We do a lot of ammo testing here. Some gets published and some doesn’t, but it’s what we started out reviewing, and it’s something that I really enjoy, so there tend to be quite a few ammo reviews here as a product of that. Since SHOT 2015, my life has become much easier when it comes to doing these reviews, and it’s been the direct result of the MagnetoSpeed V3 Chronograph system.
Ammo reviews can be a little tricky because if you don’t have a backyard pistol range, making it to an outdoor range to set up a chronograph turns into an all day affair pretty quickly. There isn’t anything wrong with spending a day at the range, but I would much rather spend my time shooting drills than seeing how fast rounds move. In addition to that, lighting has to be just-so with a lot of economy chronos, they require additional setup, and there isn’t really anything convenient about them. Moreover, if you want to use most of them inside you need an indoor lighting kit, but no indoor range is going to let you walk downrange to set it up. (And who would want to put anything valuable downrange at an indoor range anyway?!) It’s a necessary part of reviews, sure, because you need to know how consistent a given round is—but I’ve wished for a long time that it was a little easier.
Enter the V3. For one thing, it doesn’t need light at all. It’s—you guessed it—magnetic. Compared to any other chronograph on the market, that’s a huge advantage. Since it doesn’t use an optical sensor, it can be used indoors without any issues whatsoever. It can be used in the dark, in the shade, or on a cloudy day. The electromagnetic sensors work “by sensing the difference in time between a slight disturbance in two magnetic fields as the bullet passes by,” per MagnetoSpeed, and they work well. In months of use I have never had a failure that wasn’t user-induced (like forgetting to adjust the sensitivity for a much slower round, etc.). This thing does its job well.
The V3 is designed for use on rifle barrels or suppressors up to 2″ in diameter, but since this is Handgun Planet, this review will focus on perhaps the most novel aspect of an already innovative product: the available rail adapter. For just $25, this accessory allows you to attach the MagnetoSpeed V3 to the rail on just about any handgun that has one (and it has worked with every railed pistol I’ve tried). It just tightens down on the rail just like any other accessory and you’re ready to skip all of the other steps and jump into some ammo testing. I can’t stress enough how much more convenient this has made made ammo T&E this year. It makes it easy enough that you can test ammunition at the spur of the moment even if that wasn’t the purpose of your range session that day.
The V3 operating system is intuitive and the instructions are simple and easy to understand. The backlit LCD display is easy to read even when testing ammunition in a dimly-lit indoor range, and the Microsoft Excel functionality is a very nice touch for uploading results at the end of the range session. As you can see to the left, the software lays the numbers out by series and all you have to remember is which round you tested when. I go into the Excel doc and notate which round I was firing off to the right. It’s really easy. All of those things combine to create a very innovative product that is well worth its retail price ($399) to people who have to chrono rounds with any sort of regularity, in my opinion. The limitations of the V1 and V2 with regard to their incompatibility with handguns because of the slide movement have been resolved with a $25 addition to the V3. For people who compete in 3 Gun matches or action pistol, the V3 makes it incomparably easier to test out new loads. And it’s been a pretty cool addition to the stable for us on the reviewing front as well. HP
MagnetoSpeed V3 Chronograph; MSRP $399; For more information, visit MagnetoSpeed.com
*Handgun Planet would like to thank MagnetoSpeed for sending us a V3 with rail adapter to test and evaluate for purposes of this review. This product has been fantastic and has seen a LOT of use over the past nine (ish) months.