Labradar accessory

I have a Labradar chronograph. It is more expensive than previous chronographs I have owned but as I have outlined before it has some major benefits.

There are some some issues with it too. It’s not required, but there is an app for use on your Android or iPhone. The app improved the usability considerably even though it wasn’t the best design and it would disconnect when the phone turned off the screen.

Then my phone had to be replaced. I bought a Samsung Galaxy S21 5G. Name brand, should be good, right? The Labradar will not connect with it. The phone recognizes the chronograph Bluetooth is up and running but cannot make the connection. It turns out many other people are having the same problem with other Android phones and tablets as well as iPhones.

The Android app hasn’t been updated since it was released on June 14, 2018. I have two very cheap older Android phone scheduled to arrive in a day or two and I’m hoping one of them will work.

Another issue is that you have to have the unit pointed at your target such that the bullet stays near to the center of the radar beam. You are supposed to use the notch on the top as a sight:


This is far from the best sight and is marginal at best.

While looking for a solution to the Bluetooth phone application issue I ran across a solution to the sighting issue. Actually, three solutions:

  1. Low profile without a bubble level.
  2. With a bubble level.
  3. Standard height without a bubble level.

I ordered option three on Saturday afternoon (Christmas day!) and it arrive today just four days later.

It took me less than 25 seconds to install it.





It fits perfectly and solidly. It deserves the average of five stars on the reviews it is getting.

Now if I can just get a phone to run the out of date app and connect to the unit. I think I could reverse engineer the API and write my own app but that is an extreme last resort.

Update: I tried two different phones:

The View 2 would not connect. The View 3 would sometimes connect five times in a row. Then it would fail 20 times in a row. I returned both of them and ordered a phone using Android 9 with 1 GB RAM. I have my suspicions that it is a timing problem. It seemed that if I were to reboot the phone then immediately try to connect to the chronograph the odds of connecting were better than 50%. But I didn’t try that enough to have a good sample size. I’m hoping that with not much RAM (and reviews complaining about how slow the phone is) that it may reliably connect to the Chronograph. The phone should arrive late next week. I’ll let you know….

Quote of the day—Chauncey DeVega

Thomas Massie and Lauren Boebert, two of the most blatantly fascistic Republican members of Congress, are dreaming of a White Christmas — with the emphasis on “White.”

In the spirit of holiday cheer, Massie and Boebert recently shared family Christmas photos on social media — in which every family member is brandishing a gun. There’s nothing unique about them. Such a “tradition” is fairly common among a particular subculture of American gun fetishists and “ammosexuals.” This is but another symptom of America’s unhealthy infatuation with gun violence.

Chauncey DeVega
December 24, 2021
White supremacist Christmas: Those Boebert and Massie “gun photos” are a direct threat
[Reading the article was like reading about the trial in Darkness at Noon, propaganda from Nazi Germany, or the twisted reality described by the mentally ill. It is an elaborate tale constructed upon the flimsiest of scaffolding for evil purposes or from a delusional mind.

Even the pictures supplied were distorted.

These are the pictures supplied for the article:

The pictures supplied by Boebert and Massie:



It is my belief normal people are catching on to the disconnect from reality. The political left cannot bear to slow “progress” and push their delusions all the harder. Furthering the rife between reality and their “progress”.

This will not end well. Prepare appropriately.—Joe]

Midway USA Birthday Pricing

A fair amount of my online gun related purchases are from Midway USA. The prices are reasonable, the shipping is quick and the selection is excellent.

They also have something I haven’t seen other places. This is Birthday Pricing:

This fantastic program is available to you once per year to help you celebrate your special day.  Your special promotion code is activated 7 days prior to your date of birth and expires 7 days after, or once it has been used.

It is a nice bonus that I took advantage of this year to purchase a set of steel targets for my new gun range. I had planned to wait until next spring but I was shopping for something else and the alert about Birthday Pricing popped up when I visited the Midway USA site. I thought about it some and then a couple days later decided I probably wasn’t going to get a better price on a complete set of Steel Challenge targets. Last weekend I put them in a dry place for the winter:


New .40 S&W powder puff loads

When Rolf and I shot the ASI match last month I commented:

My powder puff loads failed to reliably cycle the action. The cool weather probably contributed to this. In the hot (for the Seattle area) summer the loads cycled the same gun just fine. I think I need to add another 0.1 of a grain to the load to make sure they work in the cooler weather.

I tested my new loads today. They worked great. I tested them in two different guns and also tested the old load. Both guns cycled the action without a problem with the new loads. The old loads had a few problems in the cool weather.

The 0.1 grain increase in charge also decreased the standard deviation:

Gun Bullet Weight Powder charge Mean velocity PF Sdev ES Min  Max
1 180.00 3.1 785.60 141.41 15.3 59.0 762 821
1 180.00 3.0 745.00 134.10 26.6 118.0 673 791
2 180.00 3.1 761.38 137.05 14.3 62.0 738 800
2 180.00 3.0 713.15 128.37 22.8 85.0 667 752

The group size was significantly smaller as well. This may have been because of the decreased standard deviation. A 140 PF is still very pleasant in a .40 S&W gun.

The bullets were polymer coated lead bullets. The powder was Hodgdon Clays.

Review of Bravo Belt Holster

Earlier this week I received an email:

From: BravoBelt Team
Sent: Monday, October 4, 2021 5:59 AM

I was searching around and came across with your article: A step in the right direction. I love the content! My name is Oliver and I’m on the Outreach Team for @BravoBelt. We recently released an updated BravoBelt holster that I think your readers would appreciate.
Let me know if you would like one to review and I will drop one in the mail for you.

Oliver Sana
Digital Operations Manager
The BravoBelt Team

After looking at their website I was skeptical, but at 3:00 AM the next day I agreed to review their holster. I was skeptical for three reasons:

  1. The opening for the gun is elastic and collapses when the gun is removed which probably makes it difficult to reholster one handed and without looking at the holster.
  2. The snapped strap over the top of the gun will slow the draw.
  3. The spare magazine are shown on the same side of body as the gun. This will slow your reloads. And for the left handed shooter it’s going to take some real contortions to reach your reload.

From their website (see more pictures on Amazon):


I received the holster two days after agreeing to review it.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the smell. The smell of neoprene was almost overpowering. Thankful the smell faded after a couple days in the open air.

I was pleased to observe the magazine holster was different from what was pictured. The magazine holster was a separate pouch which fastened with Velcro to almost wherever you want it. I was easily able to position it on my left side exactly where I wanted it.

The holster is extremely comfortable. It was almost soothing!

This is where I run out of nice things to say about the holster. My other concerns were mostly realized.

The elastic opening immediately collapsed when the gun was drawn. I could wiggle the gun back into the holster with one just one hand but I really needed to look at it as I was doing it. There are various scenarios in defensive handgun usage where this can be important. In the General Defensive Handgun class from Insights Training one of the critical features of a holster was that it be relatively easy to holster your gun, sight unseen, with one hand. This holster fails that test.

The same sort of story can be told about putting a magazine into the holster on the other side. If you do a reload with a partially empty magazine and want to put the used magazine in the holster you need to use another hand (holding the gun? Nope.), get your eyes on the holster, or fumble one handed for a bit. I’m not liking these scenario in a defensive encounter.

The strap over the back of the gun is required for secure carry. The gun moves around too much without it.

I practiced drawing for several minutes and I was able to get into a “groove” that was faster than I expected. It was more complicated than a typical draw with the snap needing to be released, then flipped over the back of the gun, and then the hand going down again to get under the strap. The elastic helped some. The strap would do a lot of the flipping on it’s own but I still needed to time things right and make sure my hand was under the strap when I gripped the gun.

I could comfortably and repeatedly get off my first shot in 2.25 S from concealment from underneath a unbuttoned flannel shirt. Not too bad, I thought. I could not get it down to 2.0 S. As I sped up the strap and/or my t-shirt would inevitably get between my hand and the grip of the gun.

I put my Kramer IWB #2 holster back on and tested my draw speed. 1.5 S was repeatable. Hmmm… 1.5 S to 2.25 S is a 50% increase in draw time. Is a 0.75 seconds critical? One could make the case that it could sometimes mean the difference between life and death. It’s probably not super critical in the big picture. I think I would worry more about the increase in complexity in a time of stress causing a tangled clothing draw of 5.0 S instead of the 2.25 S draw under controlled conditions.

I asked Barb to model the holster for pictures and she readily agreed. Pictures are with the holster unconcealed for demonstration purposes. Wearing it over a t-shirt and under my flannel shirt made little difference in functionality than as shown below:


Notice the pouch for your cellphone in the picture above? That worked well for me.

The Velcro attached spare magazine holster had the advantage of being adjustable to exactly the right spot regardless of your waist size.


She was not happy with it. If it was low enough to easily draw then it was just below the widest portion of her hips. This made it more difficult to conceal, risked having it slide down, and made walking and bending over uncomfortable. I had her raise it up to where it was above the top the widest area of her hips. Then the draw was difficult because she was running out of range of motion to be able to lift her gun high enough to clear the holster:


The fit on me was a little better. I could position the height of the holster such that the gun didn’t poke me when walking or bending over and I could complete the draw even though I was reaching the end of my range of motion.



The price for this holster is $27.77 to $29.95 (depending on waist size) on Amazon. That is a great price for a functional holster. But this holster has functional deficiencies for defensive carry. That said, because of the extreme comfort it might be that someone is more likely to carry than not carry. And the first rule of gun safety is to have a gun.

Rolf and I shoot an ASI match

I invited Rolf to go to an ASI match with me and this morning he showed up at my house about 8:20 AM and I drove us the rest of the way to the Renton Fish and Game Club.

I expected with the weather on the cool side, threats of rain, and ammo shortages the number of people would be less than usual. I was wrong. 95 shooters showed up. There were 15 or 16 people on our squad. This makes the match longer than usual. One of the things I like about the ASI matches are that they are usually over by 12:30 or 1:00 and there is enough time left in the day to do other things. It was right at 2:00 PM before we were done. But having lots of shooters is a good thing for the gun culture, so I’ll stop whining about that now.

I first “met” Rolf on the email distribution list for the Microsoft Gun Club (now “The Gun Club at Microsoft). Later I met him in person at the Tuesday Night Pistol League at Weapons Safety, Inc. This was all stationary shooting at a stationary target. He has taken numerous courses from Insights Training, he has been participating and/or volunteering at Boomershoot for many years and I figured he had shot at least a few USPSA pistol matches or maybe a few IPDA matches. Nope. This was his first “action” shooting match.

Hmmm… Okay, well, I know he will do fine. I’ve seen him shoot pistol and revolver before (he used a .357 to shoot boomers at “entertainingly close” distances).

I took a few pictures of him at the match today and after reviewing them he said this is the best one:


“Always willing to lend a hand out”, he told me.

I’m inclined to think this one is better:


I told him I expected he would come in between the bottom third and the bottom half. After seeing him shoot the match I stood by the prediction.

Match results are here. He came in at the 32nd percentile, Very close to my prediction and excellent for a first time action shooter.

I had a couple mechanical malfunctions (and a couple mental ones as well). My powder puff loads failed to reliably cycle the action. The cool weather probably contributed to this. In the hot (for the Seattle area) summer the loads cycled the same gun just fine. I think I need to add another 0.1 of a grain to the load to make sure they work in the cooler weather. I probably could grip the gun tighter and make them more reliable but it would be better to increase the charge a little bit. This will allow me to use them with new shooters with reduced risk of them getting frustrated with the failures to extract and feed.

Gun and ammo scams

I did a web search for small pistol primers and found most brands of primers at unbelievable prices. They have Federal small pistol for $35.00/1000 and CCI small pistol primers for $50.00/1000.

I was suspicious but went through the order process. The cart did not result in taking my credit card information even though I opted for credit card payment instead of PayPal. It ended with a message saying I would be contacted for my payment information. An hour or so later I received an email giving me the payment options of PayPal,
Cash app, or Apple Pay. No credit card option.

I did some research. The domain was created on February 24th, 2021. Hmmm…

Their “About” page an other pages say “WELCOME TO HOUSE OF FIRE ARM”. That wording is a little odd… The email address they sent the payment request from is “House of Firearms”.

The website says the company is located in Kansas. But a business search on the Kansas Security of State web site comes up empty for the names:

  • House of Firearm
  • House of Fire Arm
  • House of Firearms
  • House of Fire Arms

I am almost certain it is a scam.

I found another web site, again with awesome prices, with similar wording on many of their pages which I am very suspicious of. I haven’t fully investigated them yet.

Be careful out there. If something is too good to be true it probably is.

Bullet sale

I just purchased some bullets (not loaded ammo) from Black Bullets International. They had a flash sale of 15% off if you used the coupon code BBIFLASH15 with purchases of 50 pound boxes. I’m not sure when the sale expires. Act fast if you are interested.

Free to a good home

I recently sorted through all my all reject brass from years of reloading. I discovered I had a fair number of 357 Sig cases. I cleaned, dried, and bagged them. My guess is there are between 100 and 125 pieces.


I have no interest in reloading them so they are free to a good home. Send me an email or text message if you can meet in the Seattle area or near Moscow or Orofino (or Sandpoint or Coeur d’Alene the 14th –> 16th of this month) in Idaho. Or if you want to pay the postage I would ship them to you.

Range construction is complete

The range proper is complete. I have some grass to plant and a few other niceties to finish up but it is entirely functional now.

The shooting box is at 15 yards.

This is from about 35 yards.


The pavers protect the washed river rock and drain tile directly underneath from dirt.

I need to get some target stands for USPSA paper and steel targets and a full set of Steel Challenge targets. That probably won’t happen until next year.

Minor range update

Barb hasn’t had a chance to visit my gun range and made comment the size being somewhat small. I parked my car in it and put some targets in the berm for scale so she could get a better idea of the scale:


She has revised her view of the size.

The tile inside the range and more gravel was installed yesterday and the washed river rock was put over the tile today.

Today I made two trips into town to pick up some concrete pavers to cover the gravel over the tile to prevent the dirt from plugging up the gravel and tile line. As the dirt from the berm starts to cross the paver line I will “rehabilitated” the berm.

The range still needs some more gravel but that should be completed tomorrow. Then it will be done!

I now need to invite Mike B. over. I told him about my project last winter and I promised to invite him over when it was done.

Update: The picture below is from across the road looking up range at the retaining wall for the berm. This is the reason for higher blocks on the left side than the right:


Large trucks would be visible from the range if the extra blocks were not present.

The castle wall

Yesterday someone pointed out the walls for my current home project look a lot like castle walls. He was correct. And from certain angles this is especially true:



I expect the project to be completed by the end of next week or the beginning of the following week. When it is done I’ll supply more pictures.