Applied Ballistics Analytics – Online Guide

This guide is to help you get started using AB Analytics. If you are looking for detailed references on things like the use of WEZ, you can find that in the books Applied Ballistics for Long Range Shooting 3rd Edition and Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting.


PDF User Manual Can Be Found Here: Click Here!

Video Guide Can Be Found Here: Click Here!

Features
1. AB Engine – Applied Ballistics Analytics runs a Point Mass ballistic solver. The program integrates the equations of ballistic motion numerically, using a 4th order Runge-Kutta routine at 1000 Hz.  This is a standard way of solving dynamic equations of motion in aircraft and missile simulations.  This particular solver was written by former missile design engineer and current ballistician Bryan Litz. The current gold standard by professional/recreational shooters. No other system has been field tested and proven accurate by more shooters, and more professionals.
2. Weapon Employment Zone Analysis –
 Includes (Wind Effect, Vertical Uncertainty, Horizontal Uncertainty, Shot Simulation, & Probability of Hit).
3. Wind Profile Analysis –
Users may input up to 10 different wind zones in 6 directions (Vertical, Crosswind, Head/Tail Wind), or connect a Wind Sensor Array for automatic continuous updating. The wind is then averaged between the shooter and target for the most accurate results. 
4. Custom Drag Model Library –
This software comes with the entire Custom Drag Model Library pre-installed. Custom Drag Models are not G1/G7 BCs. To learn more see here: CDMs.
5. G1/G7 Tested Library – Included in the software is the G1/G7 tested data on over 500+ bullets. This is not the advertised BCs from the manufacturer, but the tested data from the AB Lab.
6. Ballistic Calibration Tools – Included in the software is a complete set of Ballistic Calibration Tools. Including DSF, or Drop Scale Factor. This is used to correct the firing solution in the sub-sonic zone.
7. Muzzle Velocity Calibration Tool – Muzzle Velocity Calibration Tool allows the shooters to correct their MV based on known drop and distance. This is an important factor to get right, but a lot of chornographs are not as accurate as we would like them to be. To learn more about that see the Chronograph Performance Study.
8. Muzzle Velocity Temperature Table – The MV-Temp Table is a tool that allows the software to calibrate the MV based on the outside Temp. As temp changes our MV changes due to a physical change that happens to the gun powder. Some powders are more stable than others, and certain types of powder are more stable than other types (flake, ball, stick). To account for this, shooters can create a custom table that trains the software to their powder.
9. Scope Turret Trueing Factor – Scope Turrets are not always true. The Tall Target Test can help you verify if your Turrets are tracking perfectly. But if they are not, you can input your Sight Scale Factor in to the software, and it will adjust for your corrected turret values.
10. Vertical & Horizontal Coriolis Independent – Vertical and Horizontal Coriolis are two independent factors. Our software accounts for both of them, individually, then reports the correct solution for each to the shooter.
11. Maximum Ordinate & Max Ord Range – This program calculates and reports the Maximum Ordinate, which is the highest point in the projectiles trajectory on its way to the target as well as the location at which it occurs.
12. Spin Drift – This software automatically calculates Spin Drift, and implements it in to the firing solution. Can be turned on/off.
13. Aerodynamic Jump – AB was the first commercially available ballistic solver to correctly calculate for Aerodynamic Jump. Aerodynamic Jump is independently solved and provided as part of the firing solution.
14. Moving Targets – This program includes an input for moving target direction and speed, if shooters wish to incorporate moving targets in to the firing solution.
15. Zero Offset – Users have the option to input zero offsets. This is used for two conditions. The first is that the turrets do not have enough adjustment to perfectly zero, such as 1/2 moa adjustment turrets. The second use for this tool, is for POI shift when using devices like a silencer. You can zero the rifle with a silencer, then create a second profile that accounts for the POI shift when the silencer is removed.
16. Sight In Conditions – Users have the option to input the weather conditions at the time they zero. This is important for long range zeros (example 300 yards) but is not necessary for 100 yard zeros. At short range, the bullet is not impacted by environmental changes.
17. Inclination – Users can input the angle to the target. This system correctly calculates for the differences in uphill/downhill shooting. Instead of using the improved rifleman’s rule, this program actually calculates for the changes in drag as the bullets velocity changes in the correction.
18. Firing Solution Components – The firing solution is broken down for the user in to individual components for evaluation. Elevation: (Gravity Drop, Vertical Coriolis, & Aerodynamic Jump) Windage: (Wind Drift, Horizontal Coriolis, & Spin Drift).
19. Range Card – This program has a customizable range card, which can be printed for difference scenarios/environments.
20. Printable Custom Range Cards – Users can set the Start Range, Stop Range, and Increments down to 1 Unit (Yards, Meters, or Inches).  
21. Velocity, Energy, and Mach Reported – This program independently reports Velocity, Energy, and current Mach Speed at each range in the range card.
22. Gyroscopic Stability (SG) Calculated – This program calculates the Gyroscopic Stability of the Bullet.
23. Density Altitude(DA) Output – This program calculates the DA based upon the environmental inputs.
24. WEZ Variable Target Shapes and Sizes – Users can select from 3 shapes (IPSC, Circle, Rectangle), and set the target dimensions.
25. Profile Management – Ability to upload/download created profiles to a compatible device. 
26. Save, Store, Edit, & Share Profiles – Profiles are in an easy to access location for backup, or sharing with other users.
27. Multiple Instances – Ability to run more than one instance at a time, for comparison between bullets, cartridges, calibers, etc.

 

Installation/Files/Folders

When you first download the software you will receive an executable file (.exe). This file can be stored any number of places depending on your computers settings. So make sure when you download it, that you set it to save to the desktop. Once you double click on the file, it will prompt you to do an extraction. Don’t just click ok. Change the file location to the desktop, then do the extraction. It does not physically install on the PC. This makes the software military computer friendly. Once you complete the extraction, you will have a folder on your desktop, or wherever you unzipped it, that says AB Analytics.

In simple terms. Step 1 double click the ABAnalytics File you downloaded. Step 2 click the browse button on the right of the extraction program. Step 3 select “Desktop”. Step 4 click “Extract”

 

 

 

Initialization/Unlock

The next phase is getting your license. The first time you open it, you will see a prompt with a serial number and an email address. Copy that serial number (exactly as you see it) in to an email and email it to licensing@appliedballisticsllc.com. You will then get a reply with an unlock code that goes in this block. This code is only good for one computer, each computer will have its own unique code.

 

 

Opening the folder should look like this, where you will find the user guide, profiles, profile loading instructions and more. The sub-folder named “Profiles” is where your weapon profiles are stored.

 

Regional Settings (Decimal Mark)

If you are a user in a region that uses the Comma -> ( , ) as your decimal. Then you will need to change your Windows settings to use the Dot/Full Stop ( . ) as your Decimal. Using a Comma will cause firing solution errors. To change your region or decimal indicator here is a simple user guide –  Comma Errors

 

Settings

Each time you open the application you want to start with setting up your input and output units. Settings are very important for having the right firing solution. If i get working on a profile and its set to Mils, and I want MOA everything will be off. At the top of the screen, under the Edit function. You can change your input and output variables. Simply click on the function you wish to change, select the new variable you want to use. Once it is complete recalculate. From here you can:

Change the look of the program:

Change the input(Mixed, English, or Metric) and output units (Mils, MOA, and Inches)

 

Opening/Saving Profiles

To open and save profiles you use the file menu. File and Open or Save profile are your two options here. Profiles are saved in the “Profiles” sub-folder.

 

 

Ballistic Calculations

Here we will go in to setting up the different properties and inputs properly for running a ballistic calibration.

 

Bullet Properties:

Step 1 is to setup the bullet itself. You can do this via the bullet database where you select a G1, G7, or Custom Drag Model (CDM). This must be done first, because selecting a new bullet from the library will erase all of your previous input data. It is important to chose the correct Form Factor if you are selecting or hand inputting a G1 or G7 BC. For more on that see, our Articles. When using custom drag curves, the ballistics engine is solving the equations of motion using the exact drag curve for a specific bullet, not referencing a standard (G1 or G7) curve.  The added accuracy in trajectory predictions that is possible with custom drag curves is especially valuable when shooting at targets at or beyond transonic range, because that’s the speed region where drag curves tend to diverge most.

Checking the Auto box next to Bullet Length is helpful if the user does not know how long his bullet is. This tool uses empirical data from a number of known bullet configurations to estimate the length of the bullet based on its diameter. Bullet length is used for stability and related trajectory calculations including spin drift. 

    Bullet Database:

The bullet database includes parameters for over 730+ bullets, including bullet weights, diameters, lengths, G1 & G7 ballistic coefficients, as well as AB-measured custom drag curves. These custom drag curves provide a highly drag model through transonic flight, and are recommended for use instead of G1 & G7 to maximize accuracy. Selecting a bullet will overwrite the current settings in the main Ballistic Configuration window; if a custom drag curve is selected, then the BC and drag curve selection options will be grayed out in Bullet Properties.

To learn more about Custom Drag Models please visit this page, and read the article. CDMs are not G1/G7 Form Factors, they are Mach vs CD measurements. Custom Drag Models.

 

Gun/Scope Properties:

This section is fairly self explanatory. These are important variables, so while its easy to input anything, it is very important the user inputs accurate data. Never use the MV off the box. Each of the tools here will be handled one at a time.

    Ballistic Calibration:

Their is a good article on this we suggest you read first: Ballistic Calibration Article. The ballistic calibration feature allows a user to calibrate the ballistic solution based on observed bullet drop at range.  There are two parameters that can be calibrated: muzzle velocity (MV), and drop scale factor (DSF). 

Due to uncertainties involved with modern chronographs, velocity measurements are not always as accurate as we would hope.  Therefore the first variable a shooter should attempt to calibrate is muzzle velocity.  The recommended range for muzzle velocity calibration is where the bullet is at Mach 1.2 in its flight.  If you have multiple ‘observed’ data points, use the farthest high confidence data point available for muzzle velocity calibration.  The interface will provide recommended ranges range in which to calibrate muzzle velocity based on the bullets remaining velocity.  After you’ve entered the observed range/drop pair, hit Calc MV and the program will calculate and display the actual MV that results in your observed drop.  Click Use MV and the calculated MV will be applied in the main screen and future ballistic calculations will be based on this value.

For long-range shooting, the drop scale factor (DSF) is used to refine the ballistic solution in subsonic flight using a similar process. By firing rounds at long range, and noting the true drop, a drop scale factor is computed. Clicking Use DSF populates the DSF value and Mach number into the View DSF Table.

    View DSF Table:

This function presents the user with all DSF values that have been calculated and saved. This window allows the user to edit and/or clear these values as necessary.

 

    MV-Temp Table:

This tool allows the user to use a MV-Temperature Table that updates the muzzle velocity based upon the measured temperature. To use this feature, the user first clicks the box “Use Table” to activate it.

 

The user then clicks the MV-Temp Table button to access the window shown here. The user enters the temperature and associated muzzle velocity in the table, making sure to press Enter after typing each value. NOTE: The Enter key must be pressed after each entry, or the entry will not be saved upon closing the window. The values should be entered starting with the highest temperature first. Clicking the Close button saves this table.

 

Once the table has been populated, any change in the temperature will update the muzzle velocity. The system automatically interpolates for values between table entries as shown below.

 

 

 

    Advanced Settings:

The Advanced Settings button provides the user access to additional settings and tools to tweak results and further refine accuracy. First, the user can adjust environmental settings for when the rifle was zeroed, which is helpful when the rifle is zeroed under dramatically different circumstances than when it is intended to be fired. To do so, the user checks the Enable Sight-In Conditions box, then enters the zero conditions above.

The second setting is a zero offset; which allows the user to accommodate a shift in point of impact at zeroing, such as is seen through the addition or removal of a suppressor.

Lastly, the sight scale factor inputs enable the user to compensate for any irregularities in the travel of a rifle scope through its range of elevation and windage. For more on that, see the Tall Target Test.

 

Target:

The target section allows the user to enter information about the target, including range, heading to target (0 degrees is North, 90 degrees is East, etc), inclination angle to target, latitude, and target speed in MPH. Again, pressing the Enter after entering a value will cause the ballistic solution to update with any changes.

 

Environment:

The environment section allows the user to enter values for the wind speed, the direction it is coming from, temperature, pressure and humidity. In the case of wind direction, the number represents the direction from which the wind is coming; so a 12 o clock wind is coming directly at the shooter from the target direction, a 9 o clock wind is blowing from left to right across the range. The environment section also outputs the current Density Altitude (DA) based on the environment inputs.

Atmospheric inputs have historically been the least understood and caused the most trouble for shooters running ballistics programs, in particular the pressure inputs.  The following discussion elaborates on the correct way to manage these variables.  Basically there are two options for describing pressure to a ballistics program; 1) Enter the barometric (aka corrected) pressure and altitude, or 2) Enter the Station pressure where you are.  Some definitions are in order regarding barometric and station pressure. 

Barometric pressure is also known as sea level corrected pressure, and is what the weather station and airports report because it’s useful for pilots and making weather assessments.  Barometric pressure is not the actual air pressure where you are, rather it’s a number that’s corrected to sea level.  In order to determine the actual air pressure where you are (which is what the ballistics program cares about), you have to account for the effects of altitude.  However if you have a handheld weather meter like a Kestrel, you can measure Station Pressure directly which is the actual air pressure where you are.  This is the preferred method of inputting pressure data because it’s one less input and relies on only one measurement instead of two.

A common error is to mistake station pressure for barometric or vice versa.  The consequence of this error is that the wrong air density gets applied which degrades the accuracy of trajectory predictions.  This error is increasingly more severe the higher up you are above sea level.
NOTE: In the AB Analytics software, station pressure must be used. 

 

Firing Solution:

The Firing Solution section displays the results of the ballistic computation, broken up into its constituent parts. In the case of elevation, the drop from gravity, Coriolis effects, and aerodynamic jump are shown; for windage, drift from wind, Coriolis effects and spin drift are shown. Spin drift can be turned on and off using the checkbox. The Calculate button can be used instead of pressing Enter to update the ballistic solution.

Max Ord is the highest point the bullet reaches above the line of sight in its trajectory. Max Ord Range is the point at which this occurs.

Gyroscopic Stability (SG) Factor tells you if your bullet is optimized based on the Rifle, Bullet, and Environmental Data. An SG of 0.1 – 1.0 is unstable and might tumble. An SG of 1.0 – 1.5 is stable but you lose about 3% BC for every 0.1 SG Below 1.5. An SG of 1.5 or higher means you are optimized and will have no tumbling or loss in BC. This is a good indicator if your twist rate and bullet combination will perform at your location.

 

 

 

Range Card:

At the bottom of the main screen, a range card is displayed that shows the ballistic computation at user set increments, accessed by clicking the Settings button. As described below, the range card can be exported. 

 

    Range Card Settings:

The Settings button presents the window seen here, where the user can adjust the start range, stop range, and increments for the output in the range card.

 

 

 

    Exporting Range Card:

You can export the range card to a CSV (Spread Sheet) by selecting File, “Export Range Card”

 

 

 

 

WEZ Analysis

To use the WEZ tool, simply click on the WEZ analysis tab at the bottom of the program. This tool allows a user to investigate how the bullet’s point of impact is affected by changes or uncertainties in the input parameters, as it can reveal how accurately the parameters need to be measured. For example, if the temperature is only known to within 5F, what uncertainty is added to the bullet’s point of impact? Or, if the rifle’s accuracy is expected to be about 2 minutes of angle (MOA – extreme spread), does it make sense to try to measure temperature to better than 5F?

Uncertainties represent the 95% confidence intervals assuming a normal distribution. In other words, if the uncertainty in range is cited as +/- 1 yard, it means the standard deviation of range error is 0.5 yards. The simulation will model a bell curve of range error with 67% of the estimates being within +/- 0.5 yards (+/- 1σ) and 95% of the estimates being within +/- 1.0 yards (+/- 2σ)

The left side of the screen allows the user to enter the precision of various inputs, as well as range to target, the precision of the rifle system used, the shape of the target, and the dimensions of the target. On the right, the results of the computation are displayed.

    System Variables (WEZ):

The WEZ tool provides the user with the insight to see how each of the variables in Table 3 affects the accuracy of a ballistic computation. The tool comes prepopulated with some precision values, as described in Table 3, mostly based on use of the Kestrel to measure atmospheric conditions. Bryan Litz’s Accuracy and Precision for Long Range Shooting (The book included with the purchase of AB Analytics) provides several good estimates for rifle accuracy and muzzle velocity variation. These values can be changed to match the user’s experience, such as muzzle velocity variations measured by a chronograph.

The precision numbers are assumed to be one standard deviation values, which is a common measure for the precision of tools making measurements. In this case, 67% of measurements will fall within +/-1 standard deviation of the mean; 95% will fall within +/-2 standard deviations.

Once the fields are populated, the user can click the Calculate button at the bottom, which will compute how each of those error sources influence the bullet’s flight, and show some results to the right of the text entry boxes. The Sensitivity heading shows how much one unit of change in a given parameter (wind, temperature, etc) changes the drop and drift of the bullet at the selected range; for this example, 1MPH of average wind pushes the bullet an additional 13.2 inches horizontally. An uncertainty of +/- 0.5MPH in the wind call adds +/- 6.6 inches of uncertainty to the bullet’s point of impact at range.

In addition to adjusting the parameters above, the WEZ tool also accepts different target shapes and sizes. The IPSC target is standardized and its dimensions locked, but the rectangle and circle targets can be adjusted to match actual targets in use.


 

 

    Results (WEZ):

Once the calculate button is pressed, the tool produces a probability of hit calculation at the bottom of the System Variable section; it also generates one of five graphs, which can be selected using the dropdown menu at the top of the right-hand side of the screen.
The first is called Probability of Hit, and it shows the estimated probability of hit out to the entered target range.

 

 

Two other options are labeled Vertical Uncertainty and Horizontal Uncertainty; these two graphs show how the uncertainties in the individual error sources contribute to the overall uncertainty in hit point. The contributions are ranked from highest to lowest, and their magnitudes shown as bar graphs. The red line along the top of the graph shows how the parameters contribute to the overall uncertainty. In the example below, muzzle velocity dominates the overall error, contributing approximately 92% of the total uncertainty in the bullet’s vertical point of impact. Due to the way that the errors contribute to the overall uncertainty, it takes significant changes in the smaller contributors to have any influence on the overall performance of the system.

The WEZ tool also includes a Shot Simulation graph, which presents a sample bullet spread overlaid on the specified target, which is helpful for visualizing the system performance.

 

 

Wind Profile Analysis

To use the Wind Profile Analysis tool, simply click on the Wind Profile Analysis tab to access the screen here. Wind profile analysis allows you to put varying winds, at different ranges to the target. This allows you to have winds of different directions along the bullets flight path. If you enter wind in to the wind profile analysis, it will use this wind to calculate firing solutions, instead of the average wind that was input in the Ballistic Configuration Tab.

 

    Wind Measurements:

The wind measurement input section allows for 10 different winds, at ranges you select. The first input is the range from the shooter. This is perfect for days when you might have alternating winds during the bullets flight path to the target. You can input wind in any direction, allowing you to adjust for shifts in direction at certain points, or areas with higher/lower winds than during the rest of the bullets flight path.

Range Wind can be either a head wind or a tail wind. If the wind is coming from behind to the shooter to the target, then it should be positive. From the target to the shooter should be negative.

Crosswinds from left are negative and from the right are positive. 
Vertical winds going up are positive and going down are negative.

 

    Results (WPA):

Input the range to the target here, then select the step size you wish to use for the up/down movement. This will automatically re-calculate the solution for you each time you press up/down. Here you will see the corrected average wind speed based on the inputs you placed in Wind Measurement section. You will also see a firing solution based on these inputs.

 

 

 

    Wind Profile:

The wind profile section shows you a graph based on the inputs in the Wind Measurements section.

 

 

 

Requirements

PC – Windows 7/Newer
MAC – Windows Emulator

 

Running on Mobile Devices

This software is not available on mobile devices. However netbooks have become more and more mobile, including 2 in 1 devices where the keyboard will disconnect becoming a tablet. It is possible to run this software on a 2 in 1 platform as long as it contains a full version of Windows 10 such as the Nextbook Flexx and Asus Transformer Books. You must make sure it has windows 10 home and NOT windows mobile in order for it to work. It is also important that the device has a USB Port. Not all netbooks come with USB ports on them Some only have the USB Port on the Keyboard, Nextbook Flexx for example. Meaning you can only use USB Devices while they are docked to the keyboard. This is where 2 in 1 or non detachable devices can be a better choice. While the keyboard does not detach, it does fold behind the screen making it tablet like. Example: Asus Q53UX. While not as small, they maintain all the functionality of a laptop while folded flat. Warning: Some 2 in 1 devices are Windows Mobile and/or Android. Read the specs before you buy. They need to be Windows 10 Home or newer.

 

Profile Loader

Included in the application is the profile loader. This can be launched from inside AB Analytics, or from inside the folder containing the application files. The profile loader instructions can be found here: Profile Loader PDF Guide