So out to the range I went today, with my new Competition Electronics ProChrono chronograph and my "enhanced" Ruger 96/44, to test some new loads I'm working up.
This is the first time out with the chronograph, and I was admittedly impressed with the ease of setup: put a battery in, put the skyscreen stalks in the slots, turn it on, and shoot through the "V", remembering to aim high to compensate for mechanical offset due to the optics being a few inches above the bore because a low shot that "looks right" through the scope has taken out countless chronographs over the years. Then just read the bullet velocity. Easy, peasy.
I fired five shots for this first test, as I'm working up a new .44 load with a 300gr. Hornady XTP over Titegroup. Today's test load was 8.5gr. of Titegroup, each round hand-measured.
On the plus side, I only had a deviation of 7 feet per second between the fastest and the slowest round in the group, with the slowest being 1053fps and the fastest two both clocking in at 1060fps. So consistency is definitely there.
ON the downside, I was going for subsonic loads, with the maximum velocity sought being 1050fps, and these were just a touch too fast, each one giving off a minor sonic crack that was still comfortable to shoot without ears, but also still audible enough to get the guy on the adjacent rifle range to ask me if I was shooting .22 shorts. I can do better. Next test loads will be half a grain less, and we'll see what we get from those.
The rifle: A Ruger 96/44 lever-action with an integral suppressor done by SRT Arms.