The mating of ballistics calculating programs and rangefinders may be the best pairing since PB&J. The wise, “kill two birds with one stone” adage applies to this and Sig Sauer has executed it perfectly in the KILO8K-ABS. With the onboard Applied Ballistics System and the incredible ranging abilities that the 8K has to offer, I was able to get fast and reliable ballistics solutions using a single unit instead of the combination of two or three that I would normally have. Using the Sig BDX app, an incredibly simple and effective user interface downloadable to your phone, you are able to change the range mode, wind direction, ballistic profile, and many, many other settings. Even though this rangefinder is incredibly sophisticated (it comes with a 75-page user manual), it is easy and intuitive to operate. Because of my good experience with it, I think the KILO8K-ABS is a must-have piece of equipment for any long-range shooting enthusiast; hunters, competitors, and hobbyists alike.
Ballistic Solutions and Environmental Data Collection
The KILO8K-ABS is possibly the most advanced, user-friendly rangefinder on the market. It has many capabilities and functions, but the most notable is put in the name: ABS stands for “Applied Ballistics System”, which denotes that this rangefinder will not only range your target, but apply information such as look angle, atmospheric pressure, humidity, temperature, and wind speed/direction to provide you with an accurate firing solution based on your selected weapon profile. The KILO8K-ABS will store up to 30 ballistic profiles that you can build using the Sig BDX app. Here, you input your weapon’s caliber, bullet coefficient, twist rate, velocity, sight height, and more. Also advertised by the name, the KILO8K-ABS has a maximum range of 8,000 yards on reflective targets! And unlike the 8K’s predecessor, this rangefinder does not have a limit at which it will no longer provide firing solutions for the user. In my experience, it has given a firing solution with every measurement, at any range measured.
I mostly played with ballistic solutions for my 375 Raptor SBR, which shoots a 250-grain bullet at 2200 FPS. Because of the mediocre ballistic coefficient and slow muzzle velocity, I got some pretty hilarious firing solutions at very long ranges. Inside 800 yards though, I’m confident in this gun’s abilities and the quick and accurate firing solutions provided by the KILO8K-ABS proved accurate.
The KILO8K-ABS will take its own environmental measurements necessary for calculating a firing solution but it can also be paired with the included WeatherFlow WINDMeter or a Kestrel 5700 to update current windspeed/direction in its calculation. pair with any of Sig’s BDX optics, providing an adjusted aiming point in the electronic rifle scope. If you are relying on the rangefinder’s own sensors, you may need to manually input a temperature value due to the fact that the onboard temperature sensor will read incorrect values if the rangefinder is stored in your pocket, next to your body, or in the sun. If you wish to do this, simply go into the rangefinder’s menu by holding the menu button, scrolling to “onboard sensors”, and switching the temp to manual.
Quality of Life Features
The KILO8K-ABS does many things that aren’t selling points on the optic but make it convenient to have and use. An example of this is the compass functionality, which allows this rangefinder to be paired with the BaseMap app, providing the locations on a map of points ranged. On another note, the reticle in the KILO8K-ABS can be changed to a circle, duplex, or square. Paired with one of these reticles, you also have the option of activating a milling grid with horizontal and vertical, or just horizontal lines. Naturally, you can also change the unit of measure for distance, wind, the milling grid, holdovers, and temperature to whatever you prefer to use, i.e. yards or meters, mph or m/s, MOA or MRAD, Fahrenheit or Celcius, respectively.
Display brightness is another parameter that can be changed in the menu. There are 10 different options that you can select from. I played with all of these, but I found the auto-adjust setting to be adequate and most convenient.
Target modes can be changed to best fit the scenario that you are in. The KILO8K-ABS has 5: last target, first target, best target, extended range, and fog. As you can probably assume, in the last target mode the last target range is the distance that is displayed when the scan function is being used. Likewise for the first target mode. The best target mode will display the range of the target that produces the strongest reading. Extended range mode will decrease the sampling rate, but increase the amount of data being collected by four times. In the extended range mode, your battery will be drained much faster, so it isn’t necessarily best to leave the rangefinder in this mode. The last mode offered is fog. In the fog mode, the last target detected is the range that will be displayed. This is different from the last target function because the last target only does this when the scan function is being used.
Target modes are different from Range modes, which the KILO8K-ABS has 4 of; BDX Elite, BDX External, AMR, and LOS. In the BDX Elite mode, the internal Applied Ballistics Elite calculator and complete AB bullet and custom drag curves are utilized to produce firing solutions. BDX External allows you to connect to a Kestrel 5700 or Garmin Foretrex for external firing solutions from these devices. AMR simply shows an angle-modified range front-and-center while LOS shows the line-of-site range this way. With the AMR and LOS modes, the LOS and AMR distance, as well as the look-angle will be displayed elsewhere in view.
My Experience in the Field
I’ve had the pleasure of putting this rangefinder to the test for the last few months by bringing it to range sessions and hunting trips. During these outings, it has been battered around in a backpack, rattled back and forth on the dash of my pickup, frosted up during cool mornings, and soaked with moisture on rainy days. Indifferent to what I threw at it, the KILO8K-ABS has suffered no damage and has continued to perform flawlessly.
Not only is the KILO8K-ABS tough, but if I’ve put perfect data in, I’ve gotten perfect firing solutions out. This data is displayed crisply in a large field of view using Sig’s AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) display, which may be the best display I’ve seen on a rangefinder. The 304×256 pixel resolution produces fine text that is bright and blur-free.
- +/- 0.5 yard accuracy out to 500 yards
- +/- 1 yard accuracy from 500 – 1000 yards
- +/- 2 yard accuracy beyond 1000 yards
- 7x magnification
- 25mm objective lens
- 6.78 degree field of view
- 16mm eye relief
- 4.4 in overall length
- 3 in height
- 1.3 in overall width
- 7.5 oz weight
- 1.2×0.25 MRAD laser divergence
- IPX-4 waterproofing
- CR2 battery
- 4000 ranges of run time
- +/- 3 diopter adjustment range
- reticle options: circle, duplex, box, and optional milling grid
- 304×256 active matrix OLED display
- range on deer: up to 2000 yards
- range on trees: up to 2500 yards
- max reflective range: 8000 yards
- MSRP: $1,979.99
The KILO8K-ABS is covered under two different warranties offered by Sig Sauer, the Electro-Optics Infinite Guarantee Limited Lifetime Warranty and the Electronic Component Limited 5-Year Warranty. The Electro-Optics Infinite Guarantee simply states that Sig will repair or replace your product at no cost to you in the event that it becomes damaged or defective. This is fully transferable, requires no warranty card or receipt and no time limit applies. This warranty does not include coverage of electronic or tritium components. The Electronic Component Limited 5-Year Warranty does, however. Still, this warranty seems to only cover manufacturer defects in electronic or tritium components.
In the past, I have had to file a warranty claim on an older model of ballistics-solving rangefinder that Sig Sauer no longer makes. It quit working in the field on a goat hunt in Alaska. Hardly any questions were asked when I filed a warranty claim and a new one was sent to me and I expect your experience would be exactly the same.
This rangefinder is a fantastic piece of equipment for competitors, hunters, and hobbyists alike. It has proved itself to be reliable and accurate in all conditions. I have very few negative things to say about the KILO8K-ABS. In fact, my one complaint is probably its waterproofing rating being IPX-4. This rating means that it can withstand heavy rains and water splashes, but cannot be submerged. In the field, I can imagine realistic scenarios where you may push this device to failure in this respect; most of them being accidental. Even so, I challenge anybody to find a more capable device in an equally compact, lightweight package with a better warranty. I’ve carried this rangefinder through all of my typical yearly outings and it hasn’t failed once.
The display and menu navigation, ranging capabilities, and Applied Ballistics software of this rangefinder are so superb that I have to reiterate them. The menu is extremely simple to navigate on the device, utilizing only two buttons. The display resolution also allows Sig to fit many options in view, bringing most of the options into view at once. This keeps you from needing to hunt down the one option you are looking for. And if you wish, you can forgo making any changes on the rangefinder and instead make them on the Sig BDX app with your phone. Second, the ranging capabilities of the KILO8K-ABS are likely the best of currently available rangefinders in its ~$2K price range. And finally, the integrated applied ballistics software is so accurate and solutions are produced so simply and quickly that there is no other piece of equipment that I’d rather have in fast-paced, adrenaline-filled scenarios where accurate firing solutions are required; being LEO, hunter, or sponsored shooter. This is a piece of equipment that I will be purchasing for myself because I liked it so much and nothing else I have can compare.
Learn more about the KILO8K-ABS HERE!
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