TrackingPoint, the Good, the Bad, the Ugly.
Tracking Point, the good, the bad, the ugly.
I love to pull the trigger and hear bang. I love seeing the paper rip, or hearing the target ring. I, like most people, love the satisfaction of being a good shot, err, an adequate shot. I’m no Chris Kyle, hell no one is, but I like to think of myself as someone who can hit a target down range with accuracy.
When I first heard about the Tracking Point, my jaw dropped with excitement, then it dropped again when I heard the price. Lets be honest, if you sunk more then 5 million into research and development, you would charge close to $7,500 for your base model and up to $50K for your top of the line rifle.
So when someone like me, who lives on an honest mans budget (editor’s note: poor) had the opportunity to sit down and squeeze off a few rounds with these firearms, you can bet your first born, I jumped up and ran to… wait in line.
After what seemed like forever, my turn had arrived. First I found out all of this year’s new features, such as how you can zoom in and out with a small toggle switch located on the trigger guard, or their new wi-fi features that lets you stream your hunt beyond your spotter’s tablet. Even the new glasses with a Heads Up Display that allows you to do away with the tablet altogether. All these things blew my mind. I was a fan boy and I haven’t even pulled the trigger yet.
I sat down on the bench and picket up their “Precision-Guided Semi-Auto 5.56” and my spotter gave me distances to targets, my first one would be 400 yards out, a buffalo shaped piece of steel. I lined up my shot, pushed the little red button affixed to thetrigger guard, Boom Green X appeared on target, spotter calls to me that I have acquired the target. Next I hold down the trigger, and try to overlay where my initial X had appeared. After what seemed like 10 seconds (or longer) a red X popped up in my optical screen and a half second later, BOOM. “Good Hit” Called my spotter.
Next I moved to the 600 yard target, a white painted square steel sheet, and I zoomed in. Now the nice thing is because it is all digital there is no light loss, but I do wonder how well it works when the sun is at its zenith or you are half blinded by the sun’s reflection on snow. This however took place in a covered range in the middle of the Vegas desert. I lined my target up, pushed the red bottom, my targeting X appeared on screen and then because I was too zoomed in my screen scrolled up, to re-adjust for the ballistics, I did not expect this, and spent a couple seconds trying to find my target again, in the time I was searching the system lost acquisition and I was forced to start at the beginning.
I could have zoomed out at that point, but hey, this was all new to me, so I did it again, and of course now I expected the move, followed my target, I pulled the trigger and waited, hovering, and trying to find where I placed my initial X. The system timed out. I acquired again, and again and again, each time, either timing out or sitting there with my red X and nothing happening. I looked over at my spotter and asked if there was ammo in the rifle, we both laughed, he gave it a try and was able to lock on target and drop a round down range in under 60 seconds.
I tried again and finally was able to send my second round down range “Good Hit”. At this point with still 5 more rounds left in my gun I stood up and said thank you, I am done. I really felt disappointed in the $7500 rifle. No longer a fan boy but more so a not-a-fan-boy.
The optic system is amazing, I’m not going to lie. It acquires, it locks and it does all the calculations for you, AMAZING! but if you pull the trigger, nothing. I wanted to be able to shoot out on my own, not have some computer pull the trigger for me. I asked what would happen if I straight pulled the trigger vs waiting for a lock, my spotter demonstrated, Nothing happens. he pulled the trigger, once, twice, more… nothing.
Can I use my own ammo? Yes and no was the answer I got, because Tracking point needs to be super accurate they need to use their own proprietary ammo to guarantee hits they are promising.
So if I buy their low end AR, (because I am cheap, even though I would rather have the 28 thousand dollar 338 LM) I sink 7,500.00 for the rifle and optic, 170.00, for an eye guard, rechargeable battery pack at 70.00, battery charger at 180.00 because I want to be out there longer than 2 and a half hours, and Ive gotta have the $1000 glasses… I just spent close to 9K for a rifle that I don’t even get to shoot. Pass.
TrackingPoint is so close, they just need to leave the human element in there, rather than taking it out. What makes shooting fun is the challenge of hitting your targets not the certainty. Also for those times when you HAVE to hit everything, every time, make it faster. Tag, bang, rather than Tag……………..bang.