A couple of years ago, after receiving a last-minute invitation to attend a rifle match, I found myself scrambling to get the needed equipment ready. Fortunately, I had a suitable rifle, but as usual not enough ammo, nor was my rifle sighted in.
I managed to get those chores completed on time, but the sighting-in process was makeshift at best because I was only able to zero at 200 yards, even though I knew we’d be shooting beyond 500 yards. As usual, I turned to Sierra’s ballistic program to calculate my trajectory, after which I taped a range card onto the rifle.
It worked. I shot decently, the predicted trajectory was right on, and I placed in the medals. The only surprise was my respectable shooting. Give it the right numbers to work with and I always expect Sierra’s ballistic program to provide an accurate trajectory prediction.
That program, which I regularly rely on, has recently been updated and a new version, Infiniti 7, is now available. I’ve been using Sierra’s program for years, both for my personal shooting and in forensic work—where it’s the unofficial standard of the profession—but it’s been many years since the program has been updated, so this is a welcome move.
The new version features a completely rebuilt interface that I find much easier to use than the old one. It now relies on a series of windows that progress from rifle selection to bullet choice, and then to environmental conditions. As usual, the user inputs rifle data, but the program now has the ability to record all the user’s firearms data and act as an inventory listing as well, including purchase and selling information.
As you’d expect, the bullet library is significantly expanded from the last version. Of course, any list of available bullets is outdated the week after it’s published, so the ability to add custom bullets is included.
An excellent range of environmental conditions can be inserted into the calculations, including vertical winds (updrafts and downdrafts). Extreme-range shooters will be disappointed there’s no ability to factor in spin drift or coriolis effect, but the vast majority of us don’t shoot at distances requiring that info.
To their credit, Sierra has produced an excellent video showing the features of Infinity 7 and giving basic user instructions. At only $39.95 this isn’t an expensive program, but watching the video will give a great indication of whether or not you might want to spend the money.
If you don’t already own Sierra’s loading manual, I suggest buying the version with that feature included. This handloading program is the next thing Sierra needs to update because a lot of the newer powders are not included in the data—however, it’s still a useful reference and will no doubt be updated in the future.
Overall, I like Infinity 7 and it has replaced Sierra’s previous version as my go-to ballistic calculator. However, in closing, I should note that hunters should never depend on a ballistic program alone to make long-range shots at game animals. When live targets are involved, always confirm the predicted data with actual field shooting; it’s the ethical thing to do.