A New ‘Smart Rifle’ Decides When To Shoot And Rarely Misses

A TrackingPoint rifle features a high-tech scope that includes a laser rangefinder and a Wi-Fi server.NPR – by Mark Dewey

A new rifle goes on sale on Wednesday, and it’s not like any other. It uses lasers and computers to make shooters very accurate. A startup gun company in Texas developed the rifle, which is so effective that some in the shooting community say it should not be sold to the public.

It’s called the TrackingPoint rifle. On a firing range just outside Austin in the city of Liberty Hill, a novice shooter holds one and takes aim at a target 500 yards away. Normally it takes years of practice to hit something at that distance. But this shooter nails it on the first try.  

The rifle’s scope features a sophisticated color graphics display. The shooter locks a laser on the target by pushing a small button by the trigger. It’s like a video game. But here’s where it’s different: You pull the trigger but the gun decides when to shoot. It fires only when the weapon has been pointed in exactly the right place, taking into account dozens of variables, including wind, shake and distance to the target.

The rifle has a built-in laser range finder, a ballistics computer and a Wi-Fi transmitter to stream live video and audio to a nearby iPad. Every shot is recorded so it can be replayed, or posted to YouTube or Facebook.

“Think of it like a smart rifle. You have a smart car; you got a smartphone; well, now we have a smart rifle,” says company President Jason Schauble. He says the TrackingPoint system was built for hunters and target shooters, especially a younger generation that embraces social media.

“They like to post videos; they like to be in constant communication with groups or networks,” Schauble says. “This kind of technology, in addition to making shooting more fun for them, also allows shooting to be something that they can share with others.”

A team of 70 people spent three years creating the technology. Schauble says there’s nothing else like it, even in the military. For civilians, TrackingPoint sells its high-end, long-range guns directly. With price tags of up to $22,000, they’re not cheap.

The TrackingPoint rifle’s display as seen through the scope.

Courtesy of TrackingPoint

One hunter who doesn’t want one is Chris Wilbratte. He says the TrackingPoint system undermines what he calls hunting’s “fair chase.”

“It’s the traditional shooting fish in a barrel or the sitting duck. I mean, there’s no skill in it, right? It’s just you point, you let the weapon system do its thing and you pull the trigger and now you’ve killed a deer. There’s no skill,” Wilbratte says.

This new rifle is being released as the gun control debate continues to simmer in Washington.

Chris Frandsen, a West Point graduate who fought in Vietnam, doesn’t believe the TrackingPoint technology should be allowed in the civilian world. The gun makes it too easy for a criminal or a terrorist to shoot people from a distance without being detected, he says.

“Where we have mental health issues, where we have children that are disassociated from society early on, when we have terrorists who have political cards to play, we have to restrict weapons that make them more efficient in terrorizing the population,” Frandsen says.

Schauble says because the company sells directly — instead of going through gun dealers — it knows who its customers are and will vet them. And he says there’s a key feature that prevents anyone other than the registered owner from utilizing the gun’s capabilities.

“It has a password protection on the scope. When a user stores it, he can password protect the scope that takes the advanced functionality out. So the gun will still operate as a firearm itself, but you cannot do the tag/track/exact, the long range, the technology-driven precision-guided firearm piece without entering that pass code,” he says.

Schauble says demand has been “overwhelming.” TrackingPoint now has a waiting list. Others are interested, too: Rifle maker Remington Arms wants to use the technology in rifles it wants to sell for around $5,000.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/05/15/184223110/new-rifle-on-sale

8 thoughts on “A New ‘Smart Rifle’ Decides When To Shoot And Rarely Misses

  1. I doubt if there will ever be any available to the public. The government will grab all of them. And they are probably a bitch to maintain. A rich man’s toy.

  2. Developed for the police dept.s and the military I bet. They are the only ones that would be able to afford it and those that are rich enough would be above the law anyway – seems to me

    1. Developed to be the “new rich boy’s toy” digger. $22,000 if put on the current list, down to around $5,000 if Remington is able to make the deal for the technology. Yes, if would come in “handy” in the soon to be “struggle to save humanity” but, for the most part, especially in the urban warfare that most will experience, I’d feel more secure with any of the standard “street sweepers” that are still available in most states.

  3. “….some in the shooting community say it should not be sold to the public.”

    WHO in the shooting community said it shouldn’t be sold to the public?

    Anyone who said that is part of the Zionist community, NOT the shooting community.

  4. Some years back a Texas game ranch was taken to task for offering remote shooting of game with computer-controlled rifles operable over the internet. In other words, a rich hedge fund trader on Wall Street could kill an exotic animal half a continent away during his lunch hour. How sporting of him.

    The wi-fi connectability of this device should be ringing alarm bells: units can be permanently set up to scan over large areas of terrain and monitor all activity within the area, viewable from a control room in a remote location. This is drone warfare brought down to earth, done on the cheap compared to UAV’s and hellfire missiles. From there, it’s only one further step to let a computer autonomously decide when to take the shot, removing all human input.

    The psychopathic ruling elites who want the entire earth for themselves must be chortling with glee. They are steadily reducing the number of complicit humans it will take to maintain total control for them.

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