The 4 Best Chronographs on the market – Ballistic Shooting Reviews

What it is

The very first electronic shooting chronographs go back to the late 19th Century and build upon rough setups where a bullet cut a wire, which registered an electric pulse. A rather rough affair, but fairly efficient, and valuable for military training and experimentation, specifically with cannons. In time, the shooting chronograph developed to the point of utilizing optical sensors to take note of the passage of a projectile.

Today, more modern-day shooting chronograph involves two “screens” fitted with optical sensing units that indicate the passage of the bullet through them, and after that figure the speed of the bullet as it goes through each screen.

Shooting chronographs remain in big demand with handloaders who look for to calculate the speed different bullets get when packed in particular methods. This is vital when making up custom loads for , target shooting, or self-defense ammo. Bullets have various efficiency at particular speeds, therefore it is essential to understand how fast you are firing up them out of the barrel of your gun.

Furthermore, some individuals look for to load ammo to make the most of velocity, and again really need to be able to precisely estimate that speed. Below, we examine some of the very best chronographs for the cash:

The Shooting Chrony Alpha Master

This is about as no frills a shooting chronograph as you can get. Designed to determine projectile speed varying from airgun speed to a high powered rifle, the Alpha Master properly showcases speed on its digital readout. To utilize, just connect the screens to the unit, power it on and fire a round through the screens (ideally without shooting the chronograph itself!).

With its low rate and lack of excess functions, this is a wonderful entry level chronograph, or merely the finest shooting chronograph for people on a tight budget.

Competition Electronics Pro Chrono Pal

Another exceptional choice in the world of budget chronographs, the Pro Chrono Pal is a great, smooth streamlined system. Capable of measuring shots from 22 to 7700 feet per speed, as well as showing high, low, and average velocity of a shot string.

Running off a single 9 volt battery, the Pro Chrono Pal is amongst the very top contenders for the very best ballistic chronograph that features flexibility, low cost, and effective power usage. Developed for years of rugged service, this specific shooting chronograph will serve you for a pretty long time.

Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Kit

Practically without a doubt the best shooting chronograph on the market, Caldwell is a name long related to premium shooting equipment, and their chronograph is no exception. This isn’t simply a chronograph, it’s a full blown set, with everything a shooter could possibly want, from an installing tripod, to program that interfaces with an iPad or iPhone to document outputs of shot strings, typical velocity, plus all other data put out by the chronograph.

Created with the determined shooter in mind, the Caldwell Ballistic Precision set is the last and very first shooting chronograph you ever require to purchase. Built to last for many years of hard use, this chronograph will make you the envy of all your shooting pals.

Shooting Chrony Gamma Master with Printer

A deluxe packaging from the folks at Shooting Chrony, the Gamma Master estimates speed from 30 to 7000 feet per second, making this appropriate for basically any gun you may care to use (laser gun owners need to look for something else). Assembled of rugged 20 gauge steel, and running off a single nine volt battery, the Gamma Master is precise to within.5 percent accuracy, and is surprisingly lightweight for its heavy service building.

If you are looking for a flawless chronograph kit that won’t break the bank but is jam-packed filled with useful functions and a printer for logging your shot records, then the Gamma Master is certainly one of the finest chronographs on the marketplace today.

So What Exactly Should I Be Looking For?

The technology behind any shooting chronograph is fairly mature, that means a quality chronograph can be

fairly reasonable which they all provide about the exact same performance. Having stated that, the real value and distinction between chronographs lie in the add-ons and what sort of output data you can get off them.

The main use of a shooting chronograph is to measure the speed of a projectile. Because many people who purchase chronographs are handloaders who desire to understand and examine the loads the work up for different weapons, they will desire to know more than just the speed of any provided shot.

Ammunition works differently in different temperature levels, so a load that is an amazing load for the summer, might be horrible to shoot in the cold of winter, or vice versa.

Additionally, experimental loads are frequently worked up, which would require evaluation beyond simple speed. The finest chronographs will log information for a group of shots, and provide you a peak speed, lowest velocity and medium speed.

This will permit you to see if your loads are shooting consistently (for circumstances if you have a significant deviation in between your fastest and slowest round in the exact same batch, something might be wrong) and what the typical performance from a particular lot is.

Nowadays, the finest shooting chronographs also provide a method to completely register shot data. They do this either through printing it off on a little printer which looks like a supermarket invoice tape (which in turn is helpful for storing with a batch of ammunition) or by outputting it digitally to a mobile phone or tablet. Either way, with the correct add-ons and devices, you have the ability to just ditch information, instead of recording it by hand.


In the end, the finest ballistic chronographs are defined by your requirements and spending plan. There are chronographs suited for all spending plans, that are as bare bones as one can get, to total full blown sets loaded complete of extras and glossy functions. No matter what though, you’ve got some amazing options to pick from today.