Simple, Fast, Accurate
Hi-Performance Distance Measurement
By Doug Howlett
SIG Electro-Optics is relatively new to the outdoor scene, but SIG quality certainly is not. Starting as the Swiss Wagon Factory in 1853 to build wagons and railway cars, it was just 11 years later that the company landed a contract with the Swiss government to produce 30,000 muzzleloading rifles. It was in 1864 that they changed their name to the Swiss Industrial Company—Schweizerische Industrie-Gesellschaft or SIG, as they would come to be known, regardless if they were called SIG Sauer or later SIGARMS, the name adopted when they officially set up operations in America in 1985.
SIG is for “BEST”
In recent years, SIG has undergone a massive expansion in production of firearms as well as broadening their product lines. Chief among that horizontal expansion has been the creation of SIG Sauer’s Electro-Optics division (sigoptics.com), which hit the market amid much fanfare in 2015. The intent among company leaders was to create optics as innovative as their firearms and to further fulfill their goal of creating products that made up a complete system.
Indeed, for shooting sportsmen, SIG Electro-Optics transcends the mere “firearm as system fulfillment,” as in gun, optic, sights, mounts, lights and lasers, to really deliver on being an “activity system” offering full sport optical needs with high-quality binoculars and rangefinders. It was on a recent turkey hunt in the open country of south-central South Dakota that a group of us had the opportunity to give these optics a full-on field test—even including some post-water submersion operations after one hunter took an unexpected dunk in a swollen creek.
From my experiences, I walked away impressed by both, the binocular and the rangefinder, that I used for their performance, glass clarity and feel in the hand. Because of their necessity in open country and the ease with which a hunter can easily misjudge even relatively close distances, I spent considerable time playing with my SIG Electro-Optics KILO2000 Rangefinder. SIG claims, “Extreme accuracy is what we were after when we engineered the KILO2000,” and it appears from my testing that is exactly what they have created.
The 7x25mm model is designed for serious long-range shooters or those sportsmen who simply demand the very best of everything. It boasts the capability to accurately range reflective targets up to 3,400 yards away, trees out to 1,500 yards and deer-sized objects at a whopping 1,200 yards. I ranged it on turkeys that were more than 500 yards away.
Ease of use, for me, is key with any item I use. With three kids, a full-time and part-time job, baseball coaching responsibilities, and my time spent hunting, shooting and managing my property for wildlife, I have little time to waste and definitely don’t need anything to make my life or activities more difficult. For someone who is an avid reader of books and magazines, I admittedly hate to read instructions. My general rule of thumb is if I have to read instructions to understand the basic functions of a gadget, then it was made too complicated.
Upon arriving at the hunt I gathered up my gear for testing, including the KILO2000. Outside, I pulled it from the box, inserted the battery, looked through the eyepiece and hit the button square button on the top of the body. Inside a red lite aiming point was easy to see and beneath it, the distance in yards was clearly and cleanly displayed. I aimed it at a rock on the ground nearby—4 yards. I aimed it at a line of trees on a hillside far across the street from where I stood—473 yards. “Simple enough,” I thought. I was probably more impressed by the close ranging than the far ranging since that is an area where many rangefinders struggle.
The performance is courtesy of the unit’s Lightwave DSP (Digital Signal Processing) engine, which operates with an advanced power management system SIG calls HyperScan. The scan mode refreshes four times per second (reportedly the fastest refresh rate of any rangefinder), which provides for quick ranging and better ranging accuracy. The DSP engine utilizes sophisticated signal processing algorithms known as Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), which reduces false readings and is able to register on even small or distant targets, something with which some rangefinder models struggle.
An on-board inclinometer (AMR for Angled Modified Range) rapidly determines incline or decline angle and modifies the ballistic shooting range to the target based on those readings. When used in conjunction with a SIG riflescope with Ballistic Turret Dials, the horizontal equivalents calculated by the AMR match perfectly. The OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display is easily readable in bright conditions and will dim for better sighting at dusk and dawn.
Combine all of this internal technology with ultra-wide broadband anti-reflective coatings on the optics for excellent light transmission, even in low-light situations, and SIG’s Stealth ID outer unit profile, and you have a handful of remarkably performing—and good looking—high technology range finder.
The Stealth ID configuration boasts deflection armor trapezoidal surfacing for breaking up the shape and visibility of the unit along with pistol slide serrations and checkering on the exterior for a better grip, particularly when wearing thick gloves.
In less than 2 years, SIG Electro-Optics has made quite an impression among the hunters and shooters who have used them, and like their namesake firearms, there is little doubt they will become a hallmark for quality and performance by which many other models are measured for many years to come.