Oh, what a difference two years make. The Precision-Guided Firearm (aka the Linux Gun) from TrackingPoint that blew many a mind at 2013's CES is back and better than ever. And by "better" I mean able to hit a target travelling at 50km/s, 1800 yards out.
The Linux Gun, as you may remember, utilises a laser rangefinder and on-board computer to drastically increase its user's first shot accuracy by accounting for a number of environmental variables and showing where the round will land, not where the user is currently aiming. As such, it has no problem perforating smart phones from a kilometre away. "I would say we're at about 70 per cent first-shot success probability at 1000 yards … with inexperienced shooters," Oren Schauble, a TrackingPoint marketing official told Military.com at the rifle's debut demonstration.
2013's model was rated out to 1200 yards. This year's Mile Maker model boosts that range out to 1800 yards thanks to the integration of more advanced hardware and more robust trajectory calculation software. Plus, the 2015 models will also off the ability to export a live feed of what one sees in the scope to a tethered mobile device so people on Youtube and Facebook can watch riflemen snatch life in real time.
What's more, the price of these firearms has fallen precipitously. The company's introductory model cost $US17,000 at launch but will set tech-obsessed hunters and wannabe clock tower snipers back $US8000. Eight grand is still quite expensive for a rifle -- even one that does the aiming for you -- but it's still effectively now half-off.
This is an interesting, and somewhat troubling, development in personal firearm technology. I mean, the record for longest successful sniper shot in military history is 1.54 miles (set in Afghanistan, 2009). This rifle lets any schmuck off the street hit a target three quarters of that distance without really trying -- and more than likely, on the first try. And combined with the ability to upload video of your shot directly to the internet, this system could prove an extremely tempting new publishing platform for a new generation of thrill killers. [ExtremeTech - Defensetech]