Using ARMA for a ballistics primer.

HomeContentBallisticsUsing ARMA for a ballistics primer.

Due to ‘staying home’ at the moment – I am not getting out shooting. Sadly, I live in metro Auckland – so it’s no live-fire for me for a while.

As a result, I have been getting back into gaming – specifically – Arma3 – the military sim that I used to play a lot of around six years ago.

It occurred to me, that with the ACE Advance Ballistics module running – it could be a good system to talk and demonstrate some basics in regards to ballistics.

The advanced ballistics module in Arma 3 reminds me just how much technology advances.

In the game, you range with the Vectronix, which does talk to the GPS (minor bonus) but you have to manually transfer that data and the data from the Kestrel 4500 into the Atrag.

Remembering, this is not the vanilla version of ARMA. In that, you range, dial on the magic ‘BDC’ scope and pull the trigger. The ACE3 module adds…

– Dynamic wind varies with altitude, terrain, and structures.
– Air density effects
– Transonic flight
– Supersonic Vapor trails
– Earths rotation (Coriolis and Eötvös effect).
– Projectile spindrift (Magnus effect)-Bullet Properties (ballistic coefficients, calibre, drag model, weight) and Gun Properties (Muzzle Velocity, zero range, bore height, Twist rate) will be needed for an accurate ballistic solution.


I am still trying to understand if the firearms actually need to be zeroed and trued – I have read a bit of conflicting info about that, and seem to have a rifle that is dropping more than it should at the moment. Or, like in the real world, it could just be me transposing data incorrectly.

Spotting a miss and correcting with the MIL reticle works as it should, but yes, I would like more modern reticles in the scopes.

With the current renewed interest in the game (for those locked inside) – hopefully, we might see some updates to current technology.

For example, now with a Kestrel 5500AB and Terrapin-X – we can range, and all the needed data all turns up in the Kestrel. We don’t need three devices with manual inputs.

Anyone out there playing/getting back into Arma during the lockdown? I have been playing on a local server and am keen to get a few more folks on there for a group session. You will need Arma3, ACE3 and dependants, and some of the official DLC would be a good idea. As Dslyecxi from Shactac says – I am after some ‘serious’ fun. Twitchy COD gamers need not apply.

Kerry Adams
Kerry Adams
A constant learner with an inquisitive mind, Kerry created The Bloke as a way to share what he was learning from the community of experts he found himself surrounded by. Precision Shooter and GunSafe soon followed. Somewhere along the line, he picked up one or two things himself. But don't call him an expert.

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