If you were to believe video games and movies, you’d think that sniping at great distances is all about steady nerves, steady hands, and lining up the crosshairs. BOOM! Headshot!
The reality is that efficient sniping requires detailed environmental measurements applied to challenging mathematical equations. The nerves and steady hands are a worthless without the math. That’s where the “smart rifle comes in”
“We’ve democratized accuracy and we’ve entirely disrupted the shooting experience,” said TrackingPoint CEO Jason Schauble.
“Democratized” is a politically correct way of saying that the gun basically does all of the equations and many of the measurements necessary to be precise at distances over 1,000 yards. With 10-minutes of training and a little bit of gun knowledge, someone could hit a target in the chest from the distance of 10 football fields away. For hunting, the concept is that it makes for an “ethical kill shot”.
Peter Asaro of the International Committee for Robotic Arms Control thinks that the technology makes killing too easy by breaking down the barriers. “If you’re going to spend years training to kill somebody, than that’s a pretty big barrier – to be able to go out and buy a gun this afternoon that can shoot somebody at three quarters of a mile away…”
The implications are obvious.
The way the gun works is a technological work of art. The shooter “tags” the target with a laser which collects and sends data back to the scope 54 times per second. The shooter then squeezes the trigger and holds it while trying to line up the digital crosshairs with the tag. It won’t fire until the moment that the shooter lines it up.
Is this ethical and useful or just too dangerous to make available to the public? Here’s a video from Motherboard and another demonstration video from the manufacturer: