There are two things about Sig Sauer that everyone who is familiar with golfing or firearms/bows knows:
- It’s a brand that you can trust without question. No doubts, no issues regarding reliability, and no questions about the performance.
- The products they make are high-quality and perform with quite the distinction. In fact, there’s a good likelihood that you’re going to be in for a pleasant surprise when you use one of their products. Maybe it’s a hack you didn’t know about or the longevity of the product – there’s always something.
Confidence and reliability are two of the most important things when it comes to finding the proper golfing rangefinder. We spend a great deal of time already in preparing for the moment which is right, the moment when strike. And any sort of unreliable data or lack of confidence regarding the range can be a huge problem.
Distance estimations affect the game and those who understand this fact are better off most of the time regardless of their experience. Simple as that. The Sig Sauer Kilo850 is known to be reliable but it’s not a rangefinder without its disturbing shortcomings. For understanding the fallacies, we put the rangefinders to work over a 2-week period. Nothing escapes, not even the slightest malfunction or misreading. And the Kilo850, we must say, raises several red flags even while ticking all the boxes for optimal golf performance.
First of all, let’s get the specs out of the way. If you’re going to base a decision on the specs and not the brand or the budget-friendliness, then this is the most important part for you.
The Kilo850 is a 4x20mm rangefinder (4x meaning it has a 4 times magnification, unlike higher-end models that offer way more). It uses light wave DSP technology.
The range is 1,200 yards.
With 4 range updates each second, you’re sure to come to like the “HyperScan” functionality that they embed in these measuring devices.
It calculates for the angle (true yardage). It’s also called angle compensation.
This is more important for hunting but a nice addition nevertheless. Basically, if you’re not hitting highway signs with the firearm and your target moves, it’s important to have angle compensation, especially over 1,000 yards. Also, when the target is a deer or an elk (only the size and reflectivity matter), the Kilo850 is pretty accurate when you’re like 500-600 yards away with a rifle. Angle compensation also comes in handy during a game of golf.
There is no zoom of any kind. We always happen to find a bunch of people wondering whether there’s a zoom. Well, it’s not a camera lens or a scope. Treat a rangefinder more like your own eyes.
Over the duration of our performance test, we found that as long as you’re on flat terrain, the Kilo850 performs really well. For golfers, taking very long shots is difficult. And so is taking longer shots over 200 yards during the bowhunting season.
Now, here’s a pro tip: any rangefinder that advertises itself is essentially overstating the practical spec. The Kilo850 claims it’s a 1,200-yards-effective rangefinder. Well, it’s not. Sure, if you were on perfectly flat terrain with the sun right behind you, aiming sign some 400-600 yards away which is under no tree cover, you can get a perfect range.
But let’s face the truth. No sign, hole, terrain dip, etc. is perfectly reflective and these rangefinders give their range specs based on the best-case scenario – that’s to say when the target is fully reflective and the terrain is flat.
For targets lurking in the shadows and on ascending (or descending, in certain cases) terrains, things become more complicated very quickly. Most of the time, you’re sure to get an almost-perfect range with the Kilo850 but always keep it in the back of your mind that a rangefinder is only as good as the terrain and the lack of shadows around your target on the course.
The fans of the brand have come to expect a certain level of accuracy with Sig Sauer rangefinders. Now, the basic purpose that a rangefinder serves is finding the range (duh). Whether you’re golfing, bowhunting or it’s the gun season, the Kilo850 won’t be a disappointing purchase in any case.
Usually golf rangefinders can be slower in response time but have a longer range. This isn’t the case here. The Kilo850 is built keeping balance in mind.
The Kilo850 is reliable and effective in most of situations, no matter the kind of terrain your golf course has. It might not have a lot of bells and whistles but it gets the job done.
When golfing, you would generally prefer at least 6x magnification, but the Kilo850 puts up serious competition with those only with 4x magnification.
For accuracy, all you need to do is slowly move across the pin and keep your eye on the yardage. You won’t feel that you’re using a lower-end rangefinder – that’s the best part.
There are many different factors that can affect the accuracy of the Kilo850 very easily. Though the lack of proper reflectivity doesn’t affect it as much as we would expect in this price range, there are other factors that do: the size of your target and the atmospheric conditions.
If you’re thinking of hunting, then know that low light conditions create openly alarming hassles when you try to read the optics. There’s no internal illumination and the optics are black/dark bluish. You’ll also struggle against dark backgrounds under bright daylight.
Most of us don’t want to shell out a lot when it comes to settling on a rangefinder for our usual business. It’s simply too much. So, what do we settle for? A budget-friendly rangefinder that’s appropriate for golfing. Also, we want it to be accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
The Sig Sauer Kilo850 is one of the best on the market right now if you harbor the same requirements.
It’s lightweight and angle-compensated, two of the primary prerequisites you might have. The range and accuracy are decent. Sure, there are flaws that might become distressing but in this price range, we’d say Sig Sauer has done a great job in building a highly functional rangefinder.