SIG BDX: Connects You To a Target With Bluetooth

SIG’s BDX uses Bluetooth to connect a rangefinder to a scope

A Sierra3BDX 4.5–14x44 riflescope, a Kilo1600BDX rangefinder, and a Kilo3000BDX 10x42 binocular
A Sierra3BDX 4.5–14x44 riflescope, a Kilo1600BDX rangefinder, and a Kilo3000BDX 10x42 binocular made for an unbeatable trio in Africa.SIG Sauer

The portable and affordable rangefinder was one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. More important for hunters are the advancements in rangefinder technology we’ve seen since. As cool as the first rangefinders were, they were not very reliable in the field when used on living creatures. Today, handheld rangefinders are incredibly accurate and seem to always deliver a reading. But as wonderful as these gadgets are for determining target distance, the hunter still has to make a mechanical adjustment to his sight—or hold accordingly—to get the hit.

That is, up till now. SIG Sauer’s BDX system has changed that.

Explained simply, the BDX system uses Bluetooth to link a rangefinder with a telescopic sight on a rifle. The rangefinder transmits the ballistically adjusted data to the riflescope, and a light on the lower vertical crosswire of the reticle lights up. This lighted indicator is then used as the aiming point for that distance. The system is managed by a smartphone app that compares the distance to the target with the ballistics of the load/ammunition being fired to establish the correct holdover. The smartphone is only used during system setup to calibrate the optics—the rangefinder and riflescope—to your rifle and ammunition. Once that’s done, the BDX system operates on its own.

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical when I first encountered this system—partly because I’ve been calculating holdover manually for nearly half a century, and partly because of my inherent distrust of gadgetry. But while prepping for an upcoming African safari for free-range kudu, gemsbok, blesbok, and mountain zebra in the Northern Cape, I thought I’d give the BDX system a try. In the mountainous region I would be hunting, shots can be long. I figured if the system worked, it might limit the human error commonly associated with hitting game at great distances.

I mounted a Sierra3BDX 4.5– 14x44 riflescope on my Mossberg Patriot in 6.5 Creedmoor and chronographed 10 shots using SIG Sauer’s Elite Performance 120-grain HT ammunition. The rifle was printing five-shot groups of about an inch at 100 yards, with an average muzzle velocity of 2831 fps. I input that information into the BDX app on my smartphone. Then I proceeded to pair the riflescope to a SIG Sauer Kilo3000BDX 10x42 rangefinding binocular.

In order for me to trust this system, I set a performance benchmark: It had to deliver kill-zone hits—ones inside a 6-inch circle—out to 500 yards, which is as far as I have any business shooting at a game animal. I took the rig to a local 500-yard range and set up 6-inch targets at varying distances, from 100 to 500 yards.

SIG Sauer used to shoot animal in Africa
Field-tested and proven in Africa, the SIG Sauer BDX system simplifies distance shooting for hunters, as well as the process of guide ranging for a hunter.SIG Sauer

With the BDX rangefinder, I ranged the first target at 162 yards and noticed the light on the riflescope’s reticle appear just below the center of the reticle. I fired and got a hit. Okay, fine, but that’s not really a test; I could have held dead-on at that distance. I then repeated this process at 187, 262, 377, and 478 yards. Five shots; five hits. Impressive, but to be sure I could trust it, I repeated the experiment twice more. There were no misses.

When I arrived in Africa, the outfitter had arranged 8-inch steel plates at 100-yard intervals from 100 to 400 yards. With the help of the BDX system, I hit every plate. After consulting with my professional hunter, we agreed the best way for us to work this system was to allow him to operate the range-finding binocular and let me run the gun. When a shot presented itself, this would save time. I’d get on target, he’d range it, and I would put the lighted indicator on the target and pull the trigger.

As it turned out, the kudu I shot was only at about 160 yards, so the BDX system was not really needed. But the blesbok I took at 389 yards was a different story, and the BDX system proved its worth, delivering a spot-on shot. There were three other hunters on safari with me and they all used the BDX system. It was put to the test at distance numerous times and performed admirably on every occasion, for every hunter.

As easy as this system makes hit- ting at distance, the professional hunters agreed it was an ideal tool for their type of hunting. It makes conveying the shot and correct holdover to the client stupid simple. The PH ranges the animal, the BDX system finds the ballistics solution, and a little lighted indicator serves as the aiming point.

Still skeptical? I’m not offended if you don’t take my word for it. The entire safari can be viewed in a four-episode SIG Sauer-sponsored Amazon Prime Video series, WILDCraft: South Africa. You (and your skeptical customers) can see for yourselves how the BDX system performed.

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