trackingpoint

A South Carolina Sheriff’s Office is the recipient of a high-tech and very expensive gift from a local business owner, a computerized AR-15 that almost can’t miss.

Richland County deputies now have a new rifle that says it can almost ensure a perfect hit for a shooter.

Sheriff Leon Lott debuted the M600 Thursday afternoon. The $10,000 rifle was donated to the department by a local business owner who wanted to remain anonymous.

The TrackingPoint M600 rifle gives shooters an 87% likelihood of making a first-shot hit out to 600 yards when used with the ammunition specified for the system. The biggest downside for the system is that the shooter or the spotter has to have the skill to make their own wind calls and program the wind distance and speed into the scope. That should not be a significant issue in a law enforcement context, however, since most police engagements are inside 100 yards.

The TrackingPoint system (which I’ve used) has the user “paint” the target with a laser designator, at which point does range estimation and factors in other variables to calculate a firing solution. The shooter then pulls the trigger and moves the crosshairs back over the target. Even with the trigger pinned, the shot will only fire once the crosshairs are back on target according to the firing solution. The shooter can stop the shot merely by releasing the trigger.

Is the $10,000 rifle going to be of much use for Richland County deputies? That remains to be seen. While the gesture from the anonymous local business owner is certainly appreciated, I can’t immediately think of anything that law enforcement might do with the rifle that wouldn’t be better accomplished by a conventional AR-15 DMR and variable power scope with an officer given $6,000 of training.

The theory behind TrackingPoint is to give end users the technological ability to make very difficult shots. I’d argue that it is perhaps more important in a law enforcement context to know when to shoot, and when to hold your fire in a constantly changing scenario.

That’s not an equation and known technology can yet address.