While smart watches have evolved rapidly over recent years, programmed with almost endless features, long-lasting rechargeable batteries and seriously robust build qualities, I had often wondered when a good long range ballistics app would become available.
So is there a good long range ballistics calculator for the modern smart watch; something that can be carried on your wrist 24-hours a day, with instant access when needed?
Thanks to Garmin and J.R. Jackson, the creator of TruFlite, the answer to my question above is an astounding YES!
TruFlite is an exterior ballistics program for long range shooting that can be downloaded (free of charge) on many Garmin smart watch models. The app contains a highly accurate, yet stand alone ballistics engine that is extremely fast and user friendly. UPDATE [October 2021]: TruFlite has finally been updated offering a Pro version, which boasts some exciting new features. Find out more below.
How I Discovered TruFlite
Having owned a Garmin Fenix 5 since its release in 2017, I had spent many an evening browsing the web in search of an App that allowed for some form of data entry or note taking ability; my aim was to upload a simple set of ballistics charts onto my wrist watch – for quick and easy reference while sat behind my rifle. Yes sure, a data book works just as well, but wouldn’t it be ultimately epic to have a backup stored on my person, with instant access 24-hours a day?
Well, Christmas came early [Year: 2019] when my frontal cortex drove me to type one simple phrase into my google search engine; “ballistics app for Garmin watch” – and low and behold, there she was – TruFlite.
The App’s Features
TruFlite is available for download on a number of Garmin watches (click here for a list of compatible devices), through the Garmin Connect store. The app is completely free of charge, and the design and layout is stunning.
The App is simple and clean, allowing input for:
- Ballistics Coefficient
- Muzzle Velocity
- Zero Range
- Sight Height
- Turret Adjustment Units
- and Wind Drift.
Barometric pressure and altitude adjusts and corrects itself automatically through the watches built-in features, and the temperature setting (and muzzle velocity) can be adjusted at the click of a few buttons.
Spin drift and Coriolis are yet to be included, but we didn’t find this too disappointing considering the compact features and ease of use.
Updated features still to follow. Continue reading.
The App’s Performance
Following a successful load development shoot, we took two rifles out to our private range to test the performance of these new cartridges. The rifles were a Ruger Precision chambered in .308 Winchester, and a custom build Remington 700 in an Accuracy International chassis chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. The bullets we used were the Hornady 168gr and 140gr ELD Match.
We had two Fenix 5 watches, each one setup for a rifle of its own. Setting up the app to match the rifle-cartridge combo took roughly 2-minutes, then the fun began. We achieved easy first round hits with both rifles on a variety of steel gongs scattered along our 180-degree firing range, with distances starting at 300 meters and progressing out to 1000 meters and beyond. Our next target jumped to 1400 meters. While we didn’t attempt this with the .308, our 6.5mm Creedmoor achieved successful hits from our 2nd shot onwards at the 1400 meter mark.; some slight adjustments were required on witnessing our fall of shot from the first bullet’s impact. All targets between 300 and 1000 meters achieved first round hits using the App’s trajectory predictions.
App Feature’s Updated: As of October 2021
We are excited to announce that J. R. Jackson has been hard at work updating TruFlite with a new release which now offers a Pro Version costing $20 (or R300, approx.) once off. Amazing!
The Pro version really has some exciting improvements, which includes the following:
- A new navigation menu allowing for rapid adjustments to range (as per before), temperature and wind angle/speed
- Multiple profiles, saving you the hassle of changing all data entries when switching rifles/cartridges. This has been the best improvement in my opinion, as we often fire a number of rifles consecutively
- Spin drift and aerodynamic jump compensation, another very useful feature bringing you that much closer to a successful first-round hit
While Coriolis drift is not yet offered, I have been told that it will be available shortly. Oh, and for those who aren’t willing to splash out a mere 20 Dollar bucks for this app, the previous features are still available at no cost.
We love it, and highly recommend the App. We give it 5-stars, along with a round of applause for Mr. J. R. Jackson and the Garmin team for creating such a versatile product and ballistics application.