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Old May 3, 2005, 07:57 PM   #1
drdirk
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Advice on chronograph

I have been reloading for a while now and would am looking to perfect my work. Question: Do you guys use a chronograph to check consistancy and accuracy as compared to the published values? Any advice on what model to get and what to look for highly desired from a guy still learning. Not sure it matters but I reload mostly for .45acp, .308 and 357.

On a different note, this forum has certainly helped a lot in the past when I had cimp problems and any other beginner issue I can think of. Thanks to all how post and support this forum!
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Old May 3, 2005, 08:59 PM   #2
LHB1
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From a fellow Houstonian,
IMO the best chronograph is the Oehler 35P. It prints out velocity for each round so you don't have to take time out. For each string of shots it prints the highest velocity, lowest velocity, extreme spread of velocity, median velocity, and standard deviation. The unit uses three screens and measures each bullet velocity twice. If these measurements differ, the chronograph flags the measured velocity so you will know that round's velocity may have encountered a problem in measurement. Simply stated, I think the Oehler 35P is great! Have been extremely pleased with mine.
Besides all that, the Oehler is made right here in Texas.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB

ps: There are cheaper chronographs available and some folks are happy with them but I have never regretted buying the Oehler.
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Old May 3, 2005, 09:03 PM   #3
Mark whiz
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I reloaded for about 2 years before I broke down and bought a Chrony Beta Master last year. I too load .38, .357, .308, & .45 (.32ACP too). I can't say that the Chrony has made a major difference with my pistol loads, but I've tried a couple different powders since getting the chrony and that has decreased the time taken for load work ups somewhat. If anything, it has confirmed my suspicsions on some loads and even surprised me in a couple cases.

With my rifles, I'm finding it very useful right now. Since I shoot a M1A, matching my loads to Mil-Spec velocities helps a bunch to dial in a load, and the Chrony has done me good in that category. Heck, I've even found it useful with my muzzleloader loads too.

Chrony's aren't an absolute GOTTA have item for reloading............... but they are pretty neat toys - especially for info junkies like me.

(Too Funny I'm originally from Houston also)
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Old May 3, 2005, 09:32 PM   #4
Rodger Peterson
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Here is what my chorno has done for me.

45 Colt
784 fps= very little lead in barrel
941 fps= acceptable lead in barrel
1183 fps= 1 weeks work to remove lead in barrel


30-06 same load
40 degrees = works great
115 degrees = primers backing out


357 125 grain bullet JSP
1498 fps = nice penetration, excellant expansion
948 fps= penatration good, not much expansion

Most cartridge loads
10% less speed than most published loading manuals

Then once when I shot my chrony, my family had alot of fun teasing me about it.

Thats what my chrony has done for me.
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Old May 3, 2005, 09:55 PM   #5
44 magnum
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Ohler is basically the best for a personal use chrono(if you can aford it). I personally use the beta master with the remote readout. Most likely the best $135 I spent. You will find that what "the book" says should be going on, isn't usually what is going on. And knowing your actual velocity is a huge help from every angle of bullet preformance you can think of.

As my user name implies I load 'em fast and hot, but not stupid. If you do this I personally think mapping your loads with a chrono is mandatory.
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Last edited by 44 magnum; May 4, 2005 at 10:02 PM.
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Old May 3, 2005, 10:46 PM   #6
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Undoubtably Oehler is the King, but several will work fine and your budget may help you decide which. But, the reason for owning one is very well illustrated by Mark whiz, and Rodger Petersens posts. BTW, Hey Houston guys, grew up by the old Gulfgate shopping center!

Velocities need to be checked to match with the performance you desire and may go along ways in helping you choose an excellent powder. When you find one that delivers the velocity, or lack thereof that you are looking for, and the loads are grouping well enough to excite you, there's nothing like looking at a piece of modern technology that agree's with centuries old principles. That is not to say, Standard deviation is absolutely definitive for accuracy, but when they do agree, you probably made a wise powder decision! $.03
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Old May 4, 2005, 04:11 AM   #7
WESHOOT2
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Mandatory

Oehler, PACT, or CED.

Get one with a separate 'brain', because you'll shoot it.

"Chrono mapping"...........

If one just stuffs shells to make noise go bang then one probably doesn't need a chrono, but everyone else does.
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Old May 4, 2005, 07:29 AM   #8
drdirk
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looks like Oehler

Wow, that was quick.... just posted last night and all these great hints! Thanks guys. Looks like Oehler is a good choice from what I read here. Glad I asked, saw a lot of stuff on ebay, mostly F1 or something. I think I will get one since I am also a kind of data junky

Happy shooting and measuring!
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Old May 4, 2005, 10:37 AM   #9
Guy B. Meredith
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To get back to your basic question, a chrono is very usefull as the published figures and actual performance WILL vary considerably. The tables just put you in the ball park.

With the chrono you will know whether the rounds are performing as desired. The usual routine for pistols is to start off at about 10% less powder than listed, load a number of rounds at that level and then several more groups with each successive loading .2 gr more. Don't know what increment works for rifles. Take the loads out and put through the chrono until you reach the performance you want all the while watching for over pressure if some of the loads are above the listed value.

Now as to camps favoring brands, the above Oehler is considered the Ferrari of chronos which is great for bench rest, but at this stage you may not want that degree of performance. To test the waters and get good solid basic performance at a beer budget price check the Shooting Chronys. The Beta version gives you the separate computer which is placed on the bench in front of you. It is easier to read that the LCD on the chrono and less subject to stray bullets.
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Old May 4, 2005, 11:15 AM   #10
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Get an Oehler 35 P. It's the best.
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Old May 6, 2005, 04:03 PM   #11
razorbuc
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chrony

midway has the cheaper model chrony for 69$ right now...a great way to get into the chrono bus. without breaking the bank.
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Old May 6, 2005, 05:49 PM   #12
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You'll never regret buying an Oehler. The very best costs more up front, but usually end up being the cheapest in the long run.
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Old May 6, 2005, 07:09 PM   #13
Peter M. Eick
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I sure love my 35P. Reliable in nearly any light and the printer is great. Also sure live the 3 skyscreens that give me the confidence in every shot!
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Old May 6, 2005, 09:11 PM   #14
Leftoverdj
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I shoot a lot of milsurp powder and a Chrony has gotten me out of trouble a couple of times. Milsurp burning rates vary wildly and visual pressure indications are not that reliable. When the Chrony tells you that your velocities are 300 fps over what you were expecting, it's time to rethink your plan.
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Old May 6, 2005, 10:11 PM   #15
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Have owned Pact and as of a year ago, an Oehler 35P. Wouldn't go back to another now other than another Oehler. Customer service is fantastic as well. Only 45 minutes from me to boot. I think the most important thing for me is letting me know how consistantly I am loading a particular round. It is a great trouble shooter. Lousy group, great Standard Deviation, change bullet or powder. Most likely you are doing everything right with very low SD, just change the combination a bit. Great Groups with higher SD, look at primer....On and on. I use it as a tool to measure my work and the result has always been better rounds at the end of the day. I have my own range, which makes setting up a no hassle and or no firing line to worry about.
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Old May 6, 2005, 11:56 PM   #16
BILLY D.
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Oehler 43 Pbl, Everything Else Is A Tradeoff. Ie: Junk.
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Old May 7, 2005, 02:13 AM   #17
Sturm
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And I cant think of one that won't give +/- .1% or less in accuracy provided you set it up properly. Go with your budget and get one that provides standard deviation, unless you want to have to learn like I did, how to do it on your calculator!
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Old May 7, 2005, 08:13 AM   #18
Nortonics
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Oehler, Oehler, Oehler - oh please! Oehler has been superseded by the CED Millennium, which proves to be more convenient, more features, better accuracy via testing (although this is a moot point because ALL chrony's are just about as accurate as any other). Does the Oehler have permanent memory that can be downloaded into your computer? Does the Oehler have software that can perform internal & external ballistics from the data out of the chrony? Does the Oehler have infra-red skyscreens that allow flawless data capture in ANY lighting condition, including total darkness? God, the list goes on & on...

Not slighting the Oehler - excellent unit for sure and has been the standard of measurement for years, but in no way is it "best", at least not any more. CED has taken chrony operation, accuracy and convenience to the next level and now all other competitors are trying to catch up...
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Old May 7, 2005, 08:40 AM   #19
drdirk
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indoor use?

One more question: How well does a chrono work in an indoor range? Any models better than others indoor? Looks like the Oehler is great but after a search not cheap!

Thanks to all
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Old May 7, 2005, 09:47 AM   #20
Nortonics
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Far as my CED, no problems AT ALL, no matter what the lighting conditions:



Check this:

Handloads.com - Lots-O-stuff brewin’ for tomorrow!
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Old May 8, 2005, 06:57 AM   #21
Thirties
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Nortonices, your photo doesn't show if there is a printer or not. does the CED come with a printer; and if so, can you please describe it?

Thanks.
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Old May 8, 2005, 08:23 AM   #22
Nortonics
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Nope. no printer comes with it. Don't really need a portable printer either as you can scroll through the permanent memory of all your groups and shots at will, right on the big LCD display. Get home with it, attach it to your computer, and use its printer if desired.

There was a small thermal HP printer that was offered at one time that would hitch to the CED. Here's a Q&A about that from the FAQ section of Competitive Edge Dynamics web site (the folks whom actually make this unit):

Quote:
Q - The CED Millennium Chronograph instruction manual states that it is compatible with an HP printer. If so, please advise as to which model? A - Yes, the CED Millennium Chronograph has infrared download capabilities with Hewlett Packard hand held thermal paper printers, such as their model HP82240B. We have been informed that these hand held printers are being fazed out of the market. Therefore, you may have some difficulty locating available stocks. We do not see the necessity in sourcing replacements, as the demand for this has dropped completely with customers using the PC downloads instead.
Check out all their info here:

Competitive Edge Dynamics

The primary State-side resellers of this unit is Recreational Software Inc, and they too have a great deal of excellent info on this and other CED offerings. Check them here:

Recreational Software Inc.
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Old May 8, 2005, 08:33 AM   #23
Thirties
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Thank you. I'll look at the info.
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Old May 8, 2005, 09:17 AM   #24
Nortonics
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Here's a pretty good, very recent article by John Taffin of American Handgunner magazine (March-April 2005) judging a few different chronys, including the CED Millennium and the Oehler - good reading:

But which one?

John does a good job getting right down to the nitty-gritty of actual operation and effectiveness of Chrony's in his article. He's pretty much right on the button in terms of the fact that all Chrony's are really just about as accurate as any other, once you get any of them to register shots effectively (a big point - if ya can't get consistent & reliable reading time & time again, then really how convenient is that?

But really, look at what CED offers as the overall package with all the accessories that no one else even comes close to matching. One thing that Taffin fails to mention though is the testing that has been done on the CED as compared to the Oehler in terms of accuracy - from the RSI web site:

Quote:
Here are CED's German defense lab test results:

Conditions: Indoors with consistent incandescent lighting for all chronographs
Test Measurement Equipment: Commercial radar velocity instrumentation
Calibers tested: .22, 9mm, 38 super, 40 S &W, 45 ACP, 223 Rem., 308 Win., & 4.5mm
Results: All calibers measured by the Millennium were within 0.2% (99.8%) of lab recordings, from 0.327% for 223 Rem to 0.081 for 45ACP. Results were better than all other chronographs. (The venerated Oehler tested 0.3% behind the Millennium.) The new IR emitters will virtually eliminate any variation caused by differences in natural lighting. If you need a chronograph that will approach the accuracy of commercial radar lab equipment, but do not want to spend $2000 to $4000, try the Millennium with the new IR sensors.
It's also the official chronograph of the following events:

- Official Chronograph for the IPSC European Championships
- Official Chronograph for the IPSC World Championships
- Official Chronograph for the following matches:
USPSA National Championships (Open / Limited)
Pan American Championships
S & W Millennium Championships
USPSA Area 2,5,7 & 8 Championships
IPSC African Championships
- Official Chronograph endorsement for ALL IPSC Level 4 & 5 Championships world-wide
- Official Chronograph and Timer for the following matches:
1911 Single Stack Classic Championship
USPSA Area 3, 4, 5 Regional Championships
The Masters Tournament
USPSA Limited National Championship
USPSA OPEN National Championship

Quote:
Each year, CED Timers and Chronograph are officially used for Championship matches world-wide. In addition to competitive matches, our products are used by law enforcement agencies and military organizations in over 20 countries for training purposes. Clients include the FBI, CIA, DEA, Army, Navy, and Air Force in the United States, the S.A.S. in Australia and the U.K., the Mosaad and Israeli Forces in Israel, the German Military and Police, Italian Police, French Police, Greek Military, Sri Lankan Army, Navy, Air Force, and Police, the Hong Kong PLA Forces, ICAC, and Royal Police, all of which represent just a few of the CED market share.
Impressive...
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Old July 17, 2005, 11:43 AM   #25
Daniel BOON
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oehler 35p

I've had mine for years; just about the time you get an accurate load, the chrony calls you a liar; go figure.....its 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other;
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