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October 3rd, 2014

Hard-To-Find Products at Grafs.com Now

Grafs.com is now featuring some hard-to-find products that are very popular with our Forum members. These are items that sell out quickly, or may be back-ordered for months. Grab ‘em while you can.

grafs.com graf magnetospeed co-ax forster berger hybrid 7mm bullets

Berger 7mm 180gr Hybrids
Graf’s has the ultra-accurate, high-BC 7mm 180gr Berger Hybrid bullet. This 7mm Hybrid is probably the most popular projectile in use by top F-Class Open shooters. Yes, 7mm Hybrids are in stock now and ready to ship for $45.99 per 100.

Forster Co-Ax Reloading Press
Graf’s has the superb Forster Co-Ax Press in stock and ready to ship. This unique product is the “Cadillac of reloading presses”. Sizing and seating dies slide into universal jaws for quick die changes. The dies can also self-align in the press for reduced run-out on your loaded rounds. If you’ve been wanting a Co-Ax, grab one now as they can be hard to find between production runs.

Magnetospeed V3 Chronograph
Graf’s now sells the remarkable Third Generation Magnetospeed Chronograph. The original Magnetospeed was a “game-changer” in the shooting industry. This compact chrono attaches directly to your barrel so you don’t need to set up a tripod, and fiddle around aligning sky-screens or diffusers. You also don’t have to worry about putting a bullet hole (or two) in the middle of your chronograph. The latest “V3″ model Magnetospeed features an improved attachment system, an upgraded display/control module, plus software enhancements. And Magnetospeed now provides a rugged polymer case that holds the “bayonet” sensing unit, display module, and all other components. Price is $379.99

NOTE: All these prices include shipping with one $7.95 flat fee per order.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Hot Deals No Comments »
May 21st, 2014

Range Tip: How to Avoid Blasting Your Chronograph

There is nothing more frustrating (or embarassing) than sending a live round into your expensive new chronograph. As the photo below demonstrates, with most types of chronographs (other than the barrel-hung Magnetospeed), you can fatally injure your expensive chrono if it is not positioned precisely.

chronograph tip placement

When setting up a chrono, we always unload the rifle, remove the bolt and bore-sight to ensure that the path of the bullet is not too low. When bore-sighting visually, set up the rifle securely on the sandbags and look through the bore, breech to muzzle, lining up the barrel with your aim point on the target. Then (during an appropriate cease-fire), walk behind the chronograph. Looking straight back through the “V” formed by the sky-screens, you should be able to see light at the end of the barrel if the gun is positioned correctly. You can also use an in-chamber, laser bore-sighter to confirm the visual boresighting (see photo).

Laser boresighter chronograph

Adjust the height, angle and horizontal position of the chronograph so the bullet will pass through the middle of the “V” below the plastic diffusers, no less than 5″ above the light sensors. We put tape on the front sky-screen supports to make it easier to determine the right height over the light sensors.

Use a Test Backer to Confirm Your Bullet Trajectory
You can put tape on the support rods about 6″ up from the unit. This helps you judge the correct vertical height when setting up your rifle on the bags. Another trick is to hang a sheet of paper from the rear skyscreen and then use a laser boresighter to shine a dot on the paper (with the gun planted steady front and rear). This should give you a good idea (within an inch or so) of the bullet’s actual flight path through the “V” over the light sensors. Of course, when using a laser, never look directly at the laser! Instead shine the laser away from you and see where it appears on the paper.

chronograph set-up

Alignment of Chronograph Housing
Make sure the chrono housing is parallel to the path of the bullet. Don’t worry if the unit is not parallel to the ground surface. What you want is the bullet to pass over both front and rear sensors at the same height. Don’t try to set the chrono height in reference to the lens of your scope–as it sits 1″ to 2″ above your bore axis. To avoid muzzle blast interference, set your chronograph at least 10 feet from the end of the muzzle (or the distance recommended by the manufacturer).

chronograph laser sky screens

Rifles with Elevated Iron Sights
All too often rookie AR15 shooters forget that AR sights are positioned roughly 2.4″ above the bore axis (at the top of the front sight blade). If you set your bullet pass-through point using your AR’s front sight, the bullet will actually be traveling 2.4″ lower as it goes through the chrono. That’s why we recommend bore-sighting and setting the bullet travel point about 5-8″ above the base of the sky-screen support shafts. (Or the vertical distance the chronograph maker otherwise recommends). NOTE: You can make the same mistake on a scoped rifle if the scope is set on very tall rings, so the center of the cross-hairs is much higher than the bore axis line.

Laser boresighter chronograph

TARGET AIM POINT: When doing chrono work, we suggest you shoot at a single aiming point no more than 2″ in diameter (on your target paper). Use that aiming point when aligning your chrono with your rifle’s bore. If you use a 2″ bright orange dot, you should be able to see that through the bore at 100 yards. Using a single 2″ target reduces the chance of a screen hit as you shift points of aim. If you shoot at multiple target dots, place them in a vertical line, and bore sight on the lowest dot. Always set your chron height to set safe clearance for the LOWEST target dot, and then work upwards only.

Other Chronograph Tips from Forum Members:

When using a chronograph, I put a strip of masking tape across the far end of the skyscreens about two-thirds of the way up. This gives me a good aiming or bore-sighting reference that’s well away from the pricey bits. I learned that one the hard way. — German Salazar

A very easy and simple tool to help you set up the chronograph is a simple piece of string! Set your gun (unloaded of course) on the rest and sight your target. Tie one end of the string to the rear scope ring or mount, then pull the string along the barrel to simulate the bullet path. With the string showing the bullet’s path, you can then easily set the chronograph’s placement left/right, and up/down. This will also let you set the chrono’s tilt angle and orientation so the sensors are correctly aligned with the bullet path. — Wayne Shaw

If shooting over a chrono from the prone position off a bipod or similar, beware of the muzzle sinking as recoil causes the front of the rifle to drop. I “killed” my first chronograph shooting off a gravel covered firing point where I’d not given enough clearance to start with and an inch or two drop in the muzzle caused a bullet to clip the housing. — Laurie Holland

Permalink Optics, Tech Tip 5 Comments »
November 16th, 2013

New Caldwell Chronograph Displays Shot Data on iPhone or iPad

Android OS ChronographCaldwell will be introducing a new chronograph in early 2014. By outward appearance, this is a fairly conventional unit, with optical (light-tripped) sensors and “V”-profile sky-screens with plastic diffusers supported by rods. However, the big news is the data output. The new Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph can display shot data and string averages on iOS devices such as the iPhone and iPad. A software App allows you to save the data on your iPhone, and you can even export the data via email. That’s handy if you want to archive your test results in a spreadsheet.

Along with the iPhone/iPad display, Caldwell’s new chronograph features a front-facing display screen on the green, barbell-shaped chrono body. As with most other chronographs, the Caldwell unit records velocity of each shot, average velocity (of shot string), Standard Deviation, and Extreme Spread (difference in FPS of fastest shot and slowest shot). One nice feature of Caldwell’s new chronograph is that it can be calibrated. That sounds promising, but remember that to calibrate any chronograph you need test ammo with a very accurately determined baseline velocity. In any case, Caldwell asserts that this new Chronograph is more accurate than some other units on the market, because it runs a faster processor and because it has the calibration option. We haven’t tested the unit yet so we can’t verify claims of improved accuracy.

Android OS Chronograph

The Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph comes as a complete package with carrying case, sky-screens, and data cable. No price has been announced, but we expect it to be under $150.00. Incandescent lamps, which are suspended above the sensors, will be available as an optional accessory. These lights permit the unit to be used indoors.

Android OS ChronographAndroid OS Capability in the Future?
Currently, the new Caldwell Chronograph is only able to send data to iOS (Apple) devices. However, the data cable is not Apple-specific, so there is a chance that we may see Android OS compatibility at some time in the future. At SHOT Show in January 2014 we’ll ask the Caldwell technicians about compatibility with Android smartphones and tablets.

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »