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November 17th, 2019

Chrono Test — LabRadar vs. MagnetoSpeed vs. Oehler 35P

labradar chronograph test magnetospeed V3 oehler 35P 6mmBR Ackley BRA

We see comparison tests of cars, cameras, and other hardware. But how about chronographs? What could we learn by setting up three different chronographs, and running a 20-shot string over all three at the same time. One of our Forum members, Randy S. (aka AAA) did that very test with three of the best chronographs you can buy: LabRadar, MagnetoSpeed, and an Oehler model 35P. The MagnetoSpeed was attached to the barrel of an F-Class rig, with the LabRadar placed on the left side of the shooting bench. The Oehler 35P was positioned about 23 feet downrange. The photo above shows the set-up. A 20-shot string was recorded with the results in a spreadsheet.

AAA talks about this interesting experiment in a Shooters’ Forum Thread. Here is his report:

Comparison Testing Three Chronographs

We all have our favorite chronograph. Each gives a number, but how would that number compare to the same round fired with another chronograph? I wanted to know so a friend and I set up the following test with three chronographs: LabRadar, MagnetoSpeed V3, and Oehler Model 35P.

For the test we fired Berger 105gr VLDs over the three chronographs simultaneously. The test rifle was my 6mm BR Ackley (BRA) F-class rig with fire-formed brass and 200 rounds on the new barrel.

Chronogaphs Tested
MagnetoSpeed V3
Oehler Model 35P
Temperature: 86 deg. F
Elevation: 854 feet
Cartridge: 6mm BRA (105gr Berger VLD)
Time between shots: 45 seconds

To start off, five rounds were fired to make sure all systems were recording and to warm the barrel. Then the test was 20 shots fired across all three instruments with 45 seconds between shots. The Oehler was set 7.5 yards from the muzzle so 12 FPS was added to the recorded value.

We were using the internal trigger on the LabRadar. The manual says the Vo indicated is the actual muzzle velocity when using the internal trigger, but not if using the Doppler. The 12 FPS Oehler adjustment (back to MV) was based on the Berger Ballistics Calculator.

The LabRadar Chronograph is on sale now through 12/7/2019. Buy for $499.95, a $60.00 savings.
magnetospeed chronograph test

Results of the Triple Chronograph Shoot-Out:

labradar chronograph test magnetospeed V3 oehler 35P 6mmBR Ackley BRA

LR-M is FPS variance between LabRadar and MagnetoSpeed V3. LR-O is FPS variance between LabRadar and distance-adjusted Oehler 35P. You can see all three chronos were very consistent. ES was identical with the MagnetoSpeed and Oehler 35P, while SD was identical with the LabRadar and Oehler 35P. CLICK HERE for spreadsheet.

The tester, Randy S. (aka AAA) says: “Judge for yourself, but I was impressed by all.”

magnetospeed chronograph test
This is a manufacturer’s photo showing the Magnetospeed V3 as mounted. This is NOT the test set-up.

Comments by Forum Members
Our Forum members expressed interest in this Triple Chronograph test. Some confirmed that the LabRadar and Magnetospeed give very similar FPS numbers, based on their own tests:

“Great test and thanks for sharing. I’ve tested my MagnetoSpeed and LabRadar together and results are always within 2-4 FPS of one another.” — Big D

“Very happy to see your numbers support my decision to buy a MagnetoSpeed. Had read reports comparing it to the Oehler and the numbers I get seem to be supported by my long range shooting results. Many thanks for taking the time and effort [to perform] this comparative test. Always good to get actual test results.” — Texas10

“I did a 4-shot test with my MagnetoSpeed and another shooter’s LabRadar a couple of days ago. The results were within 4 fps with the LabRadar being optimistic.” — Pat Miles

Forum Member Powderbreak studied AAA’s original spreadsheet from the chronograph trio test, then figured out the shot-by-shot FPS variance between the machines. He concluded that all the machines performed very well. Powderbreak posted:

Analyzing the Triple Chronograph Test — What Can We Conclude?

AAA did a great job of comparing the 3 chronos. What conclusions can be drawn?

1) I have not checked the manufacturer’s claims of accuracy, but the three chronos are very close to one another. There is no way for us to determine the actual true velocities, but we do not need to do so. Any of the chronos would be more than adequate for an accurate shooter.

2) The resolution of the three chronographs is actually pretty astounding. One foot per second (FPS) is a resolution of 0.033%.

3) AAA did a great job of reloading a very consistent round. With an extreme spread of 33 fps out of 3014 for 20 rounds, that is only 1.09% total spread of velocities.

4) There is a closer velocity match between the MagnetoSpeed and the LabRadar, but that does not mean the Oehler is less accurate. There is simply an offset between the Oehler and the other two. This could be due to the greater distance, the location, or the internal working of the Oehler.

5) Believe your chronograph, it is probably the most accurate reloading tool that you own.

Brian Litz of Applied Ballistics carefully explained the operation, set-up, accuracy and comparison of AB’s chronographs in his books. [Those books] are well worth the money, and give great insight into the workings of chronographs.” — Powderbreak

Permalink - Articles, News, Optics, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
March 5th, 2017

Big Boomer Load Dev — .375 Caliber 400 Grainers at 3290 FPS

.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics
Serious ammo — .375 Lethal Magnum rounds loaded with 400gr Cutting Edge Lazer bullets. One wag posted “They look like SCUD missiles.”

In the Extreme Long Range (ELR) game, great ballistics are paramount, but you also need excellent accuracy. The top ELR shooters campaign large-caliber rifles that boast truly remarkable accuracy, considering the massive cartridges they’re shooting (with 160+ grains of powder). These big boomers, such as the .375 Lethal Magnum shown above, can really hammer.

The winner of the 2016 King of 2 Miles (KO2M) event was Mitchell Fitzpatrick, shooting a .375 Lethal Mag cartridge, as part of Team Applied Ballistics. Another member of that squad, Paul Phillips, is also campaigning a new rifle chambered for the .375 Lethal Magnum. Paul was recently doing load development for his new beast, which features a McMillan stock, Nightforce scope, and Phoenix Bipod. Among his barrels for this rig is a massive, 38″-long Bartlein.

.375 lethal magnum

“I had a great time today doing load development at Applied Ballistics LLC laboratory with Bryan Litz, Bill Litz, and Mitchell Fitzpatrick. I was testing loads for my .375 Lethal Mag built by Lethal Precision Arms LLC. The last several test groups were sub half-min at 300 yards. Next testing is at 1800 yards.” — Paul Phillips

For this test, Paul’s load featured 400gr Cutting Edge Lazer bullets launched at a blistering 3290 FPS with Hodgdon H50BMG powder. Looks like Paul got his load dialed in “good and proper”. He fired a 0.9″ group at 300 yards, and the Oehler System 88 chronograph showed a very low Extreme Spread (ES) of just 5 FPS. That’s impressive even for just three shots.

A little snow on the ground can’t stop the Applied Ballistics testing team…
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Look carefully and you’ll find the powder charge weight — a bit more than you’d load in a 6PPC…
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Bryan Litz inspects the .375-caliber barrel with bore-scope.
.375 Lethal Magnum Big Boomer KO2M Paul Phillips Applied Ballistics

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition 7 Comments »
November 23rd, 2013

Weatherby Offers ‘Range-Certified’ Sub-MOA Varmint Rifle

Weatherby now offers a sub-MOA accuracy assurance on many of its rifles. As shown below, the VANGUARD® Series 2 RC (Range Certified) Varmint rifle comes with a SUB-MOA guarantee as well as a factory-shot target signed by company President Ed Weatherby himself. Other Weatherby “RC” Rifles, such as the new Mark V Ultra Lightweight RC, offer the same guaranteed performance. All RC rifles are guaranteed to shoot SUB-MOA (a three-shot group of .99-inch or less) with specified Weatherby factory or premium ammunition.

Weatherby Range Certified Varmint Rifle Vanguard RC

Range Certified rifles are tested at Weatherby’s modern indoor range. Range technicians mount premium optics, bore-sight, and test fire each rifle to determine the most accurate load using the Oehler Research 83 Ballistic Imaging System. After testing, the rifle is cleaned and packed (minus optics) with the target signed by Ed Weatherby. Each rifle sports a special RC engraved floorplate.

Weatherby Range Certified Varmint Rifle Vanguard RC

Permalink Hunting/Varminting, New Product No Comments »
January 24th, 2012

SHOT Show: Oehler Model 35P Chronograph Lives On

Though it is a 20-year-old design, the Oehler Model 35P Chronograph remains one of the best chronographs on the market. By employing three screens instead of two, the 35P takes two (2) measurements of each shot — adding an extra measure of reliability. It has very simple controls, so you don’t need to bring a 100-page manual to the range. The Model 35P features an integrated printer that conveniently records every shot and calculates Average Velocity, SD and ES for your strings. We like having the “hard-copy” output from our tests. This way we can simply staple the our paper record to the target and nothing gets lost.

Model 35P is Back in Production
Oehler Research decided to phase out the model 35P Proof Chronograph a few years back. But consumer demand never abated. In fact, the prices of used units started to climb. So Ken Oehler decided to bring back the model 35P, and we’re glad he did. In the video below Ken explains that the Model 35P is back in regular production, now that his company has found a source for printer components. The Model 35P, complete with printer, skyscreens, and mounting rail costs $575.00. Ken told us “If we knew how to make them cheaper, we would … but we make ‘em so they work.”

If you already own or use a Model 35P, be sure to watch the video through to the end. In the last minute, Ken Oehler demonstrates how to position the metal support that holds the paper roll. Putting this support in place can be tricky to say the least. But the video shows how to accomplish the task quickly, without losing your temper.

Another helpful tip, provided by Ken’s wife, will help you feed the paper into the machine. Simply take the end of the paper and fold both left and right sides in toward the middle, forming a ‘V’ (like the nose of a paper airplane). This will then advance much easier through the printer’s internal spools when you load new paper.

Oehler model 35p chronograph

Permalink - Videos, News, Tech Tip 2 Comments »
May 7th, 2010

Oehler 35P Chronograph is Back! Oehler Resumes Production.

Oehler Research, Inc. of Austin, Texas has announced that it has resumed production of the vaunted Oehler Model 35P Proof-Channel™ chronograph with printer. Company President Ken Oehler revealed to that his company will produce “at least a couple hundred” model 35P chronographs in a “special run” this year. Production of the Model 43 remains suspended. The first new Model 35P units should ship “in late summer”. Oehler Research is taking orders right now, but Ken said: “we can’t start shipping until all the components are in inventory — end of July at the earliest.”

Oehler Research Chronographs

The latest Model 35P chronographs will employ exactly the same design and components as previous units — no changed features or parts. The Model 35P design has proven both highly accurate and reliable, and Ken explained that his team will make the new units “just the way they were before”. The new model 35Ps will ship in one configuration only, a complete system costing $575.00 (plus $20 UPS shipping). This includes: printer/base unit; three Skyscreen III detectors; four-foot rail; two folding stands; and a Plano (Doskocil) hard case. All the components fit into the hard case for storage and transport (see photo below):

Oehler Model 35P chronograph

The resumption of Model 35P production represents an effort to “test the waters”, to see if the company should re-enter the consumer shooting market, according to Ken Oehler. In the last few years, Oehler Research has focused on high-end military and industrial products. But Ken has brought in a new engineer, Gary Stafford, who is overseeing the Model 35P program. If all goes well, according to Ken, there may be other consumer products in the future and Stafford may “take over the reins” from Ken, who, at age 73, may shift to a “Senior Chairman” role in the company.

If you want to purchase a new Oehler Model 35P Chronograph, you should contact Oehler Research right away — Oehler has already logged 20+ orders. Order Online at You can also email sales[at] or phone (800) 531-5125, (512) 327-6900. According to Oehler’s sales sheet, you can reserve your unit with a Visa/MC and Oehler won’t bill until the product ships. Or, if you pre-pay via check or Money Order, Oehler will pay the shipping. Shipments will be prioritized according to the date orders are received.

Permalink New Product, News 4 Comments »