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  #1  
Old 09-06-2021, 01:00 PM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Location: Calgary
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Default Caldwell chronograph

I want to measure the velocity of my 20 Tactical 32 grain bullets but my Labradar won't measure velocities in excess of 3700 (or so) fps.
So, I bought a Caldwell chrono which will measure incredibly high velocities.
The first time I used it I was suspicious that the measured velocities were about 100 fps faster than expected based on my Labradar velocities until I exceeded its upper limit.
I tried a second time on Saturdaty using a 6.5x284 with 123 grain bullets with an expected velocity of about 3200-3300 fps. Incredibly, the Caldwell gave velocities 3600-4000 fps. I then used my Labradar and got an average velocity of 3296 fps.
So, I now have the problem of how to measure velocities in the 3800-4000 fps.
I also have an older CED M2 chronograph but it only works on bright cloudy days---it used to work in most conditions except for poor light conditions such as near sunset. I suppose I could buy new sensors, if they still make them.
What experiences have other AO members have with Caldwell? My Caldwell is the entry level one, and not the more expensive one that comes with a light kit and tripod etc. Do Caldwell have a Canadian rep that could repair or replace my unit?
Thanks, in advance everyone.
Bill
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  #2  
Old 09-07-2021, 04:34 AM
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Dean2 Dean2 is offline
 
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If you can, take it back where you bought it and exchange it. If it is too late to do that send it back to Caldwell as they have a lifetime warranty, no point in having one that is that far off. For Canadian you do need to find the service center up here, I don't know who that is but you can call Caldwell U.S. and they should be able to tell you. Let us know how you make out.



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  #3  
Old 09-07-2021, 08:16 PM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Default Caldwell chronograph

I've been in contact with Caldwell and waiting to hear back from them. I've asked for a new one as shipping back and forth to the US isn't cost effective.
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  #4  
Old 09-12-2021, 10:36 AM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Default Caldwell chronograph

Caldwell are giving me a really hard time regarding either replacement or repair.
Their latest excuse is they are out of stock so can't send a replacement.
I'm surprised other AO shooters haven't commented on their Caldwell chronographs, either good or bad.
Bill
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  #5  
Old 09-12-2021, 11:00 AM
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Dean2 Dean2 is offline
 
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Never bought a Caldwell chrono, still use my old Chrony for over 3900 FPS. If it breaks however I would need something different because Chrony went out of business last year. After your experience it sure won't be Caldwell, even though I have a number of their other products and have never had any issues with them.

I think I would ask to talk to a manager, sounds like your getting the phone clerk square dance to me. If they can't replace it make them give you a cash refund. Supply issues are not your problem.
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2021, 08:07 AM
wildalberta wildalberta is offline
 
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i got a magneto speed years ago and its been flawless. ive shot through a few rcbs chrony's and they are incrediby inaccurate, maybe good for archery is about it in my opinion.
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2021, 10:42 AM
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Tronneroi Tronneroi is offline
 
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You may already have this taken care of, but if the caldwell isn't dead level you'll get lots of funny numbers coming out of there.
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2021, 03:41 PM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Default Caldwell chronograph

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronneroi View Post
You may already have this taken care of, but if the caldwell isn't dead level you'll get lots of funny numbers coming out of there.
I wasn't aware of this.
I'll try again and bring a level with me.
I read somewhere to be sure the 9 volt battery is fresh and to be sure the "windows' are clean.
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2021, 03:45 PM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Default Caldwell chronograph

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean2 View Post
Never bought a Caldwell chrono, still use my old Chrony for over 3900 FPS. If it breaks however I would need something different because Chrony went out of business last year. After your experience it sure won't be Caldwell, even though I have a number of their other products and have never had any issues with them.

I think I would ask to talk to a manager, sounds like your getting the phone clerk square dance to me. If they can't replace it make them give you a cash refund. Supply issues are not your problem.
My last email from Caldwell is encouraging. I need to send them a pic of the serial number etc---guess this is proof of ownership. My chrono is stored at my shooting range and I'll get the required pics for them at my next trip to the range.
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2021, 10:01 PM
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pikergolf pikergolf is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tronneroi View Post
You may already have this taken care of, but if the caldwell isn't dead level you'll get lots of funny numbers coming out of there.
I find if I keep my bullet in the bottom half of the V things go a lot better as well.
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  #11  
Old 09-18-2021, 07:19 PM
mindoutside mindoutside is offline
 
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Mine is accurate enough, at least for hunting purposes.

When I use my trajectory calculator and input the fps from my caldwell, it is very close to my physical shot tests at given ranges.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2021, 09:08 AM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Default Caldwell Chronograph

After much discussion including submitting photos, Caldwell have agreed to replace my unit and a new one will be mailed shortly.
Here's hoping the new one works.
I'll keep you posted.
Bill
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2021, 09:42 AM
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Dean2 Dean2 is offline
 
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Well at least that is progress but would not call it easy/quality customer service. Good for you for sticking to it.
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  #14  
Old 10-08-2021, 09:47 AM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Default Caldwell chronograph

I received a new chrono from Caldwell a few days ago. They sent it via Fedex and only took a few days to arrive in Calgary all the way from Missouri. The replacement is the deluxe version complete with battery operated light screens.
I hope to try it out this weekend and will report back to AO followers. Plan is to compare it with my Labradar.
Bill
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2021, 12:59 AM
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Dean2 Dean2 is offline
 
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Look forward to hearing the range report. At least Caldwell stood behind their gear, finally.
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  #16  
Old 10-11-2021, 10:04 AM
psale63 psale63 is offline
 
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Iím running a Caldwell chronograph and like it. The only issue Iíve had with it is trying to use it on sunny days where the sun is high. It will throw crazy velocity readings under bright sunny conditions. After reading about chronies in general and understanding how they work, this is a common issue in bright sunny conditions. I try to do my velocity testing now with my chrony set up in the shade with full view of the blue sky or better yet on a day thatís overcast. Then I get consistent velocities close to book where I expect them to be.
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  #17  
Old 10-11-2021, 02:38 PM
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First thing when any readings are suspicious is to use a Sharpy pen and blacken the bullet so it's picked up well by the chrony, no glints or misreadings! Inow automatically blacken the bullets and seldom see anything to be interpreted as an error.
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2021, 03:02 PM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psale63 View Post
Iím running a Caldwell chronograph and like it. The only issue Iíve had with it is trying to use it on sunny days where the sun is high. It will throw crazy velocity readings under bright sunny conditions. After reading about chronies in general and understanding how they work, this is a common issue in bright sunny conditions. I try to do my velocity testing now with my chrony set up in the shade with full view of the blue sky or better yet on a day thatís overcast. Then I get consistent velocities close to book where I expect them to be.
Are you using battery operated light screens? I think they are intended for cloudy days but they might also work on bright sunny days.
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  #19  
Old 11-09-2021, 12:04 PM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Default Caldwell Chronograph

On the weekend I got the opportunity to compare my Labradar with my brand new Caldwell (free replacement for a defective one). I used my 22 PPC with 50 grain Hornady Vmax bullets and H322 powder.
Five shots using the Labradar got an average velocity of 3497 fps and a SD of 13.6.
Next 5 shots using the Caldwell gave an average of 3535fps and SD of 19.5. Another 5 shot group gave an average of 3515 fps and SD of 14.2.
Net result is that both chronographs agree fairly closely. If I get some spare time at the range I'll set up so I can measure the two chronies simultaneously.
I took these readings on a beautiful blue sky day. However, as the sun began to set behind me the cargo trailer that I shoot from cast a shadow on the chrony---then I got some bad readings from the Caldwell even though the unit was looking up to a clear blue sky. It seems that the combination of sitting in a shadow looking up to blue skies can give readings as much as 150 fps higher than other readings.
One reader suggested blacking the bullets and I may try that. Conclusion is that the Caldwell can work under ideal conditions. I use my Labradar under almost any conditions and get good results. The only drawback to the Labradar is the velocity limit of about 3700 fps---that's when I will use the Caldwell (under ideal conditions).
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  #20  
Old 11-09-2021, 02:21 PM
psale63 psale63 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cow Town Bill View Post
Are you using battery operated light screens? I think they are intended for cloudy days but they might also work on bright sunny days.
No, I'm just using the screens that came with the Caldwell unit. The battery operated infrared screens are best used with the chrony installed in a box where minimal ambient light can affect the photosensors. With a properly functioning chrony, you'll get the most consistent results with this set-up.

Check out this website as a resource for trouble shooting and ideas:

https://precisionrifleblog.com/2012/...y-reliability/

Chronographs operate using photosensors which are very finicky with lighting. Too much light, i.e. sun shining directly on the sensors and you'll get bad readings. Not enough light, i.e. sun setting conditions and you'll get bad readings. I suspect when you were shooting in the shadow of your trailer with the sun setting, there may not have been enough light for the sensors to work optimally. In this case you could have tried to remove the light screens to see if the results improved.

I liken my chrony to my eyeball. If I'm shooting over my chrony on a bright sunny day and my eyes are bothered by the amount of sun, I will make sure the photosensors are shaded from direct sun but have an open view above to the sky. Similarly, If I'm shooting in low light conditions and my eyes are straining to see down range, then the light screens should come off or pack up and shoot another day!
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  #21  
Old 11-09-2021, 04:24 PM
Cow Town Bill Cow Town Bill is offline
 
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Default Caldwell chronograph

Thanks for your input sale. I tried the battery operated lights in the setting sun conditions but that didn't help at all.
I'll have a good look and read the link---looks very helpful.
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