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Got to use a chronograph for the first time and I want one. Turned out I've been making 168's for my bolt gun and LR-308 at 2720 (sd 11%) and 178's @2700 sd 15%. this was measured with my RRA LR308-26inch stainless bull. These rounds have been grouping well out to 600. I don't usually shoot much further because a this point I have trouble handling the dissapointment. Anyway enough boasting-I started looking at them and like most shooting parphenilia the prices vary. I would like to get one of the 90$ ones but if they don't work I will pay more. I have a limited gun budget and I have to save to get up to the $500 mark and if I do that then i want another gun, not testing equipment. I have trouble handing money over for reloading supplies but guns aren't any fun without ammo
 

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I can't say I am a fan of putting the electronic$ in the path of the bullet.

I know the cost is high, at least from their site, but it's tough to beat:

http://www.oehler-research.com/cgi-local/SoftCart.15.exe/online-store/scstore/p-M35-P.html?L+scstore+ctft5599ff537e53+1406989176

The screens I shot cost less than $10 to fix and truth be told, I could have done the repairs with some glue.

I think I would be inclined to call them and see what they want for one without a printer, etc. and see what you can save. I'll say 25+ years ago, the "kit" was just the chronograph and screens. You had to furnish the EMT, tripod, etc. and the printer was an option.
 
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I like my CED M2. It requires good lighting though; something that can be challenging to get here in the PNW. But they sell infrared sky screens that work in complete darkness for guys like us. I still need to buy them though.

Tony.
 

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I like the shooting crony with the remote readout. It works great but as with any chronograph setup (read that where you aim and how you brace the gun) will decide how much money it costs.
I have had 3 shot up by people. Now if you want to see what your ammo does I will shoot your gun through my crony.
 
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I would be afraid to shoot someones handloads that might not be able to aim through a hole a foot across 15ft away ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have a CED Millenium and have access to a friend's Oehler, but if I were buying one today I would most likely get this one. The email I got from the manufacturer it would be in the 500 range.

http://www.mylabradar.com/
I have a feeling that one is going to be more than 500. My wife to her credit keeps me in check with my shooting spending--that's why we have a house and paid for vehicles and food and heat etc. So when I rat-hole an amount of money in excess of 400 I start to look for guns....two k31's a mosin, couple of 22's later and a few much nicer rifles and a new 1911 etc. I keep thinking ok I have enough, but when the money is in my hand I suddenly need another one.
 

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don't do what I did...

I bought on the cheap because I couldn't see a big need for an expensive one with all the bells and whistles. I now regret that I did not think far enough ahead and get the remote readout with the chrony.
Cheap is good...efficient is better. The remote readout will allow you shoot more than once to test ammo and read the numbers after each shot without having to break position and walk downrange to see the screen. Mine suggests 15 ft. from muzzle to instrument for best reading and not many organised ranges will let you walk in front of the line 15ft.. I use it to establish volocities of my loads only once when developing a load and when a new batch of powder is purchased...even if it's the same old same old.
Midway has a sale pretty often on the cheaper chronos. (get the remote !)DI2
 

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I would be afraid to shoot someones handloads that might not be able to aim through a hole a foot across 15ft away ;)

I've seen a few chronos shot on our range over span of a few years. The beauty of the Labradar, just stand it next to you and fire away.
 

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I have a cheap "CHrony" one. For casual farting around it is fine but don't expect super accurate readings and don't be surprised if sometimes it just plain doesn't work. For serious use I would get an Oehler at the very least.
 

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I have a feeling that one is going to be more than 500. .

Here is the response I got from the company back in March

"---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <[email protected]>
Date: Sat, Mar 15, 2014 at 5:59 PM
Subject: LabRadar
To: [email protected]


Nez,

Retail pricing is expected to be $499.00 USD. We will be finalizing our pricing very soon. The radar is expected to be available for purchase in May 2014. We will keep your contact information saved and will let you know when they are available.

Best Regards,

Tom
LabRadar
[email protected]"
 

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I also went cheap and got a prochrono. I regret this decision, and here's why:

I think it's rounding my velocity results into preset ranges. For example, on a recent range trip, my velocities were in the low 2600s, here were the readouts, in the order they were shot:


2627
2618
2634
2618
2607
2627
2634
2618
2627
2627

Does it not seem odd that out of 10 shots, only 4 different velocity numbers were recorded? The number of repeat velocities is crazy. I have a feeling that if the velocity fell within a certain "range", it would just display a preset rounded number.
 
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I use a ProChrono.

Even if it is rounding off your velocity numbers it will not affect ES or SD much at all. You are still going to know which loads are good and which are wanting.
 

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The instrument Bamban mentions sounds interesting and perhaps worth exploring.

I started with an Oehler 33 and then an Oehler 35 and added the printer.
I am partial to Oehler for their experience and background.

There is a lot that can be said for and against the use of chronographs. I would suggest that if you have never had a chronograph you should determine exactly what it is you want to know. If you only want to get an idea about the relative velocity of a particular load, go cheap. If you really want to evaluate your loads and compare components and lots, go more expensive. The Oehler 35P is a great machine for that. I really don't know how valuable the proof channel is but it has it .... the printer is great. Often I like to shoot 5 shots - record the data (Max, Min, Average and SD) for those five and then shoot five more and record the same data for the entire string of 10.
Also, having the print feature is great for using Creighton Audette's method of looking for a good load as when you print the data it gives you the velocity of each round in the order they were shot and you can clip it to the target for future reference.

You should also study a little elementary statistics as well. I am not a stat whiz but I know a little ...a very little. Lets say you have 500 rounds loaded from the same lot #s of powder, bullets, primers and cases with uniform case prep and technique. The only way to know exactly the velocity of each round is to chronograph them all - which is totally impractical. So, you take a sample from the lot of ammo, chronograph the sample(s) and apply the data to the entire lot. How big of a sample? How many samples? ------ What if you take 2 samples of 5 rounds each and chronograph them and one sample is 2550 and the other is 2600....... which one is correct and which one is not???? Depending up the standard deviations and variation they may in fact be non significantly different and for all intents and purposes considered the same. See, it is easy to let yourself over think things.

Another thing about having chronograph data, sometimes it can really burst your bubble. Say you have a load that really shoots very very well for you and like you like it to........maybe you should be content to just shoot it and not take chronograph data as you may find the extreme spreads and standard deviations may be a disappointment to you and it just ruin that load for you. I have had that happen to me. I had a load that would just shoot great at 200 -300 yards... shoot cleans on the NRA targets. So I decided to chronograph it and the extreme spread were over 50 fps and standard divination close to 20 .................... you see, at short range, loads with a poor sigma (standard deviation) may work fine but at long range they may suck.
After I saw the chronograph data for my load I could not believe it and every time after that, when I closed the bolt on a round I could not help but think about how junky the data was...... you know what that did to my shot placement.

For long range shooting, having the lowest sigma possible is better ... so a chronograph can be invaluable in selecting components and matching them for best performance.

Just always keep in mind that the load with the best chronograph data may not be the load that shoots best in your gun at any given selected range. Always test the load on target and the chrono data....well that's good to know.

If you really want good data get a good system and learn how to use it and apply the data.
Enough for now.
 

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I bought a CED with a buddy. The software for uploading data to Excel works fine and allows you to manipulate it later.

Here's an example of how a chronograph can help a casual handloader. For my first loads of .357 SIG, I used a process on my turret press which had worked fine for .38 Special and .45 ACP. The third shot seemed loud and had unusual recoil. Primer showed pressure signs but wasn't pierced. Chronograph showed over 1,600 fps. After I stopped shaking, I packed up and left. Turns out that expanding the case after charging it with powder is a really bad idea. The expander can pick up powder from one case and carry it to the next.

Would I have stopped shooting that day without the chronograph? Probably, but having confirmation of excessive velocity shut me down immediately.

One other comment: lowest spread and/or standard deviation isn't necessarily the most accurate load, especially with pistols. At close range, slight changes in velocity don't matter as much.
 
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