Chronographing loads?? - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Chronographing loads??

How many guys use a Chonograph?

How important, really, is knowing the velocity of the bullet for longer range shooting, say in the 300-500 yard range.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 01:43 PM
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Re: Chronographing loads??

Chronos are excellent for telling you that factory ammunition posted velocities are most of the time incorrect..It is called lawyer proofing them..Now there are alot of variables involved that give different velocities such as different barrel lengths.But most times the factories have lower velocities then they publish..
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Chronographing loads??

I guess I shouild have been more clear.

How useful is a chrony as part of load development?

I've started work on a load for my 6mm groundhogs. I've got several vantage points where 300-500 yard shots are quite probable.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 03:09 PM
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Re: Chronographing loads??

A Chrony will help with load development for long range shooting because it helps you find a load with minimum velocity spread. 300 to 500 yards? A factory gun probably won't shoot well enough to notice a difference, In a custom gun? 20 FPS can give you over an inch of vertical at 500 yards and over 3 inches at a 1000. You be the judge, in a hunting application an inch at 500 isn't worth getting excited, if you’re shooting a competition an inch can take you out of contention.

With a custom gun you should be able to get your velocity spread under 20 fps easy, most of the time you try to get it in the single digits. With a factory gun you'll be lucky to see that spread under 50 FPS.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 04:10 PM
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Re: Chronographing loads??

I use a Chrony with reloading, I do not shoot much more than 150 yard for anything. Just the area I live in, I have found most of my reloads are more accurate in the Mid-Range loads, I know some bullets perform better at higher speeds, and try to match factory spec, with out loosing accuracy.
Some times this means a powder change, others I may need to start over with a different bullet to get the results I am looking for.
Another example I have been working up a new deer load for this year, what I came up with is a Lyman 170 grain GC cast bullet, being pushed with Red Dot powder at a little over 1600 FPS. Very light recoil, and some real dead woodchucks out to 150 yards.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 05:08 PM
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Re: Chronographing loads??

A chronograph is a tool that increases your knowledge about the reloading process. Not everyone is interested in that aspect but if you are you will find it indispensable. Use it and record your data and you will find trends.

My 375HH is super accurate at velocities up to 2600fps, over 2800 it is almost unusable. So between 2600 and 2800 accuracy is still hunting good with sufficient power for anything. Basically anything I load in this range works well.

My 300 Ultra loves speed. Push a 168 at a too hot over 3500 and it ends up almost a single hole.

My Ruger 454 SRH prefers very slow/minimum loads.

I would never have known my 50 flintlock would propel 295gr bullets faster than 245s with the same charge. I guess the 245 doesn't present enough pressure to get the powder to burn efficiently.

I knew I had a bad batch of W760 when with the lighter loads my 375 likes it smartly sent the bullet downrange over 3100fps.

If you keep records you will have a better understanding of what each gun prefers and this will save time and money in the long run. You will find that you depend on the chrony more as you use it.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-2011, 10:19 PM
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Re: Chronographing loads??

Well said TG! When I never owned a chrony I never knew what I was missing but once I had one I couldn't do without it when at the range.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 01:12 AM
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Re: Chronographing loads??

Very few people do more reloading, shooting,etc., than my self. I am constantly working loads or drag racing bullets and most part enjoy every moment of it. My standard items going to the range of course is the chronograph. It is set up and every group shot through and than i record everything in my notebook keeping good records. In a perfect world everyone above has given great advise and true answers of using the chrono. for load develpment and lr shooting. Now for the last 2 weeks i have been fed up with the dang things im ready to get away from the chronograph. Entering the recorded vel. from my CED 11 lately my 338 edge at 1060 yards is off by 2 moa elevation. Running the numbers on my ebal program from nightforce getting very tech. using my kestrall entering all dats temp. bar., humidity, etc. my charts wont work. My chrono says 2800 but drop chart works off of 2860 vel. I dilaed in 2 more targets at 1120 and 1225 and connected with the information from 2800 fps. The same night i was shooting a 25 caliber wildcat with a 100 grain sierra bt. Chronograph said 3700 several times. Where i connected was with a vel. of 3550. Sometimes they can be inconsisted but figuring out the vel. my self worked out to be practical. Me and several friends have been using these things for years but left some good shooting guns get away from us thinking they wasent fast enough.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 02:22 AM
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Re: Chronographing loads??



What I am most concerned about is the consistency of my reloads. And the easiest way to find the most accurate and most consitent load is using a chronograph. The lower your SD(IMO) the more accurate the reload will be. Or at least that is how it works for me. There may be an occasional exception to that rule. But for the average guy like me the least amount of vaiation in velocity gives the most accurate load. Tom.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-03-2011, 08:34 AM
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Re: Chronographing loads??

Interesting subject. For a better understanding of chronograph functions, read this:

http://www.rifle-accuracy-reports.com/chronograph.html

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