December 9th, 2015

Taya Kyle Wins American Sniper Shootout

Tracking Point PGF

Well the lady did it… Taya Kyle (Chris Kyle’s widow), triumphed over Bruce Piatt, reigning NRA World Shooting Champion (see below). Using Tracking Point “Intelligent” firearms, Taya won the much-publicized American Sniper Shootout, hitting every one of the 29 targets (Piatt hit only 58% of his targets). In the process, Taya earned $500,000 for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. Here’s a Fox News Video covering the event, which was held Saturday, December 5, 2015 in Mason, Texas.

This unique competition pitted a novice shooter armed with Tracking Point’s rifle systems against a World Champion-level shooter in a head-to-head competition. There were 29 targets total, with a variety of shooting scenarios and distances.

Taya Kyle Earned $500,000 for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation.
Tracking Point PGF

To the surprise of many in attendance, Taya Kyle, the widow of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, soundly beat the reigning WSC champion. She hit every one of her targets, while Bruce missed more than 40%. Taya used Tracking Point’s precision-guided M600 and M800 firearms, while Bruce competed with M4A1, M110, and M2010 basic military rifles. Bruce certainly was motivated. Had he won the Shootout, he would have received a $1,000,000 prize. But, in the end, it wasn’t even close. Taya hit all the targets, while Bruce hit less than two-thirds.

The competition involved an unusual course of fire. Outdoor Hub’s Daniel Xu reports: “The American Sniper Shootout was unlike most other competitions. The environment was built to imitate the layout of Sadr City [Iraq], where Chris Kyle made his famous 2,100-yard shot on an enemy insurgent. The competition itself reflected war-like conditions instead of traditional shooting competitions and both shooters were tasked with making difficult shots. The most difficult part of the shootout was when Kyle and her opponent had to make blind shots from cover, simulating a scenario in which soldiers had to shoot while under enemy fire.”

Tracking Point PGF

While the Tracking Point “precision guidance” system helped Taya aim and break the shot precisely, the Tracking Point system does not call the wind. The “operator” must still make a wind call, input wind speed and direction, and then the Tracking Point system, using internal ballistics tables, will adjust the aiming point accordingly in the scope’s viewfinder/reticle. Apparently the system works well enough to enable Taya to prevail over a very experienced shooter.

Taya Kyle Shoot-out Bruce PiattBruce Piatt, 2015 WSC Champion
Bruce Piatt won the 2015 NRA World Shooting Championship (WSC). The WSC is a multi-discipline event involving pistols, rifles, and shotguns with targets out to 1K and beyond. Bruce competed against many top shooters including previous WSC winner SFC Daniel Horner of the USAMU.

Over his shooting career, Piatt has also won World and National titles in USPSA/IPSC, Steel Challenge, Bianchi Cup, Sportsman’s Team Challenge, Masters Pistol Championship, and the SOF Tactical 3-Gun disciplines.

Permalink - Videos, News 7 Comments »
January 23rd, 2015

TrackingPoint Rifle Systems Employ Cutting-Edge Technology

technology Optics tracking point, laser rangefinder PGF

Gear Report by Kip Staton
TrackingPoint’s innovative technology has been on the market for a number of years now, and has proven to be a valuable long-range shooting tool. TrackingPoint is a Texas-based, Austin-area applied technology company that developed a unique, precision-guided firearm (PGF) system in 2011. TrackingPoint’s ordinary rifles in common calibers, designated with the XS prefix, are equipped with high-tech “networked tracking” rifle scopes.

CLICK to view full-screen image:
technology Optics tracking point, laser rangefinder PGF

These advanced optics are the heart of the company’s tag-and-shoot technology, and the entire setup is remarkably similar to the systems found in cutting-edge fighter jets. So, how does it work in the real world?

Pretty darn well, as it turns out. The shooter simply finds his or her target, centers his “X” reticle on it, and presses a “tag” button, which is usually integrated into the firearm’s trigger guard. This puts a digital “mark” on the target, and the optic remembers where that particular tag was placed for the duration of the shot. At this point, the system has already automatically performed all necessary distance and environmental calculations. The only other manual inputs needed on the shooter’s part are to enter the wind call, and press the trigger. And, the rifle even helps out with that part.

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

Because the tag was placed on a unique target, and is remembered by the system, the rifle won’t actually let the shot break until the shooter has lined up the crosshairs with the original tag. So the user may press the trigger, and nothing will happen… until the reticle is placed on the original tag. The rifle will then fire. For each Tracking Point shot, the elevation should be dead on. However the wind can still come into play — the TrackingPoint system does not sense the wind speed or direction. Wind values must be detected by the shooter and entered manually. Once wind speed/angle are entered, the TrackingPoint automatically calculates the needed windage correction (left or right).

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

The firing process (with the rifle’s brain doing the elevation calculation) can be somewhat disconcerting for shooters new to a PGF. But, this system holds promise, and can help shooters make difficult shots with greater confidence. In particular, the built-in ballistics solver means the trigger-puller no longer needs to worry about elevation clicks and/or hold-overs at any distance. The system calculates bullet drop at any rangeable distance and plots the correct point of aim. “X marks the spot”:
technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

The TrackingPoint system does much more than make long range shots easier to accomplish. The networked tracking scope is also a WiFi server. This means that the image seen through the ocular lens (by the shooter) can be beamed to an Apple iPad, which is included with the rifle. Hunting guides can then see exactly what their clients are viewing through the optic, and make suggestions or provide pertinent advice to the shooter.

If that wasn’t enough, TrackingPoint recently integrated the high-tech Google Glass hardware into their shooting system. By using eyewear with built-in displays linked to the TrackingPoint optic, shooters can make successful shots without looking directly through a rifle-mounted scope. The eyewear has a small display that shows the target(s) “seen” by the rifle’s optic. The operator can then take the shot from any position. You can shoot around a corner, or keep your head and torso out of view. The possibilities for hunters, competitors and real-world tactical shooters are nearly endless.

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

TrackingPoint’s unique rifle systems are available in both semi-automatic and bolt-action formats, ranging in calibers from .223 (5.56 NATO) to a proprietary .338 of the company’s own design. What do these systems cost? Well high technology does not come cheap. Rifle systems range in price from $7,495 to a staggering $49,995. But, for the right client and the right mission, perhaps no price for this technology is too high. That’s what Tracking Point is counting on….

technology Optics tracking point laser rangefinder PGF

Permalink - Articles, New Product 5 Comments »
November 6th, 2014

Texas International Firearms Festival This Weekend in Austin

Ok, here’s the deal. Get yourself to the Austin, Texas area this weekend, and you can shoot a bunch of new guns from numerous major manufacturers. At the first annual Texas International Firearms Festival, avid shooters can try and buy the latest guns and gear. With more than 30 dedicated gun bays and dozens of ammo and accessory retailers, the Texas International Firearms Festival proves the old adage that everything is bigger and better in Texas.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill gunshow where you can only look at a bunch of guns indoors. At the Texas Firearms Festival this weekend you can actually “test drive” dozens of new firearms. Here are some of the big-name gun-makers offering firearms at the Festival: Barrett, Beretta, Cabot Guns, FN Herstal, Henry Repeating Arms, Sig Sauer, Tracking Point, Walther, Winchester.

The Festival isn’t free — but the price is more than reasonable considering the hours of fun you can have. A one-day pass, which includes the cost of ammo, is $59.00. A weekend pass for two full days of shooting is just $95.00 (ammo included). Purchase tickets at TexasGunFest.com.

Festival Location and Directions
The Festival will be held at the Best of the West Shooting Range in Liberty Hill, Texas. The address is 19500 W. SH 29, Liberty Hill, TX 78642. For driving directions, use this interactive Google map:

Our friend (and ace sharp-shooter) Kirsten Weiss will be at the Festival this weekend acting as a spokesperson. Maybe you can meet Kirsten and learn how she makes those amazing trick shots featured on her popular YouTube Channel.

Permalink Handguns, News No Comments »