A Data-Driven Approach To Precision Rifles, Optics & Gear
Home / Ballistics / Ballistic App – What The Pros Use
Ballistic App

Ballistic App – What The Pros Use

Ever wondered what ballistic app the best shooters use? Here are the answers! This article covers the ballistic apps the top precision rifle shooters are running to calculate their firing solutions for first-round hits at long range. The data is based on a recent survey I conducted of the top-ranked shooters across the country in both the Precision Rifle Series (PRS) and National Rifle League (NRL). (Learn more about the PRS & NRL). This is a very unique data set, because it includes a wide sample size (170+ shooters) who also represent the leading experts in the field. (View all the What The Pros Use articles) This is the first year I’ve asked about ballistic calculators, phone apps, and drag models, so it was exciting to see what these pros trust to give them accurate trajectory prediction.

Rifle Dope Card

A decade ago, most serious shooters agreed the only way to know what your real adjustment should be to hit a target at long range was to carefully collecting DOPE (Data On Previous Engagements) from the field. You’d try to shoot to as many distances as possible and record what adjustment was required to center a hit at each distance. Then you’d combine all that data into a printed dope card (like the one shown), and use that in the future to infer adjustments for new distances you need to engage. The accuracy of this approach was thought to be better than the theoretical data generated by ballistics engines at that time. The problem with that approach is those static dope cards were based on how the bullet flew in a particular set of atmospheric conditions, and the corrections might be different if conditions changed or you traveled. For example, if the data was gathered when it was 90° the adjustment might be off by a few clicks if you were firing in 40° weather, and the same would be true if your elevation or other factors changed as well. So while this was the proven approach for the longest time, it took a lot of time and ammo to generate and wasn’t accurate in different atmospheric conditions.

Thanks to huge advances in technology and pioneering research in external ballistics, we’ve largely closed the gap between theoretical data generated by ballistics engines and hits in the field. I’ll never forget going to one of my first rifle matches with a brand new rifle that I got just a couple days before. I hadn’t even shot it past 100 yards! The match had targets from 300 to 800 yards, and a few veteran shooters literally laughed out loud when I told them I hadn’t shot the rifle past 100 yards and was running 100% theoretical/unproven dope. But I’d carefully measured my muzzle velocity when I zeroed at 100 yards, and I used Bryan Litz’s G7 BC for my bullet to create my firing solution – and I ended up hitting 38 targets in a row before my first miss. I only dropped 2 targets over the whole match, and finished 2nd overall … and both misses were more me than my ballistic solution.

Clearly there are ballistic engines out there that can be trusted when supplied with good inputs. I’m not suggesting you blindly trust them and not put them to the test in the field. That was dumb! But the old days of having to shoot at every range you might encounter and use that to create charts seems to be in the past. I do still verify the adjustments my ballistic engine is giving me at a few distances, and may have to “true” the trajectory slightly to center my hits, but it’s rare that I’m off target if I’m careful to use good inputs and a good ballistic calculator.

Tip: In order to generate an accurate ballistic solution you must measure the actual muzzle velocity from your rifle, and find the most accurate BC for your bullet. Remember, garbage in – garbage out. Most serious shooters measure their muzzle velocity over 10+ shots using a LabRadar or MagnetoSpeed to find their average velocity. They also ignore the BC printed on the box of bullets and instead plug in a BC based on live-fire experiments conducted by Bryan Litz (found in this book). If you have solid numbers for those two inputs and use a quality ballistic engine, the output it generates should be very close to your actual hits in the field.

Most Popular Devices Used To Calculate Ballistics

Let’s start by looking at what kind of devices the top shooters are using to calculate their ballistics. Keep in mind that often times in major precision rifle matches just 1 or 2 misses can be what separates 1st place from 5th place! These guys are fiercely competitive, and have an extremely high standard for the accuracy they expect in their firing solution.

Ballistic Calculator
Kestrel with Applied Ballistics

You can see most of these pros trust one device above all the others: The Kestrel Ballistics Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics. 76% of shooters were running a Kestrel to calculate their adjustments and wind holds in matches where every shot counts. A Kestrel Weather Meter allows you to measure the wind speed at your location, which can help you establish a baseline for your wind call. The Kestrel also acts as a handheld weather station that gathers onsite atmospherics. It features sensors for temperature, humidity, and pressure, along with a compass, and will use all those inputs to customize your firing solution. This device runs a ballistic engine created by the team over at Applied Ballistics, which is regarded by many as one of the most accurate in the industry. The engine has a lot of advanced features, like accounting for secondary effects such as spin drift, aerodynamic jump, and Coriolis Effect. It allows you to use a few different drag models, including either G1 or G7 BC, or something called a Custom Drag Model (CDM), which I’ll dive into more detail on in an upcoming post. The Applied Ballistics engine also features several ways to fine-tune or “true” your ballistic model like drop scale factor and accounting for temperature sensitivity of the powder in your ammo by automatically inferring the muzzle velocity based on inputs you provide for various temperatures. There is even a model that features LiNK, which allows it to communicate wirelessly via Bluetooth you’re your phone, rangefinders, and other devices. Frankly, a Kestrel Weather Meter combined with an Applied Ballistics engine is a one-stop-shop that packs all the features you might ever need in a ballistic solver. Street price on the baseline model (without LiNK) is $600, and the model with LiNK is $700.

Precision Rifle Shooter Magazine

While I was working on this content, I ran across a great article in Precision Rifle Shooter magazine written by Sam Statser with the title, “You Can Do It!” The article discussed Dan Jarecke’s journey from being a new competitor just two years ago to finishing 6th overall in the PRS last season, and it shares Dan’s tips on how to get started in precision shooting. It’s one of the best articles I’ve read in a while, and you can likely still find that magazine on newsstands. In that article, Dan emphasizes the importance of a good ballistic calculator, explaining that “many great shooters still use a firing solution app or solver from their phone, but one of the first ‘big buys’ that Jarecke recommends outside of your rifle and optic is a stand-alone ballistics calculator. The Kestrel is without peer in this department.” The Kestrel is an expensive piece of gear, but Dan says, “For many reasons, the money you will spend on a Kestrel wind meter with the Applied Ballistics engine is well-worth it.” I couldn’t agree more, Dan.

Phone Apps For Ballistics

22% of the shooters said they use a phone app to calculate their ballistics. There are certainly some good phone apps out there. When it comes to phone apps, one critical thing to consider is how it determines atmospheric conditions. This was a point that Dan Jarecke also thought was important enough to mention in his tips:

“If you start shooting in the early morning at a match, the temperature could be 70 degrees (Fahrenheit) and up to 95 by the afternoon. If a shooter does not recognize the change in density altitude over the course of the day, their firing solution won’t be accurate, and they may start to blame their gun, their ammunition or their optic for their sudden lack of ability to successfully engage targets,” explains Jarecke. “Since precision rifle is a game of removing variables, atmospheric data should not be a guess. It should be 100-percent, real-time accurate.

Some phone apps pull the current atmospheric conditions from the nearest weather station data it can access (hopefully it’s not 100+ miles away), provided your phone has data service when you need it (which can be a problem at some ranges). There are also some devices you can pair with your phone to capture a complete on-site atmospheric profile, including temperature, pressure, relative humidity, and density altitude. If you’re able to gather on-site atmospherics, your solution has the potential to be just as accurate as the Kestrel. In fact, Kestrel makes one of the options for gathering atmospherics called the Kestrel DROP for $130, which can connect to your phone via Bluetooth and provide real-time data. The most popular option is the WeatherFlow WEATHERmeter for $85, which can also provide real-time, on-site atmospherics to your phone via Bluetooth, plus it can measure the wind speed at your location.

For the 22% of shooters who said they use a phone app to calculate their ballistics, I asked them a follow-up question about which app they used exactly. Here is what they said:

Ballistics App

Geoballistics BallisticsARC was the most popular ballistic phone app used by this group of elite shooters, representing 33% of the shooters using phone apps. Geoballistics BallisticsARC is a free app available for iOS and Android devices, and the free version features a bullet library with 2500+ bullets, functionality for truing muzzle velocity, and support for weather hardware integration to gather onsite atmospherics. The app also features a GPS-based “rangefinder” that can provide rough distances to various points on a satellite image. The “premium” version of the app is $15, and allows you to build unlimited rifle profiles, export/save range cards, connect to a Kestrel via LiNK, and a few other things. The feature that allows you to build/save satellite imagery range cards seems like it’d be very handy if you primarily practice from one or two positions on the same range.

Applied Ballistics Mobile app was also very popular, representing 21% of these top shooters using phone apps, including a couple guys who finished in the top 10 in the NRL. This is the same ballistic engine that is used by the Kestrel Elite Weather Meter with Applied Ballistics, which has ALL of the advanced features you might hope a ballistic engine would have. AB Mobile can do all the things I described when talking about the Kestrel above, except you’d need an external device like the WeatherFlow or Kestrel DROP to gather on-site atmospherics. However, it appeared the functionality to pair with an external device was only available on the Android version. A couple useful and unique features in the AB app include bullet comparison graphs, an interactive heads-up display, and a reticle output view to help you visualize where you would need to hold on the reticle to correct for both elevation and wind. The reticle view is a pretty cool idea, although reticle choices are limited. This app is $30 for iOS or Android versions, which does make it the most expensive of this group.

Hornady Ballistics App

Hornady 4DOF Ballistics app was the 3rd most popular ballistic app, with a little over 13% of shooters using phone apps choosing to run it. 5 shooters said they used the Hornady app exclusively to calculate ballistics, and there was 1 more that used the Hornady app and the Trasol app. Hornady has become an industry leader through their heavy investment in Research & Development, and they have some bold claims when it comes to their 4DOF (Four Degrees Of Freedom) Ballistic Calculator. They say it “determines trajectory solutions based on projectile Drag Coefficient (not Ballistic Coefficient), combined with exact physical modeling of the projectile and its mass and aerodynamic properties. Additionally, it is the first publicly available calculator that will accurately determine the correct vertical shift a bullet experiences as it encounters a crosswind; referred to as aerodynamic jump.” Both Hornady and Applied Ballistics seem to be moving away from calculating trajectories using standard BC’s and instead are developing customized drag models recorded by a Doppler radar for each specific bullet, which more closely matches the exact drag of a specific bullet at all speeds and can therefore be used to predict a more accurate trajectory path. I’ll touch on that in more depth in an upcoming post, but this Hornady app allows you to use that rich Doppler-derived drag profile for bullets in their “4DOF Bullet Library” … which is still fairly limited at this point, but includes most Hornady bullets that would be used for long range, as well as data for a few bullets from other brands like Berger, Lapua, Nosler, Sierra, and Warner Tool. The Hornady app clearly features an advanced ballistic engine, and it can also be paired with external devices to pull in real-time atmospheric data. I will say that the Hornady app has one of the most polished looks and is more user-friendly than other apps I’ve used. It’s also FREE, and available for both iOS and Android devices. They do have in-app purchases, like a Multi-Heads-Up Display for $1. This app already has a ton of great reviews in the app stores, and I’d only expect its popularity to grow as Hornady adds more bullets to its 4DOF library, especially with all the features you get for the low price of FREE! 😉

Strelok Pro Ballistics App

Strelok Pro was tied for the 4th most popular ballistic app, with 13% of shooters running it. There are actually a few versions of this app, including a free version (Strelok), a more advanced version for $5.50 (Strelok+), and then the full-featured version for $12 (Strelok Pro). All of these guys said they were using Strelok Pro, which is available on iOS and Android devices. A couple highlights I noticed about this app was that it also has a reticle view that allows you to visualize what your hold should be if you hold for both elevation and wind corrections, and it features 1460 different reticle designs (view full list)! Surely your’s in there! 😉 (I actually noticed my new favorite reticle, the Nightforce Mil-XT, is not in there yet … but it was only released a few months ago, so I bet it is soon.) It also features a bullet database that includes the G7 BC’s for 400 bullets. It can also use G1, G7, or custom drag models based on Lapua’s Doppler radar data. It seems to account for advanced factors like aerodynamic jump, spin drift, Coriolis effect, etc. It can gather angle of incline with the phone’s camera. It can pull atmospheric data from the internet, or the Android version supports connecting to the Kestrel Weather Meter, Kestrel DROP, or Weatherflow WEATHERmeter or WINDmeter. It even has ways to account for powder temperature variance, and truing the trajectory. Honestly, I hadn’t personally heard of Strelok before this survey, but after learning more about it, I’m not surprised that so many shooters are using it. Strelok Pro is clearly an extremely full-featured app and ballistic solver.

Ballistic AE App

Ballistic AE is another very popular shooting app, and 10% of these guys running phone apps were using it. It is a very polished and user-friendly app, and claims to be “The #1 Ballistic Calculator” for iOS devices. It isn’t available on Android devices. It uses the legendary JBM ballistic engine, which many shooters consider one of the best. This is far more than a basic ballistic calculator. It allows you to configure complex wind scenarios with multiple winds at different ranges. It provides access to a vast library of 5,000+ bullets and factory/military loads. It integrates performance data points from leading manufacturers and military testing, like several G7 military coefficients measured at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, as well as Bryan Litz’s custom BC’s and projectile length data. It also allows you to compare up to 8 bullets on the same screen to see performance differences. The advanced Heads-Up Display (HUD) is one of the most quick and user-friendly designs I’ve seen. AE stands for “Advanced Edition,” and that version is $10. The “Standard Edition” is $13, which doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense! Ballistic AE offers an in-app purchase that allows you to connect to a Kestrel via LiNK for another $10.

Shooter Ballistics App

Shooter app was right behind those, with 8% of these top shooters choosing it to calculate their dope. Shooter uses its own custom ballistics solver that supports G1 and G7 drag models. It is fast and accurate, and claims that it’s “calculations normally match JBM‘s numbers within round-off error (0.1″ at 1000 yards).” The engine does allow you to take Coriolis and spin drift into account. It features a library with over 1,300 bullets, including Bryan Litz’s measured ballistic coefficients for over 175 popular bullets. One unique feature is that it allows you to use multiple ballistic coefficients for varying velocities in your trajectory, which some bullet manufacturers provide for a more accurate drag profile. It also has features that allow you to account for temperature variance of your powder and automatically adjust the muzzle velocity based on the current temperature. You can load atmospheric data from the internet (i.e. pull from the nearest weather station) or pull it from a Bluetooth-enabled Kestrel device straight into the app. It also allows you to compare trajectory and wind drift for up to 6 loads at once. The Shooter app is $10 and available on iOS or Android devices. I will mention that this is the app that Robert Brantley used to win the King of 2 Miles last year (view What The Top Shooters Used), which included first round hits on targets out to over 3500 yards! Clearly the trajectory predictions it’s capable of making are pretty good.

Desert Tech Trasol Ballistic App

Lastly, one shooter said they sometimes use Trasol, which is a ballistic calculator made by Desert Tech that is available on iOS or Android devices. Here is what Desert Tech says about this ballistic engine: “Utilizing proprietary algorithms, TRASOL is the most accurate ballistics calculator on the planet. No more need to alter manufacturer bullet data to get your hits; we developed new algorithms using Doppler radar data to create the most predictive flight path possible. In live-fire testing of TRASOL’s predictions the following results were documented (.338LM ammunition, using manufacturer’s published data): within 0.1 MRAD up to 1400 yards, within 0.5 meters up to 1700 yards, within 1.1 meters at 2200 yards.” They also claim it’s simple and intuitive, and based on the screenshots it seems to be. One of the unique features I noticed was a HUD that uses your phone’s camera and onboard sensors and user-friendly drag and drop functionality to input range and wind details. It also allows you to capture both photos and videos to log shots and share them with friends. The iOS app is free, but there is an in-app purchase for access to the full set of features for $25. The Android app is $10. Not sure what’s going on there, but that’s what I found. There weren’t many of these guys using it, but seems like it has some novel features.

Well, that wraps up the apps that these guys are using to calculate their firing solutions in the field. Over the next couple posts, I’ll dive into a few other details related to this, including technical things like what kind BC or drag model they’re using, as well as try to explain how they actually view the data while they’re on the clock. So stay tuned for more!

About Cal

Cal Zant is the shooter/author behind PrecisionRifleBlog.com. Cal is a life-long learner, and loves to help others get into this sport he's so passionate about. Cal has an engineering background, unique data-driven approach, and the ability to present technical information in an unbiased and straight-forward fashion. For more info, check out PrecisionRifleBlog.com/About.

Check Also

6mm 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data

6 & 6.5 Creedmoor Load Data – What The Pros Use

This article contains detailed reloading data for the 6mm Creedmoor and 6.5 Creedmoor based on a survey of over 150 of the top-ranked precision rifle competitors. See what the best long range shooters in the country are reloading in their match ammo!

29 comments

  1. I have been using both Strelok Pro and my Kestrel with AB for several years now. The solutions they provide are within 0.1 mil of each other. Both are absolutely fantastic resources. Strelok Pro also has the RA4 drag curve for 22LR ammo. That drag curve seems to show the 40g 22LR at MV of 1050 FPS at 200 yards is a good training simulator for 175g 308 at 2650 FPS to 1000 yards. Cheap training!!

    The only down side with the reticles provided by Strelok is a couple years ago they had to remove the Horus line (H58, H59, Trem 3. Etc) due to a copyright legal issue. Unfortunate, but business is business.

    • Cameron, I appreciate you sharing your experience. I was in the dark on Strelok Pro, until I saw some of these guys mention it on the survey. As I was doing research for this article, I was really surprised to see how full-featured that app is. It looks pretty amazing.

      And that’s sad to hear about Horus. They were pretty aggressive with copyright protection for a number of years, but I do know that the company was sold a couple years ago and is under new management now. I wonder if they’d have the same view? As a business guy myself, if I were them I’d see having my reticle in a tool like that as a good thing. While I understand the strong stance that Dennis had regarding Horus reticle copyright in terms of not allowing scope manufacturers to use derivative designs without permission, I’m not sure I see how having it in that tool could hurt. I’d actually be surprised if the new owners wouldn’t allow this, but then again … that’s just a guess. On a related note, I did notice the Applied Ballistics app has a reticle view for the Horus reticles.

      Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  2. looking for newest info on the best annealing machines.
    and your thoughts on the amp annealing mark 2 machine.

    • Hey, Paul. I have owned a couple annealers, and have friends that have a few different ones too. Having said that, I haven’t systematically tried all of them. Based on my experience, I’d say an induction annealer seems to be more consistent and repeatable than any flame-based annealers. At this point, I do all my annealing on an Annealing Made Perfect machine, but I don’t have the latest “Mark 2” version. It’s the original one.

      Here is what I like about it: Let’s say I had a batch of 200 pieces of brass from the same lot. I try to keep track of how many firings I’ve fired each piece, and keep it consistent (avoiding that I’ve fired some of them 7 times and other cases 3 times, because it seems like they’d be less uniform in that case). But let’s say I loaded all 200 cases, but I’ve already shot 120 of them. So I have a 120 fired cases ready to do brass prep on, but 80 still in the form of loaded ammo. With the AMP machine, I can go ahead and anneal those 120 pieces and do my brass prep and do the other 80 once I have those fired. I will just use the same setting on the 80, and at the end of the day all the brass will be the same. When I used a flame-based annealer, that wasn’t the case. Trying to adjust the flame was a tedious process, and nowhere near as precise as adjusting a setting on an induction annealer. I tried to use the indicator stuff that tries to give you a sense for how hot the case was getting, but that stuff is rough at best. In fact, I didn’t have confidence that I could get the flame similar from one session to the next … so I’d just wait until all 200 cases were ready to go before I started brass prep, because I’d want to do all of them at once to keep them consistent. That can be more inconvenient than it sounds, because what if I needed 100 rounds for a match and I only had 80 loaded rounds. Now what?

      All of that may be complete overkill and OCD, but most experts I know have told me the most important factor for world-class ammo (i.e. ammo with a standard deviation of muzzle velocity in the single digits) is consistent brass. Benchrest shooters take this to a whole different extreme than what I described here. With the AMP machine, I feel confident that each case is being annealed in a very similar way and the metallurgy/hardness of the case neck/shoulder continues to be consistent through multiple reloads. So I’d say, you already know which one to buy … do it! I certainly haven’t regretted my investment in the Annealing Made Perfect machine.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  3. I can’t speak for any other ballistic programs than Applied Ballistics, but I can say, “It works.”
    It works provided that you have a accurate average velosity. The correct range. At a distance some laser rangefinders pick up the reflection of other things than what your trying to range, actually when you get past 1000 yards the old optical military range finders are more definite about what your ranging, and if calibrated and used correctly are more certain. The downside is their big and heavy.
    Also the clicks on your scope must be what they claim to be. I have had experiences with scopes that had such big moa’s that at 600 yards I wasn’t even on the backer board. Both the book” Applied Ballistics for long range shooting ” and the video Brian Litz has out adress this and many other important issues like the tall target test.
    My hats off to Brian Litz! He has done more to progress the science of long range shooting than anyone in the history of shooting.

    • I agree completely, Kurt, on all your points. I almost said that same stuff in the post, so I appreciate you bringing it up.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  4. I use Trasol. When I first got it a few years ago it was wonderful and simple and intuitive. Then they added a bunch of features and then they couldn’t keep up with phone software updates and basically dropped support of the product completely for a year or two. I believe they’re back now though and the app works again. For me, it’s been spot on out to about 1200 yards, always within about 0.1 or 0.2 MIL of center as far as elevation goes (I hold for wind).

    • That’s interesting about them dropping support for a while, but I was a programmer for a while and I could imagine how hard it’d be to maintain over the hundreds of phone updates that always seem to be happening. Cool to hear that it’s working again!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  5. Great Article, Cal.
    I’ve used every free AND paid version of every single ballistics app you mentioned. I also own a Kestrel Elite with AB. I can say with 100% confidence that StrelokPro with a WeatherFlow meter is the best “bang for the buck” on the market. The Kestrel in industry standard. But, all the clicking of the tiny buttons is getting old. It’s 2019….. Touch screen Kestrel would rule the WORLD. But, it would probably cost more than an IPhone XS Max! I’ve since ditched it. My IPhone and WeatherFlow will always be in my range bag. Heck, I bought an ipad Mini to run StrelokPro now. Saves my phone battery! 😉

    • Wow, Russ. Thanks for sharing the comments. You sound like an incessant tinkerer, like me! I’ve used most of the apps, but not all of them – so I appreciate your view point. You probably just pushed me over the edge to get Strelok Pro a shot. My go-to app has been Ballistic AE, pretty much since it was released … which wasn’t long after iPhones came out! It’s a great app, but I’m always up for trying something new. The reticle visualizations really are a compelling thing. There are some stages at a match that require you to hold over, and I typically end up drawing picture of where the hold would be so I could visualize it before I’m behind the rifle. That is a tedious process, but this app sounds like it’d make it painless.

      I do agree that an app with the WeatherFlow device seems to be the best bang for your buck. You’re using the screen and processing power on a device you already own, and just adding the software and a simple piece of hardware to give you the power to do what you need. It’d be hard for any company to compete with a stand-alone solution against that when it comes to price.

      I also agree that the Kestrel is still the industry standard … but the interface is clunky and could use a modern refresh. They have the Kestrel Link Ballistics app, which seems to be headed in the right direction. You can basically use the phone to view/edit all the data from the Kestrel via a Bluetooth connection. It’s still short of what the full vision could be. It’d be sweet if they did offer a stand-alone device with a large touchscreen, but you might be right about the cost. Maybe continuing down the path of connecting to the phone and using that rich display and touch functionality is the way to go. That seems like it might be inconvenient to have to connect to your phone, but it’d basically be the same as running StrelokPro on the phone with a WeatherFlow meter. The Kestrel is the meter, and the phone is the display. Anyway, interesting point for sure.

      I appreciate you chiming in! Great points, and thanks for sharing your experience.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  6. Also, the MIL-XT has been added! 😉

  7. Thank you for doing these articles. It’s always a pleasure to see what the top shooters in the USA use. One thing that’s important is hearing protection. It would be interesting to see the trend. I believe ear muffs are on the way out.

    • Hey, Ron. Thanks for the kind words, and I agree about the importance of hearing protection. I also think we’re on the cusp of a shift to in-ear protection, but I’d be skeptical if the majority of these shooters have switched over to it yet.

      I often hunt with a rifle that has a muzzle brake on it, so I walk around with hearing protection on when I’m hunting. Wearing muffs all day wasn’t a great option, so a couple years ago I invested in in-ear protection from ESP. They were custom made from a foam mold of my ears, so they are SUPER comfortable. I often catch myself driving back from the range, and realize I still have them in my ears. I barely notice they are there … except that they are amplified, so honestly, they’re actually nice to have when you’re hunting, or just have a conversation at the range. They’re expensive, but I’d highly recommend them. I’d buy them again in an instant. The specific model I went with is the ESP Stealth. I noticed at King of 2 Miles last year that the Applied Ballistics Team was running similar in-ear protection from ESP, too. Of course there are other less expensive options for in-ear protection, but most aren’t custom-molded so they either won’t have as tight of a fit (and therefore not block as much sound) … or they won’t be comfortable to wear all day. So that’s why I went the ESP route. I also appreciate having it in a tiny, compact package, because when traveling my muffs weren’t the most convenient thing to pack.

      I didn’t ask about what ear pro these guys were using this year, but I’ll add that to my list of questions to consider asking them next time.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  8. I use Lapuas ballistic app beacuse i shoot mostly Scenar 139gr 6,5mm and i think it works really great and it works with the radar data from Lapua and its been spot on for me. Plus it has the feature to export an trajectory card to email on excel format.

    • Erik, I bet that is exactly what I’d do if I was shooting a Lapua bullet. Lapua was WAAAAYYYYY ahead of the curve when it comes to collecting rich data on the flight of their bullets. As I understand it, they were using Doppler radar long before any other company made the investment, and they had it back when it was crazy expensive and only a few organizations in the world had that capability.

      If I were a betting man, I’d bet that we’re about to see a convergence and standardization of all that rich, detailed radar data. It seems like Lapua has some, Hornady has some, Applied Ballistics has some, even Barnes Bullets and others have some … but they don’t talk to each other and it’s not in a format that can be easily transferred or shared. If you want to use the Hornady data, you have to use their app. Want to use the Barnes? Go to their website. And as you pointed out, if you want to use Lapua’s, use their app. Some of the fragmentation is likely by design (i.e. the companies see proprietary data as a competitive advantage), but ultimately that isn’t in the best interest of the customers … so I want to believe a market will eventually correct when companies aren’t doing what is in the best interest of the customer. That might be naive or idealistic, but I’ll just call it hopeful. I hope there is a collaboration and consolidation of all that rich data so that it isn’t silo’ed in little pockets, but can be studied as a full body of work – which seems like it could move the industry forward.

      Sorry for getting on a soapbox there for a minute. I do appreciate you sharing. I agree on the importance of any app or device to be able to export tabular data so you can manipulate/format as you see fit. I still have printed dope cards taped to many of my rifles, with the thought that I could use them for mid-range targets or if I don’t have time to calculate the exact ballistics, and exports like that are critical to being able to do things like that … nobody wants to try to type in a bunch of numbers.

      Thanks again,
      Cal

  9. Cal,
    I love StrelokPro with Kestrel Drop which meets all of my needs (Turn on airplane mode, turn Bluetooth on and my Samsung S9’s battery lasts much longer when roaming). You’re exactly right about your comment in regards to Horus not allowing a tool app such as StrelokPro to use their reticle for calculating ballistics. That was 1 of the factors of why I sold off one my Bushnell Elite scopes with the Horus reticle. In fact I avoided all Horus reticles when I was in the market to buy a 3rd 2k+ class scope. I eventually settled on Vortex Razor 4.5-27×56 with EBR-7C last month to compliment my NF with Mil-C reticle and AMG with EBR-7B reticle.

    • Thanks, Chip. You prove my point exactly. When companies like Horus are so aggressive in their copyright protection and don’t allow tools like this to use their design, shooters will just start avoiding their design. It’s not like they’re so unique anymore. We have lots of good options for hold-over reticles from companies that generously allow tools like this to make their reticles more useful to the customers.

      Thanks for sharing,
      Cal

  10. Sorry to start a new thread for a response. But, for some reason it’s not letting me hit “reply”

    Anywho,
    Yes, I’m a tinkerer to the extreme. Ha! Another trick I’ve used with the Reticle Visuals in StrelokPro is find a common ground of distances…For example, my last match was 200-650 yard targets. I would open the Reticle visual then take a screen shot of it with my phone. Then set that as the lock screen on my IPhone for quick reference. Or, print the screen shot out after adjusting it to size, cut it out and put it in the lid of my flip cap. Of course, this only works for known distances ahead of time. Just an idea!

  11. I was surprised there wasn’t a mention of the Sig Sauer KILO2400ABS with Applied Ballistics. Any thoughts? And thanks again for all these posts and the excellent information.

    • Louis, I thought there might be some who used that, but apparently none of these guys use that as the primary way to calculate dope. I’m not sure why exactly that is, but I have a couple ideas. With that device I believe you have to actually laze the target for it to display the adjustments. Often times these are known distance targets, and while many (if not most) of these guys do double-check target distances (even if they are “known distance” and ranges are given by the match director), it can be more convenient to write down the distances for the 3-4 targets on a stage and then calculate the dope for each one. The workflow of lazing targets and writing down the dope one-by-one just might be a little less efficient or awkward for these guys. And then what happens if you try to laze a target and it won’t give you a reading? The Sig has the same powerful engine in it, but the trigger is the laser rangefinder and if you can’t get the correct range in the device, then it seems like you don’t have access to the data in the same way you would with a phone app or Kestrel.

      Those are just my thoughts, so I’m making some assumptions. I’m definitely not saying you couldn’t use it in these types of matches and be competitive. Just wanted to try to share whatever insight I could come up with.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  12. I’m not a competitive shooter, but I do like to shoot prairie dogs at 500+ yds. So I can recommend Strelok Pro for varmint hunters to try out different reticles to see how they perform. It’s not perfect, but I can choose a PD for a target (or a deer, a steel target, etc) and the target is scaled correctly. And you’ll be surprised that some Euro varmint reticles can’t deal with 15mph crosswinds. I’ve saved myself some cash not buying scopes Sight unseen because Strelok Pro showed my their reticles were not my cup of tea.

    • Very interesting, David. I really think that reticle view in that program is super-helpful, and your comments just go to show that it’s helpful even in the hunting world. And it’s interesting to think you could use that app to “shop reticles.” I totally see what you’re saying. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

      Thanks,
      Cal

  13. Strelok Pro is highly featured and actively developed. The developer is also very responsive to any feedback or bug reports that you may have.

    You forgot to mention that Strelok even supports the Skywatch wind meter, a wind meter that doesn’t get a lot of press.

    • Thanks for the comments. I forgot to mention the Skywatch, because I guess I hadn’t ever heard about it. So thanks for making us aware of it. Here is a link to some info about them, for anyone interested: https://shop.skywatch.ch/

      At this point, I’m not surprised to hear that Strelok Pro supports it! That app must have been one of the best kept secrets in shooting sports. But this post has already been viewed 10,000+ times in just a couple days … so now the secret is out! I love when I uncover products like that where someone is doing a great job and could use someone to shine a little spotlight on their work. I appreciate you taking the time to share your comments.

      Thanks,
      Cal

  14. For thoes of you who have lots of money there is the Wilcox’s Raptor S, not to be confused with the Raptor M made for the military. I don’t own one but its the cats pajamas. It uese dual lasers and gives a complete ballistic solution all the way to the target. That means windage too! I believe it uses Applied Ballistics. I first read anout it in Brian Litz book” Advancements in Long Range Shooting.” Optics Planet sells them. I will let the price be a surprise. I can’t wait until I can afford one.

    • Yes, sir. The Raptor S is the weapon-mounted laser rangefinder with the Applied Ballistics engine integrates into it. It runs $7500-8000. It’s not the most convenient thing to use for competition use, because you can’t be behind the rifle until you’re on the clock … which isn’t the ideal to be collecting your dope. But there are other applications when that would be ideal, like maybe hunting or military use. It’s a cool toy for sure … just a little more pricey than what civilians usually want to spend.

      Thanks,
      Cal

error: Content is protected!!!