Preparing for any precision shooting-based match is an exercise of patience. There is so much that has to be prepped, teased, counted, accounted for, packed, repacked, checked and double-checked. The ability to focus, with the proper tools on hand, is where we all want to be under such circumstances. And any one thing you can check off that list of worries is a biggie. Enter the Garmin Tactix Delta Solar with Ballistics edition.
The Garmin Tactix Delta
Garmin’s Tactix line of watches has enjoyed much success. But as a shooter I’ve often longed for the proper balance of usable features in a watch. Apple’s watch is obviously popular due to the app power it packs, and the same can be said for Garmin. Keeping track of our workouts, steps and other activities goes a long way to keeping us on our good habits. Other watches like the G-Shock line, MTM and Luminox get kudos for a tactical slant and toughness. But features leaning toward shooting are still hard to find. No longer.
A wrist-worn ballistics calculator isn’t new. 5.11 did it a while ago, and while I had no personal experience with it, it was crude at best. Garmin launched the 701 a couple of years ago, and while it is pretty good, it’s size made it less practical for daily wear and it ate batteries for lunch. It was also a bit hard to navigate, but did have many features inside including a GPS, and the ability to receive messages and other notifications from a paired smartphone. The Tactix Delta goes further.
The Tactix Delta is a rugged and heavy watch. I like that feel. It feels rugged and durable, where an Apple watch feels like every unintentional contact with a wall edge, doorknob or other stationary object will crack it. According to the specs, it features MIL-Spec construction, so that’s a plus.
It features a solar charging lens to help prolong battery life in the field, and has NV compatibility as well. A whole host of other features from music apps to workout apps and everything in between is available, but none of those is what makes it special.
Applied Ballistics is without a doubt the most recognized names in ballistics calculation. While there are many other types available, Applied Ballistics is ahead of the curve in offering solutions outside of your typical smart device app. The Garmin 701 was the first notable device to use it, but it’s better in the Tactix Delta, thanks to upgraded sensors in the watch itself.
How accurate is the AB software within the Tactix Delta? Well, I decided to only use it in my ELR for all my solutions. That’s right. In fact, I was new to using it and while I was comfortable with it, my spotter, Chase Stroud, used the watch to get me all my dope and relay my come ups during my strings of fire.
I made comparisons with the data from the watch to other devices such as the Kestrel, various smart device apps and even my AB custom curve, but in the end felt most comfortable with the data from the Garmin. Several strong runs solidified the Garmin’s capabilities, and the only issues would be some rifle issues as well as tricky winds at longer distances. The Garmin can’t help you there other than giving you corrections based on your own wind estimates…just like any other device.
The inputs you’re responsible for when using the Tactix is what you could expect from any other software. And you can enter these items in detail as well as some automatic settings. Data inputs include detailed rifle data, including names and gun properties such as muzzle velocity, barrel twist, sight height zero range and offset, as well as muzzle velocity calibration.
You can also set bullet properties, which includes an extensive bullet database with updated BC information and drag curves. You can also easily set up target cards, display range cards, and update environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity. The Garmin has a pressure sensor on board that is very accurate.
A Powerful Tool for Serious Shooters
The Garmin Tactix Delta Solar is a powerful tool. For serious shooters and tacticians who want ballistics solutions at their fingertips, I believe it might be the best overall stand-alone option available, mainly because it’s always on you, has great battery life and does so many other things as well. At an MSRP of $1,400, I think it’s better than using a smart device.
For more, visit Buy.Garmin.com.
This article was originally published in the Ballistic Magazine August/September 2021 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions at OutdoorGroupStore.com. Or call 1-800-284-5668, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.