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.
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.
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.