DON’T Shoot Saboted Projectiles through Chronographs

Whether it is a shotgun slug or an Accelerator bullet (.223 caliber bullet in a .308 caliber sabot), their sabots/wads can damage the chronographs. Sabots and wads are designed to separate from the projectile right after leaving the muzzle. After the separation, their trajectory may slightly change in an unpredictable pattern. Although the sabots and wads are lighter and have much lower velocities than the actual projectiles, they can still pack some punch, enough to damage the chronographs or any other fragile equipment (cameras, Decibel meters, and whatnot) on their way.

Accelerator sabots. Image by www.eabco.net

If you shoot shotguns, you have probably seen the wads hitting the target at close ranges. Sometimes they can even pierce a cardboard target or get stuck in it. Apparently, this is also the case with Accelerator sabots. In the video below, Accelerator sabot breaks the display of a chronograph.

Possibly, a solution to this issue could be some sort of a shield placed in front of the chronograph display. It will need to be made of strong enough material and firmly fixed in place to stop/deflect the sabots. It would also be good to have that shield made of a transparent material to make data reading easier. However, be careful when experimenting. The described setup will probably have a danger of ricocheting sabots and wads.





Hrachya H

Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying design, technology and history of guns and ammunition. His knowledge of Russian allows him to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at Hrachya@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • No one

    Why not? What if I just happen to have a closet fetish for breaking chronographs in odd an unusual ways?!

  • PK

    It happens! The usual suggestion is, as you mention, a barrier.

  • Paul Rain

    Huh.

    Given sabots, I would totally do this. Nice one.

  • RSG

    With over 40 years of reloading experience, Fortunecookie45lc, is a national treasure. Beyond his vast reloading expertise, he is a very kind man who always engages his viewers in his comment sections. Check his channel out.

    • Shoot That Hipster

      From the hot lead zone!

    • Yeah. Every video he does is something based on practice and understanding. Not that he doesn’t occasionally do something silly, but he goes out of his way to show his successes and failures and actively help people with questions. IMO he’s worth 1000 of this particular TFB writer, who seems to be surprised by the most basic firearms things in most of his articles.

  • SGT Fish

    cheap sheet of lexan. problem solved

    • Dougscamo

      Yep, learned this one the hard way….

      • SGT Fish

        hindsight is 20/20. hopefully this article will save some chronos

    • That’s exactly what I told Mr. Fortune cookie on the video

  • No one

    I’d say use something inherently worthless like an M1A, but I’m pretty sure sabot petals would bresk those too.

    • Friend

      But muh unreliable boat anchor!

      To appease the fanboys:
      Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE M1As. They downright fun, look oh-so perty and can be insanely accurate (emphasis on can be.) But as a combat or even hunting rifle? No thanks.

  • Sam

    Wads and plastic bits may have less velocity after separation at 20 or 30 yards, but just past the muzzle at chrony distance, everything is more or less going the same speed. Imagine getting hit with a ping-pong ball at 2000fps.

  • Martin Grønsdal

    One day some fool will create a sabot that won’t separate from the bullet

    • Phillip Cooper

      Then it, by definition, would not be a sabot.

      • James Earl Jones

        Which was, of course, the joke.

    • int19h

      Fool? I bet it would sell like hot cakes if marketed right. E.g.:

      “Our revolutionary ammunition maximizes the amount of energy transferred to the target, by fully utilizing the kinetic energy of the sabot, not just the bullet alone.”

  • Jeff

    It has been my experience that firing any projectile THROUGH a chronograph results in damage to or destruction of the instrument.

    • Hrachya H

      How many projectiles have you tested that way? :))) jk

      • Jeff

        Uhm…. I’ll take the Fifth.

  • ShootCommEverywhere
    • ActionPhysicalMan

      I keep waiting for the Mk II, presuming there will be one.

      • Nick

        The current version is pretty good as is.

    • Heywood57

      Yes, but you can buy five ProChrono for the price of one LabRadar.
      They have an optional debris shield for an extra $15

  • Haulin’ Oats

    Buy a Lab Radar. Problem Solved.

  • Phillip Cooper

    Um… DUH?

  • Christian Hedegaard-Schou

    Every time I see something like this and I start to think to myself “well no duh”, I stop and remember that most people are stupid.

    • RSG

      I can guarantee you there’s very few folks around with more reloading experience than FC45LC. He’s been doing it for more than 40 years and has forgotten more than what 99% of what folks know.

      • Palmier

        Too bad experience doesn’t equal intelligence.

      • Dan

        And yet he screwed up like any other noob. Weird

      • Dan

        Just check Prochrono warns of shotshell wads hitting the chrono. Perhaps part of what he has forgotten is that sabots are sorta like wads

  • Do they not sell plywood where that guy lives? I realize jigsaw technology hasn’t reached all markets yet, but there are less advanced ways to cut holes in flat pieces of wood.

  • Mystick

    OR, don’t place vulnerable objects in front of the muzzle plane. Use a chrono that has a remote monitor if you want to shoot something like this. Right tool for the job and all.

  • PK

    Ah, yes, the infamous 0.044 gauge shotgun!

  • Wild Bill

    Better to recognize FortuneCookie45LC many contributions to reloading information than this one video. He sacrificed the screen of his chronograph so we don’t have to make the same mistake. I’d bet FortuneCookie45LC has forgotten more knowledge about reloading than most of you keyboard commandos will ever know.

  • Wild Bill

    Better to recognize FortuneCookie45LC many contributions to reloading information than this one video. He sacrificed the screen of his chronograph so we don’t have to make the same mistake. I’d bet FortuneCookie45LC has forgotten more knowledge about reloading than most of you keyboard commandos will ever know.