MagnetoSpeed Barrel Mounted Ballistic Chronograph

The folks at have been hard at work perfecting their barrel-mounted chronograph, now called the “MagnetoSpeed VI.” Although the term “revolutionary” is overused, that's exactly what this barrel-mounted chronograph is. Personal chronographs have long been time-consuming to set up, difficult to keep from blowing around on breezy days, and naturally sensitive to ambient light.

It is easy to blow off skyscreens or shoot holes through chronographs. I've done both. Many chronographs are overly bulky and really clumsy to set up with lengthy cables that are easily tangled, and ponderous optional battery-powered infrared screens needed for difficult lighting conditions. At a public range, setting up chronographs may get their own special type of derision. The MagnetoSpeed eliminates all of these issues by using electromagnetic sensors.

The integral magnetic sensors are unaffected by muzzle blast and need no light source at all. The unit is attached directly to the muzzle of the firearms with what they call a bayonet assembly. Where the prototypes of the magnetospeed were limited to jacketed bullets, this production unit can be quickly set for copper lead core, copper steel core, or lead slugs or shot pellets. Both magnetic and non-magnetic projectiles can be used accurately.

In lead shot/slug mode, the device is much more sensitive so that it picks up the relatively weak signals that it gets from lead, since lead is far less conductive than copper. Steel is ferromagnetic so the signal you get from those rounds is different from a purely conductive bullet; the copper+steel mode handles that. The display unit is powered by four AAA batteries and turns on automatically when the data cable is inserted. You can save your data on the one megabyte Micro SD card, which is supplied.

The rifle I happened to be working with is the Benelli MR1 .223 Rem / 5.56 x 45mm NATO self-defense rifle which has a 16 inch barrel. Stated factory velocities are invariably off, way off, as “standard test barrels” are used. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer's Institute, Inc. (SAAMI), the body which governs civilian ammunition specifications in North America, sets their velocity standards (+/- 90 f.p.s.) at 15 ft. and, in the case of the .223 Remington cartridge with a 55 gr. bullet, has established a standard velocity of 3,215 f.p.s.  This means the acceptable range of velocities for a commercial cartridge in this caliber and bullet weight would be 3,125 - 3,305 f.p.s. out of a 24 inch test barrel.  Problem is, the Benelli (and M-4 variants of the AR platform) have dramatically shorter barrels. It can get confusing in a hurry, as published “muzzle velocity” isn't velocity at the muzzle, it is velocity at three yards and it may not be from a barrel length at all similar to what you have. The downrange velocities and energy numbers we like to read about are often completely bogus.

To demonstrate this, we used two types of ammunition: the Hornady Superformance 35 grain NTX varmint rounds and the Barnes VOR-TX 55 grain rounds. The stated velocity for the Hornady ammo is 4000 fps, printed right on the box. The Barnes ammo says 3240 fps, again . . . published right on the box. As shown in the images above, in actuality, the Hornady 35 grain ammo averaged 3452 fps with a standard deviation of 42: about 86% of the published velocity. The Barnes 55 grain loads averaged 2879 fps, with a standard deviation of 23: about 89% of the stated velocity. You'd never know this, unless you did your own chronograph work.

You can see what an invaluable tool a good chronograph is. So very often, we tend to select loads based on published figures, whether rifle, shotshell, handgun, or saboted slug. Yet, the information we buy into (or reload into) is often of no value. If you want usable ballistics, you have to start with meaningful data. The MagnetoSpeed makes it more convenient and reliable than ever before. Often, the more accurate chronographs tend to give the most bad reads. By taking light out of the equation, along with clumsy sky-screens, tripods, and so forth, the MagnetoSpeed is the handiest, most reliable chronograph I've ever used. As it is barrel-mounted, there are some limitations the most obvious being some autoloading handguns.

Few products do all they are claimed to do. But the MagnetoSpeed does, handling most long gun applications along with revolvers and other handguns with enough exposed barrel to affix the bayonet to. This is unique, excellent product that anyone that is serious about their own ballistics will enjoy using. You can get yours by ordering from today.



Copyright 2012 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.





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Copyright 2012 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.

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