Tracking Point: “The Real Deal”, Says WeaponsMan

xs3-right-side-silo-with-ammo

WeaponsMan, a must read blog for those interested in military small arms, blogs about an early long-range consumer test of the TrackingPoint rifle and optic system:

Quick take-aways:

  • Best packaged gun any of them had ever seen. In the gunsmith’s experience, that’s out of thousands of new guns.
  • Favorably impressed with the quality of the gun and the optic. It “feels” robust.
  • It’s premium priced, but with premium quality. Rifle resembles a Surgeon rifle. “The whole thing is top quality all the way, no corners cut, no expense spared.” They throw in an iPad. The scope itself serves its images up as wifi.
  • First shot, cold bore, no attempt to zero, 350 meters, IPSC sized metal silhouette: “ding!” They all laughed like maniacs. It does what the ads say.
  • Here’s how the zero-zero capability works:  they zero at the factory, no $#!+, and use a laser barrel reference system to make automatic, no-man-in-the-loop, corrections. Slick.
  • The gun did a much better job of absorbing .300WM recoil than any 300WM any of them have shot. With painful memories of developmental .300WM M24 variants, that was interesting. “Seriously, it’s like shooting my .308.”
  • By the day’s end, the least experienced long-range shooter, who’d never fired a round at over 200 meters, was hitting moving silhouettes at 850 yards. In the world of fiction where all snipers take head shots at 2000m with a .308, that’s nothing, but in the world of real lead on target, it’s huge. 
  • It requires you to unlearn some processes and learn some new ones, particularly with respect to trigger control. But that’s not impossible, or even very hard.
  • They didn’t put wind speed into the system, and used Kentucky windage while placing the “tag.” This worked perfectly well.
  • An experienced sniper or long range match shooter, once he gets over the muscle memory differences, will get even more out of the TrackingPoint system than a novice, but
  • A novice can be made very effective, very fast, at ranges outside of the engagement norm, with this system.

As Porky Pig says, for now, “Ib-a-dee-ib-a-dee-ib-a-dee-That’s all, folks!” But we’re promised more, soon.

In this author’s opinion, it’s only a matter of time before this technology begins to make waves in the small arms world. Absolutely do click through the link and read the whole thing.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • USMC03Vet

    Anti libtery groups are already beating the drums for banning this technology trying to equate ownership and wanting technology to that of being a terrorist.

    http://www.ammoland.com/2014/09/if-your-gun-is-too-accurate-you-are-a-terrorist-says-legislation-seeking-nit-wit/

    • Phil Hsueh

      Wow, what a bunch of idiots, trying to say that the Tracking Point system makes rifles too accurate and we, as civilians, have no need for anything that accurate. This begs the question, if that’s the case then what do they consider to be accurate enough then, 1 MOA, 2 MOA, 3? Then what about someone who is good enough to get the most of any gun, should they be not allowed to own a gun because obviously if they’re really good and can effectively pull off a Robin Hood (one arrow splitting another) then they must obviously be a terrorist because no regular civilian should be that accurate.

    • raz-0

      OF course. If it’s accurate you are psychopath capable of being a deadly sniper with no training. If it’s not accurate, you are a psychopath who will kill bystanders spraying bullets.

  • mosinman

    why did they pick I pads for the system?

    • Michael R. Zupcak

      the same reason we use NATO rounds, ubiquity

      • mosinman

        I figured since there are more platforms using the android system more people used them.

        • Renegade

          Coming from a guy who does user interface design for a living (how the software looks, where buttons and icons are, how big they are, etc), iPad is much easier to work with. Same resolutions; an iPad is an iPad Mini is an iPad Air.

          Android, there are 4 main resolutions, and some tablets have an action bar (tool bar) that never goes away, while other do. Ones that are fixed mean a loss of real estate.

          • Mario AK

            Apple is moving to vector based UI rendering with the new devices, not just basic upscaling… They have just as many “resolutions” as their competition nowadays.

          • Rogier Velting

            But iOS is a pain to program for, unfortunately. Objective-C is by far the ugliest programming language I’ve ever seen.

          • Renegade

            Hey, I just have a say in how it should look and function. It’s up to you guys to make it happen.

            😉

          • Yeah, my day job has me doing a lot with tablets, and Apple is way more standardized than Android. The problem – and also the benefit, depending on what you’re doing – is that Androids come is a bunch of different flavors, meaning one Android user can’t really pick up a different Android device and instantly know how to use it.

            This is, naturally, bad for military use.

  • Adam aka eddie d.

    The moment I saw the interview Vice made with Jason Schauble, the CEO of Trackingpoint for their documentary, I knew this company was bound to hit the market hard.
    This man knows what he talks about- everything about his manner, his way of communicating says “this dude doesn’t talk out of his ass”.
    If I had that sort of money, I’d be willing to bet a large sum on him and his company blowing traditional scope market out of the water in ten years or less.
    This is firearms history in the making, like the first generation of Glocks, or armed forces switching to ACOGs, EOTechs and red dots, the appearance of plastic mags in large numbers on the battlefield etc. .
    Trackingpoint is in for success. Given governments around the world won’t ban it from civilian sales that is, but even then, this technology is bound to take the place of the admirably sophisticated and squared away, but -let’s face it- very old technology of conventional rifle scopes.
    Gun scopes and binos at their core have pretty much stayed the same through the last ca. 50 years. Though illumination, more sophisticated prism and turret systems, and more recently rangefinder modules and computerized shooter’s aids like the BORS have added considerable updates, that’s about as far as conventional scopes can go without a major paradigm shift.

    Way to go TrackingPoint, I say.
    I wish these guys a lot of persistence, because they’ll have tons of problems with naysayers and competing companies over the next few years. Not everyone will welcome change, especially people who have chips down the table on current technology. But that’s the nature of big changes.

  • Chris

    having shot one extensively, it has issues. but when those issues are known, and when it is understood that this is GEN1. Imagine where its going to go.

  • Michael R. Zupcak

    I agree this is the future. This plus whatever DARPA is doing with that laser-guided .50 BMG. The fact is, sooner or later, it won’t be too difficult to fit a microprocessor and some kind of flight control to .50 BMG projectiles.

  • OC

    “First shot, cold bore, no attempt to zero, 350 meters, IPSC sized metal silhouette: “ding!” They all laughed like maniacs. It does what the ads say.”

    IS THIS is supposed to be a positive comment? I don’t think anybody should be impressed with a $10K sub-MOA rifle shooting a 10-MOA target at 350 meters. I presume they didn’t shoot farther because this system doesn’t help with wind calls.

    • For an unzeroed rifle, straight from the factory, that is pretty impressive. TrackingPoint does actually compensate for wind drift, as well.

  • Seerightthere!

    Yes, the Real deal…… That Tracking Point has the ability to shut down your rifle is rarely discussed, they have the ability and it is a key offering they have made to the Government.