The Myths of Speed Radar Guns: What It Can and Cannot Detect

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Speed radar guns have many uses in sports and law enforcement. There’s a lot at stake in radar gun readings: draft choices, predictions, sports careers, even court verdicts. This is why many people take radar gun discussions seriously and question their accuracy.

Let’s get the facts straight and identify the myths about speed radar guns in this blog.

Speed radar guns can read or detect the speed of a bullet.

This is quite a gray area. The average radar gun equipment cannot detect fired bullets. These are the ones used by sports and F1 racing enthusiasts, as well as cops who are on the lookout for speeding vehicles. There are, however, more sophisticated and technologically advanced radar gun that can accomplish this.

Radars are typically programmed to detect moving objects that meet a specified range for velocity (speed) and distance (between two points that are within range of the radar gun). These parameters are known as “gates,” and it is only when the moving object meets these parameters that the radar gun will detect or read its speed.

Since bullets are faster than vehicles, athletes, and baseballs, they go beyond the parameters for velocity; and unless the speed testing is done in a controlled environment, it’s hard to ensure that a radar gun is within range of a bullet’s path when it’s fired.

Speaking of controlled environments, however, advanced radar guns like the Stalker Pro II+ can detect the speed of a bullet if used in simulations for this very purpose. The Stalker Pro II+ has a “Carnival” mode that can read bullet speeds if the bullets have very short flight durations, are fired from a calculated distance, and have a fixed path and trajectory. A firing range is an example of controlled environments where you can test speed radar guns to detect bullet speed.

A speed radar gun stops detecting vehicles when they drive away.

While radar guns do need to be within range of a moving object to accurately read its speed, the statement above is fallacious because it assumes that speed radar guns operate the same way as speed laser guns. The latter shoots pulses of infrared laser lights and measures how fast it took for the laser’s reflection to bounce back. Radar, however, has a wider range. It can continue to give accurate speed readings for vehicles that are directly retreating because their wide surface areas will continue to reflect microwaves back to the radar gun.

Speed radar guns must be stationary to give accurate readings.

This is assumption is inaccurate. Many police cruisers, for one, have radar devices that are designed to be used while moving (usually at a minimum of 3mph). These speed radar guns measure the relative “ground speed” directly in front of the cruiser, then use another frequency to measure the speed of all the other moving objects detected by the radar. The speed radar gun’s computing unit takes these factors together to determine the speed of the target object.

Heavy rain or snowfall causes inaccuracies in speed readings.

This statement is likely the product of wishful thinking among speeding motorists. Heavy rain, snow, and even fog have little effect on the accuracy of radar speed readings. They can have a very minor impact on range, but all that means is that users need to be nearer to the target object to get a reading; and once that reading is in, there’s a small chance that it is inaccurate.

Considering the advanced technology that goes into developing speed radar guns, theories that doubt their accuracy are often false. So no matter your purpose for using a radar gun, whether it’s for leisure or your job, you can depend on the integrity of your readings.

Keep these facts in mind when using radar guns so that you’re not swayed by the myths and false assumptions about how they work. To order, browse our website and add your preferred brand and model to your cart.

Shop now at Radar Gun Sales.

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