Which Chronograph?

Discussion in 'ELR, Ballistics & Bullets Board' started by T-shooter, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. T-shooter

    T-shooter

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    I've been considering a new chronograph. I have a ProChrono Digital. It's ok but depends too much on the right lighting conditions to get accurate info. I don't want one clamped to the barrel and one that can be used with pistols too. So far the only ones I know of are Labradar, Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph G2 , and the Superchrono acoustic. The Labradar is the highest cost, bulky, easy to get blown over in the wind, and $600 for something with only a 1 year warranty. The Superchrono is hard to find, have to order it overseas and I'm waiting to see what the warranty is ($454 including a case and shipping from Norway), and the Caldwell which is also quite large but does have the light sensors in the top facing downwards and has it's own light source. It's also by far the least expensive at $179 from MidwayUSA, warranty?.

    I'm looking for something with ease of use, doesn't miss shots, and something that will hopefully last for a few years.
     
  2. m500

    m500

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  3. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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  4. JPeelen

    JPeelen

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    Since several years I have been using the CED M2 Chronograph (nearly always with the infrared light sources). Failed measurements are extremely rare, with rifle as well as pistol. Also works on closed ranges with fluorescent lighting.
    Recent comparison with professional equipment showed the average reported velocity about 0.35 percent higher than the results of the professional equpment. I consider this very good. With the unit switched on over some time, this grew to 0.5 percent (drifting). I have no comparison how other "hobby" chronographs behave in this regard.
    What I like is the separated control unit with a big display that can be easily read from a distance. Back home from the range, the transfer of all measurements from CED M2 memory to my computer via USB is very easy. During battery change (9 V block lasts several hours in freezing temperatures) the memory data is kept.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  5. T-shooter

    T-shooter

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  6. Clucknmoan

    Clucknmoan Silver $$ Contributor

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    I really like my LabRadar. I like the fact that it isn't light sensitive and that it doesn't effect my POI. We've tested it against a 3 screen Oehler and it read very consistent to it, a little faster as it should since it's at the muzzle and the Oehler was 15 feet (or so) away. I haven't had any readings not jive with actual drops at distance.

    I had issues with it missing reads in the beginning, but I narrowed it down to low battery problems. I bought the battery pack for it (that now comes standard) and its extremely rare that I miss a read. Seems to last for quite a long time, several days worth of range time.

    Only downside I can see to it would be if you were shooting on a busy range, it may pick up other projectiles or trigger on another shot fired. Couldn't tell you though, I mostly shoot at home.

    I've heard rumors that they were going to add some kind of a Bluetooth option to connect to your phone. If you could arm and disarm with your phone, it would be outstanding.

    Just my opinion.
     
  7. Rsadams

    Rsadams

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    I love my pro crone digital... They have wonderful customer service also... There's better of course for alot more money... I am just a hobby guy so it works for me.. If you have the money the lab radar is super cool..
     
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  8. sfldiver

    sfldiver Silver $$ Contributor

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    Clucknmoan's comment about the Labradar's issue with other shooters is accurate. When I'm at my local range and shooting right next to someone, usually with a muzzle break on their high powered rifle, it will often pick up their bullet's velocity.

    But putting that aside, the Labradar is fabulous. Once you set it in the correct position, relative to your barrel, it's amazing, very accurate, and consistent. I can't imagine using any other chronograph at this point.
     
  9. watercam

    watercam Silver $$ Contributor

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    Don't forget the Oehler 35P. Several used ones for sale and mine has never let me down (unlike two previous brands). Only time you need the screens is to keep sun off the sensor lenses. Over cast or clear blue sky, leave 'em off.
     
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  10. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    True enough, what I've used for ten years or more too. Printing's getting a little pale though; changing batteries every year it starts out strong but slows a little about this time in our northern season, not unlike myself.

    Be awesome if somebody (like forum member Adamjmac!) would devise something to replace that ancient printer design to display data that then could be saved for later export / printing.
     
  11. Pappy42

    Pappy42 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I'm a geezer, so my Oehler 35P works first time and every time for me.
     
  12. Raythemanroe

    Raythemanroe Bullet Whisperer Silver $$ Contributor

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    After setting up correctly, I would completely recommend the LabRadar..


    Ray
     
  13. T-shooter

    T-shooter

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    I like the Labradar but $600 is a bit much for something with only a 1 year warranty. With a 5 year warranty, I'd already have one. The Superchrono doesn't seem accurate enough but one of those is only $329 delivered with a 2 year warranty. The 2 box chrono sounds good but I'm old, bad back and knees, and much to hard to set up, especially on unlevel ground. The Prochrono Digital I have works reasonably well but it depends on the angle of the sun and it sometimes misses because of the reflectability of the bullet. There are bad reports on any item you can find. Some legitimate, some not. I heard the Caudwell that's upside down is sensitive as to how close the bullet passes the sensors and can give false readings.
     
  14. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have the Chroy Beta Master and the new Caldwell Ballistic Precision G2. The Caldwell is a much better chronograph. Being inverted and having an integral LED kit, it never misses a shot. The Chrony will miss shots if the sun angle is wrong so it sits collecting dust now. The Caldwell is a very good and reliable chronograph. I am very pleased with it.

    I also like how the Caldwell has a Bluetooth app for your phone where you can see all your speeds on the phone and record/save data for different rifles for future reference. The rechargeable battery lasts for a very long time even with the light kit powered on the whole time. Can be charged up with any USB port in your vehicle, home, portable power pack, or 120V receptacle with the provided USB power supply

    I was thinking about getting the Labradar, but I can't justify the extra $350+ cost when the only real advantage you get over the Caldwell is no need for a tripod. But I have no trouble setting up a tripod chrono by myself. I've become pretty efficient at it over the years.
     
  15. jepp2

    jepp2 Silver $$ Contributor

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    That is true, but it doesn't have to be. I attached a sun shade to mine, and now it is 100% reliable.

    Sun Shade.jpg
     
  16. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    Looks like that would help. Nice job on the custom sun shade. ;)

    Nice thing is the Caldwell comes completely set up for reliability in all weather and lighting conditions. No need to make custom shades or buy separate light kits for shooting indoors under florescent lighting. The Caldwell also has a much larger window to shoot through than the Chrony's which make it much more forgiving when shooting multiple points on a target. The large window also makes it easier to set up and the Bluetooth phone app does not keep you limited to a certain max distance from the muzzle. You can set it up at any distance so long as you are within Bluetooth range. If you don't use the app, it still has a LCD readout on the front and can save the data internally.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  17. boltfluter

    boltfluter Gold $$ Contributor

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    There are some great buys out there on Oehler 35's right now. I have owned mine for over 25 yrs. and it is still going strong. I have heard more than a few people having issues with the Lab Radar. Realistically how much does one use a chronograph. Seems like a lot of money just sitting there for most of the time. Just my personal opinion. ;)

    Paul

    www.boltfluting.com
     
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  18. T-shooter

    T-shooter

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    And Cabelas has it on sale right now for $149.95 and free shipping. Mighty tempting. Is it sensitive as to the location where the shot passes through? High or low?
     
  19. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    No, it is very forgiving. I shoot large 18"x18" targets at 100 yards with 5 different aiming poinst. Center, top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right. Always works.

    I can't say it's the best traditional style phot eye chronograph out there because I have never owned more expensive models like the Oehler and such, but from my experience, the Caldwell G2 is far superior to anything in its price range and will outperform any Chrony I have ever used (I have shot through 3 different Chrony models). For ease of setup, reliable performance, and modern features the Caldwell is very nice.
     
  20. Ledd Slinger

    Ledd Slinger Gold $$ Contributor

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    Agreed. I've heard the Labradar is finicky as well. Seems there are varying sweet spots to set it up near the muzzle and it works well once you figure it out, but then it can change from firearm to firearm.

    I also like to use my chronograph for testing arrow speed from my bow. Not sure how the Labradar would work for that... i know it will measure that level of speed, but I would probably need a table or some sort of stand next to me that allowed it to be in the right spot since a bow is shot while standing.

    The company spec speed range of the labradar with a rifle is 1000-3900 fps. Some of the loads I use in my 204 Ruger exceed 4000 fps so according to Labradar themselves, it wouldn't even work for that rifle. Of no interest to me if it cannot measure the speeds of all my rifles.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
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