Liudas Abišala is the head of marketing at Pulsar, directly responsible for Stream Vision Ballistics – a brand-new tool designed for improved shooting accuracy at long distances. Recently, we sat down with him to talk about the new ballistic calculator, work at Pulsar, and what it’s like to be a part of a globally leading company.
Our goal for our customers is to have the best user experience – we want our devices to be as simple and pleasing to use as possible.
One of the issues, especially with older-generation thermal devices, is that sometimes it’s difficult to evaluate the actual distance to the object you’re observing. Rangefinders came in to solve this problem, and while they opened many new possibilities, ballistics is yet another thing.
It’s basically a science that’s not accessible to everyone because it can be quite complicated. It might sound funny to those who understand it really well, but essentially it’s an additional skill you need to develop.
Of course, the importance of ballistics depends on the type of hunt. If you’re aiming from less than 100 meters, it’s not as crucial because at such distances, the bullet goes fairly straight, and, most of the time, your point of impact will match your aim. But when we’re talking about shooting from greater distances, and especially at smaller targets – like foxes, coyotes, and even hares – any shift of the point of impact can become crucial.
So, the possibility to measure the distance and find out exactly what adjustments (especially vertical) you need to make allows you to make decisions much faster. You don’t need to manually calculate how many clicks you need to make to hit the target where you want. Stream Vision Ballistics does this for you, and thus you can be sure that the math that you did is correct. So, it gives you more accuracy in a shorter amount of time – which can be crucial in hunting.
I feel like the idea was very organic – you have a riflescope, you have a rangefinder, so you have the tools to make calculations. The idea itself was born a long time ago. But at the time, the hardware didn’t allow for a calculator like this. You need to have a proper processor to process the data, a precise rangefinder, and so much more before you’re finally able to launch it.
Finally, we started brainstorming. There were a lot of suggestions for this particular case, and usually, our R&D department looks at the problem from a technical point of view, while marketing is responsible for user experience, for making sure it’s easy and convenient to use. Whether it’s Stream Vision Ballistics or anything else, we keep going back and forth between the departments to find that perfect solution. Then, there is a lot of testing – for the past six months, we’ve been testing the feature relentlessly.
The main difference is that it’s the only calculator which allows creating a profile and then uploading it directly to the Pulsar riflescopes. Many others allow you to create a profile and calculate how many clicks or MILs you need to adjust. But in our case, you create a profile, upload it to your device, and the firmware does the calculations – meanwhile, you get information about what adjustments you need to make directly on your screen.
Of course, you can also use the app with your daytime optics and get all the information. It does a great job as a calculator and is fairly simple to use. So, I’d say the main advantage is that it’s as good for daytime optics as it is for our devices – you can enter all data based on particular conditions and get accurate results. But, as I said, its biggest benefit and the main goal is that the profile can come straight into your Pulsar riflescope.
Essentially the only thing you can skip – but you’ll have to think about it – is spin drift. If you don’t enter spin drift data and shoot at fairly short distances, it will probably be fine. In the Texan video, where I shot at 500 meters, I didn’t enter this data and easily hit the target.
The remaining information is very important because you can expect accurate results only if you enter it. Ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity, ballistic profile – they are all essential. Riflescope height is critical, and so is the zero range, because the calculator takes it as the base to make calculations.
Weather conditions – temperature, pressure, humidity – probably aren’t as crucial unless you try to shoot very precisely. Or, if you zeroed your gun in low plains and are going to the mountains, your ballistics will change. But, if you shoot and zero at more or less the same area, it can be slightly less critical.
My golden rule is to only shoot when you’re absolutely sure where you’ll hit. It applies to both distance and the target. If you’re not sure whether you see a wild boar or a cow, don’t pull the trigger. If you’re not sure if it’s a coyote or a domestic dog, don’t pull the trigger. If you’re not sure where your bullet will drop when you pull the trigger, don’t pull it.
Again, if you watched the 500 m video, you can see that the reticle is quite much higher than the targets because the distance is big and the bullet falls down. But without the calculator, I wouldn’t have dared to aim so much above the target because it looked like the bullet will fly over it and fall somewhere I didn’t intend it to. Of course, we have tested the calculator before, and I was sure there was nothing behind the targets; I also knew that the bullet would be headed more or less straight to the target or, worst case scenario, not much above it. So, I could calmly take those shots.
The same goes for a shot towards a coyote or a fox. You are sure about the path of a bullet, you know its point of impact, you know that if you hit the animal, it will be humane, the animal won’t suffer, you’ll hit it where you need to. Not only it increases safety, but it also is more humane – you know the animal won’t be injured and escape into the fields.
But again, I always say that you should only shoot at distances which make you feel comfortable without the calculator. In real-life hunting, the calculator only helps you to see the correction, which you should know anyway. It’s a reassurance that you’re doing everything right and that you can make an accurate shot. But there should be no risky shots when hunting.
Having seen the app from the very beginning, I can say it is much more user-friendly now. It can look a bit complicated at first – when you open it for the first time and try to figure things out. But in five minutes, everything falls into place, and it becomes really easy to use.
What’s most important is that it smoothly connects to your Pulsar device, the profiles upload quickly, and they are easy to create. Plus, we’re expanding our ammunition library continuously, so creating a profile will be even easier and more convenient.
I’ve been shooting for a very long time – I don’t remember my first shot because I think I was 12 or 13. I have had my gun license for nearly ten years. However, my guns are more suited for military use – because that is my background.
Nature is where I grew up; my best vacation and “meditation” is the forest: when I need to clear my brain, I like to take nighttime forest hikes by myself. I’m alone, it’s night, and the world just looks different. Perfect conclusion is if I can take a nap somewhere under a pine tree when there’s lots of snow, and the temperature is –15 °С.
Best thing about hunting is that it joins both – the beauty of nature and the excitement of guns.
Currently, on my personal gun, I have the Talion XG35 mounted – I have the AR-style semi-automatic shotgun, and the Talion fits on it ideally, like it was glued to it. Thermion 2 XP50 Pro is also very close; I go for it if I need to shoot from long distances.
Of course, the Merger, both XP50 and XL50 models, are unique both in the sense of ergonomics and the image they display. If I need to limit my weight and carry a smaller device, it will be either Axion XQ35 or XG35, but with the LRF either way.
So no one big favourite, but I am spoiled by the ability to pick and choose a device based on specific needs.
This is a company that takes care of its employees, its values match mine, and they aren’t just declared publicly. Internally, everyday decisions are made in relation to this. The war in Ukraine is just one example. It really inspires, and that would be enough already, but when you realize that in this market, you represent a global leader, a brand that created and essentially expanded the whole market, it’s incredibly fun and often even unexpected for ourselves.
I can’t tell you much right now, but I will say that we’re always one step ahead. When we launch a new device, there are many prototypes being developed for future launches already.
Sometimes these innovations are driven by new technologies that are developed by our partners, and we see how we can implement them in our devices. But very often, we take ideas from our users, too – we read every comment on Facebook, we take notes of what people are saying to us, and then consider all the ideas.
So, I can say the future will be bright and exciting, but in the meantime, I can only wish you many accurate shots. Stay safe!
Stream Vision Ballistics is an app that enables the ballistic calculator available for Pulsar riflescopes with a built-in laser rangefinder. You can download the app for your smartphone, and the feature will be made available on your scope via the Firmware Update 3.1 – the first device to receive the functionality will be the Pulsar Thermion 2 LRF XP50 Pro.
When installed, the calculator will automatically display the suggested point of aim on the riflescope’s screen. You will have an opportunity to create multiple ballistic profiles, use our extensive ammunition database and choose from several display modes. You can read more about Stream Vision Ballistics here.
Before purchasing any night or thermal vision device, please make sure you adhere to the local legislation and only use it when it is allowed. Our ambassadors come from various countries and travel a lot, which allows them to test different devices. We do not encourage or support the illegal use of our devices in any events. If you wish to learn more about export and sales restriction policy, please visit the following link: Export and Sales Restriction Policy.