it for rifle load dev, I would pony up for at least a CED. FWIW, I also don't like shooting at the guts of the machine, so that also eliminates many of the brands where the screens & chrono are the same unit.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:22 PM
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Interesting timing for this post. I just spent the last three days working up new recipes and then heading to the range each day to Chrono (New Year weekend)
I picked up the Competition Electronics Pro with the Bluetooth DigitalLink. I think the DigitalLink really makes a difference. I like being able to use my iPhone to monitor my shot strings, temp, baro and a long list of data and then send the data to my computer and load into a spreadsheet.
I did find the Chrono a bit picky about light. First day was bright sunshine and worked fine at first until angle of sun changed then gave some odd readings. 2nd and 3rd day overcast and so long as not under the range canopy worked fine.
I use a full size tripod set up about 7' to 10' out where it can get a view of the sky. Bench rest pistol, check accuracy on target, take notes. Back to shop, load up some more. Load up about (20) rounds of each bullet weight and powder weight, back to range, repeat.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:10 PM
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. . . I use a full size tripod set up about 7' to 10' out where it can get a view of the sky. Bench rest pistol, check accuracy on target, take notes. Back to shop, load up some more. Load up about (20) rounds of each bullet weight and powder weight, back to range, repeat.
While it may not apply to most folks needs, I was recently able to use my Labradar to chrono all shots taken at targets every 100yds out to 1200yds. That helped initially to make the right calls on that day with that weather at that location and then confirmed or eliminated MV as a factor in missed shots.

Given that all the targets were at different angles at this range/cattle farm, it would have taken two people a fair amount of time to do that with an optical chrono. That just isn't practical with any other than perhaps the initial test shots. And a MagnetoSpeed would have impacted POI and most likely group size.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:31 PM
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I have a Pact Model 1 XP. Cost is $130 (through Midway) complete with sensors, skyscreens, and all mounting hardware. It has been reliable and repeatable.
Unlike the Chrony products, the electronic computer unit sits on the bench next to you. Only the sensors, skyscreens, and mounting unit are out in front of you.
It will give you velocity for each individual shot and statistics for shot strings such as average velocity, standard deviation, average deviation, velocity extreme spread, etc. But you can't download to another device so you will have to write it down.

Pact now makes a Professional Model for 100 bucks more. It can print out and download to an SD card or a PC. It also calculates power and trajectory data.

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Old 01-03-2017, 06:56 PM
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I had a Pact - for about a day. It flat would not work and when I called the number they strongly recommend you call with problems and told them my range faces west and the light was behind me, they told me to turn the unit so the light was onto the photocells. When I advised the guy that doing so would have the chronograph positioned across the range, he said, "You gotta do what you gotta do." I did - I returned the Pact to MidwayUSA.

I then bought a CED M2. It worked when it felt like it and numerous calls to their office not too far from me finally resulted in my speaking with the head engineer, Charles. Over the course of weeks, Charles sent me a complete new M2, piece by piece, but the results were the same - my old ProChrono would always work but the M2 was intermittant.

I returned that one to CED and bought another ProChrono with the Bluetooth connectivity. It always works!

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Old 01-03-2017, 08:20 PM
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"Twernt" many players in the cronograph field 25 years ago......When my wife bought me my Oehler 35P.....it came in a gun case holding 3 sky screens/2 ft & 4 ft spacer bars/tripod stands/side & overhead diffusers/roll of paper and the crono with built in printer......It gives 2 velocity readings for each shot..........And has and still works great..........
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:50 PM
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What Mike said. I have a 35P that I have used for years, have shot it alongside all other chrono's out there with the exception of the Lab radar. Wouldn't part with mine.

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Old 01-03-2017, 11:31 PM
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I have a CED M2, a Magnetospeed, and an Oehler 35P. I used to have a Shooting Chrony.

The only one I ever find myself using is the Oehler. It just works without a fuss. Hardly ever misses a shot.

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Old 01-05-2017, 12:07 AM
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Went to the indoor range today with the LabRadar, the 696-1, and some 44 special reloads.
Shot for group and velocity at the same time.
LabRadar did not miss a single shot now that I have the proper routine down.
I set the distance to 6" and shoot off bags right beside the radar with almost the entire revolver in front of the radar's front face.
Had shooters on both side of me whacking away with 9's.
They did not trigger the radar once.
I use a laser boresighting module placed on top of the radar to aim it.

The solid copper monolithic bullets appear to have the strongest return signal followed by the copper plated and then the cast numbers including coated.
I did not shoot any jacketed today. I expect them to behave like the solids.
All that is as it should be.

I'll be writing up some of the results in another thread.
It would have been impossible for me to have used any other chrono under the circumstances.
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Old 01-05-2017, 11:18 AM
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Another positive vote for the Competition Electronics Pro with the Bluetooth DigitalLink. So as others have mentioned, it's real picky about sunlight hitting the sensors. My fix was to cut a piece of cardboard and using some small spring loaded clamps to attach it to the upright wires or the plastic things they attach to. Works great! The blue tooth adapter is way too cool and makes it a snap to document a dozen rounds, then upload it to my computer via a spread sheet. It's a great tool for working up your loads, and having a quick and easy reference for later viewing. It's even Mac Friendly!
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Old 01-05-2017, 01:21 PM
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I handloaded for 35 years and thought I really knew my stuff. Until I got my first Oehler 35. I quickly found that there were nuances in handloading results that I was overlooking out of lack of information. I used that first Oehler for 25 years and then gave it to a cousin and got myself a brand new Oehler 35P. I would 'like' to have a LabRadar, but at my age it just isn't justified to spend that much.

Casual about your reloading? Buy one of the $100 chronos. Serious about reloading, especially for accuracy, buy the Oehler 35P or the LabRadar............. Just my humble opinion, .........

A Story: Back when I first getting acquainted with the first Oehler 35, I had a question that with a little patience and reading I could have answered. But, on an impluse I called the Oehler company. I asked the young lady 'help' person my question. She said, "Gee, I don't know that answer, but Dr. Oehler is walking by, perhaps he can answer." Well blow me down but Dr. Oehler got on the phone with me and we chatted like old friends for about 20 minutes. He quickly straightened me out on my 'problem' and then went into just how I was using my Oehler chronograph and was it giving me what I wanted and did I have any suggestions. I was dumbfounded at first but quickly picked up my end of the conversation and got what I needed and hopefully then added to Dr. Oehler's understanding of what one user was doing with his chronograph in the field. ..............
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Old 01-05-2017, 06:12 PM
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Before I got the LabRadar I adapted my ProChrono for indoor use.
When Caldwell first came out with their V.1 chrono it was offered with an optional infrared light kit that mounts like light baffles over the screen detectors.
It came with both battery pack and wall wart 110v adapter.
I got just the light kit and it fit just fine on the ProChrono with a little persuasion.
After using it at the indoor range which has fluorescent lights (worked great)
I got tired of the hassle of setting it up and adjusting it when I could even get to it.
In the 30 years I have used the 2 ProChronos I have had I have never shot one to death.
Current one has a couple little dings from shrapnel when I let the range owner shoot over it.
Suspect he was shooting plated bullets too fast and they disintegrated.

I notice Competition Electronics now offers a light kit for the ProChrono but it has no battery pack.
I would need to pack a long extension cord to use 100V at my range. There are no convenient outlets.
Recommend the Caldwell lights if they are still a thing.

The 95 on the ProChrono screen is from shooting a rubber band as fast as I could across it.
Kinda told me the lighting kit was working.
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Old 01-05-2017, 09:30 PM
Mike, SC Hunter Mike, SC Hunter is offline
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I handloaded for 35 years and thought I really knew my stuff. Until I got my first Oehler 35. I quickly found that there were nuances in handloading results that I was overlooking out of lack of information. I used that first Oehler for 25 years and then gave it to a cousin and got myself a brand new Oehler 35P. I would 'like' to have a LabRadar, but at my age it just isn't justified to spend that much.

Casual about your reloading? Buy one of the $100 chronos. Serious about reloading, especially for accuracy, buy the Oehler 35P or the LabRadar............. Just my humble opinion, .........

A Story: Back when I first getting acquainted with the first Oehler 35, I had a question that with a little patience and reading I could have answered. But, on an impluse I called the Oehler company. I asked the young lady 'help' person my question. She said, "Gee, I don't know that answer, but Dr. Oehler is walking by, perhaps he can answer." Well blow me down but Dr. Oehler got on the phone with me and we chatted like old friends for about 20 minutes. He quickly straightened me out on my 'problem' and then went into just how I was using my Oehler chronograph and was it giving me what I wanted and did I have any suggestions. I was dumbfounded at first but quickly picked up my end of the conversation and got what I needed and hopefully then added to Dr. Oehler's understanding of what one user was doing with his chronograph in the field. ..............
I met Dr. Ken(Oehler) at the shot show in Atlanta.....Nice guy!
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Old 01-05-2017, 10:58 PM
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Just my exp using all kinds of diff chronos.
We're the same guy, at two different price points
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Old 01-06-2017, 03:10 PM
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We're the same guy, at two different price points
Well even then, I am not popping for a new chrono. The oehler works great, just a bit more PITA to setup. My buddy has lots of disposable income & bought a new Oehler 35p. It is still in the box, he just keeps using his CED. BTW, he started with a ChronyBM. He is the type of guy always looking for the better tool. He has a case collator, just dump the brass in & turn it on, sorts it buy caliber. I shoot about 5x as much as he does & I wont go that far!
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Old 01-06-2017, 04:34 PM
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This picture is why I use the Oehler.
Everything else is handled by the Labradar.
Yes, I have compared them, and they are close, when the velocities are under 3900.
The Oehler takes about 7-10 minutes to setup, the Labraradr is under 15-30 seconds. I really, really like it.
To me anything else is just settling for what you can afford, or what you choose to afford.
I still don't understand why people on here rave about Dillon, and Redding(which I use), but test it on anything but the best.
They are cheap for a reason. Have you ever heard of anyone griping about an Oehler? Not me, but every other one mentioned in this thread has detractors. It should tell you something.
I have had 0 Problems with the Labradar when tested under their conditions, but the last month, I have been working on the fast ones. The Oehler gets used, which again I have 0 problems with after over 20yrs of service.

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Old 01-06-2017, 04:57 PM
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Now you got me curious.
Exactly what are you shooting at 4613 fps or did you accidently set the machine to cm/sec?
I am assuming that's one of the 17 cal varmint rounds or similar.
Ever calculate the RPS of those bullets going Mach 4?
That's a lot of rotational stress!
Bullet RPS = MV X 12/Twist Rate (in inches)
If you have a twist of 16 that's 3460 RPS!
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:05 PM
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I have the Dillon 650, the Redding SS, and have went to quite an expense, for perfection, in three AR-15 builds. But, at the moment, my ProChrono digital from Competition Electronics has filled notebooks full of very useful information. It has worked well!

One reply referred to $100 Chronos as a device for casual reloaders, while the $500 units are for the serious. I don't agree with that assessment. I've used the ProChrono as a serious piece of equipement, to obtain the information I needed. The ProChrono is far more dependable than not. Someday, perhaps a more expensive unit. But probably not. I have this thing about expensive triggers & barrels for ARs. Oh well.....
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Old 01-06-2017, 06:09 PM
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What ever works for one's circumstance is the proper kit at that point.
I got different chronos as my requirements and usage changed.
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Old 01-06-2017, 07:41 PM
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Check out LabRadar. It's a Doppler radar chrony. No gates, easy set up, muzzle and down range readings. Unit sets on bench on side of firearm so nothing extends in front of or in back of bench. Only unit that can be easily used at public indoor range. Pricy, but worth it if your going to use it on a regular basis.
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Old 01-07-2017, 03:52 PM
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Everyone has a reason to Justify their reason for their equipment.
I spend a great deal of money getting my ammunition correct. I personally will not scrimp on the one piece of equipment that tells me what the end result is.
It makes no sense to me that people on this board argue over what powder, a tenth of a grain here or there, brass, primers etc, then go test it on a 55-100.00 piece of equipment.
As I said above if that is all you can afford that is fine, but if you think you are getting the same results as an Oehler, you are just kidding yourself.
There is also a reason why all the youtubers pull out their new shiny toy, and compare against an Oehler. Because Oehler is the Benchmark for a reason.
The day I chronographed the load above, I shot from 660fps 22, 243, 264, and 204 @4600fps. It did not miss a single shot. Under 3900 the Labradar did as well. There is a reason ALL the manufacturers use Oehler.
I think in the future the Labradar will be just as good. In my mind they will update their software, and be good to go.
When I buy a tool, I buy the best I can afford, and the results usually bear out the reason for cost. When it comes to Electronics, you will always pay more for the best. Cheap, and great are not packaged together.

Nemo,
It was a fast 204 I was working on for a friend, I could have gone further, but my gut said to quit. There was no excess pressure signs, and these cases were reloaded after. Still tight. I have no doubt I could have got to 4700, but chose not to. I won't post the load, as I don't want anyone to follow me, but it is not as high as you would think. As I was shooting one load at a time, the Oehler was the only one I would trust, as I would have been mighty upset to have missed a shot.
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Old 01-07-2017, 04:17 PM
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I agree in general about electronics.
I was a bench technician, broadcast engineer, and cable TV control room engineer for 35 years.
I used the same basic argument when trying to get the bean counters to buy me a very expensive piece of test equipment (usually in the $10k range).
Sometimes they bought it, sometimes not.
Consumer electronics usually follows the same pattern as well.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:01 PM
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This is what I used until 10 years ago. It was a pain, for one person to set up. The first screen was placed 5 feet from the muzzle, the second screen was 10 feet from the first. If the velocity was thought to be, 1000 feet or less, then the second screen was placed 5 feet from the first.

The height of the bullets were recommended to be 6 inches above the screens. After a shot was fired, the switch was rotated for the first number by adding up the numbers the meter went to "Yes". Then repeat the process for the other 3 numbers. Then you looked at the chart, for that number (which most likely was time of flight across the screens), to the left was the velocity in feet per second.

It was very slow and a pain to use, but it worked and cost something like $110, as I recall, in the late 70's or early 80's.
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Old 01-09-2017, 05:52 PM
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Wow, that's some primitive kit.
Early transistor logic likely.
Before the flat panel plasma, cold florescent, liquid crystal, and LED displays there were no good solid state numeric outputs.
I have a Korean War frequency counter (that goes with a military shortwave radio) that uses nixie tubes for the numbers.
That unit weighs 50 pounds and comes in a bigger box with spares etc.
The whole thing is large enough to use as a coffee table.
I have a later freq counter that has solid state innards but also uses nixie tubes for the readout.
Nixie tubes use a neon type readout where the "filaments" are shaped like numbers and there are 10 of them in each envelope.
Kinda neat to watch them operate but they take around 100 volts and some associated high voltage electronics to work.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:01 PM
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Wow, that's some primitive kit.
Early transistor logic likely.
Along with the instructions, it even came with a schematic of the unit.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:27 PM
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So, my son brings over his new camera equipped drone yesterday. The winds are around 30 mph with strong gusts. The quad just maintains it's GPS position without his hands on the controls. Even though it's being bumped a bit from side to side, the electronic gyro gimbal is keeping the camera image perfectly still. Quite impressive!

If they can cram all of that in a small package, then I feel they can do the same, with a Pro Chrono for less than a hundred bucks. I understand it doesn't take two readings, like a more expensive unit, but it appears that it's readings are quite comparable to the expensive units. One thing for sure, is that I use it in the desert, and it gives a what I'd consider to be a quite accurate reading, nearly every time.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:50 PM
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And, you reckon that drone cost under a 100.00?

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Old 01-09-2017, 09:52 PM
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My plan is to wait for the LabRadar unit to go through a software update or two and the price to come down as it always does with new technology before buying one. I do think it is the answer to a lot of chronograph users' complaints.

But I see that they list its maximum reading as 3,900 feet per second - I have a .243 Ackley Improved with a heavy 27" barrel that spits 65-grain Bergers out at 3,939 fps. Granted, I only have that one rifle that is that fast but I wonder what the .220 Swift guys do.

Ed
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:01 PM
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And, you reckon that drone cost under a 100.00?
Nope. But the electronics are just a part. Just the fact that high tech computers are in small packages, and the pricing has dropped. This particular drone, with camera, battery, transmitter, etc. is around $900 with sale pricing. Never the less, the Pro Chrono does do a credible job, putting out numbers with real meaning. Much more than just a tool, for the casual reloader.
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:00 AM
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For decades Oehler has been the gold standard that all others were measured by. New, it has a price that competes with the LabRadar but you might find a used one cheaper.
First and always: Chronograph = Oehler. Anything that can give ACCURATE velocity readings vs measured accuracy will give you numbers you can crunch. Actual velocity means nothing (until you get into energy), spread could mean everything. Finite velocity accuracy means everything, without it, why bother? I still use my Oehler Mod. 12 from 1980 @ $100.00. BUGHOLES are beautiful.
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:43 AM
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This is what I used until 10 years ago. It was a pain, for one person to set up. The first screen was placed 5 feet from the muzzle, the second screen was 10 feet from the first. If the velocity was thought to be, 1000 feet or less, then the second screen was placed 5 feet from the first.

The height of the bullets were recommended to be 6 inches above the screens. After a shot was fired, the switch was rotated for the first number by adding up the numbers the meter went to "Yes". Then repeat the process for the other 3 numbers. Then you looked at the chart, for that number (which most likely was time of flight across the screens), to the left was the velocity in feet per second.

It was very slow and a pain to use, but it worked and cost something like $110, as I recall, in the late 70's or early 80's.
Looks just like my Oehler Mod. 12 (Bought new in 1980 @ $100.00). Slow to get the four numbers to go to the actual velocity chart was a "Blessing" when shooting rifles, allowing cooling time as required. I still use mine to this day. I never thought it was "slow" back then, and now it has to wait on me to catch up.
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Old 01-10-2017, 02:45 AM
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I have an Ohler 35P with the proof channel and printer. Has 3 skyscreenes, three sheilds and comes with the chrono and printer all in one.They stopped making them for some years but now they are building them again. Don't turn your back on yours as some fool will sit in your stool and blast a round downrange. That has happened to me a couple times. After a little come to Jesus talk to the offender he usually doesn't try it again. Any shots through the screens is fired by me. I'll do a few strings for someone so that they can get some data. Don't know what they go for now as I bought mine about 20 years ago. Frank.
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