When it comes to shooting, next to ammo, there is one thing you can’t have too much of — data.
Velocity, trajectory, wind drift, spin drift, target speed, what have you, it all matters. Each is a tiny, yet imperative piece of the ever-changing puzzle that needs to be solved to put a round where you want it to hit.
As anyone who has organized these bits of information into a solid firing solution will tell you, it truly is fantastically and frustratingly wonderful.
Of course, in this era of digital wizardry, getting straight dope in a timely manner has become much simpler and accessible to everyday shooters. It's hard to argue, ballistics calculators in all their forms have changed long-distance shooting for the better.
And when it comes to these incredible programs there are few — if any — that hold a candle to Peak Studios' Ballistic. The iPhone/iPad application might be the most complete tool developed for precision shooting to date. (In fact, the app has proven so outstanding Gun Digest has become a sponsor.)
As would be expected, the heart of the application is a powerful and detailed ballistics calculator. And while the initial table data provides a wealth of information in and of itself, it really is just the starting point of the program.
Ballistic branches out into some pretty impressive territory for an app that only takes up 15 MB in its iPhone version. There are options for 3-dimensional modeling of a shot, the ability to compare multiple shots on one graph and even a rangefinder utility.
This doesn't even touch upon the app's library of more than 5,000 projectiles, factory loads, military loads, and performance data points from leading manufacturers, military testing, and performance testing.
Even with all of these bells and whistles, however, it’s the program's practicality that is its true selling point. And where Ballistic truly shines in this department is its ease of use in the field.
The vital numbers of a load — muzzle velocity, bullet ballistic coefficient, etc. — can be programmed beforehand. Then in the field, the environmental variables can be accounted for in a wink of an eye, namely because a number of them can be set to automatically complete (they can also be manually inputted). How the program does this is pretty nifty.
Using the iPhone/iPad’s location services, the program accesses data from the nearest weather station to your location. This fills in the elevation, barometric pressure, temperature, humidity and even wind velocity, which of course will have to be fine tuned to your exact spot.
The only thing the shooter is left to add into the equation is where the wind is coming in on his position. Even here the app has made it a snap, giving shooters an intuitive input system.
A tap on the wind direction controls brings up a circle with a dial. Placing the top of e-device facing the 12 o’clock of the shot all that needs to be done is move the dial to where the wind is coming in on the position to account for its vector.
There are more detailed models available in the program that take into account multiple crosswinds at various distances. But like so many other elements of Ballistic, an entire article could be dedicated to it alone.
There isn’t the space to do that here and now. But suffice to say, if a shooter is in the market for something to get them on target — again and again — anywhere they find themselves, then Peak Studios' Ballistic is a must for their kit.