cart SHOPPING CART You have 0 items
SELECT CURRENCY

Discussion Forums

Search forums
Forum Index > Precision long range hunting and shooting > Free Android ballistics calculator

Free Android ballistics calculator

02 Mar 2020
@ 01:30 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

I've tried several Android ballistics calculators on my slow Android phone recently. They are all quirky and non-intuitve. Hornady's locks up. All I need to know is drop out to 400 yards with a 200 yard zero. Leica's new "Leica Hunter" app is pretty easy, but once you define a bullet "profile", it's permanent. You can't edit it's name or delete it. Each time you want to reference the chart/table for a bullet profile, you have to navigate several screens and tell it to generate the chart. While this does give you the opportunity to input current, elevation, temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, etc., it's annoying. Maybe I'm asking too much for free.

Replies

02 Mar 2020
@ 01:43 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
As an example, one of my hunting buddies was here yesterday extolling the virtues of his 7mm Rem Mag at 500 yards with Remington Cor Lokts. I wanted to show him what his drop and velocity were at that range, but had I put it into the Leica program, it would garbage up my list of rounds that I use.
02 Mar 2020
@ 05:54 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Posting this gave me an idea. I can create a profile called "garbage", and edit it when I want to see what a bullet I may not use looks like. But if anybody has a suggestion for better app, I'd be glad to know about it.
02 Mar 2020
@ 08:42 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
I can warmly recommend the Strelok app. I am using Strelok Pro, which costs money, but I started with the basic free version (just valled Strelok ballistic calculator) once upon a time. The Pro version has everything one needs and then some, but the basic version has everything you need out to 7-800 meters. I believe it might even include spin drift, but I can't quite remember. Regardless, you can exclude/ turn off some input, and it's very quick to set up a new rifle/ load, or temporarily alter one you all ready have. Even with the Pro version it takes only about 30 seconds to manually alter the values from any load to a temporary load, like you describe, and then back. For example, if I want to just play around with a fictionary 7 mm wildcat using a fictionary bullet/ bc, I can take just take one of my existing 30-06 loads and alter bullet diameter, weight, bc, length, twist and velocity, then view the results, and change back again before I forget it all. If I all ready have a 7x57 in my library, there is one or two less values to change. Alternativeliy, it takes about 1 minute to set up a new rifle, and 1 minute to set up a new load once you get used to it. The basic version is even quicker, as I recall. Both have great layout, and you can choose to view as a chart, with whatever step distances and columns you like. Very useful for finding the limits of a load.

In between the basic and Pro, there is the Plus version. I have not tried it, but I believe it's closer to the Pro than the basic. You can't go wrong either way.
03 Mar 2020
@ 01:07 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Thanks, Magnus. At your recommendation , I would have bought the Pro version, if that's all that were available. I tried the basic version, which does all I need for now. It allows me to define up to 7 rifles, with 5 cartridges under each. That gives me a big sandbox to play around in. Plus I can change the current conditions (elevation, temperature, etc.), and have them apply globally to whatever rifle/cartridge is selected.
03 Mar 2020
@ 01:41 am (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Great! As you get to know the app well, you will find it very quick and easy to use/ play around with. Also food for field use. Good luck.
03 Mar 2020
@ 01:30 pm (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Hi guys. I've tried a few of the ballistic apps, I've been using "Shooter" for a few years now, I'm happy with it.
03 Mar 2020
@ 07:46 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Thanks, Bob. I'll take a look at it. So far, I've been entertained with Strelok. My rifle range has 100 and 200 yard target boards - and also a steel at 280 or so. I'm uncomfortable sighting in 3 inches high at 100, so I'm planning to sight in at 200, and deduce MV by seeing how high they hit at 100 after zeroing at 200. (I'm not using a chronograph obviously.) Then the program will tell me the drop a 250, 300, etc. I am getting a rangefinder, though. A friend and I parked over a large clearcut recently and guessed the distance to various stumps. Then we used his rangefinder to see how we did. It was amazing how far off we were in our estimates.
03 Mar 2020
@ 09:21 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Hi.

In order to calculate velocity by measuring drop, you should use your furthest practically available range. With a 150 grain good bc bullet from a 30-06, even a 160 fps (50m/s) will only give a quarter inch difference at 100 yards. Still less than one inch at 280 yards, so almost not measurable if your rifle for example groups 2 inches at that range. At 400 yards there is just under 3" difference, and at 500 there is just under 6". So even with a half moa rifle, you really need 400 yards to get usable measurements. But then again, you need very good conditions for accuracy. I've found drop verification most useful upwards of 500 meters/ 600 yards.

I'm using 1,5" high at 100 meters (200 yard zero) myself, and it lets me point and shoot at anything out to 240-270 yards with standard cartridges, depending on loads. In the past I shot a lot at night, when contours of the animals are hard to distingusih. A 1,5" high was therefore the max I could live with, and it kinda stuck. Also good for marginal spine shots and such. The degree of zero hight really depends on terrain, hunting style, personal preference, game size, scope hight, cartridge and +++. But I still think the 3" high is a good general rule, if one has the awareness to aim low when needed.

When I hunt with dialable scopes, I always zero dead on at 100 meters as a base line, set the scale to zero, then dial up 4 cm-clicks/ 1,5 inches for walking around. I sometimes add or remove a click or two depending on terrain, load and situation.

But for your bushy terrain, I think a 200 yard zero sounds like a good choice.
04 Mar 2020
@ 08:55 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
You're right. I couldn't shoot tight enough groups at 200, and then at 100, to interpolate velocity. Still, I prefer to zero at 200. I have found that if I zero high at 100, I can't assume where the bullet will be at 200, even using a 24 inch barrel and the published load data. My plan for this year's deer season is to get a rangefinder, carry 3 or 4 loads, and put them into Strelok. For areas where 250+ shots are possible, a high BC frangible with a high BC bonded for follow up shots, e.g., an ELD-M or X, followed by Scirroco. For brushy terrain, a semi-frangible bonded or controlled expansion, with copper follow-ups, e.g., Interlock or Accubond, followed by Barnes. With Stelock in my pocket, I won't have to worry with trying to match POIs. I think I can remember 3 or 4 drop values. If not, I'll cellophane tape them on the stock. Strelok has already taught me some things, and confirmed some I already suspected. For instance, if I zero on the 280 steel at my range, the peak of the arc will be at 150. That's why I don't want to zero 3 inches high at 100. Missing high on a short shot would be devastating. Another example: the 6.5 PRC I've had my eye on doesn't extend MPBR like I thought it would.
04 Mar 2020
@ 10:34 am (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Strelok. I will purchase this and for best results a Chronograph. Located a remote area with a 500 yard line of sight. I will compare the Zeiss ballistics program with Strelok. I will use the true MV in both programs.

Any recommendations on the make of Chronograph to consider for purchase?
04 Mar 2020
@ 11:19 am (GMT)

Michael Henderson

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Hi guys
The MagnetoSpeed Sporter Chronograph can be had for under $200 and I think it’ll be a good unit. I haven’t used that particular one but have used the more expensive one they make (MagnetoSpeed V3 Ballistic Chronograph)and it’s the best I’ve used for rifles. The LabRadar Ballistic Velocity Doppler Radar Chronograph is also a good one, but it’s in the $600 range and can be a pain to get it setup to read the shot sometimes. You also need a tripod for it. I’ve had a Chrony Beta for years (don’t know if they’re still available) it’s served me well, but you’ll almost certainly need a tripod to use it as well.
04 Mar 2020
@ 07:23 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
I'm using a ProChrono. Was cheep when I bought it almost 20 years ago, and stil works fine. But I cant really compare with anything.

Has anyone tried the Steinert acoustic chronograph? A few years back I considered one for setting up at at 500 meters, and then on at the muzzle, in order to measure exact BC. But never got around to it.
05 Mar 2020
@ 01:15 am (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Thanks Mike. I will look into the less expensive options as $600 is really pushing the budget. Magnus thanks for the two names mentioned in your post.

The Zeiss Ballistic calculator has assisted in placing the shots within two inches of targeted area up to 200 yards. Their information on velocity requires checking with the manufacturer of cartridges as their velocity data provided from the database, Zeiss, is not always correct. Purchasing a chronograph is taking another step towards reloading. Going down the path as the current price of manufactured cartridges is steep in Canada.
05 Mar 2020
@ 06:36 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Frank, Midway's ad flyer arrived in my mail yesterday afternoon. The MagnetoSpeed v3 is $40 off regular price of $380. The Sporter model is $180, same as Amazon.
05 Mar 2020
@ 11:18 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Has anyone tested anything like this?:
Streock is telling me that with a 200 yard zero, assuming G1 BC, MV and scope height to be correct, the shot will be .43 inches low at 25 yards, and .43 inches high at 50 yards. So I should be able to sight in at 25 or 50, right? It would definitely reduce the human, gun, and extreme spread variables. Let's say you either zero at 100 and dial up, zero 3 inches high at 100, or zero at 200. Then you attempt a 450 yard shot by dialing or holding over, does it matter what range you sighted in at? You're still relying on software to tell you where the bullet is going.
05 Mar 2020
@ 12:14 pm (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Scott, thanks for the information.

In theory the holdovers work well. I sight my rifle for 500 yards as I've been using the Rapid Z 1000 reticle that has been tuned to .308 using 168 grain. The Zeiss Ballistic calculator provides the hold over of approximately 11.2 inches @ 100 yards.

After being inspired by Nathan's tutorials from proper shooting techniques, correct hardware setup etc I will use the scope turrets for variable ranges rather than relying on a reticle for precision. 100 and 200 yards are OK with the reticle but shooting out to 400 - 500 I'd rather dial in the target. Noted this after reaching out to a couple of varmits at 500 yards. Yeah I hit them but not that precise with the Zeiss.
05 Mar 2020
@ 09:03 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Hi Scott. The further out you can zero (high/ low/ dead on, whatever), the more precise it will be. Zeroing close does not eliminate human error, it only hides it by beeing un-measurable, therefore often increasing human error. So long as you don't zero so far out that wind and other atmospherics start messing around, further is more precise. On a calm day, your 280 yard range is perfect. But of course with a low impact, according to software. Then go back and verify at 100.

After I bore sight a new scope, I often do the first shot at 25 or 50 meters, and even though it's theoretically in the right place for a 100 meter hit, it's usually actually off by a few clicks. The same goes for military contexts, where we usually start at 30 meters, and then move on to 100 or 200. It's never in the right place, allways a couple of clicks off. Out of 20 guys, maybe 2 or 3 don't have to correct a couple of clicks.

But 100 yards/ meters is far enough to get a precise 200 yard zero and downrange trajectory. You can trust the software, so long as the input is right. Also, you should play around with sight hight, just to see the effects of that in this matter, on all distances. Exaggerate it to get a good impression. Go from 1,5 to 2,5 inches for example. Very interesting.

Like Frank says, holdovers will get you on target, but starts to get a bit crude at some point. I find holdovers (with imaginary half and quarter steps) to work well on deer out to roughly 350-400 yards with 12x magnification, and tolerably well out to 500, but after that it really starts getting too crude. If you don't have a dialable scope, 450 might be a stretch, depending on this and that. Daylight, magnification, glass quality, and the spacing of reticle subtensions. With the right subtensions (moa or half/ quarter mil), one can shoot very precisely. But the typical holdover reticles for hunting are a bit optimistic (irresponsible) in design, mainly due to the lack of half steps/ quarter steps. Also, when steps are increasing from line to line (not mil/ moa based), there is much more need for measuring and verification.

I guess my point is, if you want to hunt at 450, a dialable is usually the way to go. Also, if you are going to hunt at 450, you should practice/ verify quite a bit at 600+. Some say double the distance, but I find 1,5x the hunting distance satisfactory for practice.
05 Mar 2020
@ 10:36 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Thanks, guys. You have obviously practiced at extended ranges. Seems like it would be fair to assume that a couple clicks is the margin of error when shooting at 4 times the sight-in range. So if I sight in at 100, I could be off at 400 by 2 inches, which isn't bad.
05 Mar 2020
@ 10:55 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Yes, to some extent you are right in that assumption. At 400 yards you can get away with 2 quarter-moa clicks off, if the rifle (and the man) is very accurate. But right around that distance and onwards, every click matters. If you are off by 2 clicks at say 400, and your rifle shoots half moa, and those two factors work in the same direction (which Murphys law dictates they will), you are 3 inches off center. Add an inch or two for field conditions, and you are at the very edge of the vitals. Then comes wind.

This is the reason why the line for "normal" hunting is usually drawn at about 300 yards/ meters. After that you really have to get geeky about it, and be perfectionistic to an almost annoying (slightly compulsive) degree. But it's all good fun if you embrace it!
06 Mar 2020
@ 08:10 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
After I mentioned above that I'm leery of zeroing 3 inches high at 100, for fear of missing a 150 yard shot high, I ran across a reference to Applied Ballistic's software (only $200!), which apparently takes account of all the variables you mention, models multiple shots within the "MPBR" of a round, and concludes that using the MPBR method results in a 70% hit rate. Your cogent, what-could-possibly-go-wrong? description, above, shows you don't need a $200 software program (although I'm sure geeks love it). If Sierra's TGK will shoot in my rifles, Strelok is telling me that in a perfect world I can get away with a 2.5" high, 100 yard zero. I like your idea of zeroing at 100 and dialing up 1.5, but my scopes have turret caps. It never hurts have a spare scope or 2 on a hunting trip, though. I dropped my rifle last season whilst fighting through a field of chest-high ferns. The scope took the blow when the rifle landed on a fallen log. When I shot to verify zero, I got a light primer strike (actually no visible indentation on the primer at all.) I field stripped the bolt. It looked OK. What could possibly go wrong? The next round went off. The scope hadn't shifted. I keep that dud round in my shirt pocket, for protection in case somebody throws a bible at me.
07 Mar 2020
@ 05:49 am (GMT)

Frank Vallich

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
As Magnus states "Its all good fun if you embrace it". I'm with that thought process and seeking a better ballistics program. Strelok has good reviews, hopefully it will provide consistent data. The Zeiss Ballistic calculator has inconsistent data output. Probably due to incorrect values the program uses such as velocity. Advising the Zeiss team of the errors has resulted in NO correction. This requires too much maintenance for field applications.

I've not shot much beyond 200 yards. Just a few occasions. Locating the 500 yard lane with a width of 8 feet and dense bush on either side will allow targeting without too much wind drift. Real world conditions with the insects and maintaining awareness of wild life in the bush. Better than using the narrow plywood platform at the gun range and waiting on other folk. Great excuse for overnight camping as the spot is 60K hiway and 25K oil lease road distance.

Have fun eh! Hahaha
07 Mar 2020
@ 07:18 am (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Hi Frank. Good point about finding a place sheltered from wind. That made me think of all the logging roads here in Oregon the forest service has gated after logging operations are completed in an area. As for Strelock, I would have selected it on the strength of Magnus's recommendation, but, being a software developer myself, I was impressed with Strelock's developer's diligence in maintaining and updating his program, and responding to customer requests.
07 Mar 2020
@ 11:54 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Interesting using apps for shooting...... Some questions for you?
Do you require cell phone coverage and Data to use in the field?
Do you find that looking at the bright screen ruins your low light vision?
Wouldn't Drop charts be better more reliable and quicker. Especially if you memorize the settings....... Talk with Nathan and hes rattling off numbers.....weight......velocity.....distance.....drop......and hes right on.
Following his book info I have the two best loads possible for my 6.5x55 Swede both are 140gn the A-max and The Partition. Both at 2850fps and shoot to the same spot... 1/2inch @ 100yds..... And I still miss. The last Deer a BIG Red @ 220 yards Stepped forwards as I shot and the result was a broken rear leg just below the pelvis socket. She sat down and I snuck in for a finishing shot. I wasn't happy I tell ya! But! You cant allow for Free will of the Animal..... The Partition destroyed the bone and all I found was some copper frags......The whole leg was full of blood but still good to process except for the immediate area......
Had I been looking at a bright screen I think I would have struggled to see what I was doing.... Don't sacrifice your vision in the field...... Apps won't shoot find or carry your deer for you..... I personally think that correctly developed custom drop charts for your rifle with its best loads will serve better in the field than relying on battery's, bright screens, App updates, Data n reception........ Just my 2p opinion.....
07 Mar 2020
@ 12:43 pm (GMT)

Magnus Vassbotn

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Hi Warwick.

No, the Strelo app does not require coverage, and I suspect most apps don't.

Using the app in the field is either for target shooting, or real long range hunting (500 meters+). So it does not conflict with night vision in any practical way. But the screen can be a pain in the ass to read in some light settings.

I use compact drop charts taped to my scope for quick use in the field. These usually go to 500 meters, with 25 meter increments, depending on cartrigde/ load. Never more than 3 clicks increments or so. I also have a wind column, with 1 m/s side wind (2 mph), then just multiply according to windspeed. For anything beyond this, there is time to use the app. That being said, I never really shoot at animals passed 500 meters now days, so the app is mostly for plinking/ targets.

But the app is the basis for the drop charts (together with field verification), so it's still at the core of everything. The first year or two I used strelok, i always compared with JBM ballistics, and printed drop charts to bring along, but they were always within a click or so, so now I don't bother. Very happy with this setup.

Those sounds like good loads you are using for the 6,5x55. We're a bunch of guys who have been using Eldx [email protected] 2750, Accubond 140 @ 2800 and Woodleigh PP 160 @ 2500, for a few years, and are very pleased with all.

M
07 Mar 2020
@ 12:44 pm (GMT)

Scott Struif

Re: Free Android ballistics calculator
Hi Warwick.Your honesty is appreciated. I have shot a couple animals in the ham, too. Thankfully, I was able to dispatch them quickly. What we're talking about here (I am, anyway) is an app you can reference on your phone for trajectory of the load you've currently got chambered. For example, I'm hunting an open area where 350 yard shots are possible. I chamber a high BC Sierra round, glance at my phone, and know I'm 3.25" low at 300 yards, and 7.75 low at 350. Just 2 numbers to remember. If I'm in the woods, with an Interlock chambered, and I happen to get a 300-350 yard shot, it's 4.25 and 10.5. You're right, a drop chart would be ideal, but I'm alone when I hunt. If I've got eyes on game, I want to keep them there - no fiddling with shit. I think what Magnus was saying is you can dial your elevation for anticipated ranges.
 

ABOUT US

We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.

store