Human beings are fascinated by anything that has speed and accuracy and probably that is one of the reasons why we are passionate about super cars, supersonic aircrafts and bullets. While we are passionate about speed, we also have the urge to find out more about how fast these things travel in the air or on the road and how we can push the limits to make is faster. While we can certainly install the speedometer in cars and aircrafts, but measuring a speed of a bullet sounds tricky. Bullets are dangerous as they can cost a life and they are usually faster than the speed of sound this is why we normally hear a loud bang when a bullet is fired. Testing a bullet speed needs lot of attention and use of extreme caution to ensure no one is injured during the test.
Shooting chrony also popularly known as chronograph is the best way to test a bullet speed and it works all the time because these devices are usually made to measure the speed of bullets or arrows from 30 fps to 7000 fps and these devices usually have an accuracy of 99.5%. In most cases, the speed of a bullet is recorded in feet per second (fps) and that allows the people to make further calculations that they normally use when they are doing long range shooting.
Some of the earlier chronograph models have a bigger error margin, but many modern ballistic chronograph have minute error margin. When you are testing minimum spacing of 2 feet is recommended and for the competition 4 feet space is recommended. While you are using chronographs you also have to make sure that you have a good quality chronograph or shooting chrony that can provide you with better results. The temperature of the barrel will also make a difference to the results. While you are testing a bullet speed you should also take into consideration the altitude of the bullet and the lighting. You should make sure that you do not allow direct sunlight onto the sensors and maintain a balanced situation for both the sensors in the shooting chrony. For indoor shooting make sure you do not have fluorescent lighting that can impact the readings and provide you with wrong results. The muzzle blast should not allow your screens to shake as that can also affect the readings.
Since you need to be careful when you are testing a bullet speed you have to make sure that you have a firing range that is safe and can provide you with the range you need to come up with better results. To start with you can make use of a shooting rest or a padded gun vise to a shooting table. With this you can be sure that the gun remains in a lock position. This also provides better safety because the gun will not move when you fire it. You should also make sure that the distance of the shooting table should be the distance that you prefer while testing a bullet speed. However, you also take into account the weapon’s effective range that will help you achieve better results. During the setup you also have to ensure that you place the shooting chrony or chronograph in the right way and ensure that the muzzle is pointing directly through the chronograph panel. Once you are done with all the setup you need to wear adequate safety and protection gear like shooting glasses and ear protection to ensure no one is harm during the process.
Fire the weapon and read the results on the chronograph or your shooting chrony. You need to write down the results and fire more shots. This will help you to calculate and get the right results for the bullet speed test. For instance, if your first shot was 3.011 fps, second shot was 3.012 fps, third shot was 3.012 fps, fourth shot was 3.011.5 and fifth shot was 3.012 fps. When you look at the results you will know that the approximate speed of the bullet is 3.012 fps. You can also move the shooting table and try few more shots to ensure that you get a better reading and test a bullet speed with shooting chrony.