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I am thinking on getting a crony i like the one from cabelas crony F-1.

What kinds of chronographs are you using and how do you like them.
i have been reloading for 2 years and with out one it's hard to tell how fast they are going the reloading books just give an idea,
 

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The Chronys are well thought of. I use a 15 year old PACT and am very happy with it. I don't do much calculation of ES, SD and all that stuff...I just like to know how fast and reasonably consistent my loads are. A chronograph is a must for a serious reloader.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Have owned the Chrony's, Pact's and Oehler's.

The Oehler was the most accurate and dependable, but a PITA to set up with the custom gear that came with it. Sold to a commercial enterprise that made a good offer at the gunrange. Individuals can't buy these anymore.

The Pact PC2 is the one presently being used. More reliable than the Chrony, has larger viewing area and pretty rugged in construction. Fairly easy to set up and use. Mine is the old style that requires a separate HP printer via infrared beam to provide a printout.

Owned two chrony's - first was the F-1 model which got traded in on the Beta Master series. This was lost after inadvertently driving off with it still on top of the Jeep and was never found. The chrony's will work OK, but are very suceptible to lighting and stray signals. Always had issues with muzzle blasts from shooters at adjacent benches. Very small viewing area and the wire screen support rods can damage the unit if hit with a bullet. Got smart and used small diameter wooden dowel rods in their place instead.
 

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The Shadow
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Never had an issue with my Chrony, as far as stray or odd readings.
Suits me fine. Is it precise? Well man with one watch always knows the time.

In my dealings the spec'd velocity lines with the trajectory enough that I say it is fine.
 

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I am thinking on getting a crony i like the one from cabelas crony F-1.
I'm on my second Chrony, I shot the first one with an arrow :-( after many years of loyal service.

They are the most reliable with a fresh battery, and sunlight, and you should keep a dust cover on it when not in use to keep the sensors clean.

Behind a press and decent dies, it might be the next most useful tool.
 

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I'm using the CED and am very happy with it. I've used beta chronies in the past and the CED is much better. It calculates average velocity, standard deviation, will plug into a computer, has a voice function and works well when the sun is not shining. I purchased the otpional infra red light kit because our range has a baffle systems that plays tricks on the light. It is very easy to assemble and disassemble. You can also replace the sensers for less than 40.00 if you happen to damage one of them.
 

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I owned a Chrony 30 years ago and was never happy with it. If my Oehler 35P died tomorrow, I'd look hard at a PACT, Pro-Tach or a CED.

The new RCBS model looks silly, but is reasonably priced. I haven't heard from anyone using one, though. There are couple others available, including from the company that sells QuickLoad. Again, I've read no reviews.

I've always said that there are three groups of reloaders. There's the group that fires one box of ammo a year, half before deer season; they don't need a chronograph at all. Then there's the hobby reloader; for them an inexpensive Chrony or RCBS model will do all that's required. Then there is the advanced reloader, wildcatter or competitor; that group needs the best chronograph they can find - and possibly a pressure measuring system to go with it.
 

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Ditto Chrony problems. Not well thought of by me. I had my Oehler 35P set up at the range next to my Dad with his Chrony. 4:00 PM light with clear sky. His .308 168 gr. SMK starting load read a consistent 2700 fps on the Chrony and a consistent 2500 fps on the Oehler. Whether by manual data or QuickLOAD calculation it was clear the Chrony kept reading too high. Another thing that has always bothered me, in addition to that experience, is the accuracy they claim for the unit on their web site calculates to be one cycle of their clock frequency. It allows for no error in sensor spacing, no error from sensor response time differential. It's just not a reasonable expectation, and a serious technology company would know the difference.

I'll second the CED unit recommendation. I own both a CED and the Oehler and they agree very closely. It is now the one that usually goes to the range with me unless I need two readings for a BC determination, just because it is easier to set up. It is also the brand the IPSC uses for final verdict on competitor's load power factor.

This brings up a basic issue. How do you know your chronograph is accurate? Like my Dad's Chrony, they could just be lying to you consistently, and you'd never know? They can't self-calibrate. I built a ballistic chronometer I occasionally use as a cross-check. It is just a break-wire timer with 4 MHz clock, and I usually use strips of aluminum foil as the wires. Crude, and a PITA to set up for each shot and I have to calculate the fps from its time readings divided into the wire spacing, but it is not subject to lighting condition errors.

For a brief time I was in touch with a fellow who had developed what he thought might become a serviceable home Doppler radar unit for bullet velocity, but I lost contact with him, and don't know what became of the project? His prototype worked fine and the readouts from it looked good. They even showed post muzzle-exit acceleration by muzzle blast. Doppler radar is one technology that will be as accurate as its time base.
 

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Pro Chrono Digital here....suggested by Bob Faucett....Nice and light, battery powdered, and with a tripod I can carry it and set it up just about anywhere. The Pro Chrono, attachments, and tripod, all fit in one of those portable folding lawn chair ballistic nylon bags and it is pretty convienient when we go shooting "in the field". About the only displays I really keep an eye on is velocity and SD, and, it has the playback feature, which is nice when shooting strings. Also made a PVC portable target stand (got that idea here as well) that only weighs a few pounds and seperates into two pieces for easy carry. When I go shooting I can carry the chrono, stand, a gun and ammo, and if I have to hike a ways its not much of a burden because its all so light weight. Anyway, two great ideas from this forum that have made my shooting life a lot easier.
 

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Unclenick; When I first got my Pro Chrono I ran some "known" loads through it that I had run on our club chronograph...a professional Oehler. The loads were withing two fps of the Oehler readings. I also keep an eye on my loads and the velocities they are "supposed" generate. The Pro Chrono is always close. For a battery operated cheapy it works well for me...as long as I always use a fresh battery, and the temps are not below 35 degrees or so......I guess that for the money, it is what it is, but I have been happy with the performance....so far.
 

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I've had two chronys and have been pleased with both. The first one could get finicky with lighting, but the second seemed to be more consistent.

Unfortunately my dad shot the first one and I shot the second one. A 250 grain .45 SWC at 950 fps tends to bugger it up pretty good!
 

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My Chrony has been good to me. I do understand they are low-end units and there are limits to how accurate they can be. However, I have used mine on a LOT of different cartridges / loads / guns. When I compare the velocities that are reported across a broad sample, the unit generally agrees closely with the load data, both published and predicted by software like Quickload. By agree I mean easily within 100fps. Also, for common stuff like factory .35 Rem that lots of people have data on, it's in the ballpark on that as well.

Not saying that is a perfect way to calibrate one (it isn't) but the empirical evidence I have is that my unit is close enough for me. I have seen them pick up readings from several benches over, so you have to have a little elbow room at the range.

May step up to a CED one of these days. Chrony is just too cheap and handy to not have with me though! It's small enough that I can take it out to the deer camp and have it set up in minutes.
 

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I probably should have ended my post with "YMMV". No brand is likely to produce a perfect product every time and technology companies can do some learning over time. Dad's unit is an older one.


Unclenick; When I first got my Pro Chrono I ran some "known" loads through it that I had run on our club chronograph...a professional Oehler. The loads were withing two fps of the Oehler readings. . .
I remember Bob used one of those, but have never had any experience with that brand myself. Have you tried it under a range of lighting conditions? Light seems to be one of the big buggaboos. My dad's Chrony will change readings 150 fps just by tilting its tripod a little. Some folks have complained they have units that don't like clear skies or direct sun, and can actually get more stable readings by putting a kind of tent made from 6 mil polyethylene over them to better diffuse the light. Getting the sky screens completely under the shadow of the plastic tarp seems to be key. I know that Oehler at one point moved to a wider diffuser design to improve that aspect of operation because I bought a set.

Others use the IR LED screens all the time and won't rely on ambient light at all. That's another way out, and it has occurred to me to try building a set for Dad's Chrony to see if that clears up its finicky behavior? The only drawback is lugging the extra batteries around.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Nick, if you consistently get high readings with that particular chrony, could it be as simple as the sensors are perhaps a tiny bit too close to each other? Wouldn't take much.....
 

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I've been using Pro Chrono's for quite some time...its plural because I have shot a couple.

They work in all light conditions. I put clear shipping tape over the sensors to aid the diffusers and to keep them clean.
 

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The Pro Chrono digital is the only one I have experience with, but that experience has been so positive if the need ever arises I will not hesitate to buy another. Although the device is extremely simple to use, get the cable that attaches to a laptop and it will make things much easier at the range as you can do everything remotely and save your shots on your laptop. I have used the Pro Chrono under different lighting conditions with no ill effects.
 

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unclenick; Bob referred me to that PCD and he said that he had always had good luck with his. Over the years Bob had always been a straight shooter, so I took his advice, and so far I have been very happy with his recommendation. I use the diffusers that came with the unit regardless of lighting conditions, and the PCD hasnt missed a lick yet! I just set it up and forget about it.
 

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I've been using a Pact for about 20 years now. I think they're worth getting. Anytime I have a question about it I call them toll free and talk to someone who speaks the same english I do. I like that!
 

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I'll reflect what the others have said regarding the ProChrony. I was trying to figure out how long I've had it and I think it's been close if not just over 10 years. I've got reading on cloudy days, sunny, under roofs. I've never fired indoors so I can't say on that. I've never not gotten a reading with it from throwing rocks through it to arrows to bullets. Reviews on it from Cabela's to Midway are very high. For the price of the Digital, I don't think there's a better one.
 
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