Garmin C1 Pro Chronograph: Is It On Target?

by Tommy Grant

Right-sized and loaded with features, the C1 Pro looks to give the chrono market a run for its money.

Is it time to jettison your bulky chronographs and doppler radars? If Garmin has anything to say about it, then yes.

Perhaps a game-changing addition to the company’s catalog, the C1 Pro Chronograph puts the power of radar into a package small enough to fit into a jacket pocket. Shooters who clock their rounds on the regular understand potentially how big a deal this could prove.

No more dictionary-sized radars requiring a separate case or measuring out how far from the muzzle a traditional chrono is set up to garner an accurate calculation. Instead, it’s simply a unit that takes up minimal space in a range bag with set up that involves roughly placing a few inches from the muzzle.

The twitter about the C1 Pro—even though it was officially released today (Oct. 19)—already speaks volumes about the potential of the product. Garmin gave a sneak peek of the device at Gap Grind where a handful of shooters got a look at it and forums have been chewing on the subject since.

So, what exactly do we have our hands on in the petite radar system?

C1 Pro Size

As mentioned, the aspect to crow about is the C1 Pro’s size, which for anyone who’s used an existing system is comparably convenient. Garmin bills it as, “Smaller than a deck of cards,” which is difficult to argue with since the chronograph measures in at  3” x 2.8” x 1.4”  and weighs in at a very svelte 3.5 ounces.

Given the device is wireless—it runs off a rechargeable lithium ion battery, good for 2,000 shot per charge—that’s all there really is to the C1 Pro. Well, there is the included tripod, which in the scheme of things doesn’t add much to the package.

Radar’s Performance

Interestingly, Garmin has created a fairly versatile system with the C1 Pro, not only suitable for firearms, but nearly anything in which you need a velocity reading. At the upper end, the radar’s velocity ceiling is 5,000 fps—overkill by a vast majority of shooters needs, but it’s nice to have a few feet per second buffer. At the basement, the unit reads down to 100 fps.

That’s intriguing, given it opens the door to building ballistic table for archers—not a bad deal and certain to aid in more hits in the field as bowhunters develop a clearer picture of their bow’s potential—heck, even paintball and airsoft are fair game.

To this end, the C1Pro has archer, air gun and other functions tuned for the lower velocity measurements. But there’s more to the radar than simply velocity measurements and their accompanying ballistic tables. The unit has a several other useful functions, such as kinetic energy and power factor—with bullet weight entered are at your disposal. Furthermore, the wide display screen of the C1 Pro is customizable to bring up the data you need during your shooting session.

Away From The Range

Aside from size, perhaps the most attractive feature of the C1 Pro is the smartphone app Garmin developed side-by-side with its radar. Dubbed the ShotView App, the program automatic syncs with the radar, importing all your shooting info giving you an easy system to interpret your data. Some of the obvious metrics are available, including speed, deviation, extreme spread, kinetic energy. However, shooter can also mark their data for a number of variables—say a clean or cold bore—as well as exclude outliers from session calculations.

In addition, users can create custom names for each session and add detailed notes for both specific shots and the entire session. And, of course, they can develop profiles specific to their firearms. Overall, it sounds promising and pretty slick.

Parting Shot

For the most part, the C1 Pro seems to have plenty of upside for any shooter—be it a novice who simply wants to get a handle on his hunting rifle potential to diehard reloader who pours over ballistic data like it’s gospel.

Perhaps the most heartening aspect of Garmin’s radar is its price, which isn’t bargain basement, but does fall into the obtainable category for most shooters. At launch, the company puts the MSRP at $600, which is below many existing options in the same class. This is certainly an interesting development and Gun Digest will have a full hands-on review on the C1 Pro soon to see if it actually cuts muster.

For more information on the Garmin C1 Pro please go HERE.

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