Survival Tech: Strelok Pro Ballistics for Android & Wear OS
by Ric Hubbard • April 13, 2022
Imagine, if you will, you are in a long-term survival situation. You have a finite supply of everything, and you need to make the most of it while you wait for a return to normal. In this situation you might need to hunt to put meat in your larder and you are using a firearm for this purpose. How do you make every shot count?
To make the best of this situation, having good ballistic data will give you the best chance to make each round equal vital protein in your diet. Here is where modern technology help. There are several smartphone apps that provide the user with ballistic data. The math involved in ballistics can be a heavy lift for some, especially for those who, like me, suffer from Dyscalculia. When you consider that the average smartphone has more power than the computers that made the first trips to the Moon possible, it is easy to see how one can do the necessary math.
Among the apps available in the Android and Amazon stores is Strelok Pro. It is an external ballistics app that supplies comprehensive data that the end users can use to better understand what a bullet will do once it leaves the barrel. The app has a collection of tools that make shooting well much easier.
The app comes with an extensive database of commercial ammunition in a multitude of calibers. You set up the app with specific rifle barrel twist rate and then choose the ammunition that you are using. The app will then draw in the important information on the bullet in question, including bullet speed, length, diameter, weight, and ballistic coefficient. It will also draw in the drag function data that considers how the atmosphere affects the bullets flight.
When you have all this information set-up, you return to the main screen to set distance, wind, and weather information. If you can connect to the internet, the app will gather this information automatically from the closest available source. You can also use Bluetooth enabled weather meters to get correct local data. You can then set the zero distance and slope angle. You want the slope angle because that angle above or below the horizontal has an effect on bullet travel in slightly different ways.
The app also comes with a vast collection of optic reticles. When you calculate all the data, one of the displays that you get is what the target will look like through the scope and what your hold under and hold overs look like in the scope. It includes most commercial scopes on the market, even some mid-range scopes like my TruGlo 1-6x LPVO. With the reticle set, you hit the calculate button and get an image of what you will see when you are aiming through your scope. If you have mil-dot style scope the app will tell you at what range to use each dot at to make an accurate hit.
To get the most out of some of these functions you should set the target type. Here again, you have a wide variety of choices. From target and competition style range targets to a variety of game types, you can set the target you will be shooting at. After it is set, when you use the reticle view you get a representation of where your aim will be on the target.
When you hit the Calculate button what you are also set up a range card. It gives you a chart of bullet drop per distance point, measured in inches, scope clicks, MRAD and/or MOA. You can also have it display bullet velocity in Feet per Second or Meters per Second and bullet energy in Ft-Lb or Joules. It will also show you the range at which the bullet has lost enough of each to be ineffective. It also provides windage data to adjust for the effect of the wind on your bullet. If you have set the scope information correctly, setting the chart to measure in clicks make quick adjustments to your scope so that you can make the shot.
One of the things about the app that I really like is it’s Wear OS companion app. When you have your phone connected to your watch, you will see a small watch icon in the upper right corner of the screen. When you see that icon, you can tap it and transfer the image or the chart to the watch. The Wear OS app will not make calculations, which is why you need your phone on hand to use it. It will show you the reticle image and the ballistics chart that you have created on your phone for ease of access while you are shooting.
There are some other tools that are handy. You can export charts as an .XLS file that can be opened in a spreadsheet app or shared via email if you need to share the data to another user.
There are tools for deeper data for long range shooters, including how the Coriolis effect and spin drift affect the bullet. Not being a long-distance shooter, I don’t at this point have enough understanding of these to dive deeper. I am building a better understanding of them because I can see how useful this app is. The more data you have, the more you get out of the app.
With all the pros of the app, there are a few cons as well. The interface is not the most intuitive and takes a bit of exploring and experimenting to get the most from the app. It also lacks a help function. The developer does not seem to have a website anymore so the manual that comes up in searches is not available right now. It lacks a function that shows the bullet travel on a chart so that you get a side view of the travel curve of your bullet. It is also not available for Windows or Apple OS at this time. One other general pro is the interface design makes the transition from phone to tablet and use the entire screen of each. The ability to transfer the calculated charts to your watch will really be an advantage to the shooter as well.
Strelok Pro is available from the Apple App Store, the Android store, and the Amazon app store for $11.99. When the newest version of the Windows App Store that allows Windows 11 users to run Android apps drops, you will be able to run the app in the built-in emulator on your Windows computer.
The app is a useful tool for anyone who shoots. It is a good way to put modern technology to use for to enhance your preparedness.
The Coriolis Effect: The Coriolis Effect is the idea that the Earth’s rotation can influence the preciseness of your shot, moving the target away from the bullet as it heads towards it. To avoid these influences, extreme long-distance shooters should try and make the proper adjustments.
More Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_force
Spindrift: a phenomenon caused by the right-hand twist in firearm barrels. Due to the right-hand twist, the nose of the bullet tends to offset slightly to the right during flight. The effect is that even under zero wind conditions, the bullet will impact to the right of center.
More Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_effect
External Ballistics: the part of ballistics that deals with the behavior of a projectile in flight.
More Information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/External_ballistics