Kahles is a company with one of the longest traditions in the field of optics. After more than 100 years, their products are still sought-after by hunters and tactical shooters around the globe. In 2018, the company underwent major changes – they modernized their logo and switched from their traditional blue colour to orange, making their appearance more vibrant. From our experience, the audience’s response to their “complete makeover” was positive.
After Leica’s introduction of Tempus, it was as clear as day that other renowned optics manufacturers would follow this trend. At Shot Show 2019, Kahles justified our assumptions by presenting their own red dot sight. It is now obvious that this section, previously dominated by Noblex (ex. Docter), is quickly expanding – there is more and more competition. The device carries a well-established name that Kahles already uses for their binoculars and riflescopes – Helia. Helia RD, as they named it, boasts an interesting design – let’s take a closer look at it.
The sight is of the open reflex type and features a big window that measures 26 mm in diameter. The frame around the lens is nicely thin, providing the user with unobstructed vision. It is ideal for use on a driven hunt, where the combination of having both eyes open (the product features a real 1x magnification) and a great field of view is much needed. The device comes with a Picatinny/Weaver mount. If we remove the mount, we can see that it has the same footprint as C-more RTS and STS, Vortex Razor and some other popular red dot sights. The weight of 42 grams makes it incredibly light and usable. It is manufactured in Japan.
The view through the lens is great thanks to the unique Anti-Reflexion coating. The size of the dot is 2 MOA, providing around 6 cm of coverage on 100 m. The sight combines a fine, nicely-defined dot and a thin frame, allowing the users to shoot not only at short but also at short to medium distances (for hunters, the covering of the game is minimal). There are four levels of illumination to choose from. At maximum setting, the dot is powerful enough to be used at strong daytime brightness.
The device is equipped with an automatic turn-off function which you will be thankful for when you forget to turn the illumination off after use. The battery compartment, located on top of the device, holds a single CR2032 battery. Kahles hasn’t shared information on battery life yet.
Because of the location of the battery compartment, there is no need for re-zeroing once the battery has been replaced. In the box, you get a protective cap that comes in Kahles’ new trademark colour, orange. It is made of rubber and has a slot for an extra battery. For elevation and windage adjustments, there are two corresponding screws on the device. One click moves the point of impact for 15 mm on 50 m.
The sales will start in January 2019, the expected price being 400 EUR. Kahles provides 2 years of warranty in case anything fails. This is only the beginning of Kahles’ story in the field of red dot sights, which means that it will take some time for this product to become well-accepted by the users of such devices. Kahles Helia RD looks promising, and we can’t wait to put this new-comer to the test on the range.
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