Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > >

Reloading All Reloading Topics Go Here


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-05-2020, 08:43 AM
mmb617's Avatar
mmb617 mmb617 is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Altoona, PA
Posts: 303
Likes: 78
Liked 632 Times in 167 Posts
Default First time out with my new toy (chronograph)

I'm still pretty new at this whole reloading thing and thought that having a chronograph would be useful. I'm loading what I think are relatively light loads but I wanted some real world numbers.

Before I got started I did some research and the one recurring theme I saw was "Don't shoot the chrono!". I guess that happens more than you might think, especially with rifles as sometimes folks don't take into consideration that the scope is mounted higher than the barrel bore thus causing real short range shots to hit low.

I got to the range and had it all to myself which was nice as I could take my time and setup any way I wanted. I thought it would be easier to set a target up directly behind the chrono rather than just aiming through the sunshield supports. I set the chrono up with the target behind it then moved the chrono out of the way for some test shots as I didn't want to take any chances.

I figured I didn't need any kind of rest for the pistol shots as it would be pretty bad if I couldn't get a real tight group when shooting from only 10 ft away, and that's how it worked out. After a couple rounds I was confident enough to move the chrono into position and get some numbers.

After a mag or so with the pistol I wanted to run the rifle and I could see how people wind up shooting the chrono. I briefly considered just shooting from a standing position but didn't feel comfortable taking the chance even at such a short distance, so I set up a little table to use the bipod. I once again set the chrono aside and tried a couple test shots. The rifle is sighted in for 100 yds so I knew it would be way off at 10 ft and it was low enough that if I'd been aiming with the crosshairs on the center of the target I probably would have hit the chrono.

I was able to figure out that if I used the 4th dot down on the vertical post the shot would hit the center, so I moved the chrono into position and ran off about a half a mag, with all shots hitting where I wanted them.





I really enjoyed this little exercise and I'm sure I'll do a lot more of it in the future. The numbers I got were pretty much what I expected with two different weights of bullets in 9mm and just one in .223.

The 115 grain FMJ 9 mm rounds averaged 1109 which is right about the center between the published minimum and maximum. I thought they'd be closer to the bottom so I'll try reducing the charge a bit and see if they still cycle properly.

The 124 grain FMJ rounds in 9 mm came in at 1051 which is close to the minimum but cycled perfectly so I'll leave them alone.

The rifle rounds averaged 2847 which is real close to the bottom, but again they cycled without a hitch so I'll probably leave them alone too.

Comments or suggestions are welcome. My feelings aren't easily hurt so if you want to point out something I'm doing all wrong, please do so.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-05-2020, 09:37 AM
dla dla is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 905
Likes: 208
Liked 325 Times in 196 Posts
Default

You're off to a good start. Remember, there's no magic distance from the chronograph, just far enough that the muzzle blast & smoke doesn't mess up your readings.
Reply With Quote
The Following 5 Users Like Post:
  #3  
Old 05-05-2020, 09:44 AM
Speedo2 Speedo2 is offline
SWCA Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Western PA
Posts: 1,409
Likes: 517
Liked 719 Times in 288 Posts
Default

Your range is open......I am soooo jealous. Gov. Tom Wofle is an idiot.

I have managed to shoot my own chrono; it was easier than I thought. Fortunately I just "winged" one of my shade posts which damaged its anchor slot (located in the aft photo cell). After a little straightening and epoxy repair I was back business. I've found that with the chrono I could almost convince my wife that I was doing something "scientific" rather than hanging out at the range to avoid her myriad of honeydo's. However, my nefarious plans have been foiled by the current covid lock-out. Lesson to be learned by my range's e-board: 'tis better to be forgiven rather than to seek permission. They made the mistake of asking for the governor's approval to remain open last month, which was (of course) denied.

Anyways, I glad that some here in PA-land are remaining active. As far as recommendations, I would place your target back at least 25 yards in order to better avoid winging your chrono. "Aim small, shoot small" said someone who shot his own chrono. -S2

Last edited by Speedo2; 05-05-2020 at 09:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-05-2020, 10:22 AM
jimbo728's Avatar
jimbo728 jimbo728 is online now
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 2,284
Likes: 5,809
Liked 2,453 Times in 1,029 Posts
Default

Well thought out. Those numbers look good to.
Jim
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #5  
Old 05-05-2020, 10:28 AM
38SPL HV 38SPL HV is online now
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Northern Nevada
Posts: 944
Likes: 578
Liked 597 Times in 297 Posts
Default

Good job, now you’ll be experimenting all the time!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-05-2020, 12:00 PM
bangbig bangbig is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Michigan
Posts: 146
Likes: 46
Liked 139 Times in 58 Posts
Default

Looks like a fun time. As you have already found out, that info is nice to have!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-05-2020, 12:27 PM
Scharfschuetzer's Avatar
Scharfschuetzer Scharfschuetzer is online now
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Puget Sound Area
Posts: 155
Likes: 3
Liked 388 Times in 121 Posts
Default

That's an excellent addition for any reloader. It will really help you figure out what's going on with your loads and to refine them.
__________________
Keep your powder dry.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #8  
Old 05-05-2020, 01:20 PM
H Richard's Avatar
H Richard H Richard is offline
US Veteran
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Central IL
Posts: 19,955
Likes: 12,397
Liked 16,092 Times in 6,329 Posts
Default

A chronograph is critical as you start shooting at distances. Anyone can put groups together at 100 - 200 yards, but when you are shooting varmints out to 500 and beyond, a known exact velocity allows you to know your trajectory and get you on target. A custom elevation turret on a Leupold scope with your specific load data and you can take a rangefinder reading, and dial in exactly your distance on your scope. One shot kills on Prairie Dogs at long range is really fun.
__________________
H Richard
SWCA1967 SWHF244
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-05-2020, 01:48 PM
BC38's Avatar
BC38 BC38 is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 9,006
Likes: 484
Liked 11,567 Times in 4,586 Posts
Default

I've never shot my chrono, but I've read about several that have been shot. In most cases people actually hit the rods supporting the sunshades.
So, to be safe rather than sorry, I replaced the metal rods of my sunshades with 5/32" fiberglass rods that I bought from Grainger.
They come in 48" lengths so two lengths make six 16" sunshade support rods. If I ever accidentally hit one it should break without damaging the chrono, and I already have a couple of spares.
__________________
Send lawyers, guns & money...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-05-2020, 02:03 PM
kreuzlover kreuzlover is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: lockhart, texas
Posts: 21
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 6 Posts
Default

The first chronograph I ever bought was an Oehler mod 11. You fired over the sky screens, then turned a knob on the main unit through four stations, I believe. Heck, might have been five. You took those results, looked in a tarage table that came with the chrono, found the numbers that matched the ones from chrono, and voila, you had your fps. I still have that old antique. The next one I purchased was the Oehler mod 33. I still have it, and it's the one I use now.
The best way to set up your chronograph is to measure the distance from the top of your shooting rest, to the ground. Then put your set-up for the start & stop eyes at least 10 feet in front of the rest. Deduct 8" from shooting rest measurement and lower or raise the tripod holding the start & stop eyes to that measurement. For best accuracy, you want the bullets path to be about 8 or 9" above the eyes. If you do this setup everytime, you will NEVER shoot your chronograph! If someone comes up and asks to shoot his gun over your chrony, tell them to shoot in the same place you are, same rest, etc. Unless they are just complete dufus'es, there shouldnt be any problem. Myself, I dont allow anyone to shoot over mine. Might make em mad, but I wont have any extra holes in my unit. YMMV
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-05-2020, 08:03 PM
Goldstar225 Goldstar225 is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cabot, AR
Posts: 1,027
Likes: 996
Liked 1,502 Times in 495 Posts
Default

I put a strip of blue painters tape across the front set of rods about 4-5" above the chronograph. This serves as a "don't shoot below this line" reference.

I loaded for a long time without a chronograph. I wouldn't be without one now.
Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Like Post:
  #12  
Old 05-05-2020, 10:49 PM
Decker Decker is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 323
Likes: 9
Liked 283 Times in 117 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldstar225 View Post

I loaded for a long time without a chronograph. I wouldn't be without one now.
I also thought I'd never need a chrono.
I've been reloading since the 80's and only recently bought my first chronograph (Labradar).
I used to shoot anywhere in a recipe that gave me reliable feeding, but the world opened up when I started getting velocity numbers.
I could never be without one again.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #13  
Old 05-06-2020, 10:20 AM
mmb617's Avatar
mmb617 mmb617 is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Altoona, PA
Posts: 303
Likes: 78
Liked 632 Times in 167 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo2 View Post
Your range is open......I am soooo jealous. Gov. Tom Wofle is an idiot.

They made the mistake of asking for the governor's approval to remain open last month, which was (of course) denied.

Anyways, I glad that some here in PA-land are remaining active.
I certainly can't argue with your assessment of Herr Wolf, the drunk with power tyrant.

My range is at a private club, I don't know if that makes a difference and I'm pretty sure they didn't ask for permission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scharfschuetzer View Post
That's an excellent addition for any reloader. It will really help you figure out what's going on with your loads and to refine them.
I'm waiting for my newest gun to arrive, tracking says it will be at the gun shop tomorrow. This will be my first in .45 caliber so I'm sure the chrono will come in handy in figuring out what to load for it. I've already made up a test batch of ammo to start with. I'm waiting to load any more till I see what the numbers are on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H Richard View Post
A chronograph is critical as you start shooting at distances. Anyone can put groups together at 100 - 200 yards, but when you are shooting varmints out to 500 and beyond, a known exact velocity allows you to know your trajectory and get you on target. A custom elevation turret on a Leupold scope with your specific load data and you can take a rangefinder reading, and dial in exactly your distance on your scope. One shot kills on Prairie Dogs at long range is really fun.
What you describe is way beyond my abilities or aspirations. I'm happy to get decent groups at 100 yds with my rifles and 25 yds with the pistols. They do have both 200 and 300 yd ranges at my club and maybe someday I'll see if I can hit anything at those ranges just for kicks. Well probably not the 300 yd one. I think I am aware of my limitations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kreuzlover View Post
If someone comes up and asks to shoot his gun over your chrony, tell them to shoot in the same place you are, same rest, etc. Unless they are just complete dufus'es, there shouldnt be any problem. Myself, I dont allow anyone to shoot over mine. Might make em mad, but I wont have any extra holes in my unit. YMMV
I can't imagine I'll be letting anyone else shoot over my chrono. My son just likes to shoot but he doesn't reload and the only other one I know that does reload is an uncle and I know for sure that if he did use it and shoot it he'd replace it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decker View Post
I also thought I'd never need a chrono.
I've been reloading since the 80's and only recently bought my first chronograph (Labradar).
I used to shoot anywhere in a recipe that gave me reliable feeding, but the world opened up when I started getting velocity numbers.
I could never be without one again.
Shooting and reloading is the hobby I took up to keep me occupied since I'm retired and my wife died last year. I have time on my hands and this whole thing is extremely interesting to me. I don't think I'll ever be without a chrono again. Which is good because for some reason I keep finding myself buying more guns, which requires more testing.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-06-2020, 11:38 AM
Nevada Ed's Avatar
Nevada Ed Nevada Ed is offline
Member
First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph) First time out with my new toy (chronograph)  
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Reno Nv
Posts: 8,510
Likes: 885
Liked 5,829 Times in 2,858 Posts
Default

I went years w/o one and just loaded for accuracy, then I finally broke down and got one.
It is nice to know how fast your loads go with different powders and if
you are getting near the top end in pressures, per data.

When younger I did a lot of full power loads but today I do a lot more light target loads that don't beat me and my weapons up.

In my old age, for this years deer tag, if successful, I will be loading "Meat saver" loads for the 270 and 30-06 to see which wins in accuracy.

270 130 from 3100fps to 2700, 140gr from 2710 down to 2510fps.
The 30-06 150 from 2890fps down to 2590 and the 180 from 2680fps down to 2300, for minimum meat damage to 300 yards.

Have fun and enjoy the new toy.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Considering A Chronograph Dennis The B Reloading 56 05-05-2015 09:15 PM
Why do I need a chronograph? forestswin Reloading 20 06-01-2013 09:08 PM
Time for a new chronograph Cerberus62 Reloading 19 10-13-2012 07:54 PM
Using a Chronograph for first time Doug.38PR Reloading 18 11-26-2011 10:22 AM
chronograph help bigmoose Reloading 19 10-12-2011 06:30 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:49 PM.


Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.42 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)