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The Best Chronograph for Shooting

So you’re looking to do some ballistics testing using a chronograph. Maybe you’re a handloader who likes to test your own rounds or just an average shooter looking to compare two or more types of rounds that you just bought.

best chronograph for shooting and ballistics

Chronographs are great tools to measure the velocity of different loads and you can learn a lot from the data that these machines provide.

Modern chronographs used for shooting measure velocity of bullets in a common way. Almost all digital chronographs have two “gates” or “screens” that a bullet passes through.

The chronograph measures the time it takes the bullet to clear the first screen and pass through the second one. That’s pretty darn fast!

By this method, you can get some very accurate velocity readings from a good chronograph for shooting and decide if your handloads or other ammo is up to snuff!

By the way, if you like to load your own rounds, check out our guide to the best reloading press if you haven’t already.

Alright, let’s get on to our top picks for the best chronographs for shooting and ballistics below.

Caldwell Ballistic Shooting Chronograph

This precision device from Caldwell offers great accuracy in measuring velocity, ranging from 5 to 9,999 fps. This is achieved by the special calibration completed by the factory technicians, which leaves only about 0.25 % room for error.

For easy reading of your data, there is a small LCD display telling you the exact velocity of your shot in feet or meters per second.

Another useful feature is the enabled connection to a smartphone, which can work great in combination with some advanced measuring software.

Pros:

  • Accurate velocity reading
  • Connection to a smartphone enabled
  • A carry bag included in the offer

Cons:

  • Lacks a light kit (for low-light environments)

This Caldwell is pretty affordable right now on Amazon.

ProChrono Digital Chronograph from Competition Electronics

Coming from the well-known Competition Electronics, this simply designed chronograph will measure anything that comes out of a handgun, rifle, shotgun, you name it.

The margin of error is +/- 1%, which should be enough to satisfy your personal measuring needs. The velocity range is from 21 to 7,000 feet per second, and the temperature ranges from 32 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

This device is powered by a single 9-volt battery, unfortunately not included in this offer.

Pros:

  •  Includes upper and lower handguards
  • Non-slip handle

 

The only con for this chronograph is that it doesn’t include batteries. For under $100, you’re getting a lot for your money.

Caldwell Ballistic Precision Premium Chronograph Kit

Another measuring solution from Caldwell comes in the shape of this well-equipped precision chronograph. The premium kit mentioned in the offer includes a convenient tripod with adjustable height, a dovetail plate attachable to the chronograph itself.

To increase the precision of this model, each device is delicately calibrated before it leaves the factory so as to boast approximately +/- 0.25 % accuracy.

Also, a handy addition to this attractive offer is the carrying bag, enabling you to easily storage all the elements of your kit.

Pros:

  • Includes an adjustable tripod
  • Includes a dovetail plate
  • A carrying bag

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include batteries

A little bit more expensive than other shooting chronographs on this list, but still a great deal for the money.

Magnetospeed V3 Barrel-Mounted Chronograph

Featuring an innovative compact design directly attachable to the barrel of your weapon of choice, this sleek chronograph from MagnetoSpeed is probably among the best velocity measuring devices out there.

It includes a redesigned sensor technology and a rugged strapping system with a metal buckle and a triad thumb nut. There is also a special rapid-fire mode.

When it comes to its software, there are now new options for enhanced logging and troubleshooting.

Pros:

  • Updated sensor design
  • New rapid mode
  • Rugged strapping system

Cons:

  • You can experience difficulties fitting it on some guns

Overall, the Magnetospeed V3 is a great chronograph that is easy to use and also high-tech. Find the best price for it over here on Amazon.