Shooter, the ballistic calculator designed for Android phones has changed the way I shoot as well as use a ballistic calculator. While the calculations it does are not new or revolutionary, the fact that it is on my phone is. In the past I had to tape drop charts to my stock. If I was changing elevation, changing bullets or loads, or experiencing large temperature fluctuations, the drop chart changes and isn’t as accurate. Because I am constantly playing with different bullets and loads things change frequently. It would take dozens of pages of printed dropcharts to come close to the amount of information that Shooter can calculate in seconds.
If you don’t read through any of the rest of this review know two things: 1) the ballistic calculations work and are extremely accurate. Brian Litz, the ballistician for Berger Bullets, has been reported to have tested the calculator out to 2400 yards and given it the thumbs up. I have compared it to other expensive ballistic calculators and found it to be equal or better. The better and more accurate your inputs, the better and more accurate the program will be. 2)The program is intuitive and easy to use especially if you will take ten minutes and read the manual.
Shooter updates in real time using the GPS in your phone and an Internet connection. It automatically downloads temperatures, altitude, humidity, barometric pressure and a host of other things. When Internet isn’t available you can tell it to use the last readings or input them manually. The GPS still works without Internet so you can be way in the back country and things like elevation change and update without any input.
When enabled, Shooter, can tell what direction you are facing and can accurately calculate Coriolis Effect. The program also has the ability to calculate shot angles by placing the phone along the barrel. The angle reader is as accurate and maybe more accurate than any aftermarket cosine indicator available for shooting. It uses the angle automatically and requires you to input nothing.
Shooter has the ability to work as a range calculator. Input the targets size, input the size in reticle and it calculates instant yardage. Works for Mils, MOA or Inches.
When connected to the internet you have one of the largest bullet libraries available at your fingertips. You choose the bullet you are shooting and the information about the bullet loads in your calculator. The program works whether you’re shooting factory ammo or hand loaded. The program can use either G1 or G7 B.C.’s and handles stepped B.C.’s like what Sierra publishes.
I input my rifles, add information about site in distance, scope height, twist rate, scope adjustments,etc and the program saves it all for me. I can then input specific data about each load I have developed for that specific rifle and it automatically saves it all for me. I name them so that I can remember what they are.
When you want ballistic data you have two options. 1)You can input exact yardage and wind and then choose the “Solution” button. This gives you exact MOA, Wind, and if enabled Lead. There is also less data to make a mistake with. 2) The other option is to input the farthest range you might possibly shoot at. Choose the “Table/Graph” button and the program gives you a table with all data out to that distance. When shooting coyotes at long-range or hunting in general I prefer the 2nd method as I can have the screen up on my phone with the phone off. When I range a coyote at 634 I don’t have to input anything just turn on the phone and the data out to whatever distance is right there instantly.
The program works in Mils, inches, MOA, metric, whatever you prefer.
The program has so many features that I could go on and on but you’d be better off to visit the website of the developer and read through them. There is also a user manual that explains settings. Most of the features are customizable in the settings.
Shooter is currently available on Android phones. The cost for the entire program is $10. That includes a bluetooth plugin for those using the Kestral wind meter with bluetooth. The price is so affordable that if you shoot this should be a no brainer. I was using the program from the time it first became available on the Android Market and have seen it undergo major upgrades and changes. It still continues to evolve and get better although its hard to imagine how since its already phenomenal.
TIPS & TRICKS
- When out of cell phone range put your Android phone in Airplane mode. On my HTC EVO all features except the phone and internet still function and the GPS still works. The advantage is that your battery lasts for days because the phone isn’t constantly looking for cell towers. Most of the functions in Shooter still work.
- To edit a rifle or load, hold down on the screen over the name you wish to edit. A window with an edit option will pop up.
- You can email your ballistic table to yourself or a friend by choosing “Table/Graph” button and then use the “menu” button on your phone. Choose the “send” option and input the email address you want it sent to.
If you use Shooter please leave us a comment and share your tips or tricks.