The NEW THERMAL Reflex Sight You Always Wanted: SIG ECHO1

echo1 display

SIG SAUER recently announced the introduction of the ECHO1 – a thermal reflex sight produced by its Electro-Optics division. According to the company, the new sight offers “military grade technology at consumer grade pricing.”

At the heart of this optic is a 206×156 uncooled VOx microbolometer array. SIG states that they developed this direct view sight to offer both day and night operation and is equipped with a total of eight different display modes. The display modes include the popular white hot and black hot to help pick out the target by offering maximum contrast to the background. Color thermal display modes are also available.

reticles

The new sight offers five different reticles standard and a 1x – 2x digital zoom. Interestingly, there is also the ability to design and upload additional reticles to the unit, making a virtually limitless number of aiming options. Reticle colors can also be rotated to one of three different colors.

According to the company, the sight works very much like a conventional reflex sight, allowing for improved target acquisition and situational awareness with both eyes open. The screen resolution is 220×176 pixels with a 30 Hz frame rate.

Although hog hunting is one of the first applications I think of for this sight, it clearly has applications for pest and varmint control as well. Depending on the responsiveness of the optic, it may make for a good optic for a self-defense rifle or law enforcement duties.

The units seem to be rugged enough for most activities and the lenses have abrasion resistant coatings. Additionally, the units are significantly water resistant with an IPX-6 rating.

Runtime on a pair of CR123 batteries is listed as a minimum of 8 hours. Batteries are included with the optic as is a Scope Coat, USB cable and top mount peep sight.

ECHO1

Like many modern electronic optics, the ECHO1 has the ability to capture images. SIG offers the ability to capture 5- 15- and 30-second bursts of images.

The optic was designed and is assembled in the United States, and it is ITAR controlled. The suggested retail price on this thermal optic is $3,124.99. SIG includes an “Infinite Guarantee” on the product that is said to cover the optic for all damage and defects, short of intentional damage or misuse. Check their site for more information.

In relatively short order, SIG developed a fairly large catalog of optics including tactical rifle scopes and rangefinders in addition to the electronic sights like the ECHO1.



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • I’m baffled to see how hunting seems to work there. Is it normal to hunt like that? Headshot and multiple follow up shots? Does one even need training, instruction, tests and/or a license to hunt in Texas?

    • nova3930

      For hogs people kill them anyway they can. They’re considered pests that do extreme damage to land, crops, livestock, etc etc. There’s generally no season and no bag limit and at least in my state I don’t think a hunting license is required.

      In general though most states require a hunters safety course to get a hunting license if you were born after a certain date (generally the early 80s).

    • Kyle

      Feral hogs aren’t so much hunted as exterminated these days. They are considered invasive and destructive. More than a few southern and border states have no season, no bag limit or really any rules at all when it comes to hunting them.

      • Timbo1

        Yeah, they are fair game in Florida and Georgia with virtually no restrictions.

      • Comrade Misfit

        In Missouri, they don’t want people hunting them. The Fish Cops say that it makes it easier to trap and kill them in large numbers if they haven’t been conditioned to fear people.

        • Blaser270

          That is on public land. On private land you can do what you want. The government trappers were baiting and setting up traps only to have some hunter stumble on them and shoot one hog causing the rest to leave and a lot of work for nothing.

          And yes with modern traps it’s easier to trap the whole sounder and be done with them. Shooting them one at a time is a very slow process. Neighbors here shot 3 one night this spring and we haven’t seen a hog since. They’re still in the community but anyone’s guess what ranch/farm they’re at. They don’t hang around once one gets shot or shot at.

    • R H

      Not sure what he was doing with those “follow-up” shots, but he’s a design engineer for Sig (which I would assume means he lives in New Hampshite). I guess he just wanted to be sure the pig went down. Typically, hogs are just exterminated in the gulf south area. They are estimated to cause something like $1.5 billion in damage per year, so it’s not really “hunting”. What he should have done was shot the one pig in the head, then shot as many of the others as he could. In a normal hunt you’d take game with a larger bolt action rifle or bow (probably more what you’re used to), but when it comes to hog it’s less sport hunting and more killing.

    • Spencerhut

      We all get guns when we are born. Each time we kill something we get a bigger gun. We sort of train ourselves as we go. I’ve killed enough stuff to be up to crew served weapons now. Just got a nice new 203mm howitzer for shooting the last two California Condors known to exist in the world with my ratty old 155mm AA gun. Mine is on the left, other one is my buddies.

      • DrawnToScale

        Keep Trolling…

        • Spencerhut

          You say troll, I say get a sense of humor.

          • Kimjungill

            Yeah I thought it was funny as shitti

      • Sianmink

        I bet Joey doesn’t even know about the Eagle Ceremony.

      • whskee

        I’ll just leave this here…

      • Jesse Foust

        Dude, barrel obstruction much?

    • RocketScientist

      Due to a hogs physiology and bone/muscle structure one of the best places to shoot for a dead-right-there shot is basically high on the neck… draw a line between the ear and the point od the shoulder and shoot at the midpoint. Seems like thats where he’s aiming. And what does it matter to you how he hunts? Is the animal any less dead? Is it only “real” hunting if its done with a wooden-stocked bolt-action from a tree stand, like your grandpa used to do it?

    • AndyHasky

      Are you suggesting that there should be mandatory training, instruction, licensing and tests to hunt?

      And in Texas, if you are hunting a game animal (deer, dove, quail, pheasant, etc.) yes you do need all that, but if you’re hunting a nuisance animal (prairie dog, jack rabbit, and hogs) it’s pretty much fair game.

  • Jack Morris

    This is really cool technology. I can’t wait until it becomes commonplace and affordable (for me it would have to be sub $600). I know it’s going to take a while, but look how much red dot sights have come down in the past 5 years!

    • Hell, break $1000, and they wouldn’t be able to build them fast enough. Maybe even $1500.

  • Friend of Tibet

    $3,124.99……………Damn……..just ……..damn………….

    • Jesse Foust

      Damn… Cheap by thermal imaging standards.

  • hking

    Uhhh sorry Sig but you can get a FLIR RS32 for about the same price with FAR better specs. 336 x 256 res vs 220×176. 60hz vs 30hz. 1-5x digital zoom vs 1-2x digital zoom.

    • RocketScientist

      Which model are you looking at? You seem to have grabbed specs from about 6 different models.The only one I see with a 60Hz refresh rate AND up to 16x zoom costs about twice what this SIG unit does.. and it doesnt go down to 1x as you state (goes down to 4x at lowest setting). The only FLIR R-series scope with a price anywhere near as low as this SIG is is a 1x only, with a 30Hz refresh rate, and only a 240×180 sensor, which is… well, basically worse than this SIG unit.

      • hking

        The 19mm RS32, it does 1-4x not 1-16x as I got the wrong product info pulled up. The 19mm can be found for around $3,500. I have seen them down to $3,350 on sales. So 336×256 res, 1-4x zoom, 60hz refresh rate, for a few hundred more? If you are going to drop $3k on a thermal optic you can save a few hundo more for something drastically better.

        • kmon22

          the actual street price on the Echo should drop below 2700. you are comparing street price to listed retail. Apples and oranges.

    • Blake

      You seem to be missing the massive difference between a reflex sight and a scope.

      • hking

        Well seeing as how its a digital image captured via digital sensor and displayed on a digital screen, there should be basically zero differentiation in the “image” between what you want to call a “scope” or a “reflex” at 1x magnification. Its a digital screen……. so no there isn’t a massive difference other than eye relief.

        • Blake

          Well you know that, and the long tube that makes using it as a red dot sight much much harder. That alone sets these two products in very different categories.

          • hking

            Hahahaha ok lets try to explain this. You are not actually looking through a tube on either optic, you are looking at a small digital screen. The lens and sensor (aka the stuff in front of the digital display) are capturing information, encoding it into a visual format, and relaying it to a flat digital screen. This is not like looking through a eotech vs a 1-4x scope, this is like looking at a eotech vs a eotech with a much longer body, you are getting the same image (remember, flat digital image, not looking through a lens).

          • Blake

            My bad, I assumed we were of roughly equal mental capacity. Don’t understand the concepts of weight and bulk do we? Seeing as we’re two sets of comments down now.

    • FightFireJay

      Actually, the FLIR RS24 (1x, 240×180, 30 hz) is a near stand in for the Sig unit. And $125 higher MSRP compared to the Sig, but no zoom.

      The FLIR RS32 has an MSRP of $3,799. For sure it’s a better unit. But it’s also much spendier.

  • kmon22

    Played with it at SHOT, and our rep brought one by the store. yes, Retail is going to be 3200, but it sounds like real street price is going to be more like 2600 (no one sells things at full retail except cabelas and gander mountain) which, for the price, makes it the best performance option I’m aware of.

  • micmac80

    ”Designed and assembled in US” hmm, so we can presume the actual optics comes from Belarus,Russia or Ukraine like wast majority of night optics(altough much of SIG optics is Chinese ), SIG designed fancy exterior and unit is asembled in US to save 15% import tax and ITAR issues.

  • Flounder

    Richard, could you double check that “infinite guarantee”? It was my understanding that the glass and optics only had a three year warranty but the body/mount was lifetime?

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    The price is going to be dropping quickly on thermal sights, and the quality is going to improve and there will be improved features as well. I’m eager to get a thermal sight, but not $3200 eager. Not $2600 street price eager, either. A good one will be $500 soon enough.

  • uisconfruzed

    I can’t wait for the pixels to quadruple, I’ll have to have one. 😀
    Can you put a standard magnifier behind it?

    • throwedoff

      As it is digital I don’t think a magnifier will work behind it. All it will do is magnify the image on the digital screen.

  • Jesse Foust

    Isn’t hog hunting considered pest control anyway in most locations?