Top 5 Best Shooting Chronograph 2017 Reviews - Rifles HQ

The 5 Best Airgun and Rifle Ballistic Chronographs On The Market

  • September 27, 2017

5 best shooting chronographs feature

The best chronograph for hunters or military personnel is the brand that is durable, accurate and simple to use. And even though the price varies between the brands, you do not have to break the bank to buy a good quality shooting chronograph for sale.

It will be very challenging and expensive to test the tons of chronograph on the market when searching for the best, but with this review, you can make the right decision without wasting your money or time.

Types of Chronographs

The Optical Chronograph

This chronograph was the standard for a long period until they started making other models. It also has its downsides. It totally relies on light’s projectile breaking beam in order to trigger. Also, environmental factors can affect it significantly.  These factors include sun, temperature, and shade.

The setup for this shooting chronograph is unique. It is usually placed in the shooter’s front, a few meters away. However, the two main challenges with this chronograph are that you can accidentally shoot the device and the second is the feedback is delayed because you need to move forward to check the reading on the device. 

The Magnetic Chronograph

The magnetic chronograph has a different configuration as compared to that found in the optical chronograph. It makes use of a magnetic field for tracking and calculating the speed of a bullet.

The way and manner in which the time is recorded in this chronograph differs from that experienced with other devices. You do not need to place the chronograph in front of you. Instead, the Magnetospeed is attached to the rail or barrel of your gun. The advantages of this include;

  • You can attach it to the gun or remove anytime. One also does not need to move forward to the firing line to do this.
  • With the advantage mentioned above, you do not need to wait for other shooters in the range to finish shooting in order to gain access forward.

The thing with this type is, one can mistakenly shoot them off the rifle’s end, but you can prevent this from happening with proper setup.

Doppler Radar

This chronograph is regarded as the latest upgrade, moving away from the magnetic chronograph. It is basically used to accurately track and also log the ballistics of moving bullets or other moving objects.

The cost of this device is on the high side though, and this is why its use is limited to the military and manufacturers.

The LabRadar, a newly developed individual chronograph, functions as a great example. It uses sound and the “Principle of Doppler Effect” (change in wave frequency). The change in a moving car’s pitch as it passes you that is how this device works. It is called the Doppler Effect.

The chronograph can be used to determine the speed of a moving bullet by simply tracking the changes in pitch. It can calculate the speed up to 100 yards.

The advantages;

  • You do not have to move to the front of the device to take the reading. It is placed next to you.
  • Changing of guns is possible because it is not fixed to the firearm.  This also results in better speed efficiencies.

Things to consider when choosing a Gun Chronograph


Plan your budget before starting your search for a chronograph. You will come across different price range, but have it in your mind that there are good quality budget-chronographs that work fine. So, low price does not mean low quality. Though finding cheap and good quality brand is challenging, your search would be easier after reading this review.


This is a very important factor to consider when buying this device. We have the optical, magnetic and Doppler chronograph. But the Doppler, which is the latest of them all is said to be more accurate. It is designed to tackle some of the challenges with the other models.


There are many things to check with regard to the performance of the device. You need to check for battery consumption, and ability to read velocities among others. If you also have numerous gun collections, buying a chronograph that will meet all your needs will make more sense.

Top 5 Shooting Chronographs For The Money

Prochrono Digital Gun Chronograph

This lightweight and solid-built chronograph is a super ballistic chronograph you can use to calculate the ballistic trajectory of riffles. Unlike other instruments, it consistently produces accurate bullet drop chart and measures velocity of just about anything accurately.

It has a good memory on it and can store up to about nine shot strings, with each string producing close to ninety-nine shots. This means that it can store approximately 891 shots from different firearms.

The device is very simple to set up, read and understand. You can also review shot data, velocity, extreme spread, standard deviation including average velocity after a shot. With a simple push of a button, you can wipe out individual shot or the entire string.

It measures the velocity of anything, including pistols, bow and arrow, shotgun and is also a great rifle chronograph.


  • Simple to setup even for beginner
  • Works with any firearm; rifles, arrows, and pistols.
  • Durable and sturdy plastic housing
  • Has a large shooting area


  • Challenging to read under changing light conditions

Shooting Chrony Alpha Master Rifle Chronograph

This device is designed to make chronograph shooting more interesting and engaging. It comes with sky screens, spacers and remote readout which read in both fps and mps.

Unlike other chronographs at this price range, the Alpha Master gives accurate velocity reading for airguns, firearms such as power firearms. However, shots should be aimed through the center for readings to be accurate.

Setup is very simple and involves arranging the sky screens and diffusers in the right position and then switching on the device to start shooting.

This chronograph is built out of 20 gauge steel and rated one of the most durable chronographs on the market. It can be mounted on a table while in use and comes with a spot for tripod use.


  • LCD screen
  • Easy to setup
  • Durable steel construction
  • Easy to use air rifle chronograph
  • Accurately measures low, average and high velocities


  • Shooting window is quite small
  • Very sensitive to light changes

Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph Premium Kit

If you are looking for a complete and budget-friendly ballistic chronograph, then this is the brand to get. It comes complete with all the accessories you need to get started without spending extra money. The kit includes the infrared LED light, sunshade, custom carrying case, and sturdy tripod. In addition to all these extras, the instrument also uses a 48 MHz processor.

The velocity displays super fast on the large LCD screen in feet or meters per second. It also comes with a special app used to calculate statistics such as average speed, extreme and standard deviation.

Both the data and environmental conditions as at the time the shot was fired can be recorded together. You can use the app to send data collected through email and save for later use.


  • Great price
  • Large LCD screen
  • Accurate reading
  • App is supported by Android and iOS devices
  • Records time shot was fired and environmental condition


  • Tripod legs cannot spread far enough
  • App does not work on all devices, mostly new devices

Competition Electronics ProChrono Digital Chronograph 

Hunters, military personnel or gun manufacturers looking for the best chronograph for the money will find this brand satisfying. It accurately measures anything that can shoot, ranging from guns to arrows and comes with a durable plastic light diffuser that makes reading more accurate under some lighting conditions.

This instrument works best at a temperature range of 32 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is designed to let you review velocity, including standard deviation average velocity and extreme spread after the shot has been fired. You will also need a 9volt battery to power this up.

It has a USB interface with software installed to let you control the unit remotely, and also record, store or print the data.


  • Large memory
  • Great for reloaders
  • Accurate and reliable
  • Can measure the lightest ammo
  • Withstand temperature variation to an extent


  • Doesn’t come with a carrying case
  • Gives faulty reading under cloudy conditions

Caldwell G2 Ballistic Precision Chronograph

This collapsible and compact chronograph offers great value for the money. The only downside is the tripod which might cause the instrument to sag under a windy condition.

Besides this, it has high accuracy and calibrated to .25% of the projectile’s true velocity. Unlike other chronographs, the G2 Ballistic Precision functions well when used indoors or outdoors.

It uses a free downloadable app which automatically calculates standard deviation, average, minimum, maximum velocity. The app also works on iOS and Android devices. 

The velocity of each shot fired will be clearly displayed on the screen of your phone. It also records other data such as the load and environmental conditions to give you a broad idea and data to work with.

This is a great airgun chronograph but works for archery, firearms, and paintball.


  • Free app
  • Quick and easy to deploy
  • Self-contained LED lights on the screen is handy
  • Built-in rechargeable battery last more than 12 hours


  • The tripod is not high quality
  • Low battery can affect the readings


There are numerous chronographs in the market, but these are the best chronographs that met our requirement for performance, affordability, durability among others. We have provided you with details of some of the great chronographs on the market, you can’t go wrong investing in, and now the final decision is yours to make.

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