Advice on buying a chrono

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by miningshawn, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. miningshawn

    miningshawn Gold $$ Contributor

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    Profit share came in! After shooting my chrono last month :)oops:less said the better on that) I am in the market for a new one.

    I have the funds for the Magnetospeed V3 or the Labradar. I would like your opinion one one or the other considering:
    1.) I know the Magnetospeed changes POI. I don't intend to do work up with it attached, I just want velocity for the ballistics table and final SD\ES of the load. I realize this would mean 10 or more shots.
    2.) I work a lot with .223 and .20 caliber.
    3.) I shoot from -20 to 100 degrees - weather doesn't stop me except for blowing snow and pouring rain.
    4.) A couple of my rifles (not .223 or .20 ...) have very large muzzle brakes (distance and placement of the chrono).

    Please give me your thoughts. I am going to pick one up, but I would like to hear about your experience with them - especially if you have used both!
     
  2. B23

    B23 Gold $$ Contributor

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    They both have their pros and cons. For me, POI is a none issue, if it were I'd use one of the stock mounted setups for attaching the bayo, but I absolutely love how fast and easy the MS is to setup and use. I've had one version or another of MS since they first came out with the original V1 and it has worked flawlessly on everything from 17 HMR to 338's.
     
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  3. D-4297

    D-4297 Silver $$ Contributor

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    Considering the usage you describe , I would probably favor the V-3 , simply due to that aspect . I have the V-3 , and it has performed flawlessly in all sorts of weather conditions . I would really like to have a LabRadar . Every F shooter should have one . But it's just not in the budget right now .
     
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  4. Willie

    Willie Gold $$ Contributor

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    I've used both and much prefer the LabRadar over the MS.

    My big boomers all wear 90* brakes and I use 6" offset about 12" behind the muzzle. For rear angled brakes, I use a tripod and put unit in front of muzzle, with same 6" offset.

    It takes a bit of experimenting to get everything set up initially, then everything runs very smoothly. Use the battery pack, not the internal cell batteries. Get the ARKCO Machine base and a good ball quick-release, as the LR base is not very good. Use a short straw on top of unit to aim at your target.
     
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  5. Mike McCasland

    Mike McCasland Gold $$ Contributor

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    I have extensive experience with MagnetoSpeeds, have shot over LRs, and have done a lot of research in the past ~72hrs on LabRadars (purchased a setup today actually). Here's been my take...

    Magnetospeeds are great for easy setup and grabbing quick chrono numbers; nothing else on the market will come close to ease of use/deployment. It should take you less than 30 seconds to deploy on a rifle, and it'll deliver accurate velocity readings for anything you can strap it to.

    If you're 100% sure you just want a chrono to grab data in the 'final' stages of load development, then it'll work perfectly. As I'm sure you know, it'll move POI, but in this use-case that's not a big deal.

    That said, I've been burned a few times using a MS. I typically only shoot on a 300 yard range when I'm not shooting matches, so I can't really see the affect of high ES/SD on target. As a result, I've had a few instances where I get something that looks outstanding at short range, however when I go to chrony the final product, SDs are higher than acceptable for 1,000 yard work. I've also had it where switching to a different lot of bullets totally ruined a well established load, and no amount of seating depth would fix it; I ended up chronying it again, and the new lot of bullet was 80fps faster...slowed it back down and all was well.

    Most recently I went through the scenario of getting numbers for a 'finished product' load and had to go back to the drawing board using a different primer to see if I could get more consistent ignition with a given combo. In this case, the LabRadar would have identified the issue almost immediately, and I wouldn't have wasted barrel life working on a load that ultimately wouldn't meet my needs.

    Lastly, while I agree with lots of posters on this site that you shouldn't develop loads based strictly off chrony data, it's still very valuable to be recording data on all shots.

    You'll very quickly know what a load does in varrying weather conditions, you can correlate minor changes on the bench to real world performance, run tests easier, and you'll have generated a TON more data that help give you a better idea of what to expect with future barrels.

    I've been using a MS since before the LR was available, but if I didn't have either...I'd go LR all day long.

    It also looks like an inertia/recoil trigger solves the majority of problems people have with LRs picking up their shots. You can see that here: https://jklprecision.com/product/labradar-trigger/
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  6. mchees1

    mchees1 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I bought the LabRadar a couple of years ago and have never looked back. Got rid on my MagnetoSpeed. Ease of setup and easy to use with multiple rifles during shooting sessions is huge for me. Not affecting POI is also big since I am trying to find the best loads and don't want to have any effect on POI. Once you start using it I think you will love it. Make sure you have a very solid mount - I use a very hefty tripod so the unit can't move in a breeze or from muzzle blast. Watch the LabRadar videos on setup and you should be set. Once you find the correct settings (distance of muzzle from LabRadar and sensitivity settings) then you can repeat the settings for every different setup you have - from muzzle brakes to suppressors. If you have any questions the LabRadar people are very helpful and responsive. An external USB battery supply will power your unit reliably and for a very long time. Using 6 AA batteries is not the best situation. The data you get from the sessions is very detailed. If you can afford it, you will be set for any type of chrono needs.
     
  7. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie Gold $$ Contributor

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    A lot of sound advice above. I have owned both. Took me a little time to get use to the LR.

    In my opinion it bowls down to this.

    If you do not compete, then the MS will most likely be fine for you application. If you ever plan to compete, I would go with the LR.
     
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  8. FrankG

    FrankG

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    We have a MS, Labradar and I've owned a Oehler 35P now for about 30 years.

    All have there own little variables and how you use them etc...but I consider these three the best out there.

    The difference in readings between the three of them is negligible if set up and used properly.

    Later, Frank
    Bartlein Barrels
     
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  9. B23

    B23 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Putting you on the hot seat Frank, soooo which one do you use the most frequently? :D
     
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  10. Willyqbc

    Willyqbc

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    Having used the lab for several years, i would highly reccomend it. For the simple fact that it has zero effect of any kind on your rifle/shooting, it makes it very attractive to set up for every single range session regardless of what your doing. I chrony every single round shot out of every rifle i own now. Ive learned more about barrels, rifles, reloading etc in the two years of using the lab, than i learned in the 10 years without it. Amazing what becomes obvious when you track every shot through a particular barrel.

    JMO
    chris
     
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  11. miningshawn

    miningshawn Gold $$ Contributor

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    So far I am leaning LR, I am really interested in what a high-volume shooter like Frank thinks as well!
     
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  12. GAnderson

    GAnderson Silver $$ Contributor

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    miningshawn, you state that you will be wanting chronograph data on .20cal cartridges...be aware that if any of your .20cal cartridges are running over 3900fps the LR does not pick them up. If memory serves me, 3900 is the max for the LR. My magnetospeed has yet to not read a .20cal all the way up to 4350fps. Got s friend that is not real happy about the LR and his 20cal loads.
     
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  13. Big_Daddy

    Big_Daddy Site $$ Sponsor

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    I have used both rather extensively and now I only use my LR.
    I never did care for the MS and sold them all.

    I will differ in opinion of which one is faster/easier setup.
    I think the LR is much simpler/quicker setup.

    This, however, is the Ford, Chevy, Dodge debate of the shooting world.
     
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  14. Sixgun

    Sixgun The Millbastard Gold $$ Contributor

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    For the money...get a Caldwell. Hooks up to your phone..do your shooting..type in the info later. It's very nice and it comes with LEDS. No Magneto speed. You can't shoot groups with it or at least your POI will shift and what if you wanna see how fast your crossbow shoots or a handgun?
     
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  15. mikehotel

    mikehotel

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    The LabRadar work well for me. ...there is a learning curve.
     
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  16. INTJ

    INTJ

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    My Lab Radar replaced my Oehler 35P two to three years ago and I have not looked back. The Lab Radar does have a short learning curve but after that it’s dead reliable. I have never owned a Magneto Speed because all my load development is through a chrono and the MS hanging off the barrel is not a great feature for that.
     
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  17. 338 dude

    338 dude Silver $$ Contributor

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    C46EA1F6-4253-4CBF-9D2F-CC1EDA1B63B7.jpeg
    Magneto speed never misses a shot and it’s cheaper than the lab radar if you get this attachment from wiser precision it eliminates the problems of point of impact shift therefore you have a better system for less money and end up missing less shots so less rounds down your barrel to tune
     
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  18. FrankG

    FrankG

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    If we/I are at the shop and headed to the range the Labradar gets the most use now.

    Since we got the LR I don't see anyone using the MS as much anymore.

    If I'm at home I still use my 35P more than the LR.

    Either way both are good set ups.
     
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  19. damoncali

    damoncali Bullet Maker Site $$ Sponsor

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    The Labradar is hands down the better option. Having all the data for every shot you fire is huge. Not wasting time and ammo on shots that are only valid for velocity measurements is nice too. It's also less annoying to set up than a magneto speed, which I have found doesn't fit on all my rifles (or handguns, if you need that). I sold my Magnetospeed and bought a labradar with zero regrets.

    I've not used mine on a crowded line or with .20s, so that may be an issue, but it's like magic for .30s. Just point it at the target and turn it on. The instructions tell you to put a barrier (plywood or something like that) between the rifle and the chrono if you're shooting a brake. Ideally, you want the chrono pretty close to the rifle, so you'll need to think about how you're shooting (bench, prone, etc) and where to put it.

    Definitely use the phone app if you get the Labradar. The user interface for the chronograph is clunky at best. It's much easier on the phone.
     
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  20. miningshawn

    miningshawn Gold $$ Contributor

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    Thanks everyone. I will be picking up the LabRadar.

    I really appreciate the input. I do see some problems with my .20 Practical but for everything else it's kind of a slam dunk.
     

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