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#17 – Chronograph Review – Measuring Muzzle Velocity

Chronograph Review - Measuring Muzzle Velocity

00:43:28  |  Modern Advancements in Long Range Shooting – Volume 1 Chapter 15. Chronograph technology and measuring muzzle velocity has progressed a lot in the last 10 years. This discussion covers all types of modern chronographs including those using sky-screens, as well as Magnetospeed and Labradar. Learn about the accuracy of each, useful tips, and other context surrounding the testing published in the book..

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  • James (Jim) Rogers says:

    Great Pod Cast. Thanks. I chose this one to start with since it is where I have the most experience. A few thoughts: I have experienced all of the issues you mentioned with optical chronos as well as how the shadows would change with sun position causing changes in the triggering times and resultant data. The MagnetoSpeed is a great improvement over the opticals. At the same time, you are correct about the bayonet placement and sensitivity. Variation in data is not much, but can happen. The LabRadar is my favorite. Yes, the external battery pack is a must and is very cheap (amazon). Alignment, especially horizontal, is critical. From my discussions with LabRadar, the beam is oval shaped being taller than it is wide. I tried using their ‘alignment notch’ with some success. Taping a drinking straw to the notch was a little better. But the MK Machining Pro Series Improved LabRadar Sight (amazon) cured any alignment issues. How to best use it becomes obvious once it is installed. I align slightly cross range (if the LabRadar is on the right side of the rifle, I align to the left side of the target frame.) NOTE: I confirmed with LabRadar that while this cross range alignment may impact where the bullet enters the radar beam from an engineering perspective, it will not effect the resultant data from a practical standpoint. I also use the JKL Precision ( inertial trigger mounted with his pic rail or magnetic mount. I have to give credit to youtube F-Class John for the alignment and JKL trigger tips. Adjusting the trigger sensitivity to eliminate ‘false activations’ of the LabRadar during bolt manipulation is required, is dependent on how rigid the trigger is mounted, and is easily accomplished. Two final notes – I have compared my MagnetoSpeed and my LabRadar with both precisely set up. The two are almost always within 1 FPS on centerfire and 22LR. I only use the LabRadar now, because it is so easy to set up and gives what I consider to be good data. The NEW LabRadar app is a superior way to use the unit. No more having to push buttons on the unit which can cause it to be misaligned. YMMV

    • Bryan Litz says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience Jim. Alignment is important with Labradar and not too difficult to achieve, but it can easily come out of alignment as you shoot big bore rifles with muzzle brakes, especially if you’re on sand where it will settle and the aim drifts. Something to keep an eye on.

      I like the idea of the app, but unfortunately my phone(s) always seem sketchy with bluetooth; some apps work other don’t, unfortunately the labradar app is one that doesn’t work for me but I’ll keep trying! The convenience of not having to break position and crawl up to push buttons each string is huge when you’re shooting 20-40 groups a day.

      Take care,

  • Mark Belcher says:

    Is there a way to get to the podcast through tradition smartphone podcast platforms, such as Apples.

    • Bryan Litz says:

      Not at this time. The podcast streams from this site only. One reason being flexibility of content, as we intend to add video, interactive content, zoom, etc. so we would be very limited with a traditional podcast app. Plus being on someone else’s platform makes you subject to being canceled so we chose to go this way.


  • Cormac Chambers says:

    Hi guys, I’ve recently learned of a new chronograph called the Bulletseeker Mach 4, which is also a Doppler radar chrony. It looks like it might have some advantages over the Labradar, but I’m unsure of it’s measurement accuracy. Do you plan to test it and compare it’s accuracy to the Labradar, Magnetospeed, or the industrial Doppler radar chronys that you mentioned?

    • Bryan Litz says:

      We did test the bullet seeker compared to our big Doppler Radar system and it is quite accurate. The app needed some work but it’s still very early. The unit itself is promising and I’m sure they’ll get the app refined better in time.

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