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Foretrex 701 Ballistic Edition: Garmin Teams with Applied Ballistics to Enter the Ballistic Computer Market

Garmin just announced its latest series of wrist mounted GPS navigation devices, the Foretrex 601 and, of particular interest to RECOIL readers, the Foretrex 701 Ballistic Edition.

In addition to its high-sensitivity positioning capability, the new Foretrex 701 Ballistic Edition adds Applied Ballistics Elite software to calculate aiming solutions for long-range shooters. Both new products are compatible with GPS, GLONASS and Galileo satellite positioning systems. The prior Foretrex 401 family of devices were slightly larger and only worked with GPS.

The 701 BE has you covered for long range and extreme long range work. It accounts for all the usual variables including wind, temperature, humidity, pressure, target range, etc… and even covers you with on board support for variables such as horizontal Coriolis effect, vertical Coriolis effect, spin drift, and aerodynamic jump. Plug in your target and environmental data and the unit displays the elevation holdover, windage, velocity and time of flight for your shot.

In addition to the AB ballistic engine itself, the unit also comes loaded with the entire Applied Ballistics bullet library featuring custom drag models that are live fire-verified.

The 701BE made it’s debut at this year’s King of 2 Mile shooting competition.

“Handling the various devices required to spot and engage targets with precision rifle fire can be an overwhelming task,” said Bryan Litz, champion shooter and Applied Ballistics Chief Ballistician. “Having your AB fire control strapped to your wrist frees up a hand for other tasks, which enables the shooter to execute more efficiently.”

Of particular interest, the 701 connects to Garmin’s tempe sensor for live temperature data. We’re guessing, or more hoping, the tempe sensor has some hidden capabilities that can feed the 701 live pressure readings and other environmental variables, or that Garmin has a more capable environmental sensor in the works. We’d love to see Garmin jump in bed with Kestrel and pull data from Kestrel’s DROP D3 or other weather meters. But, we don’t expect this to happen, since the Garmin and Kestrel are now competing in the handheld ballistic computer space.

Smartphone apps are great, but we use our phones for all manner of things, and phone batteries tend to die at the worst possible times. While we’re excited to have a tiny, dedicated ballistic computer on our wrist, we have to wonder what the user interface is going to be like. We aren’t fans of scrolling through fields, numbers and letters one tap at a time, so let’s hope Garmin has put some serious effort into the user interface.

  • Dimensions: 2.9″ x 1.7″ x 0.9″
  • Weight: 3.1 oz with batteries
  • Water rating: IPX7
  • Batteries: 2x AAA
  • Display: 2″ 200 x 128 pixels 4-color gray
  • Battery Life: 48 hours in GPS mode, up to 1 week in UltraTrac mode, up to 1 month in watch mode
  • Interface: USB
  • Positioning Systems: GPS/GLONASS/Galileo
  • Sensor Compatibility: HR strap, speed, cadence, VIRB, tempe
  • MIL-STD-810 Compliant: thermal, shock, water
  • Night vision goggles compatible
  • Saved Tracks: 100/200 points per track
  • Clock Features: time/date, watch mode, military time format, GPS time sync, automatic daylight saving time, alarm clock, timer, stopwatch, sunrise/sunset times

These devices are expected to be available in August with a suggested retail price of $249.99 and $599.99 respectively. For more information, visit garmin.com/outdoors and appliedballisticsllc.com.

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