I am over the Magnetospeed

A close friend of ours purchased a Magnetospeed a while back. He wanted to replace his old fashioned chronograph that uses screens and a dot-matrix printer. Yes, you read that right. It kicks out little pieces of rolled, white paper with blue ink typed on it. Running it awhile and the shooter starts to feel like he’s in a 1979 checkout line.

So when our friend wanted to switch to the bayonet-like Magnetospeed, I was just as excited as he to try it out! Now with going on 2 years of hands-on experience, I dread seeing the damn thing.

Magnetospeed electronic display and memory

Magnetospeed electronic display and memory

Disclaimer. It works. It works as advertised. It gives the user a “better” reading since it measures the velocity right at the muzzle. Can’t do that with a traditional screen since the gases will blow the setup to pieces.

But here’s the problem. If you have one rifle you need to test, it’s generally…OK. You might have to fiddle getting it squared away. Making sure to avoid bullet strikes while dealing with flash hiders, muzzle breaks, suppressors, ported barrels, bayonet lugs, etc, etc.

Magnetospeed doesn't play well with muzzle devices

Magnetospeed doesn’t play well with muzzle devices

The final straw happened a few weeks ago with a Weatherby 257 my friend was testing. You see this rifle has a nice, fluted, stainless steel barrel. But guess what? The finish is so smooth the damn Magnetospeed slides all over the place. And yes, we used the rubberized spacers correctly.

Magnetospeed has hard time staying on 257Wby Stainless Barrel

Magnetospeed has hard time staying on 257Wby Stainless Barrel

The problem is, we spend too much time fiddling with this damn thing getting to stay. Testing one rifle? No big deal. Now switch to another rifle…oh crap….here we go again starting from zero. Fiddle. Fiddle. Fiddle. Switch to another rifle…start again with the fiddle-factor.

And no matter how much you work with the Magnetospeed, there simply will be some equipment / muzzle-device combinations that won’t work. And you’ll spend valuable time…waiting for it….fiddle-fiddle-fiddle… figuring that out the hard way. When you could be shooting.

Magneto Speed on MilSurp rifle

Magneto Speed on MilSurp rifle

And for all this “goodness”, you can’t even use it with handguns. Yes, I have seen some people, on the internet of course, bolt the thing to a handgun dustcover. Whatever. That’s stupid and less practical than the rifle configuration so I’m just going to ignore that. Because…it’s stupid.

Magnetospeed Promo Picture

Magnetospeed Promo Picture

Bottom line. I have come to hate the Magnetospeed. It sucks. Because when we setup a chronograph, it’s natural to want to test multiple guns with multiple loads or makes of ammo. With the Magnetospeed, you can forget that. You’ll be fiddling with those straps and spacers much more than actually shooting.

I loved the idea when it came out. But the reality in practice: waste of time. I recommend keeping your screen systems until the radar units become affordable for the average shooter.



“Shooting Guns & Having Fun”

Marky Mark

Marky Mark

Writer at John1911.com
Writer for john1911.com. Co-Host of the John1911 Podcast. Video content provider for John1911-TV.

Areas of focus: Defense and National Security, Modern Light Weapons, Analysis of the Geo-political / Military Relationship in the Context of Strategic Goals.
Marky Mark

Latest posts by Marky Mark (see all)

  • tex oathkeeper

    Sounds like user error. Unless you made this article just to cause a stir to get more traffic.

  • Grey Jacobs

    I had never used one before. During a class and we needed to confirm FPS on rifles. Live, in front of students, we took 2 Magnetospeeds and were able to chrono 14 Creedmoor rifles faster than I have ever done with any other system and all with consistent data. Best system I have used.

    • Two observations:

      Speed testing what? 5 rounds isn’t the same as testing many more rounds during load development.

      Second, 6.5CM isn’t exactly known as a thumper round. Especially on a rifle typically chambered in 6.5cm.

      Just keeping it real, Dude.


  • Paul P Reid

    Bullshit. If you want the most accurate velocity reading device available on the market, Magnetospeed is the only way to go. Sure, there is a bit of fiddling about when it comes from changing between different barrel contours but it is well worth the effort. I am a Top 15 PRS shooter who shoots over 25 matches per year. I won’t chrono with anything else. How much do you want for yours? I’ll be happy to buy it.

    • I am not, nor have I ever, questioned the accuracy of the Magnetospeed. By design, it reads bullet data at the muzzle. Which is “truer” than a screen 10 feet away. I have just come to the conclusion that better, and easier, technology exists to read the same muzzle data without depending on low-tech crutches like velcro straps and spacers.

      I’m sure the makers of this product realize the big weakness in this design is the mounting system.


  • Russell Wells

    Go to any professional shooting match where velocity is important and you will see two dozen or more of these things for good reason. They are easy to use, superior accuracy in all weather conditions, and can be used on a live fire line without going down range. Moving from gun to gun has never been an issue for me, so I miss the point.

    • It is the most common since it’s probably the most portable. The weakness is the mounting system to the barrel. That is what we have issues as well.


  • Joe Baker

    I’ll disagree. I chronied 3 rifles on Sunday with various loads for our hunt party for an upcoming mulie trip with no issues at all. I’ve been using a V3 for about 3 months and I recommend them to anyone in the market for a chrony. It’s essential kit as far as I’m concerned.

  • Scott Milkovich

    Marky?, not sure if your parents hated you or if you’re a 12 year old, but I digress. The Chronograph, when used properly is a great chronograph. I’ve used the V3 and the sporter, shooting multiple guns with fluted barrels without the, again 12 year old, “fiddle fiddle fiddle” you experienced. I would seriously call into the customer service and take the chip off of your shoulder and ask for help.

    • Scott, the system reads fine. Never said it didn’t. The weakness is the mounting to the barrel. I have been using it for 2 years so am quite experienced with it. There is a better way to skin a cat these days.


  • Chris Cole

    The mounting system is not a weakness in the system we have used them on everything from a pencil barrel 22 lr to a 338 lapua mag. When you instal and use the provided equipment properly the unit does not slip. If you need something a little more user friendly to attach the bayo you should contact the customer service department. Might I add that they are very helpful with any and all questions. Your issues would have likely been solved with 1 call but 2 years of use is at the least persist

  • Ryan Frodge

    I’m willing to give you a free class on how to properly mount the magneto speed.

    • I’ve been mounting it and using it for two years. It reads bullet speed and produces data. I’m just tired of dealing with the mounting system.

      I dislike it these days. Like many, I was excited about it… initially. I have changed my mind after using it for two years on many different types of rifles and carbines.

      Be well.


      • Ryan Frodge

        I don’t think you’re qualified to properly judge this product.

        • Too bad I just did.


          • Ryan Frodge

            And shooters that know better know that you’re a joke. I don’t think you realize all the qualified shooters that have read your shit post.

          • It’s my opinion. It’s how I feel. I really don’t care what other people think. And they shouldn’t care so much about what I think. What’s the title of the post? “I’m over it”.

            And I am. I am ready to move on to something else.

            I like chocolate. You like chocolate. Now I say I’m tired of chocolate and want to switch to something else. You go ahead an keep eating chocolate. I don’t care and am not bothered in the least you and your buddies don’t want to follow me down the path.

            Be well.


          • Ryan Frodge

            I don’t think you are over it. I think you’re just now realizing that you either made a mistake or that you really don’t have as much knowledge and experience as you thought you did.

          • Which is totally fair. We don’t know each other and obviously don’t agree. And I’m ok with it. My position hasn’t changed.


          • Ryan Frodge

            Your position doesn’t need to change. It just needs to be credible.

          • MickeyG

            Ryan Frodge, quit being an asshat, everyone has differing opinions, knowledge, and experiences, you have yours, Marky has his, and I have mine !

          • I had to ban him since he crossed the line. But I left his criticisms in place. Why? We don’t mind criticism or debate. But crossing into personal attacks against me just wastes everyone’s time. There is more than enough of that on Facebook, Twitter and gun forums if people want to engage in that.

            I’m over those sites as well.


          • MickeyG

            I only on facebook, so I can post on sites. 🙂

          • The ultimate expression of wealth is someone who doesn’t have a cell phone, social media accounts, and maybe has a MRAP Bentley.

            You are well on your way.



  • Skyviking

    Marky, you can send it to me, you erudite troglodyte…

  • Chris Cole

    I was referring to the mounting system that works fine when used properly

  • Peter Levakis

    My two cents. The revolver organization I belong to, ICORE, just purchased the “Labradar”. It uses radar to clock speed. We used it at a regional match this year and ran about 80 different revolvers of various calibers and configurations, with only one failing to register any velocity. It was during a match for informational purposes only, or we would have worked harder to find out the problem with the one failure. I found it fascinating and quite easy to use. You fire along side it, so hitting it is a very remote possibility.

    • JMR

      Lab Radars have reportedly had issues with suppressors.

      • Peter Levakis

        I can see that as an issue. Some of the revo’s had comps, but few run light loads hot to be an issue. The one that failed in our testing had a stock barrel.

      • I must not understand how the LabRadar works. Because I don’t see how a suppressor would change the projectile showing up on radar?


        • JMR

          Not entirely sure either, I just know that guys who I know that have used it and I trust have all reported issues when using it with a suppressor.

        • JMR

          So after doing a little research into this, it sounds like the Lab Radar uses a microphone to start recording, and in order for it to work right you need an external microphone with a suppressor or it won’t pick up the shot.

    • Does the Labradar clock speed from muzzle for revolvers?


      • Peter Levakis

        Apparently. I used it but the one time. You set it up on a tripod, with the muzzle along side of the device, within 5 or 6 inches. I believe it can also be set up downrange and clock it coming toward it, much like the vehicle speed guns. I suppose I could go online and research it more, but at $500, roughly, it was priced out of my budget to inquire further.

  • JMR

    I’ve been using the V2 for, a long time now. I can’t remember when I bought it.

    But thinking back it has only been on a couple rifles with similar barrel profiles, so there hasn’t been a lot of switching the spacers around.

    I have used them on a few Sporter weight barrels but not very often and long.

    My main use is on a 260 Remington, and 22lr.

    Never had a problem with it slipping, but haven’t used it on a thumper either.

    That said I know guys who use them on rifles as big as .375 Cheytac without issues.

    But I don’t think those barrels are smooth stainless steel either.

    My rifle is stainless steel but it’s been bead blasted.

    Anyways interesting read, maybe the Labradar would be better for you, they and all their accessories are expensive though.

    I just don’t like the optical chronographs, they fail to often for me, providing false or inaccurate readings. I still own one for pistols however, or whatever else I may need that the Magnetospeed won’t work on.

    I haven’t used one of the higher end optical chronographs however just the cheaper ones. I did see an interesting design the otherday, Caldwell had one where the optical screens where mounted upside down basically, I think this would help a lot.

    Of course they have mounting considerations to consider as well that I would consider as fiddling, make sure it’s level to the bullet path, make sure it’s parrallel to the bullet path, make sure it’s spaced far enough away vertically from the bullets flight, make sure its not to close or you blow screen off or measure powder.

    No one has developed the perfect device yet, the magneto speed and lab radar seem to be about the closest, but they have their flaws as well.

  • Brennen Munro

    Why is it that when you have a differing opinion than someone else, they get all butt-hurt and want to call you names? When and more importantly why, has this become the normal way for people to express that they do not share your thoughts or opinion of a product, or a position on a taboo topic?

    On more than one occasion I have been reading the comments and wondered if a bunch of cry baby 10 year old girls had stumbled onto this site… Grow up. When did someone holding a differing opinion cause a personal offense.


    • It’s a byproduct of the Facebook and gun forum culture. Things get really cliquish which causes groupthink.

      It’s the main reason I stepped away from forums years ago. They are good for some basic facts and data, but mostly it turns into a circle-jerk. Which is totally fine.

      But our company motto is shooting guns and having fun.

      The Magnetospeed company has reached out and we have had a good discussion. We discussed the design, the technology and what issues Magnetospeed faces going forward.

      The argument a PRS shooter was trying to make about how popular this device is in the sport ignores that fact the all the PRS guns are basically the same: match bolt guns or match AR’s. They all have similar profile barrels and front ends and all shoot probably one of the same 7 calibers? All of which aren’t known as thumpers.

      And finally, I didn’t say it didn’t work. We’ve used it for years. It’s just this last outing was very, very frustrating and I want to look into something that isn’t mounted on the gun, but can still give us muzzle velocity at the crown.


      • Off the top of my head guessing:

        Footprint wise there is no difference between a GAP and RPR. And no one is shocked the Magnetospeed is easy peasy on such guns.


  • Ramshovel

    I’ve mounted my V2 on 5.56 AR’s to a .338 Edge without changing the spacers, with out the unit slipping or any other mounting issues.

  • 6.5Shooter

    I like mine. It’s a V3. The spacer system is a pain with different barrels so I write down which spacers I used in my load notebook for each gun. That way the next time I test a load for that gun I remember which spacers go with it and don’t waste time.

  • Bohica Nation

    I took my magnetto speed out of the case for the first time in a year. Went to test loads through my DD MK12 and it wouldn’t read a single shot. I went through 50 rounds trying to get it to read on that rifle.

    Put it on a friends gun, checked settings, shot, and nothing.

    I threw it in the trash when i got home.

    • Did your AR have a muzzle device? Those, bayonet logs and stacking hooks are the principle offenders for cause problems.

      They tend to work fine on straight pipe rifles.


      • Bohica Nation

        The MK12 has a muzzle brake but the magnetto speed has worked on it in the past. Not worth the constant headache. I can shoot 5 shots at 25 yards, another string at 100, and get more accurate load data by calculating the difference. Takes just as much time since i dont have to screw with the magnetto speed.

        • I have never heard of someone actually doing it that way. We have an old Oheler (sp) dot-matrix chrono that has been running for years. Guess what I’m saying is we live in a chrono world around here.