“Lock Launch”: Mi338 Kivaari Weapons System Powered by TrackingPoint

By Tom Murphy

Let’s make this perfectly clear right up front. The TrackingPoint Mi338 Kivaari by DRD Tactical IS rocket science. The rifle itself is a semi-automatic, gas-operated system with quick takedown capability. Accuracy is 1 MOA when factory ammunition is used. The rifle was tested with Black Hills 250 grain Sierra Match King and 300 grain Lapua Scenar bullets.

Accuracy was exceptional.

DRD Tactical partnered with TrackingPoint to offer this system utilizing the DRD Kivaari rifle, which was covered extensively in SAR Volume 20 Number 1. That article is available online at smallarmsreview.com.

TrackingPoint System

TrackingPoint is a Texas-based applied technology company that created the world’s first precision guided firearm (PGF), placing “lock and launch” technology into a rifle.
The TrackingPoint System consists of:

Trigger system containing microprocessors, electro-optic and electro-mechanical components.

The TrackingPoint system uses two rechargeable lithium batteries. The system only uses one battery at a time. The scope can operate with only one battery installed. The battery doors are located on the top of the scope and can be accessed by depressing a lever at the rear of the battery covers. Both batteries will be displayed in the HUD. The battery powering the scope will be displayed in blue. Average battery life in continuous use is 1.5 hours.

During testing, the Mi338 was stored in a gun safe for three weeks. During that time, the two batteries discharged. Before going shooting, the batteries should be placed in a charger until they are fully charged.

The TrackingPoint system enables competent operators to shoot with very high accuracy with every shot. The system has an integrated target tracking system similar to what’s used on drones and USAF fighters. To tag a target in one of the advanced modes, set the reticule on the target, use a finger on your free hand to depress the Tag button on the top middle of the scope. The reticule will convert to a blue X with a red dot to indicate the tag location on the target. Once the target is tagged, the heads up display on the precision-guided firearm will track the exact target location and movement. The range will be displayed on the upper left corner of the HUD. Releasing the Tag button will set the point of impact and video will begin recording.

If you want to change the tag point, just depress the Tag button and it will automatically retag the target. When the point of aim and the tag are aligned in the kill zone, the X reticle will turn red, indicating the proper time to fire.

Operating the Mi338 Kivaari requires a number of steps before the target tracking can function.

First, the power button on the right side of the scope must be pushed. This illuminates the power button LED and brings up the HUD display. It can take up to 15 seconds before all buttons are active and the Advanced Mode is available.

Next, press the power button again to turn on the Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi icon will appear in the HUD. The number of connected devices is displayed next to the Wi-Fi icon. Up to three devices can be simultaneously connected.

The Mode button on the left side of the scope allows different modes to be selected:

The HUD Console allows the user to adjust advanced settings in the HUD. These include temperature, kill zone, ammunition type and zero. Depress the Mode button for two seconds to bring up the HUD Console settings. All adjustments are made by depressing the zoom button located on top of the scope until the required function is highlighted. Once the settings have been inputted, the Mode button is pressed to save the changes.


When the scope is activated, the temperature is automatically set. The manual function allows for inputting a different temperature along the bullet’s flight path if the temperature differs from the shooter’s position.

Kill Zone

The kill zone is the actual point of impact deviation set when the firing solution is computed and the alignment arrows turn red. The size of the kill zone will determine the speed of alignment and time the device takes to react to the tagged shot. The kill zone setting is displayed at the top center of the HUD. The kill zone can be set from .1 MOA to 4 MOA, with 2 MOA being the default setting.


The Mi338 Kivaari needs to be configured to the specific type of ammunition used. The rifle has been designed and programmed with the ballistics for this ammunition:


Other brands and types of ammunition can be used in the Mi338, as long as they are the proper caliber for the rifle. However, this use will result in decreased accuracy while the scope is in Advanced mode. It can be used in Traditional mode; however, this defeats the purpose of the rifle.


The Mi338 digital optic system has been set to zero from the factory. If adjustments become necessary, they can be made using the HUD Console.

Heads Up Display (HUD)

The HUD presents information on the environment, ammunition and shot orientation to maximize accuracy. Once a target is acquired (tagged), the internal ballistic computer generates a firing solution in less than a second. This solution is based on various factors that affect a bullet’s flight. The operator then adjusts point of aim by aligning the reticle on the target and placing the shot. Moving objects can be targeted if their speed is 10 mph, or less.

Some messages may be displayed in the HUD concerning its operation.

No Target Found

This will be displayed if the laser cannot compute range, or the target blends in with its surroundings.

Off Screen

The tag has moved off the HUD screen. A yellow arrow will be displayed pointing in the direction of the tagged target.

Tracking Lost

This message can appear for four reasons: target is outside the HUD’s field of view; target moves behind another animal or object; target too close (less than 50 yards); target is too far (out of Mi338 system range).

.338 Lapua Magnum Ammunition

Finnish manufacturer, Nammo Lapua Oy (Lapua) and partner SAKO formed a joint venture to design and build the current .338 Lapua cartridge. Initially designated as the .338/.416, or 8.58x71mm, the cartridge was engineered to send a 250-grain proprietary bullet at 3,000 fps with 4,806 ft-lb of muzzle energy. A 300-grain bullet was subsequently developed that has a muzzle velocity of 2,700 fps with 5,020 ft-lb of energy. The .338 Lapua Magnum fits between calibers like the .300 Winchester Magnum, and the heavy .50 BMG. Barrel erosion is minimal, retaining accuracy to well over 1,000 rounds. As this author can testify, recoil is on the stout side, and a muzzle brake is a necessity. Proper stock design will help reduce felt recoil.

TrackingPoint “ShotView™” App

The Rifle uses a Wi-Fi signal that allows other users to both see and record a live streaming video fed from the HUD to a smartphone. From the time a target is tagged, the video is recorded to internal memory. Any number of other shooters or observers can share what is on the HUD. The system automatically streams and records audio and video of all shots fired for 15 seconds after the shot is taken. Each shooting sequence can be reviewed by anyone with the ShotView app. It can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store or Google Play. When you depress the toggle button to turn on the scope, the Wi-Fi connection will be automatically accessed.

Recording time is displayed in the upper right hand corner of the HUD. Every time the Tag button is depressed, the video begins recording. When a tagged shot is made, the recording and a shot photo will be stored.

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N7 (August 2018)
and was posted online on June 22, 2018


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