TrackingPoint offers amazing AR15 rifles powered by Linux

In today's open source roundup: TrackingPoint's Linux-based AR15 rifles start at $10,000. Plus: The best Chromebooks for students, and how to watch Netflix in Ubuntu

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Linux is everywhere these days, including in TrackingPoint's new AR15 rifles. If you've got $10,000 or more to spend then you can own one of these high-tech firearms that include a tracking system that uses Linux as its operating system. Ars Technica looks at what TrackingPoint has to offer with its new AR15 rifles.

According to Ars Technica:

The ARs are priced much lower, too—the 5.56mm NATO entry-level weapon is right at $10,000. It’s still around 10 times the cost of an unaugmented non-PGF AR-15, but it’s also not out of the range of a middle-class luxury purchase like the motorcycles and WaveRunners Schauble mentioned.

TrackingPoint has four AR-15 models in development, all of which will begin delivery to customers in October. The entry-level product, the AR 556, is built around a Daniel Defense DDM4V7 carbine and is chambered in 5.56mm NATO, the most common round for AR-15s. The other weapon on the range that day—the one that was being zeroed when I arrived—was the AR 762, based on an LMT modular carbine and chambered in the much larger 7.62mm NATO caliber.

More at Ars Technica

If you have a couple of minutes, be sure to watch the video I've included above. These rifles are truly amazing. The target tracking, guided firing and advanced mode really impressed me, as did the other technology enhancements. I own a Colt 6920 AR15 and it's a fine rifle, but it doesn't have any of the cool doodads in TrackingPoint's AR15 rifles. It's mind-blowing to see how much technology is incorporated into these new rifles, it makes mine seem like something out of the stone age.

I remember when I first heard that they were using Linux in these guns. I thought that was impressive at the time, but it's clear that they've built on that and made a truly high-tech firearm that any gun owner would be delighted to own and use for target shooting, hunting or self-defense. Of course having such great technology might also spoil a gun owner a bit, but that's the price we pay for progress.

The real onion in the ointment is the cost of these rifles. My rifle cost a bit over $1000 but a $10000 rifle is just way out of my price range. I have no doubt that there are plenty of folks out there who could afford a TrackingPoint AR15 rifle though, and I'm sure they'll be very happy with it if they buy one. It would be great to see the price come down significantly though from where it is right now. Perhaps over time it will so that these guns become much more affordable for the average Jane or Joe.

My only other concern about these rifles is how much they weigh with all the doodads on them. One of the things I like about my AR15 is that it's a relatively lightweight gun to hold and shoot. But I wonder what it would end up weighing with all of TrackingPoint's customizations. I may be nitpicking here since I'm the type that prefers lighter devices, including firearms. Most TrackingPoint buyers probably wouldn't give a hoot so take my reticence with a grain of salt or two.

You can get more information about these Linux-based rifles on TrackingPoint's site. There is also a store where you can see different models of TrackingPoint's firearms, and you can check out posts on the TrackingPoint blog for the company's latest updates.

Also, see the thread on Reddit and the Ars Technica discussion for reader reaction to TrackingPoint's new AR15 rifles.

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