By: Jim and Mary Clary
As much as we liked the Caldwell Ballistic chronograph that we previously reviewed, this new G2 is a step up that matches the best (and more expensive ones) on the market. The G2 is a completely redesigned chronograph. The only similarity to the Caldwell Ballistic chronograph is the high speed 48 MHz processor. The 48 MHz processor permits the design of a circuit with an advanced data interface that allows each unit to be computer calibrated at the factory after assembly. Translated, that means that the G2 can be configured to guarantee an accuracy of +/- 0.25% for velocities from 5 to 9,999 FPS.
Unlike some of the other chronographs on the market that required one to buy an extra piece of equipment to print out the results, the Caldwell G2 Bluetooth pairs with your iPhone, iPad or Android 4G phone. That's right! No more wires... simply download the free Caldwell App from either the "Play Store" on your phone or the Caldwell website and download: Caldwell Ballistic App. After you download the App... it takes about 5 seconds to "pair" your phone to the chronograph.
Once installed, the App will deliver the shot string velocity data directly to your phone. It automatically calculates the average velocity, standard deviation, maximum and minimum velocity, and spread. And, the App allows you to add notes to the file after it is in your phone. That is really cool! Oh yeah, almost forgot... you can record in metric or standard units, Co or Fo and add your zip code into the system.
There are no more "extra" sunshades with LED lights required to be installed for low-light conditions. The LEDs are built into the sunscreens and "kick in" automatically when needed. Coupled with the design of the G2 which employs "inverted" or upside down sunscreens, this chronograph functions just as well indoors as it does outdoors. And, the light sensors are spaced at 18" apart for greater accuracy.
Another "upgrade" on the G2 is the addition of a rechargeable lithium battery which can be charged from your 110v phone charger, or in your truck or from your computer. No more dead D-cells at the range. In fact, to make sure that it is ready to go, one can simply plug it into your truck as you head to the range, and upon arrival, the G2 is ready to go. That, for us, is a major plus of this device.
The tripod has been upgraded with heavier poles for stability. The lightweight tripod of the original Ballistic chronograph was a common complaint from users. It has been rectified with the G2 tripod. The tripod adjusts from 15" to 42" and includes the 1/4-20 dovetail plate. In fact, it can readily be used for a spotting scope if desired.
The entire chronograph is collapsible and stores compactly in the included storage bag. All in all, this system leaves nothing to be desired and is well priced with its MSRP of $269.99. That being said, if you search the internet, you can find it for the bargain price of $220.
One last tip for all chronograph users: Make sure your chronograph is level and that you are shooting "straight" through the sensors. If you are angled up or down, your results can vary by as much as 4% to 5%. That may not be of much significance for a hunter, but for a target shooter, it can make the difference of being in the X-ring or 9-ring.