Austin-based TrackingPoint, the technology firm that has caused waves with the production of its “Precision Guided Firearm” (PGF) systems—also known as “smart” guns—recently announced that it had sold six rifle systems to the US Army for testing.
“The military has purchased several units for testing and evaluation purposes,” TrackingPoint’s chief marketing officer Oren Schauble told Military.com.
According to CNBC, the Army purchased the fire control systems for possible integration into the XM 2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle. TrackingPoint firearms are also available for purchase commercially, but can be very expensive. At this year’s SHOT Show in Las Vegas, OutdoorHub’s Matt Korovesis managed to shoulder his way through the crowd to test TrackingPoint’s 1000 Series 300T rifle chambered in .300 Win Mag. That model retails for around $25,000.
So why does the rifle carry such a high price tag?
Matt bulls-eyed his 967-yard target on the first shot—and so did the two shooters before him—with only a two-minute introduction to the PGF.
Built into the scope of every TrackingPoint rifle is a tiny Linux computer that adjusts for factors such as bullet drop, wind, and other environmental variables that can affect a shooter’s aim. Shooting a TrackingPoint PGF is as simple as tagging a target, tracking it, and firing. The company makes the bold claim that PGF systems can make a novice shooter as accurate as a skilled marksman.
Schauble said that the Army intends on using the newly-purchased PGF systems to compare the performance of dedicated marksmen with more typical soldiers.
A military application has long been a goal of TrackingPoint, but the company only recently moved towards marketing its products as battlefield-ready. Since the company was founded by avid hunter John McHale for the purpose of making more ethical and accurate hits on big game, the PGF systems were first marketed to hunters. The idea of a “smart gun” met with resistance from some sportsmen, however, who said that the technology made hunting unsporting.
TrackingPoint recently made a shift in marketing towards military and law enforcement, including expanding onto the AR rifle platform. While Schauble admitted that the PGF system may not find much favor with veteran sharpshooters, the technology could mean big changes for the average soldier.
You can watch TrackingPoint’s “Future of War” video below: