Monday, November 21, 2011

Brief Introduction to Gun Log

(Important Update)

Check out the NRA American Warrior,  edition Number 5.

Gun Log is designed around two major roles. The first role is firearm usage. The second role is inventory information.

Fire arm usage tracking is the primary role of Gun Log. I developed Gun Log to track failures so that I could correctly diagnose firing problems. A failure could be firearm related,  ammunition related, magazine related, spring related, or any number of things. With tracking you can look for patterns. Maybe your .380 Auto doesn't like to feed jacketed hollow points. Maybe your 5.56 carbine doesn't run reliably with certain magazines. Information captured at the firing session can be reviewed later to look for commonalities and patterns.

Inventory information is a secondary role of Gun Log. This role came about purely through users like you requesting features. You can store images of weapons, weapon configurations, and accessories. Purchase information can be stored for weapons and accessories. If you want you can also log the serial number of weapons and accessories. Remember that data security is your responsibility. If you are worried about losing your iOS device with such information then don't enter the data. It is up to you to decide with what you are comfortable.


Gun Log does not share the data stored in the application. It is not exported via emails or any type of reports. It is not uploaded to any server or tracked in anyway. This is intentional.  Gun information is valuable and private. There are requests to add features to allow the transmission of this data. I recognize it would be useful to have the data available to use on other systems. If there is enough requests I could make a new app, completely separate from Gun Log that would have the same features as Gun Log with additional data sharing features. As for Gun Log, there is no intention to add any type of data sharing to the application.

Gun Log (3.6) does support iTunes file sharing. This feature allows you to save the data to your computer via iTunes. It is not automatic. You have to do it. Through iTunes you can save the Gun Log's database for personal backups. The Gun Log database is called Shooting_Buddy and you will see it in iTunes.

WARNING: Do not modify the database outside of Gun Log or move the database to a different iOS device. Do not change the name of the database. Such actions are not tested and are not supported.

iTunes file sharing does not merge data or synchronize data in any manner.

What this Tutorial Covers

This tutorial will cover the basics needed for you to get out to the range and use Gun Log in conjunction with your shooting routine.

You should not try to learn how to use Gun Log at the range. At the range your focus should be upon safety. You should create a few entries in Gun Log at home where your mind can be on learning the Gun Log app and not worrying about muzzle safety. I recommend you follow each segment below and enter the data. You can always delete the entries when you are finished.

Previous tutorials may go into greater detail. Since the layout of the app has changed over the many releases of Gun Log the screen shots of previous tutorials may not be exactly the same. However, the flow and manner of Gun Log has not changed and you may be able to understand how to use the feature in the current version of Gun Log.

Before you go to the range you should enter the weapons you will be firing and enter the ammunition you will be using.

Entering a Weapon

From the main weapon view you can create new weapon entries and navigate to weapon details.

 Just top the "+" button in the upper right corner of the Weapons view.

The newly created weapon entry will appear in the list.

 Then tap the blue ">" button on the right side of the entry and it will navigate to the details view of the weapon. There you can enter your information.

Fields with buttons on their left have "pickers" so you don't have to type in common information. If the data you need is not in the picker you can always tap directly into the field and a key board will pop up.

The top most field is the weapon's make.

If you tap the "Make" field a key board will pop up. I am very slow at typing on that key board.

You do not have to type in the "Make". You can tap the "Make" button and a picker will appear.

Just flip the picker to the maker you want and then tap the done button on the bottom right or double tap the maker you want.

Once the maker is entered then you can enter the model if you want. There are too many make and model combinations, so this one you have to type.

 When you are finished entering the model information just tap the "Done" button on the bottom left of the key board.

Now I just tap the caliber button and choose from common calibers. The picker has the data divided into four areas. The first entries are simple caliber entries such as .17, .22, .223, etc. The middle or second set of entries have more detail such as .22 Short, .22 Magnum, .243 Winchester, etc. The third set of entries are your "mm" entries, 6.8mm, 9mm, etc. The last set of entries are shot gun entries. This app is designed firstly for pistol shooting, then rifle, and shot guns are covered but this is not really an app for storing shooting sessions for shot guns.

For this example choose the 9x19 mm Parabellum. You can  double tap the entry or tap the done button when finished.

 This is the basic information that I typically enter for a weapon.

Entering Ammunition

Entering ammunition information allows you to quickly select your ammo during a firing session. After all, the important thing is getting out and firing your gun and maybe your new hand load.

Gun Log stores hand load information as well as "off the shelf" ammunition information.

Make sure you are in the Ammo view by tapping the Ammo tab at the bottom of the app.

Tap the "+" button on the top right of the Ammo view.

A new ammunition entry will appear. Now tap the blue ">" button on the right and the app will navigate to the ammunition details view.

 In the ammunition details view you can enter the details about the ammo.

 For off the shelf ammunition you can type in the manufacturer or tap the "Make" button to select from a list of common ammunition makers.

Just flip the the list of makers and tap the "Done" button at the bottom right or double tap the entry to select the ammunition maker.

When you return to the ammunition details the maker you picked will show up in the view.

Tap the "Caliber" button and pick the 9x19 mm Parabellum.

The type of bullet can be typed in or picked as well. Just tap the "Type" button and pick a bullet type from the list.

These are the basic values I enter for ammunition. To use the drop table estimator more information would be needed such as the ballistic coefficient  and muzzle velocity.

Entering a Firing Session

To navigate to the firing sessions just tap the icon of the target at the bottom of the app.

Firing sessions are events where you are firing a weapon. There can be many firing sets during a firing session. You may go to the local range and fire three different weapons, or maybe the same weapon fired at different distances. You create a firing session so that you can enter firing set information.

To create a new "Firing Session" just tap the "+" button at the top right as shown below.

A new firing session will appear. Just tap the blue ">" button to go to the detail view of the firing session.

Tap the location field and enter a description of the location or event for the firing session. I enter "Local Range" for this tutorial.

Press the "Done" button to dismiss the keyboard. Tap the "Go to Firing Sets..." button.

A "Firing Set" is a weapon, a weapon configuration, an ammunition, and details about the target and the firing method.

You will typically have many firing sets during a firing session.

Entering a new firing set is more complicated that I would prefer. For now please follow these steps.

To enter a new firing set first tap the "Edit" button at the top right.

Once you have tapped the "Edit" button two things happen.

One, a green "+" button appears next to the entry titled "Tap Edit to show add button...".
This green "+" button is the add button.

Two, the "Edit" button changes to a "Done" button. Don't hit "Done" yet.

Tap the green "+" button and a new entry will appear. It will have a red "-" button next to it. If you tap the red "-" button it will delete the entry. If you delete the entry just tap the green "+" button to create a new entry.

Now tap the "Done" button in the upper right. This exits the editing mode.

Now tap the blue ">" button on the right of the new entry to navigate to the details of the set.

To choose a weapon just tap the "Weapon" button.

 In the "Weapon" picker just tap a weapon and select it.

Double tap the weapon or tap the "Done" button to dismiss the weapon picker.

Now select an ammunition by tapping the "Ammo" button.

Dismiss the "ammo" picker by double tapping an entry or tapping an entry once and then tap the "Done" button.

You may have noticed that buttons bring up pickers. Next tap the "Firing Method" button and pick a firing method.

Now tap the "Firing Stance" button and pick a firing stance.

If there is a firing method or firing stance that isn't in the picker just tap inside the text box and type in any thing you want.

Now tap in the "Rounds Fired" text box and enter the number of rounds fired.

To dismiss the keypad just tap the button at the top right of the app.

The entire view scrolls. Just flick the view and scroll to see more features of the firing set.

One very nice feature is the ability to associate a photo of your target with the firing set. Just tap the "Target Photo" button.

You can take a new photo or choose a photo from photos already stored on your iOS device.

In this case I had a photo already and I just tapped the second button from the left to bring up a photo picker and then I picked a photo.

Gun Log stores a low quality copy of the image. I recommend keeping the high quality image in the camera's album. If you want to remove the photo just tap the trash can. This will not remove the original photo from the camera's album.

One of the original reasons I wrote this app was to track failures. If you have a failure during a firing set just tap the "Failures" button.

To create a new failures entry first tap the "Edit" button at the top right to cause the table to show the add button.

Notice the "+" or add button appears on the left of the table entry titled "Tap Edit to show the add button...". Also notice the "Edit" button changed to a "Done" button.

Tap the green "+" or add button on the left and a new entry appears.

Tap the "Done" button on the top right to end the "edit" mode for the table. Now you can tap the blue ">" button to go to the details of the newly created failure information.

In the "Failure" details tap the "Failure" button to bring up a failure picker.

Find the failure you want and tap the "Done" button or double tap the entry to dismiss the picker.

Tap in the "Cause" text box and enter any pertinent information.

Tap the "Done" button on the bottom right of the keyboard to dismiss it.

Now tap in the "Notes" text box to enter additional information.

To dismiss they keyboard tap the dismiss keyboard in the upper right corner of the app.

The results of entering the failure information is shown below.

Entering an Accessory

Go to the accessory view by tapping the "scope" icon at the bottom of the app.

To create a new accessory just tap the "+" button on the top right.
Tap the blue ">" button on the right to go to the accessory details.
Here you can enter a description. Just tap inside the description text box.
Press the "Done" button on the bottom right to dismiss the keyboard.

To see all the information you can enter just flick the view and scroll to the items that are off the screen.

Tap in the "Notes" text box and enter additional information.

To dismiss the keyboard just tap the button at the top right of the app.

You can attach a photo of the accessory and enter purchase information if you want.

The reports area is where you can find information based on predefined criteria. For example I entered a failure earlier in the tutorial. Tap the "Failures by Weapon" entry in the "Weapons Reports".

It is the top item in the list of possible reports.

This will bring you to a list of all the weapons you have entered. Since there is only one entry tap on it.

Now a list of every failure for that weapon is displayed. Tap the failure entry.

Now the app goes directly to the failure entry. That is much easier than manually searching all of the firing sets inside all of the firing sessions trying to find when you used a particular weapon and then find if there was a failure logged.


In this brief introductory tutorial of Gun Log the details and steps of how to create weapon and ammunition information are shown.

Then the steps to show how to use the weapon and ammo information in actual firing sets are explained.

I recommend you enter your weapon and ammunition information before you go to the range.

The functionality of the accessory view is briefly described showing how to create an accessory record and add information to that record.

Finally one report is demonstrated to show the basics of how the report features work.

There are older detailed tutorials for previous versions. I recommend you browse through those while remembering that the user interface as changed over time but the basic concepts and methods of entering data have barely changed.

Now that you have entered this data you will probably want to delete it. Just tap the "Edit" button at the top left of the weapons view, ammo view, firing session view, and accessory view to show the delete button on the left of the table entries.

Thank you for buying Gun Log. Please do not forget to rate the app in the App Store on your iOS device or through iTunes.