I have never owned a chronograph, but often wish that I had one.
They are very useful in working up loads for a firearm.
Most older types of chronographs are the type pictured here.
They use two areas that measure the speed of the bullet as it passes through a set of screens.
The problems with these types of chronographs is that they can be difficult to set up in windy conditions, and you must also be very careful to set them up so that the bullet passes exactly through the screens on its way to the target.
I recently saw a new type of chronograph called the MagnetoSpeed that is a “bayonet type” system and does not have the normal screen-type setup.
This system is unlike most other chronographs in that it is attached to the front of a rifle barrel and measures the speed of a bullet as the bullet passes over the blade.
You attach the blade with a strap as tightly as you can.
You can then use a small wheel to tighten the system very securely.
It has two different pads which allow for fine-tuning to be sure that the bullet passes closely to the bayonet, but does not impact the bayonet.
I placed a .22 caliber cleaning rod in the barrel to be sure that the path of the bullet would not hit the bayonet.
You then plug the wire into the back of the bayonet.
Then you plug the other end into the screen.
It is ready to go.
The screen has a very handy kick-stand to allow the shooter to clearly see the screen.
I will be shooting my Colt HBAR AR-15 today.
I will start with some Wolf .223 ammo.
This is not always the most accurate ammo in this rifle, but it is plenty good enough for plinking.
I fired the first shot and it gave me the speed.
I settled down and shot five shots at 50 yards.
As you can see, the maximum speed was 3061 fps.
The slowest was 2311.
That gave an average of 2822, but a standard deviation of 294 fps.
That’s a pretty wide SD.
It measured 1.108”.
Next I cleared the screen for another load.
You simply push the button on the side and it asks you what you want to do.
I picked “Reset Series to 1”.
It checked me to be sure that was what I wanted to do and I clicked “Yes”.
I was then ready for the next group and settled down and shot some handloads.
Max is 2639. Minimum is 2515. Average is 2587.
But the important point is that the Standard Deviation is only 47 fps.
That is a very consistent load.
The group measured .946.
To be honest the Wolf shot so well that I think the group was a fluke.
With a SD of 294 fps, it should not be anywhere as accurate as the handloads with a SD of 47 fps.
More groups would tell the tale.
This system was very easy to use and the results were exactly as expected. If you are interested in an excellent chronograph, you ought to look carefully at the MagnetoSpeed system.
The basic kit lists as $275 MSRP, and is available at www.MagnetoSpeed.com.
Thanks to my lovely wife for taking the pictures.
Shooting stuff is fun.