Ballistic calculators have changed how people relate to firearms. People often find themselves surprised by how much of their luck is actually skill. A good ballistic calculator isn’t just about making an aided shot. The best of the best can also help shooters hone their skills while using it.
We’ll keep that central point in mind as we rate the top seven ballistic calculator apps. The other metrics include accuracy, versatility, platform and price.
7. Nosler Ballistics
Nosler Ballistics is one of the more bare bones ballistic calculators. Unlike many of the options it puts a huge focus on raw data. It’s important to note that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Some users do better with raw data than they would with a graphical user interface. And it supplies air density, altitude, windage and every other important environmental factor for a shot.
People who’ve become accustomed to mental calculations might find the app perfect for their style. Of all the ballistic calculator options it’s the closest in appearance to a standard graphic calculator app.
The app deserves consideration in large part because it’s one of the best choices for a sizable demographic. That said, most users do better with a graphical user interface.
6. Bullet Flight M
The Bullet Flight M is one of the more expensive options. But the price provides military level performance. If one needs absolute perfection in a shot than it’s one of the best ballistic calculator options.
The military focus also brings along a higher than average level of complexity. This lowers the ranking a bit as the average user will have more trouble than help from the options. But if one needs military level performance than the app can provide it.
The app’s focus on military application extends to the firearm library. Its default library places heavy emphasis on military rifles. But one can also enter custom firearm data as needed. It’s the best ballistic calculator app for people with military interests. But outside that specialty one might be best served by other apps.
It’s available on the Apple’s App Store for $29.99.
5. Ballistic: Advanced Edition
Ballistic: Advanced Edition earns a high ranking thanks to general ease of use. For example, the rangefinder presents the most important information in an easy to use image. It then places more advanced data on the periphery. This general design principle is evident through most of Ballistic’s functions.
Ballistic does a good job of balancing advanced functionality with general ease of use. But when one really needs to get to the raw data it’s available. The only downside comes from platform limitation. At the moment it only runs on Apple devices.
Available for $12.99 on Apple’s App Store.
All ballistic calculators balance firearm and environment. But it’s obvious right from the start that BallisticsARC puts special emphasis on the environmental side of the equation. The app has a map mode which uses up to date GPS location targeting.
It can essentially combine automated atmospheric data with GPS information to give higher quality predictions. In fact the name BallisticsARC stands for ballistics, atmospherics and range card.
It also includes several additional features. Most notably it provides an extensive bullet library. And the app includes muzzle velocity truing and WeatherFlow integration for free. It’s one of the best ballistic calculator apps for people who travel. Automated weather compensation makes it easy to adapt to new locations.
One of the most readily apparent benefits of Shooter comes from data management. Many of the best ballistic calculator options try to hide much of the underlying math. But Shooter makes sure that users are quite aware of everything going into a calculation.
Part of this involves one of the most extensive bullet libraries. But the app also makes adding one’s own data fairly easy. In fact, it’s so easy that one doesn’t even need to have the app at hand to do so. Users can actually enter data into an online system and it will instantly sync to the app. This makes it easy to quickly prepare when using different equipment.
The level of complexity makes it well suited to users who enjoy working with numbers. It requires a little more work than some options. But that also translates into higher accuracy in some situations.
2. Strelok Pro
Strelok Pro can often be something of an acquired taste. A combination of factors make it somewhat counter intuitive for many users. But those who stick with the app quickly discover that there’s a lot of power hidden out of sight.
The most obvious benefit is the highly visible reticle. But one can also use it to correct for elevation changes due to crosswind. This combination of features is quite rare even among other candidates for best ballistic calculator app. There are other lower cost versions of Strelok. But they’re limited to the point where one should consider Strelok Pro as the primary option.
1. Applied Ballistics
Applied Ballistics comes ahead in a number of features. The most immediately apparent is user friendliness. Its overall UI design is intuitive to the point where people can quickly start seeing results. But at the same time it has some of the most advanced features of any app on the list.
One can expect it to provide fairly accurate results within around 1,500 yards. Though this number can go up or down depending on one’s familiarity. As with any advanced calculator it does depend on a number of variables. But thanks to the interface it’s usually quite easy to input all essential variables.
It’s the best ballistic calculator app in terms of UI and functionality. The single downside is that the price point is on the higher side of these options.
In conclusion, the options drive home how many variables go into a proper shot. Marksmanship involves just as much calculation as it does perception. And oftentimes differences in style and environment can make any given variable factor in more than others.
The best way to determine how style and environment factor in is by sharing one’s own experiences. Stories about what apps work in one’s own life often help people decide on what to use in similar conditions.