Barnes Ballistics 2.0


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn


I recently received a new ballistics program for my computer. Usually in  an article such as this, when testing  any new product, I will go through a lot of details first, then offer my opinion to the readers. This time, however, I am going to do it entirely backwards. I want to state right from the start that I am very impressed with the ballistics program from Barnes and all that it has to offer for shooters, whether they load their own ammo or not.

The program is called Barnes Ballistics 2.0, and is produced and marketed by the same Barnes Bullets company that produces fine varmint and big game bullets in American Fork, Utah. 

A major aspect of Barnes' program that impressed me is the ease of use to a novice computer user, such as myself. My little brother and webmaster, Boge, is extremely knowledgeable in the  building, performance, and use of a PC, but I border on computer illiteracy. My point here is that if I can use this  program, anyone can. The program is easy to download and easy to use. The information provided by this ballistics program is absolutely astounding. After using it for awhile, I have come to the conclusion that there is no information that this program does not provide. If you want to know how many inches a 45-70 bullet drops at two miles, you got it. If you need to know how far to lead a running deer at 400 yards, the program can tell you. It does not, however, tell you that you shouldn't be shooting at a running deer at 400 yards. It is not there for advice on how to live your life, but if you want any, and I mean any, information on the flight of a bullet, this is your baby!

The program contains a databank on all Barnes bullets, as would be  expected, but also works with any bullet of any manufacturer. You can input the data of your favorite bullet, and the  program will calculate the results. It will also store the information on your guns in the databank, for easy use and  referral later.

Just to mention a few of the calculations that the program will make for you, look at the following list, and it is by no means complete:

Point blank range 
Lead on a moving target
Energy remaining at any range
Bullet drop at any range
Wind deflection at any range
Effects of temperature
Effects of altitude
Effects of shooting up or down hill
Time of flight
Velocity at any range

By "any range", I mean at one yard or one mile. Or two miles. Or anywhere between. If you prefer meters to yards, it will also function with the metric system. If you've ever stared at a distant object and wondered how long it would take for your old 30-30 bullet to get there, the program will tell you.

Many people do not realize the effect of a strong crosswind, or even a mild one, but it makes a significant difference as to where your bullet will land out there where the target is standing.  

This program also sheds a lot of light on the subject of bullet shape. The difference in the trajectory of a boat-tail spitzer and a roundnose bullet can be important. With this Barnes program, there is no need to guess.

Most modern rifles can benefit greatly by a 225 yard zero as opposed to a 100 yard zero, but most shooters do not have access to that long of a range to sight in. With the program, the data is provided for you. It will tell you how high to set the crosshair at one hundred yards to be dead on at two hundred,....or three hundred,....or five hundred and sixty-two. It doesn't matter. 

As I stated at the beginning of this article, I am impressed. I could go on about the uses and advantages of this invaluable program to reloaders, target shooters, and hunters, but you get the idea. 

If you would like to try this program, you can download a trial version for free off of Barnes' website, That's right, for free. If you like the program, and would like to keep it, just call Barnes at: 1-800-574-9200 and they will issue you a number to retain the program. The cost is $49.95. I have other ballistics programs on my computer that cost  much more, but do not perform as well as the Barnes Ballistics 2.0. I like it.

Jeff Quinn


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Barnes Ballistics v2.0



Program is very simple to use. User inputs data relating to the physical characteristics of the gun (shown) and load to be calculated.



Program generates detailed trajectory graphs, showing bullet drop at any range within reason (and beyond).






Reports are given in chart and graph form that are not just detailed beyond belief, but easy to understand. This program is invaluable, both to the handloader who needs data for load development, and to the non-reloading hunter and target shooter who needs to know how far to hold sights above the target at any given range!



You can even generate targets for use in practice or sighting-in, specific to caliber, load, and range. Print 'em out and take 'em to the range!