Thursday, December 8, 2011

Federal Cartridge's Handy Ballistics Calculator

***UPDATE (2014)*** The link below for 2013 still points to the interactive catalog/calculator, but here is something different. Federal now also offers a general purpose ballistic calculator. You can use it to check up on the behavior of factory cartridges or plug in the values for your own handloads.

***UPDATE (2013)*** The app has moved from its former location on the web. You may now download the current version here:

It is still free and still runs on just Windows. If it goes missing again, try a web search for Federal Interactive Ballistics Catalog. My review from 2011:

This application for the PC has been around for years. It is now more stable and reliable than it was, early on.  By using a point and click interface, you can get the detailed ballistic behavior of any factory cartridge offered by Federal. A clever feature of this app is you can use it to compare the performance of cartridges you select; you get graphs and tables that show your choices plotted against each other.

The interface is a trifle busy looking but after using it for a little while everything is easy to find. Installation was quick and trouble free.

You can input your own parameters for altitude, temperature and wind, and you have your choice of English or metric units of measure. I do not see a way to calculate time of flight, but that is of no interest for most uses. Of course the app lists only Federal products, but the performance of most brands is similar enough that you can get at least an approximation for other products by picking the Federal cartridge most like the one you're wondering about. In all, this is an app worth having if you are at all interested in the flight of your bullets.


  1. Another good free ballistics calculator is the Bison Ballistics Calculator. It's focused on long range rifle rounds, but it's pretty straightforward.

  2. Interesting site indeed, Damon. BTW, more shooter's calculators (for various purposes) can be found here.

  3. Another good post by Federal Cartridge. I have a good knowledge about it. Yes ,of course it is more reliable now. Ballistic calculator is useful in all conditions and can be use in multitasking purpose. Even I can input my own parameters according my choice. I already informed others about its advantages. This one is innovative and helpful.