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Thread: Is a Chronograph really necessary?

  1. #1

    Is a Chronograph really necessary?

    Hi,

    thinking of christmas presents and wondered about a chrono. Not into target shooting just reloading hunting loads in 223,6.5x55 and 308 which I have developed and am happy with the grouping I can obtain. Is owning a chronograph going to make much difference to these loads or my ability to shoot nice groups? Will it add anything to what I already have?

    Cheers,

    BE

  2. #2
    Yes!
    If you don't know the speed of your rounds how will you accurately, or maybe I should say more accurately, calculate or have an indication you are working within safe pressures? I would also recommend a reloading program (e.g. Quickload), not completely necessary but a great help in addition to reloading manuals (up to date ones as well).
    There may be other views but this is the one I work to.
    ​ATB

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by The deer man View Post
    Yes!
    If you don't know the speed of your rounds how will you accurately, or maybe I should say more accurately, calculate or have an indication you are working within safe pressures? I would also recommend a reloading program (e.g. Quickload), not completely necessary but a great help in addition to reloading manuals (up to date ones as well).
    There may be other views but this is the one I work to.
    ​ATB
    Chrono will tell you nothing about 'safe pressures'.

  4. #4
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    In one sense no it is not a necessity. On the other it is if you are loading cartridges that are borderline legal with their velocities where that is relevant in our law. Think our own .303" and in some bullet weights 6.5x55 and, indeed, .308".

    However whilst the loading manuals are nearly always not the same velocity results on paper as in your rifle they are, to within a hundred feet per second near enough. That is certain. So a load quoted as 2,600fps in the book will usually never shoot to less than 2,500fps in any given rifle of standard barrel length of 20" or longer.

    The two Proof Houses will test ammunition for you and, moreover, give you the result on their headed paper, if you are concerned that you load is or isn't IN VELOCITY ACHIEVED legal or not.

    Personally it is nice to know the velocity but if you are within the charge weight figures given in the manuals you are going to be, as mentioned, within a hundred feet per second of their velocity figures in a rifle or "sensible" barrel length.
    Last edited by enfieldspares; 31-10-2013 at 20:15.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by j0e_bl0ggs View Post
    Chrono will tell you nothing about 'safe pressures'.



    Exactly it will tell you nothing about pressure, to much pressure as we all know is potentially a very dangerous situation, I do not have a chrono and do not feel lost without it, yes it can be handy to calculate muzzle energies ect, but excess pressure will only be found with the tell tale warning signs start at min load and work up in small increments, hard to lift the bolt after firing, flattened primers embossing on the case head are just a few things that will indicate unsafe pressures.


  6. #6
    I use the chronograph to assess the quality of my reloading. Ideally I would like to get a Standard Deviation of less than 10 fps for a given load. I also use it to feed into a ballistics calculator to get my trajectory for target shooting.

    In an ideal world I would record the velocity of every shot I fire. In practice, I have probably shot for over 30 years before I even saw a chronograph, let alone observed the velocity of my own rounds.

    Regards

    ​JCS

  7. #7
    It's a handy thing to have but as has been pointed out, it tells you nothing about pressure or safety.
    Using the measured MV and the bullet data, one can calculate drop at various ranges, which is certainly handy for target-shooting, especially at long range. For taking quarry, though, I feel that one should actually test the rifle/cartridge combination at the various ranges before shooting things.

    So, in summary, I have a chrono because I can afford to keep one and I like to see what's going on in numbers.
    Could I manage just as well without one - almost certainly yes.

  8. #8
    I like having a chrony, ive used mine again recently, had a rifle re barrelled to 6.5 06 and loaded up to sierra accuload, was getting really inconsistant grouping, checked velocities and to my amazement the fps was in excess of 150fps faster than data, never ever had this before, wasnt aware it had been chambered to tight saami spec.all sorted now because of chrony, loads reduced and getting nice groups, will be testing at 1000yds this sunday

  9. #9
    I have a chrony because I mess with air rifles need it to stay legal but it is good for checking hand loads
    ​cheers lister

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by j0e_bl0ggs View Post
    Chrono will tell you nothing about 'safe pressures'.
    Correct , but if your getting much higher velocity than comparable factory for example then it's a good warning sign.
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

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