Ballistic is a new app written by Jonathan Zdziarski that brings a very advanced ballistics calculator to the iPhone and iPod Touch. The app comes in two versions a standard edition (iTunes Link) for $7.99 and a Field Tactical Edition (iTunes Link) for $9.99. This review will be about the standard edition.
Speed & Accuracy
The application is very fast at performing calculations, and it makes a great trajectory calculator. Perfect on the range, yes, but only because it is on the iPhone and portable thus fitting in the pockets of your BDU's or other favorite range wear. I'd rather carry my iPhone than a laptop with all the other gear I usually bring to the range. I think you would say the same thing. So Ballistics plus iPhone equals compact range calculator.
The app performs the calculations that you would expect; included in the calculations are: trajectory, windage, velocity, energy, and bullet fight time for a valid range. It gets more complicated by also allowing you to enter information about atmospheric conditions that include temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, and altitude. I have to admit that these weather related settings were more than I needed on the range, but they were interesting and are something I plan on learning more about later. In the meantime, I used the defaults for atmospheric conditions.
The app supports a large library of different projectiles and according to the apps website there are over 1,500 projectiles available in the app. My personal library of projectiles does not even come close to a dozen, but you never know what you might need right? Jonathan gave me some sites for factory loads: federalpremium.com, black-hills.com, winchester.com and nosler.com.
Targeting & Scoring
The app also supports the recording of target data cards that you can create with each range log entry. Recording of targets includes various paper targets, human silhouettes and a deer silhouette. Score tallying is handled automatically by the app.
GPS Assisted Range Log/Journal
The app uses the iPhone GPS and its Internet connection to do something really cool. This ties into the apps ability to act as a range log or journal. I liked this feature a lot. Take for example that you are out shooting at the local range or your deer lease. You perform your calculations in the app and then you can touch the Core location button in the app and it automatically fills in your current coordinates which you can later view in the Mobile Maps app. However even cooler is that you can query NOAA National Weather Service for current local atmospheric and weather conditions. All of this information then gets added to your log entry automatically for you. Nice!
Ballistics is an app with many features that would make it a welcome companion on the hunt or at the range. While I am an avid shooter, there are many features in Ballistics that I am only now beginning to appreciate. My experience with projectiles is limited in scope so some of the features of Ballistics were a bit more than I needed. However, I can still recommend the app to anyone that enjoys participation in shooting sports regardless of their experience.