A shooting or a gun chronograph is a watch like instrument. It is designed to measure the velocity missile fired from the gun. The earliest shooting chronographs were designed by a colonel Grobert of French Army, right before the peak of World War II.
Modern Chronographs are composed of two sensors, which are named as “the chronographic screens”. These screens are further composed of optical sensors, which sense the passing of a bullet. Some of the chronographs also make use of electrostatic sensors. A chronograph is designed so as the bullet fired passes from a passage between the two screens. The time taken by the bullet to pass through the passage, i.e. the velocity is determined electronically.
Here is a brief comparison table of the top shooting chronographs (article continues below):
Shooting Chronographs Comparison table
The Top 7 Best Shooting Chronographs
A wide range of shooting chronographs is now available for people who engage in sports and games which involve shooting. These chronographs help determine the performance of shooter and improve it further. Some of the best ones are as follows:
It is perhaps the best and most compact chronograph ever designed. It has a handy size of 5 3/8 x 2 ¾ x 1 ¼ “. It can measure the speed of bullets ranging from 200 to 399 fps. It works on an alkaline, 9 volt battery. Other features include;
- Lesser than 7 oz. weight even with the battery
- Indicator for low battery
- No extra tools required to replace the battery
- 3-digit smart LCD display
- Simple to setup and easy, one button operation
MagnetoSpeed Sporters are especially designed for use on barrels which range .5” to 1” in diameter. It also works well with muzzle brakes and flash riders which can be as long as 2.7” inches in length.
Unlike the other best shooting chronographs, the MagnetoSpeed Sporter use electromagnetic sensors instead of the optical ones, which eliminates the risks of common errors.
They are also easy to setup and can easily fit in the range bag. Distinguishing features are;
- One button, simple and easy to read display
- Three settings for sensitivity and fine tuning
- Longer, 3.5 ft. sensor cord
This digital chronograph gives the precise reading of the velocity. It is compatible with any gun. It has a large and wide shooting area, user friendly interface and is easy to setup. For operation, it requires a battery of 9 volt. It comes in a complete package for outdoor sport. Some of the interesting features are;
- It can store 9 shot string, up to 99 shots in each even in power down memory
- It reviews the data of each shot string, including the average velocity, spread and standard deviation
- It can always be connected to a data port for a remote access.
The Caldwell Ballistic Chronograph suits thee needs of a wide range of people ranging from hand loaders to gun enthusiasts.
It is extremely simple to use, and gives the readout in feet per second, or meter per second. It uses a large LCD screen for the display.
The most striking features are;
- Accurate reading from speed of 5 to 9,999 fps, with a .25% accuracy
- High speed 48 MHz processor
- Wide sunscreen for the purpose of shading in full sun operation
- Inclusion of a 15’ audio jack cable, to use downloadable app “Ballistic Chronometer” On any iPhone or IPad
This one can actually measure the speed of missiles and bullets 30 to 7000 fps.
It is composed of almost 20 gauge steel, however it weighs lesser than 2.5 lbs.
It can also store data when turned off. The characteristic features are as follows;
- It can be mount upon a tripod stand or placed on a suitable table
- It has a comparatively larger, 1/2” LCD display.
- It comes in an adjustable size and a triangular shooting area.
- It works on a 9-volt battery, and can be used continuously for 48 hours.
- It is upgradable to Gamma Chrony or Gamma Master Chrony.
The Airsoft BB best shooting Chronograph has an extra-large diameter of 20 mm. Thus, it can measure the velocity of not only smaller bullets, but also larger paintballs. It operates on rechargeable, 1.2 V batteries. It is also one of the compact chronographs of size 12.5 cm x 5.5 cm x 5 cm. More features are as follows;
- Smart LCD display
- Comes with a detachable aluminum hood
- Weighs less, approx. 240 gms.
- It can also be held on a Tripod Stand
- Muzzle velocity range: 10 ~ 400MPS
It is specifically designed to be stored inside its own carrying case. The Ammomaster chronograph is compatible to measure the velocity within a range of 50-7000 fps. It can also measure it in meter per seconds. Also, it has a power down memory which can store up to 100 velocities. Features also include;
- Requires a 9 Volt battery for operation
- Includes a sun shade for outdoor operation in sunny days
- Available shooting area is up to 86 sq. Inch
- Provision of functions like edit-data string and delete data
- Comes with an easy detachable display along with longer, 20 ft. cord
All these best shooting chronographs are high quality and few of the best ones available. Whenever selecting a chronograph for shooting purposes, one should go for one of these because of their high precision, accuracy and quality.
Some of the handheld and more compact chronographs are best suited for places where other chronographs cannot be setup. Moreover, these chronographs do not require any kinds of cords for power supply, all of them are battery operated which is easily replaceable.
The smart power down memory option make most of these chronographs reliable choice, because one can always record the data and can note it down later to evaluate the performance.
The additional features such as sun shades etc., offer greater precision because direct light on the lens affects the performance of the device. Thus the performance of a shooter can be evaluated in the most accurate conditions without any chances of environmental errors.
All of these chronographs also come with after sales services and at least 1 year warranty, which makes them a good choice in terms of maintenance and repair. However, their smart engineering and compactness makes them lesser prone to damage. Chronographs come in different colors of black, red, blue, green and grey.