Are ballistic calculators accurate? - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-17-2017, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Are ballistic calculators accurate?

I've been using the ballistics calculator on the Hornaday website. If I enter the required info the impact points seem accurate to 200 yards but seems off at 300 yards. Calculator estimates -6 at 300 my experience -9. Never used calculator much, normal to be that far off?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 09:12 AM
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I ran my 223 load through the Hornady after I changed scopes from a mils to a open sight A4 rear sight assembly for a open sight match to a MOA graduated scope and only had a hour to fire at 3 and 600 before a match, it was close. My buddy who did caribou this summer used it on a 06 and it was close enough at 2-3 and 400 to be better than minute of critter.

Use advanced, make sure you have the right type bullet (G7 EG) entered, take a pretty good swag at the humidity, elevation and temp and then test it on the range. There is enough difference in real flight vs computed flight that they should only be used to get you close on paper. I wouldnt hunt without at least verifying it at the range that I was going to hunt but it should get you in the ball park. Is your velocity measured with a chrony or factory stamped on the box? If they test with a 24" accuracy bbl and you are using a 18" light sporter, you are not going to get the same velocity. The better the input, the closer the compuguesser is.

Every day you see it on the news. Another felons life needlessly spared by inaccurate fire.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 02:03 PM
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You need to enter the precise numbers like BC, velocity and scope height in addition to the specs mentioned by Varmintmist. Being off a few digits can cause an error in the field.

I would say the Hornady Calculator is very accurate. We shooters have way too many variables to enter and that causes the problem.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-18-2017, 05:09 PM
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I use the shooter app on my phone and tablet. When you feed it good data it is about dead on. Now to feed it the right data, you need temp, humidity, elevation, actual muzzle velocity, sight height, and a dead on zero for the specified range. I use a kestrel to get density altitude and temperature. Plug it in and go try it. Every time mine was off it was a new rifle(zero was slightly off) or load that wasn't chronographed enough for consistent data. Since I switched to the magnetospeed, it seems to be much closer as well so I think my old chronograph was a pos.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2017, 07:18 PM
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Don't forget about wind speed/direction. I don't use Hornady in the field...I had Shooter and it was worth the $10 charged.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 04:31 AM
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I'm a firm believer in a paper target set at the ranges I intend to shoot at...for whatever reason mine never seem to drop as much as the calculator predicts !
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 11:57 AM
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I agree you should always verify the results with shooting. That is part of the practice you should be doing before ever blindly slinging lead at an animal. I like to verify drops as far as I can for the loads. Keep good records and don't be afraid to reevaluate the data you have. Powder temp sensitivity, scope click value, correct zero, and true muzzle velocity are good to be careful with.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-20-2017, 03:37 PM
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JBM ballistics calculators. Best around as long as you know your info. Most people screw up some part of the info or don't account for direction they are shooting. I am always within a minute of value cold bore with JBM's charts.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-22-2017, 03:37 PM
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I just compared my Berger ballistic calculator to Federals Ballistic calculator for my 270 using federal bullets and they were very similar less than an inch in difference at 400 yards plus.

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-27-2017, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by dragman View Post
JBM ballistics calculators. Best around as long as you know your info.

Went to do a sight-in years back with my .220 Swift. Ran the load over the chrono, plugged the numbers for a 300 yard zero.............. Shot 3 shots at 25 yards to the JBM number and went straight to 300 yards. DEAD NUTZ !!!!!
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