1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Muzzle velocity estimate without Chronograph

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by SLCscottie, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. SLCscottie

    SLCscottie Well-Known Member

    I don't have access to a chronograph at this time and I don't want to spend the money. And I just need a rough rule of thumb or experience with this matter.

    So what should I expect the muzzle velocity difference to be when using a
    Rock River AR15 with a 16 inch barrel 1 in 9” rate twist instead of a
    Remington 700 26”, 1 in 12” twist (Hornady Data used from their reloading book)?
    My guess is a loss of 150 fps.

    I reloaded the 223 Rem using Hornady Data:
    55 gr #2266 SP w/c
    B.C. 0.235 C.O.L.: 2.200”
    Varget 25.5 gr
    Velocity per book 3100 FPS
  2. Norrick

    Norrick Well-Known Member

    i would get a box of ammo with the velocity data printed on it, and hopefully it tells you the barrel length. you could then switch ammo and see how much lower or higher the groups appear than the reference ammo (dont adjust scope after the sight in for the ammo with printed data)

    It wont tell you much other than 'its faster' or 'its slower' but its something... (faster would be higher and slower would be lower because it would have more time in freefall).. but then again with different ammo the point of impact can change anyway, so maybe not so accurate...
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  3. JDGray

    JDGray Well-Known Member

    A chrono is the only way to tell. I've seen some vastly different velocities from reloading manuals, and we seldom use what they use in componet combo or equipment. Sierras manual was very close to actual velocitiy, on the last load work up I did, but your results may differ:) 168gr GMM ammo is rated at 2600fps from a 24" barrel according to the box, and it clocks exactly that through my 20" barreled Savage 10FP.
  4. SLCscottie

    SLCscottie Well-Known Member

    approximately 40 fps per 2 inches

    I agree that a Chrono is the best way to go.

    I've been doing some searching after posting this question.

    I estimate roughly 40 fps every two inches after reading the article posted at this sight.

  5. SLCscottie

    SLCscottie Well-Known Member

    200 fps muzzle velocity loss

    so instead of 3100 fps for a 26 inch barrel I may be getting 2900 fps for a 16 inch barrel. I don't even want to start with the twist rate.

    (10 inch difference / 2 inches) time 40 FPS = 200 fps change.

    So yea a Chrono is the way to go. Just don't have access to one.

    I will have to go play with this at the range.
  6. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    On huntingnut.com, you can download free ballistics software. Shoot your gun at 100 and 200 yards and measure the bullet drop from 100 to 200 yards. Plug in the ballistics data like ballistic coefficient into the program until you get a similar drop with a certain velocity and that's the velocity.

    This is obviously not as good as a chronograph but it should give you a ball park velocity estimate.
  7. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Well-Known Member


    It Might get you in the parking lot or on the same side of town as the ball park but I doubt it'll get you in to see the game.

    Velocity calculated by BC is a problem as bullet mfgrs like to pad their numbers, bc varies by velocity and atmospherics also play a part.

    Every barrel is different too some guns have fast bores and some slow and the difference can be great, which throws FPS per inch rules of thumb out the window since you don't know what you're starting with.

    In short till you buy a chrony ($100) you will continue to live in the dark ages with regards to your muzzle velocities.
  8. JimKirk

    JimKirk Well-Known Member

    Here is some data I have gathered...

    From Hornady # 7 Manual... Using 26" barrel:
    55 grain SP / 22.7 grains Reloader 10X Published Velocity... 3100 FPS
    Same load, same bullet out of 16" barreled DPMS 1/9, Chronographed ...2860 FPS
    So -10" of barrel = -240 FPS ... Theoretically out of "my" barrel, but ...

    Now we know that to be sure of exact lost, we would have to cut the same barrel down and measure after each cut. Most folks are not going to do that. That velocity loss would only apply to that barrel also. The next barrel may or probably will be different.

    Jimmy K
  9. don

    don Well-Known Member

    Norrick, I think you may have that bassackwards. According to Richard Lee's manual, the faster bullet would shoot lower due to the fact that it is in the barrel less time hence less barrel rise during recoil. The slower bullet is in the barrel for a longer period of time thus allowing the barrel to rise higher before the bullet exits the barrel. I have found this to be true through mny own experience.
  10. SLCscottie

    SLCscottie Well-Known Member

    While at the gun store, I did see different velocities for about the same load while thumbing through the different reloading books comparing Varget for 55 gr.
  11. SLCscottie

    SLCscottie Well-Known Member

    -240 FPS

    That helps.


    You got me laughing.
  12. atblis

    atblis Well-Known Member

  13. ranger335v

    ranger335v Well-Known Member

    "Norrick, I think you may have that bassackwards."

    Correct. I've demostrated it numerous times to folks who swore otherwise.
  14. Norrick

    Norrick Well-Known Member

    I guess its one of those things a physics lab cant really help you with. sorry for the bad advice, Ive never had to use it since I have a chrony.
  15. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Well-Known Member

    Without a chronograph I can't see that any numbers would be more accurate than just pulling it outta yer butt.

    Really, a chrono is the only way.

    Case in point: I reloaded some .357 mag - 180 gr MBC Stryker over 8.0 gr AA5.
    Man it almost snapped my wrist from recoil. I thought they were flying. When I chronoed them, they were only 1000 fps or so. About 200 fps less that the MUCH milder feeling Winchester factory ammo.

    If you belong to a club, ask around. I'll bet someone has a chrono. They may not want you to shoot over it, but I'd bet they'd be willing to shoot your firearm.
  16. lefteyedom

    lefteyedom Well-Known Member

    Bite the bullet and spend a $100 and get a chrony. It is not like the 1970 when they were cost prohibitive. You will save money on the ammo not wasted.
  17. JASmith

    JASmith Well-Known Member

    I just posted an online velocity estimator that might help: http://shootersnotes.com/calculator/velocity-estimator/

    The estimator is effectively a modest extension of the Powley calculator. It allows you to use your powder even though it might not be one of the IMR powders the Powley calculator was built to handle.

    You will also need to enter a reference load that uses the same powder but with a charge weight equal to or greater than the one you use in your load. Same for the bullet, it will need to be the same weight or heavier than the one you use and more likely even better if its the same brand. Barrel length for reference load is needed along with your barrel length.

    Let me know how it goes!

  18. kelbro

    kelbro Well-Known Member

    Everyone has different takes on this but my question for the OP is, "Why?" What does the difference in velocity mean? Odds are that the accuracy will not be the same from two different barrels so what difference does the velocity make?
  19. 1SOW

    1SOW Well-Known Member

    I'm just learning here, but would it give Approximate effective max range and sight/scope changes to get on the paper using published ballistics data?
  20. okespe04

    okespe04 Well-Known Member


    Best price I have found and you can't beat 97 cent shipping. Mine arrived a few days ago, I have not taken it out yet but my Daisy lever action BB gun averages 238 fps!

    Edit: I can also flick a penny at 39 fps!

Share This Page