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The Future’s in Sight with Sig Sauer’s BDX System

Hunting Pronghorn Antelope with SIG’s BDX System

Light rain moistened the landscape as I attempted to get into position. Almost 300 yards away was a pronghorn antelope, a prized opportunity after hours of glassing and stalking in rolling Colorado sagebrush. Pronghorn have tremendous vision, so stealth was critical. I slid down some dirt and mud, struggling to quietly and quickly build a stable prone position while situated on a downhill slope. This was my first hunt for larger game and my city-boy ass had been pushing to keep up with the others, who seemed to clamber around the heavy sagebrush and rutted terrain like it was a flat, concrete sidewalk. Needless to say, my pulse was racing and there was a lot on my mind …

Not too long ago, SIG launched a line of riflescopes and laser rangefinders under the BDX banner. SIG is on such a tear, releasing new products constantly, that you could be forgiven if you didn’t take notice and figured they were typical garden-variety optics. But they most certainly are not.

BDX stands for Ballistic Data eXchange, referencing the fact that the riflescopes and laser rangefinders work together as a complete system, delivering a complete firing solution to the user. It displays a precise and bright aiming point in the reticle itself, based on the target’s range and environmental factors.

At this time, hunting is the primary use case for the BDX system and makes taking that crucial shot more straightforward for hunters of all skill levels. There are many factors and considerations at play during a hunt, especially when dealing with challenging game in challenging circumstances, so a system that simplifies things and integrates tasks can be quite helpful.

Before we dig any deeper, let’s take a step back. Feel free to skip ahead if this covers familiar ground. When you press the trigger on your rifle and send a round downrange, it doesn’t shoot out in a straight line like a Mandalorian’s blaster. It follows a trajectory — up then down, like Tom Brady launching a football into the end zone. So when you use either an optic or iron sights and zero it at a particular distance such as 100 yards, it’ll only be spot on at that specific range. At other distances, your point of impact will be higher or lower than your point of aim. For instance, if you have a 2 mil drop for a target at 375 yards, you can either dial the elevation adjustment on your scope or use the markings in your reticle to hold over the target by 2 mils. Ballistic calculators pretty accurately predict the trajectory of a particular round in a particular rifle, and seasoned hunters and competitors shoot targets at various distances to verify and refine those calculations.

The SIG BDX system simplifies all of this. Rangefinders with built-in ballistic solvers aren’t new — configure them for your rifle and ammo, push a button to determine the range to your target, and they’ll display your holdover. However, SIG’s system takes it to the next level. Rather than requiring you to dial a turret or find the right hash mark in your reticle, SIG’s BDX rangefinder transmits its Applied Ballistics-derived ballistics data to a Sierra3 BDX scope via Bluetooth, and the scope then automatically illuminates the exact holdover point with an orange dot in its digital reticle. It also adjusts for inclination angle, if you’re shooting upward or downward. If you input your wind call, it’ll display wind holds — note it doesn’t have a wind sensor; you manually enter your own wind estimate.

The digital reticle is made possible by nearly 100 tiny OLEDs laid over the glass in the optic. Most populate the vertical center post of the reticle, from the center to the bottom, to provide accurate holdover points. The rest are on the horizontal stadia for wind holds and to indicate if the scope is level. If you’ve ever imagined that it’d be great to have a reticle that you could customize on the fly, this is for you.

For the hunt, I brought a HS Precision VTR take-down rifle in .308 — not a hunting gun but very accurate and what I had available at the time. SIG makes several Sierra3 BDX scopes, including 2.5-8x, 3.5-10x, 4.5-14x, and 6.5-20x variants, with retail prices ranging from $480 to $960. The BDX rangefinders start at $240 for the Kilo 1000BDX 5x20mm up to $960 for the Kilo 2400BDX 7x25mm, which features more precise, smaller divergence lasers. We’ve tested the regular Kilo 2400 before and found it to be an excellent rangefinder. There’s even a set of 10x42mm binoculars available now with a built-in rangefinder and the BDX system.

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