Trigger Time Behind Long Range Smart Optics

.30-06 Remington 2020One of the most exciting things we got to see at range day was a pair of siblings from the smart optics family:  the Tracking Point Xact system and its little brother, the new Remington 2020 system.  Despite getting behind the Tracking Point for some simulation last year, this was my first time sending live rounds downrange with it.  Way downrange.  We punished the nearly 1000 yard target with the .300 Win Mag version and, since misery loves company, we put a hurting on the 350+ yard target with the .30-06 Remington 700 with the 2020 on top.

The new Remington system uses the same optic/ballistics calculator/range finder/wi-fi server/magic box as the Tracking Point, although not so tightly integrated with the firearm.  Despite the device handling the measurements and ballistic computations for the user, it doesn’t have any mechanism for blocking the trigger when the point of aim is off of the target; that minimal human interaction being one of the main criticisms from Tracking Point detractors.  Using the 2020, the shooter must tag the target, bring the point of aim onto the target, ensure alignment with the tag and then pull the trigger to “send it.”

Remington 2020The smart optics will measure shooting distance, inclination, temperature, barometric pressure and air density and incorporate these into the calculations along with Coriolis effect, spin drift, Magnus drift, wind drift, muzzle velocity, lock time and ignition time to determine the right ballistic solution to make long distance shots.  It can also track moving targets that the shooter has tagged, steam real-time video to a spotter and more.  Despite all this, there are a couple of things that it can’t do.  The first is to take wind readings; the shooter must do this and manually enter the values.  The second thing it can’t do is manage recoil, which the .300 Win Mag shooter ahead of me found out when he got his forehead split open after creeping up on the eyepiece a little bit too much.

And at less than a quarter of the Tracking Point’s $27K price tag, shooters that can scrape together the $6k to buy a 2020 system will probably be able to get over that minor detail.  On the other hand, with either sum a shooter could put some great glass on a solid rifle, buy a membership at a long-distance shooting range and build a huge ammo fort with enough practice rounds to build up skills suitable for putting one between the eyes of a gnat at 1,000 yards – and without the need to pack around expensive proprietary batteries.  Without those sorts of resources, though, it was exciting to put rounds on target at these distances with almost boring regularity.

The Tracking Point Xact is currently offered in .338 Lapua and .300 Win Mag bolt guns, with 5.56 and .300 Blackout AR-platform rifles in the works.  The Remington 2020 system comes atop Model 700 rifles chambered for .308 and .30-06 or a .223 Bushmaster Varminter.


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