Reliability of radar guns?

I’m beginning to think radar guns and velo numbers are witchcraft. My son has been on a variety of different guns and apparatus that measure his velocity for the past 2 years. I have seen numbers from radar guns from behind home plate, guns off to the side, at an angle, from behind, and a baseball with an accelerometer in it.
The numbers have been everywhere. The highest numbers coming from the guns behind home plate and the accelerometer ball. Lowest from the side and angle, guns. Not sure what to believe. The one true stat is the reaction of the batters.
Numbers are numbers, but the wide range is mind boggling.

This is a great question. Radar guns can only get the true velocity when they are used correctly and are aimed directly in-line with the path of the ball. As you get off to the side this adds a significant angle between the radar beam and the path of the ball. This will cause any radar to read a lower speed due to the Cosine effect. Also, accelerometers in a ball do not work the same as a radar gun so the readings will not be as consistent. If you want to understand more about how to make sure you get accurate readings from a radar gun you should check out this series of blog posts where someone goes over all of the things that are important to get a good reading:
https://pitcherlyfe.wordpress.com/blog/
If you ever have any questions on anything related to radar please give us a call on our toll-free support line at 888.381.2672 weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time. We are always happy to help.
Thanks,
Chris
Chris Stewart / President, Pocket Radar Inc.

Hi speed camera in your smartphone and a slow motion app. Time it and do the math, gives you the average speed to home plate but very consistent.