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Beginner - looking for a good chronograph

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If you don't want to spring for the LabRadar's huge upfront investment, remember:

 

 

15 hours ago, kneelingatlas said:

You'll probably shoot the first one, so make it cheap!

 

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I have a Caldwell Ballistic Precision. It has an app that connects to your phone/tablet to record the chrono data.  I really dig this feature, as it allows me to shoot and then email myself the pertinent data.  It is around $100 depending on where you purchase it.

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I just got the Caldwell and I like it. Haven't used it at the range yet but it does connect to my phone (Droid Maxx) and seems to work ok. I hunted around for pricing a bit and got it for $76.39 shipped at this place: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph   They are listed on Slickguns so I took a chance and ordered. I ordered it Tuesday and got it today. Didn't get any shipment info until Thursday morning so I was a bit worried but then it progressed quickly from there. 

 

Other places have it for less but with shipping it ends up being at least $10 more. 

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Hmm, looks like they changed the price. Nevermind. Still like the Chrono though and the app is cool. 

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I was about to ask about the Caldwell because I was going back and forth between the Caldwell Ballistic Precision Premium Kit and the Competition Electronics ProChrono.

 

I found the Caldwell Kit (http://www.btibrands.com/product/ballistic-precision-chronograph-premium-kit/) on Amazon for like $99 or $110 or something like that and that includes a bunch of stuff (including a small tripod) and it will connect to an iPhone or iPad right out of the box (via a cable), where as the ProChrono is around $95 (ShooterConnection) at the cheapest (at this point) and I still have to buy the DataLink for an additional $60 (Midway) at the cheapest.  So, I'm into it for $155 and I would still have to use one of my other photo tripods and such.

 

So, to me, if the Caldwell is honestly comparable to the ProChrono, why spend the extra money and also get the benefit of the tripod and light kit with it?  But if the Caldwell is inferior, then I can understand/justify spending the extra money for the ProChrono and the DigitalLink for it to connect to the iPhone/iPad.

 

So, I'm just curious if most people have the ProChrono because it truly is better or just get it because everyone else has it.  LOL  I also don't want to get a POS that doesn't work and then end up spending double the money and buying another one to get one that works.

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If anyone is looking for the Caldwell it's $78 at the link I posted above. It's NOT the premium kit though. Basic kit comes with the sunscreens, the cable and a storage bag. 

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On 2/4/2017 at 11:15 PM, kneelingatlas said:

You'll probably shoot the first one, so make it cheap!

 

Wish you had not said that. I shot my first two. One of them right through the window. Learned my lesson. 

 

Get at a Pro Chrono. Can't beat it...unless you shoot it. Results match results at matches nearly perfectly. 

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On 1/25/2017 at 5:12 PM, wgj3 said:

 

The tripod under that LabRadar probably cost as much as the Pro Chrono Digital.

MORE!

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Well, I just found the Caldwell Ballistic Precision Premium Kit on walmart.com for $106.16 out the door (taxes, title, destination fees, etc.  LOL).  That is with tax and they took off $10.76 (or around that) for me to pick it up instead of having them ship it to my house.  Works for me since it is less than a mile down the street.  So, to me, I made out and it was the cheapest and quickest I've found it for.  This is the premium kit that comes with the lights, the tripod, the bag, the phone cord, the whole works.  So, since it is my first chrono, I think it will work well enough and was cheap enough in case I do shoot it, but I really hope I don't!  LOL

 

How high do you guys put these things on the tripod to shoot through it?  Obviously if I go to the range, they are going to have the targets that are at normal, operating height (outdoor range), so to me, that means I'm going to have to put this thing pretty high up on the tripod because there is no way the range is going to let me shoot into the ground to shoot at an angle through a chrono that is low to the ground.  LOL!  :o

 

Maybe I'll Google some YouTube videos to see how this all works.  Every time I look at the videos on the manufacturer websites, they only show the chrono itself and the features on it or they show someone shooting an arrow through it from a bow and they are angled down at the ground like 7 feet in front of them.  LOL!

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In case anyone is curious, Nerf guns shoot an avg of around 30 fps. LOL! I had nothing else to test it with and found some ancient Nerf guns lying around the house. LOL!  I had one as high as 40 and one as low as 22. I don't think it will make PF though. LOL!  

 

But it I did use the LED shades that came with the kit (connected to AC power) and used it on the bed in the bedroom with two CFL lights in the corners of the room also lit and it worked fine connected to my iPad Pro. 

 

I did did have a couple of ERR2 and ERR3 codes when the darts didn't shoot straight but all in all it worked well and I can't complain for $106 for the Premium kit.  Hopefully I can get out to the range this weekend to truly test it out. ????

Edited by R1_Demon

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Based on the feedback here, I ordered a ProChrono with the BT transmitter.  

 

I really wanted a Magnetospeed v3 but cannot afford it right now.  

 

Hope le it is worth it.  

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I was about to ask about the Caldwell because I was going back and forth between the Caldwell Ballistic Precision Premium Kit and the Competition Electronics ProChrono.
 
I found the Caldwell Kit (http://www.btibrands.com/product/ballistic-precision-chronograph-premium-kit/) on Amazon for like $99 or $110 or something like that and that includes a bunch of stuff (including a small tripod) and it will connect to an iPhone or iPad right out of the box (via a cable), where as the ProChrono is around $95 (ShooterConnection) at the cheapest (at this point) and I still have to buy the DataLink for an additional $60 (Midway) at the cheapest.  So, I'm into it for $155 and I would still have to use one of my other photo tripods and such.
 
So, to me, if the Caldwell is honestly comparable to the ProChrono, why spend the extra money and also get the benefit of the tripod and light kit with it?  But if the Caldwell is inferior, then I can understand/justify spending the extra money for the ProChrono and the DigitalLink for it to connect to the iPhone/iPad.
 
So, I'm just curious if most people have the ProChrono because it truly is better or just get it because everyone else has it.  LOL  I also don't want to get a POS that doesn't work and then end up spending double the money and buying another one to get one that works.


I chose the Pro Chrono because the person who taught me to reload used a Pro Chrono. One of the clubs that I shoot at uses a Pro Chrono for Power Factor check. Also, many of the clubs I shoot at use a Competition Electronics Shot Timer (whom make the Pro Chrono; we’ll save the shot timer debate for next time) and I figured I wrong with a Pro Chrono.

Many of my friends rely on “use this recipe, and this is the average power factor” but for true peace of mind, especially before a major match I like the confidence and peace of mind of being able to Chrono my own rounds...and being able to get the Chrono to work the first time.

So my buddy and I both got Chronos about the same time, I got the Pro Chrono and he got the Caldwell. My buddy had to return his Caldwell Chrono 2 or 3 times; it was getting inconsistent readings or didn’t function at all. He got so desperate that he ended up borrowing my Pro Chrono and returned his Caldwell while waiting for shipping for his own Pro Chrono to be fulfilled.

The only issue that I had with my Pro Chrono is making sure the shot lists are correct before I start the testing. I wish that the app allowed you to take a picture of the targets in conjunction with the results. I don’t shoot indoors anymore, but I wish the IR Light kit was a little more battery friendly (you gotta cut wiring and splice stuff). Otherwise, the Pro Chrono has been a rock solid investment.


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I would agree with you, meaning that the Pro Chrono is used by lots and is a very good chrono.  I wouldn't have hesitated to get either.  I just found my Balistic Precision Kit for a deal and it has worked very well for me with both pistols and crossbows.  I admit that I haven't used it indoors at all, so I don't know how it would work that way.  I did try the LED lighting on a pretty cloudy/overcast day one day at the outdoor range and it worked flawlessly.

 

Now, do I have another chrono to compare it to?  Nope.  This is my first and only one.  So, could it be off?  Yup, it could and I wouldn't know it.  Of course if it was off by a lot, then I'm sure I would know and figure it out.  But if it was off by 10 or even 20 fps, I may not know except for what I would "expect" my loads to be while building them and comparing to them to what others say here on a similar build along with what the build manuals say.

 

At the time I didn't have the money to go the Pro Chrono with the bluetooth setup.  If it would have even come with a cable (such as the Caldwell), I honestly would have probably gotten the Pro Chrono just by all the references here.  But, as far as I read or was aware, you didn't have that option with the Pro Chrono like you do with the Caldwell and to pay $60 extra when I could just pay maybe $8 (if I didn't have one lying around the house anyway) for a 15 foot cable to do the exact same thing is nuts in my opinion.  That's the only reason I didn't go with the Pro Chrono instead.  I didn't really care about the LED lighting or the tripod that came with my Caldwell "kit", but I did get those extras cheaper than I did for the Pro Chrono itself.  So, I just thought it being a better deal.

 

It sucks that your friend had issues and had to send it back 2-3 times.  That's not cool.  However, I do feel that situations like that can happen with any type of device, no matter who manufactures it.  I've had it happen to things that others have said were perfect.  Just luck of the draw.  But I am glad you are happy with your Pro Chrono and that doesn't mean I might not look into one sometime in the future either.  :)  If the right deal comes up or someone has one on sale or what not, I just might jump on it and may like it better or the app better or something and may just continue using it and keep my Caldwell as a backup...who knows.  But it's always good to hear info from everyone.  :)

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I haven't used many Caldwell products, but the ones I have used, I have always come away disappointed.  Caldwell is essentially the lower tier of anything is sells - not that there is anything wrong with that, as long as the consumer understands what they are buying.  Other than the G2 which I returned - I've tried a couple bags, the stand up brass catcher, the loader, etc... as Caldwell permeates at the big box level, ie Gander, Cabelas, Academy, etc - all seem to work Ok at first, but invariably develop problems pretty fast.  Even the shooting rests, which seem to be popular, have issues if you do some research.  I've pretty much sworn off any Caldwell products, as you always wind up replacing them it seems and spend more money.

 

I have the PC, and also a LabRadar...  The G2 I returned as mentioned earlier in the thread, I just got a lot of errors with it.  Maybe I got a bad one, but I suspect there are probably a lot of "bad ones".

 

 

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I was concerned with shooting my Pro Crono since tales of doing that are legendary.   So I put it together and layed on it's backside on a cardboard target.   With a magic marker, I outlined everything: crono, risers, and rear screen.   Indicated POA, shot one at 10 feet and got POI; adjusted from there.   Useful for advising others who may use your crono, and maybe at match crono stages for instruction and for posting the replacement cost of the crono.

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I may take the heat for the most doltish comment on this forum, but how is it people shoot the chrono?   I hear that every time there's a discussion about them.   Is it focusing on the machine and just not thinking?   Or is it just bad shooting?   

 

are the wands being shot, or the actual machine?

 

 

I also read somewhere that there was a bad batch of Caldwell's.  I have no idea if this is true or not as it seems like quite a few people have had trouble, but then plenty of people seem to do just fine with them.

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On 2/4/2017 at 8:15 PM, kneelingatlas said:

You'll probably shoot the first one, so make it cheap!

 

Yes, it happens. The cool thing about the Chrony is they have an error code for that. 

 

But really, I did not like the Chrony and when I shot it I just laughed, glad that it was finally dead. 

11930885_10205083404779934_3427012602728640923_o.jpg

Edited by Nevadazielmeister

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7 hours ago, Nevadazielmeister said:

 

Yes, it happens. The cool thing about the Chrony is they have an error code for that. 

 

But really, I need did not like the Chrony and when I shot it I just laughed, glad that it was finally dead. 

11930885_10205083404779934_3427012602728640923_o.jpg

LOL!

when the manufacturer says shot through it, they mean the sensors not the unit :roflol::roflol:

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On ‎11‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 3:05 PM, Currently said:

Based on the feedback here, I ordered a ProChrono with the BT transmitter.  

 

I really wanted a Magnetospeed v3 but cannot afford it right now.  

 

Hope le it is worth it.  

 

well, how do you like it a year later?

 

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I think that how much you use it would determine whether to go top end or inexpensive.  If you pick one load and use it all the time, it would pay to go low - I'd recommend the Pro Chrono - but if you continually change loads, or load for many different guns, I'd probably go for the LabRadar.

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On 11/27/2018 at 12:30 PM, funkymonkey1111 said:

 

well, how do you like it a year later?

 

 

I got my money’s worth.  

 

It takes two to set it up quickly and I’m always fearful of hitting my expensive tripod.

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