With technology on your side, your next hunting expedition can be much more successful than your last. If you can have clarity on your target you’ll come home smiling, right? For many hunters, thermal imaging has transformed their experience out in the field and we’re taking a look at the Sig Sauer Echo 1. As a thermal reflex sight, it could be what you need to get more out of your sport.
When you invest in new equipment you probably consider which brands you buy. The ones that have been around for a while are worth trusting in terms of quality. You’re also more likely to get after-sale service from reputable manufacturers. When it comes to the firearm industry SIG Sauer is one of the brands you CAN trust.
The brand was founded in 1976 as SIG Sauer Gmbh when SIG (Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft) and a sister company, J.P. Sauer & Sohn, became partners, operating in Europe. In 1985 the operations spread to America and this business has been known as SIG Sauer Inc. ever since 2007. Today it operates separately from SIG Sauer GmbH.
Thanks to its rich history and loads of experience it designs and manufactures quality firearms, night vision devices as well as accessories.
The Echo 1 is one of SIG Sauer’s impressive sights. Note that this is not a thermal scope, but a sight.
Your Echo 1 has a matt finish casing made of aluminum. It’s a compact design that won’t be too bulky to add to the average rifle.
You can pick from eight different color and contrast settings. You can also pick from the multiple reticle options and even change their colors if that will make it more appropriate for your setup. Note: you can upload additional reticles if needed. Having no reticle is one of your options, making this unit very versatile.
You can detect a subject up to 1000 yards away, but the detection range for targets is 300 yards.
This thermal optic stays relatively light thanks to it only taking two CR123 batteries. These are included in your purchase and rechargeables are available. On average you’ll have about eight hours of use on each set of batteries.
We found the Echo 1 to be very user-friendly. Most options are controlled through one button that acts as your joystick, trigger and power button.
You can pick screen colors or access the menu by pushing the joystick to the left. Then you’ll be able to select options such as reticle settings or zeroing your sight. Simply push down on the small joystick to make a selection. The menu is simple and intuitive so you’ll get used to it quickly.
Some of the menu options relate to image capturing and reviewing. Here you can select options such as:
When you want to capture an image it’s as simple as pushing the small joystick to the right. You’ll find an option in the menu to review your images and delete the ones you don’t need anymore.
The unit is easy to mount to a rifle with the Hex mount as long as the gun has a rail. And don’t worry: the unit is light enough that it won’t affect the balance of your gun too much. Remember that this sight has a viewing screen, unlike scopes where you need to place your eye against the units. Mounting it a bit further down the rifle will make for comfortable viewing of your target.
It’s fairly easy to adjust the reticle and zero your sight in order to take accurate shots, but you’ll have to take time to do this properly before your first hunt. Set up a target that emits temperature—such as an ice pack—and take a shot. Take note of where the shot ended up and where the reticle on your sight was. While in the ‘Zero Thermal Sight’ menu option, adjust the reticle to line up with where the bullet hit. Remember to make sure the gun is still in the exact position as when the shot was taken. You can save the new settings and then exit the menu; the sight will remember this for future use.
Buying from a respected brand makes sense when you look at this warranty. You get an Electro-optics infinite guarantee and five years’ coverage based on the brand’s Electronic & Tritium Component Limited warranty.
To get you started the brand provides:
Some users do use this unit as a magnifier, but understand that magnification is done digitally. This quickly leads to pixilation, so your image won’t be very clear.
As can be expected with most products in the thermal industry you can use this with a caliber of up to .308.
It’s primarily for hunting and those who have tried it for other applications such as law enforcement don’t find it very practical. Those who have tried it out enjoy the user-friendly interface and they’re surprised to get the quality of view for a reasonable price compared to some other products on today’s market. The one thing you’ll need to spend time on is finding screen and reticle settings that suit you, especially for day time use if you don’t want the screen to get washed out. Taking off sunglasses and using the highest brightness setting work for some.
The Echo 1 is not perfect and to enjoy its value it should be used specifically what it was made for, hunting. But for the price, you pay this is an impressive sight that’s comfortable to use during a hunt. If that’s the hobby you want to enjoy more, we suggest you give it a try.