If you’re a very well heeled sportsmen or gun collector, TrackingPoint has a rifle for you. It’s not an ordinary rifle. No, far from it. It’s military grade and extremely accurate out to 1,000 yards; and on moving targets. It’s a rifle system that incorporates a computerized sighting system that calculates wind, pressure, distance and movement to a target.
Pflugerville, TX-based TrackingPoint, produces this precision-guided firearm. It incorporates the same tracking and fire-control capabilities found in advanced fighter jets.
How does it work? According to the company’s description, the shooter presses the (red) tag button to designate an impact point, aligns the reticle with the tag, and squeezes and holds the trigger. The Precision-Guided Firearm does the rest. It’s called Tag-and-Shoot. The firearm uses an integrated target tracking system like an F16 fighter jet or Predator drone. It uses an electronic connection between the tracking optic and the guided trigger and can hit targets traveling as fast as 20 mph. And get this, the target can be displayed on Apple type eyeglasses, a Smartphone or iPad meaning the firearm doesn’t have to be held but this situation would only be used in a military or law enforcement situation.
The next question you may have is, is skill required to hunt or shoot with it? TrackingPoint’s answer – absolutely. They say you must identify and stalk your prey. As they describe it, you choose the desired shot placement and tag the animal with precision. You’ll develop a new skill: learning to tag a moving animal quickly and swiftly get back on target.
Unfortunately, even if you’re well heeled, the electronics is designed around the AR semi-automatic platform and its use is illegal for hunting in Pennsylvania. At least so far. There is a bill pending to legalize semi-auto rifles for hunting, but as yet it hasn’t been approved.
As for putting these computerized instruments on another rifle, that’s not possible as TrackingPoint designed it around the AR and would otherwise result in poor precision says the company. They go on by saying the level of precision of their firearms goes beyond the laser guided scope. The trigger alone contains electro-optics technology usually seen only in advanced weapon systems. In the base firearm – where the laser-based barrel reference system maintains perfect zero from shot to shot – there are more than 200 electronic and mechanical components that don’t exist in any other gun.
With a Precision-Guided Firearm, a shooter will always hit within 10 inches of the tag point on a 1,000-yard target. And yes these firearms can be used in a traditional way. But if used in the way it was intended, you don’t need a gun rest and it is stabilized with their Virtual Rest that is essentially an embedded gyroscope.
As far as being ethical to hunt with it, the company says the firearm’s precision placement produces ultra-clean harvests and dramatically reduces the number of wounded animals.
Some game agencies are leery of the firearm and may attempt to outlaw its use. But for now, they are legal in many states, Pennsylvania, as said, not being one of them.
The Precision-Guided rifles sell for, are you ready, $9995 for the M600, which is the 5.56 NATO service rifle, and the M800 7.62 NATO marksman rifle that utilizes Tracking Point’s new RapidLok and Target Elimination Fire Control system for $15,995. Tracking Point has sold some rifles to the military and it’s CEO, John McHale, has recently offered to donate 10 rifles to anyone in a U.S. organization willing to travel to Syria to battle Islamic State fighters. Said McHale, “It’s hard to sit back and watch what is happening over there and we want to do our part especially in light of what recently happened in France. Ten rifles doesn’t seem like a lot, but the dramatic leap lethality is a great force multiplier.”
In an effort to showcase the rifles’ performance, Taya Kyle, the widowed wife of American Sniper Chris Kyle will compete against professional handgun shooter and former NJ police officer Bruce Piatt, in a shooting competition on December 5, 2015 in Mason, Texas. Piatt will use a standard military version of the Precision-Guided rifle while Tara Kyle will use a Tracking Point rifle in a shoot-off. If Piatt outshoots the Precision-Guided Firearm, he will receive one million dollars. “The shoot-off is intended to demonstrate the desperate need for these weapons on the battlefield and continue to spur the evolution of war,” according to Emily Storz, public relations representative for TrackingPoint. And all proceeds of the American Sniper Shootout will benefit the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation for disabled and wounded military. For more information and to see videos of the rifles capabilities, go to www.tracking-point.com.