Ballistics Apps: Dope Your Shot on the Cheap

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There are more than 100 ballistics apps for iPhone and Android operating systems that give shooters long-range solutions for real-time conditions. They’re all slightly different, but so are the riflemen who use them. Hunters need an intuitive app for shots of 300 to perhaps 600 yards, while target shooters have the luxury of feeding complex programs precise data, since their targets won’t run off. The following apps offer the best value.

No. 1 for Hunters
The free Strelok app was the first to pop up on my Android-based phone because it's been downloaded more than any other. (On iPhone, it is called iStrelok and costs $4.99.) It offers a good balance of precise data and user-friendly displays. Enter load and environmental data to learn your click adjustments, MOA, mil, and inch calculations in table form. Next, choose your specific scope reticle from a comprehensive menu and see it overlaid on the target, complete with subtension values. Press a button to e-mail a printable range card.

Honorable Mention
The $.99 Hunter Joe app (Android, iOS) is easy to use and functional, but it doesn't allow for ballistic reticles, nor is load data pre-set. (You should enter your load data anyway, as ammo seldom achieves company-listed velocities.) Like other apps, Hunter Joe uses location weather data, and it shows where to hold for a deer's vitals at any range.

No. 1 for Shooters
The Strelok+ app for $5.45 (Strelok Pro for iOS, $11.99) adds subtension values across all magnifications, making it a bargain choice for hunters and shooters. But if you don't mind a home screen that looks like the heads-up display of an F-18's cockpit, the free Sniper Calculator app for Android is powerful and, with practice, very fast. Using its reticle-view screen, fine-tune for wind and slope to quickly determine the hold for a given range. Reticle choices include various versions of mil dots.

Honorable Mentions
While apps like iSnipe, Knight Armament Bullet Flight, Mil-Dot Ballistics, and Shooter are all-encompassing, they cost between $9 and $29. However, for $3.99, Shot Muse for iPhone is especially valuable for competitive shooters; it keeps a log of targets and shot strings.

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