You don’t have to turn to some no-name brand for a cheap scope.
Sig Sauer has an affordable series of scopes made for the hunter that has more than decent optical and mechanical quality, and in turn, it performs.
If you want a scope with a little more power and a little more range but without the little more cost, the Whiskey3 4-12x40 is the pick of the day.
If there’s a scope for an AR-15 under $200 that gets our nod of approval, it’s the Sig Whiskey3.
What We Like: All-purpose scope
What We Don’t Like: No accessories
Best Uses: Big Game Hunting, Small Game Hunting, Varmint Hunting, Target Shooting, Close to Mid-Range, Light to Heavy Caliber Rifles
- Magnification: 4-12x
- Objective Diameter: 40mm
- Coatings: FMC
- FOV: 24.8-8.3 ft/100 yds
- Eye Relief: 3.6”
- Adjustments: ¼ MOA
- Dimensions: 12”/16.6 oz
Our Verdict: The Whiskey3 4-12x40 doesn’t pretend to be anything that it’s not. It’s a scope for an AR-15 made for the hunter. While few hunters dial in as they prefer to get closer instead, the BDC-1 Quadplex reticle makes things a little easier with its bullet drop hashmarks. Non-calibrated to any specific cartridge, the Whiskey3 scope can be mounted and utilized by any rifle. This makes it an easy pick that fits the budget. Easy does it, right?
Who is the Sig Sauer Whiskey3 4-12X40 Best Suited to?
The Whiskey3 4-12x40 is a power upgrade from the Whiskey3 3-9x40 model. You’ll want this higher-powered scope for a little more range. If that’s your train of thought, then you may as well opt for the BDC-1 Quadplex reticle that allows for holdovers.
While it does offer more range with its reticle, it’s more of a mid-range engagement scope. For hunting, target shooting, a lightweight setup, and a scope that comes within budget, the Whiskey3 is a decent buy for most shooters.
How Does the Sig Sauer Whiskey3 4-12X40 Perform?
When it comes down to it, the Whiskey3 scope performs. For $200, there’s little room for complaint, and if there is complaint, it’s largely due to the fact that you must buy the extras like lens caps.
It’s not as long-range as you would think it is, but it performs excellently for up to 400-500 yards (approx.). You will definitely need to know your how your rifle and loads perform to take full advantage of the BDC-1 Quadplex reticle.
It’s very lightweight and completely weatherproof which are essential characteristics for hunting scopes, especially for those who are on the move and not setup with sticks or in a blind.
Even for the low price, the scope tracks accurately, and you’ll see how decently it does within the first 40 MOA. It’s no competition scope, but the turrets handle the action well and you can always depend on your reticle if you’ve done your due diligence at the range.
Designed to be affordable, mounted to MSR/AR platforms, and best-suited to hunting, the Whiskey3 is a decent scope for less than $200.
Features & Benefits
The Whiskey3 scopes are well-known for their all-purpose builds. They’re frequently used for target shooting and hunting. Well, why wouldn’t they do great when they have the Quadplex reticles, versatile power range, good glass, and simple operation?
The 4-12x40 model gives it extra oomph for some long-range precision work, but it is limiting since there is no side focus to correct for parallax. It’s factory-set for parallax at 100 yards, so it will take some consistent cheekweld practices to offset any issues for long-range work.
Even so, the Whiskey3 scopes are excellent choices for big game and predator hunting like coyotes and hogs. They can handle recoil from kicker guns but are favorite scopes to top AR-15s.
For long-range use on varmints, the reticle may be a little too thick for that type of work, but it’s incredibly visible for use in dense areas like in the woods or from a treestand. Obviously, it’s well-suited to use in open plain areas too since it’s designed to be set at max power for accurate holdovers.
The Whiskey3 4-12x scope doesn’t have the fixings of high-end scopes, but it does have enough to provide clear and bright sight.
Sig specifically mentions that the scope has LD glass, which is low dispersion glass. While many of you might have heard of ED glass, as in extra-low dispersion glass, the Whiskey3 does not have ED. Still, it has one LD element to help align wavelengths and reduce chromatic aberration, improve color fidelity, and increase sharpness.
Its optical quality is paired nicely with its 3x zoom capabilities, and image quality is acceptably consistent from edge-to-edge throughout the entire FOV. What helps to keep things looking sharp is the fast focus eyepiece that gets you a crisp view of the reticle best suited for your vision.
BDC-1 Quadplex Reticle
This model is the #SOW34204 that indicates it’s the BDC-1 Quadplex reticle model. Unlike the Quadplex with its simple duplex crosshairs, the BDC-1 features hashmarks for bullet drop and windage compensation.
Still true to form, the Whiskey3 scope with its BDC reticle keeps things simple. Sig Sauer does not provide any subtension information with the BDC-1 Quadplex reticle. However, with the help of online ballistic calculators and some time at the range, you’ll be able to take max advantage of the bullet drop hashmarks for your loads.
The turrets are in MOA with ¼ MOA increments. Each revolution offers 12 MOA and a total of 60 MOA in travel. That’s decent for a 1” tube with these specs.
Tough & Durable
Like any good hunting scope, it must be weatherproof. It’s impressive to see that even for a $200 scope, it’s both fully waterproof and nitrogen-purged for fogproof protection. It’s also shockproof and can handle recoil from popular hunting cartridges.
While it’s advertised as an airsoft gun, this model is not suited to air gunning. It cannot handle the forward and rearward recoil. However, SIG has airgun specific scopes available online.
SIG Ballistic Turret
The Whiskey3 scopes are not compatible with the BDX series offered by Sig Sauer, so there’s no chance in connecting your optics for a streamlined setup.
However, the scope does offer an extra upgrade to its turret, the custom, laser-etched ballistic turret. While the voucher for the free SIG Ballistic Turret is not included, it is compatible for an upgrade if you want it in the future.
You will need to provide your rifle information such as caliber, muzzle velocity, etc. and purchase a custom ballistic turret that is perfectly matched to your rifle and cartridge.
Unfortunately, don’t expect any freebie accessories with the Whiskey3 scope. While most scopes at least come with some lens caps, the Sig scope doesn’t.
You’ll need to purchase 1” rings with a height and mount that is best suited to your rifle setup. You will need a 43.6mm cap for the eyepiece and a 42.1mm cap for the objective lens.
Include lens caps, mount, and cleaning supplies in the budget for a Whiskey3 scope and you won’t be disappointed upon box opening.
There is some confusion when browsing the Whiskey3 scopes as some pictures may show a third turret. The Whiskey3 scopes are fixed parallax scopes and do not feature a side focus.
If there is a third turret, it is for the illumination for the Hellfire Quadplex model.
Sig Sauer Whiskey3 scopes are entry-level and budget rifle scopes. They’re good value for the money and offer simplicity, a range of reticles, and decent low-light performance.
They’re intended for the hunter and target shooter who shoot sub-400-yard distances. They track accurately, are rugged and weatherproof, and most of all, they perform.
The Whiskey3 4-12x40 model is good enough for some long-range work. Limiting features include its thick reticle and no parallax correction (AO or side focus). While the BDC-1 Quadplex reticle offers some long-range advantage versus the Quadplex, with only a total of 60 MOA, you’re limited in distance.
We would rate the Whiskey3 as a great mid-range scope with some long-range capability if you mod your setup and are shooting large targets like AR500s and big game.
The warranty that comes with the Whiskey3 scope is Sig Sauer’s Infinite Guarantee. It’s unlimited lifetime, fully transferable, and no registration or receipt is required. If it goes in for repairs or replacements, there is no charge to the owner.
There are cheap scopes and then there are the cheap scopes that are worth it. Sticking with name brand stuff helps to avoid buyer’s remorse, and there’s no need to experience that gut-wrenching feeling when you buy SIG.
The Whiskey3 scopes are budget in price but are solid in performance. When you already have to factor in the cost of accessories and mounts, it helps that the scope is budget friendly.
Simple, affordable, and it performs. For many hunters, you don’t need more than that.
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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.