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    20K rifle that does the sniping for

    So for about 20k you can get a rifle that does all the heavy lifting when it comes to aiming for you.

    http://wonderfulengineering.com/tracking-point-system-now-anyone-can-be-a-deadly-sniper/

    http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/...he-real-world/

    I wonder if it is rugged enough for combat operations?

    #2
    I'm sure it can be. I've never fired one but I am thinking it probably isn't as easy as it looks though. A bunch of companies are working on some sort of digital aiming device also.
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      #3
      While it may work for center of mass style shooting I don't know if its "minute of eyeball" for a hostage shoot quite yet.

      But who knows what the future holds....


      My Blog:http://tgace.wordpress.com

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        #4
        Originally posted by tgace View Post
        While it may work for center of mass style shooting I don't know if its "minute of eyeball" for a hostage shoot quite yet.

        But who knows what the future holds....
        I can only imagine that as time marches on that these things will be able to out shoot a human. Especially when you remove the human from even holding the rifle more drone like if you will.

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          #5
          I don't see how this is a viable option for a sniper as advertised. I'd like to see how the computer deals with wind. Most likely it reads the wind at the rifle, which is useless for long range shooting as the wind conditions can be totally different at the target and en route to the target.

          Unless they've developed some revolutionary way for the computer to read the mirage or something, which I highly doubt, then a manual windage adjustment would be required which defeats the purpose of a $20K rifle that supposedly shoots itself.

          It would be sufficient for typical hunting range since wind has less of an effect up close. But who needs a $20K rifle to shoot a deer at 150 yards?

          This type of technology is the future of sniping but it's not yet ready for primetime.

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            #6
            It does seem like a lot of new research is going into taking the human out of the equation, in one way or another. There was a news story I saw just this week about the Air Force retrofitting fighter planes to be flown pilotless, like a giant drone I guess. They had a video clip of one being out through its paces where they even broke the sound barrier with it...lot of fast moving metal if they were to lose whatever form of remote guidance they were using...the reporter said they were called "Zombies".

            I suppose at some point they'll have pilotless drones fly in a bunch of self firing rifles and that'll be an army...then SkyNet takes over and we have to be saved by John Connor...

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              #7
              True innovation in firearms occurs much more slowly than other technologies because of money.

              There are very few firearms companies if any that can afford the R&D required to make real improvements in performance. It's just not cost effective for them. I don't mean the latest little widget to stick on an AR or a new suppressor design that gives you a .5 decibal reduction. I mean real shit that could improve firearms performance like how to drill a fucking straight hole two feet long, which you won't find even in a $600 rifle barrel.

              Or true controlled scientific experimentation to prove or disprove various theories about how different environmental factors and gun building practices effect external ballistics. There isn't as much proven science there as many people think because that stuff is very hard and expensive to test properly in a controlled manner. The whole deal is still kind of primitive, especially in comparison to the technology present in some of our other weapon systems.

              In the 1940s an Army officer named Julian Hatcher spent years doing a shitload of firearms experimentation on the government's dime. He summarized his findings in his book Hatcher's Notebook. There's a ton of fascinating shit in there that nobody else has the resources to test. For instance, he did extensive testing to determine exactly how a bullet acts when fired straight up in the air - how long before it returns to the ground, how far does it end up from where you're standing, how much force does it hit the ground with, etc. Cool stuff to read about.

              Anyway, Hatcher left a lot of questions unanswered and nobody is conducting that type of experimentation now as far as I know. The government is more interested in developing exploding smart bullets and shit like that. That's understandable. But my point is this - until somebody spends the money to fill the gaps in our knowledge of ballistics I think these guys who want to develop self shooting sniper rifles are pissing in the wind. Not to mention the giant hurdle of getting accurate wind readings they'd have to overcome.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Devil View Post
                I don't see how this is a viable option for a sniper as advertised. I'd like to see how the computer deals with wind. Most likely it reads the wind at the rifle, which is useless for long range shooting as the wind conditions can be totally different at the target and en route to the target.

                Unless they've developed some revolutionary way for the computer to read the mirage or something, which I highly doubt, then a manual windage adjustment would be required which defeats the purpose of a $20K rifle that supposedly shoots itself.

                It would be sufficient for typical hunting range since wind has less of an effect up close. But who needs a $20K rifle to shoot a deer at 150 yards?

                This type of technology is the future of sniping but it's not yet ready for primetime.
                One of the other Youtube vids is an extreme distance hunting vid. They appear to be making the adjustments for windage at the scope,and then shooting out to 1100 yds. They also appear to be able to view the hunters scope view via ipad,maybe bluetoothed??.

                I think they are more claiming to be able to easily get ppl shooting accurately out to this distance,which is a fairly big step. Automation and remote firing looks to be a fairly small step. However its still going to take someone on-site to observe the wind,but someone has to deploy it,so potentially the snipers role will become more of an observers role??

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Devil View Post
                  True innovation in firearms occurs much more slowly than other technologies because of money.

                  There are very few firearms companies if any that can afford the R&D required to make real improvements in performance. It's just not cost effective for them. I don't mean the latest little widget to stick on an AR or a new suppressor design that gives you a .5 decibal reduction. I mean real shit that could improve firearms performance like how to drill a fucking straight hole two feet long, which you won't find even in a $600 rifle barrel.

                  Or true controlled scientific experimentation to prove or disprove various theories about how different environmental factors and gun building practices effect external ballistics. There isn't as much proven science there as many people think because that stuff is very hard and expensive to test properly in a controlled manner. The whole deal is still kind of primitive, especially in comparison to the technology present in some of our other weapon systems.

                  In the 1940s an Army officer named Julian Hatcher spent years doing a shitload of firearms experimentation on the government's dime. He summarized his findings in his book Hatcher's Notebook. There's a ton of fascinating shit in there that nobody else has the resources to test. For instance, he did extensive testing to determine exactly how a bullet acts when fired straight up in the air - how long before it returns to the ground, how far does it end up from where you're standing, how much force does it hit the ground with, etc. Cool stuff to read about.

                  Anyway, Hatcher left a lot of questions unanswered and nobody is conducting that type of experimentation now as far as I know. The government is more interested in developing exploding smart bullets and shit like that. That's understandable. But my point is this - until somebody spends the money to fill the gaps in our knowledge of ballistics I think these guys who want to develop self shooting sniper rifles are pissing in the wind. Not to mention the giant hurdle of getting accurate wind readings they'd have to overcome.

                  That's interesting...you would think that the military, with as much as they spend developing all this other stuff, would want to invest in the 'bread-and-butter' equipment like firearms. I mean, related to what you said, what's the point of investing vast sums into making a weapon self-aiming if the weapon itself isn't optimized?

                  I'm sure you guys know much more about this subject than I do...I'm only a casual shooter....but it seems like there would have to be more to reason why they haven't pursued this than just the difficulty of the work...I mean, they split the atom and landed a robot on Mars that worked for, what, a year? Is it more difficult to address these firearm related questions? Honestly, I'm really asking because I'm no expert...

                  Anyways, you've got my curiosity going on that book...I'll have to see if I can scrounge up a copy...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by KiwiPhil889 View Post
                    One of the other Youtube vids is an extreme distance hunting vid. They appear to be making the adjustments for windage at the scope,and then shooting out to 1100 yds. They also appear to be able to view the hunters scope view via ipad,maybe bluetoothed??.

                    I think they are more claiming to be able to easily get ppl shooting accurately out to this distance,which is a fairly big step. Automation and remote firing looks to be a fairly small step. However its still going to take someone on-site to observe the wind,but someone has to deploy it,so potentially the snipers role will become more of an observers role??

                    Yeah, I just watched that video. First, it's a marketing video so I'll take it all with a grain of salt. Also, it says in the captioning that windage is a manual input. That factor alone devalues the rifle to almost nothing. Estimating windage is the hardest part of long range shooting. Fuck it up and your manythousandsofdollars scope might as well be a $40 Tasco from Wal-Mart.

                    I can buy a ballistics calculator for my iPhone for $20 that will perform the exact same calculations with a just a tiny bit of extra work on my part. Again, the windage is the hard part. Anybody who can do that probably already has solid shooting fundamentals and won't benefit from this magic rifle.

                    I also have other concerns with the concept. For instance, if the rifle "locks on" to the target and shoots itself, how does it know when you're going to breathe? How does it know when your next heartbeat will be? When you're shooting long range from the prone position you can see your sight move every time your heart beats. It moves when you breathe. If you're shooting at a man a thousand yards away and the bullet travels down the barrel when it's moving even the slightest little bit, you're not going to hit shit.

                    There's just no way this thing is a viable option for long range tactical shooting and there's no way anybody is going to get $20K worth of value out of this. Maybe one day but not now. For now, if you want technology along these lines you'll be much better off with a Barrett .50 with a BORS.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Keslet View Post
                      That's interesting...you would think that the military, with as much as they spend developing all this other stuff, would want to invest in the 'bread-and-butter' equipment like firearms. I mean, related to what you said, what's the point of investing vast sums into making a weapon self-aiming if the weapon itself isn't optimized?

                      I'm sure you guys know much more about this subject than I do...I'm only a casual shooter....but it seems like there would have to be more to reason why they haven't pursued this than just the difficulty of the work...I mean, they split the atom and landed a robot on Mars that worked for, what, a year? Is it more difficult to address these firearm related questions? Honestly, I'm really asking because I'm no expert...

                      Anyways, you've got my curiosity going on that book...I'll have to see if I can scrounge up a copy...

                      You can download Hatcher's Notebook for free online. It's public domain now.

                      The military isn't doing the research because they don't see a need. They have systems and training in place to accomplish what they need to accomplish. They know how to take a sniper rifle built with the best current technology and utilize it to the maximum capability of the ammunition.

                      That doesn't mean there aren't better ways to do things and that doesn't mean we know everything there is to know. It just means those unknowns are irrelevant the way rifles are currently deployed.

                      However, some of those unknowns will most likely become relevant when you try to push the boundaries of technology - for instance, with a self shooting sniper rifle. To build a truly successful platform like that you're probably going to need to prove some things that are currently theoretical and better understand some of the variables that are currently dismissed as unimportant.

                      My guess is that they would put in the work if they saw a need. They don't have hard ons for the self shooting rifle concept because the shooters understand the hurdles I'm talking about here and they know it's a pipe dream at the moment.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Devil View Post
                        You can download Hatcher's Notebook for free online. It's public domain now.

                        The military isn't doing the research because they don't see a need. They have systems and training in place to accomplish what they need to accomplish. They know how to take a sniper rifle built with the best current technology and utilize it to the maximum capability of the ammunition.

                        That doesn't mean there aren't better ways to do things and that doesn't mean we know everything there is to know. It just means those unknowns are irrelevant the way rifles are currently deployed.

                        However, some of those unknowns will most likely become relevant when you try to push the boundaries of technology - for instance, with a self shooting sniper rifle. To build a truly successful platform like that you're probably going to need to prove some things that are currently theoretical and better understand some of the variables that are currently dismissed as unimportant.

                        My guess is that they would put in the work if they saw a need. They don't have hard ons for the self shooting rifle concept because the shooters understand the hurdles I'm talking about here and they know it's a pipe dream at the moment.
                        That makes sense. Sounds like the 20k rifle really is putting the cart before the horse...

                        Thanks for the tip on the book!

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                          #13
                          If they can make something like this in an RDS sized optic I actually see more use for this in the 200-500 yd M16-M4 shot than for a "sniper rifle".


                          My Blog:http://tgace.wordpress.com

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by tgace View Post
                            If they can make something like this in an RDS sized optic I actually see more use for this in the 200-500 yd M16-M4 shot than for a "sniper rifle".
                            Trijicon is working on some, and some more on machine gun optics.
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                              #15
                              Originally posted by tgace View Post
                              If they can make something like this in an RDS sized optic I actually see more use for this in the 200-500 yd M16-M4 shot than for a "sniper rifle".
                              I agree.

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