View Full Version : chronies?

April 25, 2013, 07:43 AM
I go to the range once a month to test handloads at a known distance.
the rest of my shooting is informal practice in the woods.
is a chrony worth the expense?

April 25, 2013, 08:42 AM
It depends. Do want to actually KNOW the velocity of your loads or are you happy with the maker's published data?

Its been known to be "adjusted to favor the product" sometimes by ludicrous methods (16" test barrel for a pistol, for example).:eek:

I just worked up some new loads using unfamiliar components, the maker says the bullet powder charge combination is good for 1470 FPS. When I ran the load over my chronograph it was 1126 in the real world.:o

April 25, 2013, 08:17 PM
I have chronied several loads from reloading manuals and seldom get exactly what they say. Most manuals use 24" or 26" barrels for rifle loads. Also I like to load bullets about 15 thousandths off the lands & grooves while the manuals usually call for deeper seated bullets to be sure they work in most rifles of that caliber.

Shop around and look for sales at all the ammo/reloading suppliers and you can usually find them reasonably priced.

April 27, 2013, 07:34 AM
IMHO a chronograph should be required equipment for anyone who reloads. Today you can buy one for around $100, which is a bargain compared to blowing up a gun and injuring yourself. It is the only way you can know if your loads are approaching dangerous levels. And some loads, in some guns, can start reaching dangerous levels while you are still several grains below the listed max load. By the time traditional over pressure signs show up, you are well over the limit. A chronograph lets you know you are approaching those limits before you get there.

April 27, 2013, 08:04 AM
having a chrono makes things relative.

I can see what .2 change in powder does.
I can see what .025 longer coal does.
I can see also what is sub sonic but still makes the gun run as it should.
Maybe most importantly, it lets me know when I am approaching max loads.

with that data, I can now sit at home and make some good guesses if I want something different.

April 28, 2013, 08:27 PM
For years I did without one but several years ago, I bought my first chronograph and can't imagine reloading now without one.

Whether you are checking factory ammo in a 3.3" barrel .45ACP (like in the photo below) or working up a 40 gr V-Max .223 Rem round for your favorite varmint rifle (like in the other photo below), you can't go wrong using a chronograph. Like L2R said, make a small change in your load recipe and see how it impacts your velocity, SD, etc. Get one now! :D



April 28, 2013, 08:49 PM
Really a waste of money. Sure you can see velocity of loads but don't tell you where it hits paper. Spend your time on the bench and that's the only way.

April 28, 2013, 08:59 PM
buckrub.....do you ever use ballistics tables?

April 28, 2013, 10:28 PM
Nope, I could care less of them. They may help but they may be bull crap. I know exactly what my guns do in the real world. Can only find out for sure on the bench. Theoredicly it should do this but sometimes it ain't. Gotta do the real homework. I wish you lived by me. We'd have a long distance competition and end this quick but you believe your way and I'll still believe mine. Have a good evening.

April 29, 2013, 08:17 AM
I wonder if BuckRub owns a loading manual!

April 29, 2013, 09:56 AM
I like chronies for two reasons. If you don't know how fast your bullet is leaving your rifle, you're guessing. Since I like to hit stuff farther out, I want to know where I can expect my bullet to be when it gets there. If you change the actual velocity in your ballistics calcs to 200 fps faster or slower, you will be surprised at the difference out at 400 yards. I don't want to guess at yardage either, so I use a rangefinder to tell me exactly how far away the game is standing. The less guessing the better.

The other thing the chrony does is let you know how consistent your load is in velocity. Deviation of only 10 or 15 fps for 5 shots is common for loads I settle on. It is a comfort knowing the cartridge you chamber isn't way slower or faster than you think it is.

April 29, 2013, 10:32 AM
Really a waste of money. Sure you can see velocity of loads but don't tell you where it hits paper.

A Chronograph gives more than just "speed", that's just one of its uses. By using the other information a chrony gives you & doing a little homework you can get quite a good idea of its performance on paper!

As you work up a load you'll see a change in the variations shot to shot as the powder charge & type are changed. Once you get a load that runs at safe pressures & gives you the velocity you're looking for you can work with things like Extreme spread, Shot to shot deviation & so on to get much more consistant (& therefore more accurate) loads. Without a chronograph's statistical data you will get there at the bench, but It'll cost more & take longer.

April 29, 2013, 11:47 AM
SD, ES so on and so forth. I also heard the other guy said "it should give you a point where it should it at long ranges".

Both sounds crazy, ES, SD and all the rest dont or wornt make your bullet shoot more accurately. And "It Should" lol. Like I said dont rely on gimmicks and crap just to sell. Do what you have to do and get out and see whats happening or the consistency of a round at 100 or long ranges. Take No short cuts....

April 29, 2013, 04:18 PM
Both sounds crazy, ES, SD and all the rest dont or wornt make your bullet shoot more accurately.
Please tell me where I said that? I can't find any such reference.

What I said was that consistent repeatable velocity is one of the keystones to good reloads. With the information from a chronograph you KNOW the spot where a load performs best, anything else & you're just guessing. With that information you can do many things & those things will in turn give you improved accuracy. Its the process that gives the accuracy, not the gadget. Thats just a tool, like the speedometer in your car.

Its not in any way a "shortcut" but an additional information source for good data to work from. There is absolutely no reason why you can't clock loads while shooting for 100, or even 200 yd groups at the same time.