TrackingPoint is already working on their second generation of smart scopes, with more advanced range-finding capabilities that are expected to triple the operational range of their scopes.
This upcoming generation of scope is supposed to have a 3,000 yard range — 1.7 miles — more than triple the average range of their first scopes. They’re calling this the “Supergun.”
TrackingPoint unveiled their smart scope technology last year. These scopes use image recognition software combined with a rangefinder and ballistics calculator to ensure that the shooter will hit his target no matter what.
These scopes and their connected rifles are so incredibly easy to use that a person has to just recognize their target and pull the trigger — actually, push the button, such as it is — if shooting were golf, the shooter of a TrackingPoint rifle is a caddy.
Pushing the scope’s ability to shoot out past a mile and a half is an incredible challenge. At those ranges, portable laser rangefinders become unreliable, and without knowing how far away the target is, the scope’s computer can’t calculate how much to compensate for.
And determining windage — correcting for moving through the air — at those distances is the sort of prediction skill that people can have that is so difficult to program. A skilled sniper determines wind speeds by looking at signs of a breeze from the end of the muzzle to their target in addition to the same tools they have that these smart scopes rely on to estimate windage.
If TrackingPoint really is getting shots out at these distances, then the biggest argument against smart scope tech — that these rifles are good out to 1,000 yards, but beyond that you need a real long-range shooting expert — dries up. Whether that’s for long-range hunting or military applications, it’s at best a stop-gap.
Working out at these ranges, we’re positive that the military is definitely going to be interested in these, even if they’re just to bolster, not replace, manual sniping skills.
Of course, TrackingPoint isn’t the only company developing smart scope technology. Burris has had their Eliminator smart scopes on the market for some time. Because of their range limitations and cost in general, the tech has largely stayed in the consumer isle. Trijicon is looking to change this.
Trijicon has just unveiled a new 6×48 fixed magnification optic complete with a target spotter and computer-controlled tracking reticle. The system is called CCAS, or Continuously Computed Aiming Solution.
Unlike TrackingPoint’s smart scope systems, the Trijicon CCAS doesn’t take over pulling the trigger, it simply recognizes targets and indicates in the view piece where the shooter needs to correct to in order to put down effective fire.
The end product is straight out of science fiction, down to the terminal-green reticle.
“The CCAS calculates for pressure, angle, range and movement of the target, automatically adjusting for changes in relation to the zeroing set-up to provide updated aiming solutions,” reads Trijicon’s product page. “With the capability of supporting multiple weapons and multiple projectiles per weapon it rovides increased first round hit capabilities.
“The CCAS replaces the necessity for advanced marksmanship skills such as range estimation, windage adjustment and angle of fire adjustment.”
Like TrackingPoints solutions, the CCAS has some drawbacks. It’s bulky at two and a quarter pounds, it’s power-hungry and runs on four CR123 batteries and has no specified battery life. It’s not instant, requiring about half a second to determine the firing solution.
However, it’s got far better range than first-generation smart scopes with its 2000-meter effective range.
And quite unlike TrackingPoint rifles, the CCAS will be “For direct sales to governments and municipallities only.” At least for now, anyway. And if not Trijicon, another company is sure to fill the consumer need.
We look forward to how the era of the supergun will change shooting.