Sniper rifles already rank a solid 11 on the badass scale, but you know what makes them even more badass? Whacking a Terminator-style set of cyborg eyes on the top that tracks targets and then helps the shooter hit exactly what he or she wants. You can run, but you really can't hide...mwhahaha!
Normally, long-range shooting involves calculating distance to target, atmospheric conditions and wind speed, then making the shot whilst controlling your breathing and trigger pull -- it's a bit of an effort, frankly. The TrackingPoint scope tries to take all these things out of the equation and just leave you with the job of deciding what you want to explode with a lethally over-powered bullet.
The system works by showing you a scope where the crosshairs indicate where your bullet will hit, not where you're aiming -- which are two very different things with a conventional rifle. Once the shooter's selected the target, the scope uses a laser to calculate range to target, atmospheric conditions and all those other pesky variables, and then the Linux-powered computer generates a crosshair that shows where the round will land. The shooter then matches this second crosshair with his original target, pulls the trigger, the rifle lines everything up one final time, and the shot is fired.
The system comes fitted on three different rifles, including one that fires .338 Lapua Magnum bullets, the same used in the British Army's current sniper rifle, and the same round that holds the record for the longest-distance sniper kill of all time -- so it has some heritage. There's also options to live-stream the video from the scope to an iOS device for a spotter to view, or save the footage for later, like a firearms black box.
The net result of all this is a first-round hit probability -- the chance of actually blasting the thing you want to -- that's properly drastically reduced for your average shooter. Yeah, there are going to be some concerns and people whining about this making guns more dangerous, but they're just being whiny little babies. From a military perspective, this is a win-win -- more accuracy means fewer rounds going off-target and hurting innocent bystanders, and the recording features make the actual shooters more accountable. Oh, and when it makes its inevitable appearance in Expendables 3, Sylvester Stallone will never have appeared more badass. [Ars Technica]