A rifle equipped with technology that allows even a novice marksman to achieve a perfect shot nearly every time has ruffled some feathers. But as the system is now on sale the manufacturer said demand has been so high there's a wait list for interested customers.
"It delivers five times the first-shot success rate of traditional systems, at targets up to 1,200 yards, regardless of shooter skill level," TrackingPoint's website states.
The system includes a custom rifle, ammunition, a tracking scope with "heads up display" and a guided trigger. The system adjusts for various factors including range, temperature, barometric pressure, wind and more.
Here's all the shooter has to do:
- Paints the target with the tag to lock on
- Watches as the tag persists, regardless of relative movement
- Aligns the reticle with the tag to produce the firing solution
- Squeezes and holds the trigger to arm the system
Watch this demo to see how the system works:
After being featured at the Shot Show earlier this year, TrackingPoint's system is now for sale and demand is "overwhelming," the company's President Jason Schauble told NPR. He also noted that Remington Arms is interested in the technology for its rifles.
But not everyone is happy about the system that allows the potentially inexperienced to achieve an easy on-target shot. NPR provides more on this perspective:
One hunter who doesn't want one is Chris Wilbratte. He says the TrackingPoint system undermines what he calls hunting's "fair chase."
"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 weapons system do its thing and you pull the trigger and now you've killed a deer. There's no skill," Wilbratte says.
Chris Frandsen, a West Point graduate who fought in Vietnam, doesn't believe the TrackingPoint technology should be allowed in the civilian world. The gun makes it too easy for a criminal or a terrorist to shoot people from a distance without being detected, he says.
"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," Frandsen says.
For these concerns, Schauble told NPR the company sells the firearm directly, not through gun dealers, so it can make sure customers are vetted. He also said there is password protection on the gun's scope, which without being inputted would take the precision shooting capability out of the picture. It would still fire without a password but wouldn't have "the tag/track/exact" capabilities.
Ars Technica reported in January that the cost for the TrackingPoint system starts around $17,000.
The system also comes with an app that can stream real-time video from the heads up display.
"This kind of technology, in addition to making shooting more fun for [the younger generation], also allows shooting to be something that they share with others," Schauble told NPR.
Watch how this portion of the system works:
Find out more about TrackingPoint firearms here.