Gear Review: Ballistic App For iPhone

The last page, and the easiest to digest is the HUD tab which is most akin to the main display that Shooter uses. In that format, you can load up one of your favorite loads, and play around with range, wind speed and direction, as well as mover speed. The calculator spits out holds for elevation and windage in the format of your choosing from the quick start menu. Which is the biggest problem I was able to find.

ballistic-app-iphone-review-006.jpg


As you can see above, the app says I need to come up 10 clicks to get to 300 yards and that I need to hold 24 1/10 mil radians to offset the wind. Those numbers didn’t sit right in my mind and I realized that I actually wanted the output in mils with a decimal point denoting the tenths. So in this case, 1 mils versus 10 1/10 mils or 2.4 mils instead of 24 1/10 mils. After much searching around, I found that I could go back and edit the profile and then save it as a new one. I used this opportunity to change the distance increment to 10 yards as the one I’d saved was in 150 yard increments to cut down on clutter for the range card. Using the HUD, that didn’t make sense as 150 yards is too large an increment. I finally goofed around in the setting menu (through general settings in iOS 9) enough to find that I could goof around with the field called “Output Precision” that allowed me to get my desired result in the output, though I ended up having to save and restart the app several times to get it to take. Total time lost was something like 20 minutes. Not extraordinary in the grand scheme of things, but something that came to characterize my interactions with Ballistic.

Specifications: Ballistic App
  • Supported Platforms: iPhone, iPod, and iPad
  • Ballistics Engine: JBM
  • Price: $12.99 for the Standard Edition $14.99 for the Advanced Edition
  • Where to buy: You can use this fancy link they made just for us http://ballistic.co/truthaboutguns

Ratings (out of five stars):

Functionality * * * * *
The sheer amount of work the Advanced edition of this app can provide is staggering. If you’re willing to sit down and put in the work, you can thoroughly maximize the JBM model thanks to the multi-factor wind modeling abilities. I cannot think of a scenario where the functionality of this app will come up short.

Accuracy * * * * *
I have no reason to believe that the underlying math behind this app is anything less than flawless. The JBM engine is very well understood and assuming the inputs you give it are accurate, the outputs should be as well. I compared it side by side with the other two apps I’m testing and given the same set of variables, it delivered the exact same set of outputs. In the field, when I did my part to properly input data, the outputs helped me put shots on target.

Stability * * * *
I hate apps that crash and with something like a shooting app, it will inevitably crash when you need it to work most. I never had any crashing issues with Ballistic, but I did have a few times where I made a bunch of configuration changes and restarting the app was necessary to get it to spit out the right number. I have to do this with lots of non-shooting apps, so I really can’t judge it that hard.

Usability * * *
I spent a lot of my time using Ballistic using their YouTube channel or hunting around for answers (see HUD section for an example). Ultimately, I felt like I was fighting the app a lot of the time in a way that I just don’t with other ballistic applications. Part of that might have to do with the fact that it has SO much functionality, but I think that most of it is due to the fact that they didn’t keep a keen eye towards user experience throughout the whole design and development process. What that means as a user is that you’ll have to commit a couple hours to sitting down with your purchase to figure out how it all works.

Overall * * * *
It can be a bit clunky to use, but most things designed by engineers are. And because engineers designed it (I think) it is highly complex and packed with features. If you’re willing to put in the time, this is an extraordinary powerful tool. If you’re the type of shooter who never steps past 400 yards or so and never takes a shot in demanding wind conditions, this app will likely feel like a waste of your money, and you might just get frustrated and throw up your hands. At $15, it’s not the cheapest app in the store, but it does a very good job and should serve you for years to come.


Tyler Kee is a small town kid trying to make it in the big city of Austin, TX. A cubicle dwelling, technology sales professional by day, he is an avid starter of projects, purchaser of specialty tools, and aspiring chef out of the office. He has been writing for The Truth About Guns for four years and specializes in hunting, the outdoors and gun and gear reviews.