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Chronograph with rifle

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by attrapereves, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. attrapereves


    Sep 11, 2011
    What's the best way to use a chronograph with a scoped rifle? I'd like to avoid accidentally shooting my chrony. :wow:

    I am usually 7-10 feet away for pistols. Is 10 feet away adequate for high powered rifles?
  2. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    10 feet is fine, make sure you measure your scope over bore holdover, then put a piece of tape across your forward bars as a reference when sighting. In other words, if your holdover at 10 feet is 2 inches, your tape line should run at least 4 inches over your pickups.

  3. SJ 40

    SJ 40

    Jan 17, 2011
    I go 12' from the muzzle. The old ballistics man from the G E testing dept. who introduced me to the chronograph,told me never try to do two things at once when chronographing.

    He said chronograph or shoot targets but not at the same time as you will end up shooting your chronograph,I've followed his advise all these years and so far not shot my chronograph. SJ 40
  4. Three-Five-Seven

    Three-Five-Seven Señor Mombo Millennium Member

    Aug 8, 1999
    Great Southwest
    12 to 15 feet. The directions that came with your chrono ought to guide you on distance.

    I set my rifle up on a rest or bipod, aimed at a 200 yard target. Then, when I set the chrono up, I sight back through the chrono to see that it is on the axis of the bore of the rifle.


    1. Aim Rifle
    2. Move chrono into path of bullet flight.

    Of course all chamber flags and safety precautions in place.
  5. F106 Fan

    F106 Fan

    Oct 19, 2011
    Or, use a MagnetoSpeed chronograph and don't worry about shooting anything.

    I really like this thing for measuring rifle loads.

  6. Boxerglocker

    Boxerglocker Jacks #1 Fan

    Mar 6, 2003
    Lynnwood, WA
    Generally distance from the chrono is just a safe zone so that muzzle blast doesn’t interfere with readings. Whether that be 10, 12, 15 or for some long distance guys I know 100 yards or beyond! Any good ballistics application on your android or iphone will have “distance to muzzle” entry to do calculations.
  7. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

    Jul 28, 2008
    Up a tree.
    It's kind of hard to hit them with a rifle. I usually hit them with a pistol.
  8. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    Actually, easier to hit with a rifle as guys forget the 1.5-2" diff in their sights vs bore. I put the sun shades on my Oehler, if I can see the shade in the top of my scope, I know I am high enough. I often shoot for groups while chronographing, not sure that is even possible with the Chrony.
    Muzzle blast can always affect the readings, so further the better, 12-15ft works for most rifles & all handguns. While doing some testing Sunday, my buddy shooting his 308, two benches away, was affecting my chrono with muzzle blast. Funny, only when the wind shifted to my back, weird. The readings was always the same, 1580-1585fps.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  9. attrapereves


    Sep 11, 2011
    It would be pretty difficult to hit a chronograph with a pistol. I usually sit on the ground with my chronograph on top of an upside down laundry basket. I put some masking tape to mark the 4" and 6" optimal zone of my Chrony F-1.

    This setup works well for pistols. For rifles, I need to get a tripod.

    For rifles with scopes, I'm going to turn them down to the lowest magnification setting and make sure to aim high.
  10. Colorado4Wheel


    Nov 2, 2006
    If the Scope is 2" over the bore don't you just aim 2" higher then you want the impact. I know that isn't perfect but it's also not going to be a problem. What am I missing.
  11. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    The issue is it's hard to tell where you are shooting over the screens. Why I use the shade as my guide. If I can see it, 12"+ above the screens, I know I am good to go. SInce I am aiming a target 100-200yds away, tough to get that alignment sometimes w/o the shade.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  12. WeeWilly


    Nov 12, 2011
    I use 10' from the muzzle for both rifle and pistol.

    I use a tape measure to set the tripod height so the chronograph is the same height as the bench top.

    I am always shooting to a target higher than the bench top and always from a rest, so that seems to take care of shooting too low and hitting the chronograph.
  13. rg1


    Aug 5, 2003
    As mentioned turn your scopes power to its lowest setting. 3x9 scope, set it on 3 power and you can see the fuzzy outline of your skyscreens etc. at the 10 foot range. Bolt actions you can even remove the bolt and sight through the barrel. Use a target downrange to aim at the same point every time. Easy to set up on private property but a pain and often impossible to set up at a busy public range especially with some of the rules.
  14. Bluescot


    Apr 11, 2012
    I saw what a 300 Ultra Mag did to a chrony at 12' with a 180g Nosler BT. The wound proved to be fatal. Then that same guy asked me if I would loan him my chrony !!!!

    Needless to say I told him that I would be using it........whenever he was asking me for it.
  15. creophus

    creophus Born Again

    Mar 18, 2005
    Use some form of boresighting device/technique and that should help. It can be a laser or actually looking through the bore (easy to do with a bolt action) after it's set in the rest. Do use a rest.
  16. BobbyS

    BobbyS Truth always sounds like lies to a sinner

    Feb 14, 2010
    Boonies New Mexico
    That is what I do. I measure the scope to bore distance, then put a piece of tape on the screen holders for aim markers. Put scope on low power, line up with the tape markers and shoot.