November 5, 2020

How To Measure Muzzle Velocity of A Gun

Muzzle velocity is the speed of a projectile (bullet, pellet, slug, ball/shots, or shell) with respect to the muzzle at the moment it leaves the end of a gun’s barrel (i.e. the muzzle). In the case of firearms, muzzle velocity mostly depends upon the bullet which is being used as the kinetic energy stored within the bullet shell in form of gun powder. On contrary, in air guns, the kinetic energy is stored in the compression chamber.

To measure the muzzle velocity, you need to have the followings:

Step 1

Get to a shooting range with the above-mentioned equipment. Set up your ballistic chronograph and mount it on a tripod if required. There are ballistic chronographs available in the market which are capable to measure the muzzle velocity in multiple units. Set your desired measuring unit accordingly. We used the Wellshot IR Velocimeter. It can measure the muzzle velocity in MPS as well as FPS. Here is an easy video about unboxing and installing a Wellshot IR Velocimeter.

Step 2

Once the chronograph is ready to use, place it a little away from the muzzle of your gun. If you are using a firearm (especially a rifle), to avoid muzzle blast interference, set your chronograph at least 10 feet from the end of the muzzle. If you are using an air gun, set the chronograph about 15 – 20 inches away from the muzzle. In either weapon, make sure that the barrel is parallel to the ground level. If the barrel is inclined upward or downward can cause incorrect results. Moreover, if the inclination is high then the projectile (i.e. bullet or pellet) may hit the chronograph itself and damage it. So, pay extra attention while setting up everything.

Step 3

Once everything is set, fire your weapon through the chronograph channel. The velocity will be displayed on the screen each time you fire. Wellshot IR Velocimeter is capable to record 20 sets of shot data in its memory. Make sure you fire at least 5 – 6 shots and collect the reading on the display. Please note that during firing a firearm or air gun, multiple factors can affect the muzzle velocity. Thus, it is always recommended to collect multiple shot data to calculate the average value.

Muzzle Velocity of Precihole VX100 Spartan

We conducted a test to determine the muzzle velocity of Precihole VX100 Spartan .177 Cal spring piston break barrel air rifle. We fired 8 shots with RWS R10 Match Rifle 4.50 mm 8.2 grain air pellets. The measurement unit was FPS. The result was as follows:

  • Shot 1: 642
  • Shot 2: 630
  • Shot 3: 635
  • Shot 4: 630
  • Shot 5: 608
  • Shot 6: 611
  • Shot 7: 614
  • Shot 8: 625

Average Muzzle Velocity: 624.38 FPS

So, we have determined the average muzzle velocity of the Precihole VX100 Spartan air rifle. We did another experiment, this time with a firearm.

Muzzle Velocity of IOF .22 Cal Rimfire Sporting Rifle

We conducted another test to determine the muzzle velocity of IOF .22 Cal Rimfire Sporting Rifle. This time we used two different kinds of bullets, ELEY Sports .22LR and ELEY Tenex .22LR, 5 rounds with each type. The muzzle velocity measurement unit was MPS. The results are as follows:

ELEY Sports .22LR

  • Shot 1: 288.8
  • Shot 2: 297.1
  • Shot 3: 290
  • Shot 4: 297.1
  • Shot 5: 281

Average Muzzle Velocity: 290.8 MPS i.e. 954 FPS

ELEY Tenex .22LR

  • Shot 1: 311
  • Shot 2: 305.9
  • Shot 3: 295.9
  • Shot 4: 294.7
  • Shot 5: 292.3

Average Muzzle Velocity: 299.96 MPS i.e. 984 FPS

ELEY Tenex .22LR is considered to be a higher velocity bullet which is proven in the above-mentioned experiment.

Now you know how to measure the muzzle velocity of a gun. Have you tried it? Let us know your opinion in the comment box.

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