Sig Sauer’s Electro-Optics division is fairly new to the market. They announced their first products, the Whiskey 3 and Whiskey 5 riflescopes, in late 2015. In less than 3 years they have launched a myriad of products. I may be considered conservative because I largely took a wait and see approach to their lineup. I hate being a guinea pig, but I’m quite content letting others with disposable income to throw it at the latest and greatest.
I was steadfast in this approach up until earlier this year when Sig announced their BDX system. BDX stands for Ballistic Data Exchange. The system connects their scope and rangefinder along with your phone via bluetooth to share information and create a data ecosystem. Once I saw the teaser videos I knew this had potential to be a game changer.
The scope they sent me for review is their Sierra 3 6.5-20x52mm model. The scope features a 30mm main tube, resettable capped turrets, and a side focus knob. The real magic happens in the reticle though. Looking through the scope with the unit turned off it looks like many other duplex style reticles. You do notice there’s something up its sleeve because you can spot horizontal lines running below the main crosshair. I’m sure you could use the scope as a plain scope, but with the Sig BDX app the scope reaches its full potential.
The first thing you need to do when you open the app is to scan for devices and bond your app to both your rangefinder and scope.
Once that is out of the way you can start entering the scope and rangefinder areas to set preferences.
In the scope setup you can run it a few different ways, depending on if you plan on using the rangefinder or not. If you do plan on ranging every shot leave the ballistic reticle option turned off. This mode will change the illuminated aim point in the scope to compensate to whatever distance you ranged, up to 800 yards.
If you choose to use a ballistic reticle you have two choices, fixed holds or ballistic holds. Fixed holds are either displayed in MOA or MILS. In the screenshot below I’ve selected MILS. On the right hand of the screen you can toggle on or off up to 8 aim points. The trick is if you try to set the lower points to a unit it can’t display it won’t. For example in the screenshot example I’ve loaded my 6.5 Creedmoor Christensen Arms MPR profile and with the reticle I can only get 5 MILS of elevation correction.
The nice thing is you can touch the numbers and change them to whatever you desire and the scope will display it as long as there’s enough space in the reticle.
Switching over to Ballistic Holds is similar to Fixed Holds but instead of MOA/MIL aim points you are given the option of fixed aimpoints for yards or meters. In the example below you can see with the reticle I can get out to around 725 yards. As with the fixed holds you can touch the numbers and input any number you’d like.
Venturing into the rangefinder section of the app, you are presented with a heads up display. Data contained includes range data, wind and environment data, and your loaded gun profile. You can also set options in the rangefinder with the settings menu.
The last step before hitting the range is inputting your ammo profile. Try to be as specific here as possible for the best results. I use actual chronograph data acquired from my LabRadar.
Now that everything in the software is setup, lets talk hardware. The rangefinder is nice and compact. It’s roughly the width of an iPhone, but shorter and twice as thick. Operation couldn’t be simpler as there are only two buttons on the unit. For most cases all you’ll need is the range button, but if you want to change settings without the assistance of the app you’ll need the mode button as well.
What really surprised me with today’s rangefinders besides the amount of technology contained in them is the sheer speed that they provide the ranges. I haven’t owned a rangefinder in a few years and they have advanced quite a bit in that time.
The Kilo2200BDX model that was sent for this review has a 7x25mm optical system. I found it to be clear and easy to use even with my glasses. In theory you can range up to 2,200 yards but the reticle system is limiting us to 800 yards at the moment.
The scope is powered on via an extended knob on the outer edge of the focus knob. There are two off positions, one below the lowest brightness setting and one above the highest brightness setting. Turn the unit on and you are greeted with a flashing blue light on the magnification ring.
The light flashes rapidly as it is being transferred data from the rangefinder after you range a target. Once complete it goes solid blue and the aimpoint in the reticle moves to its corrected position.
If you want wind corrections you can also have the scope display aimpoints on each side of the vertical crosshair. You must input the wind data into the app for this to work though. While it should work for some, one limitation is that the wind corrected aimpoints don’t run down alongside the lower aimpoints like you’d get with a Christmas Tree type reticle. For the wind holds to work you basically have to take your corrected elevation aimpoint and follow it left or right to the distance the corrected windage aimpoint is and aim where they would intersect if they could.
The reticle has another trick up its sleeve, a digital level. On the left and right extreme ends of the horizontal crosshair there are illuminated triangles. If the scope is not level the low side will light up. The sensitivity is adjustable in the app.
The glass quality is hard for me to judge, I’m reviewing this setup immediately after spending a few months reviewing a Vortex Razor HD AMG, which is fantastic. I don’t want to dog the Sig because the Vortex has a street price of $2,500 versus the Sig at $800. I’m going to reserve judgment until my follow up post after I’ve had time to really put the system through its paces.
Overall this system is like nothing I’ve ever seen before and I’m glad there are companies like Sig pushing the envelope. This post is just an introduction to the system. I will follow up with a field test later on after it has been tested fully. There’s not much information about the BDX system as it’s so new but I wouldn’t be surprised if you start seeing it pop up everywhere soon enough.