Computer-aided rifle with optical systems aboard begins shipping

TrackingPoint_PGF

(Image source: TrackingPoint)

Austin, TX--An optically sophisticated rifle made by TrackingPoint has begun shipping to invited customers; the first units were delivered at the company's board meeting in Mason, Texas on May 15, 2013. Called a precision-guided firearm (PGF), the gun was seen at the event by, among others, Texas governor Rick Perry, who is a hunter. The first PGF was delivered to an active-duty U.S. Navy SEAL.

The rifle allows precision shots to 1200 yards. It contains optical systems that include image tracking, designation, laser rangefinding, and a head-up display (HUD). Because it is essentially computer-operated, the gun can be password-protected.

How it is used
In "advanced" mode, the shooter presses a "tag" button to tag the object using the laser rangefinder, which results in a red dot on the image of the target or prey in the scope; the red dot remains in the same spot on the target even after lateral image movement. The rifle's computer simultaneously takes pressure and temperature readings and calculates the correct bullet path based on these and other factors, such as effects of pivoting the rifle and "lead" for movement of the target relative to the scope axis.

A crosshair "reticle" seen in the scope's HUD moves to align with the target; the shooter aligns the reticle with the tag, at which point the reticle turns red. At this point the shooter pulls the trigger, but the gun actually fires only when alignment is perfect, based on the gun's calculations.

The rifle has a Wi-Fi server that can work with a streaming-video mobile app downloadable to iPhones or Android devices; these allow recording of both audio and video, as well as real-time sharing of the audio/video stream with other people.

Three different rifle models have effective ranges to 1200, 1000, and 850 yards. According to the TrackingPoint website, there are not enough guns to go around at the moment: potential buyers must reserve a spot on the company's waiting list.

Sources:

1. http://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2013/05/15/CG14509

2. http://www.virtualpressoffice.com/publicsiteContentFileAccess?fileContentId=1069893&fromOtherPageToDisableHistory=T&menuName=Events

3. http://tracking-point.com/

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