June 24th, 2019

Ballistic-X App Calculates Shot Group Size from Target Photos

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS
Ballistic-X Apple (iOS) version shown. There is also a Ballistic-X Android App.

Here’s something all shooters need — a smartphone App that calculates bullet-hole group sizes from your own photos. The Ballistic-X App is simple to use. Take a photo of your target, set some values (such as bullet diameter and distance to target), then use the touchscreen to place circles around each hole. The App will calculate group size (in MOA or Mils), distance to point of aim, and provide all the info in an overlay. Then click “save” to record your group for posterity!

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

This App works well, is relatively easy to set-up, and costs just $7.99. It is available for both Android devices and iOS (Apple) devices. There are other ways to measure group sizes from target images, such as the excellent On-Target program, which we have used for years. However On-Target requires a software installation on a Windows platform desktop or laptop. Ballistic-X is a simple, easy-to-install App with versions for both Android and iOS (Apple) Mobile devices.

Google Play app store source
Download Android App
Apple store Ios app store source
Download Apple App

The Ballistic-X App has a relatively easy-to-use interface. Of course you can choose either MOA or Milrad group values, and Inch or Metric dimensions. There are various labeling options that provide useful info for Load Development. There is even an ATZ (Adjustment To Zero) feature for adjusting your turrets.

How to Use Ballistic-X App

1. Select Photo Source — Choose Camera to take new photo or get image from Photo Library.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

2. Set Reference Values — Select Bullet Diameter and enter Distance to Target.

3. Establish Scale on Image — Mark two points on target photo to set scale.
For example, if the target has a 1″-square grid lines, mark two points on grid for 1″ distance.

4. Mark Point Of Aim — Put the central X on the aim point.

5. Designate Shot Locations — Place the green circles around each shot.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

6. Finalize Data Display — Position Overlay, select size/color options, and export file.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

Android Options — Range Buddy FREE App
Along with Ballistic-X, there is another Mobile App, Range Buddy, that also measures shot groups. Range Buddy is currently offered for Android devices only. It is FREE, but has adverts. Range Buddy isn’t bad, but users complained about the program crashing, and there are compatibility issues with newer phones. We recommend you pay $7.99 and stick with Ballistic-X.

Ballistic-X group measure measuring plot software Android Apple iOS

Permalink Gear Review, New Product, Tech Tip No Comments »
October 15th, 2016

Measure Your Groups Precisely with OnTarget Software

OnTarget Target group size measure measuring software program

Jeffrey Block has created a great FREE software program, OnTarget, that measures shot groups quickly and precisely. All you need is a photo or scan of your target. The program allows you to set your target distance, and provides caliber-specific tools to precisely mark the center of each shot. Once you’ve marked each bullet hole, Jeff’s OnTarget program automatically calculates group center, maximum group spread (CTC), average distance to center, group width and height, and group offset from point of aim. The program will even measure multiple groups on the same target.

CLICK HERE to Download OnTarget Group-Measuring Software (v1.10 FREE; v2.10 $11.99)

Video Tutorial Shows How OnTarget Software Works
Jeff created an excellent Animated Tutorial demonstrating OnTarget’s functions. It shows how to import a target image or scan, how to set target distance and scale, how to set bullet size, how to circle each bullet hole, and how to save the marked and measured target. VIEW OnTarget TUTORIAL.

OnTarget software group scanning measureAfter just a few minutes spent learning the program’s tool buttons, we were able to plot shot groups on a variety of targets with ease. Once you select the target distance and bullet diameter, figuring group size is a simple matter of centering a circle tool over each bullet hole. Then the program “connects the dots” and provides all the info you could want automatically.

The program worked with bullet holes as small as 17 caliber and as large as 50 caliber. It is very precise, but remember that if your target photo was taken at an angle, distorted perspective can cause slight errors in measurement. Therefore, for the ultimate precision, you want to start with a flat scan of the target.

OnTarget Compared to Measuring Manually
We found OnTarget to be especially useful for groups with widely dispersed bullet holes, or very small bullet holes, such as 17 caliber holes. We’ve found that it’s difficult to measure 17-cal group sizes with a standard caliper, because the tool itself obscures the tiny holes. With OnTarget, the program can zoom up your target view, making it much easier to plot the center of each shot. And with a widely dispersed group of shots, the program automatically finds the two most distant shots. You can’t mistakenly pick the wrong pair of shots to measure.

MEASURING REAL TARGETS — Actual Examples

Here are examples we created with OnTarget. The first photo shows a 17 Mach 2 target. These tiny 17-cal holes are notoriously hard to measure. With OnTarget, it’s a snap. You just load the target image into the program, zoom in with the controls, and then click on the center of the holes. The program automatically calculates group size, displaying measurements in both inches and minutes of angle (MOA)

Original Target (with ruler for scale)

Target Captured and Displayed in Program

Detail of Group, Enlarged by Program

10-shot Groups? — No Problem
Here’s another target, showing 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. The first image shows the target image loaded into the program with the ten holes circled in red.

Target Displayed in Program

For this target we have used the Aiming Point option. The Aim Point was set at the center of the “X” and the program calculates average distance from the Aim Point. Very cool.

Detail of 10-Shot Group, Enlarged by Program

No Scanner Needed
The OnTarget program grabs target scans directly from a flatbed scanner using Microsoft’s Windows Image Acquisition system. But don’t worry if you don’t have a scanner. You can just take a digital photo of your target and OnTarget will import it quickly and easily. To set target scale, a simple tool allows you to mark a known length on the target (such as the diameter of the “X” Ring), and the program will then size the target accordingly. Is OnTarget precise and accurate? Here’s what Forum Member Steve W. says: “I used the extreme spread measurement of a group on one of my 600-yard match targets… as it was officially scored at the match. By clicking the +—+ icon, then clicked the cursor in the centers of the two extreme spread holes, I then entered that value in the reference window. After that it was simple because the bullet placement cursor’s circle was the same size as the black outline of the actual bullet holes on the picture of the target. OnTarget’s measurement came up within .006″ of the official 2.772 inch measurement of the group. That’s pretty darned close; well inside the human judgment of aligning the tips of a micrometer on the bullet holes.”

Bottom Line — Great Program — Download It Today
Jeffrey Block has done a great service for shooters by creating the FREE OnTarget program. It is easy to learn, it functions great, and it can save you time and effort measuring targets. It also lets you easily archive and compare multiple targets produced during load development or rifle testing. You can record ammo type, date, location, weather etc. in note fields accessed by “Group Info” and “Target Info” tabs.

Keep in mind that OnTarget was NOT created to replace existing methods for scoring competition targets. But for all other target measuring purposes it does a great job. Visit Jeff’s website, OnTargetShooting.com, view the tutorial, and check out OnTarget for yourselves.

To learn more about OnTarget, see more measuring samples, and read advanced Power-User Tips, visit our full OnTarget Product Review.

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review No Comments »
August 12th, 2016

Design and Print Your Own Color Targets with Online Tool

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

Are you a do-it-yourself kind of guy with a creative eye? Then you’ll love the Target Generator from the folks at ShooterShed.com. This free, interactive webpage allows you to design a variety of fun targets, including grids, benchrest-type Score Shooting targets, sight-in targets, and even playing card targets. Choose the paper size and orientation (vertical or horizontal), then select the number of target elements on the page. For example, you could have four (4) bulls or 52 playing cards. You can include a grid on the target, or tell the program to include load information blocks. For bullseye targets, you can control the number, color, and spacing (diameter) of the rings. LINK to TARGET GENERATOR.

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

The program provides a preview of each target you generate. If you like a particular design, save the file, and then print as many targets as you want. Check it out, this program is fun and handy to use. Here are four (4) targets your Editor created just for this article. With a bit of practice, you can be generating your own custom targets in minutes. Have fun.

Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest
Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest Target PDF Generator Free Bullesye Benchrest

About the Creator of the Target Generator
The excellent Target Generator program was created by Rod Brown of Sheridan, Wyoming. Rod tells us: “I build custom rifles and coach shooters. I’ve got a 100-yard range out my back door. I shoot short- and long-range benchrest competitively around the country. I’m a full-time software development consultant and an FFL holder. When I’m not developing custom software for my clients, I’m usually fiddling in the shop, building a custom benchrest rifle, traveling to a match, chambering a barrel, or reloading some ammunition.

Story tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink New Product, Tech Tip No Comments »
July 16th, 2015

Barnes Calculates Ballistics Using Doppler Radar Speed Data

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedom

How do you build better (more precise) ammo drop tables? With radar, that’s how. Barnes Bullets is using Doppler Radar to develop the drop tables for its new Precision Match line of factory ammunition. The Doppler radar allows Barnes to determine actual velocities at hundreds of points along a bullet’s flight path. This provides a more complete view of the ballistics “behavior” of the bullet, particularly at long range. Using Doppler radar, Barnes has learned that neither the G1 nor G7 BC models are perfect. Barnes essentially builds a custom drag curve for each bullet using Doppler radar findings.

Use of Doppler Radar to Generate Trajectory Solutions

by Barnes Bullets, LLC
Typical trajectory tables are generated by measuring only two values: muzzle velocity, and either time-of-flight to a downrange target, or a second downrange velocity. Depending on the test facility where this data is gathered, that downrange target or chronograph may only be 100 to 300 yards from the muzzle. These values are used to calculate the Ballistic Coefficient (BC value) of the bullet, and the BC value is then referenced to a standardized drag curve such as G1 or G7 to generate the trajectory table.

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedomThis approach works reasonably well for the distances encountered in most hunting and target shooting conditions, but breaks down rapidly for long range work. It’s really an archaic approach based on artillery firings conducted in the late 1800s and computational techniques developed before the advent of modern computers.

There is a better approach which has been utilized by modern militaries around the world for many years to generate very precise firing solutions. Due to the sizeable investment required, it has been slow to make its way into the commercial market. This modern approach is to use a Doppler radar system to gather thousands of data points as a bullet flies downrange. This radar data is used to generate a bullet specific drag curve, and then fed into a modern 6 Degree of Freedom (DOF) [ballistics software program] to generate precise firing solutions and greatly increase first-round hit probability. (The 6 DOF software accounts for x, y, and z position along with the bullet’s pitch, yaw, and roll rates.)

Barnes has invested heavily in this modern approach. Our Doppler radar system can track bullets out to 1500 meters, recording the velocity and time of flight of that bullet every few feet along the flight path. Consider the graph below showing a bullet specific drag curve referenced to the more common G1 and G7 curves:

Ballistics Barnes Bullets Doppler Radar G1 G7 curve model drop chart DOF 6 degree of freedom

Neither of the standard curves is a particularly good match to our test bullet. In the legacy approach to generating a downrange trajectory table, the BC value is in effect a multiplier or a fudge factor that’s used to shift the drag curve of the test bullet to try and approximate one of the standard curves. This leads to heated arguments as to which of the standardized drag curves is a better fit, or if multiple BC values should be used to better approximate the standard curve (e.g., use one BC value when the velocity is between Mach 1 and Mach 2, and a different BC value when the velocity is between Mach 2 and Mach 3.) Barnes’ approach to creating trajectory tables is to generate bullet-specific drag curves, and use that data directly in a modern, state-of-the-art, 6 DOF ballistics program called Prodas to generate the firing solution.

Story tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 7 Comments »
November 17th, 2014

Sierra Infinity 7 Ballistics Software — Video Shows Features

Sierra Bullets has released Version 7 of its respected Infinity Exterior Ballistics software, available now for $39.95 for Windows computers. Renowned Sierra Ballistic Consultants Ted Almgren and Dr. Bill McDonald, who have written all Sierra Software since 1970, also wrote Infinity Version 7. Both are retired scientists from a major aerospace company. Infinity Exterior Ballistics Software version 7 is a sophisticated solver that can output multiple trajectory charts. A built-in database includes bullets and cartridges offered by 15 manufacturers, both U.S. and foreign.

This 13-minute Video Demonstrates the Many Features of Infinity 7 Ballistics Software:

This sophisticated program computes the effects on the bullet trajectory of variations in firing conditions. For example, you can change altitude of the firing point, target angle (uphill/downhill), wind speeds, or even modify the Ballistic Coefficient. In fact, you can change any inputted firing condition or combination of conditions.

One very handy function is the “back-to-zero” calculation. Infinity 7 software will compute where your gun is zeroed if you know that it shoots high by a measured amount at a known range.

Sierra Infinity software

Compare Trajectories with Five Different Bullets
One very powerful feature of Infinity 7 is its trajectory comparison capability. With most ballistics programs (such as the JBM online ballistics calculator), you can only view one bullet’s trajectory (and associated drop chart) at a time. Not so with Infinity 7. This software handles up to five different bullets at a time. You can compare downrange velocity, energy, drop, bullet path height, or crosswind drift with results shown in bolt tabular and graphical format. That helps you select the best bullet for your gun and application. The ability to compare downrange ballistics of five different bullets at once is particularly helpful for hunters, who can compare the “hitting power” of different projectiles at various distances.

You can purchase Infinity 7 Ballistics Software as a standalone product for $39.99, or you can buy the Infinity 7 Suite for $59.95, which includes the Sierra Bullets 5th Edition Reloading Manual on CD-ROM. If you prefer a printed loading Manual, a combo pack with Infinity 7 software CD-ROM plus published (hard-back) Reloading Manual is offered for $64.95.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 3 Comments »
November 5th, 2014

New Compact $349.00 TargetCam System from Bullseye

Bullseye Camera TargetCam AmmocamWould you like a target-cam system that fits in a single, compact weatherproof container, sets up quickly without tripods or external antennas, and works with smartphones, iPads, Android tablets, and Windows laptops? Well then you would like the brand new Bullseye AmmoCam Sight-In, a self-contained target-cam system in a sturdy plastic box resembling a classic military ammo can. Simply set the unit downrange, flip the “on” switch, and start shooting. The whole system weighs just 5 pounds. The manufacturer offers a 30-day unconditional money-back guarantee.

The $349.00 wireless Bullseye AmmoCam is a stand-alone video camera/transmitter that works out to 300 yards. The built-in software identifies and flashes your last shot on the display — that’s smart. The signal can be received by a WiFi-enabled smartphone, tablet, iPad, or Windows laptop computer. It even allows multiple users to connect simultaneously (so your buddy can watch your target as you shoot). There are no wires to string or bulky antennas to set up. The whole system is simple and easy, and weighs just five pounds. The fully weatherproof container is a compact 14″ x 8″ x 10″. Daytime battery life is 12+ hours.

Bullseye Camera TargetCam Ammocam

Bullseye AmmoCam Sight-In Edition
The AmmoCam Sight-in model works out to 300 yards with clear line of sight. With a built-in lamp to illuminate the target, the AmmoCam system works both in day-time and after dark. The 5-lb, $349.00 package includes all the following:

  • Video Camera with night illumination.
  • WiFi Transmitter (with built-in router).
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack w/charger (12+ hour run time).
  • Target Manager software package for iPhone, iPad, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8.
  • Secure, fully weatherproof 14″ x 8″ x 10″ Carrying Case.

Bullseye 1000-Yard Long-Range Edition
While we understand the appeal of the dead-simple AmmoCam, we know that many shooters want to go out way past 300 yards. For them, Bullseye Camera Systems offers a 1000-Yard Long Range Edition System, priced at $549.00. This is a complete package which includes video camera, router with high-gain antenna, tripod, carrying case, and all necessary connectors. Bullseye Target Manager software works with iPhone, iPad, Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 (and soon Max OSX).

Bullseye Camera TargetCam Ammocam

Permalink New Product 3 Comments »
September 6th, 2014

Long Range Shooting Simulation

Long Range Shooting SimulationShooterReady.com offers an excellent computer simulation that lets you “shoot” three different calibers at virtual ranges out to 2000 yards–complete with sound effects and realistic scenery. You view the target through a 10-20x zoom scope and adjust windage and elevation as with a real scope. A FREE Online Demo is available that lets you practice with a 175gr .308, and also Windrunner .338 and .50 BMG. Atmospheric conditions and range distance change with each stage, so there is plenty of challenge. Warning–if you’re at work, this can be addictive once you get the hang of it.

Long Range Shooting Simulation

You can practice Mil Dot ranging on 3 targets: A 12″ X 12″ swinging plate, a 30″ X 18″ knock-down plate, and a regulation 72″ X 19″ knock down plate. Each caliber has 70 range exercises, plus an advanced stage with 25 timed hold-offs, and moving targets.

The CD also includes “Interactive Classrooms” that teach you how to use Mil-Dot scopes and how to use a range card. The presentation on reading Mils and calculating target distances is very well done. It is much easier to learn interactively than by just reading a static manual. Below is a screenshot from the Mil-Dot Ranging “Classroom”.

Long Range Sim Interactive Classroom

Trust us, you can learn a great deal from the Free Demo. This is not just a shooter video game. The demo offers a variety of scenarios–enough to keep you occupied for quite some time. If you want to learn more, the full CD, with hundreds of scenarios, and five bonus stages, costs $43.95 from ShooterReady.com.

Permalink News, Shooting Skills 5 Comments »
June 22nd, 2013

Mobile Ballistics Program for I-Pod Touch and I-Phones

Runaway Technology offers a sophisticated yet easy-to-use ballistics program that runs on the Apple I-Pod Touch and Apple I-Phone platforms. The BulletFlight 4.0.0 software contains all the features you would want, including: user-selectable BC models (G1, G7, G8 etc.); output in inches, cm, MOA, Mils, and scope clicks; 360° wind drift calculation; computation of actual BC from collected data; and built-in accelerometer for angle detection.

AccurateShooter KAC Bullet Flight Ballistics Software

In addition, BulletFlight 4.0.0 comes with a large database of bullet types (including weights, BCs etc.). You can also create your own custom ammo profiles (with velocity, BC, bullet type), allowing you to easily output ballistic plots for multiple firearms, without having to enter the rifle/bullet profile every time. The latest 4.0.0 version is faster than before, and 299 more projectile types have been added to the bullet database.

AccurateShooter KAC Bullet Flight Ballistics Software AccurateShooter KAC Bullet Flight Ballistics Software

BulletFlight 4.0.0 is a very sophisticated program that rivals anything you can run on your home computer. A version of BulletFlight is already in use with the U.S. Military in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Apple operating system and “multi-touch” screen allows an extremely user-friendly interface. (And with the I-Pod Touch, you do NOT need a phone service contract.) “Ruggedized” Otterbox carry cases are also available for both first- and second-generation I-pods.

AccurateShooter KAC Bullet Flight Ballistics Software AccurateShooter KAC BulletFlight Ballistics Software

Software Starts at Just $3.99
There are three versions of KAC BulletFlight, all very affordable. The basic BulletFlt L1 edition (3.1.0 version) costs just $3.99. We recommend the BulltFlt L2 edition (3.1.0 version). At $11.99, the L2 software adds a full calculation screen, the ability to generate a range-card, cosine-angle calculation, and GPS functionality. Finally, the $29.99 BulletFlight Level ‘M’ 4.0.0 version further adds the ability to calculate an actual BC based on bullet drop, two velocities, or flight time. The Level ‘M’ version can also correct for subtle factors, such as the Coriolis Effects, which come into play at ultra-long ranges.

AccurateShooter KAC Bullet Flight Ballistics Software

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Gear Review 2 Comments »
January 30th, 2013

OnTarget Software Measures Group Sizes from Scan or Photo

Jeffrey Block has created a great new FREE software program, OnTarget, that measures shot groups quickly and precisely. All you need is a photo or scan of your target. The program allows you to set your target distance, and provides caliber-specific tools to precisely mark the center of each shot. Once you’ve marked each bullet hole, Jeff’s OnTarget program automatically calculates group center, maximum group spread (CTC), average distance to center, group width and height, and group offset from point of aim. The program will even measure multiple groups on the same target.

CLICK HERE to Download OnTarget Group-Measuring Software (v1.10 FREE; v2.10 $11.99)

After just a few minutes spent learning the program’s tool buttons, we were able to plot shot groups on a variety of targets with ease. Once you select the target distance and bullet diameter, figuring group size is a simple matter of centering a circle tool over each bullet hole. Then the program “connects the dots” and provides all the info you could want automatically.

The program worked with bullet holes as small as 17 caliber and as large as 50 caliber. It is very precise, but remember that if your target photo was taken at an angle, distorted perspective can cause slight errors in measurement. Therefore, for the ultimate precision, you want to start with a flat scan of the target.

OnTarget Compared to Measuring Manually
We found OnTarget to be especially useful for groups with widely dispersed bullet holes, or very small bullet holes, such as 17 caliber holes. We’ve found that it’s difficult to measure 17-cal group sizes with a standard caliper, because the tool itself obscures the tiny holes. With OnTarget, the program can zoom up your target view, making it much easier to plot the center of each shot. And with a widely dispersed group of shots, the program automatically finds the two most distant shots. You can’t mistakenly pick the wrong pair of shots to measure.

Flash Tutorial Shows How It Works
Jeff created an excellent animated Animated Tutorial demonstrating OnTarget’s functions. It shows how to import a target image or scan, how to set target distance and scale, how to set bullet size and circle each bullet hole, and how to save the marked and measured target. VIEW OnTarget TUTORIAL

MEASURING REAL TARGETS — Actual Examples

Here are examples we created with OnTarget. The first photo shows a 17 Mach 2 target. These tiny 17-cal holes are notoriously hard to measure. With OnTarget, it’s a snap. You just load the target image into the program, zoom in with the controls, and then click on the center of the holes. The program automatically calculates group size, displaying measurements in both inches and minutes of angle (MOA)

Original Target (with ruler for scale)

Target Captured and Displayed in Program

Detail of Group, Enlarged by Program

10-shot Groups? — No Problem
Here’s another target, showing 6mm bullet holes at 600 yards. The first image shows the target image loaded into the program with the ten holes circled in red.

Target Displayed in Program

For this target we have used the Aiming Point option. The Aim Point was set at the center of the “X” and the program calculates average distance from the Aim Point. Very cool.

Detail of 10-Shot Group, Enlarged by Program

No Scanner Needed
The OnTarget program grabs target scans directly from a flatbed scanner using Microsoft’s Windows Image Acquisition system. But don’t worry if you don’t have a scanner. You can just take a digital photo of your target and OnTarget will import it quickly and easily. To set target scale, a simple tool allows you to mark a known length on the target (such as the diameter of the “X” Ring), and the program will then size the target accordingly. Is OnTarget precise and accurate? Here’s what Forum Member Steve W. says: “I used the extreme spread measurement of a group on one of my 600-yard match targets… as it was officially scored at the match. By clicking the +—+ icon, then clicked the cursor in the centers of the two extreme spread holes, I then entered that value in the reference window. After that it was simple because the bullet placement cursor’s circle was the same size as the black outline of the actual bullet holes on the picture of the target. OnTarget’s measurement came up within .006″ of the official 2.772 inch measurement of the group. That’s pretty darned close; well inside the human judgment of aligning the tips of a micrometer on the bullet holes.”

Bottom Line — Great Program — Download It Today
Jeffrey Block has done a great service for shooters by creating the FREE OnTarget program. It is easy to learn, it functions great, and it can save you time and effort measuring targets. It also lets you easily archive and compare multiple targets produced during load development or rifle testing. You can record ammo type, date, location, weather etc. in note fields accessed by “Group Info” and “Target Info” tabs.

Keep in mind that OnTarget was NOT created to replace existing methods for scoring competition targets. But for all other target measuring purposes it does a great job. Visit Jeff’s website, OnTargetShooting.com, view the tutorial, and check out OnTarget for yourselves.

To learn more about OnTarget, see more measuring samples, and read advanced Power-User Tips, visit our full OnTarget Product Review.

Permalink Competition, Reloading, Tech Tip 8 Comments »
September 17th, 2011

Wheeled Robotic “Smart Targets” for Live-Fire Training

The gyro-stabilized two-wheeled Segway was supposed to revolutionize personal transportation. That may never happen (mall cops excepted), but remote-controlled Segways just might revolutionize the way military and police personnel train for urban engagements.

Marathon Smart Targets

Robotic Segway “Smart Targets” for Live-Fire Training
An Australian company, Marathon Robotics, has created wheeled robot targets — remote-controlled Segways fitted with target silhouettes. The Segway Robots can move and respond like humans, ducking into doorways, or dispersing at the sound of gunfire. This provides challenging, ultra-realistic training for military and police sharp-shooters. This is not just science fiction. Australian Special Forces units already train in a mock urban center populated with Marathon’s rolling robots. And the U.S. Marine Corps has hired Marathon to create a similar robot-equipped, live-fire training venue.

Marathon Smart TargetsMarathon combined computer gaming technology with armored, remote-controlled Segways to create the ultimate 21st century moving target. The lower halves of the Segways are armor-plated, so the expensive electronic innards don’t get damaged by an errant shot. On top is mounted a replica human torso. The torso section can be clothed to distinguish “civilians” from military targets, or to distinguish terrorists from hostages.

Marathon’s sophisticated software can control multiple Segway Robots at the same time. A group of Segways can be programmed to mimic a squad on patrol, or a group of terrorists holding hostages. The control software allows autonomous or “intelligent” behavior by the Segway Robots. For example, the Segways can disperse automatically at the sound of a gunshot, and the Segways can be trained to seek cover in hallways or behind objects. Importantly, the Segway Robots are capable of human-like movement — they can stop quickly, turn 360° and retreat slowly, or accelerate to a human running pace. Marathon’s Segway Robots are equipped with laser range finders so they can avoid running into obstacles, including people on the move. The “Segbots” lean forward slightly as they walk forward, like people do.

To really understand how the Robotic Smart Targets work, watch this amazing video:

YouTube Preview Image

RESOURCES: Marathon Targets Webpage | Smart Targets Product Info (PDF) | Photo Gallery

Marathon Smart Targets

Permalink - Videos, New Product, Shooting Skills 4 Comments »
May 10th, 2011

Forum Upgrade This Evening (May 10, 10:00 pm Central)

Here’s a “heads up” for our Forum members and site visitors. This evening, we plan to install new software for our SHOOTERS’ FORUM. As a result, the FORUM will be offline for a couple hours on TUESDAY, May 10, starting at about 10:00 pm Central Time. After the upgrade, we will activate a new URL to bookmark. The upgraded forum software will be installed on a dedicated server. This should give us improved security and stability, and it should allow the FORUM to run faster. In addition, the upgraded software has a new “look and feel” that should improve the user experience. You will still be able to use your same forum name and password.

So guys… don’t freak out if you cannot access the FORUM tonight. God willing, everything will be in place within a few hours. If all goes according to plan, all existing FORUM threads and posts will be preserved — there will simply be a “time out” for two or three hours.

Graphics courtesy dryicons.com.
Permalink News 1 Comment »
February 18th, 2011

Lapua Offers FREE Ballistics App for Java-Compatible Phones

Free Lapua Ballistics AppLapua now offers a FREE ballistics program for modern smart phones that run Java Apps. (Unfortunately, that excludes Apple iPhones and Android OS phones, but Lapua says that the majority of smartphones run Java). The program calculates drift and drop, and it corrects for altitude, temp, air pressure, and shot angle. The Lapua Ballistics App also includes a database of Lapua bullet profiles with ultra-reliable radar-derived Ballistic Coefficients. Sound good? Now go get your smart phone. The program must be downloaded with a mobile phone. Open a web browser in your smart-phone and navigate to www.lapua.com/ballistics and choose the correct version for your phone.

Lapua’s exterior ballistic software for mobile phones is capable of predicting trajectories in real time with extreme accuracy. Using Lapua Ballistics, there is no need for checking tables and calculating cosines for inclination compensation (you still have to input the angle). The program also compensates for the effect of cartridge temperature on muzzle velocity and the effect of atmospheric conditions on the projectile’s trajectory.

Lapua Ballistics is based on precise Doppler Radar measurements of actual bullet drag — professional data available only for Lapua bullets. Lapua Ballistics can be installed on all smartphones supporting basic Java (Java MIDP 2.0). NOTE: Apple iPhone and Android platforms do not support Java ME.

Permalink Hot Deals, New Product 3 Comments »
March 25th, 2010

New Ballistics App for Android OS Smart-Phones

SHOOTER Android Ballistics programBryan Litz, author of Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting, informed us that sophisticated new ballistics software is now available for Android OS phones. While there are ballistics programs that run on iPhones, as well as programs for Palm or Windows PDAs (Personal Digital Assistants), Bryan believes that the new Ballistics App, called SHOOTER, is the first such program for Android operating system (OS) products — such as Motorola’s Droid phone and Google’s new Nexus phone.

Bryan explained: “The SHOOTER App can be found in the Google marketplace by searching for ‘Ballistics’. I became interested in this program when I got my Android phone. There are several good programs out there for iPhones and PDAs. But SHOOTER is the first program I know of for Android. In my opinion, it won’t be topped by anything else. If you have an Android smartphone, I highly recommend checking out this application. The program is easy to install and run. Outputs are available as a single-shot solution or as a table. There is a ‘Lite’ version of SHOOTER that you can download for free, and the ‘full’ version is $9.99.”

CLICK HERE for SHOOTER Android OS Ballistics Program.
CLICK HERE for SHOOTER LITE Android OS Ballistics Program.

The new “Shooter” Program for Android OS has an impressive list of features:

  • G1 and G7 BC capability, with the option to input ‘velocity banded’ BCs.
  • Angle Compensation (Up or Down Angle can be measured using the built-in inclinometer).
  • Bullet Library which includes Litz-measured “true” BCs.
  • Rifle and ammo profiles (for storing load info for all your guns).
  • Atmosphere effects (pressure, temp, and humidity).
  • Spin drift (requires bullet length and twist rate inputs).
  • Coriolis effect (works best with GPS-equipped Android phones).

Bryan revealed: “I was heavily involved in the development of this program and can vouch for the accuracy of the solution. The actual solver is very similar to the one used in my programs and in the JBM online Ballistics Program. SHOOTER’s calculations normally match my numbers and JBM’s numbers within round-off error (0.1″ at 1000 yards).”

Single-Distance Ballistics Solution Multi-Distance Ballistics Table

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October 17th, 2009

Greatest Hits: Ballistics App for I-Pods and I-Phones

LINK: Advanced Ballistics Program for I-Phones and I-Pods
Apple’s I-Phone and I-Pod offer a superb user interface with serious computing power. Here’s a very trick software App (good enough for the U.S. military) that runs ballistic calcs and even has a bullet database.

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October 5th, 2009

Coming Soon… Ballistics Software Package for Cell Phones

One of our readers, Rafal Walczowski, revealed that programmers from Poland have developed ballistics software for cell phones. The new program, KABAL, should be able to operate in over 90% of programmable mobile phones. Rafal tells us: “Our idea was to develop software which could be used on the most common devices people carry all the time — mobile phones.” Current mobile ballistics programs require a separate device (such as a Windows PDA), or are limited to a single type of phone (e.g. the KAC program for the I-Phone). The Polish developers came up with a handier, more universal application: “We made software that should work on every device with JAVA MIDP.2.0. That should work for about 90-95% of the phones on the market. And, later, we will make a KABAL version that runs with older versions of JAVA.”

Kabal Ballistics software cell phone

Rafal reports the KABAL Ballistics program for mobile phones has worked well in field tests: “The algorithm for our calculator was field-tested for 18 months at ranges up to 1076 meters. Many different calibers, rifles, and bullets were employed during testing. We are pleased with the results, even when compared to QuickTarget and Exbal programs. Our KABAL program often proved more accurate, especially for long-range calculations, whereas QuickTarget and Exbal could be too optimistic.”

English Version Coming Soon — and Free BETA Version Online
Rafal reports: “Several weeks ago we finished the Polish version of KABAL and we are selling it for mobile phones. We are now are working on an English-language version, which is currently in beta testing.” There is a free English test version that works in a PC browser. This includes a BC database, a bullet stability calculator, plus tooltips describing each field. You can try out the free online beta version by clicking the link below. Rabal adds: “We would highly appreciate any opinions/feedback about our software”.

CLICK HERE for Beta Version of English KABAL Ballistics Software (Web use only)

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June 24th, 2009

Lapua Offers Free Advanced Ballistics Software

Lapua has used sophisticated Doppler radar to calculate the actual air drag of its bullets throughout the course of bullet flight. Drag coefficients derived from these continuous field measurements make it possible to calculate bullets’ trajectories with great precision. By using Doppler-radar derived drag coefficients, trajectories can be predicted much more accurately than when using the simplified one-number BCs provided by most other bullet-makers.

To enable shooters to calculate trajectories (with the Doppler bullet data) more effectively, Lapua now offers a FREE special edition of QuickTarget Unlimited (QTU) software tailored for Lapua bullets. QTU is a very sophisticated program that allows you to choose among 12 different drag models. QTU also allows you to compensate for rifle firing angle, rifle cant, wind speed, atmospheric pressure, temperature, and humidity.

Lapua QuickTarget

Using this free software, you can calculate the trajectories of Lapua bullets to a great degree of certainty. With the QTU Program, as starting values, you need only bullet type and muzzle velocity (add windspeeds if known). The software will calculate bullet drop, velocity and energy as a function of distance and flight time. Complete QTU instructions are in the QTU Manual.

CLICK HERE to download QTU Software Manual. (Read the manual. QTU is complex with many variables and uses metric values by default. The manual explains how to set everything for yards and MOA, and how to input data for wind, temperature, rifle angle and other variables.)

How to Get the Software
To get the FREE QuickTarget Lapua Edition software, first go to the Lapua Ballistics Start Page. On that page, click the “Register” link. Fill in ALL the required info (user name, password, email etc.), and hit the “Create Account” button. Validation: Lapua will send a message to the email account you listed. Open that email and click the internal link to verify that you have an active, valid email account.

OK, now go back to the Ballistics Start Page. Fill in your user name and password, and click the “Login” button. A new page should open with the heading: “About QuickTarget Unlimited (QTU) Lapua Edition”. OK, now move your mouse pointer left and click on the words “Download Lapua Edition”. Now a new page will open.

Almost done. Scroll down and you’ll see a blue “Download Now” button at the bottom. Click that, then click “Agree” on the software license screen that comes next. After you click “Agree” a new page appears showing: “QuickTarget Unlimited Lapua Edition”.

Lapua QuickTarget

Click the link for “qtulapua.zip” and a 6.1 megabyte .zip archive file will be downloaded to your computer. Open that .zip file and click the “SETUP.EXE” file to install the software.

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, New Product 6 Comments »
March 8th, 2009

Forum Running Again — Some Issues Persist

We regret that the AccurateShooter Forum is still not 100% right, but there is progress. As of 1300 Pacific time the Forum could be accessed and we were able to open and read threads, but the formatting was still not completely right.

What’s been happening? On Saturday morning, the hosting company installed some new software. We were told the Forum would be up and running “within 2-3 hours”. Obviously the hosting company encountered more serious problems than it anticipated. The problems were caused by a software update that did not work properly. This update was initiated by the third-party hosting company and is NOT something we requested (or even knew was coming).

We understand there is a high level of frustration, and we have commenced the process of moving the entire forum to a new hosting system. Unfortunately, with thousands of members and nearly 100,000 threads, that is a process which needs to be done very carefully. Full conversion take some time.

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August 3rd, 2008

Recoil Calculation with FREE Point Blank Software

It’s great that Reloder 17 can allow shooters to boost velocities by 150 fps or more (in suitable cartridges). Pushing a bullet faster can flatten its trajectory and reduce the amount of wind drift (at a given distance). However, in our quest to shoot bullets ever faster, we must remember that higher speeds come with a price. Higher velocities can increase fouling, may accelerate throat wear, and without question, higher velocities increase recoil.

Point Blank Software

How can you determine how much added recoil you’ll get when you speed up your bullets? The FREE Point Blank software program has a feature that calculates recoil. All you have to do is type in bullet weight, muzzle velocity, powder charge, and gun weight. Then the program automatically calculates recoil energy in ft/lbs and recoil velocity in fps. To use this feature, after launching Point Blank, click the “Misc Functions” tab, then select “Calculate Recoil”.

Point Blank Software

Point Blank Software Calculates Ballistics and Much More…
Point Blank Software is very versatile. It offers a full-featured ballistics calculator that figures bullet drop and wind drift. A built-in database will hold all your load data. In addition, you can keep track of your firearms with the firearms inventory database. A target screen lets you plot shots and calculate group size. Among the miscellaneous functions, in addition to calculating recoil, Point Blank can calculate muzzle energy, “knockout factor”, and bullet sectional density. Point Blank even offers a handy English/metric measurement converter.

Point Blank Software

What does all this calculating power cost? Zero. Zip. Nada. Point Blank Software is FREE. Just click on the link below to go to the download page. Point Blank will run on any PC using Windows 95 or newer operating system.

DOWNLOAD FREE Point Blank Reloading & Ballistics Software

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