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New gun technology

Cognisant

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I was reading an article on The Escapist about this new gun (http://tracking-point.com/innovations#innov-hardware) which supposedly uses computer assistance to enable a novice shooter to snipe targets at long range, the article was about how the gun was being marketed at a gaming expo which is itself quite disturbing but what I want to discuss here is the implications of such technology.

Should we be concerned that user friendly weaponry is being developed?

There's a comforting separation between military and civilian shooters in that the former are trained to do what the latter cannot, along with the appropriate discipline, but if civilians can buy, for example, a solenoid assisted carbon fibre arm brace to cancel out recoil and a laser sight for their pistol/rifle/whatever the combination of which enables (for the sake of argument) a barely trained shooter to shoot targets with videogame like pinpoint accuracy, isn't that something we should be concerned about?
 

Polaris

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If it means all the criminals will be shooting each other with greater accuracy, I don't have a problem with it.

Civilian shooters I imagine somewhere in the US mid-west....so that may not necessarily be a negative thing either :phear:

And if someone holds you up at gunpoint, they would most likely not shoot...or at least they would be in the knowledge that you'd rather be handing over the money before contemplating getting into a discussion about it....besides, if you are holding someone up at gunpoint you'd have to be stupid to shoot and miss anyway...

/ramble....

On a more serious note, I only see an issue with guns like these getting in the hands of mass-murderers....like the ones targeting schools. However, they seem to inflict enough damage, I don't know if a precision-enhanced weapon would make a great deal of difference as these murderers appear to be acting on emotion rather than just playing target-practice.....(or perhaps I don't know enough about school-shooters :phear:). In other words, a person murdering in a certain hyper-emotional state would probably be missing targets even while handling one of these weapons as (s)he wouldn't be in a calm state of mind. I'd rather not see this theory tested though :eek:
 

Cognisant

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I'd be more worried about professional hit-men, for them high accuracy weaponry means they're more likely to get away with shooting someone, even broad daylight, because the further away they are the harder it is to visually link the shooter to the person they shot, and if they can kill people with relative impunity that gives organised crime the power to suppress legal opposition.
 

crippli

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Doubt it's useful, to much electronics that will not work when you need it. So it's not a substitution for proper marksmanship.
 

Cognisant

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Seriously? In this day and age.

Besides it's marksmanship assisting technology.
 

crippli

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The basic aspects are still there. Judging the windrift. You wouldn't want the linear aspect of computing to do this job. It would not be assisting, but working against you. The other aspects sounds good ideas, but doubt they would doubtfully work very well. Like the laser assisted beam to ensure the scope is not out of setting. Would you rely on this? Only mishandle the ammunition a little, so the bullet setting is a bit off, or the powder slightly crushed, and no amount of laser beam will correct the offset. And seriously, calculate the trajectory from the ballistics? You would need first to know the exact velocity of the lot of the powder. And how much velocity in that particular rifle. You would have to do the leg work anyhow, and then you can just input the data into a ballistic program and write a note about the trajectory. Then the polar is easy enough to remember. Or mechanical target knobs on the scope. That is a much more reliable system. And a Zeiss scope with a distance measuring system is of premium grade quality. A custom fine tuned trigger will work well. And you would want the triggering system to be mechanical for security reasons.

I would bet on the seasoned marksman with a conventional system compared to a gamer with this system.

Now. If it had been a complete rig, with automatic firing system. Preferably a dual system in case one weapon fail. A cnc rig with quick servo motors. Connected to the net, so you could sit in the basement and fire from a vantage point. That would be worrying. But as this is presented, I don't much see the usefulness or even assistance.

Surely I would be worried if a gamer with a preference for violent games got hold on this technology, even basic firearms. Not saying they are all unstable, but seems to have some weird preferences for what is emotionally satisfying.
 

Cognisant

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I would bet on the seasoned marksman with a conventional system compared to a gamer with this system.
I don't disagree.

A professional military sniper can reliably hit targets a mile away, the more expensive one of these rifles is only rated for 0.68 of a mile, but that's still a lot further than an unassisted civilian can normally shoot and either way a bullet is still a bullet, so although the professional marksman is still indisputablely better what I'm saying is that now for distances under 0.68 of a mile a civilian could be comparable to a professional, not as good, and obviously there's a lot more to being a sniper than being able to hit things, but my point is that margin between a civilian and a professional has been reduced.

Which is not such a big deal until you consider that this thing is the first of its kind and as technology progresses that margin of difference between a civilian and a professional is going to get reduced further and further, you can't just off handedly dismiss it as "electronics that will not work when you need it" because even if it is it will get better and I'm confident there's nothing a human can do that an over engineered system can't eventually do better.

So I think there should be special restrictions and licensing for this sort of thing, I mean when it comes to hunting guns are already overkill unless you're trying to kill a bear, and if someone's using a rifle that one day may practically do all the aiming for them, where's the sport in it, what's the point?
 

Felan

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Personally I'd rather they were more, rather than less, accurate. Less collateral damage that way.

I'm not sure mass murderers care about a specific precise target. If a criminal wants someone dead then the better precision they can do that with the better, definitely much better than an explosive device in the person's car.

There are examples of places where crime gets out of hand, but in those places the criminals are out of hand because they don't have to worry about an effective police response. Greater accuracy at a distance will make no difference in that situation.
 
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This technology definitely drastically simplifies long-range marksmanship... It makes my DOPE (Data On Previous Engagements) book look like it's from the stone age. As to Cognisant discussing how the velocity of the gun and the powder of the cartridge being fired needs to be taken into account, the Tracking Point system itself will handle this. You may need to fire as little as a handful of rounds to verify velocity with a specific load. Not to mention the company produces its own ammo for the system. I'm not sure what mechanism this technology uses for wind corrections, but I'm going to venture a guess that these guys have put plenty of thought into it...

Thing to consider is, this system costs upwards of $20,000. If we're talking about a deranged sniper, how likely is it that one would be willing to spend that much on a weapons system? With a few thousands dollars and a few hundred rounds of practice you can get COMPARABLE (though certainly not equal!) results as you could with this system.

If we're talking a hitman, though, I could see where there would be issues...
 

Nezaros

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If we're talking a hitman, though, I could see where there would be issues...
A hitman is a professional killer, much like a military sniper. They would have at least moderately comparable training.

I don't see any reason to be concerned. I understand this technology will become far more advanced and far less expensive in the future, but if someone really wants to kill somebody, they will do it, whatever it takes. Making shooting easier is a non-issue.

Besides, it isn't as if there's anything to be done. Regulate firearm computers? Speaking only for the United States here, that's tantamount to regulating firearms themselves. I think we all know how anal Americans are about the second amendment. Not to mention the difficulty that attempting to do so would entail. Correct me if I'm wrong but it's essentially just computer software and a camera. There is no way to reliably restrict the propagation of that.
 

walfin

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A hitman is a professional killer, much like a military sniper. They would have at least moderately comparable training.
The problem is not the already existing hitmen. The problem is that this will reduce the barrier of entry for becoming a hitman and also allow hitmen to shoot from further away, as Cog said, making them less likely to be caught.

I can imagine it becoming more common for corporate executives to plot murder against their rivals if even better aiming technology were available, for instance.

That said, I think the HUD in the scope looks really cool.
 
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