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What are the differences between the V3 and the cheaper Sporter version, which one should I get? Here there are: Magnetospeed V3 vs Sportster

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I was having a discussion on the weekend about my Magnetospeed. Specifically Magnetospeed V3 vs Sportster – what are the differences between the V3 and the cheaper Sporter version. Here there are.

The Magnetospeed V3 vs Sportster – common features

Both units use electromagnetic sensors to pick up the projectile leaving the end of the barrel by sensing a slight disturbance in the force1. Muzzle blast won’t affect them, so can be placed right by the muzzle (even with a break on it), and, maybe most importantly, compared to a traditional chronograph – they aren’t affected by fluro lights, bright sun, cloud cover and all the other things many cronos suffer from.

Both units record the velocity of your projectile – allowing you to accurately calculate your ballistics.

Though it is hard to confirm – by my understanding, both units are equally accurate. It is more the range of use and some additional features that separate them.

What’s different then?

Firstly, the V3 just seems a lot better built. It is fairly obvious that the Sporter was produced to a lower price point. This includes the quality of the moulding and the fittings.

The V3

The Bayonet (measuring end)

The Sporter, as per the name, really has been designed to only be used on ‘Sporting’ rifles – that is, rifles with a barrel OD of up to 1″ (25mm) – that more than likely rules out anything with a suppressor on it. No, just using the rifle without the suppressor doesn’t make sense. Point of impact shifts when you put a suppressor on – and a bit part of that is due to a change in Velocity.

In addition, you cannot have any muzzle device on that is longer than 2.7″ (68mm) – that would likely mean most muzzle breaks would be ok, but a flash hider probably isn’t going to work.

You also won’t be able to use the rail mount – so Picatinny mounting is out, no SA pistols – and your AR will need to have enough barrel out the end of the handguard to attach the mount to.

In short – if it’s down to the Magnetospeed V3 vs Sportster, if you just want to use the chrono on anything other than a ‘standard’ non-suppressed barrel – you will have to pony up for the V3. This would include Airguns, Shotguns and Muzzleloaders.

The Display (the recording brains)

Again, like the bayonet, the V3 is of a noticeably better quality. Better display (7 segment vs LED), better buttons (one vs. three) and the functionality is significantly better as well.

The Sporter will record one string, give you the SD, Averages and so on. But if you want to change to another charge, you need to clear and restart. No major – just need to write everything down as you go. With the V3, you can record multiple strings and save them to the SD card. In addition, the brains on the V3 can capture data quicker – enabling the ‘rapid fire’ mode.

All right, all right, so which one do I get?

Personally, unless you only have one or two rifles – that you don’t suppress – everything leads to the favour of the V3. More functionality, more usability, many of the reviews I read online of the Sporter conclude with, ‘it was great, but I sent it back and got the V3’. Magnetospeed V3 vs Sportster? V3 wins!


  1. boom! 

Originally published: July 4, 2016

Lasted updated: August 19, 2018

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