I stopped by the Lapua booth at the 2017 SHOT Show strictly to snap the photo above. That’s a real life piece of Lapua’s new small rifle primered 6.5 Creedmoor brass. I most definitely cherished my time with that piece of brass after their man on the ground, Kevin Thomas, told me that the first run of 1 million pieces of brass was already bought up and purchased. More is on the way in case you’re hungry for it, but there was no timeline on when you could expect to see it.
Before I left, Kevin wanted me to get the short pitch on Lapua’s newly released ballistic calculator for iOS and Android platforms. “Another ballistic calculator?!?!”, I said. Yes indeed. According to Kevin, what sets this apart from other calculators (basically all of them that use the Applied Ballistics engine) is the usage of the 6DOF Ballistic model which Lapua claims makes it the most accurate ballistic app on the market.
6DOF stands for the six degrees of freedom calculation method that Wikipedia tells me has been limited to professional organizations to this point as it requires a heavy investment in modeling for drag coefficients and a pretty decent amount of horsepower from the computer doing the solving. Lapua seems to have solved for that and distributed it as a free (!!!) ballistic app for iPhones and Android.
I downloaded the app and played around with it a bit after I returned from SHOT, though I have yet to actually deliver a bullet to a target using the app. This is for two reasons. First, it is only set up to model Lapua bullets, not surprising given the investment required to put together the models 6DOF uses. The second, and more important reason is that I don’t currently have any Lapua bullets on hand, though I’ve asked Kevin very nicely to remedy that issue.
In playing around with the app, a few things have become apparent. First, Lapua should have paid their experience designer a bit more as the app is kind of clunky to use, especially for rifle/load management. That said, it’s my only complaint with the app. Lapua’s app brings a lot of “paid” features to the table like temperature based velocity calibration, moving target and Coriolis calculations, as well as the ability to build a custom reticle in either MOA or mil in case you want to hold off for elevation and windage. Overall, the package seems to line up with what an Applied Ballistics driven calculator would tell me to do, but I look forward to actually using it before I take a strong stand on whether one is better than the other. Stay tuned.