TrackingPoint Lock ‘n Launch Rifle Technology

This is one video from the TrackingPoint press kit. You can check out our Youtube Channel for all 8 of them.
TrackingPoint isn’t really just a scope. The rifle is mated to the electrmechanical trigger system, which is mated to the scope apparatus, which is really a ballistic computer and weather sensor. It calculates everything but wind, and lightens the trigger when you are calculated and ready to fire.

If you can’t watch the video you can click to make this bigger to understand the basic way the system works.
This is the front profile. It is a monster, not something you are going to want to carry through the woods.

As soon as you paint the target with your reticle, the video starts and it will stream via wifi to your portable device. The rifle comes with an Ipad Mini, and the firmware on the rifle/scope can be updated via the same wifi connection.

This 200 to 1200 yard transformation in effective range is a bit much to stomach. This system isn’t going to make an untrained shooter into someone who can make 1200 yard shots, and you can’t use TrackingPoint without the aid of a tripod or bipod, so point blank offhand shots are not a valid comparison. This slide is what makes the system extremely suspect in overall truth to the marketing material.
This is one of the systems that uses a Surgeon rifle. That wire connects to an electrmechanical trigger control that lightens the pull when you are on target.

Each system comes with 200 rounds of its own custom tuned ammo. We think they should have used Hornady bullets, but theoretically you could update your cartridge and ballistic information to any ammo. Their specific test ammo right now is supertuned with some kind of radar. .


By Brian Jensen

The military contractor game has dried up some since the wars have slowed down so a lot of products that hoped for military trials are now trying to make it in the consumer world of guns and gun toys. Perhaps the most advanced at this year’s SHOT Show was TrackingPoint, a monstrous looking rifle and scope combination that is being marketed as fighter plane lock and launch technology for your deer rifle. Tag, Track, Fire.

The TrackingPoint system looks like a big huge rangefinder scope but it is actually an entire weapon system. You buy the rifle and electromechanical optics computer as a package, tuned to the ammo that comes with the gun. At first blush it felt more like the stuff of science fiction than that destined for the hunting camp, but TrackingPoint was the talk of SHOT Show 2013 for sure. The concept of this device is simple. Rifle accuracy and rifle ballistics have outpaced shooter ability for decades now, and most cartridges are generally not able to be shot at their effective distances because of potential shooter error. First shot hits at ranges of further than 600-800 yards are in the single digits for success percentages in human trials, even with ballistic computers, and if you think about it, there should be a technology that can make this better. From idea to finished working product, TrackingPoint is this technology.

Here’s how it works. Look through the scope and put your target in the reticle. Then you hit the “Tag” button. The scope starts recording video, and a laser, working with video analysis software tracks the target for you, while calculating your ballistics for an exact first shot hit. TrackingPoint contains a laser rangefinder and a host of other to calculate distance, temperature, angle as well as advanced ballistics calculations like spin drift and the Coriolis effect (from the turning of the earth). The only thing it doesnt’ do is calculate wind speed, which you have to enter manually with a rocker switch on the top of the scope.

After you hit the “Tag” button, the reticle changes to an “X” and the red dot stays on the target, even if your scope/rifle moves. You then track the target and align your reticle on the red dot. Once you have painted the target with the laser, imaging analyis software tracks the target and electronically and mechanically controls the trigger via a hardwired cable. If you are “on” the trigger pull is light. If you are “off” the trigger pull gets heavy, so it is difficult to fire the gun. The company calls it “Tag Track Xact.” Many of the reviewers from SHOT Show got this detail wrong, so be aware that the gun does not shoot itself, and it does not wait to fire until you are “on.” All of the shot control is still in the hands of the shooter, with the aid of a mechanically manipulated trigger.

The firearm is designed to perform with a specific load from Barnes Bullets and tolerances are set to be +/- 10 FPS precise. Two hundred rounds come with each rifle as part of the purchase. Rifle, optics and ammunition combine in what TrackingPoint refers to as a closed-loop system. The optics are wifi capable, and can electronically record your shot for documentation or Facebook bragging rights to an iPad or your Android.

TrackingPoint Vice President Brett Boyd said the founder began thinking about the gun after missing a shot while on a hunting trip in Africa. Tracking Point is the result of the entrepreneur’s three-year project. If the promotional materials and videos are any indication, there is some serious money behind the marketing of this product, and they are working and ready to sell. What do you buy the guy who has everything? We have not reviewed this product and can’t say how useful it is, but the rifles that it is mated to are not cheap so the technology itself seems to be reasonably priced comparatively, as a rich man’s (or woman’s) toy.

Chamberings available for the Tracking Point include .338 Lapua Mag. (27-inch barrel) and .300 Win. Mag. (22- or 24-inch barrels). The system comes with the gun/optic system, Harris bipod, ammunition, iPad Mini, and a hard case. The optic uses two re-chargeable batteries, and a third one is supplied as a spare. A more traditional McMillan stocked hunting version is also available, in addition to one with an Accuracy International AX chassis. Surgeon XL actions are mated to a Krieger barrel for the actual firearm, and the entire thing is made proudly in the USA.

Expect to pay $17,000 to $22,000, depending on options. Each rifle comes with a Harris Bipod with a LaRue Tactical QD mount. Boyd said the response so far has been overwhelming. If they have review guns we will try to get one. There are so many variables in a long shot, including the capabilities of the rifle itself, that nobody is going to guarantee an ethical 1,000 yard hunting shot from an untrained shooter, but if you are already at a skill level where 1,000 yard shots are in your perview, and you have the cash, TrackingPoint would be an interesting investment in this first generation technology available to civilians.

{ 42 comments… add one }
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  • Dave March 15, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Hey you guys can knock this new shooting aid all you want….Probably sounds a lot like the crap old guy’s said when Night Vision Scopes were introduced, or the Laser Range Finder, or say the BORS Shooting System used by Barret for the big rifles??? Yes, they have a battery, so what. So does your car and pacemaker. Everything now days has a battery, I don’t see that as a negative as you do. Different generations I suppose? Personally, I would like to think that this weapon system was probably initiated by the armed forces for use in our current wars. Seems most things now are ether Close Quarters Combat or Long Range. I could see this helping many with their first shot percentage. Yes, it cost a lot, but then so does everything else that is new and cool. I would like to think that considering the US government spent $2000.00 on toilet seats and $ 950.00 on $12.00 hammers, this would be a bargain in their eyes, maybe even for the tax payers??
    Just because you cannot use something or even afford it, does not make it irrelevant to others. You really have to get over this battery thing you have.

  • Richard Newton February 21, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Technology is going to ruin sport hunting as we knew it, part of the intrigue is man against the cunning of the game in the wild. Whatever happened to “sporting chance”? It’s not like American game have much of a chance anymore now with the quality of our gun and ammunition manufactures great quality products of today, provided you have real skill in stalking, following and finding spore and so forth, or can even shoot for that matter! Stalking and hunting your game was something you had to learn and perfect, those skills passed down from grandad to father to son, great American tradition that meant something. Now I guess any idiot that’s never stepped out of the city can go out and bag a monster trophy Elk. Us old-timers had to deserve that. Camo, game calls, 40 power scopes, computer assist tech, the best most accurate ammo loads and firearms in history isn’t enough? Really? Lets just develop smart bullets, computer guided that your brain just locates targets from a mile and bag that beauty. This is so lame and appalling at so many levels to continue with hi-tech that goes so beyond any concept of what “sport” is in our once beautiful notion of a real hunt once was. Society has learned not to take no for an answer, most of the fun was trying to execute your “hunting skills”. The adrenalin of the success of the hit, or even the failure of the one that got away, giving to looking forward to the next one, and the great feeling of succeeding the next time… Only in America! It’s shameful and ludicrous to our ancestors that some of us take pride in, coming from good old country folk that knew the real meaning of “the hunt”…Ridicules where we’re going!… Be a man and go learn to hunt, not just pull a trigger, learn some respect for what skill means…Facebook bragging rights? Seriously? This is what you’ve become? Truly sickening! What a Joke!.. ya’ll should be ashamed.

  • chuckalred February 4, 2013, 11:19 am

    just goes to show you do not need skill if you got money what happen to do not shoot if you do not have the skill

  • Austin February 1, 2013, 4:03 pm

    The concept is interesting, and a 300 Win Mag or .338 Lapua chambered Surgeon rifle is certainly accurate enough for a 1200 yard shot, but I have a few concerns, most already noted by others. Beyond weight or durability, I also want to know the estimated battery life and whether or not this gun could even be used if the many thousand dollar scope were to break or the batteries go dead. It sounds so integrated that I almost doubt it. I also hope that it has a good warranty (lifetime coverage for anything and everything) so that you aren’t out more than that steep $20,000. I’ll stick with my M1 Garand and the built-like-bricks open sights at that price.

  • Anthony Drolson January 31, 2013, 2:23 pm

    wonder if it is on the list of banned weapons. if it is the boys lost a lot of prototype money. them and a lot of other people with ideas like this. wonder how that is going to work out. something to think about. Obama he is going to have everybody kissing the governments a_s IF he gets his way. this weapon is pretty cool though i have to say.

  • john b January 31, 2013, 1:58 am

    I hope eventually systems like this will come down to $2,000 or less. Then I’d mate one to one of my Mosin Nagants that already are inclined to make 1000 yard shots! I can’t go over 500 or so right now, so I have a long way to go to out shoot my gun!

  • Scott January 30, 2013, 8:09 pm

    I think that it is very cool…being a technophile and an avid shooter it is a marriage of two things that I love.

  • Robert January 30, 2013, 5:57 pm

    I can hear it now……those looney liberal politicians will ban these because they believe it will inhance a driveby shooters abilities in Chicago ; (

  • Amazed January 30, 2013, 2:13 pm

    Amazing. Second or third gen versions will no doubt employ a semi auto action, with microwave rather than lasers, GPS capabilities and mapping, and no doubt multiple target acquisition and tracking. I would guess that the military is already using something like this, or this system. Microwave is more precise and will punch through heat wave disturbances, and gauge necessary corrections.

  • MadMaxx January 30, 2013, 2:11 pm

    Makes me wonder what kind of an idiot would drop $20K on a system like this? First off, it takes all the skill out of it. Secondly, if you have that kind of cash lying around, hunting shouldn’t be your first concern!

  • studioprod January 30, 2013, 2:04 pm

    This is intriguing technology. It’s an ingenious first step into a new approach to making the shooter as accurate as the weapon. I suspect, like most recent technology, it will both improve and lower the price within a relatively short period of time. I can see where this would be of benefit to military shooters.

  • Greg Jones January 30, 2013, 1:58 pm

    The above review is well done. I viewed this gun at the show, tried the system and I can attest to the WOW factor. Realistic field applications however is questionable at best. As an accomplished long range shooter, the weight of the system, the durability of the computerized Optical system when exposed to dust, moisture and climate variables, present some additional concern. While the concept is interesting and the engineering commendable, the market for this unique system I believe is extremely limited. That said, I think there will be some sold to a rather limited segment of the Sport Shooting markets. Outdoor writers also will have more to write about, when it comes to the pros and cons of legitimate, ethical hunting applications for this product. As for myself, I too can think of many additional, high quality, long range, custom rifles and high-end optical instruments, not to mention ammunition, I could purchase with $20,000! In the end, This may prove be a great product… albeit, some what ahead of its time.

  • Whyawannaknow January 30, 2013, 1:40 pm

    Why stop there? Add a gyro stabilizer and aiming servos. All the shooter needs to do then is carry the damn thing.

  • James A. Ritchie January 30, 2013, 12:41 pm

    Looks absolutely wonderful for a sniper, and I’d love to own one, but anyone who would hunt with this setup should be barred from hunting. This is not what hunting, not what any kind of sportsmanship, should be about.

  • Glen January 30, 2013, 12:08 pm

    I was at Shot Show 2013 and checked out the TrackingPoint Lock ‘n Launch Rifle. It is truly a incredible system their simulator for it was very fun to check out. I wish I could afford to buy one of them but being disabled no way I will be able to for a long time unfortunately. It would take me two full years of income from social security to be able to buy one now. The Show was truly fun I am very much looking forward to next years Show. And checking out what next years advancement will be with the TrackingPoint Lock ‘n Launch Rifle. Would love to help their company with testing it in the field. I can see a great future for their company and highly recommend checking out this system I have been telling a few family members and friends about it. Best wishes and luck to it’s developers.

  • Claude Wright January 30, 2013, 12:05 pm

    Cool but useless to use in KY for hunting with a laser.
    KY considers that to be spotlighting

    • Scott January 30, 2013, 8:05 pm

      different tech…uses an infrared rangefinding laser that is only on for a second to lase the target

  • augestwest January 30, 2013, 11:47 am

    Wow, looks like something out of The Fifth Element with Bruce Willis. When that dude pulls out the magical gun that fires rounds at the target even after you move the gun. HA! Well, It look’s well enough for a sniper rifle but I don;t think most of our highly trained snipers would like it, A bit bulky. but as one reader said what about the batteries? They are rechargeable and comes with a spare. the initial cost of the ammo must be ridiculous also. But all in all maybe for someone who has the money and would like to hit that target at 1,000-1300 feet and never could as an amateur it just might be worth it to them. Me? if I had 20,000 grand to spend on firearms I would more then likely get about twelve or so. A socom 16 for sure.

  • Methadras January 30, 2013, 11:35 am

    I’d rather spend that $20k on an M110.

  • Scope9 January 30, 2013, 11:26 am

    Ah sportsmanship and marksmanship skills. I can’t wait to go hunting with a totally computerized system that I can operate from my easy chair at home. I hope somebody is working on a system that will gut and dress the game for me too.

    • Myke February 1, 2013, 2:39 pm

      I’m with you on the auto gut & dress. Next down the line? Portable processor/cooler. A tracked vehicle guided by a microprocessor linked to a beacon on the weapon. I sit at home surfing the net & the product is delivered to my door.

  • Lee B. January 30, 2013, 11:22 am

    Oh, I want one!

  • Dino Christopoulos January 30, 2013, 11:19 am

    The concept of using image processing to video track is related to military technology for sure. Anyone who understands that the processing can’t follow behind bushes and trees to predict a peek-a-book elk in the brush will understand that any video based system has limits. The Burris Eliminator adjusts for basic holdover by integrating the ballistics solution with the LRF onto a reticule. This new technology makes two jumps by combining the LRF-ballistic reticule with video similar to the Elcan scope, but it also adds the trigger feedback with video tracking. Time will tell if the users think it is worth the trouble to lug it around. Many of us didn’t understand why Elcan didn’t add the LRF to their video scope, but I am sure they will be watching here. The main advantage to the video for a trained rifleman will eventually be the image and optical performance. If we assume the combination of a Burris Eliminator with and Elcan Video scope, adding the ballistic solution is trivia. The advantage would be far less glass required to get a good video image in low or high light conditions while presenting a video image to the humane eye which is always balanced for the light conditions. Most riflemen will want to pull their own trigger break at that point. Reducing the eye strain and the range errors would come at lower cost without all the trigger feedback and we all know it still boils down to windage and obstructions on a two-way target range. Unless you get LIDAR into the loop for windage, I can break my own shot. I wish them luck anyway.

  • TexasVet January 30, 2013, 11:17 am

    Hell, if I had the cash to blow I’d buy one. Sure it’s not battle tested, but for civilians it doesnt need to be. IF the country went to shit, I’d want to be able to nail people from as far away as possible from my hideout. Now if I had to hike it out of there, I’d just take my old faithfuls.

  • Desquarius Green Jr January 30, 2013, 10:54 am

    Agreed…..lets not let any technology in for fear of the batteries going down. Oh wait….most everything we use runs on batteries…DRAT! Its a tool to add to the toolbox and some really cool technology. Like admin says its been used for shooting animals (no Yaks) like Elk, Whitetail etc. no where has anyone said anything about this being “battle tested”. Lighten Up Francis.

    DG Jr.

  • Glen January 30, 2013, 10:38 am

    This system, along with the grenade rifle the Army acquired last year that detonates when the round is over the target, approaches the combination of tech that was predicted in a science fiction story written many years ago. The only thing missing, and it has been discussed, is a smart bullet that adjusts course like a smart bomb.

  • dbensavage January 30, 2013, 9:30 am

    Jon, This is a great piece of technology. I admit it is on the crazy high side on pricing but that is how new technology always starts out. Maybe in 5 or ten years the average joe will be able to afford it and the technology will be 10 times better as they refine it.

  • george traylor January 30, 2013, 9:19 am

    I want one, this is only a little show of the weapons to come, I like the idea big time.

    • John January 31, 2013, 5:42 am

      “this is only a little show of the weapons to come”

      Not if Nobama and Feinstein the Einstein have their way.

  • george traylor January 30, 2013, 9:19 am

    I want one, this is only a little show of the weapons to come, I like the idea big time.

  • Jon January 30, 2013, 3:48 am

    Ha, What a waste of 20 grand, what if the battery dies? Is it waterproof, dust proof, shock proof? It’s easy to shoot well in the range but its not battle tested! You think they could sell them to the military… They wouldn’t want it.
    You learn to shoot well by practice and more practice. Spend the money on a top notch sniper rifle and a couple cases of ammo to practice with.

    • Administrator January 30, 2013, 7:34 am

      Well, er, that’s why they are showing people shooting yaks and elk, isn’t it?

    • Dean January 30, 2013, 1:42 pm

      “Cell phone? Why would I want to carry a battery powered phone with me? What if the batteries die on me? Is it waterproof, dust proof, shock proof? I’ll stick with a battle-tested pay phone.”I tried the Tracking Point at Media Day at the Range prior to SHOT. It was bloody cold and I was shivering badly, yet I hit the small target at 962 yards on my first attempt.I’m not ready to drop 20 grand on this thing, but I welcome new technology.Cheers,Dean

    • Ziggy January 30, 2013, 8:16 pm

      The military does use advanced electronics in the field! Two examples are night vision scopes and infrared optics.

    • Passdabullets January 31, 2013, 7:19 am

      This sort of tecnology is now being deployed and used in the military this very night. Over 95% of all weapons down range are suported by some kind of batteires, I would think that a company that has developed a $20,000 optic such as this would have takeing every step to usure that it is water, sand, shock and weather proff to the greatest of standers. I asure you the soldiers with the MOS that are useing such weapond tecnology as this, there respected military leaders do not waunt a man that has learned to shoot well. It takes much more than a ” top notch sniper rifle ,practice and a couple of cases of ammo” to become part of the 1% brotherhood that has masterd this craft. It is much more than laying behind a weapon and pulling a trigger. To have the miliatry mind set you are traiend to take advantage of even the smallest of a 1% opportunity that would give you a greater advantage.

      • Blueice6542 February 3, 2013, 12:05 pm

        To Passdabullet,
        It is very hard to believe you know what you are talking about , when your spelling is that of a five year old. With today’s computer technology, I would think you’d use spell check before posting any comments.

        • Odifasa October 16, 2013, 12:06 pm

          You are pathetic to attack how is is saying what he is saying instead of what he is saying. Adhominim attacks are the last refuge of simple minded people. Individuals do not need to spell well in order to know what they are talking about. lol

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