“Let it be known that on May 15, 2013, in Mason, Texas, history has been made.” So declared John McHale, Austin-based millionaire investor, entrepreneur, and founder of TrackingPoint, Inc, a company in the history-making business via space-age gun technology. McHale was addressing the 100 or so people gathered before him beneath a white tent almost large enough to be worthy of Michael Jordan’s wedding.
Everyone was gathered to celebrate the official, public release of TrackingPoint’s signature technology: Precision Guided Firearms (PGF). In a nutshell, PGF straps the laser-guided targeting system of a jet fighter onto a high-powered rifle with the user-friendly interface of a smartphone app. “It’s got more software than the space shuttle,” McHale said without hyperbole. It had been two years since the company’s launch, and today was the day to let loose, enjoy the open bar and Cooper’s barbecue (from nearby Llano), exchange accolades, and shoot some enormous and powerful guns.
The festivities, which included a Fleetwood Mac-loving country band, were taking place on McHale’s 4,000-acre ranch just outside of Mason, more than 120 miles west of Austin. Guests had arrived to the back lawn of McHale’s palatial log cabin-cum-mansion by car, charter shuttle, and helicopter. Engineers, tech geeks, salespeople, and marketing wonks mingled with gun evangelists, wealthy sports hunters, a couple of war heros, and invited