MagnoSpeed Sporter & V3 chronographs
- By Pete Moore
- 2 Comments
- Last updated: 07/12/2016
I’ll put my hand up here and say I have managed to kill eight chronographs of various types over the years in some spectacular shoot-throughs. Not intentional but accidents happen; especially with the amount of work my chronos get! Joking aside a chronograph is an essential piece of equipment for the serious shooter! It will allow you to record the actual velocity of your ammunition despite what is says on the box or in the loading data! For make no mistake; barrel length, bore diameter/condition all influence muzzle velocity! Knowing your actual speed will let you to work out you exact ballistics so allowing you to compensate for all ranges, but also energy figures too. Critical data to both firearms and airgun users alike.
Your average chrono is placed down-range of the muzzle by around 10ft. It gathers data by the bullet passing over sensors that start and stop a clock that translates this into a speed in fps or mps. They use light and shadow as triggering mechanisms and are very critical of lighting conditions; too much or too little and they might not read correctly or at all! This is aided by sky screens when it’ too light and extra lighting kits for the dark! Depending on the model it could be as simple as a down-range unit you have to walk up to read and note the data. More sophisticated is a separate read-out panel that plugs into the chrono at the firing point. Quick note - most ballistic packages assume your chrono is 10 ft down-range; the MagnetoSpeed takes the data directly at the muzzle. So if you can you need to adjust this on your device accordingly. On my Ballistic AE programme I can nominate this distance.
Generally they will give you minimum, maximum and average speeds plus standard deviation (SD) and extreme velocity spread (ES). The more sophisticated types can store your shot strings and send them to your mobile or PC by a hard wire or wireless connection or download to a flash card. My last machine was the Chrony Beta C machine and a great design, but a 75-grain 243 Win through its guts ended our relationship!
I was going to replace it, but a chance meeting with Gary Costello (March Scopes) at IWA introduced me to the MagnetoSpeed muzzle-mounted chronos he distributes. They are very different and as opposed to breaking a beam of light the bullet passes over magnets to do the same job. Result; as you are not at the mercy of the weather or lighting conditions nor is any part of the system actually in front of the muzzle. Plus I’d say it’s probably a lot more reliable and accurate too!
There are two versions - the Sporter and the V3. Both use exactly the same system but the latter is far more sophisticated and user-friendly. There are two components; the bayonet sensor (Bayo) which attaches to the muzzle by a tensionable strap and is the base for the magnetic sensor bar and yes it does look like a bayonet. Second is the display unit that plugs into it to receive and store data.
The Bayo is made of a strong blast and heat-resistant polymer uses an adjustable strap to cinch down onto the muzzle section so at least ½ - 1” protrudes over into the curved section. The sensor section is aligned so it sits just under the bore, with a distance of 0.125 and 0.25” between the base of the bullet and the flat sensor surface. A cleaning rod makes a good guide here, though the V3 includes its own. Height is adjusted by a series of rubber spacers and V-blocks to get it right. The V3 is intended for use with thicker barrels and rifles fitted with moderators as it has more spacers and its magnetic base is higher so it can be easily used with a moderator fitted or without.
The Sporter is intended for plain barrels only (no moddies) and just offers two spacers. Though bullet height is critical to accurate measurement, you can adjust the sensitivity to suit. This can also account for smaller and slower projectiles like airgun pellets. The V3 also offers a rubber heat shield that goes between the moderator body and adjusting strap to stop it burning/melting.
Using the more basic Sporter as an example - there’s no ON/OFF switch on either version you just plug the data lead into the display unit and it starts up and goes through a series of checks and test then displays _ _ _ _ on the screen to show it’s ready. You then fire a string of 3-shots, press the button and the screen toggles though a series of message until you see ‘DATA’ displayed and press again here you will get the individual velocity figures and results. All this can be returned to by going through the menue again and once you have noted the data it can be deleted. Conversely if you want to you can delete individual shots too if for example they are not right.
Obviously the V3 is more sophisticated and contains more equipment for the purpose also a main button and two toggle arrows to easier navigate menus and select functions. For example the data is displayed at the same time min, max, average velocities and ES or SD (selectable), which makes it easier to read. It also comes with a micro SD card for recording and carrying data complete with a card reader adaptor. There’s a downloadable app for your smart phone and a cable supplied to connect and view/store the information on it. You can also download firmware up dates too.
The data cable is fixed on the Sporter’s Bayo but jacks in at both ends on the V3 and is 6ft long, a 4ft extension is also included. Likewise there are three shims of varying widths and two spacers for adjustment. The Sporter offers just two shims, which is more than adequate for barrel-mounting.
The V3 offers the following menue options: Go Back (back to home screen), Archive Series writes data from local memory to SD card, Delete Shot, Set Sensitivity (11-settings), Restart Series to 1, Clear