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Best Ballistic Calculator Apps for Your Smartphone

Ballistic calculators are a must for long-range shooters and anyone looking to make precision shots at the range. Come get our top recommendations!

Long distance shooting is a bit like meteorology. You can go by feel, or you can make predictions to help you plan ahead.

No plan survives the first contact, but it gives you a fighting chance at least!

HBH Going Long Distance
Going Long Distance

If you want to “call your shot” before you make them, a ballistics calculator is in order. Ballistic calculators are an all or nothing sort of thing, you need to know exactly what you’re doing, or it’ll send your rounds way off.

If you’re willing to learn how to use them they can be the key that opens doors that were previously closed!

Summary of Our Top Picks

  1. Advanced Calculator

    KAC Bullet Flight M

    More data points, Android + iOS compatible

  2. Best Rated

    Hornady Ballistics 4DOF

    Built-in library of loads, Android + iOS compatible

  3. Simplest to Use

    Shooter

    Easy to use, Android + iOS compatible

  4. Most Expensive

    Applied Ballistics

    Lots of features but pricey, Android + iOS compatible

  5. iSnipe

    Lots of calculations for competition shooters, iOS compatibility only

  6. Best for iOS

    Ballistic App - Standard

    iOS compatibility only, two version -- Standard and Advanced

Table of Contents

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Purpose of a Ballistic Calculator

The purpose a ballistic calculator is important and is sometimes essential. Basically speaking, a ballistics calculator makes several calculations of given a data set.

That set includes the humidity, elevation, specifications of the round, and the expected velocity of the bullet given the rifle it’s fired out of.

Hangover Math Gif
Ballistic Calculators Make It So You Don’t Have To Do This In Your Head…

The calculations are so specific every shot you ever fire will be completely different.

You won’t have to waste ammunition trying to find out if your calculations are accurate because as soon as you calculate the shot, the variables have most likely changed.

This stuff is precious

The purpose of a ballistics calculator is to just get you close enough you can manually dial in your shot. Many people think a high-tech calculator will make the shots for you, and it won’t.

A calculator will save you money and time by getting you close but it won’t have you hitting the bullseye at 1,000 yards on the first shot.

Don’t forget to….

Take Good Notes

Every single shot you make will be influenced by the internal and external ballistics of the round, this is one of many reasons why quality control of your ammunition is so important — consistency is everything!

But it’s not just the ammo that you’re trying to account for…you also have things that while you can measure and attempt to account for, you won’t be able to get it perfect every time.

Temperature, wind, humidity, atmospheric pressure, elevation difference between you and the target, the list goes on and gets exponentially more complex the longer the shot is.

Randy Long Range Targets MARKED 2
A lot of factors can contribute to your success in hitting these.

If you enter in all of this information into a ballistics calculator can give you a good idea of how the shot will ring out, but it is just an educated guess.

You should be taking good notes on pen and paper to log each shot and shooting session to get a collection of good data to help you set up your calculator.

Fisher Space Pen Assortment
Take a pen and some paper to the range!

This is especially important for users who opt for low features applications on a smartphone.

Many application won’t keep data over a long period of time. So, you should always have a backup and keep the data somewhere safe.

Otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of ammunition and money when it comes time to shoot!

Phone vs. Handheld Calculator

With the widespread use of smartphones coming into the scene just as more and more people are hitting targets at range, naturally, people looked to the ever-loved smartphone for help nailing targets.

Carjacking Distracted on Phone
Phone are really helpful

While an application on your phone can provide basic data to help dial in dope for the shot you’re facing, almost every application on the market is not going to give as in-depth information as a dedicated ballistics computer.

They’ll be much easier to use but are slower to use and can eat up your phone battery quickly but can be excellent for shooting at targets within 1,200-ish yards.

The benefits of a ballistics calculator are important for a competitive shooter, you don’t have to use your phone and it’s often faster with deeper features than any app on the market.

Christy Hembree
(Photo: PRS)

They have a very steep learning curve and they go very in depth with high degrees of precision if you know how to use it.  

The other major downside to a dedicated handheld calculator is the price…they aren’t cheap!

Bottom line: If you have the extra cash and want the hobby of learning to use a ballistics calculator, go for it!

499
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

If you’re a recreational shooter who wants a down and dirty solution to save ammunition when you hit the range, get a phone based solution and take good notes!

Best Ballistics Calculator Apps

1. KAC Bullet Flight M

Knights Armament is an American institution for the firearms industry. They make some of the finest precision, military-grade, rifles and weapons that can be had.

In fact, they were one of the first companies to perfect the AR-10 with their KAC M110 — a rifle that is still in service with the military today.

KAC Bullet Flight
KAC Bullet Flight

They made this ballistic calculator app to help you dial in dope and get first round hits. It’s got a stripped-down version but is available in a detailed version, the Bullet Flight M, that is simply an excellent tool.

They factor in a ton of different data points and make it very easy to use the information when the time comes.

Advanced Calculator
30
at Amazon

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The trick to using this calculator is knowing what you need to get out of it and make sure you know what you’re doing when using that data.

Trying to use the more advanced ballistic calculators like this one is a recipe for wasting ammo if you’re not used to working with the data.

Android | iOS

2. Hornady Ballistics 4DOF

What started as a web-only version in 2016 was later offered to mobile users, bringing a bevy of features to shooters looking for computing power in their pocket.

And it’s good…

4DOF, or 4 Degrees of Freedom, uses Hornady’s built-in library of loads to help shooters account for wind, temperature, altitude, and humidity.

Best Rated
at Hornady

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Highly rated among Android and iOS users, the app is a great way to make calculations on the fly.

Android | iOS

3. Shooter

The best thing about this calculator is the simplicity of the application. There are few screens and inputting data is easy because of it’s all done on a single screen.

The bad thing about this application is the use of scrolling menus that make you flip through each and every option before you reach the number you’re looking for.

Shooter Ballistic App
Shooter Ballistic App

This means a lot of tedious scrolling and setting up when you get to the range and need to make corrections in the field.

Simplest to Use
9
at Google Play

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

The only other complaint is the white background can be difficult to read on the screen, but you can overcome that. If you’re looking for the simplest complete calculator, this as good as it gets.

Android | iOS

4. Applied Ballistics

The Applied Ballistics mobile app is certainly my favorite ballistics calculator application for Android and iOS.

Yes, it’s expensive, costing $30 but in my experience, no other ballistics calculator comes close to the functionality you get with this application.

Applied Ballistics App
Applied Ballistics App

By far the greatest feature of this calculator is the HUD display, meaning head-up display.

It’s just a snapshot of all the information that the calculator displays in an easy-to-read format that cuts out everything you don’t need to read when it comes time to make the shot.

Most Expensive
30
at Google Play

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

This makes it much faster to call corrections with a spotter because you’re not bogged down with plucking out information from a table.

Android | iOS

5. iSnipe

One of the OG ballistic calculators, iSnipe generates data for bullet trajectories, based on data calculated for pitch, yaw, the wind, Coriolis effect, spin drift and atmospheric condition.

iSnipe App
iSnipe App

It’s a very advanced calculator and the one I’d recommend for serious shooters and competitors that need a complete data set they can get their hands on.

c has a learning curve and you need a requisite level of understanding behind the math before you can quickly use this calculator. But you can certainly learn it in an afternoon or two of shooting and reading the instructions.

15
at Apple Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

If you’re a nerd, you’ll love this calculator. If all you want is put holes in targets, get one of the simpler options that aren’t as in depth.

Only on iOS

6. Ballistic App

This app offers a comprehensive library of loads AND is backed by JBM Ballistic on a computing level, so it’s pretty solid.

Ballistic App
Ballistic App

The app boasts over 5,000 projectile and factor loads to choose from as well as a MIL-Dot and MOA rangefinder, GPS and atmosphere awareness, reloading companion, and full size charts.

In short, this app has a lot of features!

Best for iOS
at Apple Store

Prices accurate at time of writing

Prices accurate at time of writing

Available Coupons

Unfortunately it’s only available on iOS. But if you a part of the Apple fam you have the choice of two versions…Standard and Advanced.

A Few Quirks to Look Out For…

Battery Life

Make sure if you plan on using your phone as your calculator you factor in battery life. Especially if you plan on using a cell phone in your car as a GPS, music, or emergency contact device, make sure using your calculator at the range won’t result in you getting lost.

Home Defense Phone 911
Make sure that battery is charged.

Have a charger or extra battery back up at the ready so you don’t get left up a creek.

Consider Going Larger

My favorite way to display ballistics readout is to put the apps onto a tablet and prop it up so I can see and make notes while in the prone position.

This is by far the easiest and most comfortable way to log and calculate data on your shots.

Waterproof & Ruggedness

Make sure you know your equipment’s limitations. If it’s your phone, get a good case. If you bought a purpose made calculator, it’s probably decently rugged, but you’ll want to baby it a little bit and carry it in a case.

As always, ziplock bags are your friends!

Where You Place Your Calculator

A pro tip from someone who’s been there, if you have a muzzle brake on your rifle, don’t put your notebook and phone, and calculator up near the barrel of the rifle.

You’re putting it in the blast zone!

Dad, his 50 Cal, my Tail Light
Don’t let this taillight be your phone!

Conclusion

When you head to the range with hard data about your file set up, good ammunition in your gun, and shiny new targets to lob rounds at, it’s a good day!

PPT-SU16B-013

Having a good dope is a perfect start and a ballistics calculator gives you a head start and ultimately saves time and money- as long as you know how to use them!

There’s a lot of good options on the market but here are the best on the market you can’t go wrong with if you trust them with your next competition.

Do you use a ballistic app? Let us know in the comments! Want to learn more about long range shooting? Check out our article on Long Range Fundamentals.

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10 Leave a Reply

  • Commenter Avatar
    John

    Strelok Pro is my favorite. Very full featured with optics and ammo data library up to date

    March 24, 2022 6:25 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Rodd Troutman

    I used Atrag from Horus Vision until Hp unit quit working after a long time of use. I purchased BulletFlight on your recommendation. U failed to mention that Knight Armament do longer supports the app and Silencertalk seems to be AWOL. No tutorials to be found I did not want to spend a week poking and hoping.

    January 13, 2020 1:09 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Geo

    I used an easy app called "Shoot" for a long time but a change to iOS stopped that one. Since I've been using iStrelok/Pro which seems to be a user-friendly option.

    October 27, 2019 9:42 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    HiLineShooter

    Applied Ballistics is a one star app. It has no way to back up rifles or load data. You can not transfer data to a new phone or if your phone dies, everything has to be re-entered manually like the first time.

    June 16, 2019 6:16 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    tom hall

    I used and really like the SpotOn app from Nikon, but they've really dropped the ball for their new FX scopes. The MOA and Mrad reticles are not very well supported and printing the reports to take to the range is terrible, as the quality is virtually unreadable.

    August 26, 2018 11:04 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    dsy

    Can you recommend a good book that teaches ballistics calculations to start with?

    April 20, 2018 6:45 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      David

      I'm sure there are more but the two I can recommend since I've read them are Long Range Shooting Handbook by Ryan M Cleckner, a very good starting point if you're looking to get into long range shooting - costs about $25 ($10 if you get the ebook).

      If you want something really heavy though - basically the holy grail/textbook of it all then you'll want to look at Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting by Bryan Litz. This book is pricey though, $230 or thereabouts.

      April 20, 2018 11:28 am
  • Commenter Avatar
    Jason

    I use Stelok Pro it shows your scopes reticle for precise holdover for both 1st and second focal planes scopes. It also saves the many different guns I shoot so all I have to do is pull it up input the distance and wind. It shows the scopes reticle with the point of aim and gives the clicks you need to input to if so desired.

    April 17, 2018 4:24 pm
    • Commenter Avatar
      John chambers

      I also use StrelokPro pro and it serves me pretty well

      April 19, 2018 3:50 pm
  • Commenter Avatar
    Ben Fugate

    I use ballistics arc along with their weather station $100 for both and they work well

    April 17, 2018 3:21 pm
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