Using The Ballistic Precision Chronograph KitThe Firearm Blog

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Welcome everyone to the TFB Armorer’s Bench! As mentioned in the little blurb, this series will focus on a lot of home armorer and gunsmith activities. In this article sponsored by WheelerTiptonCaldwell, and Frankford Arsenal, I decided to dive back into the Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit. This time I am going to detail my first impressions, setting it up at the range, and using it. I may be getting ahead of myself but I really like this chronograph setup and I will be happy to tell you why. Let’s dive right into using the Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit!

TFB Armorer’s Bench: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit

Welcome to our recurring series of Armorer’s Bench which is made possible and brought to you by WheelerTiptonCaldwell, and Frankford Arsenal who are our sponsors. Here, we at TFB hope to inform, entertain, and even inspire any would-be gunsmith or armorer out there. Ideally, with the information I provide and with the help of our sponsors, you can have some useful knowledge pertaining to the conservation and improvement of firearms technology while at the same time sharing experiences and teaching each other new tips and tricks along the way in the comments. Digging deep into what it is to be an armorer or gunsmith has significance but what is important is what those people do to show they’ve earned that title. I am happy to share my experiences and knowledge and hope it is informative!

Make your personal safety a priority:

  1. Practice proper gun safety. Always make sure before the firearm hits your bench that it is unloaded and safe to be handled.
  2. Wear the proper safety equipment. The main one would be safety glasses (decent ones) since parts are often under spring tension and you may work with high RPM tools. Other honorable mentions would be latex gloves or a respirator when working with potentially harmful solvents and oils. Also hearing protection when working with loud machinery or test-firing firearms.
  3. Modifications, alterations, and customizations will void your firearm’s warranty 9.5 times out of 10. Please take that into consideration before attempting any at-home gunsmithing.
  4. If you are unsure about proper safety practices, disassembly procedures, or warranty standards, stop, put down the tools, and consult a competent gunsmith.

First Impressions: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit

Last week when I did my Closer Look article on the Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit, I alluded to a great many first impressions. My main first impression was of slight concern in hindsight because this chronograph (even though I am happy with the performance) is entirely made of plastic and it feels like a toy. It feels like a plastic hollow shell. It is only concerning to me in terms of its durability. I understand most materials would not fair too well having a bullet hit them at a high speed but this would almost definitely shatter with a direct hit. I have read other reviews and people mention grazing them and so on and it continuing to live so that is good. Given its construction, it just all around feels very fragile and I think that pairs with its price point. Want a more durable piece of tech? You probably have to shell out more money, just how it goes, unfortunately. All of that being said, my sample never cracked, broke, or malfunctioned, and I definitely did not shoot it. I have no idea how any responsible folks could shoot it when the window to shoot through is giant and the distance to be shot through is recommended at around 15 feet.

Impressions on the package? It came in a typical retail-style box with all sorts of useful information and selling points on it. It was padded well on the inside so it is unlikely that average handling would damage the contents in any way. The kit itself is a really impressive and well-put-together setup. It all comes in a generic nylon case with a large zipper opening. There are segmented sections on the inside of the case in order to better organize and separate the contents.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Once again (I mentioned it in the Intellidropper articles), I am impressed by the forethought that these come with an outlet adapter for the corded portions that come with these products. It is a small detail but it is good to have these options. The tripod is an excellent addition but even fully extended it seemed a bit short. I’m a tall guy but not a giant and it still seemed much more suited to be put on a table to boost it up. My guess is the potential size of the tripod was sacrificed in favor of it fitting in the compact and portable nylon bag. Luckily for my range session, I am a big nerd that has film photography as a side hobby and I normally have a tripod in my car.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Setting Up: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit

Setting up the chronograph was extremely simple. The manual is very basic and concise with a whole host of troubleshooting solutions. I prepared ahead of my trip by grabbing a 9-volt battery since I was not running off of any corded connections. Unfortunately, I did not grab any AA batteries for the LED light sunshades just to try them nor did I have an audio jack adapter to try out the companion app.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

After plugging in the battery, I did a quick test and flipped the side switch to “FPS” and saw the screen come alive so good sign there. From there, I stabbed in the sunshade rods since it was partly sunny out on this particular day. With the rods installed (they just slide in), I attached the LED incorporated sunshades. This simply stabs into corresponding holes and stays attached via friction and gravity. After this, the chronograph is ready to be mounted to a tripod!

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Nitty Gritty: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit

Well, for starters, after I set it up, I could not help myself. I had read that this will read something passing through it as low as 5 FPS which in my mind meant “you can throw something through this and it’ll read it” and it did! I tossed a pinecone through it (definitely on the first try) and it read out 50 FPS which seemed right but I figured I should test run with something actually meant for this.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Funny Side Note: The companion app actually calculates a bunch of stuff so if I had an adapter for the aux cord, I could have plugged in the weight of the pinecone and after throwing it through it would have told me that my pinecone going a wimpy 34 miles an hour would have delivered something like 25.696 foot-pounds of energy. Really dumb, I know, but it is still a cool feature I felt worth mentioning. Back to your regularly scheduled Armorer’s Bench!

I started with a Smith & Wesson 22 Compact suppressed and some Sellier & Bellot Club 22. The ammunition is supposed to be around 1070 FPS and I was reading around 900 FPS +/- 10 FPS. This was probably because when paired with a suppressed pistol it could not reach its full velocity.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

So I decided to step back a few more feet to about 17 feet and shoot through the sensor window with a Savage MKII suppressed. This time I was getting readings that were hovering around 1100 FPS which really did not surprise me given I was further away and the bullet had more barrel to speed up in.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Lastly, after my preliminary test runs, I had my M1 Carbine step up to the plate. I placed the chronograph at 15 feet and beyond the window was an AR500 plate (about 50 yards away) I had reviewed a long while back. Something like a metal target is always welcome when playing with reloads because it tells you something actually left your barrel. I am always very careful and most people are but there is one paranoid tip for you!

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Going off of the load data, I was supposed to be roughly averaging 1950 FPS. Granted the powder I used was not temperature-insensitive so that may have played a role in my results but I was happy with how it was performing. Most shots were hovering around 1930-1965 FPS. That was plenty close and consistent for me. I am not a precision reloader and I just want to have plinking fun ammunition that delivered exactly what I was asking for.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Conclusion: Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit

In conclusion, I will close out this chunk of the chronograph stuff with these opinions. The chronograph is very lightweight and portable (especially the kit with the bag) but this is due to the fact it is made out of plastic. This is an older model so its companion app can only be used in tandem if you have an aux port on your device…no Bluetooth. There is a random USB port on the side that is apparently not meant for the user whatsoever. The inclusion of MPS and a different outlet adapter is considerate and I would wager useful for someone out there.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

The feedback is very fast from the chronograph. Basically instantaneously as you shoot through the window you get a speedy response. I did not experience any low light situations where the LED shades were needed so I have no comment on those at the moment. All and all I think this is a great tool and the price and quality are consistent with what you get. I believe that this has the potential to have many headaches but I always recommend reading the manual ahead of time because it saved me some pain and anguish just browsing through it. I hope you folks all enjoyed following along. I have a diagnosis article in mind for next week and I hope to see you there! Until then stay safe out there and take care!

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

As always, thank you for reading TFB! Be safe out there, have fun while shooting, and we will see you next time for the TFB Armorer’s Bench brought to you by WheelerTiptonCaldwell, and Frankford Arsenal! Also, let us know what you think in the comments below! We always appreciate your feedback.

Caldwell Pro Range Glasses, Clear

Learn more here!

The Caldwell® Pro Range Glasses feature a stylish wrap-around design and are a great choice for all shooters. They feature an adjustable nose piece and temples for all day comfort. The scratch resistant lens meets ANSI Z87.1 standards and offers 99.9% UV protection.

Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit

Learn more here!

Ballistic Precision Chronograph Kit

 

Caldwell® Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit contains everything you need to capture reliable velocity data in one convenient kit. Includes Chronograph, IR LED Light Kit, Tripod and Custom Carry Case that conveniently holds all items.The Ballistic Precision Chronograph provides accurate velocity measurements across a wide range of shooting conditions. Higher accuracy was achieved by using a high speed 48 MHz processor and by designing a circuit with an advanced data interface that allows each unit to be computer calibrated at the factory after assembly. The end result is the ability to provide much better accuracy than other chronographs on the market (+/- .25%). Although technologically advanced, the unit is designed to be simple to operate, displaying velocity in feet per second or meters per second on the large built in LCD screen. The Chrono can also deliver the shot string velocity data through the 15′ foot audio jack cable (included) to an smartphone or mobile device. A free App is available for download that displays the velocity of each shot on the phone screen and records it with other data identifying the load and environmental conditions. The app also automatically calculates Average Velocity, Standard Deviation, Min, Max and Velocity Spread for the shot string. The data is stored and can be exported via email or simply recalled for reference at a later date. The sunshades are extra wide for better reliability on sunny days and are constructed of a durable synthetic material. Measures from 5 to 9,999 FPS. There is a ¼-20 threaded insert on bottom of housing for tripod mounting, operates on a 9 Volt battery (not included).

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

Learn more here!

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

 

The Ballistic Precision Chronograph provides accurate velocity measurements across a wide range of shooting conditions. Higher accuracy was achieved by using a high speed 48 MHz processor and by designing a circuit with an advanced data interface that allows each unit to be computer calibrated at the factory after assembly. The end result is the ability to provide much better accuracy than other chronographs on the market (+/- .25%). Although technologically advanced, the unit is designed to be simple to operate, displaying velocity in Feet per second or Meters per second on the large built in LCD screen. The chronograph can also deliver the shot string velocity data through the 15′ foot audio jack cable (included) to smartphone/ mobile device.

A free App is available for download that displays the velocity of each shot on the phone screen and records it with other data identifying the load and environmental conditions. The App also automatically calculates Average Velocity, Standard Deviation, Min, Max and Velocity Spread for the shot string. The data is stored and can be exported via Email or simply recalled for reference at a later date. The sunshades are extra wide for better reliability on sunny days and are constructed of a durable synthetic material. Measures from 5 to 9,999 FPS. There is a ¼-20 threaded insert on bottom of housing for tripod mounting, operates on a 9 Volt battery (not included).

Ballistic Precision G2 Chronograph with 220V adapter

Learn more here!

Ballistic Precision Chronograph

 

The Caldwell® G2 literally flips conventional chronograph technology upside down. By inverting the system the G2 is capable of measuring in adverse light conditions making the measurements more accurate than conventional chronographs, even indoors. The light sensors were spaced 18″ apart for more accuracy and the sunscreens have self-contained LED lights when a little extra light is needed. Collapsible and compact, the system is quick and easily deployed from its heavy duty storage case. Higher accuracy was achieved by using a high speed 48 MHz processor and by designing a circuit with an advanced data interface that allows each unit to be computer calibrated at the factory after assembly. The end result is the ability to provide much better accuracy than other chronographs on the market (+/- .25%) and measures from 5 to 9,999 FPS. A free App is available for download that displays the velocity of each shot on the phone screen and records it with other data identifying the load and environmental conditions. The App also automatically calculates Average Velocity, Standard Deviation, Min, Max and Velocity Spread for the shot string. The data is stored and can be exported via Email or simply recalled for reference at a later date.

Wheeler Universal Bench Block

Learn more here!

Bench Block

Made of non-marring urethane, the Universal Pistol Bench Block is perfect for use on M1911 pistols as well as other firearms such as 10/22s.

STAINLESS STEEL TUMBLING MEDIA

Learn more here!

Rotary Tumbler Lite

The Magnetic Stainless Steel Tumbling Pins are designed to clean brass cases giving a “like new” look. Unlike other media like corn cob or walnut, stainless steel doesn’t create dust and also cleans the inside of cases, primer pockets, and flash holes. Stainless steel also doesn’t damage brass and lasts for multiple uses.

Tipton POWER SWABS – PISTOL CLEANING KIT, 500 COUNT

Learn more here!

light primer strikes

 

Tipton’s new Power Swabs are an essential part of your cleaning kit. They’re disposable, fast, and easy to use, plus they provide no-mess cleaning with all your favorite solvents and oils. They also fit lands and grooves better than a patch for maximum cleaning.



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