Labradar Testing

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by BryanLitz, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    I got some very preliminary results from the labradar today.

    There will be more extensive reporting to follow, for now I'd like to focus on accuracy and precision.

    To test the accuracy of an unknown chronograph, I place it inline with my Oehler mounted indoors on a 12' spacing with artificial lighting. My 4' Oehler, which I put downrange for BC measurements sits inside the 12' box on center, so it can be verified that the two are reading the same. These two chronos were fired over and the difference was between 0 and -2 fps. The Labradar was compared to these readings.

    A couple concerns I had about this testing configuration was that my Oehlers and light boxes might obscure the view of the labradar, since it's placed off to the side of the line of sight. I'm also shooting through a portion of indoor bay before the bullet goes outside, so I'm also concerned about possible interference with things in the building being close to the line of sight. Nevertheless, I set it up and started shooting.

    Another major caveat to todays testing is that there was a light rain coming and going. That couldn't have helped anything, and I'm planning more extensive testing in better conditions. Here's what I got today under these conditions.

    Once I found the correct combinations of settings, the unit started reading the 215 grain Hybrids pretty reliably (308 Win FTR Competition rifle). The Labradar corrects the MV to be actual MV at the muzzle. When I accounted for velocity decay from muzzle to the center of the Oehlers, here's what I found:
    For a 10-shot string, every velocity returned from the Labradar was within +/- 2 fps from the corrected 12' Oehler measurement. The average velocity from the Labradar was -0.6 fps compared to the corrected 12' Oehler which is incredible accuracy and precision.

    The SD of the Oehler data is 9.2, and the SD from the Labradar on the same 10 shots was 10.0. ES on the Oehler was 28, and it was 30 fps on the Labradar.

    This is a very good result in terms of both accuracy and precision.

    To further test the unit, I set up a .223 Remington to shoot 55 grain bullets. More challenging as the bullet is smaller and faster.

    Results were not as good in this case. About 1/3 shots didn't read, and 1/3 produced wildly inaccurate numbers (like 2000 fps when actual is closer to 3500). 1/3 of the shots resulted in realistic numbers, but they weren't quite as good as the .308 data. For the 5 shots of 223 that I got 'good' data for, they read on average 15 fps slow compared to the corrected Oehler data, and there was more scatter in the error.

    I won't dwell too much on the 223 scenario, as I believe it's a result of interference from the rain, or possibly equipment near the line of sight, or both (my guess is it's mostly rain related). So all you can take from these .223 results is that the unit isn't reliably accurate in the rain which is not a big surprise or mark against the product.

    At the end of about 4 hours continuous testing, the batteries were more than 1/2 drained (according to the on-screen battery indicator). The unit is always going into screen-saver mode to save battery, but still they drain pretty quick. It's a good thing it has a battery indicator. I would advise storing a fresh set of six AA batteries with the unit in case they go dead on the range.

    The SD card saved a lot of the track data, which I couldn't resist playing with to determine BC from the range/velocity data. Reverse engineering the slope of a linear fit to the range/vel data from muzzle to 40-80 yards resulted in a very close match to the bullets known BC, but I wouldn't advise using the unit for the purpose of measuring BC. The data file also stores a bunch of other data including signal to noise ratio for each shot.

    Based on this first look, I would say the Labradar definitely shows promise and I'm eager to test it under better conditions. The data on the 308 was spot on but I'm a bit concerned about the high velocity small caliber scenario having a 15 fps average error but I'll try it again in clear conditions before worrying too much about it because it was most likely the rain that caused this result.

    There's more info on the LabRadar testing in this Snipers Hide article: http://snipershide.scout.com/story/1535699-labradar-my-personal-radar?s=541 It talks a lot more about the use-ability of the device rather than focusing on the accuracy and precision. All good info with pics, video, etc.

    -Bryan
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  2. mitch260

    mitch260 Well-Known Member

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    That's really good news Bryan, looking forward to hearing the results from the test in better conditions.
     
  3. OLI62

    OLI62 Well-Known Member LRH Team Member

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    Sounds promising. I can't wait to get my hands on one these from Len. Thanks for the review Mr. Litz.
     
  4. el si

    el si Well-Known Member

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    Waiting for more tests and feedback, but looks good so far.
     
  5. Mikecr

    Mikecr Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Bryan
    I set my Oehler w/10' screen spacing, and it's not a fixed setup. No fun to assemble at a public range..
    So I'm someone hoping LabRadar could make life a little easier.
    22-26cal here.
     
  6. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Bryan. I love my MagnetoSpeed so I'm in no rush to make the jump to LabRadar and these kinds of reviews are very valuable in helping me make the decision of if and when to move toward this new piece of equipment. Rain doesn't bother my Magnetospeed ....
     
  7. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys!

    Wouldn'tcha think the labradar would be the cat's meow for use by a group of folks doing a LR/ELR shooting session in the field? As compared to the Magneto?

    Just askin' cause I'm think'n......
     
  8. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    More testing today; pristine conditions this time.

    In summary, I saw the same exceptional accuracy and precision compared to the 12' Oehler for .308. Error between the Labradar and 12' Oehler* was between 0 and -3 fps for 9/10 shots; one shot had a -5 fps error.
    * data for 12' Oehler was corrected for velocity lost from muzzle to chrono center.

    So for the 10-shot string with .308, the average MV measured by the Labradar was 2 fps slower than the Oehler, and the standard deviations were 6.6 for the Oehler and 7.6 for the Labradar.
    This is the same exceptional performance that I saw with this unit in the initial test in the rain.

    Now to see if the smaller 223 Remington shooting 55 grain FMJ's at ~3500 fps would work better in clear conditions.

    same set up, same result. Most shots didn't read, of those that did read, most were several 100 fps slow. Only 3 out of 14 shots had results that were anywhere in the ballpark.
    Thinking that my set up (with the big Oehler in front of the rifle) may be interfering with the Labradar's view, I moved the Oehler out of the way and got the same result. Most shots triggered but didn't track or gave bad numbers.
    Finally, I moved completely outside to eliminate any possible interference with anything in the shooting bay. Same result. Even with wide open space, the unit just doesn't seem to be capable of tracking the .223. The behavior was exactly the same as it was in the rain.

    To test something 'in-between' .308 and .223, I set up a .260 shooting 130 gr bullets. These results were similar to the .308; extreme accuracy and precision compared to the 12' Oehler. For 10 shots with the 260, the shot-to-shot variation in readings ranged from -4 to +3 fps, and there was less than 1 fps difference in the average! Outstanding performance in this case.

    I was out of time after the .260, but I plan to test further to see where the unit begins to have problems between .260 and .223. Hopefully it works for 6mm. Not sure if the magnitude of the velocity is a factor or just caliber. My understanding of Doppler is that higher velocities should be 'easier' to track so it may just be a caliber limitation. We'll see; this is why we test.

    Oh, and this thing definitely likes to eat batteries! After only a few shots into the testing today the unit started giving up and complaining about low batteries. It's very good that it has a battery level indicator, and lets you know when the juice is running out. Replacing with fresh batteries didn't seem to affect accuracy or precision so that's a good thing. It eats batteries, but the unit is designed well so you can manage it.

    My next test will be with 6mm. Hopefully the small caliber issues can be addressed with a firmware upgrade and the problem isn't a hardware/sensor limitation.

    -Bryan
     
  9. mitch260

    mitch260 Well-Known Member

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    Bryan,

    I noticed in the SH review he mentioned having to set the chronograph to the weight of the bullet. So to clarify, you are having trouble getting the Lab Radar to read the 55gr bullets with the Chronograph set to 55gr bullets, correct?
     
  10. BryanLitz

    BryanLitz <b>Official LRH Sponsor</b>

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    I'm pretty sure the bullet weight setting is just there to calculate power factor and KE.

    Having said that, when the unit started having problems with .223, I did set the bullet weight to 55 in case it was somehow relevant to tracking, but it didn't make any difference. I did try different frequencies, and the power is turned up as high as it goes (standard power or low are the only options).

    I don't think the small caliber issue will affect this crowd (long range hunters) much as most hunters (varminters aside) are shooting things larger than .223 and the unit works very well with mid-large calibers.

    I would say if you're shooting a .260 caliber or larger and have been thinking about ordering a Labradar, pull the trigger! Also get a few packs of AA batteries for it while you're shopping :)

    -Bryan
     
  11. mitch260

    mitch260 Well-Known Member

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    Okay, yeah that makes sense.

    Thanks Bryan
     
  12. Topshot

    Topshot Well-Known Member

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    Great info Bryan, looking forward to hearing further results. :)
     
  13. C.O. Shooter

    C.O. Shooter Well-Known Member

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    Bryan

    Unknown if you tested it or not, but what are your thoughts on the Magnetospeed. I understand this is a thread on the Labradar, however, they are competitive! Thank you.
     
  14. royinidaho

    royinidaho Well-Known Member

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    Bryan did a test and write up on them. IIRC he liked them enough to become a dealer.

    I'd go the magneto route except that I'd like to set up on the mountain for multiple shooters and shots without having to change setups and worry about impact shifts, if there are any....