Chronograph Lighting Issues- What works for you?

coleslaw

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
89
Location
Wisconsin
I have gotten back into handloading both out of necessity (lightweight rifle with a lightweight barrel for backcountry hunting= finicky barrel) and because I really enjoy shooting and the "nerd stuff" that it involves called ballistics. Part of successful reloading is having a good chrono and that is something that is giving me trouble. Especially this year in the upper midwest where we have had almost nonstop rain since August. And heavy or uneven cloud cover makes it tough for the typical chronograph to register velocity. So much so that I really don't trust the readings and deviations that I am getting. I understand that once in a while I am going to get an error or a crazy reading of 800fps when I am shooting 3000fps, but it just has a hard time outside and I don't have an indoor 100yd range within reasonable driving distance.

So my question is: is there anybody out there who has used an artificial lighting source to good effect while hooting outdoors? I know there are LED sources available but they are marketed for indoor ranges with fluorescent lighting. Has anybody used this outside or been able to jerry-rig something on the cheap to make them work?

And yes, I know I could get a LabRadar, but I'd rather not drop the $550 on one at this moment while I am in the final stages of planning a hunt.
 

Addicting

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
2,679
Location
SW Michigan
I gave up on mine trying to get the light right on the days I needed it to work. Finally had enough, went and bought the cheaper Magnetospeed. Problem solved and am not looking back.
 

coleslaw

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
89
Location
Wisconsin
I gave up on mine trying to get the light right on the days I needed it to work. Finally had enough, went and bought the cheaper Magnetospeed. Problem solved and am not looking back.
I thought about the magnetospeed also, but because it is barrel mounted, I understand that there is sometimes a POI shift or possible accuracy issues.
 

Addicting

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
2,679
Location
SW Michigan
I thought about the magnetospeed also, but because it is barrel mounted, I understand that there is sometimes a POI shift or possible accuracy issues.
Yep, use it to find velocity nodes as you work up in powder charge. You will see a .4-.8g flat spot a couple times. Use the middle charge weight of the highest node without pressure signs.

Remove the magnetospeed and then start playing with seating depths in 3 shot groups. You will find the load that the gun likes.
 

std7mag

Active member
Joined
Aug 23, 2016
Messages
800
Location
central pa
When it's really overcast, or deep in shadow, i'll take the diffuser off.

I've also had errors with muzzle blast at 10ft so i do all my chrono reading at 15ft. Then shoot out to 800 yards and true my velocities in Strelok.
 

Brian in Montana

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,173
Location
Ramsay, MT
I use a Magnetospeed also. The only time I could get my chrono to work well was on a solid overcast day. Dappled sunlight, bright sunlight, and/or especially snow on the ground (which describes 90% of the days in SW Montana) were not good.

The drawback to the MS is it does shift your POI, but its very simple and reliable for checking velocities, getting averages, extreme spread, and standard deviation. All important when working up handload. I also use it for ladder tests. Its a great tool, but your just not going to shoot both for groups and velocities at the same time the way you can with a chrono. I still have mine, but the Magnetospeed is so much less hassle I just use it anymore.
 

coleslaw

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
89
Location
Wisconsin
For those of you that have the magnetospeed, does it affect accuracy in a big way, or mostly just the grouping POI?
I know I would have to shoot twice - once for velocity and once for accuracy, but I would like to be able to easily rule out the really bad groups right away without blaming barrel harmonics.
 

Addicting

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
2,679
Location
SW Michigan
Can’t help on that question, I didn’t even bother with it. Here was my process:
Clean barrel, one foul shot then 10 rounds at .3g increments up to one round past book max.

Found node and loaded 4 groups of 3 up in .010 increments from the manufacturing suggested starting point.

Took that data and found best group then made a couple 5 shot groups up with smaller increments to find its sweet spot.

Ended with 34 rounds and this:
35DFDCC9-2C6A-4091-AB2D-7F5DF1D7B1F7.jpeg
 
Last edited:

VikingsGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 2, 2017
Messages
2,733
Location
Twin Cities
For those of you that have the magnetospeed, does it affect accuracy in a big way, or mostly just the grouping POI?
I know I would have to shoot twice - once for velocity and once for accuracy, but I would like to be able to easily rule out the really bad groups right away without blaming barrel harmonics.
I had one and it was a mixed bag barrel to barrel and double shooting ladders was a pain so I switched to LabRadar - pricey but saves a lot of hassle and speeds load development so worth it to me.
 
Last edited:

ImBillT

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
722
Ohler 35P. You can use screens, no screens, or lighted screens(I think you can get lighted screens for it). It is also essentially two chronographs and reports when the two readings do not match closely, which is suggestive of such an error.
 

brockel

Well-known member
Joined
May 13, 2016
Messages
903
Location
Baker,MT
I fought a chrony for years and finally broke down this year and bought the cheaper magnetospeed. So glad I did. Most of my shooting is dawn or dusk so chronograph usually doesn’t work the best. Now that I have the magnetospeed I don’t have to worry
 

Mallardsx2

Active member
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
334
I always shoot a .22 through my chronigraph to make sure its working BEFORE I fire the big gun through her...
 

coleslaw

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
89
Location
Wisconsin
Saw this the other day for a modified MagnetoSpeed mount??

View attachment 116628
Think I found it, but for the price of the needed accessories, I think a Labradar would be a better bet.
 

Brian in Montana

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2017
Messages
1,173
Location
Ramsay, MT
Can’t help on that question, I didn’t even bother with it. Here was my process:
Clean barrel, one foul shot then 10 rounds at .3g increments up to one round past book max.

Found node and loaded 4 groups of 3 up in .010 increments from the manufacturing suggested starting point.

Took that data and found best group then made a couple 5 shot groups up with smaller increments to find its sweet spot.

Ended with 34 rounds and this:
View attachment 116290
Side question: when you're preparing to do your ladder test (10 rounds in .3grn increments) how particular are you about case length? Do you trim them to make sure they're all the same?
 

Bigjay73

Active member
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
611
Location
Denver
Think I found it, but for the price of the needed accessories, I think a Labradar would be a better bet.
I have a magneetospeed. I like it, but wish I had invested the money in a labrador.
 
Top