Speed Reading

The Chronograph Is One Of The Most Valuable Tools

My first chronograph was an Oehler Model 12, acquired around 1980. Simple though it was by current standards, I absolutely loved it. Today I can’t imagine getting along without a chronograph. I hardly need recount the benefits for handloaders. For long-range shooters, even using factory ammunition, it is critical to know velocity from your barrel in developing drop and wind-drift tables.

As with virtually anything electronic, chronograph technology moved quickly in the ’80s and ’90s. Chronographs offered far more features such as memory, statistical analysis, printers, data transfer ports, even voice technology. And as they improved prices went down.

CED Millennium

For the past decade or so my most-used chronograph has been a CED Millennium. This wasn’t the result of any methodical testing; it just seemed to select itself by being so handy and dependable. It is light and compact and sets up quickly and packs away easily. It provides all the data I want, and just generally has proven to be very well designed and made.

Battery life has been excellent, a feature I appreciate as I sometimes forget to bring a spare. It has been very reliable. I found only two shortcomings: in low light, say the last half-hour or so before sunset, it would sometimes miss small bullets, such as from the .22 LR match cartridges I use as a check.

My Millennium is the first version. I understand the current M2 version has much-improved low light performance. The other “shortcoming”? Well, the software/data transfer is designed for PC computers. I’ll be darned if I’ll give up my Macs.

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