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Old September 10, 2021, 05:40 PM   #1
hounddawg
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Is the Labradar worth $560

here is a real world test. $125 ProChrono with bluetooth controls, $559 Labradar with optional remote trigger system and an aftermarket aiming system, $179 MagnetoSpeed Sporter . Built in Chrono on $799 Shotmarker electronic target system

Test rifle was a home grown .223 Rem built on a Stevens action ( Savage 10) shooting Lapua factory ammo

The spreadsheet tells all
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File Type: jpg Spreadsheet.jpg (75.9 KB, 56 views)
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Old September 10, 2021, 06:11 PM   #2
STORM2
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We own the LabRadar. It is finicky when using suppressors and with hand cannons. Seems too close/too far, need wood baffle for some. We also have the old hoops. They are quicker to set up. We don’t need to crunch spreadsheets of data and seldom keep the data from the day. I can see the need for the LabRadar for some folks, I wouldn’t buy it again.
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Old September 10, 2021, 07:09 PM   #3
hounddawg
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I had a Labradar for a month, bought it wehn my origianl Prochron died due to too many trips on dirt roads in the back of a Jeep. I returned it to Brownells and bought the ProChron in the pic when I could not get the LR to regiater half my shots. The one in the pic was borrowed today so I could do the comparison. For accuracy and ease of use the Magnetospeed beats both in my opinion

I am a data geek I guess. I keep my reloading log on my computer. I have spreadsheets going back 15 years. I was just comparing .223 with 80 Gn Bergers using Varget vs IMR 4166 vs H322 using the Ontarget files from my old load workups. I find a picture worth a thousand words

Each to their own, I find doing stuff like this as much fun as the shooting itself
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Old September 10, 2021, 08:01 PM   #4
TXAZ
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I also bought a LabRadar, but quickly learned it was at least finicky.
You’d think tracking a relatively slow large round would be easy to track but it was very expensive (just in .50 cal ammo) to get it precisely aligned.

Bought it, happy day.
Sold it, happier day.
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Old September 10, 2021, 08:22 PM   #5
hounddawg
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well just for info for anyone considering buying one get the external trigger and a sight mount like my buddies. For the price they charge the darn thing ought to come with them from the factory. That borrowed LR I used today never missed a shot using the recoil operated trigger. I was shooting factory Lapua 55 gn that I bought a couple of years back just to get the brass.

Funny thing is if you look at the numbers the LR and the PC were only .3 FPS apart on the ten shot average numbers. As near as I can tell the only advantage to the LR is that you can set it up on a hot range but then the only time I use a chrono is in load development and I need a cold range to set up my target anywayt. I use a laser boresight to position the ProChrono and that only takes a second. The bluetooth AP works on my phone and tablet so control and getting the data is a piece of cake

Just my opinion here but I cannot see why the LR is so popular. It is no more accurate than a optical and is a lot more finicky to use. I won't pay $400 more for aggravation
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Old September 10, 2021, 08:45 PM   #6
Carriertxv
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I’ve had mine for about 4 years and have had no issues other than it drops Bluetooth using my iPhone which is slightly annoying but is nothing compared to how well it has worked compared to any other I’ve used.
I shoot mainly at an indoor range now so it’s the only one that works.
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Old September 10, 2021, 09:15 PM   #7
mehavey
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'Learned to set up alignment with carpenter's square.
Perfect functioning after that....rain or shine/light or dark.
Subsonic .22 to 50 Beowoof...

My LabR and all mounting plate/clamps/bats/square goes everywhere in a corner of my trunk, all in a half-briefcase sized soft case.
My Oehler-35 now sits in my garage feeling lonely in its 4-ft long Pelican hardcase.

You have to ask the next question?
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Old September 11, 2021, 03:35 AM   #8
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@ carriertxv - for pistol at a indoor range I can see that. For rifle of course a Magnetospeed would work just as well

@ mehavey. I use a chrono during load develop. I am finding I use it less and less than I did a few years back however. These days I mostly rely on group size and shape when picking a charge weight since I noticed that group size does not always directly correlate with lowest ES/SD. Picking a charge weight when developing with a new powder/bullet/barrel has became the only time I use one.

My Prochrono will be getting a workout this month. I am putting together a new .308 and working with some new powders in my .260 and .223. Once that is done it may be 3 or 4 months or more before I use it again. I use a laser boresight to set mine up. I assemble it on the tripod while I am setting up my bench and target. When the range goes cold I place my target walk back to the line, insert the boresight and can align it perfectly in less than a minute. I find it very convenient and reliable

I always carry the Magnetospeed Sporter in my range bag to do the occasional confirmation check for my peace of mind when changing yardages. Te tube is maybe 2 x 2 inches and a foot or so long. Takes up almost no room and I can strap it on my barrel in less than a minute. Two shots into the berm fouls the barrel and a double check on a ballistics calculator always gets me dead on the waterline out to 850. I bought it when Larry had them on sale for 150 bucks. Takes me less than a minute to strap it on my barrel, great piece of gear
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Old September 11, 2021, 09:17 AM   #9
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I had some of the finicky problems at first. For aiming the LR, I taped a piece of a drinking straw to the sighting V. Positioning the LR so it is not affected by muzzle blast is important as well. I now use a tripod next to the shooting bench. That combined with my super sophisticated straw sighting system (exaggerating I know), I have had zero issues with readings and what not.

I do enjoy being able to remove the SD card and already have the data in a spread sheet on my PC.
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Old September 11, 2021, 01:54 PM   #10
wbbh
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I really like mine, it does take some testing to understand and get used to a few minor operational quirks, in particular, some pistol rounds need to be measured in the rifle mode and some lower power rifle rounds need to be measured in the handgun mode. I suggest using it at the range just trying it before gathering important data. Do buy a USB power brick, they are common and cheaper than the one sold by LabRadar.

Before making a final decision consider one financial point, with the LabRadar, you do not have to consider the cost involved in the inevitable shooting of a chronograph.

Oh, and I can set up mine on a hot range without getting out in front of the bench.
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Old September 11, 2021, 04:33 PM   #11
Nathan
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I must have received the LabRadar we all think we are getting. 32-20,223, 6PPC, 300 Sherman, 350 Legend….everything so far has been easy to get data from.

I agree I’d be pissec if I struggled like many do, but I never struggle with mine. In fact, I just use the V notch.

I do have a tabletop tripod and an old phone charger battery that I run it with.
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Old September 11, 2021, 05:49 PM   #12
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imho.... no way
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Old September 11, 2021, 06:31 PM   #13
hounddawg
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Quote:
Before making a final decision consider one financial point, with the LabRadar, you do not have to consider the cost involved in the inevitable shooting of a chronograph.
use a $20 universal bore sight when setting up an optical chrono, never shot my chrono in over 12 years of using one

Quote:
Oh, and I can set up mine on a hot range without getting out in front of the bench.
I set mine up at the same time I set my target up. Shooting rounds into the berm does not tell me much except FPS and I can do that with a Magnetospeed sporter for a lot less money
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Old September 11, 2021, 06:35 PM   #14
stagpanther
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Is it worth it is a relative thing. For all it's pains and quirks, it's still one of the most important tools I have for reloading. When mine eventually dies (and I use and abuse it constantly in a wide variety of often less-than-ideal conditions) I'll get another without hesitation.
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Old September 11, 2021, 08:12 PM   #15
mehavey
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For the occasional shooter/commercial ammunition.... not a necessary at all.
For a re-loader strictly following published data: cases/powders/bullets/OALs... any chromograph will check-6 against blunder/unexplained excursions.

For a hand-loader: unpublished everything ... and flying (truly) zero-zero/on instruments... multiple loads/powders/cases/bullets/jacketed/cast (multiple alloys) Where No Man Has Gone Before.... a lifesaver.
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Old September 11, 2021, 11:02 PM   #16
Carriertxv
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Hounddawg I also use mine for rifle and handgun outside. My BIL who has been reloading and shooting for 50 years or so has had every chronograph known to man including a magnetospeed. The LabRadar is the only one he uses now and only shoots rifles. I’m not knocking any other chronograph but the LabRadar has been the best and easiest I’ve used.
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Old September 12, 2021, 02:36 AM   #17
hounddawg
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YMMV on ease, not just my opinion or experience here

Pages of threads on various forums on Labradar missing shots


Quote:
For a hand-loader: unpublished everything ... and flying (truly) zero-zero/on instruments... multiple loads/powders/cases/bullets/jacketed/cast (multiple alloys) Where No Man Has Gone Before.... a lifesaver.
Real life ten shot average above had a .3 FPS difference between Labradar and a optical. I don't run that close to the limits to consider that life saving. Just me though

The only missed shot in my test was the first shot on the magnetospeed and that was my fault not having the settings right. Magnetospeed needs to come into the 21st century and use a bluetooth interface for my phone. And Labradar needs to get their bluetooth to work. It's been a known issue since release. That is the best thing about my ProChrono, the Digital Link ap makes life so much easier

edited to add 3 screenshots of the Digital Ling Ap. All that data can be imported into a spreadsheet or as a text file for record keeping also
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Old September 12, 2021, 04:05 AM   #18
sako2
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Never used a labradar. I have the prochrono with bluetooth it's nice having everything on my phone.
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Old September 12, 2021, 07:59 AM   #19
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I shoot a lot of "obsolete" cartridges & wildcats with bullets & powders that there is no data for.
I feel my money for my uses is better spent on the Beta Master i have & getting an RSI Pressure Trace.

Especially when there is only a difference of 3fps between a $600 chrono and a $125 chrono.

And with the POI shift from strapping a Magneto Speed on my barrel, plus the large difference from your spreadsheet,, i don't ever see me buying one of those either.
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Old September 12, 2021, 08:55 AM   #20
hounddawg
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@ std7mag

the large FPS difference between the MS and the other two chronos can be explained by the fact that the other LR and PC were picking up the bullet 12 - 14 feet from the muzzle. If I had positioned the LR closer to the rifle the radar cone would have picked the bullet up closer to the muzzle.

The MS is probably the most accurate of the three choices. There is really nothing that can affect it's readings. Opticals can be affected by lighting, muzzle blast etc. LR's can be affected by wind and vibration. There are bayonet adapters that can be bought for the MS units to stop the barrel harmonic factors. I don't find them convenient for all of my rifle but they can be had.

I am starting to rely less and less on my chronos though. Group sizes and vertical dispersions tell me all I really need to know. I pretty much just strap on the MS Sporter for a quick velocity verification when changing scope comeups and maybe at the end of a load workup but they are far from essential for most shooters. I can think of far more productive uses for $600 dollars
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Old September 14, 2021, 07:52 AM   #21
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@Hounddawg,

I only use mine once i have a powder charge, and seating depth established for that particular powder & bullet also.
After running through the chrono (if ES, SD acceptable to me) then i'll true my velocity shooting at 600-800 yards.

My trued velocities do end up changing some.
But not the amount of difference your showing on your spread sheet between the LR, or optical chrono vs the MS.
Roughly 300fps in 15 ft is a HUGE difference!
Unless my math is off (entirely possible), you'd be at about 140fps by the time your bullet got to 100 yards at that velocity drop.

Is the LR capable of showing bullet speed near the target?
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Old September 14, 2021, 08:49 AM   #22
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There are many reasons most of the serious long range competitors use MagnetoSpeed. The most important is true MV, which is illustrated in the spreadsheet. I got to borrow a few and very glad I resisted the urge to buy one.
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Old September 14, 2021, 08:55 AM   #23
mehavey
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LR will pick up/record five velocities along the flight path, in addition to backtracking to actual muzzle -- you determine what yardages you want it to snap a reading.

See https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/c...ng?format=750w

I've got mine set at 15, 45, 75, 100 (yes, it will track a bullet through and beyond the cardboard target backer)
Very useful in calculating actual ballistic coefficient (especially w/ cast)


.
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Old September 14, 2021, 10:41 AM   #24
hounddawg
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@Stdmag7 - the last column in that spreadsheet is the Shotmarker numbers at 100 yards. Even Adam MacDonald who markets the Shotmarker Target system says to take those numbers with a grain of salt. Target vibrations can cause them to skew. The differences in the LR and ProChrono numbers vs Magneto speed are 15 FPS

@Mehavey , if I were to start making my own bullets I might be interested in the velocity past the muzzle. As it is though I am more inclined to just shoot for groups in load development and use the Magneto speed to get my muzzle velocity for scope comeups once development is finished. Even the load developmment I will be doing this week will be at 300

Since acquiring a ShotMarker all of my practice will be at 600 or 850 yards. I see no reason to practice at 100 with anything other than .22LR
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Old September 15, 2021, 04:21 AM   #25
stagpanther
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Labradar has several inherent advantages IMO. I use it for so many different things. It does not hang off the muzzle which can potentially change your harmonics. Most importantly, you're not limited to a one point sampling, it tracks the bullet and uses multiple points. This helps increase the accuracy of your ballistics dope IMO since it's "real time, real conditions" for your barrel and cartridge. I use it to cross-check the forecasts of QL, ballistics software and factory ammo ratings. This is especially helpful if I'm working with a cartridge of unknown pressure rating and I can use a known factory cartridge as a starting point to correlate the velocity to a particular pressure rating (+/- 2 to 3,000 psi error band).
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