March 29th, 2012

Handy Laminated Ballistics Card Helps Hunters & Tactical Shooters

Three-gun match competitor Zak Smith employs a simple, handy means to store his elevation and wind dift data — a laminated data card. To make one, first generate a come-up table, using one of the free online ballistics programs such as JBM Ballistics. You can also put the information in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word table and print it out. You want to keep it pretty small.

Below is a sample of a data card. For each distance, the card includes drop in inches, drop in MOA, drop in mils. It also shows drift for a 10-mph cross wind, expressed three ways–inches, MOA, and mils. Zak explained that “to save space… I printed data every 50 yards. For an actual data-card, I recommend printing data every 20 or 25 yards.” But Zak also advised that you’ll want to customize the card format to keep things simple: “The sample card has multiple sets of data to be more universal. But if you make your own data card, you can reduce the chance of a mistake by keeping it simple. Because I use scopes with MILS, my own card (photo below left) just has three items: range, wind, drop in MILS only.”

Once you have the card you can fold it in half and then have it laminated at a local office store or Kinko’s. You can keep this in your pocket, tape it to your stock, or tie the laminated card to your rifle. If you regularly shoot at both low and high elevations, you may want to create multiple cards (since your ballistics change with altitude). To learn more about ballistic tables and data cards, check out the excellent “Practical Long-Range Rifle Shooting–Part 1″ article on Zak’s website. This article offers many other insights as well–including valuable tips on caliber and rifle selection.

Scope-Cover Mounted Ballistics Table
ballistics data scope coverAnother option is to place your ballistics card on the back of the front flip-up scope cover. This set-up is used by Forum member Greg C. (aka “Rem40X”). With your ‘come-up’ table on the flip-up cover you can check your windage and elevation drops easily without having to move out of shooting position. Greg tells us: “Placing my trajectory table on the front scope cover has worked well for me for a couple of years and thought I’d share. It’s in plain view and not under my armpit. And the table is far enough away that my aging eyes can read it easily. To apply, just use clear tape on the front objective cover.”

Updated Links for JBM Ballistics Program
With the release of version 5.1 of the JBM program, some URLs for the calculations pages have changed. You may want to update your bookmarks with the following web addresses:

JBM Calculations Entry Page: www.jbmballistics.com/ballistics/calculators/calculators.shtml.

JBM Advanced Trajectory Calculator: www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj-5.1.cgi.

JBM Simple Trajectory Calculator: www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmtraj_simp-5.1.cgi.

JBM Trajectory Cards (Come-up Table): http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmcard-5.1.cgi.

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March 29th, 2012

New $0.99 Gun Inventory App for iPhones, iPods, iPads

gun inventory appIf you have a firearms collection, you need an inventory of the guns, with serial numbers, photos, and detailed descriptions. This is important for insurance and law enforcement purposes. If your firearms are ever stolen or destroyed in a fire or other natural disaster you need a complete inventory if you expect to get a proper insurance payout. There is nothing wrong with writing down descriptions of your guns in a “hard-copy” notebook or ledger. However, many gun owners don’t bother to take photos of their firearms, making it difficult to claim full value during loss. Additionally, ledgers are easy to misplace, and, in the event of a fire, your “hard copy” gun inventory may go up in smoke.

JHSTech.com has created Gun Inventory, a handy $0.99 smart-phone App that makes it easy to create a detailed inventory of all your firearms, complete with photos. Gun Inventory works with iPhones, iPods, iPads and all iOS devices (no Android version yet). Using this App, in a few minutes you can inventory all your guns, complete with photos taken with your iPhone’s camera. The app allows you to fill in details such as Make, Model, Serial Number, Finish, Barrel Length, and any other info that can help identify your firearms. After the info is saved, your guns are organized into a easily-navigated list, that you’ll have with you when you leave home. Need an inventory print-out? Just email the list from your iPhone or iPad to any web-mail address.

gun inventory app

How Secure Is Your List on a Phone?
In reviewing this product, we initially thought: “It’s a really BAD IDEA to carry around a list of your guns on a cell phone”. If a bad guy accesses your iPhone gun list, he learns you are a prime target for theft, and, unfortunately, your home address can be easily traced from your cell number. But the creators of the Gun Inventory App have given some thought to security. First, the App has an optional password protected login screen. By all means, if you use this App, use the password protection! (We wish the log-in screen did not say “Gun Inventory” — that’s enough to tell thieves that you’re a gun owner. The App developers should create a “stealth” entry screen with a title such as “Baby Pictures”.) Second, if you lose your phone, you can delete your gun list using the remote wiping features that come on iOS devices. The Gun Inventory App can be purchased for just $0.99 through the iTunes App Store.

gun inventory app

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