When it comes to all things shoot related, I am probably one of the luckiest chaps alive. I work as an instructor at one of the very best ranges in the UK (Orion Firearms Training) and I get to see almost every variable piece of shooting kit there is, whether firearms, binoculars, rangefinders, clothing etc etc.
For those of you unfamiliar with Orion Firearms Training – Our 5000 acre unique range facility is discreetly located in the wilderness of the Welsh Cambrian Mountains where you can shoot a variety of steel targets and water signature targets from 50 metres to 3km.
So you might say we have the most perfect place to test the Sig Sauer Kilo 2000, as we have hundreds of steel reactive targets with measured distances. In addition to which there are various livestock in the locality, which can be used as test purposes for the aforementioned rangefinder test.
Mike Norris of Brock and Norris fame loaned me a brand new Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 rangefinder so I was eager to get the kit out and try it. Upon opening the box the usual bits of kit were present, battery, Rangefinder, lanyard, cover case and the instruction manual. All pretty standard stuff.
My initial thought was at how very sleek the rangefinder looked. It was “cool” if you would pardon the vernacular. Lightweight, and very comfortable in the hand. All round a very pleasing piece of technology on first impressions.
So what did the manufacturer boast on the box? Well I will tell you, these little rangefinders would range reflective targets up to 2 miles, trees up to 1,500 yards and a solitary deer at 1,200 yards. Other sell points of the Kilo are you can have yards or meters. You can have line of sight measurement of AMR, which stands for angle modified range, this nuance I will explain a little later. Beam divergence is a circa 1.4 mrad. Also you can set your RF for “Best” or “Last” target. Best is the recommended setting, but you have the option to set it to “last” if you are stalking in heavy foliage and wish it to ignore the near foliage.
Ok I think we all get the picture. So a quick stroll out onto the point of our 1000 yard range and a few quick initial tests. A point to note: whilst I know all the target ranges have been verified a million times before I have brought along my terrapin RF’s just to use as direct comparisons for the longer range targets, as well as wildlife targets which as yet had not been ranged.
A quick test with the terrapin on all the targets and yep, they are all bang on. Ok to the Kilo wasting no time, first up is the 800 yard target. Switch the RF’s on and here we go, 800.8 comes back to me in a heartbeat. Wow these are fast, in fact the fastest I have used. Lets try some others. 200, 240, 375, 925 yards and yes the Kilo comes back with the ranges spot on, the reading is so lightning fast and clear. The readings also have a 10th of a decimal there too; this is not necessary in my opinion but there nevertheless. Brilliant thus far, but and there is a but I’m afraid. The aiming reticle is about 4 times the size of my terrapin reticle. This is frustrating as I can see we may come across issue later when I range wildlife….let’s see though. The targets I am ranging at the moment are 1m and ½ metre steel reactive targets.
Weather conditions could not be better and everything is clear as the eye can see so let get cracking on less reflective targets.
Next up a lone sheep. A quick buzz with the terrapin and we have a 678y target. Over to the Kilo and wow 678.4 also. And the speed of the reading is just fabulous.
Next a flock of 4 sheep grazing. Terrapin says 1230 – Kilo says NO. Try again but a no go for the Kilo. The reticle as suspected is too big to select one target at this range when an animal is as small as a sheep. So I tried a Welsh Black (cow), 1120 yards on the terrapin, NO on the Kilo, try again and 1140 on the Kilo. This happened a couple of times with the Kilo reading 10 to 20 or so yards difference. Why I cant be too sure, other than the reticle picking up other cows in the background. I was holding the RF on a tripod so steady but the enlarged reticle does not help. I came back to 1000yard wildlife targets and they are easily ranged accurately by the Kilo.
Tried a gauze bush at 448 yards and the Kilo devoured it, no problem at all….single selective trees out to 1,300 yards and same thing, the Kilo went about its business with relative ease and at a phenomenal rate of feedback.
Just before I go I want to try the 2k markers. Terrapin says 2002 yards and the Kilo says…2001.8 yards……..bloody hell. This is awesome! I try more pushing out past 2400 yards until the Kilo says NO more please. I believe the reticle is too big to pick smaller selective targets when they are in tight-ish groups…IMO.
I like this piece of kit though; I like it a lot – would I change it in favour of my terrapin? Well lets see what day 2 brings.
Day 2 is a totally different ball game. The weather is misty as hell and light rain with squally showers. This will be interesting.
Usual start to know distances but this time everything is in the hills with steep inclination and declination. This is where the AMR came into its own. For clarity the AMR is effectively an electronic version of the Rifleman’s Rule. In case you where unaware: Strictly speaking, the rifleman’s rule is an approximation and it holds generally only for the small angles typically involved in shooting. The rule is derived assuming that the bullet travels in a vacuum. However, empirical evidence suggests that the rule does appear to work with reasonable accuracy in air and with both bullets and arrows. But lets try the AMR on the Kilo anyway.
I have all the line of sight distances so lets engage AMR and try a few. The hills vary from 25 degrees to 45 degrees, so here goes.
First target l-O-S is 260 yards, the Kilo comes back with 234 yards, PERFECT….wowee. ok yes a few more 330 yards, 545 yards, 980 yards, on each and every occasion the little RF’s did and instantaneous calculation and the were perfect. Brilliant.
The weather is now poor, heavy mist but will plod on. I ask the terrapin to range a sheep in poor conditions, the TERRAPIN says no so I thought the Kilo would do likewise…..it didn’t it came back with 190yards. I tested again and the same result. I did this on lots of targets from 100 yards to 560 yards and the Kilo ranged the lot. This was a real revelation, shortly afterwards though the mist was too much for the Kilo too, but this test proved to me that the Kilo was better equipped than my terrapin in heavy mist. WOW indeed.
After lunch the weather as is usual in Wales turned to blazing sunshine so I decided to go straight to 3k.
For this test I wanted to do distance and also try the scan mode. I selected my target and the terrapin said 2950 yards to the steel target. Out came the Kilo and holding the button and letting go and sure enough with the same lightning speed the reading came back 2949 yards. Try again and the Kilo refreshes itself and same result. Brilliant.
Conclusions. I have only had this piece of kit for 4 days and frankly would like to test it for longer to show how robust it really is. That being said the 4 days I have had use of the Sig Sauer Kilo I have been blown away. This is a £500 or so rangefinder which is competing with the big boys in the £0,000’s of price range.
This is one awesome value for money Rangefinder. Would I buy one? HELL yeh, would I swap it for my terrapin? Simply put the answer is no. There is a market for both but I would congratulate Sig Sauer on a remarkable new Range Finder – I have no doubt at all this will be a real gem.
Again and lastly but by no means least I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Mike Norris of Brock and Norris, for the loan Sig Sauer Kilo 2000 to test and also to Highland Outdoors the Importer of the product……. Very many thanks to you both.