Monday, November 19, 2012

Welcome to Gun Log +P


Thank you for purchasing one of the most highly rated and feature rich firearms apps for iOS. I want you to know that the Gun Log family of apps are designed for those that use their firearms. The original concept of the app was a range log, a replacement for pen and paper. The app has grown beyond just a range log to include logs for firearms, ammunition, accessories, maintenance, and failures. Also the app has an external ballistics calculator to assist the sighting in process or estimating bullet drop.

Gun Log +P is meant to be used with iCloud and the iCloud setting "Documents & Data" turned ON. If you are not going to have "Documents & Data" ON then you should use Gun Log SPC.

I will update this support blog with news on upcoming releases and if there are any issues.

Please note that Gun Log +P stores uses Apple's iCloud service. Apple stores your data on their servers. Your data is as secure and protected as Apple makes it. You should consider that.

Getting Started


Gun Log +P (GL+P) uses iCloud. If you are not going to use iCloud then you should use Gun Log SPC (GL-SPC). GL-SPC is the app I personally use.

Make sure you have iCloud setup properly. Go to your device's Settings app and tap iCloud.

Make sure that "Documents & Data" is turned on.

GL+P is designed to use iCloud and you should have "Documents & Data" On. If you do turn it off GL+P 5.8 or greater will make a copy of your data before it is removed and you can work off line. Any changes to the off line data will not be synched if you turn "Documents & Data" back on. GL+P uses two databases, Shooting_Buddy_iCloud.sqlite for the iCloud data and Shooting_Buddy.sqlite for the off line data.

You should always backup your data. Follow the directions found in the post "Backing Up Your Data".


In the settings app you will see an entry for GL+P. (Note that I edited the image to only show the Gun Log apps. It does look a little strange with the blank entries.)

To enabled the passcode just tap the app entry and turn on the passcode. Remember your password. There is no way around the password. When you launch GL+P it will prompt you for the new passcode. Remember, DON'T FORGET YOUR PASSWORD or you are.... in a mess.

The "method" behind the App

 Let me explain how to "think about" the app.


Firearms have:
  • Details such as make, model, caliber, a photo, serial number, purchase info, sale info, and more.
  • Configurations which specify sight height, barrel length, twist rate, a photo, a list of accessories, and more.
  • Maintenance records which specify details of the type of maintenance performed and when.
  • Drop tables where external ballistics are calculated for a weapon, a configuration, and an ammunition.
Firearms are used in firing sets and several reports.


Ammo has make, name, caliber, type, purpose, round count, ballistic coefficient, muzzle velocity, and much more.

Ammo is used in firing sets and several reports.

There has been some confusion around how to use the round count and keep up with how many rounds fired. In the ammo view you enter how many rounds you obtained (purchased, hand loaded, etc.) As you use ammo in a firing set the firing set records the rounds fired. The number doesn't decrease in the ammo view. The usage is shown in the ammo reports such as "Rounds Fired by Ammunition" and "Rounds Count by Caliber".

When I purchase more bulk range ammo I just open my entry for that ammo and increase the round count because I don't really want to track each lot by creating a new entry.

When I purchase hunting ammo I enter a new ammo entry because I do want to track the use and performance of that ammo.

Firing Session

A firing session is a day at the range or a day in the field. During a firing session you may set up various targets and use different firearms. Therefore a firing session can have many firing sets recorded.

Firing Set

The firing set is the "heart" of the app. This is where you bring your firearm, a specific firearm configuration, and ammo together.

A firing set has:

  • Firearm
  • Firearm configuration
  • Ammo
  • Fields such as set type, firing grip, distance to target, rounds fired, group size, weather and lighting conditions, and much more.
  • Photo of your target or results.
  • Failure entry where you can capture any type of failure you experience. This is automatically associated with the firearm, firearm configuration, and the ammo. This allows you to track problems and analyze issues.


An accessory entry has details such as description, type, serial number, count, and other information. An accessory can be associated to many firearm configurations. You have to enter the accessory first and then go to your firearm and open the configuration that uses the accessory and add the accessory.


The reports area is where data is grouped, sorted, and organized. Suppose you want to find the entry where you had a failure to eject for a pistol. Instead of trying to remember which firing session has the firing set that has the failure just open the reports and tap "Failures by Firearm" or "Failures by Ammunition".

User Interface

There are five top level views in GL+P.

  1. Firearms
  2. Ammo
  3. Sessions
  4. Accessories
  5. Reports
The User Interface (UI) follows Apple's guidelines and uses common iOS UI elements.







User Interface Elements

The app has many features. Instead of explaining every button and view in great detail I will explain the common elements.

The image below shows the UI elements of the main Firearms view.

Tap the "+" button on the right to create new entries. The "+" button is used through out the app to create new entries.

Tap the "Edit" button on the left to remove entries.

Below the title of the view and at the top of the list of firearms is a button bar.

The icon on the right, just below the "+", is the report button. This button is used throughout the app to generate a report based on the contents of the current view.

The buttons that are grouped together control how the list is displayed. These buttons may control sorting or filter out items. For the firearms view the Make | Caliber controls grouping of items. The All | Owned | Sold filters the items to show all of your firearms or just the ones you still own or those you have sold.

Notice the Ammo view uses the same layout pattern as the Firearms view. Some views, like Ammo, have the ability to duplicate entries as a convenience. Tap the "Edit" button on any list and if a blue "+" button appears on the right of an entry you can tap that and it will create a new entry and duplicate the major field values for that entry.

Your ammo list can become very long. You can filter and only show ammo on hand, that is ammo that has not been all used in a firing set.

Notice the similar pattern of layout and use of UI elements for all of the similar views in the app.

If you navigate into a firearm's details you will see these controls (image below) at the top of the view.

On the left is the standard iOS button to navigate back from whence you came. On the right is a Cancel button. If you hit the Cancel button it does not delete the entry, it just doesn't save any changes since you entered the screen. Anytime you navigate to another window the app automatically saves data, so cancel can seem confusing at times. For instance if you entered some data in a firearm and then tapped the button to add a photo the firearm would automatically save and when you come back from the photo if you hit cancel it would seem that nothing was canceled.

The buttons from left to right:

The pistol with a silencer represents a "Firearm Configuration". This is where you can create multiple configurations. A configuration is where you attach accessories to a firearm, describe multiple caliber setups, etc.

The oil can icon represents the maintenance logs.

The reticle icon is where you can create ballistic drop tables for the firearm for quick access.

The camera icon is where you associate a photo.

The report icon (as through out the application) will generate a report for the firearm.

Pickers are views where you select "something". Below is the top of one of the Ammo Pickers. If you have already picked a weapon that has the caliber specified and you bring up the ammo picker it will filter the ammo based on the weapon's caliber. If you do not see any ammo in your list just turn off the Caliber filter. The On Hand | All filters if the ammo by availability (rounds you still have on hand).

Below is the header for a ballistics drop table.

The icon on the left is used to generate the data.

The segmented control with . | .. | ... | .... controls how much detail in the results. More dots means more detail.

The control with 300 | 1000 | 2000 limits how far to calculate. Values are in yards.

There isn't much the app doesn't already do. Most of the feature requests I receive are for functionality that already exist in the app. For instance, one user asked if I could change the app to associate accessories to firearms. It already does that. Accessories are attached to a Firearm Configuration. If you think about it, that is what a configuration is, a firearm and its accessories.

Firearm View

Adding a new firearm takes you to the firearm view or sometimes called a detail view because the details are shown and entered there.

Fields, UI elements where you enter data, are edited by tapping in the field and the appropriate key board will appear. Some fields have buttons next to them. Those buttons will bring up a picker so that you can select a value instead of typing. This pattern of button next to field to bring up a picker is used through out the app. Further below there is a screen shot of the "Make" picker.

Tapping the configuration button (the pistol with a silencer) brings up the configurations list. A default entry is created when a firearm is created. You can use it or delete it.

Tapping the entry takes you to the configuration details view. A configuration can have a photo or a list of accessories associated.

Tapping the photo button brings up a view where you can take a picture or select a picture from your camera roll.

iOS 6 requires you to give permission to an app that wants to access your photos.

After you have selected a photo it will display as shown below. Note that the trash button removes the photo from the app and not from your camera roll / photos. The app stores a reduced quality image therefore I recommend keeping your high quality photos in your camera roll.

The Make Picker

As mentioned above in the weapon detail view if you tap a button next to a field it will bring up a picker. Below is the Maker picker.

Notice the buttons at the top. The All | Default | Custom filter the values of the picker.

Selecting Custom shows there are no custom or user defined entries. Just tap the icon on the right, it is the compose button.

Tap in the field next to the blue "+" button.

Type in a custom value.

Tap the blue "+" button to commit the value to the list.

Tap the done button at the bottom right.

Now you have a custom entry. These steps work for all of the pickers that allow custom values. Tap the new entry to select it and tap done.

Now you have entered a make for the firearm. You could have just typed the value in the field, but if you have more than one of that make using a custom value in the picker will save time.


To create a new entry, just tap the "+" button. This same method is used through out the app.

Tap the make button...

... pick a value...

... and you have entered the make for your ammo.

The name field doesn't have a picker, so you can type a value if you want. There are no fields in the entire app that require you to enter data. You can enter as little or as much as you want.


Continuing with the ammo entry tap the report button at the right, just below the cancel button.

A text report is shown. You can email or print the report.

Tapping the compose button, the left button of the two, brings up the email.

Tapping the action button brings up the printer options.

Firing Sessions

Firing sessions are where you keep your firing sets. A session is like a day at the range and a set maybe three rounds at a target or whatever you deem to be a set.

Same method as everywhere else in the app, just tap the "+" button.

A session is typically at one location. Enter in the data that makes sense for your session.
Tap "Go to Firing Sets".

Firing Sets

Tap the "+" button to create a set. A firing session can have multiple sets.

In the firing set you can save a photo of the target, record failures, or bring up a drop table. The firing set is where a firearm and a particular firearm configuration is used with a particular ammo. By entering in as much data as possible reports can be generated to show how many failures a firearm has experienced, or how many failures with a particular ammo. A report can show how many rounds of ammo you have on hand or the smallest group size for a specified distance.

Here you have to use pickers to enter the firearm, configuration, and ammo.

Here is the weapon picker.

Here is the configuration picker.

Here is the ammo picker. Notice that nothing shows up. This is because we didn't enter a round count in the ammo, so just tap "All".

Once you tap all the ammo entries appear.

So this is what a firing set looks like after picking a few values.


Just tap the "+" button to enter an accessory. You have to enter an accessory here if you want to pick an accessory in the firearm configuration.

You can add a photo if you want or create a text report.


The reports view has many to choose. The drop table is very useful.

I have already entered data for "Drop Table for User Specified Values". You can add your own entries by just tapping the "+" button. Select the entry...

... and you see the details.

This entire view scrolls, so just tap and drag to scroll and the table. Tap the button on the left, the circular arrow button to perform the calculation.

The buttons from left to right:
Calculate, detail level, and maximum yardage.
The detail level changes how many values are displayed in the table. You wouldn't want 1 yard increments out to 2000 yards. Change the detail selection and hit the calculate button to see how the results change.

Here are the results...

Scroll down a bit and you will see that when the bullet crosses zero the entry is in bold.

iCloud Storage

If you go to your Settings App and drill down into the iCloud settings you will find "Manage Storage". This will show you how much data the app is using on Apple's iCloud servers.

The app depends on iCloud. If you delete the data stored on iCloud you will get your devices out of sync. Do not delete the data unless you intend to remove the data. If you do not want iCloud services then please use Gun Log SPC.

If you remove data, turn "Documents & Data" off and on you can get the iCloud data service so that it doesn't know how to continue. If that happens you will have to reset your device, which is a major pain, so stick with your choice of using iCloud OR stick with your choice of leaving it off.


Thank your for choosing Gun Log +P. It is one of the most feature rich firearm apps available. I hope you enjoy the app and find it useful. Learn how the app works at home, don't wait until you are at the range to try it out. When you are at the range you should be focused on what you and others are doing, not some app!

Above I described some of the features of the app. I mostly wanted to show how things are done. There has been a lot of effort to make sure the "how" is consistent through out the app. Make sure you look around a bit, tap the various buttons, and explore the full depths of the app's functionality.

Remember, after paying the bills, I use revenue from these apps to purchase my firearms related materials. Therefore, I owe you my thanks.

Thank you.

Addendum One

Trouble Shooting iCloud

iCloud technology has been difficult to use. Apple has improved the iCloud SDK since its original release, yet still the majority of difficulties lie with iCloud integration. I have spent two months solely working with Apple on iCloud integration. I have learned that iCloud does not play well with manual backups of the Gun Log +P (GL+P) database. Following is a set of guidelines and warnings on how iCloud works as of the writing of this blog. Please note that each step is critical. I have shared these steps with users and they have not done this precisely and have lead me to giving them bad advice because I was working under false ideas of their setup and state of the device and the app.

  • If you are not using iCloud, then you should be using Gun Log SPC. If you turn "Documents & Data" off and on you may end up with the iCloud transaction logs corrupted and it will take a full reset of your device to clear those logs.
  • You should not do restores of manual backups of Gun Log +P's database, called Shooting_Buddy_iCloud.sqlite. You should allow iCloud to store the data for you. Restoring backups of the data will corrupt the iCloud transaction logs which can not be corrected without a full reset of your device.
  • Make sure you are connected to the internet and that your App Store credentials are correct and that you are using the same App Store credentials on all of your devices.
Make sure you have iCloud configured correctly. On your device launch the Settings App, and then find and tap "iCloud".

In the iCloud settings, make sure that "Documents & Data" is On. If it is not on and you have entered data in GL+P then that data has not be sent / transacted to the iCloud storage. When you turn "Documents & Data" on you will have to re-enter the data in order for iCloud to create the transaction logs necessary to sync the data across multiple devices.

If "Documents & Data" is on, then continue by tapping "Storage & Backup".

Now tap "Manage Storage".

You should see GL+P listed. Tap the GL+P entry.

This shows that I have data stored on the iCloud severs. In my case I have 2.2 MB stored.

You can also check the storage size through the iCloud settings on your Macintosh. Just go to System Preferences and open iCloud.

Then hit "Manage..."

There you can see that in "Documents & Data" on the iCloud servers there is 2.2 MB stored for Gun Log +P.

If you have "Documents & Data" turned on for all of your device there is a simple test to see if the iCloud service is responding.
  1. Turn on all of your devices. Designate one as the "device 1" for this test. This is so I can refer to it. Designate another device as "device 2". If you only have one device at this time you can follow these steps and then check the size of your data in iCloud (see above) and see if the data size increases.
  2. On device 1 create a new firearm and select a "Make". Tap the "Firearms" tab and go back to the list. You should see your new firearm. Verify this by tapping the new entry and it should go to the details and you should see the "Make" you entered. Exit GL+P on device 1.
  3. On device 2 open GL+P. Wait for the spinner. Do you see the new entry? If not give it a minute. GL+P does not run in the background, so keep GL+P running and don't let your device go to sleep. You can do this by going to the Ammo section and back to Firearms. If after a minute the new entry from device 1 hasn't shown up on device 2 exit GL+P on device 2 and then launch GL+P on device 2 and wait for the spinner. If after doing the above a few times does not result in the new entry on device 1 showing up on device 2 then check that you are actually connected to the internet, that both devices are using the same iTunes App Store account / crendentials, and that "Documents & Data" is on on all of the devices.  If all of the settings are correct then Apple's iCloud servers may be experiencing delays. Wait a while and then launch GL+P on device 1 and verify that new entry is there and then launch GL+P on device two and see if it downloads.
If you are still having trouble then connect the device to your computer and open iTunes and select your device and go to the Apps details for your device. Select Gun Log +P in the Apps listing and see what type of files are stored.

GL+P works in two modes according to the setting of "Documents & Data" (D&D).

If D&D is on GL+P uses the iCloud services which create a file with iCloud data and GL+P data. This file is called "Shooting_Buddy_iCloud.sqlite".

If D&D is off GL+P creates a file called "Shooting_Buddy.sqlite". This file is the same file as found on Gun Log and Gun Log SPC.

When D&D is on changes go to the iCloud file. When D&D is off changes go to the other file.

Turning D&D on after entering data when D&D was off does not transfer the data back to the iCloud file. There is no way for me to do it, or I would. Apple does not provide the ability to sync files. iCloud does not actually sync files, iCloud records changes to the database file and logs them as a transaction and plays that log file back, like a recording or a macro.

If you see the file "Shooting_Buddy_Rescued.sqlite" that indicates that you have been turning D&D off and on. The rescue file exists for those that want to copy it to Gun Log or Gun Log SPC and then rename name it inside of Gun Log or Gun Log SPC to "Shooting_Buddy.sqlite". You can also use the rescue file and open it with an SQLite database reader and export the data to a CSV file or such.

Do not take off line files and rename them to "Shooting_Buddy_iCloud.sqlite". The transaction logs will be corrupted and the iCloud demon on your device will fail to operate correctly and you will get "Save Errors". If you get those then your device will have to be fully reset via iTunes. Every time I have done a full reset iTunes has lost some portion of the data for many of my installed apps.

If you have data that you entered while D&D was off, and you would now like that data to be used with iCloud you will have to turn D&D on and re-enter the data.

I personally use Gun Log SPC. I have stated that often and should be no surprise. Gun Log SPC and Gun Log allow for the manual transfer of data between devices via iTunes and just copy "Shooting_Buddy_iCloud.sqlite" between the devices.

Gun Log +P is should be used with "Documents & Data" on.

Error Logs

If you sync your iOS device with iTunes on a Macintosh computer the crash reporter log files are copied to your computer.

To find the log files in the Finder click the "Go" menu and hold down the option key and select "Library".

Go to Library/Logs/CrashReporter/MobileDevice/

Go into the folder for your device and look for logs associated with Gun Log +P.

Email the crash logs and I can see if there is information that will help resolve any issues.