Breaking News: Tracking Point Suppressor? Not Exactly. UPDATE: Response

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My friends over in the suppressor forum of AR15.com came across a curious ‘new’ product within the pages of Tracking Point’s commercial website this week. The ‘Hush-S’ and ‘Hush-L’ suppressors are listed as being ‘optimized’ for use with Tracking Point’s precision-guided firing systems. From the company’s webpage:

The Hush(TM) enables Precision-Guided Firearm users to covertly tag, track, and eliminate multiple targets without detection. The Hush-S is optimized for TrackingPoint’s M600, M800, SA556, SA762, and XS2 Precision-Guided Firearms. The Hush-L is optimized for TrackingPoint’s 300NightHawk and 300Blackout. On both models the Stellite® baffles form a solid welded core for extreme durability with a detachable front cap featuring an integrated flash hider. Each Hush-S and Hush-L ships with a keymount muzzle brake.

The page also includes pictures and specifications for both ‘Hush’ models. From the Tracking Point site:

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Screen shot from Tracking Point’s website.

 

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Screen shot from Tracking Point’s website.

Anyone else experiencing deja vu? You aren’t alone. Both ‘Hush’ models closely resemble the established manufacturer Dead Air Armament’s Sandman-S and Sandman-L line of rifle suppressors.

From Dead Air Armament’s webpage:

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Screen shot from Dead Air’s website.

 

Screen shot from Dead Air's website.

Screen shot from Dead Air’s website.

So what’s the deal?

We reached out to both Dead Air and Tracking Point for clarification and comments. Here’s what we heard.

From Josh Locatis, Director of Marketing at Dead Air:

Thank you for reaching out for clarification. Dead Air Silencers terminated its relationship with Tracking Point effective April 25, 2016.

By way of background, Tracking Point approached Dead Air for the purposes of supplying silencers to function in combination with Tracking Point’s own products. On or about April 22, 2016, Tracking Point published information confirming an intent to rebrand Dead Air’s products, and to change certain material terms such as the MSRP and the warranty without the express permission of either Dead Air or its parent company. Accordingly, Dead Air has taken the above stated action and will not supply any of its products to Tracking Point nor license any intellectual property to Tracking Point. Having taken these corrective steps, we now consider the matter closed.

Oomph. Sounds like the path to a business relationship took a bad turn.

When asked about the silencer images posted on Tracking Point’s website, Locatis added:

There were never any Hush silencers made by Dead Air. In fact, the Hush L picture at this time on their website is just a bad photoshop job of the [Dead Air Sandman] ‘S’.

At the time of this writing, Tracking Point has not responded to requests for comment on it’s ‘Hush’ line of suppressors. We’ll make sure to update you if/when Tracking Point decides to issue a press release or make a statement. (See below).

For now, what do you all think? Why wouldn’t Tracking Point just become a distributor of Dead Air’s line of suppressors? Did they just jump the gun or was it a premeditated business move? Why does Tracking Point still list the ‘Hush’ line of suppressors on their site?

Either way, let’s hope the story ends here. We certainly don’t need any more tales of drama or (allegedly) shoddy business practices in the gun industry.

UPDATE: Tracking Point’s response. 

 

TrackingPoint apologizes to Eric Rogers and Dead Air. Over the last few
months TrackingPoint and Dead Air have collaboratively tested Dead Air
Silencers coupled with TrackingPoint Precision-Guided Firearms.
The Dead Air team came to Austin and worked with our engineers to
determine the best possible solutions for TrackingPoint weapons. The
results were very good and Dead Air silencers proved to be very high
quality and best-of-class. Pricing and terms were negotiated with Dead
Air and Dead Air accepted TrackingPoint¹s Purchase Order, provided serial
numbers and gave TrackingPoint a commitment for deliveries
beginning in July.

Last week TrackingPoint announced the silencers with private label names.
The announcement was a significant mistake by TrackingPoint in that we did
not discuss private labeling with Dead Air. This oversight
was our mistake and happened in our haste as we made several other
announcements last week. The fact that Dead Air does not want to
continue their relationship with TrackingPoint is completely
understandable. We are working with another silencer provider to fulfill
our current and future silencer orders. Again, we sincerely apologize to
Eric Rogers and Dead Air. They are a good group of people with great
products.

 

Solid response from Tracking Point. Well done.

 

 



Pete

LE – Science – OSINT.
On a mission to make all of my guns as quiet as possible.
Pete.M@staff.thefirearmblog.com


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  • Dave Parks

    I did a trademark search on TrackingPoint and they don’t even own a “Hush” trademark. Could be an accidental publishing of the web page too early, but given the obvious rebranding intent, can’t blame Dead Air for terminating their relationship. I drive past the TrackingPoint office on a regular basis and I’m often surprised they’re still there.
    They do seem to make a good product, but from a business standpoint, it’s one of the worst startups I’ve ever seen.

  • Geoffry K

    At those prices I still find it to cost effective to build my own.
    My 5.56 Form 1 suppressor cost me about $300 including the Tax Stamp.

  • DantheMan79

    Not an accident. This is TrackingPoint’s MO.

    • Theo Braunohler

      Sounds more like Dead Air’s MO. Dead Air doesn’t manufacture anything, nor do they have patents on anything. Pappas, etc., just designs them, sells the designs to manufacturers like BPI and PWS, then they get a deal on branding.

      I have no idea what this contract dispute was about, maybe there was some kind of exclusivity deal. But, all TrackingPoint did was go directly to the manufacturer and brand the silencers as their own. These aren’t ripoffs or copies; they are the same can from the same mfgr. The same product being sold under different brands is extremely common in the business world.

      • Pete M

        It’s not common in the NFA world, however. Manufacturing, branding, markings and locations mean diffident things when we talk about the registry.

        If all parties were on the same page, I bet it could get done.

      • Laxguy59

        I actually toured the BPI/Begara/DeadAir facility in Georgia. while Dead Air is essentially made by the machines at BPI/Begara, they had a whole team dedicated just to the suppressor manufaturing and marketing.

  • DanGoodShot

    Honestly I have no clue how TrackingPoint is still even in business. Does anyone actually buy these things? Talk about having money to blow.

  • Bill

    I guess it’s just sloppy contract writing, but rebranding happens all the time, with all sorts of things. TrackingPoint may be wobbly as a company, but they are the only people doing what they are doing.

    • Pete M

      I just can’t think of any other current NFA items being rebranded.

      • Bill

        It isn’t just NFA items I was referring to. Companies buy components from other companies for use in their own products all the time. I think it was Ruger or S&W who was casting golf club heads for some other company – I doubt they marked their clubs “Heads By A Gun Company.”

        Many companies have rebranded MecGar magazines. It’s hilarious when someone insists on buying OEM mags and bypasses MecGar, who probably made those OEM mags to begin with.

        • Pete M

          I agree.

          But the manufacture of silencer parts has its own limitations. A manufacturer (or maker for that matter) needs to have the proper markings to be entered into the registry. Making parts for two companies in two locations has it’s complications.

          • Bill

            Thanks, I did not know that. I’m still waiting for the replacement airbags to come it for the Tanaka recall, I was thinking along those lines, not considering the NFA issues.