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I am getting into metallic handloading as a hobby.  I reload shotshecks and enjoy that so much I am getting into metallic cartridge reloading.  Several of you have given me great suggestions on presses.  How about chronographs?  Seems to me a lot of satisfaction comes from KNOWING what your round is doing.  I tend to be a researchin' kind of guy so thought a chrono would add to the enjoyment and not cut short the load development aspect of handloading.  Anyway, which one(s) do you use?  Which ones have caused trouble?  Did the company stand by their product?  Which ones are most user-friendly?  I'd enjoy hearing from you.  I have a special interest in the .44 Calibers.  I would like to develop loads for the .44Spl, .44Mag, .444 Marlin and the .44-40.  My grandfather, author of "Back In the Saddle Again" that Gene made famous sings: "Totin' my ol' .44"  Maybe it's a nostalgia thing, but I plan to research this with abandonment and come up with the best .44 loads for all of my shooting.  (I know Marshall and many of you have been doing this for decades, but I guess I gotta just find out for myself--streak of indepence maybe!  Anyway, I'm kinda new to this and look forward to friendships on this site and learning all I can from you guys.  Can't afford to buy all the guns and gear at once--will take a while.  But saving and waitin's half the fun!  Didn't mean to write a book here! Just have a new-found passion for "this stuff".
 

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I have a Pro Chrono from Competition Electronics. It is a downrange type that you shoot over. I've had it for about 5 years now. The main thing I like about it is that it has a very large area(about 14 in. across) to shoot over for a downrange type of chrono. It has a remote hand held trigger that you can use to reset the unit from your bench.(I made mine very simply) One can be bought though.

There are a number of good chronos on the market that are reasonably priced. Mine was about 99 bucks. I bought a Simmons camera tripod to mount it on for about 20 bucks at the time. However, it can also be set on a table or other object.

This instrument is really almost a neccessity when developing handloads. You'll never know how you got along without one once you get one. It also adds a whole new facet of enjoyment to the hobby and gives you confidence in your handloads.

http://www.competitionelectronics.com/firearms.html

FWIW

:cool:

(Edited by Contender at 4:54 pm on Jan. 15, 2001)


(Edited by Contender at 5<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->9 pm on Jan. 15, 2001)
 

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I've used both the Competition Electronics and Chrony's, and both served well.  My number one suggestion (learned the hard way) runs with Contender's thoughts..................get one with a healthy area to shoot through!  Especially when switching from handguns to rifles.  It is VERY easy to hit one with a small shooting area.  The original Chrony's back in the 80's were notorious for this.

After all that, I think either of these will serve you well, and both can be had for under &#36100 bucks.  

One last thought -  remember to always look at your results with some common sense.  Statistics are easily manipulated, both intentionally and unintentionally.  Don't be a slave to the standard deviation function at the cost of all others.  Low SD's are often indicators of consistent powder burns, but other things may be happening too.  The key, in my experience, is to consider and interpret all your results from a shot string before you make a final judgement.  
 

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6gunr,

I've used most of the chronographs available to the public, and some commercial models.

You are on the right track, as others have said here.  Your chronograph will take the guesswork out of much of your handload development sessions, and when properly used, can tell much, much more than just the speed of the bullet.  A really good article on the subject is found in the Accurate Reloading Manual both #1 & #2, written by Ronin Coleman.  He's the head honcho for PACT.  Good information... also an excellent loading manual.  It has loads for many of the heavier weight LBT style bullets in the handgun calibers as well as CB loads for most rifle calibers.

I would say, for your money, and your purposes, it is awfully hard to beat the newer CHRONY's  they have proven themselves in my tests right along side the more expensive, prestigious products, with an error margin that is truly enviable.

Can't beat the value, being able to get into a chonograph for under 70 bucks with freight!

By all means, invest in a chronograph as part of your loading gear!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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I've used a PACT Model 1 for about ten years and have been very happy with it. In brightest sunshine you can get errors but they are obvious ones, like 1000 fps when the rest of the string shows 2500+ fps. The sky screns are big and there is little chance expensive damage will occur if a stray shot hits them.
 

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I've had a Chrony for 10 years. No problems. I'm not kidding myself into thinking it's as good as an Oehler, but the readings I get make sense. Don't think it's haywire if you don't get book velocities. For example, my .222 is fast, my .30-06 is slow and my .35 Remington is close. The first thing any new chrongraph owner should do is get at least 3 .22 rifles and check them all out with the same box of cartridges. Most likely one of them will be significantly faster or slower than the rest.ByeJack

(Edited by Jack Monteith at 6<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->5 pm on Jan. 17, 2001)


(Edited by Jack Monteith at 6<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->8 pm on Jan. 17, 2001)


(Edited by Jack Monteith at 6:31 pm on Jan. 17, 2001)


(Edited by Jack Monteith at 6:48 am on Jan. 18, 2001)


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(Edited by Jack Monteith at 1<!--emo&:0--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':0'><!--endemo-->5 pm on Jan. 19, 2001)
 

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THE MODEL F1 CHRONY IS A GOOD DEAL, &#3670 AND YOUR SET TO DO MUCH, I FEEL THAT IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO WORK UP A TOP LOAD IF YOU DONT HAVE ONE. ESPECIALLY WHEN USING THE SLOW BALL POWDERS IN MAG HANDGUN APPLICATIONS. IF YOUR NOT GETTING VELOCITY THEN YOUR POWDER IS NOT WORKIN YET. THATS IF ALL OTHER THINGS ARE EQUAL. BARREL LENGHT, BULLET WEIGHT,TEMPERATURE. AND ALL THE OTHER FACTORS.  ALTHOUGH YOU MUST BE CAREFULL WITH THEM. I HAD ONE OF THE F1 CHRONYS THAT HAD AN ATTITUDE TOWARDS A .452 34OGR WFN LBT @ APPROX 1500 FPS. ALL I CAN SAY IS THE CHRONY NEVER KNEW WHAT HIT IT!!! THEY DO JUMP IN FRONT OF THEM FROM TIME TO TIME. IF YOU HAVE A LOAD THAT BITES YOU A LITTLE AND GIVES YOU A TWITCH AT THE PULL OF THE TRIGGER LEAVE YOUR SPEED INSTRUMENT IN THE HOUSE.         JIM.
 

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I have the predecessor to the Competition Electronics down range uinit ( Protach).  It has served well for a number of years and was actually repaired for a nominal fee by CE after I put a .44 Lead Hollow point through it.  It is very handy and has been in places many miles from the end of the pavement.  
The other day, I left it on top of the jeep and it hit the pavement at 35-40mph bounced and rolled.  I never did find the display cover but everything else was there.  Tested it with a sheridan in the back yard and got expected readings.  I could drop an anvil off the top of the jeep at half the speed and it would probably break all to pieces.
this thing is tough
 

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I bought a Chrony F1 on Marshall's rec and it does what it's supposed to, for &#3670.   It's simple, compact and I won't mourn if I accidently hit it between the eyes.  (If I need to do SDs, I can get out the pad and pencil...)

I bought the Chrony for some new loads on an old  cartridge and I found them be 200fps faster in my rifle than published, so I'm very happy to have bought it and found out.
 

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I've got a pact timer/chrono that has given excellent service for over 5 years. I like the fact that the display sits on the bench and a errant shot would only take out a sky screen or two. It ain't happened yet but there's always a first time. JS
 

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Hi Guys, Well I splurged and took my tax rebate check and and got a CED chrono from Dillon Precision. So far it has lived up to all their claims and I haven't had any problems.  Since I live up in Maine, perfect sunny days are far and few between so I got the infared kit with it so on a completely gray overcast day it works flawlessly.
The display/computer has a large keypad and display screen  and sets on the bench so you don't have to worry about killing it.  If you want to know what your Standard Deviation, Extreme Spread or Average is you just hit the button.  Another neat feature I like is the Power Factor button which gives the IPSC PF for any shot recorded. Another feature is after a days shooting you can plug the unit into your computer and download all the results for review.  One drawback is if you don't get the batterypack you'll need access to power for the infared unit. Overall, although expensive, it performs accurately and is simple to use. I like this unit and reccomend it highly.
 

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I have the prochrony from competition electronics and it works great. There is one problem for any down range chronys and pistol or rifle loads with cast bullets and gas checks. I had the chrony set up at 15 feet and had a gas check seperate from a bullet. The gascheck hit the face of the prochrony and caused it to fail. It was repaired for $30. I now have a peice of 3/8 Lexon on a small hinge that covers the readout and touch buttons. I reccomend any downrange chrono have some type of protection if you shoot gas check bullets.
 
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