TrackingPoint Announces Financial Difficulties, No Longer Accepting Orders
OutdoorHub Reporters 05.19.15
TrackingPoint announced on Monday through its website that the company is suffering from financial difficulties and will no longer be accepting customer orders. The Austin-based “smart scope” manufacturer made waves in recent years for its “Precision Guided Firearm” (PGF) technology, which allowed users to tag and accurately shoot targets at long range. The company has not yet elaborated on its current problems, but some sources close to the TrackingPoint say that the firm may be on its last legs.
Anonymous and unconfirmed sources told both Guns.com and The Truth About Guns that TrackingPoint has laid off a significant number of employees on Monday, possibly including current CEO Frank Bruno. Bruno joined TrackingPoint back in February in the aftermath of what the company called an “internal restructuring,” in which several key employees were laid off despite high sales and record profits in 2014. According to one insider who identified themselves as a former employee, TrackingPoint may even go as far as filing bankruptcy.
“The owner—John McHale—pulled the four month CEO Frank Bruno’s name tag off the door walked in and shut the door,” the anonymous tipster wrote to The Truth About Guns. “The exact same scenario as what went down in February with the small groups of managers. It appears that likely everyone will be let go today as they will claim bankruptcy, so they don’t have to pay back that millions and millions that investors have dumped into this company.”
That information has not been confirmed by TrackingPoint officials, and OutdoorHub was unable to reach company representatives for comment.
Trouble despite record growth?
The specter of bankruptcy is unexpected as just three months ago, TrackingPoint was reporting accelerated customer sales and high financial growth.
“Year-on-year unit growth was 281% and year on year bookings dollars grew 107%. The company believes it is the fastest growing gun company in the world,” TrackingPoint said in a press release.
TrackingPoint’s signature product, the PGF, allowed shooters to tag targets, track them, and fire calculated shots that take into account factors such as wind, bullet drop, temperature, and a host of other environmental variables. To fire, the shooter holds down the trigger until the crosshairs cover a previously tagged target, at which point the firearm discharges. This state-of-the-art technology won over many firearm enthusiasts, but caused some debate among hunters who viewed the technology as unfair. Others, like TrackingPoint founder John McHale, argued that more accurate shots made for more ethical harvests.
See how a PGF works below:
“We know that hunting with Precision-Guided Firearms results in cleaner kills and less wounding of animals. We think that Precision-Guided Firearms are ideal for predator control and herd management,” the company stated. “We also have confidence that our rifles will attract new, young shooters who might not have otherwise participated in shooting sports, ultimately growing the sport we enjoy so much.”
In January, the US Army also expressed interest in testing TrackingPoint rifles for military use.