Competition Electronics Prochrono Digital Chronograph and Purchasecorner Polish Cloth Bundle
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- Package Dimensions : 18 x 5.5 x 3.5 inches; 2.6 Pounds
- Item model number : CEI3800-1
- Date First Available : January 21, 2014
- ASIN : B00HYQ39G0
- Customer Reviews:
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I used that old Chrony quite a lot over the years, including once nuking it with a hard cast 200 grain semi-wadcutter when I foolishly shot over it without using a steady rest, necessitating me sending it back to the manufacturer and paying for a $50 repair.
That old Chrony worked more or less okay, but I had some issues with it, namely with poor quality diffusers, surprisingly heavy battery use, and rather unpredictable ability to read velocities.
Admittedly, that Shooting Chrony is a relatively older model and I'm well aware that they have made some changes over the last ten years or so, but I continued to struggle a bit using it until it finally quit altogether only this year.
Happily, the situation with chronographs has only improved over the years, with quite a few more choices and with technology advancing with them as well, with the prices staying basically the same.
Better still (and important to many people, myself included), it's now possible to buy chronographs made in USA other than the very much respected but very expensive Oehler 35P system, and the Competition Electronics Prochrono Digitial is indeed marked clearly on the box "Made with pride in USA."
The Prochrono Digital comes in a corrugated cardboard box with an outer poster board sleeve to keep the box closed, and the contents include the chronograph itself, two translucent white plastic diffusers, and four guide wire support rods for the diffusers.
A small but nice touch with the chronograph itself is that it includes a second compartment behind the compartment dedicated to the nine volt battery for storing a second battery, so you won't have to stop using the Prochrono just because your battery quit, assuming (of course) that you always keep a fresh nine volt in that spare battery compartment.
While the Prochrono is rather light, its construction seems pretty solid, and the display is very clear and easily readable, even when position the suggested fifteen feet away.
It also has a threaded socket on the underside for attaching to standard tripods, which is exactly how I used mine.
Having it on a tripod makes it much easier to position for shooting, especially for the all important height adjustment.
That also brings up a critical point that I will make for anyone not familiar with chronographs, which is that it's essential to shoot from a fixed, stable platform, preferably from a solid rest.
Shooting offhand or even sitting over a chronograph invites obvious mishaps, so think that over before you shoot without a stable rest.
Once I had it set up for the first time and fired over it from a rest, I was able to get reliable readings every time.
The key to getting consistent readings is to ensure that you shoot as close as possible to directly in the middle of the Prochrono.
If you're shooting in full daylight, it's usually best to go ahead and use the diffusers, but you may do better without them if in lower light or overcast conditions.
As a suggestion, at least use the guide rods, even when not attaching the diffusers, because that makes it a bit easier to find where to aim directly between them to help position for shooting.
It's important to minimize the possiibilty of damage from muzzle blast, so it's best to place it at least ten feet from the muzzle, maybe even fifteen feet when shooting something as powerful as .300 Weatherby Magnum or .458 Lott.
Another thing to consider is the importance of ensuring that the photoelectric sensors stay clean, so that's a good reason to keep the box to store the Prochrono in to prevent dust from collecting on the sensors.
The only other suggestion is to go ahead and spend the five minutes it takes to read through the manual all the way, especially to understand the shot string functions and how to review the data.
It's been nearly thirty years since I've had a new chronograph, and I was pleased to see how much easier it was to consistently get readings than it ever was with the old Shooting Chrony F1, so it seems that there have been some real improvements over those years.
Finally, it's worth mentioning that one of the reasons to get the Prochrono Digital over the Prochrono Pal (the slightly cheaper model) is because the former has multiple shot string support and for the socket in the side that allows you to use a remote switch, use a USB adapter to connect directly to a PC, or even use a Bluetooth adapter to interface with either an iPhone or Android smartphone.
Those of you who intend to fire shotguns or any other gun with either waddings or sabots should definitely buy one of the other accessories before shooting over this chronograph, namely the clear plastic debris shield, lest you have the wadding or sabot veer off and destroy it.
Those of you who roll your own ammo will find this chronograph particularly useful, to determine whether you are achieving your desired muzzle velocities, but more importantly to determine how consistent your velocities are, a key element for accuracy.
Finally, it's worth commenting that the ammunition companies used to inflate their muzzle velocity numbers (often to a ridiculous level), but the advent of affordable chronographs over the last few years has forced the ammunition companies to finally publish much more realistic numbers in response.
These affordable high quality chronographs have compelled the ammo companies to tell the truth.
I also use it for determining arrow speeds.