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Chrono setup advice

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So I’m helping run our USPSA section match this year and I’m trying to make sure our chrono stage runs well and is consistent. A few local shooters had some issues at A3 last year and I don’t want something similar to happen on my watch. 
 

Basically I’m hoping for any tips and tricks, advice on construction of the recommended chrono box, etc. all help is appreciated. 

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If you already have 2 CED chronographs with light screens and some spare parts I would build a box I thin there are plans running around the web some where for that (its really nothing special just a plywood box with holes in the ends and a door on one side all painted black inside) if I was starting from scratch I would probably get the lab radar units so there is no chance of shooting them. 

 

for the tips and tricks of chrono stage in general.

 

1 Have a WSB and use the regular range commands when having the shooter handle their gun. If running in conjunction with a stage (see 2) have the WSB read at the same time as the one for the stage.

2 Run Chrono in conjunction with a stage, have the bottom 2 or 3 shooters in the order go to chrono first then have shooters go directly to chrono after they shoot. I have seen chrono run with small and large stages it doesn't make much difference and seems to flow just fine.

3 Collect ammo at the stage chrono is with, you don't have to collect it in the morning and have it pulled and try to keep it all organized, we often just pick up a mag from the shooter as they finish the stage and head to chrono. 

4 Over staff chrono, if possible, you need 1 to shoot and 1 to run the tablet and weigh bullets at a minimum, having a runner and a separate bullet puller is nice 

 

 

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We have a lab radar at work and the Handgun velocities it records have not been consistent with the more traditional chronographs I've used. To be fair, this is in an indoor range at 25 yards.

--
Pat Jones
Firestone CO
USPSA #A79592

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Chrono also checks to see if the appropriate gun fits in the box and measures mag length.

Point of contention: Require Open shooters to bring their 170 mm / big stick or allow them to submit their short mags.

If you are  measuring 140 mags should you be fair and measure 170 also? Or be arbitrary and ignore the 170s?

 

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I've seen some pretty shady stuff from shooters who ask for chrono rounds.  Some shooters have special ammo loaded just for the chrono stage.  The best way to combat this is to collect rounds from everyone on their first stage.  Once they get ready, have them pull the rounds out of a magazine they have on their person.  

If I remember correctly, it was at a match in Georgia.  They run a hot range.  They had everyone make ready.  Then they asked for rounds out of a magazine we had on our person.

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That's curious to me. I've helped run a few USPSA matches in GA, the sort where chrono ammo would be collected. Usually a Sectional- or Area-level USPSA match. And we've generally collected chrono ammo out of loaded magazines on belts at the first stage, making sure people didn't pull their "special ammo" out of their range bags. But none of them were ever run as a hot-range. 

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53 minutes ago, stick said:

[...]

If I remember correctly, it was at a match in Georgia.  They run a hot range.  They had everyone make ready.  Then they asked for rounds out of a magazine we had on our person.

 

Interesting.  Did this purport to be a USPSA match?  If so, I think they need to be reeducated. 

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25 minutes ago, Schutzenmeister said:

 

Interesting.  Did this purport to be a USPSA match?  If so, I think they need to be reeducated. 

No it was the Georgia State IDPA match many years ago.

They lined the entire squad up facing downrange, everyone loaded at once.  once everyone was hot, you couldn't leave the bay....but again this was years ago.

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They pulled rounds out of my dropped mags in PA once. I walked up to the official and said, hey you never asked me for chrono ammo. He smiled and said , I got them from your dropped mags.

 

Thats the way to do it, might be tough for a production shooter though.

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6 hours ago, zombywoof said:

They pulled rounds out of my dropped mags in PA once. I walked up to the official and said, hey you never asked me for chrono ammo. He smiled and said , I got them from your dropped mags.

 

Thats the way to do it, might be tough for a production shooter though.

 

We caught a guy going subminor that declared major at that match. 

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If you want to get good at running a Chrono stage then start running them at local club matches. This will give you plenty of practice for the process and also give you a less critical match to learn lessons on what doesn't work so well. Just don't be surprised when you see a good chunk of local club match shooters who don't meet their declared power factor or their gun/gear isn't 100% legal. I like to deploy an unannounced chrono stage at least once a year for the club matches I am the MD for. This is a good reminder to all competitors that even though its a club match ALL of their stuff needs to be legal. Be prepared for every excuse under the sun when people fail at the chrono station.

 

For what its worth I have seen the double screen, in the coffin box, chrono setups be much more inconsistent than the new Lab Radar setups. The primary issue I have seen when people are using Lab Radar setups is having physical obstructions down range like walls, barrels, target stands, etc. The down range area needs to be clear of all physical obstructions so an accurate radar echo can be captured by the system.

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A lot of this has already been said, but:

 

- Collect chrono ammo as early as possible and get it to chrono to give the chrono team time to pull bullets without making people wait. How you collect the ammo is up to you. 
 

-Have a WSB for chrono and use the range commands. 
 

-Pairing chrono with another stage can help with match flow. 
 

-Chrono team should have the shooter place the gun and an unloaded mag on the table when given the make ready command. Chrono official should inspect the gun, weigh it if necessary, put it in the box if necessary, and gage mags if necessary. Then the chrono official should load 3 rounds into the mag, load the gun, and fire them. The bullet should already have been pulled, weighed, and the weight recorded so power factor can be calculated right away. If the shooter makes their declared power factor, they unload and show clear and holster as you would on a regular stage. 
 

Also, separately from this, ROs should be checking shooter’s’ equipment for legality before their first stage. It’s not a lengthy process - a quick question to each shooter about what division they’re shooting, then a quick glance over their gear to make sure it’s legal. Don’t bother measuring anything unless you think it might not be legal. 

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10 minutes ago, DKorn said:

A lot of this has already been said, but:

 

- Collect chrono ammo as early as possible and get it to chrono to give the chrono team time to pull bullets without making people wait. How you collect the ammo is up to you. 
 

-Have a WSB for chrono and use the range commands. 
 

-Pairing chrono with another stage can help with match flow. 
 

-Chrono team should have the shooter place the gun and an unloaded mag on the table when given the make ready command. Chrono official should inspect the gun, weigh it if necessary, put it in the box if necessary, and gage mags if necessary. Then the chrono official should load 3 rounds into the mag, load the gun, and fire them. The bullet should already have been pulled, weighed, and the weight recorded so power factor can be calculated right away. If the shooter makes their declared power factor, they unload and show clear and holster as you would on a regular stage. 
 

Also, separately from this, ROs should be checking shooter’s’ equipment for legality before their first stage. It’s not a lengthy process - a quick question to each shooter about what division they’re shooting, then a quick glance over their gear to make sure it’s legal. Don’t bother measuring anything unless you think it might not be legal. 

Agree with all except the collect ammo early,

My experience has been a bullet can be pulled and weighed in about the same time the Chrono officer can inspect the gun prior to shooting it. this way there is no need to have to keep all the ammo organized by squad and shooter, also if the shooter can see the bullet weight on the scale if there is a question.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/21/2020 at 10:16 AM, waktasz said:

 

We caught a guy going subminor that declared major at that match. 

I was at Nationals one year, shooting with individual(s) from another country.  His chrono ammo made major.  After the chrono stage his gun was the flattest shooting limited gun I had ever seen.  It was bad enough that the squad noticed it (including members from his own country) but a RO remarked about it.  

Area 2 does a pretty good job of ammo collection, then with random checks through out the match.

Edited by pjb45

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SC Sectional in 2002, they had random draw from the squad list on who went to chrono. Not sure if that was supported by the rules at the time, but it did move the match along. 

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In addition to the above, make sure you have a designated area (I've used a 3x3 shooting box) for the shooter to stay in while you are testing his setup.

 

Another thing I found helpful: get a small, cheap powder funnel.  Put it over whatever container you're going to use to hold the powder from the pulled cartridge.  Use your inertia puller to pull the bullet, then dump the contents out into the funnel. Shake the funnel, powder goes into the container, bullet stays in the funnel.  No digging around for the bullet in a container of powder.

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5 hours ago, dons said:

In addition to the above, make sure you have a designated area (I've used a 3x3 shooting box) for the shooter to stay in while you are testing his setup.

Why?

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14 hours ago, dons said:

In addition to the above, make sure you have a designated area (I've used a 3x3 shooting box) for the shooter to stay in while you are testing his setup.

 

I agree with Sarge - no need to over complicate it by adding this. Simple instructions like “On the make ready command, you will place your gun (describe the location and condition you want the firearm in)” are sufficient. For example, “On the make ready command, you will place your gun unloaded on the mat and hand the range officer an unloaded magazine. If you have an optic, please turn it on for the range officer.”

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11 hours ago, Sarge said:

Why?

I've had shooters hovering over the Chrono, trying to read the numbers, and even one who was trying to insure i was handling his pistol properly. YMMV

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5 hours ago, dons said:

I've had shooters hovering over the Chrono, trying to read the numbers, and even one who was trying to insure i was handling his pistol properly. YMMV

Seems a bit much compared to how I’ve seen the best CHRONO guy in action several times. I don’t recall ever seeing a shooter hover over CHRONO but I guess it could happen. A simple”step back for me” should take care of it.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Sarge said:

Why?

From the rule book...

Chronograph Station Rules and Policies

44.

The Chronograph Station is considered an official stage in the match and subject to all

sections of this rulebook....

 

and....

 

A recommended procedure to follow at the chronograph station is to advise the

squad/individual competitors via Written Stage Briefing to not to handle the firearm until

instructed. The Chronograph CRO should have a station next to him where the

competitor, when called, can step up and when instructed to MAKE READY,.

 

Every stage in the match should have designated shooting area?

 

No?

 

 

 

 

 
 
Edited by WaJim
spelling

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2 hours ago, Sarge said:

Seems a bit much compared to how I’ve seen the best CHRONO guy in action several times. I don’t recall ever seeing a shooter hover over CHRONO but I guess it could happen. A simple”step back for me” should take care of it.

And it did.  A designated spot for the shooter takes care of this in advance.

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4 hours ago, WaJim said:

From the rule book...

Chronograph Station Rules and Policies

44.

The Chronograph Station is considered an official stage in the match and subject to all

sections of this rulebook....

 

and....

 

A recommended procedure to follow at the chronograph station is to advise the

squad/individual competitors via Written Stage Briefing to not to handle the firearm until

instructed. The Chronograph CRO should have a station next to him where the

competitor, when called, can step up and when instructed to MAKE READY,.

 

Every stage in the match should have designated shooting area?

 

No?

 

 

 

 

 
 

No

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Many years ago XRe and I helped write the major expansion of the Chrono section of the rulebook (after seeing a fellow shooter get screwed by a poorly-setup chrono station).  Not everything we wrote got in there, but there's a lot of useful info there.

 

For an 'educational' Chrono stage, you can just have everyone file through.  For a major match chrono stage, you might want to take more care pulling ammo than handing the RO's baggies and saying 'get ammo'. 

 

Probably the best 'random' pull I saw was at the Worlds in Greece--  in stats they'd randomly pull a few names.  A RO would go out to the stage the shooter was on, wait for that shooter to shoot and grab a mag off the ground and take that ammo.  Then hand the shooter a 'show up at chrono within 24 hours or zero the match' ticket.  Not everyone got chronoed, but at least one person per squad did, and IIRC the super squads got more attention than others.  That requires major-match infrastructure though.

 

At a lot of the European matches, they pull ammo, then you wander by chrono individually sometime before the end of the match.  IDK if that's better or not, but it saves a slot on the schedule. 

 

If you can scrounge up a collet bullet puller for 9mm and a single-stage press, that makes pulling bullets much faster than the whacky-hammer.

 

Labradars (and even most others) are slow to change the bullet weight on.  Have a calculator or app handy and use that instead to make things go faster.  A table of 'this bullet weight must go at least this fast', makes it even faster for anyone not dancing on the PF line, but many shooters want to know their actual PF as well as pass/fail.

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On 8/1/2020 at 9:20 AM, shred said:

 

 

Labradars (and even most others) are slow to change the bullet weight on.  Have a calculator or app handy and use that instead to make things go faster.  A table of 'this bullet weight must go at least this fast', makes it even faster for anyone not dancing on the PF line, but many shooters want to know their actual PF as well as pass/fail.

Practiscore has chrono now, just enter weight and velocities, if you dont make it on the first 3 it will keep calculating the correct PF for each following shot so you dont have to shoot the next 3 and start calculating again so if shot 4 gets them over the line your done. 

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