A company in Texas has come up with a high-tech weapon that takes the human-error element out of marksmanship almost completely. Tracking Point, based in Austin, has developed a $25,000 gun (in the company’s nomenclature, a precision-guided firearm) that allows even novice shooters to hit targets up to 1,000 yds. away with nearly 100% accuracy. According to this article on CNET, one of the company’s engineers was even able to nail a moving stinkbug at 98 yards.
The heavy guns (they weight 20 lbs. and require a bipod) were dreamed up by company founder John McHale (founder of a number of tech startups, including high-speed Internet companies NetWorth and NetSpeed), who wanted to find a way to compensate for poor marksmanship with technology. Under normal circumstances, long-range shooting requires the shooter to adjust to all manner of variables (wind speed, elevation, etc.) to improve accuracy. The Tracking Point rifle gathers this data and presents it via a display in the scope.
The display then generates a tag that the shooter lines up with the target. A set of crosshairs appear that have to be matched up while the shooter pulls the trigger. Once the crosshairs meet the tag, the trigger automatically releases. It’s almost like focusing and taking a picture with a digital camera.
The scope has a 35-power lens that allows for extreme zooming, a small computer that links the optics to the trigger, and a Wi-Fi signal for capturing ballistics data that can be transmitted to an iPad. The scope can also record two hours of video. The three different models of the gun (the XS1, XS2, and XS3) come with ammunition and an iPad. The scope is also password-protected.
The company primarily targets the guns at wealthy big game hunters right now, although it’s easy to see how they could be used (and mis-used) for other purposes. If the idea of a novice shooter suddenly having the capability to hit a moving target several football fields away leaves you in awe or terrified, consider this: Tracking Point’s next project is a “Super Gun” that could allow a shooter to hit a target 1.75 miles away.