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We are in the a slightly gritty future. There is space travel, but technology is reasonable. People still shoot bullets and not lasers. Vehicles are powered by nuclear reactors and not magic space batteries. More MechWarrior or Dune, less StarTrek.
Let's assume that all the tech is advanced, but does not use any new physics, and should not feel like magic.

We have a sniper rifle with some advanced optics. There is a split live feed, one going to the shooter, the other being recorded by a video camera.
The shooter lines up the cross hairs and pulls the trigger. He is firing from maybe 1 mile away. Completely within modern range. There is recoil on the rifle. It maybe can be suppressed in some way by future tech, but nothing that we could not imagine building today. The gun fires and the bullet exits the rifle. At modern speeds it would take over a second to hit the target. Also I would expect the rifle to be knocked way out of position, for the optics to not even closely be looking the right way when the bullet hits.

The question. Is it possible without crazy future technology like inertial dampeners for a mobile sniper rifle that is at most just on a tripod to record the kill through the scope's camera?

Edit

For anyone talking about spotters or the like. My situation is a Battle battle royale PubG situation. The sniper is alone hoping to survive through his skill. There is an audience watching through his scope. They want to see the blood, violence, and the bullet hit the target.

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closed as off-topic by Mołot, JBH, Frostfyre, 011358 smell, Morris The Cat Jun 5 at 19:43

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Mołot, JBH, Frostfyre, 011358 smell, Morris The Cat
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you want snipers to hit their targets at 1 mile range without any substantial technological advancements? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 4 at 21:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Alexander There are already computer-assisted rifles that let less-skilled shooters shoot more accurately at long range. There's no reason that couldn't be extended to longer ranges. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Jun 4 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ It's worth noting that snipers don't generally operate alone; typically they pair off with a spotter who already helps with target acquisition and sighting. If they needed to record the kill for whatever reason, the spotter is better positioned to do so than the sniper. $\endgroup$ – Cadence Jun 4 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ The problem with this question isn't the technology - it might be possible (at least with a side mounted camera) - its the tactics. Snipers don't confirm kills - a spotter might - snipers take out a target then find another then another then .... and then move to avoid everyone figuring out where they are and opening up all the machine guns at the spot where all the sniper fire is coming from. There are other tactics but none of them are conducive to confirmed kills, even with assassinations you take your shot and either you hit or miss (hard to confirm when people start dragging the guy away) $\endgroup$ – LinkBerest Jun 4 at 23:23
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    $\begingroup$ This isn't near future, this is "now tech". Snipers actually practice getting their scope back on target before bullet impact in order to confirm their hit (not just snipers, this is part of learning to shoot well on paper targets, too). A second of flight time is plenty for the impact to be within the scope's field. Go dig around YouTube for videos about shooting pests with air rifles -- these guns have significant recoil (due to the spring piston), and there are a couple shooters who video through their scopes and routinely catch impact after the gun movement. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Jun 5 at 11:18
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Telescopic sight and camera are not attached to the rifle.

Having the sight stuck to the rifle is an anachronism. Your camera and telescopic sight are one piece. The rifle is another. The rifle affixed to its mount is aligned in correct relationship with the sight and camera with lasers ; the position software and servos on the mount do that for you. Once the rifle is locked in position, rifle aim is changed by the same servos. The difference between line of sight for the telescopic sight and the path of the bullet are are calculated according to the distance between them, just as must be done with a sight on top of the rifle. The software also factors in drop of the bullet according to how far away the target is. Rotation of the earth can also be factored in for some shots but windspeed requires a separate sensor or estimation of the shooter.

The rifle is fired electronically; you do not want to risk a trigger pull altering rifle position. When the rifle fires and kicks, the camera and telescopic sight do not; they are not physically attached. The servos and lasers will pull the rifle back into the correct relation between rifle and sight. Software will tell you when that is achieved and the rifle is ready for another shot.

The entire package can be automated, left in place, and run by an unsleeping AI. This is not future tech.

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  • $\begingroup$ A sensor that tracks actual bullet trajectory so that a second shot, adjusted for any errors can be fired automatically is not inplausable either... $\endgroup$ – Guran Jun 5 at 6:02
  • $\begingroup$ You would have another camera attached to the rifle, using similar optics than a conventional sniper rifle, to have the most precise info possible on where it is pointing at. It would give better precision than only sensors directly measuring its angular positioning. $\endgroup$ – Eth Jun 5 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ The sniper also fills the role of the spotter. So, the sniper has a second device, the Spotter 3000 (TM), which has variable zoom, a laser distance meter, and other cool features. Once the sniper is in place, he scans the surroundings with his Spotter 3000, once he finds a target, puts the Spotter 3000 on a tripod. Thus, the target is always in view. The Spotter 3000 may also include some automated tracking. The sniper gets behind the rifle, where an integrated screen displays a wider field of view for convencience. $\endgroup$ – Dohn Joe Jun 6 at 11:48
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This could be done even with today's technology

The camera movement with the shot (due to recoil) is within what existing cameras can handle, especially if it is designed for it.

The optics will need to be mounted in a place so as to not be obstructed by the rifle.

It won't always work. If the shooter moves the rifle in a completely different direction than the target, then there may be no chance to see it hit.

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  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure how this would still let you aim $\endgroup$ – Andrey Jun 4 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ The location of the camera and the digital display don't have to be the same. $\endgroup$ – Mathaddict Jun 4 at 21:39
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    $\begingroup$ The primary camera has to be mounted on the rifle. But there can be a secondary camera observing the same target. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 4 at 21:45
  • $\begingroup$ You don't even need a secondary camera. Just mount the optics on the side of the gun, or under the barrel, so that the barrel doesn't block your view of the target when it kicks up, and then let digital image stabilization handle the rest. Assuming proper bracing (bipod, tripod, resting on a solid object, etc.) recoil only rotates the rifle a handful of degrees, if that, which (as this answer says) is within what existing cameras can handle. $\endgroup$ – Dave Sherohman Jun 5 at 15:05
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Yes, many modern cameras have one or more kinds of Image Stabilization to stay focused on a subject despite breathing, shaking hands, etc. It's actually pretty easy with a long-ranged sniper rifle because the recoil will be done by the time the bullet hits so you could us image recognition to realign the camera after the shot to get a clear video of the hit. It would be harder at shorter ranges or with rapid fire weapons since the recoil would still be happening when the target is hit, but still pretty conceivable considering that it's just like shaky hands, but more intense.

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    $\begingroup$ This will work if sniper keeps observing the target after the shot. If not (say, he withdraws the rifle), image stabilization won't help. $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 4 at 22:09
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    $\begingroup$ One presumes a sniper is efficiently hidden. Presuming the muzzle flash does not give him away there's no reason to withdraw the weapon. (If his weapon has a huge muzzle flash maybe he needs a new weapon.) He might need a second shot. And he wants to see how the target's buddies react to know if he has been made and needs to bug out. $\endgroup$ – puppetsock Jun 5 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander, for this reason, I think Willk's frame challenge is actually better for practical purposes. But the OP asked specifically about a "camera on a sniper riffle". For that you need to assume the riffle is still trying to look at the target at the moment of impact. Also, sniper rifles typically use supersonic bullets, meaning you can still observe the hit before the sound of the gun shot it heard giving you time to withdraw if need be. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jun 5 at 15:11
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There are a number of YouTube channels that deal with hunting various nuisance animals. Wild hogs, squirrels, rats, etc. One guy in particular is keen to show the through-the-scope view of the bullet hitting the various critters that are eating his garden. It's not 1000-meter high-powered sniper rifles or anything. But also, it's consumer grade cameras, scopes, and rifles. If a guy in his backyard can track a bullet 50 yards to a gopher's left eye, then I suppose that military grade equipment can see the result of a shot at much larger distances.

With a little jim-jam and AI in there, possibly you could even get a computer assist on the shot to show something like slow-motion instant replay with an orange line where the bullet went.

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Unless you have some sort of recoil dampening on the rifle, what time ask doesn't seem to be possible. If the camera is physically capturing the feed from the optics, then when the optic moves, the video would also move (and will need to rapidly refocus).

Instead, you can use one of the two following solutions:

1) a separate camera, slaved to the rifle optics. It doesn't need to be big. If we assume future tech, cameras may be able to give much better image quality while being smaller. It can be mounted on the shooter's headgear, be placed on any random surface, etc. It reads the data from the optics, adjusts itself on the objects in the scope and so on - up until the moment the trigger is pressed. It can even be not a simple camera, but an advanced rangefinder with wind speed sensors and all that stuff - serving instead of a human spotter.

2) a camera in the bullet. Obviously, it will not be able to record the moment of impact itself, but the video will stop the moment the bullet us deformed - enough for kill confirmation.

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