Can you expect much from a cheap scope?
When it’s made by Sig Sauer, you sure can!
The Whiskey3 is definitely considered among the rankings of premium rifle scopes in the market for its price range.
It’s a low-light scope in its own right, an accurate sharpshooter, and an ideal, simple scope for the hunter.
Is there potential to do more with the Whiskey3?
There sure is, and it has something to do with a coupon included for a turret upgrade.
What We Like: All-purpose scope
What We Don’t Like: No scope covers
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Scouting, Tactical Use, Target Shooting, Close to Mid-Range, Light to Heavy Caliber Rifles, Multi-Purpose Scope
- Magnification: 3-9x
- Objective Diameter: 40mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 35-11.9 ft/100 yds
- Eye Relief: 3.6”
- Adjustments: ¼ MOA
- Dimensions: 15.3 oz
Our Verdict: The Whiskey3 sets the standard of what cheap rifle scopes should look like – accurate, durable and great optics. For all types shooting applications but especially great for sub-200-yard hunting, the 3-9x40 scope is a no-brainer for the no-fuss and straight-to-it hunter.
Who is the Sig Sauer Whiskey3 3-9X40 Best Suited to?
There is no doubt that the Whiskey3 scope is aimed at the entry-level market. It should be considered one of the best among the cheapest rifle scopes available.
Lacking in all the flair and glory of high-end scopes, it keeps things simple for the hunter. With a 3-9x40 optical platform, it’s an all-purpose scope that gives during daylight hours and may even keep on giving at low light.
If you are looking for a bit more power, you should check out our review of the Sig Sauer Whiskey3 4-12x40 scope.
How Does the Sig Sauer Whiskey3 3-9X40 Perform?
For a scope under 200 bucks, you may be doubtful about its performance. Realistically, the only concern is ensuring you get a good one from a mass-produced product line. Fortunately, the scope is covered under Sig Sauer’s Infinite Warranty – lifetime, fully transferable, and no proof of purchase required.
The warranty is worth more than the price of the scope, so it’s a no-brainer buy. The scope itself has features that are worth noting such as the European fast-focus eyepiece. It makes for focusing the reticle to your vision a breeze. With the scope factory-set for parallax at 100 yards, there’s no issue about seemingly floating reticles or unfocused images when shooting within the 3-9x scope capabilities.
The scope lacks nothing when it comes to dependability and build integrity. Fog, water, shock, and recoil-proof – it’s covered.
With accurate tracking, tons of MOA travel, and good glass, the Whiskey3 is an excellent buy for the money.
Features & Benefits
The Whiskey3 3-9x40 has one of the most popular optical specs for a rifle scope. Why? It’s versatile and consistently described as an all-purpose platform for shooting and hunting.
Due to the duplex-type reticle it features, it’s ideal for all types of targets within 300 yards. No holding over, complex hashmarks, or any of the messy features that can complicate the shot and clutter the field of view (FOV).
The Whiskey3 is flexible for use for as a scope for varmint hunting, range work, big game, Western plains, and even for some wooded areas. Its glass quality is good enough to be compared to other comparable scopes in its price range and performs adequately for low-light situations.
The Whiskey3 has FMC (fully multi-coated) coatings for ultimate light transmission and anti-reflective benefits. The glass is excellent for a budget scope, and Sig touts that it has LD (Low Dispersion) glass. While we’re accustomed to seeing ED glass used as bragging rights, the Whiskey3 lacks the “extra” element. Even so, it equates to good optical quality and image fidelity by the time light reaches your eye.
This is essential information to know as low-light hunting goes hand in hand with hunting. While it doesn’t have a huge 50mm or larger aperture that we typically would associate with low-light champs, it still has specs that can make a difference.
With good optical quality, usable and oft-used magnification ranges, and decent exit pupils, you’ll have plenty of light to work with. In low-light conditions, max power may be dim, but cranking it down is customary once light starts to fade. Even at 6x, you’ll have a good exit pupil of 6.7 which is almost fully dilated for healthy people. At 5x, you have an 8mm exit pupil which is max dilation for the human eye. It’s safe to say, that the Whiskey3 scope will perform within the parameters of the scope’s limitations and benefits.
The QuadPlex reticle is great for close-range work for sub-250-yard hunting. While you can dial in for longer shots, the reticle is rather limiting since it’s a version of a standard duplex reticle.
For most applications with hunters who know their spread, loads, and targets, a duplex reticle is all you need.
The turrets are capped, increments are in ¼ MOA, and most importantly, they’re accurate and track. It’s not uncommon to find that they may even provide more MOA travel than advertised, but 80 MOA is pretty darn good for a 3-9x40 with a 1” tube.
Tough & Durable
While you may have the luxury of sitting under a canopy at the range, you are exposed to the elements when you’re hunting. You need a scope that can handle some abuse for as long as you’re willing to be out there in it.
It may be a budget scope, but it isn’t without grit. It’s IPX7 rated, so it’s fully waterproof and ready for the weather. Many times, scopes undergo a punishing test of durability by being frozen and then exposed to warm water. Do those O-ring seals hold up? Is it really gas-purged?
The Whiskey3 scope has survived the same tests and passed with flying colors. Fogging won’t ruin your scope or your hunt this year.
SIG Ballistic Turret
Included in your package will be a coupon for a SIG Ballistic Turret. What is it? It’s the ability to acquire a custom-etched elevation turret specific to your rifle and load combination.
A custom turret provides you the ability to range your target with a hunting laser rangefinder, set your dial, and you’re on point. This is the perfect solution to getting more when you have a standard duplex reticle like the QuadPlex. No longer will you hold over or take hail-Mary shots – it’s all accurate and well-placed POIs from here on out.
No Scope Covers
The Whiskey3 3-9x40 scope is a high-functioning and practical scope that fits the bill. However, it doesn’t come with what we consider the basic freebies that you would expect.
No scope covers or caps are included with the Whiskey3 scope. You’ll need to purchase these separately. The ocular lens size is 1.72” (43.68mm), and the outer objective lens size is 1.86” (47.24mm).
The Whiskey3 3-9x40 scope is well suited to all types of rifles. Keep in mind that it has eye relief of 3.6”. While it can be mounted to rimfires like the 22, light-recoil rifles like the AR-15, 6.5 Creedmoor, 30-06, .50 cal, and more, it will not hold up to air rifles according to the Q&A answered by Sig Sauer on their website.
While Sig Sauer does produce optics in the United States, the Whiskey3 scopes are designed in the U.S. and assembled in the Phillipines.
This is the Whiskey3 with the QuadPlex reticle and is non-illuminated. The illuminated model is the 3-9x40 with the HellFire QuadPlex reticle.
The Whiskey3 scopes have 1” tubes, so 1” rings will be required to mount the scope to your rifle. Height will depend on your setup.
The Whiskey5 scopes have a zero stop but the Whiskey3 scopes do not, although, the Whiskey3 elevation turret can be reset to zero.
Remove the dial cap and lift the turret dial up unseating it from its position. Rotate the turret to align the zero with the indexing zero mark. Release the turret and replace the dial cap.
There isn’t a whole lot to the Whiskey3 that needs much more explaining. What you see is what you get. You know exactly what to expect from the 3-9x40 scope with its simplistic and yet effective features. While truly high performing, it doesn’t need to cost more than this. Most would say you can’t find better than this. We agree.
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Simon is an avid outdoor enthusiast and the owner of Target Tamers. He is passionate about bringing you the most up to date, accurate & understandable information on sports optics of all kinds and for all applications. When not glassing the local wildlife, you can find him in the garden with his German Shepherd.