Sig Sauer KILO 2400 ABS Ballistic Rangefinder Review
Sig Sauer KILO 2400 ABS Ballistic Rangefinder Review
By Andy Backus
I was pretty excited when I first started hearing rumblings about the new Sig Sauer KILO 2400 ABS Ballistic Rangefinder. A new ballistic version of the most talked about rangefinder I can remember in some time, the Sig Sauer KILO 2000 Rangefinder, sounded like a winner to me. The KILO 2000 had turned the rangefinder market on its head recently by providing long range ranging ability that rivals the top (and most expensive) rangefinders on the market at an almost shockingly low price. The new KILO 2400 ballistic version was intriguing to say the least.
My first thoughts were that I hoped Sig Sauer understood the necessary ingredients for providing a truly accurate long range ballistic solution in the new KILO 2400 ABS Ballistic Rangefinder and that they wouldnít miss any important ones in the new unit, and I hoped that it would be smaller than my tried and true G7 BR2. If the new Sig Sauer KILO 2400 ranged as well or better than the KILO 2000, the ballistics were reliable, and the unit was small, I knew they would have a winner.
SIG KILO 2400 Review - Setting the Stage
You suck in the thin ice-cold air in huge painful gulps as you cautiously approach the the crest of the ridge. You already scrambled down the other side of the valley and now youíre in the final stages of a steep 500 foot climb. After checking your rifle, scope and other equipment you creep over the top. You pull out your Sig Sauer KILO 2400 Ballistic Rangefinder and immediately pick up the buck you spotted earlier through the KILO 2400ís crisp optics with their wide field of view. Heís about to drop into the next drainage where he will most likely get away.
You hold the RANGE button down to take advantage of the KILO 2400ís outstanding scan mode and its precise circular reticle displays at just the right brightness level for the lighting conditions. The first number you see displayed on the KILO 2400 is 637 yards and it climbs as the scan mode follows the buck walking away from you. You let go as he stops at 642 yards and the KILO 2400 instantly tells you to dial your scope turret to 11.2 MOA. It also tells you that for a 10 MPH, 90 degree cross-wind you should hold 2.4 minutes. You estimate the full wind value to be about 5 MPH so youíll hold 1 1/4 minutes.
You try to shake off the buck fever starting to creep in as everything seems to be happening faster than youíd prefer. You take some deep breaths as you run through your pre-shot checklist. The buck turns prone but he looks like heís ready to start moving again. Itís now or never. You squeeze the crisp trigger and spot the hit through your scope as the buck drops in his tracks!
You can purchase the Sig Kilo 2400 and the new 2200 models rightHERE at the LRH Store.
Most hunters have been or will be in situations where the shot opportunity is not going to last very long and and a lot of elements need to come together in a hurry to allow for a good, clean, one-shot kill. When taking mid to long range shots, getting from spotting the animal, to ranging it, to obtaining a perfectly accurate ballistic solution to adjusting the scope, etc. and finally making the shot takes several steps and several pieces of equipment.
The fewer steps and pieces of equipment it takes, the less chance there is of making an error in the heat of the moment and the more time there is to focus on the actual shot. The consequences of making even a small error as a hunter can be huge when it comes to wounding an animal and causing it to suffer.
Iíve personally used, and been a big fan of, the G7 BR2 Rangefinder for the past several years because it was the only rangefinder in existence that had the sensors and ballistic calculator built in capable of providing an acceptably accurate long range, one-button ballistic solution. Sure I could use something like a Kestrel Elite with the atmospheric sensors and ballistics built in along with a basic rangefinder that gives range and angle adjusted shoot-to range, but having only one button to push on one unit and getting an immediate, reliable ballistic solution is worth more than gold to me in many hunting situations.
Some time has passed since those first rumblings and Sig Sauer recently announced their exciting new Sig Sauer KILO 2400 ABS Ballistic Rangefinder. I had to beg, borrow and steal to get my hands on one as they had only produced a small number in the first couple of batches and only a select few had gotten one.
In tracking one down I ended up meeting some of the key players from Sig Sauer involved in bringing the KILO 2400 to market including one who had been personally using several KILO 2400 units in the field in his home state of Montana and many other locations this past hunting season. I constantly bugged my new contacts with technical questions while waiting for my unit to arrive. I also bugged the Applied Ballistics guys so I felt I understood the KILO 2400ís capabilities fairly well when it finally did arrive.
Unfortunately the KILO 2400 arrived the day before Christmas and I was only allowed to keep it for about 1 week. With the holidays and a family vacation hitting at the same time, my time with the KILO 2400 was relatively short. I did however have several chances to run the KILO 2400 through its paces including an afternoon dedicated to comparing the KILO 2400 to my trusty G7 BR2 Rangefinder and a pair of Swarovski EL Range 10x42 rangefinding binoculars. .
In addition to my review of the Sig Sauer KILO 2400 ABS, you may also be interested in following this very active forum thread dedicated to the KILO 2400 Ė HERE. Others have already started posting about their real world first impressions.
KILO 2400 Review - Whatís Included
KILO 2400 Rangefinder with attached lanyard.
Large Padded Case - Very nice quality. Well thought out storage to keep everything together. Everything fits just right.
Small Padded Case - Very nice quality. Perfect for carrying on belt or backpack shoulder strap in the field. Silent closure system.
Tripod Mounting Bracket - The bracket is well made and fits the rangefinder perfectly. I would prefer to have the threaded hole built into the bottom of the rangefinder with no need for the bracket but I imagine there was no room considering how much has to fit inside the KILO 2400.
2 Spare Batteries
Tactical Pen - One side contains a ball point pen, the other side contains a stylus. This is a nice thought for using the ballistic app in cold weather with gloves on.
WeatherFlow Wind Meter - Plugs into audio jack on phone or tablet.
KILO 2400 Review - Size and Weight
The KILO 2400 is in fact much smaller than my G7 BR2. On many of my personal hunts keeping my gear light and small is a huge benefit. I had been in the habit of carrying my G7 BR2 in its carrying case strapped to the waist belt of my hunting backpack, and itís really pretty big and bulky there. But there was nowhere else I could carry it and have quick access. The KILO 2400 is a small vertical style rangefinder similar to one you would use for archery hunting. It is the same size as the KILO 2000 (and the newly released KILO 2200). It is similar in size to the Leica Rangemaster and Vortex Ranger rangefinders. I will have no problem finding places to carry the KILO 2400 that keep it out of the way yet within quick reach.
KILO 2400 next to G7 BR2 (on left). KILO 2400 (on right)
KILO 2400 Review - Ballistic Calculation, KILO 2400 ABS App, Features and Operation
Soon after hearing the first rumblings about the new Sig Sauer Ballistic Rangefinder I heard that they had partnered with Applied Ballistics on the project. That immediately got me very excited. I knew that with AB involved the sensors and ballistic solver would most likely be outstanding, and I highly doubted that they would miss any key ingredients for a ballistic solution accurate enough for long range shooting. If anybody knows all the different ingredients necessary for an accurate long range ballistic solution itís Applied Ballistics. They wrote the book(s) on it - literally.
And, by the way, the reason I was so concerned about missing ingredients was that, other than the G7 BR2, all other rangefinders or rangefinding binoculars that I can think of with built in ballistics have come up short in one way or another for true long range applications. And even for mid-range applications their shortcomings add enough minor errors that I would just rather use a different system.
Built into the KILO 2400 is an Applied Ballistics calculator plus an array of atmospheric sensors. Like the G7 BR2, the KILO 2400 measures temperature, pressure, humidity, and density altitude and incorporates them into the ballistic solution (these readings can also be overridden and entered by hand in the ballistic app). This means that whether you shoot in low elevation and high temperature in the summer, or at high elevation and low temperature in the late fall, the ballistic solution will automatically adjust for those very different conditions. The KILO 2400 also measures the inclination angle and incorporates that into the solution, similar to the G7 BR2.
In addition, the KILO 2400 also takes a compass heading allowing it to calculate coriolis effect, plus it calculates spin drift and aerodynamic jump. Like everything else, there have been other ways to handle these calculations in the past, but I imagine many folks will appreciate having these calculation built right in. This is the first rangefinder that I am aware of to do these things.
An important feature of the AB solver built into the KILO 2400 is the fact that there is no maximum distance above which a ballistic solution will not be given. All other rangefinders or rangefinding binoculars that I am aware of have limited the range for a ballistic solution. The G7 BR2, for example, maxes out at 1400 yards and I believe the others maxed out even shorter than that.
The KILO 2400 features a unique way to enter your ballistic data and create ballistic profiles. After loading the free KILO 2400 ABS app onto your phone or tablet you enter the data right in the app for each of your ballistic profiles. Like many of you, I am used to working with ballistics programs on my phone and I looked forward to this streamlined approach to creating ballistic profiles and loading them onto the rangefinder.
I have an Android phone, so I searched for the app in the Google Play Store and easily loaded it onto my phone. I like the overall look and feel of the app. The colors and text make it very easy to read. The layout is simple, clean and intuitive.
The KILO 2400 can operate in three main modes which are chosen using the RANGE and MODE buttons on the rangefinder:
Angle Modified Range (AMR) mode without ballistic holdovers
Line of Sight Range (LOS) mode without ballistic holdovers
Line of Sight Range mode with ballistic holdovers (note that the rangefinder must be set to LOS mode in order to use the ballistic function. The inclination angle is calculated as part of the ballistic solution.)
The following features can also be configured using the RANGE and MODE buttons on the KILO 2400 itself. They are shown in the order they appear when cycling through.
Target Mode - BEST is the standard target mode. LAST will ignore everything but the last object and is intended to ignore grass in front of a target.
Display Brightness - The KILO 2400 automatically adjusts the display brightness so that it will not wash out the image in low light or be too dim to see in bright light. You can also choose to manually set the display brightness to a specific level.
Reticle Select - There are three reticles to choose from. See images below.
Unit of Measure - Y for yards and M for meters.
Bluetooth - Bluetooth is on by default but can be turned off.
Density Altitude - Density Altitude is air density given as a height above mean sea level. Some users prefer to use DA instead of ballistic holdovers using the embedded AB Elite calculator. DA is OFF by default. Note - DA is not enabled while using the AB Elite calculator for holdover.
If the KILO 2400 is set on AMR mode or LOS mode with NO-PRO (no profile selected) then the ballistic calculation function is not available and the above options are the only ones you will see in the rangefinder.
KILO 2400 Reticles
It was time for me to load some ballistic profiles onto the KILO 2400. The instructions say that the first thing you need to do before working in the app is to sync the KILO 2400 with your phone via Bluetooth. It works pretty much the same as connecting a Bluetooth speaker or Bluetooth headset, etc. to your phone and is very simple to connect.
The rangefinder must be awake in order to connect to your phone so you must push the RANGE button to wake it up. Each time the rangefinderís display times out and goes back to sleep the connection is lost. The sleep time can be set to 15, 30, 60 or 180 seconds.
The instructions suggest setting it to the full 180 seconds when adding a new profile, so the phone and rangefinder stay connected as long as possible without having to hit the RANGE button again to wake it up and reconnect. Each time it goes to sleep, it quickly reconnects automatically when you wake it back up.
At the top of the home screen on the KILO 2400 ABS app is a SETTINGS dropdown. This is where the rangefinderís Sleep Time can be set. I go back and forth as to whether I would prefer this setting to be handled on the rangefinder itself rather than in the app.
Within the SETTINGS dropdown you can also change the unit of measure for Temperature, Pressure, Wind Speed, Distance, and Density Altitude. You can also perform a Compass Calibration. After adjusting the Sleep Time in my app to 180 seconds I left all the other settings on their default.
Next I entered two ballistic profiles, one for my 6.5x284 and one for my 7mm Dakota. The first step is to name your profile in the app. One slight disappointment is that after syncing your profiles to the rangefinder, the KILO 2400 names them PRO1, PRO2 etc. rather than showing the names youíve given them.
I emailed one of the SIG Sauer engineers to ask him about this and he said they would take a fresh look at it. The reason they did it this way is that the number of characters available on the rangefinder is limited to only 5 or 6. But when I pointed it out he understood that some people would prefer to use those limited characters for a more meaningful name.
Next you enter your bullet dimensions and BC (G1 or G7). You can choose to enter them by hand or you can click on LIBRARY and select from one of the bullet choices there. Within the bullet library some of the bullets have the option of using a custom AB Drag Curve. They say ďIf a Custom Drag curve is available it is recommended that you select the Custom Drag curve since this bullet will have exact BC data for super, sub and transonic flight.ď Then you enter Muzzle Velocity, Zero Range, Sight Height, Zero Height, Zero Offset and Barrel Twist Rate and save your newly created profile.
You can save up to 100 profiles on the KILO 2400 ABS app. The rangefinder has room for up to four profiles at a time. I highlighted my two newly created profiles and noticed that next to the name I had given them they were also now named Profile 1 (PRO1) and Profile 2 (PRO2). Then I made sure the rangefinder was awake and connected via Bluetooth, and I hit the SYNC button to send the profiles to the rangefinder.
Once the profiles are loaded onto the KILO 2400 it is a stand-alone unit and does not require being connected to the app. However you can choose to keep the rangefinder synced for various reasons that Iíll get into later. By the way, I learned that each time you select a ballistic profile from the app and sync it to the rangefinder, whatever was on the rangefinder prior to this new sync is wiped out and replaced with the newly synced profile(s). If you only sync one profile to the KILO and there had been three profiles on the KILO just prior, those three will be gone and only the new one will be there now.