Best Ballistic Software?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by teh, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. teh

    teh New Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    Howdy all! I was wondering if some of you could relay your thoughts and experiences with different ballistic programs. I've never used any before, and with options from $40- $170, I want to be sure I'm making the right choice.

    Anyways, I imagine the ideal setup for me would be a detailed program for my desktop where I can enter all of the data specific to my rifle (bullet type, weight, powder, muzzle velocity, etc etc) and play around with diferrent theoritical loads, and then I'd like to synch that with my Pocket PC...I'd like to have the rest of it (using the pocket PC to calculate drop/adjustments) be as simple and quick as possible.

    If any of you have personal experience with any of the programs out there, care to share your opinions? Is one better than another? Any easier/harder to use?

  2. ZSteinle

    ZSteinle Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2008

  3. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Jun 18, 2007
    I have used Exbal for a long time and have just recieved the new Sierra software.
    i have exbal on both computer and pocket PC-Works great!
  4. jwp475

    jwp475 Well-Known Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    I have the Exbal by Perry Systems (sold by Nightforce) and I am very pleased with it. I have both on my desk top and my hand held computer as well

  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    If you haven't ever used any ballistics programs, you should rectify that problem before purchasing one. The free ones are adequate for most situations that a beginner should be shooting in. The one that I prefer is JBM

    JBM - Calculations - Trajectory

    It is very powerful and about as accurate as any other up to 1500 yards. So many things happen past 1000 yards that it is usually very difficult to determine the accuracy of the predictions of a computer programs versus the myriad of environmental conditions. Small things like the yaw of the bullet leaving a specific barrel make it impossible to be 100% accurate.

    I print off the drop charts and add a few pieces of information such as temperature and altitude corrections and then laminate it. I also carry a cosine chart if the terrain warrants it.

    The principle reason I bought Exbal is for its ability to calculate past 1500 yards. Even when I am carrying my PDA I will have my laminated drop chart.
  6. JeffVN

    JeffVN Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    I have and use the Exbal system. It is pretty good for my 7WSM.

    Field Firing solutions is a touch better, as it allows the shooter to input 3 different wind directions and speed at the same time. My brother has this one, and it is extremely good (within 1/2 MOa on his calls outt o 1K - farthest he ahs tried it with his .308).

    Patagonia has one that is pretty popular in some tactical ralms.

    If you are going to extreme long ranges (beyond 1,500 yards), the only one that seems to truly have it wired together is the CheyTac system - the full military version.

    JeffV N
  7. teh

    teh New Member

    Aug 21, 2008
    Thanks for the replies everyone!!

    Buffalobob -- I have used JBM's calculator many times, and I agree that for free, it's a heck of a setup. Unfortunately, I've been in the field trying to use it from my blackberry with frustrating results :)

    I don't, and likely will never shoot beynod 1,000 yards. I have a 400 yard range (hopefully soon to be 500 with a little help from a bulldozer), and there's only one 1,000 yard range that I know of here in Georgia...

    However, I am trying to become completely confident in my shooting abilities at ranges of maybe 300 - 600 yards so that I am comfortable taking a shot at game at that range (I'm dying to go out west on a pronghorn hunt, but I won't go until I'm 100% confident in my shooting). I felt like a nice software package would be a great help for that...both for my reloading and for in the field use with the Pocket PC.

    I'll look into all the software packages mentioned (I appreciate your "free" option ZSteinle...I'm cheap also!) sounds like Exbal has a lot of fans and Patagonia looks very thorough as well...figures since they're the two most expensive options :D
  8. mikebob

    mikebob Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2006
    if you use blackberry download gridmagic for free (excel) and you can download the free excel program in ballistics forum to your computer. run desktop manager and check the sync with syncmanager ( folder for gridmagic) put program in that folder. sync, and your done, start using it on your blackberry works pretty good for me.
  9. Eaglet

    Eaglet Well-Known Member

    Feb 2, 2005
    I have been running ballistic programs back when DOS was the operating system. There's been more ballistic programs that I care to remember and talk about including those that you run online, those that you download for free and those that you pay for. The most satisfying ones to my personal likings and needs are:
    For my PC: Ballistic Explorer and LoadBase 2.0
    For my PDA: Exbal and LoadBase 2.0

    Though LoadBase 2.0 is really all I would need and more, I do like some features of the other ones.
    If I'm playing around and want to shoot rocks over 2000 yards, Exbal in my PDA will not go passed 2000 yards; LoadBase will give you a trip to 3000 yards, not only that, you're hard pressed to find a more accurate ballistic program for extreme ranges up to 3000 yards. Of the long list of things that my PDA version of LoadBase 2.0 will do, here are some of the ones that that come to mind:

    1: Multiple Wind Zones.
    It will calculate up to three different zones for the wind; let's say from 0 to 700 yards the wind is coming from 90 degrees at 5 mph but from 700 to 1200 is moving at a different speed from a different angle; you just enter that info for the zones and you're done! :cool:

    2: Pressure.
    you can either enter on location pressure without the need for elevation or sea level barometric pressure and elevation. On the same screen will display the sight-in conditions and the new location conditions. Cool!

    3. Shoot Screen.
    This is where you enter the shooting range and obtain the come-ups for your turret as well as windage. On the same screen it gives you the option if you want "Clicks" or "IPHY" or "MOA" or "MRAD", if you want the coriolis efect figured into it. Also on the same screen... no... is not horrible and bussy, on the same screen gives you the option for "Zero Stop".

    4. Zero Stop.
    As explained above, it is on the same screen of where you get you come-ups for elevation and windage.
    If you have 3 targets at different distances, like one at 500 yards another at 575 yards and the last one at 625 yards. You enter the range of 500 and it might say: UP 7.2 moa; Right 2.4 moa. After the shot you want to enter the next target but before that you click on "zero Stop" and when you do that you see it says "zero stop set at 500 yards" and the Elevation and Windage info is set to zero. Now to enter 575 and it will display: UP 2.0 moa; right 0.4 moa; now you shoot and get ready for the next target. Uncheck and check the zero stop, now your zero stop is 575 yards, elevation and windage are set to zero,enter the next distance which is 625 yards, it will display: UP 1.4 MOA; RIGHT 0.3 MOA... It really is very easy and just awesome!... I hope I explained my self...

    Well this has been a lot of typing already and I have not even scratched the surface of what LoadBase 2.0 from Patagonia Ballistics can do... Thanks for reading. :)
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008