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Pete Evans conducts a time and motion study, with the help of an LMBR chronograph
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Anyone with aspirations toward airgun tuning, needs access to an accurate and reliable chronograph. Pellet velocity, leading to a calculation of power, is the only way of knowing if your work has been fruitful, and more importantly, corresponds to the legal limit of your country. On the subject of legality, let’s not lose sight of the fact that once a gun is in your ownership, it is your responsibility to ensure that the power remains within lawful parameters; this can be particularly important when guns are purchased secondhand from private sources.
Chronograph readings can be very useful in diagnosing faults, particularly when there are instances of inconsistent velocities causing inaccuracies down-range. I hope I’ve given a few good reasons for you to rush out and buy one, which of course, leads to the question of choice because the market is awash with models of various prices. I already have a couple of chronographs that I use regularly – a Skan, and an FX Radar, which are excellent and come highly recommended, although they both have one limitation. Both are difficult to use down-range, particularly if you don’t want to damage them. If recording terminal energy is your bag, like our own Gary Wain, then you need a chronograph, which with care can be used down-range. So, if this is you, and you also want a chronograph that can be used in the workshop, then the LMBR R2A could be your new best friend.
The LMBR chronograph is the brainchild of Radoslaw Koziol an electronics/ telecommunications engineer based in Bartag, a small village in Poland. His original work started in 2007/08, and in his own words, was more a hobby than anything else. As often happens, matters started to get a bit more serious, and he changed the brief to produce a reliable practical device capable of producing data that would be useful to the shooting community. From my findings, I think he has achieved his brief and then some, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
When in need of shooting supplies, be that pellets, targets, CO2, or in this case, a chronograph, I approached my preferred on-line shop – J.S. Ramsbottom, who I have come to trust implicitly with my orders over many years. Even in the midst of worldwide lockdown, they still managed to deliver well-packaged goods on time – all of the time.
Well, that’s a whistle-stop tour of the origins, and where to get one. Now it’s time to find out what you get for your hard-earned pounds.
Let’s start with the construction; fabricated from 1.2mm steel, coated with a textured paint that brings to mind cameras from the 1960s, or indeed the dashboard of a classic MG sports car. In one word, probably best summed up as ‘robust’ with the overall im==ression that providing you don’t shoot it, it’s something that’s going to be with you for the long haul.
The inherent robustness doesn’t translate into bulk; with an overall weight just shy of 1kg, and vital statistics of 210 x 105 x 100mm, it’s easily portable to take to the range, and doesn’t take up much room on the workbench, either.
The three main control buttons on the front panel of the model tested are similarly robust, and I note that on some models, these are exchanged for flush-fitting buttons. Display is classic LCD with the ability to back-light the screen, which is my preferred option.
Turning the unit around reveals the on/off rocker switch, and the socket to enable you to connect and download your data to a computer. For those who are more technically minded, there is an external Bluetooth adaptor available for the newest models – the older ones need some internal adaptation before use. As for me, I’m quite at home with the facility to display and store the data on board.
The chronograph harnesses the power of two 1.5 V AA cells, or can be powered by a mains adaptor, via a socket at the front. If you do use the mains option, the on/off switch is rendered inactive. The cell option is always going to be more popular, especially as it promotes portability, and the fact that branded cells are widely available at reasonable cost.
To gain access to the cell compartment, it is necessary to remove the plastic plate on the base. This is secured by four 2mm hex-head screws, and a suitable wrench is supplied for the purpose. The cranked end of the wrench is useful to pass through the slots in the cover to help lift it off and the substantial internal cell retaining clips help to keep things firmly in position. Be aware that they both face in the same direction.
When the cover is replaced, be careful that the two slots allow access to the sensors below. It is possible to fit it the wrong way round, which means the sensors are occluded and the device becomes inoperative.
As with all products, it’s worth taking some time to consider the supplied instructions, which for me wasn’t the easiest set to follow, but I soon got the gist of things and then it was plain sailing.
Chronographs are all about measurements, so what exactly can this machine calculate and display?
To start the process, you are going to need to input your pellet weight, which has a maximum available value of 600 grains – imagine the trajectory of that pellet! Once done, shoot down the centre of the open aperture, where you will have a choice of viewing various items of valuable data, available in imperial and metric units. At the very least, you are going to want to see velocity, and this over a series of shots. From a string of shots you can choose to see the maximum, minimum, average, and the difference between maximum and minimum velocities.
Making use of pellet weight, the LMBR calculates individual power, as well as average if you shoot a string, even if that string extends to 250. All this will be delivered with an accuracy of 1% measured at a velocity of 1,000 M/S. To test the validity, I took a comparison from my benchmark chrono’ - Skan Pro 1, which gave near identical results.
My particular unit has been in very regular use over the last two years; it’s been knocked over, left outside in the rain overnight, and generally endured abuse that no tool should have to put up with. Testament to the build quality is the fact that it hasn’t missed a beat, or should that be ‘shot’, in all that time. Whatever your discipline, this chronograph comes highly recommended. It’s an extremely secure investment that will serve you well for many years to come.
LMBR R2A Chronograph
Available from JS Rambottom £155.99
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