My latest post is up over at PJ Media, a review of the technology of the TrackingPoint shooting system. I’m not impressed. Well, that isn’t true. I’m very impressed with the technology.
Readers responding on the PJM post seem to think I’ve got sour grapes, but I guess I didn’t explain myself very well. The technology in the scope, rifle and ammunition already exists, as do ballistic computers, wind gauges, etc. I think they are cool, and I’ve seen some really neat things done with them. The only thing really new in the system is the integration of the technologies into a single unit. It is evolutionary, not revolutionary.
Further, I don’t think the company is being honest about their market.
I simply don’t see a viable long-term civilian market for such a system.
- Very few civilians can justify a highly specialized $22,000 rifle that comes in just two extremely specialized calibers with very specific loadings.
- Long range civilian shooters enjoy the process of shooting, and this system removes that joy.
So who would be the real market for such a system? Who has:
- deep pockets
- hires people who shoot for living
- has an affinity for long-range precision accuracy with as little collateral damage as possible
- a demonstrated need to ramp up a large number of long-range shooters
- needs to do all that while drastically reducing the amount of training time, skill-building, and natural talent found in the current development of a sniper?
If TrackingPoint can substantially reduce the amount of time needed to train a company or squad-level designated marksman, and give each designated marksman legitimate sniper range and increased first-shot hit capability, then we’re looking at a very cost-effective military force projection option. In my opinion, TrackingPoint was never really designed for civilian shooters. It was designed to increase use of precision small arms in the military.
.338 Lapua and .300 Winchester Magnum just so happen to be two of the three long-range anti-personnel sniping cartridges favored by the U.S. military (the third favored U.S. military sniping cartridge is the .50 BMG).
I think TrackingPoint is a military-focused shooting system, and speculate it was designed as such from the ground up. If you disagree, I’d really like to know why.