Who among you couldn’t use a self-guiding rifle bullet? Check it out:
From the video description: DARPA’s Extreme Accuracy Tasked Ordnance (EXACTO) program, which developed a self-steering bullet to increase hit rates for difficult, long-distance shots, completed in February its most successful round of live-fire tests to date. An experienced shooter using the technology demonstration system repeatedly hit moving and evading targets. Additionally, a novice shooter using the system for the first time hit a moving target.
This video shows EXACTO rounds maneuvering in flight to hit targets that are moving and accelerating. EXACTO’s specially designed ammunition and real-time optical guidance system help track and direct projectiles to their targets by compensating for weather, wind, target movement and other factors that can impede successful hits.
While this would be some great fun for recreational shooting – and while one suspects the price tag would put it outside the reach of anyone not possessed of Bill Gates-type fortune – it’s probably crossing a line for the hunter, the far side of the line lying outside the realm of “fair chase.” Of course some folks said the same for telescopic sights, and modern ammo, and probably the bow and arrow – but this seems different. It’s not just a technical advance that still requires some skill of the marksman; it largely obviates the need for any marksmanship skill at all, as vividly shown in the video.
That’s outside the world of sportsmanship. In war, great – and that’s DARPA’s portfolio, after all, developing weapons for war – but not in the game fields.
And speaking of the military – nothing, but nothing, can replace marksmanship skills in individual soldiers. Gadgets can and do break. A skilled rifleman is more resilient.