Yesterday was my first Media Day at the Range at my first SHOT Show, and it was almost overwhelming. There were literally too many firearms to shoot in one day, but we did manage to cram in as many as possible, and get pictures of some of the most interesting ones.
Media Day at the Range was held at the Boulder City Rifle and Pistol Club, which had more bays than I could count for carbine and pistol shooting, an expansive area for shotguns, and a wide range of targets for the long-range shooter going out to 1,000 yards. As a shooter living in the densely-wooded rolling hills of the North Carolina Piedmont where opportunities for long-range shooting generally top out at 500 yards, it was a true treat to be in the desert where you can see for miles.
Here’s a quick pictorial review of some of the most interesting arms I was able to fire.
I’ve been saying since I first saw the TrackingPoint XS1 that I thought the company’s claim that they were marketing to civilians is a ruse… and Oren Schauble, their Director of Marketing, tells me that I’m dead wrong.
While they are indeed showing some rifles to the military for potential contracts, Schauble says that their bolt-action precision guided rifles (PGRs) are flying off the shelves to well-heeled businessmen and collectors who enjoy shooting at long ranges, and are becoming something of a status symbol. Obviously, I misjudged the market. It is the first time I’ve been wrong, kids, and it won’t be the last.
It took longer for the factory rep to explain how the system works than to actually use the rifle, which is scary simple and deadly accurate. There is a small red button on the triggerguard, covered by my finger in the photo above. Once you have your target in sight, you tag it by touching that button, and the rifle’s sensor’s do all the work. You then bring the crosshairs back up on target and squeeze the trigger. The shot will not actually break until the crosshairs are perfectly aligned to the firing solution.
My target was a steel gong 1,000 yards away. I put the crosshairs of the XS1 on the gong, painted it, and then reacquired the calculated firing solution. It was then a simple matter of squeezing trigger and moving one dot to another.
One shot, one hit at 1,000 yards with a .338 Lapua that I’d never touched before.
I have to admit it… I’m impressed.
TrackingPoint has done a wonderful job integrating existing firearms and sensor technology into a fearsome rifle system, and while the purists among us may not be entirely thrilled with it, I think that this technology is going to be with us a long while.
The company’s AR15 and AR-10 based lines were not at Media Day, but will be ready in March.
I sense a possible trip to Texas in my future.