Novice Taya Kyle Beats Champion Bruce Piatt in Sniper Shootout

Taya Kyle

Taya Kyle, the widow of American Sniper author Chris Kyle — but herself a novice shooter — defeated NRA Shooting Champion Bruce Piatt in the American Sniper Shootout held in Mason, Texas on December 5, 2015. The event raised more than $500,000 for the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, a charity that helps service members get the time and opportunity to reconnect with their families after deployment.

Taya Kyle
Taya Kyle, widow of legendary sniper Chris Kyle

Ms. Kyle used TrackingPoint’s new auto-locking squad-level precision-fire M600, M800, and XS1 precision-guide firearms. Piatt used the army’s M4A1, M110, and M2010 rifles.

Kyle said, “I am passionate about getting the TrackingPoint guns into our warrior’s hands. They are willing to give their lives for us; the least we can do is give them our very best in that fight.” Taya Kyle hit 100% of her shots for an aggregate score of 10,140 points, while Piatt made 58.6% of his shots for an aggregate score of 3,080 points. Shot scoring was weighted, based on degree of difficulty.

Kyle said, “Our first responders and military members face situations most of us cannot imagine. They need every advantage for precision and efficiency to protect and serve, while minimizing collateral damage and risk to themselves.” Piatt said, “The technology in the TrackingPoint system became shockingly obvious when a novice shooter like Taya Kyle was able to complete the American Sniper Shootout without a miss. Just imagine if these were in the hands of our police and military units. I wish they were available when I was wearing a badge and coordinating the SWAT team.” The American Sniper Shootout competition was a series of common shots encountered in war at unknown distances on static and moving targets. Shooting positions included prone, off-hand, and blind shots, in which the shooter is unable to see targets directly.

The contest was divided into three specific rifle competitions; service rifle, designated marksman, and sniper. In addition to winning the aggregate score, Kyle also won each individual rifle competition.

Tracking Point Rifle Quatered
Tracking Point Rifle in .338 Lapua.

Unlike most military training, the sniper competition included battle stressors, such as explosions and simulated fire.

Shots on static and moving targets were taken from prone, standing, kneeling, canted, and fully concealed positions ranging from 150 yards to 1000 yards in distance. The targets were at unknown distances and moved at unknown velocities. Piatt was permitted to use a rangefinder in the sniper competition.

Using TrackingPoint’s ShotGlass wearable glasses in the fully concealed portion of the event, Kyle was able to hit 100% of her shots taken from a protected position. With ShotGlass, shooters can see the scope view without having their head or body behind the gun, allowing the shooter to make shots over walls or around corners without exposure to enemy fire. Bruce Piatt was unable to make any shots from fully protected positions.

“For the most part, our military has modernized in the last 100 years,” said John McHale, TrackingPoint’s CEO. “The Navy has gone from sailing ships to aircraft carriers, and the Air Force has gone from prop planes to supersonic fighter jets. Meanwhile the Army is still fighting with guns that are the equivalent of prop planes. It’s time they upgraded to fighter jets,” said McHale.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (20)

    1. It varies widely. I have some brass I have reloaded 20 times and more. I have seen some brass crap out after 2 or 3 reloads. I have no experience reloading steel cases but I have to assume they will be more durable than brass. I had never considered trying to reload them before because it seemed like more trouble than it’s worth but I may experiment a little just to see if it can reliably be done.

  1. Mr. McHale has a long and ugly history of treating friends, investors, and his employees with a less than ethical management style.

    Having worked for Tracking Point for a number of years, it is my fond hope that Mr. McHale and his technology fade quietly into the sunset, never to be seen or heard from again.

    This competition is a farce. And using Chris Kyle’s widow in an advertising stunt is very much his style.

    We should all know better.


  2. The firearms used by the British Army were not designed for great accuracy. Military of the day were massed in rank and file. Accuracy was not necessary when shooting into a mass of bodies.

    The colonists needed accuracy to put food on the table. One means of improving accuracy was to use a longer barrel, and later to rifle it. The longer rifles of the colonists were a great advantage during the Revolutionary War.

    The progressives argue from a faulted position in saying that the Founders would never have wanted the people to have weapons equal to or better than those used by the military when, in point of fact, the colonists did have better weapons.

    One of the places where the SCOTUS got it wrong about the 2nd Amendment regards “sawed off shotguns”. The British Army was essentially using “short barrel shotguns” for combat. This was especially true of the British Marines stationed on ships where a “scattergun” was important when two ships came together for boarding. They also used their best marksmen up in the rigging to pick off officers and others. So, “short barrel shotguns” were weapons should never have been outlawed on the basis noted by the SCOTUS that a sawed off shotgun is not a weapon normally used to fight wars.

    1. @ DaveW

      The Dictionary used to write the Bill Of Rights was Dictionary of the English Language, 6th edition published in 1755. So any Supreme Court Ruling would have to use that Standard of Defining the Language of the Second Amendment.

  3. Roy
    My unit had starlight scopes (NODs – night observation devices) on watchtowers and on select riflemen. They were very fragile in that looking at a light source or turning one on without the sun shield could/would burn out the electronics.

    I guess you, too, were taken aback when thee troops in the middle east complained about not having enough protection. Bullet proof vests (aka Second Chance, etc) arrived on the scene long after I left Vietnam.

    We had “flak jackets” comprised of a nylon shell filled with cotton batting which would not stop a .38 cal round. As for vehicles, we rode around in open M-151s, open “deuce and a halfs”, weapons carriers, and such. There were some V-100s and M-113 APCs but they were usually pre-positioned. We had one tank prepositioned and without treads.

    I don’t begrudge modern forces having better protection. After all, we had it bettr than the troops who served in WW2 and Korea, but I was a bit ticked about the troops whining about what they didn’t have, and then certain factions at home playing the blame game as to which party was at fault.

    As for “low tech”, I’m presently shopping for a simple and reliable crossbow. I have also retained my 1970s .38 Spl/.357 cal revolver and a .22 cal rifle (as well as a .22 cal conversion upper for my AR), and a single shot .410.

    I remember when the lights went out in the NE and Canada. Now POTUS has the authority to shut down pretty much anything. We should all consider keeping things as simple as possible because when the lights go out we will be on our own and the store (gun, food, etc) shelves will empty very quickly.

    1. DaveW, saw an Aussie, over there carrying a massive crossbow. 350 pound pull, he told me. Used it to take out sentries at a 100 yards. So, back in the day, middle ages, the crossbow was the assault ‘rifle’ of the day. I, too wore ‘flak jackets’. They were designed for just that, ‘flack’, or shrapnel from an exploding device, wouldn’t stop a rifle round. Am glad, too, that those serving today have it better than we, but, the whiners should pull a patrol with just what we had and cross a couple of rice paddies. Perhaps they would learn to appreciate how good they have it.

  4. Everytime somebody comes up with something new and improved, there is someone that says give me the good old ways. I’m sure it happened with automatic rifles and handguns, and I bet it happened when somebody picked up a stick and used it as a club. You can keep your clubs if you want, give me the new and improved. I can always keep a stick for backup when my batteries fail.

  5. Consider all the modern technology invested in aircraft, ships, tanks, etc, which will be rendered totally useless if an enemy nation gets in the first EMPs…. now we add individual weapons. Batteries are used everywhere by military personnel. From the sights and scopes (standard and night vision) on their weapons, to the tactical laptops and tablets, to calling home and walking in the dark. If it keeps going like this, the batteries (in use and spare) will weigh more than the rest of their equipment, and they will probably drown the first time they have to cross a stream.

    Fortunately, thus far, in this country, we still have old school firearms.

    Of course, at the rate our educational system is dumbing down students, it won’t matter much. I’ve met so many students who are great with an electronic calculator, but can’t do basic math, let alone advanced math, with a pencil and paper.

    1. DaveW, Amen! It is frightening how dependent U.S. troops are on technology. When I was wading rice paddies, the highest technology we had was ‘StarLite’. My unit didn’t have one, we relied on good night vision and flares (when needed) to penetrate the dark. Though ‘night vision’ scopes are 1000% better, I still trust my own night vision. Let the ‘techies’ have their toys. I’ll keep to my low tech solutions and not worry about spare batteries and such.

  6. I have been following this as Taya was in training for it. There was a lot of speculation in the run-up as to whether the rifle could do as claimed, and whether Taya could master the basics of trigger pull and breath control not to throw the shot off in the squeeze. Looks like she pulled it off. This raised a lot of money for the foundation, and Bruce Piatt was a great sport to compete against the technology.

    It would be great if these systems would get out to the troops, but at $25K apiece before that happens. Our government is too busy spend billions of dollars in foreign aid to countries full of people who hate us. I also think this will take a lot of work to get ready for use in hostile environments. I have read that the system can be hacked, and although they couldn’t take over the gun or anything extreme like that, my understanding is that a hacker could cause the weapon to miss.

  7. Remember, once the genie is out of the lamp, our own troops would one day be faced with guided munitions. What would be next? Autonomous munitions hunting down our troops; actually circling overhead and looking behind cover?

  8. @ The Shooter’s Log.

    I’m NO EXPERT on making Long-Range Rifle Shot’s, but I’ve read conflicting Reports on the Claimed by Jim Spinella in 3 March 2015. One claim’s a Standard Steel Target painted RED at near Ground Level. While other’s claiming a 48″x48″ Target, ~13-feet of the ground with a Wood Backing. Which is Which. Aren’t set Rules for Long-Range Competition Shooting.

    And is it True that the .375 Cheytac is a .375 Viking (9,525×77.72654mmR) specially made by Lutz Moller GmbH of Germany…

  9. TrackingPoint systems have proved themselves reliable, but who among ordinary shooters have a spare $25,000 just laying around. Another worry, at least for me, batteries. Though the provided batteries may last a long time, eventually, they will fail. Then what? If you hadn’t the foresight to carry extras, you have a very expensive club. Old-school is best. All things mechanical fail, but hi-tech gadgets fail at a much faster rate than do those mundane, low-tech items. Give me a good rifle topped by a good low-tech scope, any day. I will still be out there taking out the bad guys while you techies are looking for batteries or a service tech.

  10. Well this certainly seems to prove the TrackingPoint system. This is pretty amazing and who would not want to own this system. I would think it is really expensive though

    Can anyone tell us the cost ?.

  11. My initial work with the dedicated sniper rifle dates back to the Stone Age. Remington 700s with Leopold 6 and 8 power scopes, as defined by the leading shooter of the day. Carlos would look at the material available in the market to snipers, and dedicated shooters today and would smile and probably say “Ho Yah!.”
    Chris did the greatest service to his fellows on the field by eliminating threats to their doing their job. He was a hero in that he felt he could justify every shot he ever took. Which is something that all good men strive to do. Now all good women are working toward demonstrating they have the same will do do as men have done in the past, and I feel that this embraces the code of heroism in doing for others.

    I also think that the article somewhat diminishes Taya’s contribution to this award. While it is a lot about the technology, in the end, it is always about the Shooter. To identify, define, qualify and quantify the threat, and then have the presence of mind to deal with it will (I hope) always be the human and Humane decision. No technology should exceed the judgement and focus of the person using it.

    1. @ Jim McDonald.

      August 1777, Sergeant Tim Murphy (Sharpshooter) of the 12th Pennsylvania Regiment. Using PA Long-Barrel Rifled Muzzle-Loading Flintlock Rifle was able to hit 7-inch target at 250-yards, Confirmed. And Unconfirmed at 300-yards…

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.