Mobile Phone App for Shooters


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clamum
January 25, 2012, 07:53 PM
I've been kicking around an idea for awhile that I'd like to share and get some input from y'all on. I'm a software developer and want to get into Android mobile phone development in my free time so I was trying to think of an app that would be useful to shooters.

What I originally planned for the app was to be able to help shooters keep track of their range/outing/shooting visits:

1. Input/select a name or location of the range
2. Input/select the firearm(s) being used
3. Input the number of shots fired from firearm(s), and if any malfunctions occurred
4. Ability to take photos (of firearms, targets, etc)
5. Ability to run a series of "reports" showing how often firearms are used, their shot counts, malfunctions, etc

That's a rough outline of what I was thinking of working on. There really would not be much data entry besides the first time you run it since you would need to add your firearms; in later uses of the app you would just select your firearm from a drop-down list.

Do you think this would be an asset to shooters? Would you use something like this? Should I instead gear the app to be more for people who are reloaders (this way they can keep track of bullets, powders, performance, etc)?

Just throwing some ideas around; I'd appreciate any feedback, comments, suggestions. Thanks much! :confused::)

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KX592
January 25, 2012, 08:41 PM
Im not a big "app" guy, only use text,call, email, weather. But that might be something useful to me. If you do, absolutely post its completion on here. Maybe PM me if you make something and want it tested out.

Harrod
January 25, 2012, 08:52 PM
That sounds like a pretty good start Clamum, maybe add distance shot from and scoring. Like say I was doing some practice for competition/CCW qualifying etc. have like multiple drop downs available per gun so you can do like:
Glock19 -10shot from 10yrds Score 87
- 10shot from 10yrds score 77

You know so you could keep a running tally on how your doing. Either way sounds like a good idea i would use.

JustinJ
January 26, 2012, 09:07 AM
Awesome idea. I would certainly be interested. Many would probably appreciate a ballistics calculator as well.

aaronu
January 26, 2012, 10:27 AM
Seems like a good idea. There are some ballistics apps out there as well.

Playing devil's advocate -- I have to wonder if your app idea would come in handy as evidence in a self defense shooting.

Scenario 1: "Your honor, the defendant's own records show a history of responsible, monthly practice with the defense weapon. This is corroborated by the testimony from employees at Joe's Gun Range and Fred's Handgun Safety Training, Inc."

Scenario 2: "Your honor, the shooter maintains that he is not out to 'get anybody' but his own records show an unhealthy interest in shooting and so called "tactical gear". Using his Android phone, he has recorded numerous outings each month where he practiced extensively, firing hundreds of rounds from military style, high-capacity, semi-automatic handguns -- including the alleged murder weapon -- against targets depicting human beings

Here's another suggestion for an app, or maybe something to add to yours. It seems to me there's a market for a location-based app to help shooters find brick and mortar:
- gun stores
- LE stores
- sporting goods stores
- pawnshops
- gun shows
- ranges
- training centers
- gunsmiths
- firearm-friendly shipping locations
- etc.

Something like OpenTable or Urbanspoon for gun enthusiasts. Something like that would be easy to code but challenging to maintain a database.

For that matter, many would like a way to build a registry of businesses that have "no guns" policies. That would be a great crowdsourcing applet.

GimpyLeg
January 26, 2012, 10:51 AM
Not an Andriod app developer, but an IT professional who has dabbled in coding.

Something I found useful is an ammo inventory spreadsheet. Using multiple tabs and adjustable values, I input how many of what type ammo I have on hand, and, using my preset values, tells me if I need to purchace/make more of any flavor to remain above my minimum. When I go to the range, I decrement the counts according to what I shoot that day and I can check my levels at a glance.

What would REALLY be nice, is if this was in a phone app so I can see this information while I am at the store or online ordering. Kind of a quick shopping list in case I run across a deal or just need to replenish.

I know this is not where you were going in your original post, but since I don't code for Android, I wish soomeone would... ;)

erikivy
January 26, 2012, 02:24 PM
I'm an Android user and would love an app like this. Also, I agree with GimpyLeg regarding ammo inventory. Being a new reloader, I'm currently using a spreadsheet to track my activities, but having the ability to do so on my phone would be much more convenient. If you decide to proceed and need beta testers, I'd love to participate.

SharkHat
January 26, 2012, 03:04 PM
I actually tossed this idea around with a friend a while back. Here are a couple things we thought about.

Have a core app based on the simple inventory and round count concept. Switch between buttons based on box sizes or magazine sizes, so that shooters can quickly update round counts for each gun (+7, +15, +20, +50, etc). Configurable and resettable maintenance warnings can be set at certain round counts, such as recoil spring replacement every 5k, etc.

Make the core app modular/extensible, so that standalone it can be nice and lightweight.

Additional functionality for more detailed inventory control, like supporting round counts for multiple different loads, could be a plugin/add-on. This way people that want that much detail can have it easily, but you don't overwhelm people that just want a simple way to track round counts.

clamum
January 26, 2012, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the feedback so far, guys. I actually am a little surprised that anyone would be interested in something like this besides myself. I figured it would give me Android development practice but that was about it, haha.

The ammo inventory idea is something I hadn't thought of including but it does make sense. And SharkHat, Android's status bar notification mechanism would be perfect for maintenance and low ammo warnings and such.

Let me re-work and flesh out some of my ideas and I'll get back to you guys. Thanks again for the comments and suggestions! :)

HARV6
January 27, 2012, 12:25 AM
I've been waiting for a nice reloading app. Every time I shoot over a chronograph I think of how nice it would be to not have to switch back and forth from what I'm recording velocities on and a calculator. An app that would have a spot to punch in each shot then have it automatically calculate averages, standard deviations, extreme deviations....things like that. And then to be able to send it somewhere to print out with load specs and stats...that would be real nice.

exavid
January 27, 2012, 12:31 AM
I have a "Wallet" app which is handy. It stores photos and serial number of all my firearms. If one is ever stolen it will be handy to have that information on hand. I have the info in my safe but can get to it more quickly with the phone. There's one other app I like, "Car Butler". It makes it easy to store all your vehicle info, VIN, license number, insurance data, picture of your license plate and the vehicle, and your drivers license number. It's all password protected so if you lose the phone it'll be reasonably secure. In case of an accident all the info is right at your finger tips along with phone numbers for insurance, emergency contact, towing service and all that.

thefamcnaj
January 27, 2012, 12:49 AM
Have a core app based on the simple inventory and round count concept. Switch between buttons based on box sizes or magazine sizes, so that shooters can quickly update round counts for each gun (+7, +15, +20, +50, etc). Configurable and resettable maintenance warnings can be set at certain round counts, such as recoil spring replacement every 5k, etc
I LOVE that idea. That would be so convient, because most people always have their phone with them. In my case that would be much better than taking my note book to the range. If I forget to take my book to the range its hard to keep an accurate round count in my head after a long range session.

sugarmaker
January 27, 2012, 01:11 PM
Photograph a target and have the app score it and give group size, shot count mean, sd, etc. for the target. Have the app recognize NRA standard target numbers (like a B-8, etc.) so the user can input this (or measure and input the bull / ring size, whatever) so the image scale is correct. for an Iphomne 4s, let me dicatate target notes and include them with the photo / stats. I'd give $15 for that app alone.

RRHFactor
January 27, 2012, 07:44 PM
I'm with Sugarmaker....I never pay for apps....but I would for that one. Let me know if you do it.

GimpyLeg
January 30, 2012, 09:40 AM
Clamum, do you MSExcel? I could send/PM you my inventory file so you can see what I do and what I am talking about in case you wish to pursue anything down that path.

aaronu
January 31, 2012, 09:49 AM
+1, curious if you (OP) have given any more thought to this. I'd buy and use the app. For that matter I would buy it just to support pro-gun app developers.

Yeah I know, talk is cheap. But so are mobile apps. Hurry up and make something so I can give you money.

:D

clamum
November 25, 2012, 11:33 PM
I know I started this thread nearly a year ago but I'm actually trying to finish this app, at least a v1.0! I left the project shortly after I started the thread and ended up getting a new job and moving and am just now getting back into it.

GimpyLeg, sure, send your inventory file over if you'd like. My app is pretty much what I described above. Right now I have two main "data entry" screens: One for firearms (a name, notes) and one for ammunition (name, caliber, notes). And then you'll be able to enter records for each trip to the range (firearm used, ammo used, shot count, date, notes, etc). Pictures and other things will come later.

One question I had... I am planning on including a "caliber" property for the ammunition. The reason for it was that I figured it was another way to differentiate ammo (e.g. Winchester White Box 9mm, Winchester White Box .40 S&W) without having to type the caliber in the ammo's "Name", and also for future reporting purposes: "How much 9mm ammo have I shot in the past month?".

Do you guys think having a caliber aspect to the ammo is worth it? I tried to get a list of several hundred calibers off the Internet but realized it was missing quite common calibers. I just wanted to have a pre-filled list of calibers to reduce data entry time but I see I will have to allow the user to add/remove calibers as well. But is this worth it? I can see it both ways.

Anyway, that's my update to this app. Still workin on it but I really want to get serious and finish v1.0 up, cause I wanna use the dang thing myself (why I started it in the first place haha)!

flatlander937
November 26, 2012, 07:26 PM
Eh... not to be a "Negative Nancy" but this app basically already exists...

http://mygundb.com/

I have the full version on my computer, but admittedly do not have the Android app as I'm not THAT into it. I mainly just use it for firearm serial # inventory and any notes on stuff replaced or found to be odd, and to keep notes on how different ammo "feels" or note any oddities(such as Federal 115gr FMJ refusing to feed reliably in my 7rd CM9 magazine but fine in the 6 rounders).

Keep it up though! At the very least you can use that program/app to get ideas and figure out what you do/don't like.

clamum
November 26, 2012, 10:28 PM
Yeah I figured there was a program like that for the PC but before I started working on this Android app, I did a search of the Android Market and nothing even close to what I had in mind was on there.

But yeah that's fine, always room for more than one "gun app", haha. Thanks :)

GE-Mini-Gun
November 29, 2012, 11:02 AM
Since you’re making an app…make one for reloaders. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been working a load and forgot to bring my load book and had to write everything down on ammo boxes I’ve picked out of the trash. What I have is…
Bullet type – SWC, FMJ, HP, etc…
Bullet weight
Powder – 231, Bullseye, No. 5, etc…
Powder weight
Primer
Case
Velocity
Weather conditions – temp, pressure, wind speed, etc…

Basically a shooter log book, but with a little more detail. Something else nice to have would be an app for the actual load, like a reloading manual, only you make it.

Powder
Primer
Bullet
OAL

Just my 2 cents worth; I’d do it myself, but I’m lucky to be able to make toast.

benEzra
November 29, 2012, 12:01 PM
Being a new reloader, I'm currently using a spreadsheet to track my activities, but having the ability to do so on my phone would be much more convenient. If you decide to proceed and need beta testers, I'd love to participate.
It's less convenient than an app, but you can create and edit Excel spreadsheets on most smartphones with the right app. I use Docs to Go.

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