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The Military Technology

Robo-Gunsight System Makes Sniper's Life Easier 265

Posted by timothy
from the other-people's-not-so-much dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Military and police marksmen could see their rifle sights catch up with the 21st century with a fiber-optic laser-based sensor system that automatically corrects for even tiny barrel disruptions. Factors such as heat generated by previously fired shots, to a simple bump against the ground can affect the trueness a rifle barrel. The new system precisely measures the deflection of the barrel relative to the sight and then electronically makes the necessary corrections. With modern high-caliber rifles boasting ranges of up to two miles, even very small barrel disruptions can cause a shooter to miss by a wide margin."
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Robo-Gunsight System Makes Sniper's Life Easier

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  • I wonder how long it will be until small bullets could be made to be guided by laser.

    • by lennier1 (264730)

      Doesn't that mainly depend on those shark researchers?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      http://www.darkgovernment.com/news/self-guided-sniper-bullets-wanted-by-us-dod/ [darkgovernment.com]

      This is an example of self guided bullets. The technology might not be around yet but the promise is there. Apparently there is a US Patent on the tech: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5788178.html [freepatentsonline.com]. Interesting.

    • That would imply guidance wings, which makes me think of a gyrojet-style weapon. But with enough miniaturization, maybe you could make a bullet that assymetrically shed parts of an outer layer by command from a directional antenna on the barrel or something?
      • External guidance would invite jamming, but the idea of fins is within the realm of the realistic since Sabot rounds on tanks already work in a similar way:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armour-piercing_discarding_sabot [wikipedia.org]

        Smaller scale and if you can miniaturise laser guidance to the same level then you'd have self-guiding bullets.
      • Re:Laser guidance? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by WegianWarrior (649800) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @06:12AM (#35983414) Journal

        That would imply guidance wings, which makes me think of a gyrojet-style weapon. But with enough miniaturization, maybe you could make a bullet that assymetrically shed parts of an outer layer by command from a directional antenna on the barrel or something?

        A simpler option would be a bullet with a universal joint in the middle - by deflecting the rear end up-down and left-right enough force would be generated to alter the trajectory. At the speed and roll rate a rifle bullet travels wings would mostly just create drag...

        Even so, I don't really see guided bullets become a reality for calibres less than 12.7mm - not only is smaller calibres less lethal on the rages where guided bullets makes sense, but you'll also run into the problem of the cost/benefit ratio.

      • by bentcd (690786)

        That would imply guidance wings, which makes me think of a gyrojet-style weapon.

        One design for such a bullet I saw once had a pivoting tip that would be used to alter the airflow around the bullet, allowing it some amount of in-flight guidance. This might preclude spin stabilization though, not sure.

        • by Kreigaffe (765218)

          Nope! Actually the spin is necessary to stabilize it; without the spin, you need fins or wings to prevent tumbling. With the spin and with the mid-shank joint, all it means is that things get complicated.. if you want the bullet to deflect downward, you bend the nose downward -- but "downward" is spinning at a pretty high rate of speed, so the thing's gotta keep track of which direction is up and down and basically rotate at an equal rate in the opposite direction to keep the nose deflection in a uniform

        • by jbeaupre (752124)

          I remember the same thing. Something out of Georgia Tech. The tip was piezo controlled, making it very fast. IIRC, it was a 50 cal round intended as an antitank sniper round (a little bullet hitting in just the right spot might disable a tank turret or worse).

          Spine stabilization would be possible. Piezos can react far faster than the bullet would be spinning. But the whole point is that spin isn't needed.

    • Re:Laser guidance? (Score:5, Informative)

      by MoralHazard (447833) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @07:05AM (#35983550)

      small bullets could be made to be guided by laser

      This is ambiguous, it could mean either of two completely different weapons systems:

      First, we can consider an auto-aiming system with conventional "dumb", non-steered bullets. TFA discusses a tentative step in this direction, but it's easy to imagine a fully automated kind of system with a point-n-click interface. The rifle would be mounted on a computer-controlled, precision servo motor mount, with a a telescoped camera sighted along the barrel instead of a normal eyepiece. On a video monitor, the computer presents a crosshairs superimposed over a live camera image. The computer can incorporate various sources of ballistic data to correct the sight picture: sensors measuring (e.g.) barrel droop due to heat; a laser or microwave rangefinder for calculating elevation adjustments (b/c bullets drops as they travel); a wind gauge for calculating windage adjustments. If the computer performs real-time image analysis, it could also "mask" targets out from the background and analyze their motion, which would allow the operator's mouse aim to be pretty vague--kind of like a FPS game with an auto-aim cheat enabled.
      With quality mechanics, sensors, and code, this kind of weapon could allow a novice to out-shoot a good trained military shooter, as long as the target is stationary. Based on existing, real-life systems that I've seen and worked with, I think this kind of weapon could be built, today, for less than $5,000 using slightly modified off-the-shelf equipment and software. Would it beat a trained, experienced military shooter? Maybe not, but I don't see any reason why the implementation couldn't be refined to that point--there's no theoretical reason why the pure man-plus-gun system has to be better.

      The second possibility, here, is to introduce "smart" steerable bullets into the mix. Like a guided air-to-air missile, each bullet would be able to adjust its course in midair in order to track a target that is moving, or simply to correct for the normal vagaries ballistics. This kind of system's one clear superiority over dumb bullets is that it can account for variables that crop up *after* the bullet leaves the barrel. For instance, a particularly small, fast, and continuously, erratically moving target (say, a hummingbird at 1 km) can easily foil the best shooter, human or computer. The hummingbird can trivially move out of a bullet's path during the flight interval, and the position changes are too chaotic for meaningful predictions (unlike, say, a man walking along a stretch of road). If each bullet carries its own target-tracking sensor (like an air-to-air missile) or obeys remote commands from the gun's targeting system (like a TOW missile), then the possibility of hitting that hummingbird grows larger.
      The mechanical implementation of steerable bullets is a bitch, though. The fundamental problem of non-powered, controlled flight is that course corrections increase drag and diminish your velocity. The more drastic of course changes you want, the more you hurt your aerodynamics, which proportionally hurts your kinetic energy, range, and damage potential. There may be a practical sweet spot, trading just a little power for just enough steering. Or, you might be forced to trade your unpowered bullets for powered rocket-like projectiles. Either way, you're talking about a hell of a lot of tough engineering R&D, like designing rocket engines or jet bodies, where you need an immense amount of experimental data and trial-and-error. To me, this sounds like big defense-contractor stuff--who else can afford time on a supersonic wind tunnel?
      And then there's the problem of cramming a steering mechanism and whatever targeting control equipment you need into the space of a bullet. Electronics and mechanical designs may be hard or easy, but a sure way to make them maddeningly frustrating is to mandate an especially tiny physical package. Oh, and your mass di

    • A better idea: put guidance fins on the bullet controlled by the rifle- you could correct the trajectory of the bullet in flight to account for wind/target moving/imperfections in the rifle. If they can make tiny motors (mems) they can certainly do this.
      • by jvonk (315830) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @02:44PM (#35985796)
        I am surprised that no one else commented about the extreme rotational forces involved in rifle bullets.

        Take, for example, the M855 ball round [inetres.com] used in most US M4's. It has a muzzle velocity of 3025 feet per second. A standard M4 barrel [brownells.com] has a 1 in 7 inch twist, meaning the bullet completes a full rotation every 7 inches. Simple stoichiometry follows: 3025 feet/sec * 60 sec/min * 12 inches/1 foot * 1 rotation/7 inches = 311,142 rpm.

        Remember those old videos of CD's exploding when they are rotated too fast, even when they are wrapped with wires to increase their tensile strength? Same applies here. As a matter of fact, this is used as a design feature: ball ammunition is designed to "tumble" end over end when it hits flesh which pushes the centrifugal forces on the bullet over the tensile strength of the bullet's jacket. This causes the bullet to fragment into tiny particles in the flesh, which results in the full force of the kinetic energy being deposited into the target.

        Anyway, while the MEMS approach might be feasible from a size perspective, imagine the forces operating on one of these fins and the energy required to move any given fin even a tiny amount when it is feeling the pressures involved while moving through a fluid at 311 krpm. Now imagine what kind of materials would be necessary to implement this without the fin deforming or the armature of the fin simply shearing off.

        These are cool ideas, but I think the physics & materials science aren't there.
  • If it can't correct for windage, etc. then what's the point? You still need a spotter.

    And two miles away you're still probably going to miss.

    • Unless your target is the side of a building. I'm betting that in 10000 shots from a big cannon type rifle (.50 cal or bigger?) the likelihood of a prone shooter hitting the head of a human like that of a fearless leader or not is going to be about none. I'm not worried about this being important for distance shooting like 2 miles. But .6 miles, it matters.
      • by rubycodez (864176)
        outstanding (and therefore rare) long range snipers can do less than two foot groups at 2000 yards with 50 BMG or Chey Tac, that's sufficient to take out man-sized target (no, not head shots, pointless...getting hit anywhere in torso will ruin your mark's day)
  • by tpotus (1856224) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @06:15AM (#35983424)
  • Walk away (Score:2, Interesting)

    Being some kind of military person with more experience than the entire user database of dash slot. Learn one lesson..... always walk away from conflict and violence.

    If you see muzzle flashes, then the rules of engagement has been broken. Commando's then unleash such fire power we do not care if your wife, children or pet gets hurt as collateral damage.

    YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT BEFORE YOU STARTED THE FIGHT!

    Lesson of life!

    • Re:Walk away (Score:4, Insightful)

      by dotancohen (1015143) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @10:04AM (#35984210) Homepage

      Being some kind of military person with more experience than the entire user database of dash slot. Learn one lesson..... always walk away from conflict and violence.

      If you see muzzle flashes, then the rules of engagement has been broken. Commando's then unleash such fire power we do not care if your wife, children or pet gets hurt as collateral damage.

      YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT BEFORE YOU STARTED THE FIGHT!

      Lesson of life!

      My god. In my army (Israel) we generally assume that muzzle flashes have kids playing around them, and we don't fire until we have the actual terrorists either on the iron sites or better yet, a sharpshooter with a magnifying optical scope to neutralise him. Those who fire in the name Allah (which happens to be the same God that I pray to) do it to hurry themselves and their family to Heaven. Don't do them any favours by killing their families. That is what they want (quick way to Heaven). Why else do you think they take their kids with them?

      What army do you serve in? US? That is disgusting what you tell about disregard for human life.

      • While I have understood that the Israeli Sayeret forces and/or Mossad are indeed very skilled, this list of targeted killings [wikipedia.org] is not without civilian victims, and the methods used (hellfire missiles, the same as predator drones, and bombs) makes me think there would be more. It could be that this is merely "edge cases" under extreme circumstances, but civilian casualties are still civilian casualties.
        • While I have understood that the Israeli Sayeret forces and/or Mossad are indeed very skilled, this list of targeted killings [wikipedia.org] is not without civilian victims, and the methods used (hellfire missiles, the same as predator drones, and bombs) makes me think there would be more. It could be that this is merely "edge cases" under extreme circumstances, but civilian casualties are still civilian casualties.

          Thanks, that was an interesting read. I'm infantry, I cannot speak for the air force, but your assesment closely matches my own. Israeli soldiers are here to protect civilians, be them Israeli or Palestinian civilians, equally. And we do a good job of it, despite what you read in the international press.

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday April 30, 2011 @06:53AM (#35983518) Homepage

    Am I alone in feeling disturbed at the trend to separate the combatants by ever increasing distances? It is separating the human cause and effect so that the soldiers are increasingly disconnected from their actions. What motivation is there to peacefully settle the argument when you can just continue to blast the opposition? We see the same thing happening with Predator Drones that are controlled by soldiers on the other side of the planet. This can only result more people being needlessly hurt. Everyone, sooner or later, acquires the technology and another round starts.

    I suppose that the rot really started when kings stopped leading their troops into battle; they appointed generals to do it; the generals later sat a few miles behind the lines and sent the private soldiers to meet the enemy; now these privates are increasingly separated from their opponents.

    How can we ensure that those who have the power to stop wars become motivated to negotiated by personally feeling the consequences of their own intransigence?

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @07:35AM (#35983642)

      Yes this 1 million year long trend is quite disturbing. Except for hand to hand combat let's get a stone so if you get a blow to the head you win. Let's use a big heavy stick so you hit further away then you oponenent so he can't hit you with the rock.

      Much of our civilization is from the fact if we break the rules there is retribution that we cannot fight back. Yes it is opression to an extent. But if you thought you had a fair fight more people will be willing to take their chance.

      • by TheCarp (96830)

        I disagree, I think much of our society is based on the fact that most people are pretty decent and, don't really steal, murder, rape, and coerce eachother that much in most normal situations. Even some of the more common criminals are what, shoplifting by punk kids? Most people who commit a crime or two when they are young well... as we age we don't do as much of anything as we used to, and even those kids who may commit a minor crime, don't just willy nilly steal from friends, they usually have some lame

    • by Chemisor (97276)

      The front line is not a place for negotiation. You see the bad guys, you shoot them or they shoot you. If your conscience acts up, you die. If you want to stop a war, you'll have start top down; grunts on the ground are merely following orders. If they stop following orders, they get prosecuted and shot.

    • Honestly, I'd be more disturbed by the consequences of separation if it weren't for the (long, ugly) historical record of what people are, in sufficiently large numbers to make it practical, more than willing, even enthusiastic, to do face-to-face.
    • by handy_vandal (606174) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @10:36AM (#35984312) Homepage Journal

      Am I alone in feeling disturbed at the trend to separate the combatants by ever increasing distances?

      You're not alone: I understand and share your feelings, and I'm sure many other people feel much the same.

      But let me put a twist on this. The military also knows it's a problem.

      For most of the history of warfare (I'm riffing here on War [amazon.com] by Gwynne Dyer), soldiers were usually in close company with their fellow soldiers -- a line of a dozen (or a hundred, or a thousand) men, carrying spears or muskets, facing a line of men similarly armed. This was true right up through the First World War: men packed into trenches.

      The Second World War changed the pattern: increasing lethality of weapons, combined with motorized troop mobility, dictated dispersion of soldiers -- large numbers of them -- into individual, isolated foxholes.

      After the war, the US Army did a study: how effective were the foxhole-isolated soldiers? How did those men actually behave? What percentage fired their rifles?

      It turned out that a large number of soldiers never fired their weapons. They stayed down in their holes, stricken by fear. And ashamed: each soldier thought that he was the only one, that his buddies from Boot Camp must be doing their duty, but me, I'm cowering in my own shit in a hole because I'm so fucking scared of death.

      Courage in the face of death. Not an easy thing to muster. But most men can do it, if they're in the company of their fellow soldiers.

      So, naturally, the Army -- the most pragmatic institution Humankind has ever devised -- asked: what do we do about courage in this new age of dispersed warfare?

      And the answer was: train men to greater levels of violence. So that, even when isolated from his fellows, the individual soldier will still be capable of killing and dying as ordered.

      • by Animats (122034) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @01:54PM (#35985450) Homepage

        It turned out that a large number of soldiers never fired their weapons.

        That "research", by S.L.A. Marshall [wikipedia.org], has been discredited. Read Col. Dave Hackworth's "About Face". Hackworth was a very good infantry commander and worked with S.L.A. Marshall in Vietnam, where Marshall was a journalist. Marshall made up a lot of what he wrote. His work reads like he was there when, most of the time, he wasn't.

        The big breakthrough in training was in the late 1970s, when the U.S. Army developed the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES). This is the militarized version of laser tag. For the first time, soldiers fired their weapons during force-on-force exercises and the hits and misses were tallied. Previously, everybody made lots of noise with blanks and umpires randomly decided who died, like dungeon masters. With MILES, troops had to aim to hit in a combat training situation, because their performance was being measured. They got a lot better at it, and US infantry became much more effective as a result.

        The problem was not soldiers failing to fire their weapons. It was firing but not hitting the enemy.

    • Snipers do not kill significant numbers of troops. They, in fact, are used to kill those kings and generals sitting several miles from the front line. If anything, they are the most likely to make military leaders negotiate.
    • by PPH (736903)

      This can only result more people being needlessly hurt.

      But some people need to be hurt.

      Glib comment aside, its the job of our military to do the hurting in the most efficient manner possible. That is; take out as many of them while losing as few of your own and/or innocent bystanders.

      In this sense, snipers are probably the most humane 'weapon' we have to deploy. They select a target and observe it carefully for a time. So errors in target selection are minimized. And the nature of the weapon is such that minimal damage is done to other personnel in the vicini

    • Am I alone in feeling disturbed at the trend to separate the combatants by ever increasing distances?

      Giving soldiers effective tools makes war less likely, not more likely.

      The idea is that if you're armed forces can mow the opposition down like wheat before a threshing machine, the opposition won't even try it.

      Look: war is going to happen. Would you be more afraid of a mob of guys with sticks, or an army than can take you out before you know they're there?

    • by willy_me (212994)

      Am I alone in feeling disturbed at the trend to separate the combatants by ever increasing distances? It is separating the human cause and effect so that the soldiers are increasingly disconnected from their actions. What motivation is there to peacefully settle the argument when you can just continue to blast the opposition?

      Soldiers do not make peace, never have and never will. It is the politicians that decide when the killing should start and stop. It is the generals that decide how to most effectively implement the political goals. The soldiers are simply the ones that implement the plan. They can do it via remote control of a drone or they can bash a person's head in with a club. It doesn't matter how it is done or how connected the soldiers are with their actions as it is not the soldiers that decide to go to war.

  • by blind biker (1066130) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @06:59AM (#35983540) Journal

    If a high-caliber sniper rifle with such improved self-correcting optics (which would practically render the barel trueness a non-issue) falls in the hands of the bad guys, high-ranking political figures will be at much higher risk. The only thing that will hinder the marksman will be wind.

    Which, to be honest, is actually a rather big obstacle still. A bit too stochastic to completely eliminate uncertainty at long (over 1000m) distances.

    • Fire a stream of bullets. Each projectile has a laser diode in the rear end which is tracked by the guidance system on the gun. As the gun collects information on crosswinds, etc, it adjusts the trajectory of subsequent projectiles. Its just like firing tracers but more automated and on a smaller scale.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        Fire a stream of bullets.

        Something tells me the recoil from the first bullet would throw all the others way, way off. I don't think very high precision and firing bullets in rapid enough succession for that to work is possible.

        • Fire a stream of bullets.

          Something tells me the recoil from the first bullet would throw all the others way, way off. I don't think very high precision and firing bullets in rapid enough succession for that to work is possible.

          Presumably recoil is important because the impulse back from the projectile does not pass through the centre of mass of the gun and the centre of pressure of the gun mount.

        • Couldn't you setup multiple computer fired weapons at the same time and have a few of them aimed near the target but at something harmless (maybe a few metres above the target) by tracking the trajectory of the first few bullets you could predict wind conditions for your kill shot?

        • by PPH (736903)

          Recoil is certainly an issue for rapid fire. But if this (and a few other problems) can be solved, the approach might be worth considering. Its sort of a long range version of a Phalanx system, which fires a radar guided gatling gun and corrects its aim by watching the outgoing rounds as well as the target.

          One thing to consider might be a tripod mounted remote controlled sniper rifle. While all the cross wind and other aiming issues still remain, such a system can remove most of the variables involved with

      • Fire a stream of bullets. Each projectile has a laser diode in the rear end which is tracked by the guidance system on the gun. As the gun collects information on crosswinds, etc, it adjusts the trajectory of subsequent projectiles. Its just like firing tracers but more automated and on a smaller scale.

        I can think of at least 3 reasons why this is a dumb idea, without even the slightest effort.

        • by adolf (21054)

          Quoth "blind biker", #1066130:

          I can think of at least 3 reasons why this is a dumb idea, without even the slightest effort.

          I can think of 3 reasons why this is a dumb idea for you:

          1. You're blind.
          2. You ride a bike. (Snipers don't ride bikes. They drive Aston Martins.)
          3. You're blind.

        • Fire a stream of bullets. Each projectile has a laser diode in the rear end which is tracked by the guidance system on the gun. As the gun collects information on crosswinds, etc, it adjusts the trajectory of subsequent projectiles. Its just like firing tracers but more automated and on a smaller scale.

          I can think of at least 3 reasons why this is a dumb idea, without even the slightest effort.

          What are they?

          • 1. Non-guided projectiles (not just bullets) shining a laser light back to a detecor at the gun/firing position will soon "miss" the detector.

            Sniper rifles don't fire streams of bullets. That would make them inaccurate (thermal stresses in and around the barrel). There are some automatic rifles that can also act as snipers, but then they fire single shots.

            A stream of bullets would mean stray shots which then means collateral damage (may not be of interest) and potentially giving advance warning to the targ

      • No need. Just use a laser beam (IR or UV so it can't be seen) to measure the particles in the air.
    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      There are plenty of great easy to use sniper rifles available today. They are expensive though. Getting them close to a target is hard. Laying motionless for days is hard. I don't see how this would be a game change for others. For the US, this greatly increase the capability of our sniper teams though.
    • by Kreigaffe (765218)

      Our enemies are not very skillful marksmen. A gun's only as accurate as the man shooting it. The sorts of people who are able to make shots count over long distances tend not to be the sorts of people who fall in with terrorism. They actually tend to be rather strange people compared to 'normal'; it takes a very steady hand, and a very calm mind, and a very *fast* mind.

      I can't speak for sniping specifically, but I assume that shot it similar to the string of shots a competitive marksman takes -- which if

    • by Duradin (1261418)

      People willing to use suicide bombers would be willing to use suicide gunners that get close enough that spray and pray has a chance of working before getting mowed down by security or blowing themselves up.

      The bad guys already have access to high power highly accurate sniper rifles (even a lowly modern deer rifle can reach out quite a ways with some accuracy), if you're willing to lose the gunman OSOK isn't important anymore.

    • Won't be enough to get through extensive security buffers and numerous counter-snipers unless it shoots around corners.
  • The new system precisely measures the deflection of the barrel relative to the sight and then electronically makes the necessary corrections.

    It would seem like there would be many other variables besides barrel deflection. Wind, humidity, minor differences in the powder load, slight imperfections in how the powder burns, microscopic differences in the bullets themselves.

    I'm wondering how barrel imperfections compare to other factors?

    • by swb (14022)

      I'm surprised they don't have a scope that can be programmed with ballistic info for your round. Either using canned data for a given projectile/load or with custom measurements taken using custom loads to account for velocity, bullet drop, wind speed and direction and humidity.

      As I envision it, the scope would laser sight the distance to the target and adjust the reticule automatically to account for the distance, deviation from the horizontal plane, humidity, all using the data programmed into the scope

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        As I envision it, the scope would laser sight the distance to the target and adjust the reticule automatically to account for the distance, deviation from the horizontal plane, humidity, all using the data programmed into the scope.

        Consumer-level scopes in the $800 range already can do the laser rangefinding and drop adjustment. IIRC only the Casio is "ruggedized" (read: water resistant) in this price range.

  • by Clueless Moron (548336) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @08:24AM (#35983784)

    The famed Finnish sniper Simo Häyhä [wikipedia.org] (505 kills, over 700 counting his machine gun badassery) preferred plain old iron sights.

    What's interesting there is that he preferred it because of the concealment factor. His typical kills were done at 400+ m which is pretty close by modern standards, but he got that close by not lugging around a huge bling-bling scope and having to poke his head up to use it.

    • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @09:40AM (#35984092)

      Well, that's also because at the time, scopes weren't really that great.

      Especially in Finland, which I have never been to but I imagine as a very cold, very damp country. WWII-era scopes would be prone to fogging in those conditions, and hell, most of them were low-power optics anyway, with not-very-large objective lenses.

      That means light gathering was less than ideal, parallax was not all that great, magnification was minimal, and it would've been likely that after being covered with snow the scope would be fogged and unusable anyway. I don't blame him for not using a scope!

  • This is neat technology and all, but I have to wonder why they're worried about correcting for the barrel heating up. I thought it was pretty rare that a sniper would be taking more than one shot, and really don't think one would ever be were taking enough shots to heat the barrel to the point of distortion. I'm no metallurgist, and the longest shot I've taken is 350 yards with a smaller caliber (5.56mm, but it had 30 rounds through it right before I shot it and I hit my first and only shot), so maybe I'm

    • by swb (14022)

      I put a half a case of .223 through my AR-15 on a hot day in July over the span of about two hours. I'm not sure I noticed much in changed accuracy, although I was only shooting clay targets set on edge at a 100 yards. I was still easily hitting the center of the targets.

      I personally don't think that the barrel heating issue matters much for slow fire; perhaps at extreme distances (700+ yards), but I would also assume that bull barrels would compensate easily.

  • by davidbrit2 (775091) on Saturday April 30, 2011 @09:48AM (#35984134) Homepage
    What's next, wallhack?
  • As anyone who hunts knows, the hardest part about putting a bullet on target is getting there and if you're a sniper getting out after the trigger is pulled.

  • Downrange wind will screw this whole thing up. Having shot at 1000 yards I can tell you that the best-laid plans are all out the window when there are variable winds along the flight path. In addition, the cold-bore shot is often quite different than a warm-bore shot. The first one is usually the only one that counts. After that, they know something's up and will act accordingly.

  • According to TFA, the sensor system involves fiber/lasers to measure the deflection or curve in the barrel and make corrections. But there's also the issue of distortion between the scope mount and the rifle barrel due to rough handling. Normally, this isn't a problem on a target range where a few test shots can be made to check accuracy and the rifle is handled carefully. But how much of a factor is this out in the field (for snipers) where a properly sighted scope has to be carried for miles through a pre

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm tired of the hype in the media created by non-shooters. For example, just because a rifle has a "range of two miles" doesn't mean you can hit anything. A friend of mine (now deceased) Skip Talbot who many long distance world records to his name (eg 5 shot group @ 1000 yards = 2.6 inches) found it challenging hitting a 12 foot tall rock that was 5 feet wide at two miles. In fact at two miles, a .50BMG's bullet is dropping at approximately a 45 degree angle. Even Skip's world record shots involved his sho

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