FAQ: What is Horus Vision’s Current Ballistic Software?

Horus Vision’s current software is ATrag version 3.83, which currently comes in two options, 2X and MX

What is ATrag Compatible With?

The software is compatible with devices running Windows Mobile 5 & 6, such as:  


TDS Recon (for more rugged use)

Trimble Nomad 

At present, ATrag is not compatible with:

-PC or Laptops running XP, Vista or Windows 7



We do not support Palm anymore.

How Can I Purchase ATrag?

The software can be purchased a la carte in a CF or SD card, or with one of two PDA units from our website.  

The units we sell on our website are:


TDS Recon 

What Chip Format Do I Need for Each Device?

If you decide to purchase the software alone, because you already have a compatible device, you will need the following formats in conjunction with the specified handheld device:

 -HP iPAQ = SD card

-TDS Recon = CF card

-Trimble Nomad = SD or CF card will work 

What is the Difference Between 2X and MX?

The very basic difference is if you are not going to shoot beyond 1000 yards, then 2X will work fine. 

For the super serious long-range shooting enthusiast, MX is the better choice.  It takes Coriolis and spin drift into account, and it allows you to “bracket” wind calls with two wind speeds.  MX also includes a ballistic truing function, ballistic coefficient interpolation, and tracks multiple targets.

This simple chart helps decipher the differences:













Do I Need a Horus Scope to Use Your Software?

No.  As long as you know your turret click in equal increments (i.e. every click is 1/4 MOA), then our software will work with any scope.  ATrag will show results in MILs, TMOA and SMOA.  It will also give results as number of clicks per MIL, or TMOA or SMOA. 

When is the Next Version of ATrag Available?

ATrag 4.0 is currently in a strenuous test trial and is not available until further notice.  We will announce its induction through an electronic memo, as well as several other channels, upon release.  If you or others are interested, please have them sign-up to our newsletter through our website and stay subscribed.  Keep track of the latest breaking news on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and smoke signals.

What about Horus’ Ballistic Software in a Kestrel?

The rumors are true!  Horus and Kestrel have teamed up to create a breakthrough product- the Horus Kestrel!  The Horus Kestrel will have Horus’ ATrag software embedded in a 4500NV configurated Kestrel Pocket Weather Meter.  Be one of the first to see it at the 2011 SHOT Show.

The Horus Kestrel is currently in production and is not available until further notice.  We will announce its induction through an electronic memo, as well as several other channels, upon release.  If you or others are interested, please have them sign-up to our newsletter through our website and stay subscribed.  Keep track of the latest breaking news on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and smoke signals.



A Hot Shower and a Date with Ms. Brown

Ever since I was a child, I loved those true life adventure stories about rugged individuals braving and conquering insidious natural threats of fang, tooth, and claw.  My love was a mixture of terror and fascination; I surely never wanted to meet with a lethal beast and fight for my life, yet I loved nature. The more remote and rustic the better, and I knew that, unlike stories of dragons and aliens, animal attacks were not fantasy.  These things happened all the time.

I remember one day in particular, sitting in a barbershop where my mom had sent me to get my ears lowered, and I picked up one of the cool magazines we never had at home.  I read a story about rattlesnakes crawling into a hunter’s sleeping bag and curling up on his chest.  I have nightmares about that story to this day.

The horror of this particular scenario came, of course, from what it violated.  We’re never more relaxed and off our guard than when we’re lazing about in a warm sleeping bag after a restful night under the stars; the birds chirp, the sun streams through the trees, and we stretch…only to find our soft, vulnerable body covered with venomous snakes.  The horror!  I managed to confine this particular horror to nightmares by always meticulously checking my surroundings, bed, and tent, but the damn things just bided their time and found me later.  So this is my true story of a near lethal encounter with a fearsome reptile; for all men who value the sanctity and relaxed ritual of a warm morning shower and shave, read on at your own risk.

Two buddies and I were on an 11-day culling safari with Hunt Australia in the Northern Territory.  Bob Penfold, our chief guide and host, selected a superb operating camp: Kirkimbie station, an old abandoned cattle station.  Fixed up with flushing toilets, hot and cold water, and bedrooms with linen sheets, Bob had given us first class accommodations for this sort of venture.  But we were still 500 miles, a full 16 hours drive, from Darwin, the nearest town, so we were acutely aware that any serious injury could be lethal.

Fixed up as it was, Kirkimbie seemed a bit embattled.  Numerous holes from vandals besotted the exterior walls, a thin screen was all that separated us from billions of flies, and it was explained to be that no wood had been used in the construction because ants would eat it.  The floor was a concrete slab, the walls made of metal studs covered with a non-wood dull green veneer.

The hunt was quite successful and we had a lot of fun.  The 11th and final day came, and Bob’s wife had prepared a final feast.  After dinner, our group packed up our guns, equipment, and clothes.  We prepacked our vehicle and set out alarms to leave just enough time for a quick shower and shave before our departure at 3:00 AM the next morning.

My 2 AM alarm sounded.  I let my buddies shower first and ate toast and leftovers in the kitchen, washed down with leaded Pepsi.  Good leftovers, I suppose, good toast, but if I knew that this might be my last meal, I would have requested something else.  Just as if I’d known what awaited me in the bathroom, would have gone in armed with more than a towel and a shaving kit.

The shower invigorated me, awakened my senses.  I noted that disgruntled jackaroos had accented the 6 by 3 foot shower area with numerous holes.  As I completed the first downward stroke on the right side of my face, my right eye caught some movement in one such hole on the wall opposite the shower entry.  Hunting experience told me not to move or make direct eye contact.  I carefully studied the reflection in the mirror and determined that it was a large circumference snake with light and dark brown markings coming through a hole and coiling on the ground about 16 inches from my left foot.

I fear and hate snakes, yet was strikingly calm and cool.  I focused on survival; it was a King Brown snake, the 3rd most deadly snake in the world, capable of striking at abdominal height numerous times in a single attack and injecting up to an ounce of toxin.  And even one bite this far in the outback would mean almost certain death.  Everything was suddenly in slow motion, and I was acutely aware of my meaty, dripping legs and feet. 

I started talking to myself, whispering…“This is a hell of a way to die.”  I imagined my wife and child crying at my memorial service.  It was a beautiful service, dignified- but what an undignified death. 

“Stop thinking like a fool,” I said to myself.  “It’s time for action.”

I noted that the snake’s head was directed towards me while the balance of its length was still coming through the wall.  I surveyed my surroundings.  I needed a weapon or distraction.  All I had a large brown leather shaving kit that I’d received for Father’s Day.  Without moving my torso, I deftly transferred the kit to the left side of the vanity.  The snake’s tail exited the wall.  We were both ready to move. 

Not moving any other muscle in my body, I used my left hand to slide the shaving kit off the vanity so that it would drop directly on top of Ms. Brown.  I then made the fastest exit, leaping out of the shower area as I heard the snake strike the hollow kit at least three times.  I started to run down the hall bare-ass naked; I cast a quick glance back and the damned snake was chasing me!  I started running full out.

As I passed the kitchen, my hunting mate said, “What’s up?” as if nothing was unusual about me streaking through the hunting lodge. 

“The snake’s chasing me!”  I yelled; he opened the screen door, got a look at Ms. Brown, and responded helpfully by screaming “Oh shit!” and doing a 180exit.  I turned the corner, looked back and saw the snake exiting through a hole.

I wasted no time in getting dressed and getting us out of Kirkimbie station.  A few weeks later, Penfold wrote to me, said that he’d seen Ms. Brown and fed him a mouth full of birdshot.  He measured slightly over 3 meters long.

Pig Man Promo

The Sportmans Channel’s Pig Man uses Horus’ ATragMX in an HP iPAQ PDA and says, “Love the unit!”
Be sure to look out for Pig Man and Horus’ ATrag.  To get airtimes and more information on Pig Man: The Series, check out The Sportsman Channel website

Take a look at the Pig Man Promo:


The Army Visits Horus

Sergeants Tresky and Delguadio from Camp Roberts, San Miguel, CA stopped by to pay Horus Vision a visit this week!  The officers were in the area  during one of their assignments, and decided to stop in to take a look at our headquarters in San Bruno, CA.

Horus Vision had sponsored the California Combat Match at Camp Roberts on Sunday, September 26, 2010, which Sergeant Tresky had coordinated.

Thanks for stopping by boys!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Horus Reticles vs. Caliber-specific Ballistic Reticles

The Traditional Method: Dialing Up Elevation

Precision optics that allow rapid, accurate target engagement are highly sought after by  dangerous game and brush country hunters, designated marksmen, military/LE snipers and competitive shooters. The traditional method of “dialing up” elevation corrections into a riflescope is accurate but requires time to adjust manually. Dialing in also requires light to see elevation knob markings or the ability to count many—often hundreds of—clicks. When used in a fast-moving and dynamic environment, dialing up will hamstring the shooter by slowing him down and requiring a return to the “zero” setting prior to changing to a different elevation setting for additional targets. Failure to keep track of clicks on the elevation knob often results in missed shots or even a loss of zero when using target knobs.

Pros: Traditional method for target engagement; easy to teach new shooters; provides precise aiming point 

Cons: Time consuming; requires ability to see or count clicks; Difficult to use for rapid engagement of multiple targets 

Ballistic Reticles 

An old solution to the dialing up problem is the use of a “ballistic” or custom reticle that is calibrated for a specific cartridge. Ballistic reticles work well where precision is not required. They incorporate ballistic data for a specific projectile, velocity and set of atmospheric conditions. This data is used to construct reticle hold-over points within a scope’s field of view. The idea is that no effort is required to adjust the riflescope once range has been determined. The shooter simply places the appropriate hold-over point (indicated in the reticle) on the target and fires. While ballistic reticles usually get you close, they have a number of weaknesses.

They use data for a specific cartridge, or an average of cartridges and conditions to create a generic reticle intended for use on any firearm of that caliber. A good example can be seen in many of the low powered optics fielded by the US military. Reticles are generally either calibrated for either the 5.56 NATO M855, 62 grain or the 7.62 NATO M80 Ball, 147 grain cartridge. Unless you use one of these ballistic reticle-equipped sights on the exact same type firearm it was calibrated for, in the exact atmospheric conditions with ammunition from the same lot, your actual points of impact will vary from the reticle hold over points. The difference may be ½” or it may be a foot or more, depending on how many variables change from the reticle’s calibration. Obviously we’re not likely to find ourselves in the same laboratory conditions used during reticle calibration. In most cases we’ll be using a different firearm, cartridge and set of atmospheric conditions. Consistently hitting your intended point of impact with precision isn’t possible this way. Another problem is that when ballistic reticles are incorporated in 2nd Focal Plane scopes, only the highest power setting may be used for hold over points. This eliminates any accurate use of lower powers for all distances beyond zero.

Pros: Provides rapid aiming points for multiple distances; no dialing up required 

Cons: Calibrated to specific ammunition/gun/weather; typically not suitable for precision fire needs 

Mil Dot Reticle Holds 

An option that doesn’t require the shooter to dial in elevation and that doesn’t rely on a specific set of ballistic data is to use a mil-dot reticle to hold over for elevation. Using “mil holds” is a rapid system that requires you to first determine where specific ammunition types impact at different distances beyond the zero range. For example, an M110 firing M118LR using a 100m zero may require a hold of .75 Mil high for 200m, 2 mils high for 400m, 5 mils high for 600m, etc. Again, the exact hold points are specific to the gun, ammunition type and atmospheric conditions. Hold points will fall along the vertical stadia, below the reticle center/zero point. While using a standard mil-dot reticle for hold-overs is a faster way to engage targets at multiple ranges, most such reticles are limited to 5 mil-dots available as hold points below center. If the reticle is placed in the 2nd focal plane, the highest zoom setting is required for mil hold-overs to remain accurate. Standard mil-dot reticles also lack precise aiming points beyond each specific mil dot. If a target requires a 3.6 mil hold over, the shooter must guess the proper point to hold between the 3rd and 4th mil-dots. Over all this system is superior to ballistic or custom reticles but still lacks precision and is limited to moderate ranges only.

Pros: Provides rapid aiming points for multiple target distances; not caliber or gun specific

Cons: Hold over points are generally limited to mil dots/lines only—no in between hold points; limited number of mils available below the zero point

The Horus Reticle System

Horus reticles are designed for accuracy, flexibility and engagement speed to help you shoot more effectively. The Horus system allows you to hold-over your intended target in the reticle by employing the same method as any conventional mil-dot reticle used for holding over. However Horus reticles provide 5X the accuracy of standard mil-dot reticles due to hold points spaced 2/10th milliradians (mils) apart. These “hash marks” are placed along the vertical stadia—extending to 44 mils on some reticles—and horizontal stadia as well as throughout the gridded area below the center of the reticle. Using reticle reference points to hold on targets at any range eliminates the need to dial-in corrections for elevation to the scope itself. This allows the shooter to maintain his or her shooting position when transitioning from one target to another. It also allows the scope to remain “on zero” at all times. The Horus reticles’ mil numbers provide a quick reference for holds by indicating the mil number corresponding that line. The beauty of the Horus reticle is that this confirmation doesn’t require you to change head and eye position, no light is required to examine your scope knob at night and no memorization of click numbers is required.

A very important capability provided by using Horus reticle holds is that multiple ammunition types may be used in the same scope/rifle combo. For example, a military sniper’s scope may be zeroed for M118 LR at 100m but he may also need to shoot delinked Armor Piercing rounds or M80 Ball ammunition. He can shoot these—or any other munitions—and note their deviation from the regular 100m zero, then determine specific hold over points within the Horus reticle grid. This applies to hunters and competitive shooters too. Any Horus reticle will work on any rifle or carbine, with no limitation to ammunition types or weather conditions. If you don’t use a ballistic program to determine your elevation holds for different rounds, you’ll need to shoot them at all likely distances and record the holds. Remember that environmental factors like temperature, barometric pressure and humidity affect these holds each time weather changes. A good ballistic software program like Horus Vision’s TragMP will make determining and recording all elevation holds a simple and effective process, but ballistic software it is not a requirement to use Horus reticle-equipped scopes.

Additional benefits of Horus reticles include unmatched accuracy in determining range through milliradian-based reticle measurements, accurate wind holds at any distance without adjusting windage knobs, moving target holds and a very accurate system for applying fail-safe second-shot corrections when needed. This latter capability allows the shooter to follow up an observed shot with a second round with an extremely high hit probability. For example, when the shooter follows through a shot by quickly placing the original reticle hold point on the target, the impact point of a miss is noted on the reticle. The shooter need only hold that point of impact (within the reticle grid) on the target and re-engage. If wind, range and other relevant conditions haven’t changed, and provided the shooter does his job, second shot correction will place the follow-up shot on target.

Unlike most US-made and current-issue US military optics, all Horus reticles are placed in the riflescope’s 1st focal plane. When the scope is zoomed up or down, the reticle’s size remains relevant to the target’s image size, so all reticle markings and holds remain true at all powers. This can be particularly useful in low light conditions, when using lower power settings allow greater visibility through the riflescope.

Pros: Provides extensive rapid aiming points for multiple target distances; not caliber or gun specific; most flexible system for all needs and environments; hold points spaced every 2/10th mil along stadia; specific hold points for windage, moving targets and second shot correction; all reticles placed in 1st focal plane for maximum scope flexibility;

Cons: Horus reticles will spoil you to the point that you won’t ever want to use any other aiming system again

Horus Vision reticles, scopes and software have been used in active ground combat by US military snipers for many years. Our system is also in use by several key US allies fighting alongside our troops. Snipers in both the Special Operations and conventional military communities find Horus reticles to be supremely useful and flexible accoutrements to their traditional equipment. The best indicator to the effectiveness of our system is that tactical shooters around the world continue to ask manufacturers of quality optics to place our reticles in their scopes. Taking the time to learn this system and apply it to your own shooting needs will open your eyes to a whole new world of precision shooting in dynamic environments. No other system allows you to engage multiple targets at varying distances as quickly and effectively as Horus Vision.