Cigar Aficionado

Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun

Take me out to the ball game…or the tennis court, or the racetrack, or anywhere things are moving very fast and you’d like to know exactly how fast that is.

People have been clocking pitches since 1912 when Remington Arms used the then cutting-edge, but cumbersome, elapsed-time ballistic technology to figure out that Walter Johnson could throw a ball faster than an express train. Today, John Q. Citizen can use radar speed guns to track that young pitching phenom at spring training, find out how fast his dog responds on command or the speed at which a teenager can outrun a request to take out the garbage. All for a relatively shallow dip in the wallet.

The Velocity Speed Gun is point-and-shoot easy to use. Just aim it at an oncoming object, hold down the trigger, and read the fastest timed result after letting go. It can clock the speed of a pitch from up to 90 feet away, or a moving car from up to 1,500 feet, to within one-mph accuracy. With small objects like baseballs or tennis balls, the measurable speed ranges from 10 mph up to 110 mph. For cars, that rises to 200 mph.

While you wouldn’t want to drop it in a bucket of Gatorade, the housing is nicely sealed against your basic game-time downpours. It’s a solidly built, serious instrument, weighing in at a substantial 19 ounces. Results are easy to read at a glance, with big inch-high digits. And if you get tired of checking your kid’s pitching speed, you can always take the Velocity Speed Gun out in front of the house and make a little extra money operating a do-it-yourself speed trap.

The list price is $150, but you’ll find it online for under $100 without much trouble. For more information, visit