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Wondering your opinion on tuning a load with and without a chronograph. Thanks

Posted : 05/31/2022 6:02 PM
Posts: 2400
Famed Member Admin

You can do it, but it will be harder.  

You may find this helpful.  Oldie but goodie.

Posted : 05/31/2022 7:13 PM
Posts: 680

When I first started reloading I didn't have a chronograph, it's doable but it's more tedious/ time consuming and you will burn way more components. Optical Chronographs still work, and are cheap. I would venture to say you will nearly brake even on a Caldwell Chronograph during your first load development on components.

That being said the optical can be finicky to use on sunny days. If you can justify a Labradar do it, if you can find one. 

Posted : 06/01/2022 10:00 AM
SAFrog reacted
Posts: 1173
Longshot Neophyte
Posted by: @taylorbok

If you can justify a Labradar do it, if you can find one. 

You can get a MagnetoSpeed Sportster for less than $180.00 if you are looking for a lower entry point.
I think the most value you are going to get out of it is an accurate muzzle velocity value for your ballistic calculator software.

Posted : 06/01/2022 6:33 PM
Posts: 298

I think it depends on your end goal. If you are just looking to shoot a few hundred yards as the local range than you don't need a chrono. Chronos are essential to developing a precision load. You need it to test powders, primers, your loading process, and more.

The first chrono I bought was a Magnetto speed V3 and I still have it. It works great but I keep it just as a standby. However, it effects your barrels harmonics so your POA and the size of your groups are also effected. I found myself loading 2 sets of ladders during load development. The first was to check the velocity and SD/ES numbers and when I found the load range that I liked, I would have to remove the Magnetto speed and shoot the loads again to see how they grouped and what changes to the tuner needed to be made.

With a Labradar, I can get velocity, SD/ES, and groups size all at the same time. They can be finicky but once you learn how to use them, you will be happy you made the investment in one. 



Posted : 06/01/2022 8:31 PM
Tom Mann reacted
Posts: 1173
Longshot Neophyte


I used a different approach. I created groups of 5 rounds gradually increasing the charge. 
Once I found out which load gave me the smallest group, that's the load I went with.

My next time out, I shot a group of 10 rounds using that load and a MegnetoSpeed to get my standard deviation, extreme spread, etc. 
My biggest concern is my average muzzle velocity. 

What Todd says about the harmonics being altered when using a MagnetoSpeed is spot on but seeing as I only have to use it for ten rounds, that's not a big deal especially when you're shooting on a budget. 

Once a LabRadar moves up your priority list then no problem. 
I do not think it is a starting point necessity. Accurate powder measure is ahead of that (along with several other choices.)
It's a nice to have. You can use it any time without distorting your harmonics which is a big plus.

Posted : 06/01/2022 8:55 PM
Posts: 278

I also started with a Magnetospeed.  I use the Wiser Precision mount to keep it off the barrel and mount to spigot on my MPA and KRG chassis, as well as allows for use on other guns with just a small picatinny section.  Also on friends' guns.  Super versatile.

I also have a MPA RAT Magnetospeed adaptor that I bought didn't end up using.  If anyone is interested, let me know.  

I now mostly use a Labradar nowadays, but the Magentospeed is a solid option.

Posted : 06/01/2022 9:05 PM
Posts: 1
New Member

Does anyone use Ohler?

Posted : 06/03/2022 1:12 AM
Posts: 164

I use the Sporter MagnetoSpeed. That's all the budget allowed for at the time. Doesn't read plates bullets, but does fine with jacketed bullets. Takes a little practice, trial and error, and patience but in the end definitely a viable option

Posted : 06/05/2022 9:56 AM
Posts: 558

@shooter808 what's your asking price and what amount do you have with it?

Posted : 06/05/2022 11:28 AM
Posts: 278
Posted by: @kmiller-tallyman15

@shooter808 what's your asking price and what amount do you have with it?

Sorry, it’s already spoken for. I’ll hit you up if it falls through. 

Posted : 06/05/2022 6:43 PM
Posts: 930

I used an Oehler 35 for about 30 years.  I like the LabRadar better.  The LR is easier to set up, gives you more data, is less likely to blow over in the wind and you can download the data as an Excel spreadsheet. The Oehler will give you accurate data but is limited to mean, ES and SD.  The LR will give you data at 6 different distances.  I have mine set up for muzzle, 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100yds.  You get energy data too.

Posted : 06/13/2022 6:06 PM
Posts: 8

LabRadar is the way to go, but I started with a MagnetoSpeed Sporter, then went to a MagnetoSpeed V3, and both can be quite viable.  Besides the problem with bbl harmonics, another issue with all MagnetoSpeeds is that they both have a limited window for muzzle attachments and longer than 3" or so brakes/tuners, along with cans, will usual be an issue.  Just ordered a LabRadar.  🙂



Posted : 08/06/2022 5:11 PM

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