Best? If "best" means it works like it should and is about the lowest cost unit that can be obtained ...... then I would definitely buy a Chrony. The last model I bought is one of the "Master" models with the remote display - the remote makes life a lot easier. Also, if you ever put a round through the electronics, you aren't out much money.
If "best" means that money is no object, then buy an Oehler. Your shooting buddies will be quite impressed!
I just got it back from the factory for the 2nd time. It is not bullet proof and it's been rebuilt twice. The 1st time was in ''96''. I've been seeing it on sale for about $93 recently.
A friend hit it with a shotgun shell wad the last time and it damaged the digital display in the front of the unit. I bought a clear protective lexan shield for it this time. The first time I hit the top edge of the case with a 22 Stinger from a NAA revolver. That damaged the LCD display too. The factory replaced the case. I have since shot and cracked it again, but the factory said it is not affecting the performance this time.
It has a double 9 Volt battery compartment so you can carry a spare battery. A battery seems to last forever for me. I think their guarantee says they'll rebuild it for no more than 1/2 the current retail price. My friend paid for it this last time.
When he asked if he could shoot some loads over it I told him what the companies rebuild policy was. When he started firing a 45 Colt single shot pistol over it I never thought about him loading it with a 410 shotshell. ha ha You need to move a chronograph up closer when testing shotshells so the wad and shot are together when they cross the sensors. Otherwise the wad can veer off and hit the LCD display in the front of the chronograph.
The guys at the range really laughed when they saw the sick look on my firends face when the display went out and he realized he'd caused it.......Mike
I had an old (TePeCo, I think it was) chronograph in the 70's that required a 5' screen spacing. The screen sensors were mounted on a piece of steel angle to which I added some pieces of heavy steel angle "bullet deflector shields" in front of the sensors. They were intended to deflect mainly handgun bullets, since a center fire rifle hit would have blasted on through. They did indeed save the sensors on more than one occasion, but usually wrecked the plastic sun shade (but this was easy to replace since I made them out of translucent (milky) plastic sheet.
Sabots, wads, and patches from muzzle loaders and other toys can be real hard on chrono's too. Even blobs of lube and unburned powder granules can be rough on displays and screens. My .45-3 1/4 (.45-120) Sharps replica is a real chrono blaster with 130 grains of FFg black powder, fiber wad, and a 540 grain cast bullet with plenty of my Bore Butter/Beeswax lube concoction!
That's why I rather like the Chrony with the remote display/electronics - it doesn't get blasted with debris.