Sig Sauer Whiskey 5 5-25x52 Review
By Jose Gardner
In the shooting world, Sig Sauer is a name that is synonymous with quality in the minds of many. However, seeing the name “Sig” on the side of an optic is a relatively new development. I’ve been quite pleased with my Sig Kilo 2000 rangefinder and have wanted to get my hands on one of the Sig scopes for quite a while. I used to tell people that I am an avid hunter who likes to shoot long range more than a long range shooter. I would dare to say many readers are in the same boat. After many range days, a couple of local PRS matches, and one very memorable hunt, I have to say the Sig Whiskey 5 is about the ideal scope for the “hunter who likes to shoot.”
The Sig Whiskey 5 has a great sleek and slender look for hunters who don’t want to be flashy.
Let’s start with some of the specs on the scope. This is the Sig Whiskey 5 5-25x52 with MOA milling hunter illuminated reticle. It is a second focal plane scope with an incredible “Levelplex” anti-cant indicator that will be discussed later. While it does have a 30mm tube, the 52mm bell really helps with light absorption. Never once can I recall any issues with low light vision.
The scope weighs in right at 28 oz. which puts it on the lighter side of scopes comparable in power and price, a great feature for a higher end hunting scope. With an MSRP of $1,679 and being typically found for around the $1,399 range, it makes a great buy once, cry once option that doesn’t break the bank.
When pulling the scope out of the box, I was immediately struck by a high level of eye appeal. I tend to like scopes, and rifles for that matter, that are sleek with simple lines and not all that flashy. The Whiskey 5 has a simple matte black finish, and appropriate sized bell. Additionally, the turret combination setup is my favorite that I’ve ever had on a scope. The elevation turret is short and does not raise with added elevation. The windage turret is capped, and the parallax adjustment knob is fairly short as well. I cannot say enough about how much I love the physical design of the scope.
This scope comes with a great zero stop system that Sig frankly overcomplicates in the owner’s manual. A “zero stop reset” tool is included with the scope, but I never used it. Simply dial the elevation turret down to the zero stop, remove the elevation cap, and use the internal elevation post to shift your point of impact. Remount the elevation cap at zero and your zero stop is set.
Aside from the uncommon zero stop system, the Whiskey 5 series is incredibly user friendly. It has the Levelplex anti-cant indicating system that can be set to fine ( +/- 0.5°) or coarse ( +/- 1°). This makes mounting the scope level a breeze, and really helps precision shooting at extended ranges. As mentioned, the windage knob is capped, so no worries about being knocked off in the woods. The power adjustment dial has a raised lever for easy manipulation and identification of the current power setting. Additionally, the illuminated reticle and anti-cant control knob has an off setting between each intensity setting to allow for quick off/on near the desired intensity.
My wife putting the Whiskey 5 to work at her first ever competitive match. The scope is great for the novice and advanced shooter alike.
The elevation turret is my favorite feature of the entire scope. The scope actually locks at the zero stop, and is freed by the press of a button located where your thumb naturally falls for elevation adjustment. This means no unintentional bumping of the turret while packing the rifle, and yet no complication or loss of speed in quick elevation adjustment. The numbers on the turret are easy to read, and the clicks are incredibly positive. Throw in the 25 moa per revolution, and the scope actually becomes plenty capable, and even pleasant, for competitive use. I actually shot a local PRS match with the Whiskey 5 and think I enjoyed the functionality even more that my Vortex Razor Gen 2.
Using the Sig Whiskey 5 to shoot the Northern Utah Precision Rifle Match
The specs diagram on the Sig Sauer website claims 48 moa of internal elevation and windage adjustment. 48 moa for elevation seemed low for a scope of this price and power. With a 20 moa base and no added elevation in my rings on my Tikka, I have roughly 59 moa of elevation left after a 100yd zero. I have read of similar experiences from other Whiskey 5 owners, so don’t be deterred by the low advertised internal elevation.
The glass in the Whiskey 5 to me exceeds expectation for the price range. Most range days, it was shot side by side with a Burris XTRII and a Gen 2 Vortex Razor. In price, the Sig lands just a notch above the Burris and well below the Razor. In clarity, I feel it was in another class from the Burris, and only in the heaviest of mirage could I tell a difference between the Sig and the Razor.
Finally, the reticle is quite ideal for hunting and long range plinking. Lately, I have fallen in love with a floating dot in the center of a reticle. The MOA milling hunter reticle provides that. Most hunters despise a busy reticle, and the Sig’s reticle is nice and clean. It does, however, provide holdover and windage capability with 2moa hashes along the reticle. I have typically found it a little troublesome to find a reticle that didn’t completely cover targets at long distance and yet was still thick enough for easy sight acquisition while hunting. I used this scope to engage 12” squares out to 1395yds, and had my wife hunt with it as well. She was able to take a 24” wide 2 point at 325yds. Her first muley and her farthest kill.
My wife’s first muley buck using the Whiskey 5 and her semi-custom Tikka
Obviously, I have sung a lot of praise for the Sig Whiskey 5 with little negative to say. Frankly, I didn’t find much negative to the scope. However, lately I have started shooting more PRS style matches. If there is anything I could change about the Whiskey 5 line, it is simply to offer a FFP option in the Whiskey 5 line. If this were the case, a Whiskey 5 would sit on every rifle I own. Sig does offer the Tango 4 and 6 lines with FFP options, at the cost of giving up my preferred Whiskey 5 options such as capped windage or low profile elevation turret. That being said, many people prefer SFP scopes. If that is you, I would say you would be hard pressed to find much negative to say about this scope as well.
I really believe Sig knocked it out of the park, offering a high end hunting-oriented scope at an affordable price point. The attention to detail is obvious, the glass super clear, and the features ideal for the intended purpose. I am a believer that when you buy something as a do-it-all item, it probably doesn’t do any of the intended purposes all that well. But if you are a hunter who likes to shoot, especially long range, the Sig Whiskey 5 is the scope for you.
About the Author:
Jose Gardner has been shooting and hunting since the age of 5, running hounds for big game in the Southeast. Moving to Big Sky country for school and work, he quickly found a passion for long range shooting. Still an avid hunter, he now also enjoys PRS style matches any time he gets a chance. He currently works as a food scientist and product developer in the beef, pork, and poultry industries.