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Comparing The Top Chronographs On The Market

Comparing The Top Chronographs On The Market

By Len Backus

For quite a few years I used the $600 Oehler brand three-screen chrono. For decades it was considered the best. And it probably still is the best screen-based chrono out there.

But even it would sometimes fail to read in tricky light conditions. If you have to drive a ways to shoot, you NEVER want a failure-to-read situation. And setting up the screens was a bit of a pain in the butt. And of course for those who shoot at busy public ranges, it's especially inconvenient to set up screens given the range safety issues and rules.

Thank goodness the MagnetoSpeed Chronograph hit the market several years ago followed by the LabRadar. They have both been proven by industry experts like Brian Litz in side-by-side testing of all the top chronos to be at the very top of the heap in terms of accuracy. And their ease of setup and use is truly a game changer.

Both systems take a completely different approach to measuring bullet velocity compared to traditional chronographs and I am so glad they do! Are you ready to ditch that frustrating old chronograph?

MagnetoSpeed Chronograph
Comparing The Top Chronographs On The Market

MagnetoSpeed straps to the end of your barrel and uses electromagnets to measure the speed of bullets. It is extremely accurate and never misses a reading. It is quick and easy to strap on, then push a button or two and you are up and running and measuring muzzle velocity on just about any type of projectile from airguns to .50 cal.

Pros:
  • Compact.
  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Very accurate.
  • Never misses a reading (practically).
  • Relatively low price, especially the Sporter model which is a real bargain.
  • V3 models handles suppressors and large, aggressive brakes well.
  • Excellent Battery life.
  • No chance of picking up neighbor's shot at a busy range.
  • Small company out of Austin, TX with great customer support and warranty.

Cons:
  • Uses different size shims to align the bayonet relative to the center of the barrel. This can be a little putzy. Once you have the shims figured out for a given gun attaching the MagnetoSpeed is a snap. Switching between guns can be a hassle though.
  • Because MagnetoSpeed attaches to end of barrel, harmonics can be affected causing slight change in point of impact or group size. If you only need mv this is a non-issue.
  • Does not work with bows or crossbows.
  • Can't attach to some pistols (with long slides for example).
  • To pick up airgun projectiles and some small rimfire calibers a sensitivity setting may need to be adjusted which can be a bit tricky.

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