Saturday Movies: Garmin, LabRadar, Caldwell Compact Chronos By:


June 29th, 2024

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Saturday Movies: Garmin, LabRadar, Caldwell Compact Chronos

caldwell velociradar garmin xero c1  chirp doppler bullet BC

We note there are regular threads in our Shooter’s Forum asking about the new compact radar chronographs — especially the hot-selling Garmin Xero C1 and the new small LabRadar LX. Members want to know how well each works. Today’s video showcase can help answer those questions. After the hugely successful release of the compact Garmin Xero C1 Pro chronograph, two competitors are now playing “catch-up” with all-new compact radar chronographs. LabRadar has an impressive new unit, the LX Compact, while Caldwell introduced its midsized VelociRadar which employs innovative Chirp Radar technology. For today’s Saturday Video Showcase, we feature video reviews of these three notable Compact Radar Chronographs.

Garmin Xero C1 Pro Chronograph

garmin radar chronograph xero x1 pro compact arca $599.99

The Garmin Xero® C1 Pro chronograph has already been a big success. After great initial test reports, this compact $599.99 chronograph has been selling out at vendors nationwide. With the performance and quality of the Xero C1 Pro, many LabRadar owners are putting their older orange radar chronos up for sale. Check out the features of this new compact radar chrono in this official product launch video from Garmin:

Introduced in late 2023, the Xero C1 Pro radar chronograph has been an instant hit. Measuring just 3.03″ x 2.38″ x 1.36″, the Xero C1 Pro is compact and easy to transport. Using Doppler radar, the Xero C1 Pro accurately records projectile velocities from 100 fps to 5,000 fps, so it works with all kinds of projectiles. Setup is simple and intuitive, thanks to the button-operated design. SEE FULL RecoilWeb Review.

Garmin offers a modern ShotView™ smartphone app and lets you compare velocities for all shots fired, track ES/SD, and record total sessions. The rugged Xero C1 Pro chrono has a IPX7 water-resistant rating and boasts up to 6 hours of battery life. The unit ships with a compact tripod mount, and the screen is described as “sunlight-visible, transflective, monochrome” so it is easy to view in all conditions.

Above is a recent video review from our friends at Area 419. This review confirms that the Garmin is very reliable, extremely easy to set-up, and the provided Smartphone App works great. User reports have been very positive, and our testers note that the Garmin works better on air rifles than the original LabRadar.

LabRadar LX Compact

LabRadar announced its new LabRadar LX compact Doppler radar chronograph at the 2024 SHOT Show. This is a truly compact unit, measuring just 2.5″ X 2.75″ X 2.75″. The LabRadar LX comes with a tough metal case, lifetime battery, and ships with a tripod. The unit has a velocity range of 65 to 5000 FPS and it can display Average, ES, SD, Min, and Max Velocity.

Observers at SHOT Show noted the LabRadar LX has a very bright, high-contrast LCD Screen for outdoor viewing. Overall, the exterior design and specs are impressive. Definitely watch both videos to understand the difference in features between the Garmin and this ultra-compact new LabRadar LX. If you’re shopping for a compact chrono it’s worth looking at all the options. The Garmin Xero C1 Pro is currently $599.99, while the new Labradar LX is $599.95.

Caldwell VelociRadar

caldwell velociradar chirp doppler bullet BC

Caldwell showcased its all-new VelociRadar chronograph at SHOT Show 2024. This is quite a bit bigger than the Garmin Xero C1 Pro or the new LabRadar LX compact. But it is still relatively small compared to the original orange LabRadar unit.

Notably, the Caldwell VelociRadar uses a different mode of radar (Chirp Radar vs. Doppler) than other chronos, which offers some advantages. Caldwell states: “The Caldwell VelociRadar Chronograph is precision redefined with cutting-edge Chirp radar technology. This is no standard chronograph, while most chronographs stop at only providing muzzle velocity the VelociRadar tracks bullets downrange offering the full picture of ballistic performance. Using these downrange velocity measurements, the VelociRadar calculates true muzzle velocity, the bullet’s ballistic coefficient, and downrange energy.” Note that point about BCs — Caldwell says this new machine will let you calculate the true Ballistic Coefficients of your bullets as fired from your rifle.

BONUS Video: Garmin vs. Large LabRadar vs. Magnetospeed

This interesting video features a head-to-head comparison with the Garmin Xero C1 Pro chronograph, the Magnetospeed barrel-attached chrono, and the full-size LabRadar chrono. The Primal Rights team tested the three chronos with a dozen different cartridge/bullet combinations. NOTE: We have used the Magnetospeed with considerable success. However, the placement of the device on your barrel can affect accuracy, so you may have to finalize load development with the unit removed. With a Garmin or LabRadar, you can tune for accuracy while monitoring your ES and SD.

magnetospeed barrel chronograph

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Tags: Caldwell Velociradar, Chronograph Comparison, Chronograph Review, Garmin Chronograph, Garmin Xero C1 Pro, Labradar LX Chronograph, Magnetospeed