How can technology improve my shooting ability?

The operation of a firearm and the style thereof have not changed significantly over the past 50 years. However, many improvements have been made. A firearm is a tool with, inter alia, an action, a butt and a visor. Due to technological progress we have stronger actions, more accurate barrels, more constant ignition and better bullets than 50 years ago. Fortunately, it is not the only changes which have taken place over the past number of years.

Some of the most significant changes over the past number of years have been in respect of optical products. The enlargement of telescopes and lenses has improved significantly. The operation and additional functions thereof have also improved over the years. Another optimal product which has made hunting a lot easier, is distance finders. These help us to determine the exact distance over which we want to shoot. Since the curve of a projectile can differ by as much as 60cm over a distance of 300m, the shooting distance is very important.

Another handy tool being used nowadays is the speed meter or chronograph. Since we can determine the speed of a bullet, the trajectory of a specific bullet can also be determined.

The one piece of technology which brought about the biggest improvement in shooting accuracy, is ballistics tables which are used as ballistics applications on smartphones or tablets. The ballistics applications enable us to quickly and accurately determine the trajectory of a bullet. The variables which are programmed into the application, make it easy to determine where I should aim at which distance in order to hit my target.

Due to improved telescopes and ballistics applications, it is now possible to adjust your telescope for every shooting distance. For this reason, it is easier to shoot at targets at unknown distances than in the past. Bullets shot over a distance lose height and the wind also pushes the bullets into a direction. Die effect of the wind on a bullet can now be determined by means of a ballistics application. For this reason, we can shoot even more accurate over long, unknown distances.

It sounds easy in theory, but let's look at the process to be followed in order to shoot further and more accurate with the available technology.

Firstly, you want to see where you would like to shoot by using a telescope. Easily adjustable telescopes, which can be adjusted without using a coin or a screwdriver, work so much better.

Download a ballistics application and start storing information in the application. The more familiar applications on Google Play Store are Lapua Ballistics and Strelok.  Strelok Pro is also available at a cost. The biggest advantage of Strelok Pro is that it already contains data relating to different bullet tips and telescope crosshairs.

The application on your cellphone will store all the variables. Information required would be the following:

  • Distance between the barrel and telescope midpoint
  • The barrel twist
  • The direction of the barrel twist
  • Calibration of the telescope
  • Muzzle velocity
  • BC of bullet.

After having programmed this information into your application, you can test your firearm on the shooting range. Place a target at an unknown distance. Use the chronograph and determine the distance. Use the application to determine the adjustments to be made in order to hit your target over the distance.

Technology has gone even further by integrating products to the extent where we need one product only. Swarovski and Burris have a telescope with a built-in chronograph. They also have a ballistics programme with which you can program your specific firearm. The distance over which you want to shoot, can be determined by merely pushing a button - the telescope will even determine the position of the crosshair in the telescope and you can simply pull the trigger for the perfect shot.

Technology helped us to shoot more accurately over bigger distances.