ProChrono Chronometers by Competition Electronics
It wasn't all that long ago that personal chronographs were not in common use. The few models available were costly, and the earlier models were just not reliable.
Thankfully, that is no longer the case. If you are a muzzleloader, you absolutely are a "reloader," as are most centerfire rifle and pistol shooters. For the enthusiast that has even a casual interest in load development, reliable muzzle velocity readings are not elective; they are requisite. There is just no substitute for knowing what a load produces in your gun, under your ambient conditions.
For those who care to know what energy a combination put into a game animal at range, sailing bullets over a chronograph is the only way to find out. Anything else is just guesswork. That's fine if you enjoy guessing, but worthless for those who care to really know the facts--and fairly evaluate downrange performance.
The two Competition Electronics chronograph models are the "ProChrono Digital," and the "ProChrono Pal." Both are equally accurate, and are the same size: 16 x 4 x 3-1/4 inches. Both are extremely easy to use with touch screens, have tripod mounting holes, and have plastic one-piece housings that won't corrode.
The primary advantage to the "Made in USA" ProChrono models versus the imports is the generous shooting area; you have twice the area to shoot across compared to the popular "Shooting Chrony" series that have been out for a while. You will need no instruction manual to decipher the "ProChrono" chronographs; the faceplates tell you everything you need to know.
The sensing units are identical in both models. The extra fifteen bucks you'll pay for the ProChrono Digital nets you nine shot strings, with data automatically compiled for each string: minimum/maximum velocities, standard and extreme deviations, and the ability to connect the optional remote control that comes complete with an infrared printer interface. Both are extremely flexible units, with a velocity range of from 22 fps to 7000 fps. I believe that will cover most firearms available today!
I've used them both, for thousands of shots, with not just muzzleloaders, but handguns, center-fire and rim fire rifles, shotguns, and pellet guns as well. They work superbly, and I've found that just putting a couple of pieces of clear mailing tape over the sensor ports keeps the innards residue free from muzzleloader fouling residue, and simulates a cloudy day as well. You can get great results without using the diffuser screens that get blown off when shooting close with a smokepole, anyway. Popping on the two front metal guide wires and shooting high and between them is the easiest way to get good data fast. It is amazing that a tool of this quality and usability can now be had for under a C-note, but it can.
For the money, these Competition Electronics offerings are "Best of Breed," easily the best I've ever used. The ProChrono Digital retails for $119.95, the ProChrono Pal for just $94.95. Both are available from your favorite dealer, Brownells, or direct from Competition Electronics in Rockford, Illinois. For more information, see the competitionelectronics.com WebSite, and look under "Shooting Products."
Copyright 2004 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.