Feb 4, 2014

Weapons of Choice: The High-Tech TrackingPoint Smart Rifle

In the last article I covered what you thought was the ultimate rifle as far as technology … think again.
Back in the fall of 2013, just in time for the January 2014 SHOT Show in Las Vegas debut, TrackingPoint introduced to the world a rifle that is computerized making everyone an expert at the range and hunting field. The first prototype was created in March of 2011 by John McHale, Founder-CEO of TrackingPoint. The cost runs from a kit for an assault rifle starts at $10,000. Like modern jet fighters and helicopter pilots, the rifle has a HUD (Heads Up Display) that indicates and calculates range, wind, and has zoom capabilities as well as Wi-Fi connections, a compass and battery life readout. You can record images on your smartphone or tablet from the scope (to a computer) and even transmit via email or social media. You can record that great shot you made of a Grizzly bear at 1000 yards or show just how accurate your five-shot grouping can be.

As of last month (January 17th 2014) the US military is testing this advanced rifle system with internal computer and sensors to be used in the US Armed Forces. The hefty price will probably limit it to special operations and snipers; but as time goes on, infantry and the marines will probably have computerized M16s, light, medium and heavy machine guns.
TrackingPoint folks state that the battlefield is becoming more complex and require more precise weaponry and a Linux-powered computer in a gun scope can certainly take care of those issues.
So far the company has sold 500 smart rifles to wealthy collectors and safari hunters. But like fish finders are to some anglers, the smart rifle takes the challenge away for some like hunter Chris Wilbratte pointed out in an interview:
It’s the traditional shooting fish in a barrel or the sitting duck. I mean, there’s no skill in it, right? It’s just you point, you let the weapon system do its thing and you pull the trigger and now you’ve killed a deer. There’s no skill.”
Chris Frandsen, West Point military graduate and Vietnam War veteran stated that the rifle should be prohibited for use in the civilian world because of possible dangerous criminal activities. The usual progressive-liberal mentality. What psycho is going to fork out 0ver $20,000 to commit any crime? Or afford it? As far as terrorist, Islamic Jihadists - they already have the .50 BMG sniper rifles! Restricted or not - if they decide to get it, like RPGs and anti-aircraft weapons, they will get it. It's like banning large trucks because they can do too much damage if involved in an accident. The West Point graduate, apparently without common sense, stated:
Where we have mental health issues, where we have children that are disassociated from society early on, when we have terrorists who have political cards to play, we have to restrict weapons that make them more efficient in terrorizing the population.
The TrackingPoint Precision Guided Firearm is the ultimate in rifle technology. The new technology is not much in the rifle itself, but in the sight target tracking system.
At first the system was only available in .300 Winchester Magnum, .308 Winchester, and 7mm Remington Magnum, bolt-action rifles – all the big-game rifles in the hunting series models. Their most powerful long-range bolt-action rifle is the XS1 in .338 Lapua Magnum Surgeon. Its effective range is 1,200 yards. The parallax-free zoom is 6 to 35X. The 750 Series is for classic game hunters.
Now there are three new precision guided firearms available with semi-auto capabilities: TrackingPoint 500 Series ARs in 7.62x54mm/.308 Remington, .300 BLK, and 5.56 calibers. Prices begin at $9,950. The TP AR 762 model is the longest range semi-auto available with the Precision Guided platform that reaches out to 750 yards.
The beauty of it all is that you can stream video to Android, smart phones, or tablets to record and show off your firing accuracy. The only data you need to determine and input manually is the wind speed. So, when you purchase one of these rifles, count on also purchasing an electronic wind meter. That price will range between $15 to $100, depending upon how cheap of a hand-held gauge you are willing to purchase. The following shopping list includes the better brands of such meters.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation will be sponsoring another SHOT Show between January 20-23, 2015.

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