There was a time when SIG SAUER did one thing and did it well — making handguns. Those times are past. SIG SAUER now does just about everything and . . . still does it well. Over the last decade, the company’s expanded their product line to include ammunition, optics, suppressors, and even airguns. The TANGO6 series are SIG’s top-of-the-line riflescopes for tactical operations and hunting. The first thing to note . . .
… is the scope’s aesthetics. In a world where flat black is the default color for scopes (with possibly a gold ring thrown in for flair) a two-tone color scheme is a remarkable if minor improvement. The colors go well with SIG SAUER’s line of rifles, like the 716 DMR 2 shown here.
The TANGO6 scope’s matte finish isn’t quite as silky smooth as the polished anodizing on older Leupold scopes, but it’s tough as nails and that’s the real money shot.
A lot of optics companies tend to skimp on the magnification adjustment knob. For example, I love the function of the Leupold Mark AR Mod 1 SPR scope, but trying to zoom in for longer range targets in a hurry is like trying to open a can of strawberry jam with your hands coated in butter. Entire companies have been profitable simply by selling clamp-on devices that allow you to actually grip and operate your scope.
The magnification adjustment ring on SIG’s TANGO6 line sports some seriously aggressively knurled segments. They’re grippy enough to provide the purchase you need without turning your hands into hamburger.
A set of fiber-optic-adjustment markers on the knob reveal your scope’s magnification at a glance. Ye olde tick mark machined and painted into the knob does the same thing, but SIG SAUER’s method is faster.
Next, let’s talk adjustment knobs.
Some scopes don’t lock the knobs into place, allowing them to spin freely at the slightest touch. Go ask Kirsten Joy Weiss how that worked out for her (Hint: It probably cost her a spot on the Olympic shooting team).
Having turrets that lock firmly into place when not being adjusted is critical, and SIG SAUER hit the mark with their SIG Ballistic Turret (SBT) design. The turrets pull out when the shooter wants to adjust them and lock firmly back into place when complete.
The turret’s outside design is also perfectly judged. The knurled sections provide plenty of grip for pull and turn. The markings on the sides stand out; they’re clearly readable in low-light situations.
On the other side of the tube body is the side focus parallax-adjustment knob. To my somewhat untrained eye, they match up with the distance of the target as well as could be expected.
Hiding inside that knob — a battery powering awesomeness. The SIG SAUER LevelPlex system.
Instead of having a spirit level (aka a bubble level) attached to the outside of the tube (like these) or fitted on the inside somehow, SIG SAUER fitted the scope with electronic gubbins that sense when the scope is tilted and instruct you on how to level it.
Making sure the scope isn’t canted to one side is essential for long-range accuracy. SIG’s LevelPlex system is a fantastic approach to an age old problem. That said . . .
The battery. Spirit levels might not be that accurate or easy to use, but they will operate for centuries. The LevelPlex battery, which also powers the reticle illumination, will eventually need to be replaced. Hopefully not at some critical juncture.
I slapped the scope on my SIG SAUER 716 DMR and headed out to the range.
It definitely adds a bit of bulk and weight to the rifle, clocking in at damn near two and a half pounds. On a lightweight build — where the rifle itself might only weigh five pounds — a 50-percent weight increase in weight is substantial, maybe even unacceptable. On a heavy long-range rifle with ammo like the ones I was using, it’s not a major consideration.
The clarity of the glass was excellent. Even on a cloudy day I could still see the target and every hole I had placed on it without a spotting scope.
The scope is a First Focal Plane (FFP) scope. The markings on the reticle remain the same size relative to the target no matter the magnification. I really prefer these kinds of scopes because I don’t have to make any guesses about how high to hold at a given magnification level to hit my distant target as with an SFP, I can calculate it and hold directly using the reticle markings.
I also like the way the central aiming point looks — a single single dot surrounded by open space. A lot of reticle designers like to clutter that area, obscuring the target and making it hard to get a really accurate shot. SIG SAUER’s approach is my new favorite.
I ran the scope through the usual tests (including moving the elevation dial/windage dial in a box test for turret tracking) and it performed perfectly. No matter what gun I put it on in the weeks following, the scope made shooting distant targets so easy it felt like cheating.
SIG SAUER wants $2,759 for the TANGO6 4-24X50mm optic in this configuration. There are cheaper scopes in the same magnification and long-range-shooting performance range; the Leupold VX-6HD springs to mind, plus others by Vortex, Burris, Nightforce, and others. But they don’t have the bells and whistles of the SIG SAUER product.
Is the SIG scope worth being on your wishlist? There’s either something missing on their similarly priced competitors or something SIG’s scope does better — with one notable exception (see Overall Rating). So yes, it’s money well spent. Just make sure you buy extra batteries.
Specifications: SIG SAUER TANGO6 4-24x50mm Electro-Optics
Magnification: 4x to 24x
Focal Plane: First
Available Reticles: MOA Milling; MRAD Milling
Objective Diameter: 50mm
Focus Range: 50 yards to infinity
Diopter Adjustment Range: -2.5 to +2.5
Body Tube Diameter: 30mm
Weight: 40 ounces
Length: 18.25 inches
MSRP: $2,759 (a couple hundred less via Brownells)
Ratings (out of five stars):
Glass Quality * * * *
It’s good HDX glass. Not the best ever, but the SIG scope offers excellent clarity and light transmission.
Reticle * * * * *
Love it. First focal plane mil reticle with a surprisingly open center.
Turrets/Dials * * * * *
Crisp and precise adjustments that lock firmly into place.
Overall Rating * * * *
The price is the only thing killing the score. It’s an amazing scope and worth every dollar. But I can’t justify a five-star rating when Jeremy just reviewed a scope for the exact same price and pretty much same specifications that includes a ballistics calculator in the viewfinder.