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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if anyone else has been intrigued by Sig Sauer's Whiskey 5 scopes. Reviews have been really good, though I sometimes wonder if reviews are inherently skewed to say good things about a product (don't see many bad reviews). Anyone purchase a Whiskey 5 and have feedback about it? Oddly, the prices for those scopes are all over the place. For example, the 3-15 X 44 can be found for under $600 some places, over $1,000 others. Usually there is not such an extreme price spread for scopes like you see with these Whiskeys.
 

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I was looking at those last month. I am intrigued, and suspect they are probably excellent scopes. I have never seen one in person though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, intrigue got the best of me, or maybe I'm just in that credit card mode during the holiday season, but decided to order one and see how well it works on a magnum rifle. After receiving I'll get 'er mounted and will take it to the range so I can give feedback about performance, likes and dislikes and such.
 

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Excellent! I look forweward to hearing a first-hand report.

Not related, but my Burris fullfield II should arrive today. Looking forward to seeing it too.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sig Whiskey 5 arrived. Looks good! 2-10X42mm Hellfire Quadplex. I'll give it a try this weekend on a rifle with some kick and do my best to provide thorough feedback about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SigWhiskey5.JPG
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Hi All –
As promised here’s my review of a Sig Sauer Whiskey 5 rifle scope recently purchased and used. Since this is a lengthy review I’ll start with the bottom lines:
Made in the U.S.A.? Yes. Would I recommend it to someone I liked? Yes. Was it worth what I spent? Yes. Would I buy it again? Definitely. Do I have any affiliation with Sig Sauer, or any retail outlet that sells them, etc.? No. I’ve attached a picture of the scope as mounted. Okay, on with the review….
As we hear so often, when it comes to scopes you get what you pay for. Well, I believe that’s true, to a point. For me, a scope’s purpose is to hunt deer, bear, and elk, and it’s in that context that this review is written. If your thing is varmints or plinking or bench rest or match competition, then this review may not be helpful. In the hunting context, I’m not really getting much (if any) cost benefit from a $3,000 scope compared to a $600 scope. For my hunting needs, that $600 scope will be just as solid, clear, accurate, weatherproof, fogproof, anti-glare, and effective in low-light conditions. (Opinion: All that extra cost spent on a luxury scope won’t bring you a real hunting advantage, any more than a Lexus buys you a driving advantage over the Chevy next to you on the freeway. It’s just a luxury difference. But hey, if luxury is your thing and you want to spend more money that’s perfectly fine, just not necessary for hunting in the bush.)
Whiskey 5 is an umbrella category for Sig Sauer’s higher end hunting scopes and the one I bought is model SOW52011 for $550. I have no idea what the story is behind that Whiskey name. Their other categories are the lower priced Whiskey 3 hunting scopes and higher priced Tango tactical scopes. The list price for the SOW52011 is $1,080, so I paid about half the list price. It’s a 2-10X42mm scope with what Sig Sauer calls a Hellfire Circle Quadplex reticle. Sounds cool, but that basically translates into a typical crosshair with fiber optic illumination (red). No BDC or other extraneous markings, and I much prefer that cleaner sight picture for my kind of real-world hunting where game is bounding at speed between different ranges and shots are usually less than 300 yards. The illuminated reticle is excellent at every intensity level (powered by a regular CR2032 wafer battery). Illumination is usually extraneous on a hunting rifle, but I tend to prefer a quality illumination since, for me, it can help get crosshairs on target more quickly and intuitively. I admit that is strictly a personal preference and not a necessity. The Sig also has an infrared (IR) illumination setting, but I can’t say anything about that since I’ve never done nighttime hunting.
The scope weighs in at 21 ounces, about five ounces more than a Leupold VX-6, so a bit heavier. The Whiskey 5 is a second focal plane scope, which I prefer since I’m hunting, not sniping, and my shooting distances in hills and woods are limited. For those long-distance shooters who prefer front focal plane, I believe Sig Sauer’s Tango series of scopes are built with FFP.
I mounted the scope on a Ruger M77 Hawkeye Guide Gun (20-inch barrel) in 375 Ruger using Alaska Arms detachable mounts since that rifle comes with iron sights. (Opinion: I have several Alaska Arms detachable mounts on Ruger and CZ bolt action rifles with iron sights, and they are excellent at maintaining accuracy when removing and reinstalling the scope. And no, I am not affiliated in any way with Alaska Arms.) Of course, 375 Ruger is a bit much for Oregon-sized game, but I wanted that significant recoil to test the scope. I used Hornady 300 grain DGX ammo, FMJ round nose. That round is fairly fast, 2,660 fps at the muzzle, though with my shorter Guide Gun probably closer to 2,500 fps. Still, that’s pushing 35-40 pounds of recoil energy, which can be demanding on any scope. Happily, the Sig came through without a hitch.
I’ll normally set a scope between 2 and maybe 5 power, again for the 300 and less yards I hunt. Though I’ll rarely use it, I opted for the 10-power upper end in case I want to have fun sometime sending 250 grain spire point bullets long range (they can exceed 3,000 fps at muzzle with hand loads, though I’d go less), but that is ancillary to the scope’s real purpose. Since the objective is only 42mm diameter there is no bottom indentation to accommodate the barrel. In fact, it appears that none of the Whiskey 5 scopes have that indentation, even the 56mm objective, which might pose an issue for you folks in the huge objective club.
The Sig’s lenses are really nice. Virtually no distortion at the edges, uber clear, and great light gathering. I was impressed by the clarity. The day was around 45 degrees with high overcast and very slight drizzle (that’s Oregon), but there was plenty of natural ambient light so no dim light condition review. I brought along a Leupold VX-6 2-12X42mm to compare quality differences between the two scopes, and the Sig sight picture was at least as clear. Not a sunny day, but no glare problems evident. I was not able to check the anti-fog capabilities what with the mild weather and, similarly, I did not test the scope’s waterproofness. It is rated “1PX-7” which means it can be immersed in a meter of water…. I chose to take Sig’s word on that.
Like Leupold and other scope manufacturers, Sig Sauer offers a lifetime guarantee. Actually, they call it an “infinite” guarantee because it can be transferred from one owner to the next. Hard to beat that. The so-called “Hellfire” illumination aspect of the scope, however, has a more limited five-year guarantee.
The model SOW52011 that I bought only comes in a 1-inch (25.4mm) diameter tube. I prefer a 30mm (1.2 inch) tube for better light and clarity, but in America 1-inch tubes are so common I’ve learned to accept them, so not a deal breaker. Had I opted for the 3-15X52mm Whiskey 5 then I could have upgraded to the 30mm tube. I do fault Sig Sauer for not offering all Whiskey 5s with 30mm tubes because these are supposed to be their higher-end hunting scopes, but again that’s not a deal breaker (for me).
The adjustment turrets are capped, compatible with gloves, easy to read (laser etched), and in precise .25 MOA increments. If you’re into long-range shooting the capped turrets may be a turn-off, but for my needs they are actually better to protect zero while crashing through the brush. Clicks are positive and subtly audible without being clunky. Sig Sauer also offers a free, customized “Sig Ballistic Turret” or SBT for those who purchase a Whiskey 5 scope; I don’t have one (yet) so no report on it. Eye piece fine tuning on the ocular side of the scope was somewhat stiff, but functioned well enough. It may loosen up a bit over time and usage, we’ll see. Eye relief is listed at 3.8 inches and I had no problems with the heavy recoiling 375.
After using a laser to get on target and expending a few bullets to sight in, I proceeded to shoot ten more at 100 yards. I didn’t fire more than that because 375 Ruger bullets are expensive (at least $60 to $70 per box of 20; I didn’t use handloads). I know, that’s a low shot count for testing and I suppose I’ll get some flak for that, but at least with that quantity the scope maintained accuracy throughout despite the strong recoil. I’ve attached a picture of the final three-shot group and shots 2 & 3 landed almost exactly in the same spot. I even took the scope off and put back on the rifle, took one last shot to make sure the detachable mounts functioned well, and it still held zero exactly, though that’s more a testament to Alaska Arms than Sig Sauer.
On balance I’m quite pleased with this scope as my new hunting partner. There are a wide variety of quality scopes you can buy in the $600 range, and probably few if any of them would be a “bad” purchase. I have no doubts about the Sig Sauer Whiskey 5 representing a good purchase for $550. I’ll leave it to others to opine as to which scope represents the best bang for the buck at that $600 level, but in any event I’m certainly happy with this scope.
 

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Great re
View attachment 87473 View attachment 87473 Hi All –
As promised here’s my review of a Sig Sauer Whiskey 5 rifle scope recently purchased and used. Since this is a lengthy review I’ll start with the bottom lines:
Made in the U.S.A.? Yes. Would I recommend it to someone I liked? Yes. Was it worth what I spent? Yes. Would I buy it again? Definitely. Do I have any affiliation with Sig Sauer, or any retail outlet that sells them, etc.? No. I’ve attached a picture of the scope as mounted. Okay, on with the review….
As we hear so often, when it comes to scopes you get what you pay for. Well, I believe that’s true, to a point. For me, a scope’s purpose is to hunt deer, bear, and elk, and it’s in that context that this review is written. If your thing is varmints or plinking or bench rest or match competition, then this review may not be helpful. In the hunting context, I’m not really getting much (if any) cost benefit from a $3,000 scope compared to a $600 scope. For my hunting needs, that $600 scope will be just as solid, clear, accurate, weatherproof, fogproof, anti-glare, and effective in low-light conditions. (Opinion: All that extra cost spent on a luxury scope won’t bring you a real hunting advantage, any more than a Lexus buys you a driving advantage over the Chevy next to you on the freeway. It’s just a luxury difference. But hey, if luxury is your thing and you want to spend more money that’s perfectly fine, just not necessary for hunting in the bush.)
Whiskey 5 is an umbrella category for Sig Sauer’s higher end hunting scopes and the one I bought is model SOW52011 for $550. I have no idea what the story is behind that Whiskey name. Their other categories are the lower priced Whiskey 3 hunting scopes and higher priced Tango tactical scopes. The list price for the SOW52011 is $1,080, so I paid about half the list price. It’s a 2-10X42mm scope with what Sig Sauer calls a Hellfire Circle Quadplex reticle. Sounds cool, but that basically translates into a typical crosshair with fiber optic illumination (red). No BDC or other extraneous markings, and I much prefer that cleaner sight picture for my kind of real-world hunting where game is bounding at speed between different ranges and shots are usually less than 300 yards. The illuminated reticle is excellent at every intensity level (powered by a regular CR2032 wafer battery). Illumination is usually extraneous on a hunting rifle, but I tend to prefer a quality illumination since, for me, it can help get crosshairs on target more quickly and intuitively. I admit that is strictly a personal preference and not a necessity. The Sig also has an infrared (IR) illumination setting, but I can’t say anything about that since I’ve never done nighttime hunting.
The scope weighs in at 21 ounces, about five ounces more than a Leupold VX-6, so a bit heavier. The Whiskey 5 is a second focal plane scope, which I prefer since I’m hunting, not sniping, and my shooting distances in hills and woods are limited. For those long-distance shooters who prefer front focal plane, I believe Sig Sauer’s Tango series of scopes are built with FFP.
I mounted the scope on a Ruger M77 Hawkeye Guide Gun (20-inch barrel) in 375 Ruger using Alaska Arms detachable mounts since that rifle comes with iron sights. (Opinion: I have several Alaska Arms detachable mounts on Ruger and CZ bolt action rifles with iron sights, and they are excellent at maintaining accuracy when removing and reinstalling the scope. And no, I am not affiliated in any way with Alaska Arms.) Of course, 375 Ruger is a bit much for Oregon-sized game, but I wanted that significant recoil to test the scope. I used Hornady 300 grain DGX ammo, FMJ round nose. That round is fairly fast, 2,660 fps at the muzzle, though with my shorter Guide Gun probably closer to 2,500 fps. Still, that’s pushing 35-40 pounds of recoil energy, which can be demanding on any scope. Happily, the Sig came through without a hitch.
I’ll normally set a scope between 2 and maybe 5 power, again for the 300 and less yards I hunt. Though I’ll rarely use it, I opted for the 10-power upper end in case I want to have fun sometime sending 250 grain spire point bullets long range (they can exceed 3,000 fps at muzzle with hand loads, though I’d go less), but that is ancillary to the scope’s real purpose. Since the objective is only 42mm diameter there is no bottom indentation to accommodate the barrel. In fact, it appears that none of the Whiskey 5 scopes have that indentation, even the 56mm objective, which might pose an issue for you folks in the huge objective club.
The Sig’s lenses are really nice. Virtually no distortion at the edges, uber clear, and great light gathering. I was impressed by the clarity. The day was around 45 degrees with high overcast and very slight drizzle (that’s Oregon), but there was plenty of natural ambient light so no dim light condition review. I brought along a Leupold VX-6 2-12X42mm to compare quality differences between the two scopes, and the Sig sight picture was at least as clear. Not a sunny day, but no glare problems evident. I was not able to check the anti-fog capabilities what with the mild weather and, similarly, I did not test the scope’s waterproofness. It is rated “1PX-7” which means it can be immersed in a meter of water…. I chose to take Sig’s word on that.
Like Leupold and other scope manufacturers, Sig Sauer offers a lifetime guarantee. Actually, they call it an “infinite” guarantee because it can be transferred from one owner to the next. Hard to beat that. The so-called “Hellfire” illumination aspect of the scope, however, has a more limited five-year guarantee.
The model SOW52011 that I bought only comes in a 1-inch (25.4mm) diameter tube. I prefer a 30mm (1.2 inch) tube for better light and clarity, but in America 1-inch tubes are so common I’ve learned to accept them, so not a deal breaker. Had I opted for the 3-15X52mm Whiskey 5 then I could have upgraded to the 30mm tube. I do fault Sig Sauer for not offering all Whiskey 5s with 30mm tubes because these are supposed to be their higher-end hunting scopes, but again that’s not a deal breaker (for me).
The adjustment turrets are capped, compatible with gloves, easy to read (laser etched), and in precise .25 MOA increments. If you’re into long-range shooting the capped turrets may be a turn-off, but for my needs they are actually better to protect zero while crashing through the brush. Clicks are positive and subtly audible without being clunky. Sig Sauer also offers a free, customized “Sig Ballistic Turret” or SBT for those who purchase a Whiskey 5 scope; I don’t have one (yet) so no report on it. Eye piece fine tuning on the ocular side of the scope was somewhat stiff, but functioned well enough. It may loosen up a bit over time and usage, we’ll see. Eye relief is listed at 3.8 inches and I had no problems with the heavy recoiling 375.
After using a laser to get on target and expending a few bullets to sight in, I proceeded to shoot ten more at 100 yards. I didn’t fire more than that because 375 Ruger bullets are expensive (at least $60 to $70 per box of 20; I didn’t use handloads). I know, that’s a low shot count for testing and I suppose I’ll get some flak for that, but at least with that quantity the scope maintained accuracy throughout despite the strong recoil. I’ve attached a picture of the final three-shot group and shots 2 & 3 landed almost exactly in the same spot. I even took the scope off and put back on the rifle, took one last shot to make sure the detachable mounts functioned well, and it still held zero exactly, though that’s more a testament to Alaska Arms than Sig Sauer.
On balance I’m quite pleased with this scope as my new hunting partner. There are a wide variety of quality scopes you can buy in the $600 range, and probably few if any of them would be a “bad” purchase. I have no doubts about the Sig Sauer Whiskey 5 representing a good purchase for $550. I’ll leave it to others to opine as to which scope represents the best bang for the buck at that $600 level, but in any event I’m certainly happy with this scope.
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Great real review. I've got a older Burris signature that went south on me. Wife used to make tank night sight lenses at TI and said some of the potting compound and or seals have dried up. Guess I'll send it in and maybe check out the Whiskey 5. Thanks, and glad it's made in USA! Is it made under Leupold subsidiary?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Great real review. I've got a older Burris signature that went south on me. Wife used to make tank night sight lenses at TI and said some of the potting compound and or seals have dried up. Guess I'll send it in and maybe check out the Whiskey 5. Thanks, and glad it's made in USA! Is it made under Leupold subsidiary?
Hi Ron --
Thanks for the compliment. The answer to your question is no, it does not appear that Sig Sauer scopes are a subsidiary of Leupold. I did some digging and found that Sig Sauer is an independently operated subsidiary of L&O Holding which is based in Germany (the same holding company that owns Swiss Arms). The US branch is, of course, primarily known for producing firearms and is located in Exeter, New Hampshire. Their scope line, which is new just within the past few years and goes under the name "Electro-Optics," was apparently started from scratch by obtaining people with proven expertise from other scope manufacturers (as opposed to acquiring an existing scope company). In that context, there is a connection with Leupold & Stevens because Sig lured Andy York from Leupold to run the new Electro-Optics division.... York had been the VP of Technology at Leupold for the previous decade and so had long experience in leading the production of quality scopes. I hope that helps explain it!
 
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