Best Archery Chronographs – 2020 Complete Buyer’s Guide

Knowing the speed of your arrow can be quite crucial in various cases, particularly if you wish to practice and get better at archery.

However, if you are an archer looking to invest in a high-quality archery chronograph, then you would know the struggle that goes into it. There are many gimmicks in the market, and no one wants to waste money.

Therefore, we have compiled some great ones for you to check out, plus a comprehensive guide to help you decide on your best match.

Comparison of the Best Archery Chronographs

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • It has an integral 3.5-foot sensor cord.
  • This product has 3 sensitivity settings for the finest tuning.
  • This is the best overall since it is the most well-rounded product amongst all those compared to.
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  • This unit is calibrated within +/- .25%.
  • It measures meters per second and 5 to 9999 feet per second.
  • This is the runner up on our list for being one of the most highly accurate and functional devices.
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  • It operates on one 9 volt battery.
  • This product has a velocity range of 21-7000 feet per second.
  • It is best for money since it delivers the best features in the price range.
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  • It runs on a 9V battery
  • It has an LCD readout programmed in its design.
  • It has the velocity range of 30-7000 feet per second
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  • It has a Bluetooth function.
  • It has the accuracy of +/- 0.25 %
  • It can measure readings in from 5 to 9999 FPS
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How is Arrow Speed Measured?

The speed of the arrow you shoot is a very important parameter in archery. Different types of chronographs tend to use different technology to measure speed. An optical chronograph measures speed using two light sensors placed at a known distance from each other. Meanwhile, a newer device known as a Doppler chronograph measures the speed by the Doppler shift of microwave light produced by it.

What is a Chronograph and What is it Used for?

A chronograph is a device that's used to measure speed. Now, you might be confused as they are usually considered to be a part of watches, but they aren’t just a part of a watch. In fact, they are an important tool in archery as well. Archery chronographs essentially do the same thing, however they do more than just the bare basics.

They are used to measure a lot more than just the velocity of your arrow. They tell you the standard deviation along with the average velocity and can also save the data of your fastest and slowest shot. In short, it’s a great investment.

How to Choose an Archery Chronograph

Here are some essential factors to think of before investing in a unit.

Design

The design is an important factor to consider if you want a high-quality unit. Some device designs are bulky and heavy. Such devices are not only a pain to store but are also hard to transport as well. Therefore, it is better to invest in a model with a smaller weight and compact design.

Artificial Light

Chronographs used for archery have different types. Some are more sensitive to light than the others, which can affect their accuracy and performance. Therefore, if you are aware of the lighting situations you’ll be using the chronograph in, make sure it is compatible with them. If you’ll be using the unit in direct sunlight, you can use diffusers to shade and block from the sun.

Caldwell Ballistic Precision with FPS and MPS Readings

Sky Screens

This is actually a function of your chronograph, which makes a lot of difference in your experience with the device. Sky screens start and stop the clock in the chronograph. They have light sensors that are pointed towards the sky and get triggered by sensing the change in light by the arrow’s shadow when it passes by. These are affected by many factors, such as wind, clouds, sunlight, etc. Therefore, make sure they detect the change perfectly or else an error message will be shown on your LCD screen.

Speed Reading

The ideal chronograph will not only be able to read the speed of your shots but also their velocity maximum deviation. The velocity maximum deviation, or MD, is the difference in speed between your fastest and slowest shot. It helps in determining whether your load is consistent or not. If your MD is 75 fps, then your load is not consistent. It should be less than 50 fps to be consistent.

Quick Take | Best Archery Chronographs

Review of the Best Archery Chronographs

Let’s take a look at some of the best archery chronographs on the market. All of these products are great in general, and now that we have discussed all the details you need to know before investing in them, we're sure you must be anxious to see which ones made the cut for our list.

MagnetoSpeed Sporter Barrel-Mounted Ballistics Chronograph Kit, Black, Ultra-Compact Case

PROS

  • Efficient and effective device
  • Highly accurate and will give you an accuracy of 99.5% to 99.9%
  • Very portable and lightweight, making it easy to store and travel with
  • TWorks great when mounted on any barrel with a diameter of ½ to 1 inch
  • Since it uses a 9-volt battery, you can easily change it without using any other tools like screwdrivers

CONS

  • Doesn’t work with cast bullets
  • Design is too plain and basic
  • Doesn’t seem very high quality and is flimsy

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were happy with their purchase. They reported this product to be highly accurate and compact. A particularly well-received factor was its small and lightweight design, which makes it easy to handle. Some complained, however, that it wasn’t heavy duty enough and seemed a bit cheap.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason why this product is an excellent purchase is that it is hard to find one this accurate with a nearly perfect design. It has a lightweight construction and can be accurate up to 99.9 %. You will have no trouble storing it or transporting it. It also has a battery that can be easily changed without needing any other tools, which makes it more user-friendly.

Who Will Use This Most

It would be of greatest use to those who prefer to know the most accurate readings of their arrows instead of wanting a more innovative design. It should work well for an average hunter or shooter using sporting rifles as it is most compatible with those.

What Could Be Improved and Why

A major improvement would be making the design a bit more interesting and innovative. Furthermore, it can be a little more heavy duty and constructed with better material, so it doesn’t remain so flimsy and feels a bit more high quality.

Bottom Line

All in all, this is an excellent investment. It is not only affordable, but also has superior performance. Its design is lightweight and portable, making it easy to travel with and store. It is truly a well-rounded product, which is why we have deemed it our best overall.

Caldwell Ballistic Precision Chronograph with FPS and MPS Readings, Sun Screens and Large LCD Screen for Range Shooting

PROS

  • Solid, sturdy build
  • The design is innovative yet easy to operate
  • It is convenient and can operate on 9V batteries
  • Its high accuracy is far greater than that of some products available in the market
  • This product is quite versatile and can work for firearms, archery, air gun, and paintball rifles

CONS

  • Cord is a bit flimsy
  • App has issues while operating
  • You need to purchase a separate light kit for it to function properly

What Recent Buyers Report

Most buyers were exceedingly impressed with this product. Buyers have a lot of faith in this brand as it is one of the best ones on the market. This product has lived up to all expectations and proved worthy of investment. It has a loyal following with people appreciating its sturdiness and innovative design.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product is a masterpiece by the brand. Caldwell is a well-known brand, famous for its accuracy and precision. This product follows that same pattern; it is very well-built and operates similarly to other Caldwell products.

Who Wild Use This Most

This product will be great for those just starting out with archery or who have just gotten their first chronograph. This product works well for average shooters and hunters too.

What Could Be Improved and Why

A major improvement that could be made to this product would be to make it a bit more precise, such that it can be used by professional shooters and hunters that expect their products to be highly accurate. Furthermore, the cord should be made a bit sturdier. The app can be improved in its functionality and made a bit friendlier for users as well.

Bottom Line

This product is a great investment for a number of reasons. It has great design and performs well too. It can work very well for the conditions it is used under and has got a lot of appreciation globally. It’s surely great, and we find it to be the second best unit you can get your hands on.

Competition Electronics ProChrono DLX Chronograph White

PROS

  • IHighly convenient to use
  • Affordable and works great for the price
  • You can delete an individual shot from an entire string’s data
  • Design is simple and delivers all the basic features you need
  • Highly effective and highly functional; even better than some higher end models

CONS

  • Unit is too lightweight
  • Works great in well-lit daylight conditions, but struggles in dim conditions
  • Not as highly durable as some other options

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers report this product to be an excellent yet inexpensive option. They seem to be happy with their purchase, claiming that the quality of this product surpasses even competitors in a higher price range. It is budget-friendly and a great investment.

Why it Stands Out to Us


The simplicity of the design paired with the efficiency and the effectiveness of the product is what called out to us. It makes this product a great one with the fact that it is a highly affordable option.

Who Will Use This Most

This would be a great chronograph for those of you on a budget. It will work exceedingly well for average hunters and shooters. However, it isn’t a very advanced or heavy duty for professional shooters.

What Could Be Improved and Why

It would be a great improvement to improve the material this product was made of to make it a bit more heavy duty and seemingly expensive. Furthermore, it would be great if they made it work in low light conditions as well.

Bottom Line

This product is a great investment and an overall good product. It may lack the heavy duty build, but it definitely gets the job done. You will not be disappointed by making this purchase, and it will work great for the price you pay.

Shooting Chrony F-1 Chronograph (green)

PROS

  • An affordable option
  • An accurate and reliable product
  • Effective and efficient
  • Able to measure speed up to 0.5 % accuracy
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty

CONS

  • Doesn’t come with a hand carry
  • Cannot connect to your phone or tablet via the app
  • Only accurate in well-lit daylight conditions

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers report it to be one of the best products they’ve invested in on a budget. The fact that it can’t connect to your phone seems to upset people; however, its accuracy and reliability is still not in question.

Why it Stands Out to Us

A major reason it stood out to us from a large number of products is the combination of great performance and a great price. This product seems to be the jack of all trades. It is accurate and performs very well. All of this, along with being affordable, is an added bonus to an already great product.

Who Will Use This Most

This will be the best pick for those of you who work with shooting rifles and are average hunters and shooters. It can also work for people with different skill levels.

What Could Be Improved and Why

This could be improved if the product was built with more premium and luxurious material. It is too lightweight, and that would make it a bit more heavy duty. They should also include a hand carry which comes with most archery chronographs so that it is easy to transport this product.

Bottom Line

All in all, it's a great product to invest in. It will definitely exceed your expectations and leave you amazed by its excellent quality performance. There couldn’t be a more accurate, budget-friendly option by the brand. All of this, combined with the three-year warranty that it comes with, makes this product seem even more durable and a one-time investment.

Caldwell G2 Ballistic Precision Chronograph with Tripod and Rechargeable Battery for Shooting Indoor and Outdoor MPS/FPS Readings

PROS

  • Easy to use and user-friendly
  • Effective and efficient product
  • Highly accurate and reliable device
  • Comes with Bluetooth functionality
  • Versatile and capable of measuring speed in both FPS and MPS

CONS

  • Built-in LED light isn’t very useful
  • Tripod that it comes with is a bit cheap and flimsy
  • Doesn’t work well in low light conditions; instead, it is good only for daylight conditions

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers seem to be quite impressed with this product as they consider it their ride or die. They seem to have had their expectations exceeded and cannot praise it enough. It is a great investment, according to them. Buyers also loved the added Bluetooth function and appreciated the overall innovative design.

Why it Stands Out to Us

It is a noticeably stunning product. Not only does it perform well but is also durable and highly reliable. It is also easy to operate. It certainly is a great option for the money you pay. It not only speaks volumes based on its excellent design but also how versatile it is. It can work for firearms, archery, paintball rifles, etc.

Who Would Use This Most

People for whom accuracy is a deal breaker or maker would certainly appreciate this product as it is highly accurate and reliable. So perhaps it is great for professional shooters and hunters as well as those who shoot in well-lit day conditions.

What Could Be Improved and Why

This would be the perfect chronograph if it were to operate as well as it does in low light conditions. Pretty much the only design flaw is the fact that it has a useless LED light which isn’t enough to provide visibility in low light conditions, so that is another thing that needs to be improved.

Bottom Line

All in all, it's a great product and will not leave you disappointed. Caldwell has always made great quality products, and this one is another addition to their excellent manufacturing skills. They have brought together the ease of use and user-friendly nature with an innovative technical design that gives the user the best of both worlds. This translates to the fact that it isn’t hard to navigate and works impressively.

Shooting Chrony Beta Chronograph (blue)

PROS

  • 60-shot memory so the information can be reviewed later
  • Easy to store, lightweight, and can be mounted on a tripod
  • Accurately measures the speed of projectile ranging from 30 to 7000 ft/sec
  • Records individual string statistics displayed on a large LCD screen with remote display

CONS

  • Abbreviations on screen can be a bit hard to understand
  • Requires perfect lighting conditions to deliver promising results

What Recent Buyers Report

This is an extremely useful gadget to improve the accuracy and precision of your shots. The great deal of functions packed in a single device has grabbed the attention of many buyers who gave positive reviews. Being compact, it can be stored and set up easily without any hassle. 

Having the LCD readout on the bench makes it handy and convenient to record your shots. The remote display is another plus point to get the job done with remarkably accurate velocities. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

Shooting Chrony Beta Chronograph measures velocities of the projectile with surprising accurateness, which makes it an extremely useful tool. The construction is sturdy and lightweight, but the gadget can be packed into a compact form for easy storage and portability. 

It stores six different shot strings, and the information can be reviewed and downloaded by connecting it with your computer. The forget button, data erase feature, measurement of different velocities, and deviations are just other features that prove its functionality and practicality.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, this device makes a great purchase for easy reading and accuracy during shots. With the LCD readout on the level of the shooting bench, you can view all your readings, saving you the time and trouble of walking to the unit. Combined with the multiple electronic features and a versatile measuring capability, you are bound to get promising results with this device.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Chronograph

There’s no doubt that you’ll get to enjoy major benefits once you invest in a great quality product. These are the qualities you’ll find in all the products we have mentioned and, in general, are what you should look for in an archery chronograph.

Accuracy

This is the most important feature in a chronograph. It is the one that makes the most difference and will affect your experience in a major way. Having an accurate chronograph is very important to find out your correct bullet velocity and standard deviation. Some of them are 99% accurate whereas some will only be reliable up to 95%.  All the products mentioned in our list are highly accurate and will give you an excellent experience upon use.

User-Friendly Nature

If your chronograph is accurate along with being easy to use, you’ve hit the jackpot. The ease of use of your product will greatly affect your overall experience with it.

They should be able to connect to your phone, so you can operate them easily via an app. Furthermore, they should have large LCD screens and be operated by remote to make the experience better.

Performance

A major determining factor is the unit’s performance. Your chronograph should have great sensitivity and perform well under many conditions. If not up to par, this can be a deal breaker for a product. Fortunately, all the products from our list perform very well.

Can You Really Find a Quality Chronograph That’s Affordable

Staying within your budget range is important because there are a lot of chronographs within an affordable price range that do the work just as well as the expensive ones. All chronographs have the same basic features to measure velocities of the projectile and display the readings with reliable performance. 

However, the pricey ones have advanced accuracy and a greater number of control features, which undoubtedly makes them much more practical and steadfast. But at the same time, there are many affordable chronographs that are user-friendly, accurate, sensitive, and sturdy in construction to last a long while. You just need to do a bit of research to find the one to suit your requirements.

Are Chronographs Important While Shooting Archery?

Knowing the speed of your arrow is an important statistic to improve your archery game. For this purpose, a chronograph is a highly useful gadget that detects velocities of the projectile with impressive precision. They are important for archery because they provide several benefits such as:

Arrow Speed

This is a crucial parameter to make sure you never miss your target. A chronograph measures extremely fast and low velocities along with the standard and means deviations to 99% accuracy. This will help you record the velocity required at a particular distance for your arrow to reach the target.

Data Storage

To perfect your aims, it is important to have an understanding of the relation between distance and velocity. With the memory-save feature in an archery chronograph, you can record, store, and view the statistics on your computer. This enables one to compare the required velocity at a particular distance for effective shots.

Deviation Readings

A good chronograph can also measure standard and mean deviation values. The mean deviation is important to know if you have a consistent load, which is usually less than 50 fps. The deviation from average value is called the standard deviation, which is also another factor that affects the point of impact. By these readings, you can calculate the average velocity for a particular load and distance. 

What Do I Need to Know Before Buying an Archery Chronograph

Chronographs can simplify archery statistics without troubling you with formulas and calculations. Just plug in the device, and the readings displayed on the LCD screen are all you’ll need for impressive aims. While making a purchase, you need to choose a device based on your needs and shooting style. However, a good chronograph must have the following features:

Accuracy

What’s the use of a chronograph if it doesn’t perform with precision? Most chronographs measure velocities with up to 99% accuracy, so don’t settle for anything less. A device with a 0.5% variable in accuracy would record exact velocities hence proving to be a great help in archery to know the arrow speed.

Ease of Use

Having a lightweight chronograph makes it suitable to carry around for long durations. Usability is a key factor because most chronographs can be folded down into a more compact form; hence they can be stored without occupying much space. 

Practicality

A clearer visual display is what everyone needs to save them time and effort. Having a clear LCD display plays a vital role in making the product a favorite. Most chronographs come with instructions so that you can learn about their features to download, record, and save data.

Budget

You can always settle for a quality chronograph without breaking the bank. Never settle for anything that goes out of your budget range, because the market is full of practical devices in different price ranges. Compare quality and cost before making a decision to choose an affordable device with useful features to make your investment count.

Conclusion

An archery chronograph is an essential part of your hunting gear. When choosing one, remember to consider external factors such as the environment and weather conditions, along with the design accuracy and performance of your device. All of these factors will make a world of difference in your overall shooting experience.