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    MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Sometime last fall, I became aware of a company (MagnetoSpeed) that was advertising a shooting chronograph that would employ an electromagnetic sensor to measure projectile velocity, rather than light sensors as commonly used in other moderately priced chronographs. The potential advantages to such a system including ease of use and lack of dependence on ambient lighting conditions were immediately obvious to me, so I got on a mailing list to be notified when the units were available for purchase. I ordered the unit immediately and received it last week. I carried out a comparison of the MagnetoSpeed unit, shooting 3 different types of ammunition simultaneously with the MagnetoSpeed unit and my Shooting Crony Beta Master unit. Here are the results of those tests and my take on the MagnetoSpeed shooting chronometer.

    The cost of the MagnetoSpeed unit was $250.00, plus tax and shipping. This is almost exactly double the cost of my shooting Chrony Beta Master, not including the cost of the tripod required for using the Chrony. The MagnetoSpeed arrived and the packaging and unit inside are shown in the Figures below:





    My initial impression of the unit was that it appeared to be very cheaply made, which was not initially encouraging considering the I'd just dropped over $250.00 dollars on it. However, appearances can be deceiving, so I'll return to this point later in the review.

    I next tested the MagnetoSpeed chronometer simultaneously with my Shooting Chrony Beta Master using three different factory loads: Hornady 150 gr SSTs (factory test MV = 2820 fps), Federal Gold Medal Match 168 gr SMKs (factory test MV = 2650 fps), and CorBon 190 gr SMKs (factory test MV = 2600 fps). These loads were fired out of a GA Precision Hospitaller with a 24" barrel. Weather conditions were nearly perfect: mostly sunny, 70 degrees F, 40% humidity, 29.94" Hg, with very little wind (1-2 mph from ~7:30).

    For the test, I first zeroed at 100 yd, then fired 10 shots for each ammunition at an orange 10"x12" steel plate, simultaneously measuring MV values with the MagnetoSpeed and the Chrony, which was set at 15' in front of the rifle. The MagnetoSpeed took all of about two minutes to install and prepare for use, in contrast the Chrony, which required a more labor-intensive setup using the tripod and positioning to align my shots with the steel plate at 100 yd. The test setup and closeups of the mounted MagnetoSpeed and Chrony are shown in the following images:







    Shots were fired approximately one every minute, with a 10 minute interval between 10-shot strings for different loads to ensure the barrel was cooled down. The values recorded for the two units are shown in the following table:



    In looking over the data, it was immediately obvious that the only significant difference between the data sets for each of the chronographs is that the MagnetoSpeed gave MV readings tha ranged from ~15-25 fps higher than did the Chrony. Otherwise, the ES and SD values, as well as the shot number of high and low values for each string were statistically identical.

    Because the only significant difference between the values recorded with each unit was that the MagnetoSpeed values were slightly higher, I then ran the MV numbers from the MagnetoSpeed through the JBM calculator to determine how much velocity might be lost in the 15' that separated the two units. According to JBM, the MVs for the 150s, 168s, and 190s were predicted to slow by 11, 10, and 8 fps, respectively, in the 15' that separated the two units. This would account for most, although not all, of the velocity differences recorded between the two chronographs.

    Next, I zeroed the rifle on steel plates at 600 yd to record the actual drop for each load at that distance. I later compared the actual drops at 600 yd to those predicted by JBM using the average muzzle velocities recorded with each chronograph. These data are shown in the following table:



    As can been seen from the numbers, the drops calculated using the MVs from both units were a very close match to those actually observed at 600 yd. The Chrony was slightly closer with two of the loads (FGMM 168s, CorBon 190s), whereas the MagnetoSpeed was a better fit for the Hornady 150s. Having said that, I would say there could be as much as a .125-.250 MOA variance in my actual recorded drops (1-2 clicks elevation), so in essence, there is probably no statistical difference in the values recorded with either unit.

    After this test, my overall take on the MagnetoSpeed is far more favorable than my initial impression. What I first perceived as cheap construction, I would now characterize as "simple". The MagnetoSpeed is extremely simple in both construction and use, not cheaply made as I had first thought. After 30 shots, the was not a single mark or trace of residue on it, even though it was placed directly under the muzzle blast. The viewscreen, although small, can easily been seen to record shot data when shooting. The inherent issues with a light-based shooting chronograph are the labor-intensive nature of the setup, which requires the range be "cold" to go in front of the firing line. Further, light conditions and shot placement directly over the sensors are important considerations for obtaining good data. Finally, if you've ever "shot the Chrony" (I have), you'll be very aware of the care needed when using a unit of that type. I often don't use the Chrony because of the hassle of lining it up for shots at distance when practicing for LR competitions. With the MagnetoSpeed, none of these are issues. You put it on the barrel, check the bore is clear, then shoot where you wish. It is possible that the MagnetoSpeed unit might cause a change in barrel harmonics, being attached to the end of the barrel. However, I was able to put 8 rounds of the Hornady 150s into a group of less than 2" at 600 yd on the steel plate I was using as a target. So my feeling is that the effect is probably minimal. Bottom line, whether the MagnetoSpeed is worth the extra cash over the cost of a light-based unit such as the Shooting Chrony is a personal decision. As for me, I am very satisfied with the purchase.



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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Have you tried it with a muzzle brake?
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    It might be difficult to get it on over a brake, depending on the shape. The directions state that you need ~ 0.5" barrel overhang past the attachment point (out over the "blast" cutout between the end of the barrel and the magnetic device out toward the point. There were two different thickness "spacers" that could be used to mount it, although my guess is that these are for different barrel thicknesses, not brakes. However, I could be wrong. If you could get it mounted in proper alignment with the correct overhang, I see no reason it wouldn't work. Perhaps the only other consideration would be whether the brake was ported downward, like a Vais (or similar). Not sure what that might do to the unit.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Frank,
    I got to wondering per your question...the answer is probably yes. Here are two pics of a DTA SRS 22" barrel, with and without the DTA brake, with the MagnetoSpeed mounted. The DTA brake extends 1.6" beyond the thread protector, which is right at the 1/2" overhang suggested by the manufacturer. This brake is ported to the sides, not downward.





    Doesn't seem like there is any problem with clearance or obstruction when looking through the bore. There is about 5/8" more length before the brake would run into the end of the bayonet, so a longer brake could be probably also be used. Hope that answers your question.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    It looks like a chrono-bayonet!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Very cool. I like the simple setup and not having to have a cold range to get it setup.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Hmmmm... this might be ALOT easier than setting up the chrono... Were you part of a early list or are they selling them publicly now?
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Believe me, there's no comparison to how easy the MagnetoSpeed is to set up. It really takes less than two minutes. I should add something I noticed while taking it on/off a few times while taking the -/+ muzzle break pics. To put it on, you tighten the strap semi-tight, then flip a plastic lever that tightens the strap further and clips onto the bottom of the unit to lock it down. If there is going to be a part that fails, it will be this little plastic lever/clip.

    As far as being on an early buyer list, not that I'm aware of. I think it is available for sale at their website: http://www.magnetospeed.com/. However, I believe it will only be sold in the U.S. at the present time.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Originally Posted By: gstaylorg
    If there is going to be a part that fails, it will be this little plastic lever/clip.


    I searched the site and didnt find any info on a warranty if that happened. Do they include any info about warranty in the box??
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I'll have to check when I get home tonight. I've already been thinking about what to do if it fails. I don't think a "fix" would be very difficult the way it is set up. I think the most critical thing is not to overtighten the strap before locking the clip in.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Nice review, and nice device!

    Did you notice any POI change with this device attached? If so - by how much?
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Does anyone have a phone number for these guys?

    Thanks.

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    You know, I did not do the test in such a way I can say whether there is a shift in POI with the device attached versus not. I think that is an excellent question and I will try to find out next trip to the range. My thought is that this device would be extremely useful during load development IF it doesn't markedly change or affect POI. As I mentioned, I shot one of the better groups at 600 yd I've ever managed with the Hornady 150 gr SSTs. I meant to get a picture of the steel target, but forgot to bring my camera when I drove out to the 600 yd line to pick up some targets I used for a different purpose. Anyhow, that is the first time I've shot the SSTs from the Hospitaller, so I really can't say whether POI shifted. It was a very tight group, but that doesn't mean POI didn't shift. I think the answer to your question will be important to know, so I'll try some groups with/without the MagnetoSpeed attached next range trip.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Nah, don't brag or tease us with your nice groups! [img]<>/grin.gif[/img]

    Just measure the POI difference, will ya...? [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]

    P.S. It's great that somebody got this MagnetoSpeed, and takes the trouble of field-test it and write up the experience. Thanks, man!
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    GS, did you get phone number for them? I'm trying to order, and need to find out if they ship to Canada. I need one in a hurry.

    Thanks!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Thanks for taking the time to get an unproven product, test it, and share your data. You've help out a bunch of people, I'm sure. This should make load testing a lot less onerous, I hate having to setup the bloody chrono at the public range.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Originally Posted By: Ratbert
    Thanks for taking the time to get an unproven product, test it, and share your data. You've help out a bunch of people, I'm sure. This should make load testing a lot less onerous, I hate having to setup the bloody chrono at the public range.


    Agreed, thanks for taking the time to write this up. I also hate having to setup the chronograph, it is a huge pain in the ass. If this works reasonably well it will almost be a no brainer to ditch my current chrono.

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    So from the site it looks like no suppressors, air guns and limited hand guns. Not a big deal but good to know. I wonder about a device with electronic guts mounted to the end of the barrel though and don't see anything about warranty on the site. I could see the repeated whip on the device eventually doing damage unless the internals are all solid state.

    Also, what are the chances of the strap melting on a hot AR barrel? Not saying they will, just wondering.

    It's certainly a great idea! I'm not sold on it but will watch closely to see how it wears over a summer of use. Please keep us updated.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Glad to do it. I'm hoping to use it for load development myself, so sharing the info is the least I can do. Unfortunately, I do not have a phone number in any of the e-mail notices that went along with placing the order. I'll check the product insert when I get home, but I don't recall seeing a phone number there either. Below is a copy of the original message they sent to let people know they were ready for sale. My interpretation from this letter is that they will only be sold in the U.S. for the present.

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I ordered one, the ease of set up will be worth it, especially if the numbers flush true...

    Be interested to see how it works with someone as easy as a Thruster Brake or a SF brake...

    No cans is no problem, the threaded barrel is actually easier.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    99% of the time I won't care about the no-cans thing. But I'm left wondering if I'll still want to keep my CED around for the final check to make sure I know what effect it's had, if any, on the "production" MV.

    I have this awful feeling I'm gonna pull the thing apart and try to make my own mount.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Originally Posted By: Ratbert
    99% of the time I won't care about the no-cans thing. But I'm left wondering if I'll still want to keep my CED around for the final check to make sure I know what effect it's had, if any, on the "production" MV.

    I have this awful feeling I'm gonna pull the thing apart and try to make my own mount.


    I've been thinking along the same lines in case the little clip thingy eventually breaks. The way the bayonet is set up, I think you could easily get away with a 3/4-1" piece of velcro. If I can come up with something else that looks solid, I'll add it to the thread.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Interesting. There are no export permits required, that I know of, for Chronographs. CED and Chrony will both ship here. I will continue to try and reach these guys. I do have a US address, but in the interest of time, would prefer a straight ship.

    Thanks for the write up, and the info!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    If you have a TAB cover on the can and the strap will make it, I don't really see why you couldn't use a Suppressor to try it ?

    Especially if the cover is a GEN 3 and is back from the edge a bit... I might try it, what is the worse that can happen, frogs fall from the sky ?
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Raining frogs will definitely hose your data....
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Their faq says this about suppressors:

    Will the MagnetoSpeed work with suppressors/silencers/lab barrels?

    The main issue with mounting the MagnetoSpeed to these devices is that the outer diameters tend to be much larger than 1.00". This typically places the sensor deck of the MagnetoSpeed unit too far away from the bullet edge to get a good signal. Another option for using the MagnetoSpeed device with suppressors is to mount the device off the gun, such as clamped to a shooting bench (see our application page). Care must be taken so that the blast doesn't encounter the parts of the barrel sensor unit not designed for blast (i.e. V-block, cable and connector). Also, as always, one must make sure the device is not positioned in the bullet path. Further, our in-house prototype shop can build custom rigs to meet just about any mounting need you may have! Contact us for more information.

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    You could easily be right about its use with a can. The only thing I can think of is whether the diameter of the can would put the projectile too far "above" (away from) the sensor in its flight path. It seems like there might be a limit to how close the projectile must pass to the sensor, which is why I'm guessing they include two different thickness v-block spacers to go between the clamp and thick/thin barrels. The instructions mention that the barrel diameter should be between 0.5 and 1.0", but I'm only guessing as to whether that is because of an issue regarding a maximum effective distance of the projectile as it passes over the sensor.

    Just saw the previous post...apparently there is a distance limit. It seem like it would be very easy to design one that would allow use with suppressors; it would just require a larger channel to accommodate the greater diameter of the can. It could still be used with other barrels if a thicker v-block adapter was included.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Does it say what the max height above the sensor needs to be ?

    Because the cans are not much bigger than an inch, center to edge isn't that high.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I will wait for a go or no-go from shorty... But I do like the thought and design of the product [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I had not read this section in detail before. It doesn't give an actual measurement. It does say they can generate customized mounts for specific systems, however.

    http://www.magnetospeed.com/pages/fr...sked-questions

    Even if it doesn't work correctly with a can, you could always sharpen 'er up just in case some zombies get inside your defensive perimeter at the range (LOL).
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I'm certainly going to try it with the can, but assuming they actually thought of that and explicitly said there were issues for a reason, I'm thinking it doesn't look like it would be too hard to remove sensor and all from the case and build a custom one that was adjustable for height. CNCs are wonderful toys to have kicking around the garage.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I ordered one as well, can't wait to try it out. Thanks for the review!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    How does the sensor detect a projectile? Would it work with cast lead bullets as well, or is it dependant on the presence of copper? I'm not familiar with the science here..

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    It has several settings for the detector that include copper-jacketed lead, copper+steel core, and [shotgun] shot/slug. From their webpage:

    "Our unique method determines velocity by sensing the difference in time between a slight disturbance in two magnetic fields as the bullet passes by. This is somewhat similar to the way that an electric guitar senses the vibration of its strings to produce amplified tones."

    As I understand this statement, the passage of a metal object (does not need to be ferrous) over magnetic field(s) disturbs the fields, creating two signals (start and end) as the projectile enters and leaves the fields. The velocity is determined from the time increment between the two signals based on the distance between the sensors. Likely for proprietary reasons, they don't go into a more detailed description of the physics behind it.
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I've been keeping an eye on this product for a while now. I like my CED Millenium chrono well enough, but between the general PITA factor of setting it up and various problems ranging from making *sure* that the gun is shooting thru the same spot in the screens every shot (sometimes guns hop a bit and move around, causing read errors), lighting issues (we get very bad temperature inversion in winter months, making IR screens a necessity, and the rest of the time the light angles are problematic), and the screens wobbling around in any kind of wind above a light breeze... all of which seem to be things the MagnetoSpeed should *not* have. I've been contemplating building a chrono 'box' to enclose the screens and provide artificial lighting so as to avoid the lighting issues but that would only exacerbate the wind problem...

    Thanks a bunch for doing this initial (and independent) 'field test' review. So far it does sound like the unit is living up to the claims. I'm glad it seems to be tracking pretty close to what you were getting for reads from your regular Chrony. I would be interested in seeing results from comparisons with other chronos such as CED Milleniums or Oehler 35Ps, just for reference.
    All right, breaks over. Back on your heads!!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    For those wondering about whether it would work with a can or brake due to the larger diameter... this looks like it might be a way around that:

    http://www.magnetospeed.com/pages/custom

    I'm guessing with a little work one could fabricate something like that at home using some scraps of plywood and a jigsaw...
    All right, breaks over. Back on your heads!!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    After "Executing" [img]<>/cry.gif[/img] my chrono a few weeks ago, I'm in the market.
    This product has my attention, but it is a "no go" if I can't get it to work with a suppressor.
    (One of my uppers only has the barrel protruding from the forearm...)

    I really like the simple setup and lowered likelihood of a height over bore mishap. [img]<>/grin.gif[/img]
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Would be cool if you could have a modified mount that would connect to the rail on front/bottom of stock. then you'd have ease of setup with no affect on groups or POI.
    "Procrastination and Masturbation, they both might feel good but in the end you are just effing yourself." -Barney88PDC

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I can see a Harris bipod sacrafice, in order to attach this unit easily, quiclky, and solidly.

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    would be another reason to dump the harris and put on a rail and atlas.
    "Procrastination and Masturbation, they both might feel good but in the end you are just effing yourself." -Barney88PDC

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Originally Posted By: tigerfan9
    Would be cool if you could have a modified mount that would connect to the rail on front/bottom of stock. then you'd have ease of setup with no affect on groups or POI.


    That would be great. And potentially rock solid. I so totally want to work something up for the rails of my AICS spigot now.

    I just have to save up my pennies for the chrono...

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    @gstaylorg, could you post here how long the "measuring blade" is?
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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I'll measure it and post the dimensions later this pm.
    I mean it...get off my lawn!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Gstaylorg,
    Do you have the ability to weigh the part that attaches to the barrel. I'm curious to how much weigh will be hanging on there.

    Thanks

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    How many decimal places (LOL)? Yes, I'll bring it into my lab tomorrow and weigh it. I can tell you right now it's pretty light, but not an exact value.
    I mean it...get off my lawn!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    I mean it...get off my lawn!

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Thanks for the info. Wow that really light... I don't think it would have that drastic affect on barrel harmonics for use in load development.

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Originally Posted By: StanwoodSpartan
    Originally Posted By: gstaylorg
    If there is going to be a part that fails, it will be this little plastic lever/clip.


    I searched the site and didnt find any info on a warranty if that happened. Do they include any info about warranty in the box??


    Here's their response to my email regarding what if any warranty:

    "...We had a warrantyup on our old website, but it never got moved over. Then when we tookanother look at, it prompted an internal discussion about somewording; this discussion still isn't quite over. Pretty much, thewarranty will be a standard deal... you break it you bought, unless itwas our fault then we'll replace it... plus more words...Alex"

    So, looks like we're GTG on the warranty!
    Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    this product is great, now i can chrono right in the garage and won't have to mess with a tripod, wirring, bad weather cold range etc. Load, shoot, repeat
    Awesome, saves a bunch of trip to the range just to work up a load.
    i got to get one of those.

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    Re: MagnetoSpeed Chronograph Review

    Mine arrived today...
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    Watch your words; they become actions.
    Watch your actions; they become habits.
    Watch your habits; they become character.
    Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
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