Science Fiction Homes In

A big budget science fiction movie named Runaway (1984) made an impact on me at the time.

It wasn’t the pedestrian acting, the sub-par special effects, or the preposterous plot. Instead it was the gun the villain used to shoot it out with the protagonists.


A one of a kind firearm created by a greed crazed genius, the gun was a platform to launch self guiding rockets that would home in on the heat signature of human beings. A smart bullet.


Now it would appear that a similar weapon has finally been developed. There are some differences, though.

The rounds from the movie were tiny rockets, while the real world prototypes simply coast along. The movie weapon could home in on individual people, while the actual smart bullet homes in on the flash caused by a laser designator. In the movie, the bullets would explode on contact to cause frightful wounds. We have to settle for a smart bullet that simply rams the target like any other bullet.

The technology is less about creating an unstoppable assassin round that will twist and turn around corners in order to unerringly strike the one person they are programmed to attack. Instead it is more likely that we will see extremely long range sniper shots become more accurate as smart bullets start to automatically adjust their trajectories to counteract windage.

Even so, I’ll take what I can get.

A tip of the hat to Glenn.

James Rummel is a self defense instructor who lives in Columbus, Ohio. For 18 years, his private charity was a free course for violent crime survivors. He specialized in the disabled and elderly.