Sig Kilo 8k Review

catorres1

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Introduction

A few years back, Sig made quite a splash with the release of their 2400 ABS CRF. It boasted ranging capabilities that were impressive for its time, if not class leading, but its real competitive advantage was its internal full Applied Ballistics suite, which made it arguably the most capable CRF in this regard.

The follow-up CRF to the 2400 ABS, the 2400 BDX, added Sig's excellent BDX capabilities, but just as significantly, Sig enabled a connection from the CRF to a Kestrel with AB, allowing the ballistic work to be done by the Kestrel's more sophisticated environmental and wind sensors. It then displayed the appropriate wind and elevation information into the RF. The connection is fast and secure, and allowed shooters to have some capabilities that the ABS system lacked. However, the BDX gave up a few things as well to the ABS, like moving from full AB onboard to AB ultralite, while also losing the onboard environmentals, which now had to be supplied to the CRF via connection either with a Kestrel or through the app. So while the 2400 BDX was a formidable and capable addition to the 2400 line, both the ABS and BDX had things the other unit lacked and, indeed, both continued in the catalog at different price points.

If there is one thing Sig's RF catalog can be counted on for, it is fairly fast iterations of their lines, with an eye towards new offerings that the market has indicated that they are interested in. So enter Sig's most recent line-up change in their CRF line, which are particularly interesting on the upper end. The KILO8K-ABS, the subject of this review, is their new flagship CRF….and the new bino RF, the KILO10K-ABS, the successor to the 3k BDX, which I am currently reviewing, and will write about later this year.

As I have had the opportunity to test many of Sig's RF's, I was hoping to get a chance to see how their line was moving along, so I was pleased to get the 8k just in time for season last fall and have had quite a bit of time with it to get into what the new features bring to the table. Beyond an expected increase in ranging, there are a lot of additions and none of them, in my opinion, are 'fluff'. While some are a combining of well-regarded capabilities from the previous lineup, others are new and innovative. There is a lot to cover, in fact, too much for any review of reasonable length, so I'll have to skip over some of the (in my opinion) less important features and also skip over the carry-over stuff like how BDX works etc., in order to focus more on the improvements and performance. For information on the BDX system, take a look at my review of the 2400 BDX, where I go into more detail.

What's in the box

Before we jump into the more important performance stuff, we should look at what Sig has done in terms of the whole package with the 8k. It comes very well accessorized, including a Weatherflow wind meter which can be used to measure windspeeds, a pouch to protect and carry the unit, a mount to allow the RF to be attached to a tripod, and a small but well made bag to carry it all in. One note on the pouch, it is well made and really nice, but unfortunately, utilizes a magnet for closure, which Sig has found to interfere with the internal compass at times. Since I received my unit, Sig has replaced the pouch with a new design that does not use a magnet, but I have not seen that pouch as of yet.




The Kilo 8k comes very well accompanied. The kit even includes extra batteries in the heavy duty carrying case


Ranging

The first thing to note is that with the new lineup, Sig has changed their naming convention. In the past, Sig and Leica kind of went their own way on this, with the 'number' in the model name really describing expected performance on standard targets like trees and rocks etc. So realistically, the 2400 RF's could be counted on to hit these kinds of targets in most situations out to at least 2400 yards, and generally, I found this to be fairly accurate, depending on conditions. Leica tends to follow this same naming convention, but most other RF's offerings are giving you the reflective distance under ideal conditions. Starting with this refresh, however, Sig has switched to the prevailing naming convention. So no, the 8k will not range 3 times as far as the previous 2400 series on the same targets, and frankly, I expected a very incremental improvement in ranging. However, that turned out to not be the case. There are 3 legs that control RF performance, one being software, one being the power of the laser, and the third being receptor size, which is the aspect that has made my 3k BDX my strongest RF by quite a margin to date. In the 8k, I knew Sig was using a new class 3 laser, which Sig told me would improve ranging from their previous 2400 series CRF's, but the degree to which, I was left to test on my own. In terms of accuracy, I expected a lot vs the 2400 series RF's, considering the sensor divergence and shape is improved. The 2400 series RF's had round sensors that had a divergence of 1.3 MRADs, whereas the new 8k has a rectangular sensor (wider than tall) with a divergence of 1.2 wide by .25 tall MRAD's. The orientation of the sensor is important to note, as it definitely effects performance. With a very 'short' .25 MRAD sensor, you are much less likely to reflect of off foreground or background objects. Sig is not the only one to use this orientation, Leica and Gunwerks being two others that shape their sensors in the same way, but it is good to see Sig adopt this performance design into their flagship CRF to improve target accuracy.




While I wish a tripod mount was integrated into the case, Sig does at least include an external tripod mount with the 8k


When I first pulled the 8k out of the box and ran outside, I noted a noticeable but moderate increase in range beyond what I saw with my 2400, so I was a little disappointed at first, but really, this upgrade was about a lot more than the ranging. However, after actually going through the menus and the manual, I noted that there is battery saver mode that was turned on. Battery saver throttles the laser to roughly 2000 yard reads in order to make your battery last twice as long where longer reads are not needed. I promptly turned that off.

In addition, there are a bunch of new ranging modes that were not present on my 3k, including a fog mode and an XR (extended range) mode. So when I really decided to test it out and try and stretch it's legs, I switched it to XR to see what would happen. Two things occurred. First, it was a little slower to range, which was to be expected because XR mode prioritizes ranging by taking more samples in order to increase the capability of the read. It was not slow, in fact, it's still faster than my non-Sig RF's. But Sig RF's have always been unusually fast in my experience, and the XR mode slowed it just a bit. Re-range is unaffected, but the time from push to display is just a fraction of a second longer.

What I got in return for a couple of 10ths of a second in wait time and more battery drain, was the second thing, increased ranging capability. Very much increased. As always, targets and conditions are not directly comparable, such that you really need a known RF to test against, so keep that in mind. But basically, I found that the 8k could keep up with my 3k 100 percent, and if I had to give one the edge over the other, I'd have to give it to the 8k. This despite the 3k's dramatically larger receptor. I started with the water tower I always test on at 3500 yards. Its large and white, so not much of a challenge in a sense, but of all my RF's, only my 3k can hit that under a partly cloudy sky…but the 8k could do it. I hit several sets of trees at my house that are not much over 2k, but none of the other RF's I tested could hit them in full sun except the 3k, but the 8k read them. But the real impressive numbers started racking up while elk hunting in Colorado. We were up there a month, so I had a fair bit of time to test on all types of targets in various conditions. I won't go through all the details for obvious space and time reasons, but the farthest 'real' target I hit was a cedar covered ridge, 12 minutes after sunset at 5760 yards. This was done simply leaning on a post, no tripod, and not just one time, on 'one spot', or on one day, it was completely repeatable. In addition, there were numerous readings at 3000-4800 yard distances under other circumstances at other targets. In some of those situations, I believe I could have ranged farther if I was not already reading off the last ridge (ie, the next ridge was well off into the distance).




On hills just like these, I was able to reach 5760 yards just after sunset
 
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catorres1

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Part II

To test the 8k on steel, I setup a 2/3 IPSC target which measures 12x18 on a post set on the top of a rise so that false positives from the background or foreground would be obvious. I ranged in full sun, planning to return in lower light to see how far it could really stretch when not blasted by the mid-day sun during a Texas drought. However, I never got back out because the 8k maxed out the distance I have available to me on the ranch, even in mid-day full sun. So there was nothing left I had to challenge it. What it's maximum on that plate is, I can't really say for certain, but I was able to range the plate at 1160 yards. I am fairly certain it would go farther still, having hit telephone poles at 1430 yards without a tripod mount. Overall, it's general conditions ranging has been excellent.




12x18 IPSC plate used for testing distance with the 8k. Unfortunately, I ran out of space


While I have had the 8k thus far, I have not had a lot of inclement weather testing opportunities, which is unfortunate because it has a fog setting that I'd really like to wring out. However, in the two situations where there was significant enough weather to test, I did not really see a difference when switching from XR to fog. Basically, in either case, if I could make out the target clearly with my eyes, it would range it. And in all the testing, I only got one of the false readings you would expect to see, where the range returns as 50 yards or so on something clearly much farther. While that was while using the XR mode, it was only one time out of probably 50 ranges. So maybe it would make a difference in fog or snow, I am not sure, but I was not afforded the opportunity to test in that kind of weather, only in very heavy rain.

To summarize the 8k's ranging power, it's a hammer. Like all rangefinders, it does better as the light goes down, when I was able to range well past 5000 yards on trees. In full sun, that range fell dramatically, but still held up on trees at over 3000 yards, with a few situations breaking 3700. Again, all conditions are different, and not all trees are the same, so to put it in a comparative perspective, it kept pace with my 3k and easily outpaced my Leica 2800. But as good as the ranging is, the real news, once again, is about the tech inside, and what parts Sig brought together into one device to make that data and all that power useful.

Ballistics

One of the key changes with the 8k is Sig's integration of the full AB suite internal to the unit. Users of the 2400 ABS will note that this is nothing new, and they would be correct. Users of the 2400 BDX, however, will see this as an upgrade, as the BDX had only AB ultralite and , therefore, a limit of 800 yards for shooting data, unless a kestrel connection was utilized. The 8k is essentially a combination of the two. You get full AB onboard, full environmentals, an onboard compass, and ballistics solutions to the maximum that the RF will range, just like the ABS, while retaining the Kestrel connectivity and BDX capabilities of the BDX series. You now have maximum choice in how and what you want to use for your solutions, whether that is to rely on the internal environmentals and ballistics engine, or to offload it to a Kestrel (or Foretrex), and utilize the Kestrel's expanded feature set and own environmental sensors.

Temperature

One issue that has caused some issues for rangefinders with internal environmentals has been temperature drift. The extreme example would be if your RF was in your 75 degree truck, and you suddenly took it outside in 10 degree weather to setup a shot. When you took your reading, your hold would come back calculated for 75 degrees because it takes a while for the internal temperature sensor to catch up to the change. Some manufacturers will tell you it can take as much as 30 minutes for this to happen. And while the truck scenario is perhaps not so common in the real world, this same phenomenon can occur when the RF is kept close to the body (to retain battery power in deep cold, for example), sits out being warmed in the sun, or even just in your hands for long periods. It warms up and won't react to the change in temperature for a while. In many cases, the discrepancy won't make much of a difference, but if you get a combination of a very large temperature difference and very long shots, it can matter. All units, including Kestrels, will experience this to some degree. The Kestrel has an exposed sensor and a procedure for quickly clearing the temperature and also allows you to lock the reading (or set a manual reading). The 8k does not have the capacity to 'clear the sensor' and take a fresh reading, as the sensor is buried inside the casing, but it does allow you easy access through the menu system to set a locked manual value. For most situations, it's probably not necessary, but it does come in handy for some people under particular circumstances and I'ts great that Sig thought this through and provided an easy to utilize solution.

Wind

The 8k offers 3 solutions for supplying wind information for your ballistic solution. It has a pretty fast and easy to use wind-value section onboard where there are selections for windspeed and wind direction. For direction, it's a simple clock and arrow that allows you to select the direction the wind is coming from. You can access these selections through the regular menu or get to them via the quick menu by holding down the range and mode buttons simultaneously. That will take to you a menu with two choices, one for wind and another for quick bond. Selecting wind allows you to set speed and then immediately set direction and you are good to go. While this is not quite as fast or easy as the wind system on the Vortex Fury AB, with its dedicated buttons etc., it is still pretty quick and intuitive to use.




While not as capable as a Kestrel, the Weatherflow can still be useful in measuring windspeed at the shooter's location

As mentioned, the 8k also comes standard with a Weatherflow wind meter that can be used to measure windspeed for your ballistic solution. In use, it is very simple. Once you have paired it to your 8k through the app, going forward, you just turn on your 8k and hit the power button on the Weatherflow. You will then see an icon for the Weatherflow in your RF display and you don't need the app after the initial pairing. The Weatherflow does not provide any directional information, but it does feed windspeed directly to the RF, overriding the onboard windspeed preset. You will still need to set direction manually however, either through the 8k's internal wind system, or through the app.

Additionally, of course, you can also connect the RF to a Kestrel and allow it to handle the wind and all the other environmental conditions.

Kestrel Connection

Like the 2400 BDX, the 8k can connect to a Kestrel to make use of its expanded features. I won't go into detail on the connection, again, check out the 2400 BDX review for more details, but it's pretty simple and very solid, just as it was on the 2400. One change, however, is around timeout functions. Unlike the 2400 BDX, the 8k will not go into sleep mode while connected to the Kestrel. As long as the Kestrel is running, it stays on. However, when the Kestrel times out, the 8k will as well. And all you have to do to reconnect them is turn your Kestrel back on, and the 8k will come on as well and they are connected. Like the 2400, it is very fast and I never had a dropped connection or a failure to reconnect.

One thing to note, and that is that direction of fire (DOF) is not sent over to the Kestrel from the onboard compass. So to get as accurate as possible a solution, you first have to set DOF manually on the Kestrel followed by wind data, before you range with the 8k. At first, I found this a bit disappointing, until I thought about the workflow on a Kestrel. Kestrel logic requires you to set DOF first, then take a wind reading which is relative to your previously set DOF. If you set or change DOF after taking a wind reading, your wind heading will be wrong, because wind direction does not automatically recalculate heading based on a DOF change. In short, you have to set DOF first, followed by wind heading. As the Kestrel sends your solution to the 8k at the moment of ranging and does not update the CRF if you make subsequent changes on the Kestrel (like to wind direction), the Kestrel needs to know DOF and wind direction (in that order) before ranging so it can properly calculate the effect of the wind on the solution that it will send to the CRF display. So in short, despite my first impression, I realized sending DOF from the 8k is pointless.
 
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catorres1

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Part III

Display


Another new innovation in the 8k concerns the display. Due to the technology previously utilized in rangefinder displays, what could be output on a screen was limited to a few preset items, and placement of everything was static and the space was exclusive. Like old digital watches, what was there was there permanently and was restricted in what could be displayed at any given moment and could not be moved to a different part of the screen. Sig has replaced that display technology with an AMOLED screen in the center of the display, which opens up a lot of new possibilities in terms of what you can do with that screen space. Beyond different reticles (of which there are 3 choices, plus the optional choice of a grid), the 8k can display all kinds of information all on one screen. For example, when configured to do so, when you range you will get: LOS range; AMR range; elevation hold and direction; windage hold and direction; remaining velocity at distance; remaining energy at distance; shot angle; density altitude; compass heading; and signal strength (showing just how well the target has reflected the laser). This is all on one screen, displayed simultaneously, not via a carousel….all your data is available at once and stays in the display. And between ranges, the screen will display the last range measured, the user configurable name for the active ballistic profile (up to 30 can be stored in the RF), density altitude, set wind speed, ranging mode and battery charge. Many of these can be turned off if you prefer a cleaner view, as I do. But you have the choice to see a lot of data, and due to the display technology, these options can be changed or added to by means of a firmware upgrade. In fact, when I first got the RF, compass heading did not display, but after a firmware upgrade, it now shows up. I particularly like that when I range, all my data is right there, I don’t have to wait for it to cycle through if I miss something, it’s all right there upon ranging, and stays available the whole time. No doubt, this is a significant useability improvement. But as cool as having all this data available is, in my opinion, the biggest upside to the display technology is in how it can actually make ranging targets more accurate, by enabling users to adjust sensor-reticle alignment.

Alignment

All that power and all those capabilities don’t help much if you can’t put the x on the target accurately. One of the realities of rangefinders is that the sensors are usually not perfectly aligned. You may think you are ranging that deer across that canyon, but you may in fact be hitting a bush in front of it, or a rock to the right and behind it. Hence, it is strongly recommended that you always test your particular unit to find out exactly where the sensor to reticle relationship lies. Chances are, they are off to some degree, and how much depends on luck and the manufacturer. My previous Sigs showed significant alignment diversion pretty consistently, but I worked around it by noting where the sensor actually aligned on the reticle, and actually became quite accurate by focusing on that spot (3 o’clock on the circle, for example). Likewise, I found this to be true with other manufacturers as well, with Leica being generally the best, as their requirements are the quite stringent.

I raised the issue with Sig in the past, but getting that alignment perfect with traditional display technology is difficult (time-consuming) and therefore, expensive. Nonetheless, I believe many people feel their RF’s don’t range as far as they should, or are inaccurate, because they don’t realize that they are not putting that sensor where they think they are because it’s not aligned with the reticle. So they are actually ranging the sky instead of the top of a cliff etc….and this is something that has probably caused quite a few customer service calls and returns, and is something Sig wanted to address. Their solution to the problem is pretty ingenious and was directly enabled by the new display system.

With the display allowing for placement and positioning of elements anywhere on the AMOLED screen, Sig engineers saw an opportunity to solve this problem without adding additional hand hours to the manufacturing process that would dramatically increase the price. Built into the app, the RF now allows the user to test their alignment, just as they would in the past, but you are able to move the position of the reticle vertically and horizontally to perfectly align your sensor and the reticle of your choice. The solution is brilliant and allows for the reticle to be finer (the crosshair, for example), and no longer requires me to remember where to hold on this particular RF, which is nice when you have a few RF’s and can’t remember the exact hold for each one. With the 8k, we get high end alignment, and therefore better ranging, without the cost that would otherwise have been incurred to tighten manufacturing and alignment processes.



It helps to have precise equipment in open country, where shots can be long and distances unsure. Here, my son is helping his younger brother look for his first elk

The only caveat I would mention were some speed issues when using the alignment tool. Most things in the app were pretty much instantaneous, but when selecting and using the alignment tool, inputs sometimes took a second to be acknowledged. I am not sure why, this could be due to my phone, which is quite old, or could be a function of what the app needs to do to carry out these changes, I don’t know. But it was a lot better after the most recent app upgrade, and now that I know to be patient and not overload it with repeated inputs, it works fine.

Mapping Integration

Another of the most significant new features of the 8k is the new mapping integration offered this year, which has changed my position about the endless ‘distance race’ that RF manufacturers have been in, mainly, I thought, for marketing reasons. Until now, I have felt that to some degree it is likely that eventually ranging capabilities will really be more marketing than useful substance. And I do still believe that it is what you do with the data that makes a particular RF special. However, I did always consider that perhaps a lot of ranging could be somewhat useful in terms of navigation, so you could determine if a ridge was just too far to hike to for a shot before last light etc., but not much more than that. But this year has seen that concept taken one large step further and really makes those extended ranging capabilities come into use in a whole new way. Essentially, Sig, and now as of this writing, Leica, have figured out how to make that extreme distance data useful. That is, by finding another way to interpret and put that data to work, they have taken the RF and turned it from exclusively a shooting tool into a legitimate navigation tool. They did this by teaming up with Basemap (which ports the data to Google Earth as well) to use the RF in conjunction with the software to set distant way points in the field and then navigate there. Using the RF paired to your smartphone, with Basemap open and running in the remote waypoint submenu, you simply range your target. The RF will send the data to Basemap, and the point on your map where the beam hit the target will receive a waypoint. At that point, you can adjust the position of the waypoint and then accept. It’s very fast and easy and, for us, quickly demonstrated its value. While it is not perfect, from my testing, it seems to be within a radius of about 5% in terms of horizontal dispersion, though there was some variation between samples. Of the three different RF’s I tested, there was a range of accuracy, probably due to compass sensitivity differences. But the average of all three was around 5%, so if you shoot an animal at 500 yards, it should navigate you to within a 25 yard radius of your objective from what I experienced.

The obvious use would be in planning a stalk on a distant animal, or finding your way to a distant point that you want to explore as a glassing point etc. Often, we will see a point that would give us a perfect position, but we can’t get to it directly, and in navigating via the long route, find we can’t relocate the point we were trying to reach because our perspective has changed. This is disappointing when you are trying to reach a potential glassing point, but extremely frustrating when we are talking about a position from which you can take prey that you have located. The mapping function can be very useful here, allowing you to get right to the vantage point you need, even when you have to go the long way round to get there.



Properly enabled, rangefinders can now be legitimate navigation tools, especially in new places where the distance cues are new to the hunter
 
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catorres1

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Part IV

Mapping Integration Continued


But even more valuable to my mind is the capability of finding game when recovery is going to have to be via a circuitous route, which might make finding the animal difficult, especially if arrival time on site ends up being after dark. We had this exact scenario happen in 2020, when I shot my bull across a canyon. To recover the bull, we had to hike out back to the truck, then drive several miles to an opening to the river canyon, and then hike in 2.5 miles to get to where the bull went down. This process took several hours to get there, and by that time, it was fully dark. Despite setting way points on our map of where we shot and where we thought the bull was across the canyon etc., in the dark, it took 4 of us scouring the mountain to find the bull. By the grace of God, and after a great deal of effort, we did finally find it, but I was really getting concerned we might lose it until morning, and the coyotes would have had their way with it.

Fast forward to this year, and my son took a (for us) pretty long shot on a cow elk and put her down. Again, across a canyon. This time it was daylight, but by the time we got there, well, things looked dramatically different, and she had run into some very think oak brush when he shot, so finding her was not going to be easy. In fact, my son who took the shot and I got there first and were searching but could not find her at all until my older son caught up with us with the map open on his phone and the position plotted, which showed we were way out of place. Fortunately, using the waypoint on Basemap, we were quickly able to locate the cow.



The basemap integration was very helpful in helping us recover my youngest son’s first elk after a long shot across a canyon. The dense oak brush would have made recovery difficult were it not for the mapping integration

A third use of this function relates to private verses public land. Sometimes, from across a canyon, it’s hard to tell which side of the unmarked boundary that animal is on when they are fairly close to the boundary and the hill may be long and without solid differentiating features. While we did not think of using it that way this year, if I had thought of it at the time, it would have saved us a lot of time when we sat there looking at the map trying to discern land features on a distant uniform hillside to try and figure out whether the elk were on private or public property. Had I thought of it, we could have just had it plotted right on to the map and we would have known more easily and confidently whether they were on public or private.

So while I knew that, theoretically, this could be a pretty interesting feature, having it work out so well in use made it one of the more exciting and useful additions to the Sig 8k. It makes finding downed game much more certain when the recovery route might take you half-way around the world and the perspective from the shooting point becomes very different. It might help you ensure you are on the right side of the public/private line when looking at distant game, and it provides valuable navigation capabilities that were previously more difficult to achieve using only the maps in most mapping software. In the latter case, that ‘superfluous’ ranging horsepower becomes a pretty useful capability in helping get us to a specific spot several miles away with surety in limited time. And in the former, it could mean the difference between good meat in the freezer and being left with coyote leftovers.

Optics

Of course, not everything is perfect, it never is, and the 8k is no exception. In truth, though, the only area of improvement I could see is in the area of the optics, and this really falls into two categories. The first is the overall brightness of the image. Like previous Sig RF’s I have tested, there is a noticeable color cast when you look through the viewfinder. In addition, it is just not very bright, especially when you compare it to one of the Leica series CRF’s. In comparison, the 8k appears dim with a pronounced blue color cast. Where I feel fine using my Leica as a solid monocular option, I don’t feel the same about the Sig. That is not to say that it is too dim to use past shooting light. It’s not. I was able to easily see a light tan cow in a field of completely dry grass at nearly 500 yards out past legal shooting light. That cow blended in to that field such that I could not see it with my naked eye at that distance at that time of day, but I was able to find it with the 8k. I spent a lot of time well after shooting light testing it, and I never had a problem finding cattle, bushes etc. well beyond when it would be legal to shoot. So I would not say that the view is a problem in that sense. But I’d still like to see a stronger optical performance, if not on par with the Leica, at least closer to it. That might boost the already considerable price point somewhat, but I would hope not too much, and I think it would be worth it if only from a competitive perspective.

The second issue I had concerned the display, and its dynamic range. One thing to note about this complaint is that my eyes are particularly sensitive to high dynamic range views. That is, it’s not exactly night blindness, but bright lights can easily blind me at night, so your experience may be different than mine. But my issue was that while the display is easily seen in full sun, in low light, it did not get dim enough in my opinion. At first, I thought the problem was the view was just too dim. But then when I turned off the display and looked, I realized that the contrast between the view and the display was making it difficult for me to see. Part of the problem is that the OMOLED screen only covers the center portion of the display, so all the information is clustered towards the middle. During the day, that’s not an issue, but in low light, that’s a lot of bright elements clumped together in an otherwise dim environment. I wish the display could be dimmed a little more so my eyes could handle the contrast better. That said, I resolved it by turning off extraneous information, thereby lowering the amount of light emitting objects in the display and this worked fine, but at least for my use, it could use improvement in this area.

The only other thing I would mention were some speed issues when using the app, particularly when using the alignment tool. Most things in the app were pretty much instantaneous, but when selecting and using the alignment tool, inputs sometimes took a second to be acknowledged. I am not sure why, this could be due to my phone, which is quite old, or could be a function of what the app needs to do to carry out these changes, I don’t know. But it was a lot better after the most recent app upgrade, and now I know to be patient and not overload it with repeated inputs, it works fine.



Success means a heavy pack. My oldest son has killed a few cows, but this was his first year hunting bulls. Here, he happily packs out his bull, which we named Crazy Horns when we first saw him two weeks prior. This is the one he wanted, so he was proud to have got him
Conclusion

Overall, the 8k is incredibly impressive. Being someone that prefers to hunt with a CRF separated from their binos, I was really happy to see the feature set when the 8k came out. The combination of top shelf performances in ranging, ballistics, and speed, combined with the innovative display and the connectivity options set the 8k apart from the competition from what I see. There are other CRF options that have some of the same features, but none that I am aware of that offer everything in one package like the 8k, and none I have tried can match it in terms of pure ranging power, not in this form factor. Is it perfect? No. But most of the things I would change are small ‘would like to haves’, with the exception of the optics. In my opinion, that’s the only place where te 8k has a substantive ‘room for improvement’. While I was able to see targets out to the end of shooting light, nonetheless, I really would like to see improvement in this area, and considering the level of performance in every other category, it deserves glass to match. Were they to make that change, I literally can think of nothing else substantive within current technological realities that is left on the table. So as I have not yet come to a situation where I could not see well enough to get a range in legal light, and with the overwhelming preponderance of areas where it flat out performs, the 8k is what we will be depending on when we go to help my friend try and fill his bighorn tag in a few weeks. If we find him a ram on what is likely a once in a lifetime hunt, we’ll be depending on the 8k to deliver the shooting solution.

Upsides:

Extremely capable ranging, most powerful and capable CRF I have personally used

The ability to adjust sensor alignment is fantastic

Full internal environmentals

Top shelf ballistics solver with internal AB Elite, and the ability to connect to a Kestrel with AB or a Foretrex

The information display capabilities made possible by the AMOLED screen makes data utilization a lot better

The integration with basecamp brings a whole new dimension of useable value to the RF

Downsides:

The glass is somewhat darker/color casted

The displayed data is clustered in the middle, so can be cluttered if you have all the options being displayed

The app can sometimes hang when using the alignment tool

As expected with this much capability, this is not a cheap piece of kit. As far as I know, it is the most expensive in this form factor at this time
 
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Formidilosus

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Shoot2HuntU
Joined
Oct 22, 2014
Messages
8,897
The one that I used for months totally failed below about 20° once it was cold soaked no matter how many batteries were tried. I am aware of two other that exhibited the same issue.

The 8k is more intuitive to use in the menus than the BR4, however the BR4 was better in every aspect of ranging.
 
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catorres1

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
Messages
284
Wow, I did not have that experience with mine. Left it outside overnight when we slept in a tent and then other nights in the truck. It was only in the teens though.
 
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