The introduction of the TrackingPoint aiming system, in which a computer fires the rifle, was one of our most widely read posts of 2013. I interviewed Dan Price of TrackingPoint at the Great American Outdoor Show and the Safari Club Convention to dig up the latest.
What’s happened in the last six months with TrackingPoint, and where do you see it going in the future?
The network tracking scope that’s bringing long range shooting to the masses drastically increasing the odds of first-shot success, probability by a factor of five. Over the last five months we’ve improved the video feeds so that the images are much clearer than they were, and we have opened our offerings to other platforms. Originally there were three offerings, the .339 Lapua, 300 Winchester Magnum, and 7mm Remington Magnum in the McMillan stock, as well as two offering on the tactical side. Now, we’ve partnered with Remington in a smaller version of our scope called the 20/20. We send the scopes to Remington and then they reconfigure them and sell them in stores like Cabela’s. Now we have our tracking scope and guided trigger in three different calibers, the .308, 300 Win Mag, and the Remington 7mm. We call that our 750 series accurate up to 750 yards. We have an AR offering in the 500 series with the 5.56, 7.62 and the 300 Blackout. This 500 series is accurate up to 500 yards, but has a substantial lower price point. For example, the 500 series start at $10,000, $11,000 and $12,000. To get yours first, you must get to the head of the line and get a price break.
Who do you see as your biggest market?
Our biggest market at this point is long-range shooters, big game hunters here in the states or for foreign hunts like on African safaris or in Russia for that special sheep hunt. I can see that sheep 650 yards away and it’s too far. “You mean I can hit it with this?” Absolutely, that’s our market. We know it’s a very select clientele, yet now we are seeing it filter down.
No it does not; you have to put that in yourself. You have a rocker switch on top of the scope and it’s the only variable we don’t account for, and that’s where it will depend on your experience as a shooter. You will need a Kestrel or some type of device to gauge wind direction and velocity. In some cases you will need to use environmental indicators, leaves, grass branches, and at some point you’ll have to look down range and gauge the wind that way. This is where it’s difficult, since the wind may be six miles an hour here, but down range it may be different.
Some would say that this scope make hunting too easy?
I would respond to that by saying you must still have your basic shooting fundamentals. When you push the tag button, not the trigger but the tag button, the laser sends that laser out to the target and puts the tag on the head up display, not actually on the animal only on the display. You must be skilled to do that. This is where it becomes an educated guess. Ask any experienced long-range shooter what’s the toughest variable and he’ll say wind.
That tagging experience is hard, and at 800 yards it’s very hard. Our rifles are very heavy and on an offhand shot you might be able to set the tag, but from a physical point of view, due to the weight of the rifles after five or six seconds, you are going to start shaking. The 300 Win Mag in the Macmillan stock weighs about 16 lbs. and the .338 in the tech stock weights about 21 lbs. They are significantly heavy but with the weight comes accuracy.
For more information, go to tracking-point.com.