Should I reload with out a chronograph?

Discussion in 'General Reloading' started by notajeep, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. notajeep

    notajeep G&G Regular

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    I'm not totally new to reloading just interested to hear your view. I understand for best results, someone bench shooting desires every round exactly the same from step one of reloading. In my real world adventures I'd be prairie dog hunting with this ammo at less than maybe 500yds. In addition to that I'd have the chance to load three or four weights of powder by the book and see how they group at 100yds. As for safety I have no worries about not using a chronograph in this situation. So my question is also what am I missing out on since I don't have a chronograph? I've read when using a chronograph that normally one will load until the velocity quits increasing thats the sweet spot. Is this really for everyone? What about subsonic or cast bullets? I guess thats another time.
  2. Ten Man

    Ten Man G&G Newbie

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    A lot of extra doo-dads to play with at the range! LOL

    If you have the capability, and the patience to load multiple loads in 0.1 grain increments, and test fire for groups, then no chrono is needed.

    I have obtained VERY satisfactory loads for each of my "serious rifles" just by starting with book loads, and working them up or down to get the desired result.

    As a matter of fact, I have a Brand New In the Box Chrony that I have never used. I bought it four years ago, and still have not taken it out of the box.
  3. nathangdad

    nathangdad G&G Newbie

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    Personally,

    I do not feel you should rush to a chronograph.
    Start with a reloading manual, look for a suggested accuracy load, load it,
    try it, then work with small changes in powder within the safety range and check your accuracy. At some point you will have a maximum accuracy.
  4. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Enthusiast

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    Been reloading like 35 years without one. What do I care how fast they are going as long as they are accurate?
  5. TGF

    TGF G&G Newbie

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    sure you should, still saves money and gives better quality than factory.
  6. waterdog

    waterdog G&G Newbie

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    I don't have one.
  7. Big Cholla

    Big Cholla G&G Newbie

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    I reloaded for 25 years without a chronograph and then acquired one when I started in IPSC/IPDA. Then, I was surprised to find how handy it was when fine tuning centerfire rifle loads. The use of a chronograph allows one to make informed decisions on optimum powders for long term use in YOUR rifle's barrel/chamber combination. Using the + 0.01 grain method max velocity can be determined while minimizing dangers. Usually the best accuracy is around 5 to 10% lower than max velocity. An unintended consequence in the use of a chronograph is that one shoots more rounds thru a given barrel while doing all that fine tuning thereby accelerating reaching the end of that barrel's accurate life. Also, some bullets intended for varmint hunting are thin skinned and have a finite velocity/RPM limit. One can keep reloads from exceeding that limit easily with the use of a chronograph but yet nudge right up against it. There are other uses that don't come to my mind in my present post-dinner stupor. :) ....... Big Cholla
  8. notajeep

    notajeep G&G Regular

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    Thanks everyone.
  9. Deersniper

    Deersniper G&G Newbie

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    I go by the range reports, if it groups well in my guns, I don't care what speed it's going.
  10. KW Gary M

    KW Gary M Suspended

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    I would like a chronograph but don't "Need One". I think it would be a fun toy but I agree with the people above who say if your load are consistant and hit your intended target with a small group that shows success more than a chronograph. I will gen one someday but I don't "Need One".
  11. toolman

    toolman Resident Sasquatch Forum Contributor

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    I've had one for about 5-6 years that I've never used. I even bought a tripod for it. Oh well, maybe one of these days...
  12. robertsherrer54

    robertsherrer54 G&G Newbie

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    Yes, by all means, reload without a chrono. I have loaded for 35 plus years like some of the others and never needed one. Develop safe and accurate loads by your manual and get some experience. Later if you wish, buy a chrono or have someone at the range who has one to check your speeds and deviations.
  13. the jigger

    the jigger G&G Newbie

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    Chronograph?

    my primary use for a chronograph is to develop long-range "drop charts".
    I have never seen a ballistics program that did not ask for muzzle veloscity.
    that said, the chronograph does not come into play until I have finished load development and selected the round I wish to shoot in that particular rifle.
    did I "need" a chronograph? NO! am I glad I have one? YOU BET!!
    GOOD LUCK and GOOD SHOOTING!!!
  14. Slow Go

    Slow Go G&G Newbie

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    "Should I reload with out a chronograph?"

    Well, we were reloading long before affordable chronographs came on the market, in fact that is relitively recent. And we loaded good ammo and we made long range shots without them. So...YES!

    Most of us who have chronographs are reloading geeks and enjoy sweating largely trivial things for their own sake because it's FUN to us but rarely - if ever - makes a lot of difference in the field.
  15. lefty o

    lefty o G&G Enthusiast

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    you certainly dont need one, but it is a useful tool. i have one, and actually use it occasionally.
  16. TGF

    TGF G&G Newbie

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    I use mine constantly, I love it.
  17. SwedeSteve

    SwedeSteve Freedom Zealot Forum Contributor

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    I've never owned one, but wouldn't mind one for Christmas, lol !!
  18. jerry

    jerry G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

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    A crony is like a rifle guy in a gun fight with a pistol. :)
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eT33eT30Uc]YouTube - Quigley Down Under - The Final Gunfight[/ame]
  19. big boomer

    big boomer G&G Enthusiast

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    I have one very seldom use it
  20. Big Cholla

    Big Cholla G&G Newbie

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    I believe differently! Every one of my varmint rifles and my large game hunting rifles have a range drop card/windage card taped to the stock for ready reference. All of the computer ballistics programs will generate range drop and windage drift only if one can input muzzle velocity and ballistics coefficient of the bullet being used. Those range cards are invaluable to making first shot longer range kills. The use of recorded actual muzzle velocity is only possible by using a personal chronograph. ..... Big Cholla
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