Do I need a chrono?
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Old 04-29-2010, 08:29 PM   #1
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Default Do I need a chrono?

Is there any semi accurate way of calculating a general ballpark velocity of my handloads so i can at least get on target out to 500 yards with my ballistic app? I have a decent ballistic calculator on my phone and it requires a velocity so it can calculate how much i need to come up at longer ranges. But i have no idea how fast my handloads are comming out of my rifle and i need to know if there is any way to tell with out a chrono........ya im cheap

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:45 PM   #2
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A chrono does more than just tell you the speed. some of the higher end models will give you a full balistics report with SD ES high low and mean velocity plus more.

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Old 04-29-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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I know and i would like to have one but i just have about 17 other things that have priority over it right now

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Old 04-30-2010, 01:39 AM   #4
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Well, a good loading manual SHOULD give you a ballpark of MV to be expected of a given load, and a ballistic table that will get you in the ballpark. Not a total substitute for a chrono, but better than a poke in the eye. If you have the approximate MV for a load, and know the BC of the bullet you are using, you should be able to calculate approximate drop at 500. There are also a BUNCH of on-line ballistic calculators available.

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Old 04-30-2010, 04:08 AM   #5
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You can get the Shooting chrony F1 for $68 plus shipping from midway. May be able to get it cheaper on Ebay.

You just have to remember that you need a pad and pen every time you go to the range and want to use it. That is the draw back to that one.

I got the cheap one because I didn't want to shoot a $200 chrony. Sure enough I shot one of the rods and then last time I had the AR at the range I shot mine. Not to bad just nicked the back but I may have messed up the back sensor.

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Old 04-30-2010, 04:23 AM   #6
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thats not too bad actually thanks tango

im gona gestimate for my range trip this weekend but ill be buying a cheap chrono soon

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Old 04-30-2010, 02:56 PM   #7
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If you follow (exactly) your load books and always do conservative loads you can get by without a chrono. But if you like to change stuff around, experiment with different combinations bullet/powder, or push maximum charge recommendations, a chrono can help avoid problems. It's a tool and can be informative if you take the time to understand it's use and limits. Chronographs operate in a VERY hostile environment so you need to be careful when you set it up or your first shot will be very expensive.
If you do get one, here's a little thing to keep in mind that cost me two of them before I figured out what was happening. I shoot a lot of cast .30 cal, and my 1st chrono lasted about a week then was hit and destroyed. I was very careful with the second one, but it was hit also even though I use a laser pointer to assure the path of the bullet was well above the chrono. But this time there was a dent in the display instead of a bullet hole. I finally figured out that some of my gas checks were not crimped correctly on the bullets and came off as soon as the bullet left the barrel. I now have a steel deflector in front of the box holding the electronics and display, and ordered a Alpha Chrony PLUS which has a removable display on a 12 foot wire so I put it on the bench right in front of me. Lessons Learned.

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Old 05-01-2010, 03:45 AM   #8
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When I started reloading, a chronograph was totally out of reach of most reloaders and most simply assumed they were getting what the book said (plus a bit, if the truth is told!). For the last 20 years or so chronographs are an affordable addition to anyone's outfit. Heck, some die sets cost considerably more.
If one doesn't have a chronograph though, he can get a pretty good idea of velocity using his loading manual and a ruler and some time at the range. Sight the rifle to be centered at 100 yards. Then, without changing the scope adjustments, fire at 200 yards and measure the drop. By comparing your drop to the figure given in the manual for the bullet you are firing, you will have a pretty good idea of the velocity. Another figure which of some importance in making this comparison is the height of the scope above the bore. Generally, calculations are made based on a 1.5 inch height. As long as you are within an eighth inch of this, the difference won't be so great as to make your measurments meaningless. By the way, this is the center of the bore to the center of the scope.
I like the certainty the chronograph provides but I got by without one for a lot of years and I'm not sure it wasn't more fun when I didn't really know! GD

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