Western Hunting Journal, Premiere Issue whj001_premiere - Page 35

user to pan over a target, or following a moving target, to get up to the moment progress on distance. Other settings may tell the unit to calculate the return sig- nal differently due to rain, brush or irregular target shapes or backgrounds. Some of the most advanced models can even be uploaded with your hunt condi- tions such as elevation and temperature, and even your specific ballistic data, to produce some of the most accurate readings available. Magnification Another notable feature on rangefinders is that most include some degree of magnification. Is this so they can double as a monocular in a pinch for quick glass- ing? Well, to some degree you can do this, but the magnification is actually to help improve your view on prospective targets; enlarging the target and al- lowing a bigger reference points on where to aim the rangefinder. Most units will be in the 4x, 6x, or 8x magnification range, and unless you really plan on a lot of long range target acquisition, the lower magni- fications seem to allow a bit faster target reference in the viewfinder, as well as performing better in low light situations. Models with larger objective lenses also benefit low light usage. LCD Readouts In low light, another troublesome area for some rangefinders is being able to read the display. Many displays feature LCD readouts with black numbers, which can be incredibly hard to see on dark back- grounds or in low light. When I tried to get readings on my bull, I had to keep panning the rangefinder up to the sky so I could read the black display, because the numbers blended in with the dark, pre-dawn hill- side. Some units have backlit displays, or illuminated numbering which makes viewing in all lighting situa- tions a breeze, but may also be hard to read in bright sunlight. Ease of Use Lastly, look at overall construction and design layout. I personally think it’s important that a rangefinder has some sort of designation as being waterproof or water resistant. Are the activation and mode ad- justment buttons well sized and easily located? Can they be manipulated with gloves? Are they in a place where they can be accidentally bumped or adjusted when the unit is jostling around in your pocket? What about the battery? Does the unit specify battery life? Can the battery be easily changed, and is it a common size? I once had a rangefinder that had such an irreg- ular battery no store in the small town I lived even carried them. I like units that use common batteries, not rechargeable, so that in a pinch, you may be able to rob batteries out of a flashlight or radio in camp and not be stuck up a creek with a dead rangefinder. When you factor in all the time and expense that goes in to each hunting trip, not to mention the con- cern for the animals that you pursue, it only makes sense to invest in a quality rangefinder so that when the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself you can confidently make an accurate shot. WHJ Testing Process, Criteria Over a period of two months WHJ Gear Editor Eric Martin tested 10 rangefinders. Each unit was test- ed for the following: CLARITY/BRIGHTNESS Does the unit produce a crisp, clear field of view that is bright enough to easily acquire targets under all light and environmental (weather) conditions? ACCURACY Units were tested at four ranges from 100 to 600 yards to best rep- licate common hunting scenari- os. Cattle were used to simulate animal targets, and vehicles were used as reflective targets. An out- building was used for maximum reflective range testing. Targets were located in open fields, in wooded areas with partial ob- structions, and on slopes. Test- ing was done in low light, bright (overcast), and in light rain. Each target was ranged 20 times, and then the deviation of range read- ings and the average were calcu- lated. FEATURES Are there multiple modes, i.e., scan, target priority, weather, etc.? Is the display easy to see without cluttering the viewfinder? Can the display be adjusted in bright- ness/ intensity, or can the style of reticle be changed? Does the unit measure/correct for slope? CONSTRUCTION Is the unit rugged enough for years of dependable service? Is the unit waterproof? Is the bat- tery compartment easy to access and secured to prevent batteries from rattling use in the field? Are range/mode buttons well located so they don’t cause confusion in the excitement of ranging an ani- mal? Does the unit fit well in hand and does size allow easy carrying? Sig Sauer KILO2200MR TM $500.99 7 x 25mm WEIGHT: 7.6 OUNCES MAX REFLECTIVE RANGE: 2 MILES ILLUMINATED DISPLAY: YES Accuracy VVVVV Clarity/Brightness VVVVV Features VVVV+ Construction VVVVV Overall VVVVV From weekend plinking to serious long range pursuits, the KILO2200MR™ from Sig Sau- er ® will provide the edge you need to ensure shots find their mark. The first thing I noticed when looking through the KILO2200MR™ was superb im- age clarity and overall brightness, even in the dim first and last light of the day. A 7x magni- fication is well suited for longer range target acquisitions while still providing a respectable field of view at closer distances. The slim de- sign of the magnesium housing allows this sleek powerhouse of a rangefinder to be comfortably stowed in a shirt pocket, while being tough enough to handle the rigors of years of backcountry adventures. The OLED display automatically adjusts to the amount of ambient light, ensuring easy reading of the display while not distorting vision in low light. Adjusting between the various display prefer- ences and setup modes is also a breeze. When it comes to accuracy, you can take the readings given by the KILO2200MR™ to the bank. On animals, the variance in twen- ty-shot groups of range readings was a mere .2 yards at 200 yards, and the same test at 550 yards at a vehicle varied just .9 yards. There was also no contest when it came to maximum distance; the KILO2200MR™ easi- ly ranging larger targets at over 2,000 yards. Given this unit’s capabilities at long distances I would like to have seen a tripod mount. sigsauer.com www.wes