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A Computer-based Smart Rifle With Incredible Accuracy, Now On Sale 551

Posted by samzenpus
from the buy-now-shoot-later dept.
WheezyJoe writes "A story on NPR reports that the TrackingPoint rifle went on sale today, and can enable a 'novice' to hit a target 500 yards away on the first try. The rifle's scope features a sophisticated color graphics display (video). The shooter locks a laser on the target by pushing a small button by the trigger... 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."
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A Computer-based Smart Rifle With Incredible Accuracy, Now On Sale

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  • pfftt... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ToxicBanjo (905105) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:06PM (#43737367)
    Aimbotter
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No skill.

      No Sport.

      Might as well go to the game farm and shoot the deer in the small holding pen with a shotgun.

      Just like fishing with dynamite.

      Sounds like something invented by the same folks who did the Zune.

      • Re:pfftt... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by tibit (1762298) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:46PM (#43737641)

        I understand that some people fish for the heck of it, but when I'm bothered enough to do it, it's because I want some fresh fish to eat. I'd use dynamite a heartbeat if it were legal and I had a big group to feed.

        • Re:pfftt... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @03:30AM (#43738807)

          I understand that some people fish for the heck of it, but when I'm bothered enough to do it, it's because I want some fresh fish to eat. I'd use dynamite a heartbeat if it were legal and I had a big group to feed.

          Dynamite is indiscriminate, it kills a whole lot of other animals that you don't eat, explosives can harm species like whales that are important apex predators and who rely upon hearing for hunting, if the explosive sinks low enough it can ruin the features on the lake/ocean bottom that are important fish habitat which has already happened through the over-use of ocean bottom trolling nets in many places and it has ruined fisheries to the point where people have begun to sink artificial reefs to try and restore stocks, basically the list over why this is a bad idea goes on ... and on ... and on. Fishing with dynamite is about as intelligent as slaughtering your cows with an RPG.

      • by c0lo (1497653)

        Sounds like something invented by the same folks who did the Zune.

        If one looks at the price tag, one would be tempted to compare the folks with the other (usually white, with its rounded corners protected by a patent) brand.
        I'd bet the market-segments for both of the products would show a higher overlap too.

      • Re:pfftt... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:17PM (#43738077) Journal

        Bah!

        If you're not barefoot and hunting with hand-lapped flint point on a spear, you're cheating.

        -jcr

      • Re:pfftt... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Thursday May 16, 2013 @12:55AM (#43738421)

        Might as well go to the game farm and shoot the deer in the small holding pen with a shotgun.

        There are plenty of places that raise and release tame gamebirds with little fear of humans, and charge people to go out and shoot them. Dick Cheney was on of these "hunts" when he shot a lawyer in the face [wikipedia.org].

        • Re:pfftt... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 16, 2013 @02:13AM (#43738595)

          Such hunting isn't much easier. When you hunt birds it should take one 1 shot, maybe 2, to take it out of the sky. A "tame" bird has to fly away, just like a wild bird, in order to be shot. It's not like it walks up to you. They're not really tame, just farmed, just as a chicken on a chicken farm isn't tame.

          What those ranches provide is time. When you hunt wild birds there's lots of waiting. Either you're walking and waiting for some random bird to be flushed, or you're waiting for them to leave or return (happens only twice a day for ducks).

          If the farmed birds flock and you're pumping out shots like a crazy man then, sure, you're just an idiot.

          You can argue authenticity all you want, but at the end of the day shooting a small bird flying away with a single shot is actually pretty hard, whether "tame" or not. And unless you're subsistence hunting and doing it on a regular basis, you have to learn somehow. Clay pigeons don't exactly zig-zag.

          • Re:pfftt... (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @05:01AM (#43739047)

            Such hunting isn't much easier. When you hunt birds it should take one 1 shot, maybe 2, to take it out of the sky. .

            Yup, true dat. I bought a single shot German break-action rifle and every once in a while when I take it to the range somebody comes over for a look (sometimes they even mistake my KB for a shotgun) and then criticises me for not buying a bolt action repeater. I usually reply by asking them how many shots they feel are optimally optimally needed to take down one deer. I only do target shooting but even I know that the answer is one shot, two at the most if something goes very wrong and for a rapid second shot I'm better off with a double rifle than a 5 shot bolt action repeater since semi automatic rifles are forbidden here except for shooting at paper targets and getting caught hunting with a semi auto rifle can get your firearms license revoked for a loooooong time.

        • Re:pfftt... (Score:5, Funny)

          by bickerdyke (670000) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @02:32AM (#43738657)

          Hmm.... organizing hunts where lawyers can be shot in the face... sounds like a business model!

        • Re:pfftt... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by gweihir (88907) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @04:36AM (#43738983)

          While you can fault his activity as that of an utter coward, you cannot fault his aim.

    • I'd mod you up, but you're already at five. You deserve a 6 out of 5, my good man.

    • Re:pfftt... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:38PM (#43737595) Homepage

      No, the Super aEgis II (sentry gun) is the ultimate "Aimbot". I wouldn't fucking go near one of those in a time of war. Hell, I wouldn't walk in front one even if someone told me it was in shutdown mode.

    • by rich_hudds (1360617) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @06:28AM (#43739315)
      As a English man who cannot really understand the arguments in favour of the 2nd Amendment can I ask a few questions to my gun loving cousins?

      Where do you draw the line between what is and isn't a firearm?

      Does the 2nd Amendment allow (in your mind at least) a citizen to have a rocket launcher or a laser gun?

      What are you going to do when the technology of simple side arms develops to the point where you an take out a room full of people by pressing a trigger and letting you gun do all the aiming etc..?

      Would genuinely like to hear from a pro gun NRA type.
      • Would genuinely like to hear from a pro gun NRA type.

        Not sure I qualify but I think you would think I do so here goes:

        Where do you draw the line between what is and isn't a firearm? Does the 2nd Amendment allow (in your mind at least) a citizen to have a rocket launcher or a laser gun?

        Cannon were not mentioned in the 2nd Amendment. Rockets were not mentioned and they were around (if relatively ineffective) when it was drafted as well. That would mean a rocket launcher would not be considered a firearm. As for a laser, the only ones that actually work as weapons are of cannon size so I would put it in that category. We have also decided that fully automatic weapons fit into the 'bigger than a firearm' category and their owne

      • by ganjadude (952775) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @08:23AM (#43740057) Homepage
        I personally believe any law abiding citizen should be able to have any non chemical non nuclear weapon they want. The reason I draw the line at chemical and nuclear is simple. chemicals and plutonium can be illegal and constitutional. I dont believe in any gun that fires a powder based projectile should be illegal.
        • Powder is a chemical.
          Everything is a chemical.
          A non-chemical weapon would be a weapon that does not consist of baryonic matter.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        First a couple clarifications: The Second Amendment doesn't allow or create a right to keep and bear arms for us. The Second Amendment simply protects the right from being infringed upon by our government (read it and see). The right to keep and bear arms is actually derived from our Natural Rights. This is often difficult for non-Americans to understand since rights are given or allowed by the government of most other countries. In the USA, while our Constitution is the foundation for all our laws and

  • Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nidi62 (1525137) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:09PM (#43737381)
    If you want aim assist, play a console FPS. Otherwise, what's the point? I enjoy shooting, but to me this is not shooting. To quote Ace from the movie adaptation of Starship Troopers: anyone can push a button. I have hunted, shot skeet, and done some target shooting: the fun, the adrenaline rush, comes from knowing you hit your target. My longest shot was about 175 yards with a .30-06, clean kill. While it might not be that far, I take pride in the fact that I took the shot. With technology like this, you aren't hitting the target, the computer is. To me it completely misses the point of shooting, whether target shooting or hunting (and for hunting it completely removes the sport aspect).
    • by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:13PM (#43737409)

      If you want aim assist, play a console FPS. Otherwise, what's the point? I enjoy shooting, but to me this is not shooting.

      The point is to actually hit what you are shooting at. While I enjoy the challenge of target shooting as well, the actual primary purpose of a firearm is to kill/injure. There is a reason guns have targeting/tracking systems when used in anger. Perhaps you have forgotten that a gun is a weapon?

      With technology like this, you aren't hitting the target, the computer is.

      Sometimes the point it just to hit the target and it doesn't matter who gets credit for the aiming.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nidi62 (1525137)

        If you want aim assist, play a console FPS. Otherwise, what's the point? I enjoy shooting, but to me this is not shooting.

        The point is to actually hit what you are shooting at. While I enjoy the challenge of target shooting as well, the actual primary purpose of a firearm is to kill/injure. There is a reason guns have targeting/tracking systems when used in anger. Perhaps you have forgotten that a gun is a weapon?

        With technology like this, you aren't hitting the target, the computer is.

        Sometimes the point it just to hit the target and it doesn't matter who gets credit for the aiming.

        This weapon will never be used in anger by any entity authorized to use lethal force in anger: snipers would never use this, it is too expensive and is unnecessary for the average foot soldier, and too large and cumbersome to be used on anything other than a rifle that is stationary and supported, ie on a target range. This technology is clearly designed for target and hunting use only, which would completely negate the point of both activities.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          According to the previous article professional snipers (swat, hostage rescue, etc.) are interested, mainly because of the video record of exactly what the aim point was.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by noh8rz10 (2716597)

          This weapon will never be used in anger by any entity authorized to use lethal force in anger: snipers would never use this, it is too expensive and is unnecessary for the average foot soldier, and too large and cumbersome to be used on anything other than a rifle that is stationary and supported, ie on a target range. This technology is clearly designed for target and hunting use only, which would completely negate the point of both activities.

          i'm pretty sure the problem is the people NOT authorized to use legal force, like my gf's husband...

        • by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:33PM (#43737549)

          This weapon will never be used in anger by any entity authorized to use lethal force in anger:

          You cannot possibly be that naive. That specific weapon may not be used in combat but the basic technology will without a doubt make its way to people who will use it to kill living beings, either human or animal. I'm not even making a moral judgement about that, it's just a clearly obvious fact.

          snipers would never use this,

          They might not use that particular system but I promise you snipers can and will use a targeting/tracking system should one be available that fits their mission parameters. I would be deeply shocked if such technology was not being very actively worked on by the military.

          it is too expensive and is unnecessary for the average foot soldier, and too large and cumbersome to be used on anything other than a rifle that is stationary and supported, ie on a target range.

          Technology can be miniaturized and will be. Furthermore if the technology is large and needs support, it isn't exactly hard to attach it to a vehicle. The military does it all the time.

          This technology is clearly designed for target and hunting use only, which would completely negate the point of both activities.

          The technology is designed to cause a bullet to hit a target more reliably. The nature of the target is irrelevant. Plus you are contradicting yourself. If it can be used for hunting then it is portable. It if is designed for hunting there is little difference between hunting animals and hunting humans beyond the fact that humans can (and will) shoot back.

      • by Imagix (695350)

        There is a reason guns have targeting/tracking systems when used in anger

        Sure. But I know very few people who are "angry" at the deer that they are planning on having for dinner. (I'm excluding military applications for this)

        Sometimes the point it just to hit the target and it doesn't matter who gets credit for the aiming.

        Um, if the point isn't to demonstrate/exercise your skills in the field, why not go buy your game meat from the store?

        • Because I don't want to eat human burglar meat?
        • by sjbe (173966) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:51PM (#43737673)

          (I'm excluding military applications for this)

          I'm not. The primary application for any targeting system is military. The fact that it can be used for game or target practice is secondary.

          Um, if the point isn't to demonstrate/exercise your skills in the field, why not go buy your game meat from the store?

          Apparently it wasn't sufficiently obvious that I was talking about military applications. When you are trying to kill something dangerous it doesn't really matter if you or a computer does the actual aiming. However even if we are talking about hunting, the important decision was to pull the trigger. That is when the person controlling the weapon decided to kill something. Focusing on how the aiming is being done kind of misses the most important thing.

          I don't really understand the point of "demonstrating your skills" by killing some harmless creature. That is just killing for fun which is frankly rather barbaric and certainly not very respectful of the life that was just ended. I don't object to hunting if you really need the food (not applicable for most of us) or if there are humane environmental considerations. But most hunters I know do it because they find it to be fun. They enjoy the act of killing something and sometimes they also enjoy the challenge of accomplishing that feat. But if they really wanted a challenge, why not do it with a knife or at worst a bow, up close and personal. Using a rifle that can kill at several hundred yards to hunt a woodland creature is not exactly a huge challenge. If you want to test your sharpshooting abilities, you don't need to kill something to do that. Hunting isn't evil but it frequently is pointless and cruel.

        • Um, if the point isn't to demonstrate/exercise your skills in the field, why not go buy your game meat from the store?

          Since when did they sell game meat in stores?

          Aside from the obvious problem that "game meat" doesn't come from stores by definition, even when you can find it (e.g. duck meat, which is relatively easy because it's common in Chinese and French cooking) it isn't from the same (sub-)species as the wild version and tastes different because it's been raised on commercial feed instead of foraging.

          • There are lots of countries where it is common for hunters to sell their game meat to (specialty) stores and restaurants. Just because wherever you live you can't buy game meat in a store, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:15PM (#43737417) Homepage

      Next you'll be petitioning against adding rifling to barrels.

      Now I know its not the same but the point of shooting is to hit the target accurately.
      You want accuracy and not blind luck so you add rifling to the barrel.
      This is just another feature which improves accuracy.

      If your point isn't accuracy then sure do whatever you want. You could do it with one arm tied behind your back just as a challenge.

      • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ebno-10db (1459097) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:43PM (#43737621)

        Next you'll be petitioning against adding rifling to barrels.

        Agreed. The "real" way to do something is whatever somebody grew up with. People talk about a manual tranny being real driving, but I say it's degenerate ever since they added synchromesh. A caveman, heck, somebody from the early 19th century would think a modern rifle is cheating.

        • For that matter I bet most people reading this do calculations with a computer, or at least a calculator. Real men still use slide rules, or pencil and paper (log tables allowed for beginners).
          • by Immerman (2627577)

            Pfah. *Real* men solve multivariate differential calculus problems entirely in their head. A few charcoal marks on the wall are permissable for truly complicated problems, but only after the first couple hours of work.

    • by icebike (68054)

      You will quickly learn the point when the target is shooting back at you.
      Relax, your skeet have no trigger fingers.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      If you want aim assist, play a console FPS. Otherwise, what's the point?

      TFA

      "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 share with others."
      ...
      Rifle maker Remington Arms wants to use the technology in rifles it wants to sell for around $5,000.

      Answer: this is the "iPad of guns" - owning and using one set's the owner a head over the others (with the "Android" version to be sourced from Remington).

      Apropos "head over the others" - I imagine it won't be so funny if the term "share to shooting" would be used under some other meanings/contexts. You know... the ongoing success of the sharing may highly depend which end of the gun is used in sharing.

      • by Shoten (260439)

        If this is the iPad of guns...then I am dying to see what HP comes up with! Perhaps it'll shoot cake mix and spite instead of bullets?

    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spire3661 (1038968) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:24PM (#43737489) Journal
      You could extend your argument that using a firearm is unsportsmanlike as well, use a bow and arrow or marathon run the animals down to exhaustion and spear them. Hell, running them off a cliff is more honorable then using advanced chemicals, forged metal and precision optics. Do you care more for the experience or the result? It all depends on what your goals are. If that target absolutely, positively has to be destroyed, im going to trust the computer. As much as we all want to be Luke and 'use the force', its best to leave it up to the computer if the results really matter.
    • I agree with you, but the existence of aim-bots proves that there is a market for this kind of thing.

      More sinisterly, this means that someone can shoot the president from farther away, for example, a range of 265 ft, without any training.
      • by tsotha (720379)

        There are a whole lot of people out there who can hit the kill zone on a man-sized target from 265 ft. That's not a long distance for a rifle. A novice could probably do it after a lesson and a half hour of practice. Qualification range for marines is 500 meters from a prone position.

    • by Lendrick (314723)

      To me it completely misses the point of shooting, whether target shooting or hunting (and for hunting it completely removes the sport aspect).

      For some hunters, the point is to get food.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:10PM (#43737387)

    A gun with an internet-connected onboard computer. Malware for it could be deadly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:11PM (#43737397)

    Snipers use cover and concealment to hide their position. That's not really going to happen with a glowing video display and a spotter with a glowing iPad. Sounds like little more than an expensive toy.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)
      There's also the fact that any trained sniper already has a ballistics computer and range finder wherever they go. It's called their head. Like you said, this is nothing but a toy for people who want to pretend to be snipers or excellent marksmen but don't want to take the time to actually earn and develop the skills.
      • It's probably still too expensive; but I wouldn't count it out of the 'lite' end of the sniper market just yet.

        Outside of jurisdictions where(either because they are large and rough, or because the sheriff is compensating for something) some sub-group of the police are practically a standing army, a lot of police forces spend most of their time doing things that require little or no marksmanship(during which time budget cuts or apathy are liable to come after their range time), with the occasional incident

      • by ebno-10db (1459097) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @09:55PM (#43737695)

        any trained sniper already has a ballistics computer and range finder wherever they go. It's called their head.

        That's what some engineers said when they first came out with this wussy CAD stuff. Sliderule and paper is all you need. Probably some truth to it in the early days, but the tech improves.

      • by pollarda (632730) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @10:21PM (#43737809)

        Actually, most snipers now carry around a ballistics computer that their spotter uses to calculate the hold offset. This is sold for example by the folks that sell the 408 Cheytac. (The CheyTac holds the -- non-published-or acknowledged -- record for the longest wartime kill in Afghanistan / Pakistan btw. at a distance of approximately 2 miles.) The military buys the 408 CheyTac and ballistics calculator as a complete "system".

        I should also point out that despite what the article says, it will still take an experienced shooter to shoot this to its maximum potential. How you hold and handle the rifle will affect its recoil and its accuracy as the rifle recoils while the bullet is still in the barrel. The rifle will also need to compensate for mirage at longer distances. Hard to hit something at 1,000 yards when the target keeps dancing around in your sights.

    • by jbeaupre (752124)

      It's not designed with the military in mind. Just not rugged enough. This is designed for the rich hunting and target shooting crowd in benign environments.

      But law enforce has taken an interest. Not for the targeting capability, but for the video. Now the brass can look over a sniper's shoulder and see what he sees. The video recording also allows for later evaluation.

    • by pollarda (632730)

      You mean like this one?

      http://www.cheytac.com/Products/components/Kestrel.pdf

      (See my earlier reply regarding the 408 CheyTac sniper system. This is the associated linky.

  • by Shoten (260439)

    While the computer will do a better job with regard to bullet drop and deflection due to wind (assuming the computer is given correct information about wind, that is), there's still the question of shake when it comes to "pulling the trigger" on the laser. To some degree, this is nothing more than a wee bit more automation than you get from using a computer to calculate what your sight adjustment should be. A wee bit.

  • ...outside of static target shooting, it doesn't appear to be of much use; and, for static target shooting it is only of value as an evaluation tool.

  • I saw this in a movie and they used to frame some up in assassination

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