Not that long ago, a Texas based gun company, TrackingPoint, created the first smart rifle that allowed for precision shots out to a mile. By using a scope that tracked and tagged a target, the rifle would only allow the user to fire the weapon when a shot was guaranteed to make a strike, even on moving targets. The product line included AR platforms chambered in 5.56, 7.62×51, .300 WM, and .300 Blackout for semi-automatic rifles while the bolt-action line used Drake Stalker platforms chambered in .300 WM, .300 WM-T, .338 LM, and .338 TP.
The 5.56 platform is reputed to be able to strike a target moving up to 10 miles per hour at a range of up to 0.3 miles while the .338 TP boasts an impressive ability to strike a target moving up to 20 miles per hour at a range of up to one full mile. As if that isn’t cool enough, by using TrackingPoint’s smart glasses, the shooter is able to have a heads-up-display, allowing shots to be taken while the head remains behind cover; only the weapon needs to be presented.
This level of technology is a game changer for military, police, and sportsmen alike. The hunter can ensure their money isn’t wasted by missing their big game on a safari hunt. The SWAT officer can be more certain that his shot will only take out the bad guy and not the hostage and the designated marksman can take out a suppressing machinegun from the protection of cover. No other platform out there allows for so much. Perhaps that is why the base price for 5.56 platform, the cheapest of all of the ones available, is $7,495. The price tag jumps to a shocking $49,995 for the .338 TP. And, if you care to use the glasses that can be paired to the scope, there goes another $995.
With price tags like that, it is no surprise that not enough orders were rolling in to keep the company going. Though they have not closed their doors, TrackingPoint is no longer taking orders. A banner at the top of their webpage states that “Due to financial difficulty TrackingPoint will no longer be accepting orders…”
It seems that the civilian gun market was just not ready for such a heavy price tag, even if the weapon is capable of amazing feats. It does not appear as though TrackingPoint will be fully closing their doors, and may continue to supply firearms to government agencies, but sales to the general public are, for at least the time being, not going to be accepted. As time goes on, and if bigger contracts can be filled by TrackingPoint, there may be enough in sales to return to civilian sales and, with any luck, lower the price point a few hundred (or thousand) dollars. Either way, this rifle system looks too fun to not shoot. If the opportunity ever presents itself, you would be crazy to not squeeze off a shot or ten.