First Impressions: TrackingPoint’s Tracking Scope

Can good gear turn even the novice shooter into a long distance sniper? TrackingPoint’s “Precision Guided Firearms” appears to be up to the task. There’s been a fair amount of marketing and hype around this product, and of course, you should never believe something until you see it in person.

I sat down behind a TrackingPoint XS4 .338 Lapua Magnum rifle, which has a Surgeon rifle XL action and a McMillan A5 stock. I received some basic instruction that lasted all of 15-20 seconds. Right in front of the trigger is a button that you use to “tag” your target. Once the target is tagged, the reticle drops down and you realign the reticle with your tagged point. You must squeeze and hold the trigger during this alignment phase, and keep holding it once the reticle changes to indicate that you are aligned.

The next thing I knew, the rifle fired and a second or two later I heard the gong out at 958 yards. Well, it does what it says it’s supposed. That was by far the easiest long distance shot I’ve ever taken.

Chris Cheng

Chris Cheng is History Channel’s Top Shot Season 4 champion and author of “Shoot to Win,” a book for beginning shooters. A self-taught amateur turned pro through his Top Shot win, Cheng very much still considers himself an amateur who parachuted into this new career.

He is a professional marksman for Bass Pro Shops who shares his thoughts and experiences from the perspective of a newbie to the shooting community. He resides in San Francisco, CA and works in Silicon Valley.


  • Colby

    Cool stuff. Too bad the camera man didn’t listen to your instructions to record what was happening in the ipad. I am much more interested in seeing what happened from your perspective through the scope than I am at watching a barrel dangle in the space of barren desert.

    Any way you could supplement us with the video from the ipad or splice it into the end of the video? Hopefully that was your ipad and the footage is not lost.

    I got to handle Remington’s version of this scope at the Dallas Safari Club convention this weekend. Unlike Trackingpoint, the Remington system is not integrated into the trigger pack, so the shooter still has to correctly time and press the trigger when the reticle turns red. So there is probably an advantage in that regard going to the Trackingpoint system.

    Regardless, the technology seemed very well developed and inovative. I am glad that we are starting to finally see these kind of options available in the marketplace. In about 10 years I estimate that the technology will have matured to the point that it will be affordable and light enough for me to put one of these on one of my long-range hunting rifles. I look forward to that day.

    • gunslinger

      hard to capture the audio while you were setting up the shot as well.

      Thanks for the update!

  • Esh325

    Very interesting. I don’t think the civilian market will ever see such a thing released though.

    • Gunhead

      Remington 2020 isn’t under Remington Defense to my knowledge.

      • Sadler

        I saw a rifle with the 2020 on it at Sportsman’s Warehouse the other day.

    • RocketScientist

      Ummmm, you CAN buy this actual rifle as a civilian. Granted, for a whole lotta dimp, but its not being resitricted to LEO or military or anything. Also, Remington has a version without the trigger actuator (and only rated out to 600 yds) for a lot less money, and Tracking Point is working on a semi-auto version. All available for civilians.

  • Michael Zeleny

    I attended the same event. This was the first shot I fired at anything over 200 yards away. Ringing the gong was a religious experience. Yes, the rifle is available to civilians, for $25K.

  • JT

    The twitter comments for this product are nothing short of…Sad? Hilarious? Predictable? Way to go mainstream news/ignorant general public

  • JT

    Also, is there a video where the cameraman focuses on the Ipad, so we can watch along?

  • J


  • Squidpuppy

    I still don’t get how this system works. I’ve gone to the website and watched all the videos… does there still need to be a baseline zero? Doesn’t the shooter still need to be otherwise competent and steady? Are there accelerometers in the scope system?

    • Greg Paulsen

      I’ve had the opportunity to “dry fire” test this platform. When you look in the optic (which is a digital view) you see a normal reticle dot that you use to mark your target. When you press the mark button the system will ping the range of the target that is under the initial dot; you will also see an adjusted reticle dot show up. Your trigger is now locked, and will not allow you to pull until you place the disturbed reticle over the target again – nearly guaranteeing your hit.

      Here’s the cool part: if your target starts to move (e.g., hunting game), the tracking dot will follow the target as long as you keep it in your field of view. So you have a real-time disturbed reticle following your target as you prepare to fire. The system also records your shots and can even real-time sync over WiFi to a display like an iPad. The system is bulky, but it’s only a matter of time and platform for it to get miniaturized. Overall it is very impressive but may not be right for military/field applications with its current iteration as targets and priorities may change in a dynamic situation.