Review: Sig Sauer Kilo10k Laser Rangefinder Binoculars
I’ve been severely hooked on both hunting and long-range shooting for more than a few decades, so laser rangefinders are nothing new to me. I still remember saving up what seemed like an eternity to purchase my first one, an LRF I could barely afford. But it would actually hit at 1,000 yards and beyond reliably.
All these years later, my laser has migrated into a good pair of bino’s, which are a must-have for spotting animals in these Rocky Mountains. But the me of 20 years ago would never believe just how much else has changed about the binoculars I carry.
Sig Sauer jumped into the optics market with both feet, and they have been innovating all over the optics world since. They worked hard enough to earn my business a few years back when I bought one of their Tango6 5-30x56 rifle scopes.
I have had the good fortune to sample a broad spectrum of Sig Sauer’s electronic optics, enough to become quite confident in giving them more hard-earned money. The Kilo10k is that latest purchase, a pair of consumer-grade binoculars that feature arguably military-grade functions. I decided that I was due an upgrade and spent the money.
The Kilo10k Binoculars
I have been using another pair of 10x42s for the last few years, but a friend bought a pair of the Kilo 3000 binoculars, and I quickly noticed they seemed better to my eyes than the binos I was using. The Kilo10k is a significant upgrade from the 3000 model, with so many features I’ll have to keep it short to avoid this page taking all day to load.
Besides Sig’s standard features, such as their Ballistic Data Exchange (BDX) and various lens coatings and armor, the real juicy details are all encoded inside. The Kilo utilizes a second-generation Lightwave DSP ranging engine that has various ranging functions that allow you to range reflective targets as far as 10,000 yards away. I was dang sure gonna try that out.
The onboard system also has all the sensors needed to calculate real-time ballistics via an Applied Ballistics Elite ballistic calculator. Instead of pairing to your phone application, the Kilo does it all inside and gives you an incredible array of information right in front of your eyes. All this without ever taking your eyes off the target.
The internal systems of the Kilo also have compass and GPS functions, you can see compass headings and such right in the binocular's heads-up display, and angles of incline are also displayed. And you can mark waypoints in your travels using the Basemap application.
The aforementioned Applied Ballistics (AB) software allows you to store up to 25 different profiles in the binoculars using the complete bullet library, so you can always have your favorite load cued up. The Kilo10k reads all the relevant atmosphere information to give you a corrected firing solution with current density altitude conditions, and it even includes a wind meter for accurate wind-speed measurement.
Let’s Figure This Out
I was a bit apprehensive about having the brain power to figure out and run everything the Kilo10k offered. After reading through the manual a few times, I was more confident.
The Kilo can be configured using the buttons controlling it or using the BDX phone application. I went about changing a few of the settings to better fit what I thought I would like, and it didn’t take long to figure out. The menu allows easy switching from meters and yards, as well as MOA to MRAD. The onboard sensors provide the air pressure, temperature, and humidity.
You can configure the system to automatically measure the temperature, or you can input the temp manually if selected. You can also select manual input of other atmospheric data using the app on your phone.
The heads-up display on the Kilo10k is incredibly informative, giving you distance (both actual and angle corrected) shooting angles, and wind corrections as dictated by the Bluetooth-connected wind meter. I was very pleased to see that even a milling reticle can be chosen to aid in spotting for corrections.
Ballistic data is displayed both through the binoculars as well as on the phone display. This could enhance a fire team’s ability to make quick shots. After several trips into the hills to simply play with and look through the Kilo10k, I decided it was time to get serious.
I replaced the factory-preset data that came set for a .308 175-grain SMK and entered in all the data for the 6mm GT I was planning on shooting. All the data is easily entered via the BDX app. No sooner had I input my data, and the Kilo synced everything up with the tap of a button.
The AB calculator uses a Bluetooth wind-speed anemometer to capture the speed of the wind, temperature, humidity, angles, and all the other pertinent information that is captured and fed into the system. One slight complaint I had was from the wind meter itself.
It measures the wind just fine. But the direction of the wind has to be put in either through the app on your phone – which is faster – or you can also do it through a quick access menu on the Kilo itself. The quick switching nature of the wind makes me wonder how challenging that data point might be to maintain accuracy. I was hoping there was a way to index the wind direction using the compass heading from the GPS.
There are many customizable options to change how the data is conjured before your eye. The heads-up display menu was clear and quick to cycle through despite having to do everything using only the two external buttons on the binos. I have used AB for some time, so my confidence in the ballistic calculations was good. I wanted to see how the interface with the Kilo lined up to see if it was as simple as point, laze, and shoot.
On a blustery summer evening, I made my way into the Wasatch Mountains to do some additional testing of the Kilo’s capabilities. The storm front threatened to bring rain, but for the most part, all I got was gloomy cloud cover. The high winds carried a visible amount of dust and debris, which had me concerned about how well the laser would reach. But I was quite surprised to see the Kilo light up with just over 5,000 yards, over 2.8 miles away.
I decided to hit something even further still away, from my perch at over 6,000 feet (9,189 DA according to the Kilo) I could see my house below. I figured the siding would be reflective enough to hit at a significant distance, so I pressed the button until it came back with a reading, and it did several times. It ranged in at 9,351 yards.
That’s 5.3 miles away as the crow flies. I checked my Basemap app to see that the waypoint popped up marking my house. Had I needed to, I could have just walked home in the dark using the Basemap as a guide.
I did some truing of the data in AB for my 6mm GT load to see that it lined up with confirmed data I already had saved. It was absolutely brilliant to see a firing solution populate in a second or so, with almost all the data I needed to make the shot. The GT shoots very well out to 1,500 hundred yards or so, and I wanted to see how quick I could go from spotting targets to seeing impacts at various distances.
So, I played my mock hunting game where a suitable-sized target is picked out, and I engaged it as fast as possible as if it were escaping. The trued data from AB via the Kilo lined up beautifully, allowing me to make hit after hit with minimal delays between shots.
If the system was utilized between a shooter and spotter team, you could put an amazing rate of fire on targets. With a spotter using the Kilo, you could range targets and have the firing solution show up on the shooter’s phone screen without so much as saying a word. Both could see the live data displayed.
As soon as the next target is identified, that data would pop up on the shooter’s screen. You can even actuate the rangefinder from your phone through the app. Once paired, you can touch the range button on your phone screen to activate the rangefinder remotely.
I created a second profile for my favorite 22-inch 6.5 Creedmoor, just to see how to cycle between profiles. As with other operations inside the Kilo, it was quick to pull up the menu and switch between profiles and other settings. As I used the internal menu of the Kilo, I got much better at changing the settings rapidly.
Pros & Cons
Today, I’ll start out with the cons, just to get them out of the way. The Kilo10k is as much a system as it is a single product, and the system relies on its multiple components for maximum performance.
That said, I don’t think they could have chosen better partners – AB is an extremely well-known ballistic-solver system and Basemaps also has a great reputation and provides very valuable information. One downside that I found was that the Basemaps' App required a Pro upgrade in order to use the Kilo as an add-on tool. This isn’t a huge deal, but it’s one worth mentioning.
I did have one apparent malfunction while testing the Kilo, where it did get quite warm from sitting in the sun. It was a hot July day, but I wouldn’t have considered it too hot for the Kilo to work. Much like an iPhone left in a hot car, the Kilo just stopped working, as though the battery was dead. I even replaced the battery thinking maybe I had overused it. But after sitting in the house for a few hours, it fired right back up with the battery showing full power. I haven’t been able to reproduce the problem, so I hope it was simply a fluke.
The pros of the Kilo10k system are many and hard to list. If you’ve read this far, you have already been over all the functions that I consider beneficial. So, I’ll keep it short by naming my favorites.
First off, there are the ranging capabilities. The Kilo ranges much farther than almost any of us will ever be shooting outside military applications using artillery. It is still nice to have the ranging ability, and the Kilo makes a good navigation tool as well because of its broad capabilities. The Terrapin X has long been considered top of the heap as a rangefinder, but I have heard from several people that they have had better luck at extreme distances using the Kilo10k.
The heads-up display is very intuitive and gives you almost everything you need quickly. Important information appears larger than less pertinent information, but everything you want from a rangefinder is there. And the HUD reticle gives your spotter some reference as well.
The Kilo’s carry case is very nice and well thought out. There are two pockets for carrying small accessories, and a pigtail lanyard to keep the wind meter attached and close. The multiple profile options and quick syncing features make the Kilo incredibly useful for a guy on the move between one hunt or another, especially if you are switching between multiple calibers or spotting for multiple shooters.
Sig has once again knocked it out of the park with this pair of binoculars. Admittedly, I have never been a big optics snob, but I find them optically superior to most comparable options, that is if you can find something close to the Kilo as far as its capabilities are concerned.
The Kilo does what it says, and I intend on taking full advantage of its well-thought-out features in the years to come. The only thing left to test is that of time and durability, follow me to keep tabs on how the Kilo10k performs in the future.