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Thread: Oehler Model 35 Chronograph

  1. #1
    Boolit Master MGySgt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Oehler Model 35 Chronograph

    I bought a Oehler Model 35 in 2003 or 2004, couldn't see paying the extra $$ for a printer on it. It has been in use since then, at first it got used almmost weekly, then monthly now it is maybe 4 or 5 times a year.
    A few weeks ago I set it up to test some 308 Win loads in my Ruger Gunsite Scout rifle. First round across the sky screens - nothing. I check the leads to ensure I had plugged it in correctly, Start, Mid and Stop. They were plugged in correctly and shot another round across the scky screens - Nothing the display stayed the same.

    Finished out my group and went into the house to read the manual (yes I still have it) for any troubleshooting. Not much help there so I went onto the Oehler Research Web page to see if they had any tests I could run. The one that I tried was to plug in only a sky screen into the start slot shoot across it to see if it gave me an error - Normal start screen nothing, unplugged it and plugged in the middle screen to the start slot - same thing - Nothing. Plugged in the Stop screen into the start slot and same thing - no change in the reading.

    Went back into the house and looked up their Customer Service nummber and called. The individual I talked to said I did everything he would have suggested and to box it up with the unit and the scy screens. Didn't need to send in my rod or the diffusers.

    Put it into a flat rate box with a letter about what was happening and what I did with my return address and e-mail address and took it to the post office. That was Wednesday, it arrrived on Saturday before Memorial Day.

    Last Wednesday I received an e-mail with the UPS tracking nuber and an estimated date of arrival of Monday (today).

    It arrived today and I took a little bit of time out of Honey Do's to put the sky screens back on the rod and re-tape the wires to the rod. Oh yes, I read the invoice, replaced 3 each buttons, check unit and it is working properly.

    Cost = $0.00

    This unit is 14 or 15 years old and didn't cost me a dime to fix it (out side of the shipping to them, they paid the shipping back to me)

    Great Customer Service, Great Turn around time and when I bought it the Oehler Model 35 (or 35P (Printer)) were the best a normal guy like me could buy. Not sure if there are any on the market today that are better or more consitant (sp) or that have that kind of warrenty on an electronic device.

    Big Bore = 45+

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy hermans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    At the Southern most tip of Africa, Bredasdorp South Africa
    Hey Drew, I agree Oehler is the best! Their service is to notch and I still use mine today after many years of abuse, it just works every time!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    fecmech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Buffalo NY area
    Oehler is top notch. My first Oehler chronograph used 1 shot mylar screens that read out in time which required going to a chart for the velocity. I was one of the beta testers for the sky screens when Dr. Oehler invented them. I currently own a Model 35 that I have owned since they came out and love the printer. My only regret is that I did not purchase the ballistic lab set up for pressure testing when it was available to reloaders.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Walla Walla, WA
    Great machine. Mine has the attached printer. Not one glitch in about 25 years. I use it frequently.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by fecmech View Post
    Oehler is top notch. My first Oehler chronograph used 1 shot mylar screens that read out in time which required going to a chart for the velocity. I was one of the beta testers for the sky screens when Dr. Oehler invented them. I currently own a Model 35 that I have owned since they came out and love the printer. My only regret is that I did not purchase the ballistic lab set up for pressure testing when it was available to reloaders.
    Ah yes. Pretty much 35mm film with a silver ink going back and forth across it. Take two strips about 4" long and clamp them top and bottom at EXACTLY 10 feet apart then try to align everything so the bullet would break the current going through the silver ink on the start screen and then the same thing on the stop screen. Early film actually would allow a 17 caliber bullet to pass between the lines and never trigger the on or off.

    If I recall correctly the chronograph "box" had 4 knobs, each with a built in pointer, on the front with several numbers printed on the front of the "box" around each knob. Above the knob was a little window with a "wheel" that had a yes/no reading printed on it. One would turn the knob till the "wheel" read yes, then write that number down, turn it back to zero or 1, I don't remember right now, and go to the next one and do the same thing and so on. Then those numbers were matched to a chart in the owners manual to get your velocity. Without the book you were sol. Of course, if you missed one or the other of the screens you got to do the set up again and hope you got everything lined up. The start film need to be at least 10 feet from the muzzle or one could shred the film and get an erroneous reading. Entirely too much fun but what the heck, I was the only kid on the block with one so that made me the winner, or not.

    Because the crystal was doing whatever crystals do at "only" 100,000 cycles a second instead if the million or so like the new chronographs have in them, the 10 foot spacing was quite important for accurate velocity readings.

    I too have the 35. When it really matters and I want permanent records I use this machine. No muss, no fuss. Shoot and when I'm done print it out and all the pertinent data is there. With me being basically lazy, I love it.
    Liberals don't know they're stupid in the same way a fish does not know it is wet. It is just their natural state of being.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy McFred's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    I'm sure they'll listen to "Reason"
    My 10 year old(?) 35P's printer stopped reliably feeding. I shot a lot of strings not getting any data and have nearly performed a coup de grāce on the Unit itself in retaliation for not feeding the paper slip out of frustration on more than one occasion. I called up Oehler and they wanted $50 for a printer repair plus shipping. I fixed it myself for $12 total using a How-To located on this site.

    The range I shoot has a nearby military RADAR transmitter, its EMI wreaks havoc with Shootin' Chronys™ as well as the 35P, which I discovered the first time I tried to use my new 35P. Frustrated, I called Oehler and described my issues and attempts at troubleshooting and they immediately asked me if I was shooting at the range I frequent by name! They knew their chrony would not work anywhere near that specific range and had no suggestions on a remedy.

    I've been annoyed with the rinky-dink 9v battery that should last longer than it does and I swear that different lighting conditions affects the velocities it records, though I have not gone out of my way to prove it.

    It's a tool, it works most of the time, but it is certainly not my favorite tool in the shed. I am happy to hear that others think it's such a wonderful piece of kit, however, with the Magnetospeed and the Lab Radar technologies out there, if I were to do it all over again, I think I would invest in newer technology.
    Last edited by McFred; 06-06-2018 at 11:41 PM. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    I bought a 35P at least twenty-five years ago. It's worked very well and has seen lots of use. This is truly a heavy duty machine for someone that might chronograph several hundred or several thousand rounds per year.I purchased a LabRadar this year. It seems to be comparable to the Oehler but is quicker to set up, though the inconvenience of setup for the Oehler has been somewhat exaggerated. The LabRadar is in a more compact package that the Oehler when one considers tripods, skyscreens, etc.

    As for technology improvements, both units fulfill my primary expectation of such a tool and that is to provide a velocity readout. Other features on each product may be useful to some and go unused by others. MY only complaint with the LabRadar is the very poorly written instruction manual but most of the features can eventually be figured out without it, just takes some time.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    SW WI
    I'm hanging my head in shame. I bought a 35P when they were reintroduced. Gave away the small simple chrono I'd used for years. I have never even set up the Oehler yet. It's been laying around here for probably 3 years. It just seems too complicated to set up with the 3 screens, and stands, and printer just to grab a couple of quick velos. Be careful what you wish for, sometimes you can over complicate your hobby.

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