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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”
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