Sig Sauer is a name associated first and foremost with some of the world’s finest handguns. Today, though, the company is so much more than handguns. One of its most exciting new divisions is Electro-Optics, which features an impressive array of tactical and hunting riflescopes, reflex and red-dot sights, spotting scopes, binoculars, laser rangefinders and scope mounts.

OK, you say, so what? Sounds like a lot of other companies out there, trying to cash in on some marketing trends. True enough, but the difference here is that SIG went out and hired some of the world’s most accomplished electro-optics experts and tasked them with creating truly innovative optics. This business unit — and it is a separate unit from all others with SIG, worried about only optics — is headed up by Andy York, a man who spent a decade as VP of Technology, as well as Sales and Marketing, at Leupold & Stevens; he also worked at Polaroid and for a couple of years.

The scope I have is one of the WHISKEY 5 series, which include a 1-5×20, 2-10×42, 2.4-12×56, 3-15×44, 3-15×52 and 5-25×52. Most feature 30mm tubes and most have one of three reticle choices, with two of those offering illuminated center dots. There’s also a WHISKEY 3 series at a lower price point.

Mine is the 3-15×44 version, which features a 1-inch tube. I mounted it on a new Weatherby Mark V chambered for the hot new 6.5×300 Weatherby round. This scope features the Hellfire Quadplex reticle, which can be illuminated if desired. Parallax/focus adjustment occupies the inside portion of the same turret in which the battery is installed, and it is easily-adjustable from 30 yards to infinity. Windage/elevation adjustments are made after removing the turret covers; adjustments are ¼ inch at 100 yards. What really intrigues me is SIG also offers a SIG Ballistic Turret (SBT) at no charge for all their TANGO and WHISKEY series scopes. All you have to do is send SIG your ballistics info and it’ll customize an elevation dial for you. Then instead of MOA adjustment numbers, they’ll be yardage numbers, done to the yard. As in, my rangefinder says the critter is out there at 500 yards, so I just dial in a “5,” hold right on and squeeze.

Both the diopter focus and zoom collars rotate smoothly and easily and both are clearly marked. And while one day at the range is no definitive test, I did look through the scope in conditions ranging from you can barely see at dawn to high noon desert sun bright, and the picture was clear as a bell. SIG optics use what the call HDX high-definition, high-transmittance glass, because only the best can compete in the high-end riflescope game. In addition to the HDX glass, the WHISKEY series employs LENSARMOR abrasion-resistant coatings, LENSHIELD oleophobic coating that sheds water, oil, dust and more, and SIG’s SPECTRACOAT ultra-wide broadband, anti-reflection coatings. The scopes are also fogproof, shockproof and IPX-7 waterproof rated, meaning they can withstand complete immersion up to 1 meter.

Monday of this week I took the rig into the desert near my southern Arizona home and banged it about in heat that reached 105 degrees. I shot both off a bench and from various field positions from distances out to 500 yards, spent a bit of time turning the knobs fast and hard and generally tried to give it as much of a serious break-in as possible. I even threw water on the lens to see how I could see out of the scope when it was drenched — no problem.

Admittedly, these are not cheap products. I did a quick internet search and saw this exact model offered for sale in several places for about a grand. But SIG guarantees them for life. The guarantee is fully transferable, there’s no warranty card, receipt or time limit required. Have a problem? SIG will fix it for no charge. There is a 5-year warranty on the electronic components.

Bottom line: This is a riflescope I would — and will — take without hesitation into harsh environments. You really need to check them out in person to understand everything offered and how it works. I doubt you’ll be disappointed.