Now Anybody Can Be a Sniper

Check out this video from Tracking Point about “the world’s first precision guided firearm”:

So basically, once the shooter designates the target, all he or she has to do is walk the sight around until it matches a solution for what’s designated and then it’s bullet away!

Reminds me of the difference between dumb bombing in the F-14 and dropping a GBU using the LANTIRN system.  Accurate dumb bombing in the Tomcat was hard; smart bombing was just a matter of the RIO designating the target and the pilot driving into a launch basket.

So now you too can be a sniper.  Think of all the money the military will save on training and such.  And just in time for the sequestration cuts.

  • Musson

    I wonder how this system will work with a slowly moving target?

    • ward

      Good question, Musson. The accuracy in that case would probably depend on bullet time of flight (BTOF).

    • Vince

      From what I understand it doesn’t. The sight takes a black-white snapshot when you designate, and compares all consequent stills it takes to that one. If anything moves the still won’t match the original.

    • john

      very cool like more info on it

  • Gruff

    Technology fails. The basics must still be taught.. TO do otherwise would be a grave mistake. Not that I see them shutting down any sniper schools.

    • guest

      No . They will still teach stalking, fieldcraft, etc. It’s just that all the marksmanship and range time will concentrate on learning buttons and playing with the new toy. Bad idea IMHO. Snipers should have lots of experience with “old school” system before ever getting to touch one of these. Personally don’t think many current shooters will like this thing. After all, they take pride in their skills.

    • Jeff M

      Instead of having one rifleman and one spotter, they could have two riflemen and no spotters. That’s how I see it playing out.

  • TERMINATOR

    i LIKE THIS!!

  • ddd

    I don’t think this should be commercially available.

    • Dfens

      Yeah, because all the people with really good judgement work for the government.

    • Jeff M

      Pffft. Put a coat of realtree camo on it and it’ll be a showcase at Cabelas.

    • dennisbuller

      I agree.
      The Chinese are going to reverse engineer this and sell a billion of them to people/countries that really should not have them.
      Time and time again technologies that industrial countries create are used to turn undeveloped countries into blood-baths.
      This could be like when a billion AK-47 were sold to third world countries and they tore themselves apart. And continue to do so.
      This should go black.
      Eventually this technology will be used to put our solders into the grave.
      I am all for hunting. A computer letting you have the perfect shot every time is not hunting skill. It is the complete lack of skill…..

    • bpsitrep

      I agree. There needs to be some very stringent restrictions of ‘who’ can acquire this. Just think if that rogue cop in California bought one this last month, or a few gang bangers, or terrorist that walked across the Southwest border. Not crazy about shooting herd animals for the sake of testing this weapon, how about going after varmits instead?

      • blight_

        The cartels will get this stuff first. I feel bad for the Mexican police.

    • david

      i totally agree

    • steve

      ddd your exactly correct, no one in civilin life needs this type of weapon for any reason!!!….Now that it has been exposed and stated as such, the criminal elements will be runnig lie hell to acquoire as amany as possible….Especially the narcotics peddlers and their henchment…..

      • T lo

        yeah all this is ridiculous . snipers are an elite group in the military. giving them shortcuts around the basic skills that have always been taught , is stubborn. that’s dumb. we need our snipers to stay the BAD ASS MUTHA FUCKAS that they are and keep up the intense trainging that makes them how they are. god bless America. haha

    • Wayne

      What do you mean?

  • Lance

    Wounder when computer fail what will these smart guns do? I feel staying to basics is better. Computers are not the answer to best shooting skills.

  • davidz

    Poor animals.

  • Jim

    When can we all buy one?

  • shooter

    I’m still waiting for the guided bullet.

    • Rob

      If this is as percise as its advertising. This thing could easily make development of the guided bullet slow down unless it can fire more often.

    • jay

      there’s already a prototype guided bullet

  • Except most of what snipers do doesn’t involve shooting

    • Pat

      Exactly right. Pulling the trigger is the easy part; it’s working up to that point that is the most difficult and then getting out.

      • blight_

        Marketers don’t want to sell a product that requires skill of the user to get things done.

        Can you imagine selling a smartphone or a computer that only had a command-line operating system to the masses? It worked in the ’90s when people RTFM’ed; but GUIs mean we don’t need skill anymore.

    • Kevin

      90% of a snipers job is RECON….but I agree, trying to replace training and skill with tech will at best endup in failed mission…at worst, get the shooter killed!

  • SJE

    I can see the advantage in some quick upgrading of skills among regular infantry, although there is still the issue that most engagements are closer range.

    As for hunting: well, call me old school. Unless it is for vermin control why use this sort of system? Where is the skill?

    • tmb2

      Looks interesting, but is it worth the sticker price ($20,000)? And so far it looks like it’s only offered on the company’s rifles.

  • WPG

    You can see many positive and negative points with this system. It does what it says. Which is great. It also allows anyone in your squad to pick up/carry a sniper and be able to use it with minimum training. But it will also allow the enemy to do that too, which is a big problem. like someone already said 2 rifleman and no spotter. Why do they even make a video on the internet just give it to the troops and dont say a word lol sheesh

  • Orion

    Nice toy, but nothing like old reliable Kentucky Windage when your batteries die…

  • Rob

    Wow, this could be seriously scarey if this thing’s price tag would go down below the 20k. I wonder if militiaries out there aren’t calling these guys or already have them. This would cut down on need for guided bullet program.

    Anyways, weapon system like this kinda take sport out of hunting. Makes into Duck Hunter (game).

  • U.S.A

    thats a really neet idea

  • Kor 한찬일

    홍보영상은 참 좋은대.. 쓸때없이 동물을 죽이는건 좀 안타깝군요

  • sam

    The 1st thing Hitler did after taking power was make it illegal to own firearms. Don’t let that happen in America people!

    • SJE

      Lets get real. There are those who want to take away all guns, but is that likely? Even the most extreme gun control laws passed in NY and Chicago are not banning all guns and, in their currrent form, might not survive constitutional challenge. The most likely outcome is increased registration and background checks, but there is little money for much more.

      • SJE

        Actually, there is little money for even background checks!

        • Warfighter

          Not to mention that even having a few small arms in your locker isn’t going to do much good if the big bad government decided to get violent with its populace. Not much help against JDAMs, artillery, and tanks.

          Sure you can think you can go all Wolverines, but I don’t think that protection from the government is really that strong an argument in support of Sam’s comment above.

      • Vaporhead

        I see your point, but no State will take all the weapons away in one swoop. This sort of thing takes time. Indoctrinate the people into thinking weapons are BAD and the Government is GOOD.

    • RMS

      I know that this has become an article of Faith in the US, but historicaly it is not correct.
      What the NSDAP did was bar Jews from owning Firearms.
      The owning of pistols was not prohibited but subject to a permit. The owning of Rifles & shotguns was liberalised so that any German National could own them, the laws restricting their use to non urban areas was already in place, these laws were passed in March 1938, so it was by no means among the first laws where passed since the ascension to power in 1933.

      • SJE

        Correct. Even if the Jews were fully armed, such a small urban minority would not have been able to put up much of a fight against the Wehrmacht, especially since the rest of continental Europe was unable to do so. It also ignores that things other than guns were more important: propaganda, the state machinery of spying, etc. Kristelnacht, the start of the Nazi oppression, involved an old-fashioned riot against Jewish businesses.

        • blight_

          Or the SD and SS. If anything, it would have started pogroms earlier.

          The Holocaust really kicked off because foreign countries were anti-Semites and refused to help Jews relocate. I think Argentina gave more help to SS fugitives than many nations did to pre-WW2 Jewry.

        • ohsoscrewed

          Yes, and notice whom were the victims. Those which had their gun rights taken. Interestingly, with your comment you correct his fact while same time, you support his underlaying idea. That those which have the gun rights taken away become the victims to those which do not.

          • SJE

            The argument is that Hitler took away the Jews guns, with the clear implication that this was a necessary precondition for the holocaust.
            I don’t dispute that laws were passed that prevented citizens generally, including Jews, from owning certain weapons. My point is that is simply irrelevant to the holocaust that followed.

            If you are trying to apply what happened to German Jews to today, you need to understand how Hitler managed to do what he did. Guns were about the most insignificant part. Looking to today, we should not worry only about 2nd amendment rights, but look at the whole Bill of Rights.

          • blight_

            Some people are so obssessed with what Hitler did, that since Hitler won by democracy, we should do away with the popular vote and replace it with…well…

          • RMS

            I think you you are missing the point here, those Laws were passed in 1938.
            Maybe a timeline will help:
            1933 – NSDAP assumes power
            1936 – Nürenberg Laws (those against Jews & Gypsies,etc.)
            1938 – Gun Laws

            This would leave a gap of 2 years where Jews could legaly own Firearms.

            What you do not faktor into your argument is that the culture of Gun ownership was/is not as prevelant in Central & Western Europe as in the USA. Today almost everyone can purchase a firearm, subject to a permit (which is not that difficult to obtain for noncriminals and mentaly sound people), but only few choose to do so as they see no need to have a firearm.

          • Amy deGroodPosted on I have watched this video contuless times. Not too long ago I ran with a group of young girls. I don’t have near the talent that H.Dorniden has, but one little girl joined a club, called, Girls on the Run. Her name is Hemeda, At just 8 years old, sje ran in a 5K with me. I was told she has a natural knack for running. She left most people in the dust. Her dedication and spirit showed me how talented young people can be so long as someone is there to support them. As a teacher, I wish kids ( especially the underprivileged) could meet heroes like H. Dormiden.A family member sent me this video. I have shared it with many, including Hemena of course!

    • jake abernathy

      Hitler did not outlaw firearms. USA is not Germany but it is only the behavioural and attitudional characteristics that mimic the Third Reich, which will show how smart or dumb the politicians are in denying rights to the citizenry.

      • SJE

        No, don’t trust the politicians. They are voted by us: its up to OUR behavior and our responsibility to vote at local, state and federal elections.

  • SDN

    I wonder how these new weapons will perform in combat inasmuch EW and EMP will create new battlefield opportunities and vulnerabilities in the future?

    • Alibi

      You’re “Right on Target” SDN!… (pun intended)

  • Tomatojuice

    Bit late…

  • LCON
  • LCON
  • Sanem

    once upon a time the bow was the best weapon out there, but it was very costly and took a lot of training
    then came the musket, which was inferior to the bow, but was relatively cheap and relatively easy to use

    the value of this system is not that it will replace conventional sniper techniques (yet) but that it can make a decent shot out of pretty much anyone at a relatively low cost
    and in the next years this system will keep getting better and cheaper and it’ll become too good not to use

  • Greg

    Jackass Biden thinks Americans should only be allowed to own shotguns. No pistols or rifles. Idiot!

    • SJE

      Maybe so, but fortunately he has no actual power to make it so. Even his boss is advocating for something less extreme. AND, if Obama did, it wouldn’t do much: anything has to get through (a) the House (b) the Senate (c) the President AND (d) not violate the constitution.

      • Dave

        According to the Constitution, any change to the rights of the people requires the participation of the whle people by the amendment process. Even the National Firearms Act of 1933, which was never challenged, violated the Constitution and the 2d Amendment. The intent of the 2d is not about hunting or defense, it is about defending the nation against all enemies foreign and domestic. It would make no sense if our government had become the enemy and they were allowed to determine the means by which the people could defend their rights. Imagine King George allowing the British Army to use firearms and telling the colonists they could only use slingshots, pitchforks, and torches….

    • Musson

      But – he is also against semi-automatic shotguns or shotguns that hold more than 4 rounds.

      • blight_

        What’s sad is that people are trying to appease what they think is one constituency of gun owner over another by using gunowner arguments.

        When people talk about “home defense” and mention pistols and shotguns, suddenly that’s all the government wants to allow with obligatory red tape. Then they tack on exceptions for hunters to get it through the red states. It’s pander-ousness to the extreme.

        • SJE

          True that!

    • Woodrow

      what about collateral dmg? or bystanders?

  • JaredN

    While that may be able to calculate the elevation required due to the distance, it isn’t going to handle wind. And at long distances, estimating wind speed and knowing the appropriate correction is vital to making the shot. Anyone who has shot a high power rifle match at 600 yards on a windy day knows this firsthand.

    So, no, that won’t make someone a sniper.

  • Dan

    Congrats to the shooters in the video, hitting an animal that is roughly 2m long by 1.5m high in the gut on one and the rear in another at 580 yards and not killing it instantly. Yeah I’m sure Snipers everywhere are concerned for there jobs (much sarcasm implied). I was always taught when hunting shoot at distances that you know you can make a first round kill, after all cruelty is not the purpose. And as for Snipers I would like to think that those in the trade would want better than a gut shot at 580 yards, I may have also read a few things to indicate that 1200 yards for a .338 is well below its effective distance. Anyway fancy gadget that clearly has a bit to go.

  • thomas

    be careful what yuo wish for. once obama gets it we all better watch out

    • SJE

      Umm, in what fever dream of yours is Obama out hunting people with computer enhanced sniper rifles? He can order drone strikes with missiles: why p**ss around with .338?

  • max

    Wow. It’s so accurate. It’s deadly

  • Kevin

    Really, it’s come to this? Pretty sad if you have to rely on that much tech. to drop an animal [not a great job at that either]. Not much left to the sport of hunting, every tool with one of these guns will be out there killin’ shit just ’cause they can….I’m thinkin’ a few more extinct animals……

    • SJE

      +1. How can a hunter even have any sort of pride when there is no competition. In that vein, maximum kudos to the guys who go wild pig hunting with arrows. After the first shot, the boar will charge you so you have to wait until its almost upon you and shoot it in the head.

  • Peter

    This bothers me, a lot! Yeah it’s impressive but it’s also going to be commercaily available. At least at the moment if our enemies want to ake our militaries on they have to do some training, and they’re still not good enough. But, to me, this levels the playing field too much. At least they can’t buy an F-35 off the shelf.

    Oh, wait, no-one can! :)

  • Moi

    Poor animals,

    Trophy shooting with that kind of tech seems pointless …
    Surely the could have tested the equipment without any bloodletting …
    And high fives after killing an animal !

    Nice …. Douchebags …

  • John Deere

    I imagine the spotter will be able to mark targets and upload them to the shooter’s system. No need for chit chat.

  • Warfighter

    Accurate shooting does not a sniper make. Marksman, perhaps, but not a sniper.

    Snipers perform long range observation as a primary role, and need supreme navigation and infiltration skills. Sure, a precision guided round can help make difficult shots, but sniper job security is still assured for some time.

    • blight_

      The issue is that marketing focuses on the sniper as a guy with a well-engineered weapon, but there’s a fieldcraft component involved in sniping. I guess that’s why Carlos Hathco.ck still lives on, more for his fieldcraft than his shooting records. His longest range shot has been taken from him, and his bodycount numbers were beat in service by a very obscure Army sniper in his day, and more recently by men like Chris Kyle (RIP). But his fieldcraft was amazing, especially for the technology and equipment of the day. But maybe when old operations are declassified, we’ll find new snipers who did extraordinary things.

      As soon as Lockmart can replace fieldcraft with “standoff shooting”, then we’ll know that as Americans we’ve traded basic skillsets for ways to “change the paradigm” by throwing lots of money at the problem instead of sticking to fairly well tested techniques.

  • DMS

    Regarding concerns about hunting:
    Do you think the guns maker Tracking Point would have thought it wise to release a similar marketing video but instead with soldiers taking down paper targets, or crappy animations of virtual soldiers killing virtual hostiles? No, thats either innefective or flat out bad PR, they dont want that. A vid with hunters scoring real game makes for a convincing demo in order to spice up interest for military contracts, which is the most desirable bread and butter for any defense co making expensive, complex, war caliber weaponry. Do you think these guys are relying on their sales from the few rich, lazy hunters in the world willing to shell out >$20K? Of course not, theyre not trying to sell bugattis to 100 people, theyre trying to sell large military contract batches of deluxe sooped up range rovers that can drive themselves: expensive but still affordable and necessary in large numbers to those who will need and want them. Namely, militaries.

    • blight_

      Need one that can be fired remotely. Hang it up in a blind every hunting season.

      “You bag it, we tag it; you can pick up the head or have it shipped…”

  • Barry

    Obviously this technology does not belong in the hands of civilians. Imagine what will happen when criminals, terrorists and gun nuts put this onto a .338 or a .50 and start targeting police cars, VIP motorcades, ambulances and fire trucks, police stations, power lines, police choppers, airliners, etc. Need I say more?

  • Woody

    How soon can we get one of these in every classroom? Teachers need this kind of point and shoot technology.

  • elmondohummus

    I see a lot of posts ripping this for subtracting from the craft and art of being a sniper, and to an extent I agree. Those skills need to be maintained so as to not turn being a sniper into being a weapon system hauler and button pusher.

    But at the same time, I don’t want to be a Luddite and simply rip on this. Results are what’s important. Technology doesn’t necessarily render all things moot; for example, navigation has had to endure constant evolution since the days of the sextant, and progressed through the development of the compass and chronometer to radio navigation (LORAN) and the current GPS system we have today. Yet no one in their right mind thinks that the skill is so commoditized that it can be done with a GPS unit and an untrained individual. Same with this system. What would it do to **simplify** some of the tasks that fully trained snipers now do? (cont’d…)

  • HERKEY ANDERSON

    only a nut would use this for hunting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • stpaulchuck

    there’s a world of difference between “sharpshooter” and “sniper”, and it’s not the firearm – it’s the real weapon, the man and his training

  • Mac from Dallas

    Ludmila Mihaylovna Pavlichenko, 54th Rifle Regiment, Soviet Army, killed 309 Germans with a Mosin 91/30 sniper rifle in WWII.

  • traindodger

    Notice how they can pick up what the scope sees using a tablet as a display? The next step is to send that wireless video feed to an augmented-reality eyepiece, so the sniper can see what the scope sees even if they’re not looking through the scope. One could theoretically make thousand-yard headshots while leaning their weapon out a window, not exposing any part of their body. We’re looking at the future of warfare, right here.

  • Rosalee

    the anti gun lobby is already gearing up……………..

  • Catch22

    I am a bit uncomfortable in any item that gives my enemy a potential edge. Even if this is restricted for sale in the US only. How long before the technology is over on the other side

  • chMerlin
  • John in SD

    Obviously the title of this piece is misleading, it implies anyone will pick up this weapon and nail long shots in no time. It seems the system locks on to the selected target, you pull the trigger and the system waits to fire the cartridge until the user wanders the sights over the target at a point the system feels is optimal for success.
    We see it working in the video with expert marksmen on animals that are stationary or nearly so. Possibly relevant to situations in the field, but maybe not so much.
    Again, with expert marksmen.
    I can’t help but note the comment made by a knowledgeable reader about windage adjustments.
    If this system isn’t calculating for wind speed it’s not up to specs, at least for what the article’s title claims.
    I think that “anyone can be a sniper” thing won’t happen with a dumb, ballistic projectile.
    Tiny missiles, with a radar set in my eyeballs. It’s the new normal.

  • Peter S Williamson

    And the criminally insane can target people with virtual impunity !!! What a shock to the troops when the Afghan snipers started using the .50 against them ! What happens when the battery goes flat ? “Commercially available” means that someone will buy them and export them to anyone who has the money to pay, anywhere in the world.

  • Alice

    This takes all of the fUN out of the gUN

  • Bronxman

    I’m sure AQ and all the other terrorist networks out there are getting ready to place their orders.

  • Cole

    …does nobody else realize how ridiculous this is? It’s a toy, in no way can it replace a snipers training…. frankly it not only couldn’t aid him but would hinder him, i know a former Marine who was a Scout-Sniper in Ramadi, he could make 1050 coldbore with a .308. I saw him make multiple hits on targets 500-600 yards without so much as a pocket calculator. Furthermore, he saved many lives by spotting IEDs along roads from 15 football fields away! He didn’t have to sit there dicking around with the rifle till the computer thought he had it alined, he knew himself!
    Trash this junk, it would do more harm than good.

  • Fish

    This should ONLY be available to the military and law enforcement. It wouldn’t replace real snipers but would give a squad or platoon a long range shooting capability. The lack of quick kills in the video shows that training is needed. Sport hunting should NOT have this capability; real hunters would reject this. This is not what hunting is about, to prove that you can kill and not have any skills is murder.

  • Zach

    those guys are horrible shots and should be embarrassed. if thats a guided rifle id hate to see how they shoot with a real LR/ELR setup.

  • Jerry

    It might enhance shooting but it does nothing but detract from hunting.

  • Beef Supreme

    The latest version allows you to instantly send the sight picture to facebook, twitter or youtube. If you order now you will get a free microphone-earpiece set with an additional LCD so you can communicate with your friends via Skype.

  • Alex

    Ever wonder how master chief (fictional character) can snipe while strafing in halo? while now you can! with the TrackingPoint PGF 2000! only $59,000 at your local FFL dealer available in Pink, Tan and ACU. Who the (-) is gonna sell that? seriously. Buy one, get a M1A1 Abrams tank free while supplies last. Oh and that’s not all, we’ll throw in a fleet of F-22’s if you call now. *poop on that*

  • Joren

    Shooting animals just for showing a fucking rifle ,, your a bunch of sick assholes!!!!!!!!

  • Maverick Mike

    I consistently place better shots at longer distances than the video shows with a custom built .338 Lapua Mag Hunting rifle and a decent Schmidt Bender scope. No gut or buttock shots and no wounding.. I have hunted ethically for more than 40 years and have trained many snipers who would laugh their asses off at this technology shit !!!

  • Kenneth E. George

    This gross carnage reminds me of the 19th Century Buffalo Shooting Party railroad train excursions sold to weapons freaks who could not afford to go to Africa to slaughter elephants. If you want to practice with this weapon, then put towel heads in the sights.

  • SFP

    Technology fails. The basics must still be taught.. TO do otherwise would be a grave mistake. Not that I see them shutting down any sniper schools.