It was once said that “shooting is the one hobby where a shooter can directly turn money into skill”. That adage refers to training, buying better equipment and purchasing and firing large quantities of ammunition. A new company known as Tracking Point is taking that to an entirely new level with what they describe as a Precision Guided Firearm.
The firearm in question is actually a system combining highly accurate rifles, match grade ammunition and optics with the best that modern technology has to offer.
The shooter presses a button to identify or “paint” the target and lock on it, regardless of target movement. A red tag appears in the scope; the shooter places the tag on the stabilized image and releases the button when the tag is in the desired position. The ballistic computer in the scope instantly accounts for range, temperature, barometric pressure, cant of the rifle and adjusts the reticle position to hit the tagged target. The shooter aligns the scope’s reticle with the tag and when ready to shoot, squeezes and holds the special Guided Trigger. The system allows the trigger to fire the round at the precise moment needed to ensure impact with the target. The only manual input needed from the shooter is the wind speed and direction. Essentially the software makes all the calculations that a hunter or shooter would need to perform manually.
The price for one of these systems, including the rifle, scope, software and ammunition is $25,000; the equivalent of 5,000 rounds of match-grade 338 Lapua Magnum ammunition.
Field reports state that the system is easy to use for even novice shooters. Concerns have been raised about one of these rifles falling into the wrong hands, despite the hefty price tag.
As a safety measure the scope and software are password and pin protected. Every time the scope is powered on requires the input of a pin and unlike most tech devices; this is an option that cannot be disabled. Although the rifle can still be fired, the advanced system becomes useless without the correct pin.
Purchasing a Precision Guided Firearm is the same as any other long gun transaction, requiring delivery through a federal firearms license and the buyer successfully passing a background check. The two calibers currently offered are 300 Winchester Magnum and 338 Lapua Magnum. Tracking Point has been looking into other calibers for release in the near future.