Gun Experts Question Cost, Durability
The smart phone is now a staple of everyday life, and the smart gun could be next. A Texas-based company has introduced the TrackingPoint rifle, which uses smart technology to track and hit targets from long distance. Once the rifle is locked on a target, the weapon decides when to fire in order to guarantee the most accurate hit. These so-called "smart guns" aren't cheap and certainly aren't for everybody. The estimated cost: $25,000. "I can see that the military could save a lot of money in sniper training I suppose by buying that $25,000 scope," says Jim Pruett, owner of Jim Pruett's Guns & Ammo in Houston. "It would make you a marksman at incredible distances."
See the TrackingPoint rifle in action!
Becoming a marksman at long distance is the idea behind the TrackingPoint rifle, which can vastly improve the accuracy of even novice shooters. The developers came up with the idea after getting frustrated while hunting. Pruett, however, isn't sure these rifles will become big sellers among hunters or at local gun stores. "The price and the durability are the main questions," he tells KTRH. "For a hunting rifle, it's gotta be bumped against a tree and stuff like that and continue to function easily and dependably." For now, Pruett expects the TrackingPoint developers to gear these rifles to the military, although the cost might be a factor there as well. "I don't know if we can equip the military with those $25,000 ones, but (the company) says that's their target group," he says.
The other big issue surrounding smart guns is what happens if they fall into the wrong hands, such as criminals or terrorists. For now, Pruett expects the high cost will keep access fairly limited. "For Pruett's Guns & Ammo or any other gun stores, it's probably going to be available only on an as-ordered basis," he says. "I don't think we'd stock it." Indeed, according to the TrackingPoint website, the smart rifles are currently only available through an online application process due to what the site says is "overwhelming demand.