Optic Review: SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18X44 Rifle Scope

SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18x44 scope

SIG SAUER’s new TANGO-DMR 3-18x44mm scope blurs the line between “tactical” and “hunting” optics. As precision shooting leagues of various types have flourished, more and more of those competitive shooters have also gotten into hunting. And the reverse is true as well. More hunters are using techniques developed in precision shooting to up their game on getting game.

Those shooters — all of them — want good glass, great features, light weight, a ranging reticle, and all at a low price. The TANGO-DMR 3-18X44mm is SIG’s answer, and it’s the right one. 

SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18x44 scope

The most important aspect of any magnified optic is the image quality. Take a look at the image above. The middle of that dirt road is right at 800 yards away. There’s a lot of brightness lost in the photo because it’s nearly impossible to get a camera phone lined up with a scope’s eye relief, but even so, the image quality is very good. 

A competent marksman would have no prob lem identifying and hitting a one to two MOA target at that distance. The target zone of a mule deer? Absolutely. This image was taken with the scope at full 18X in the middle of an overcast day. 

The clarity and image quality of the TANGO-DMR glass is very good, but the low light image is excellent. I assume this is because of SIG’s Spectra Coat coating on the TANGO-DMR series. The effect of that coating is good enough that I could easily identify and target whitetail bucks at 400 yards well past legal hunting light.

Coatings cost money. There’s just no getting around that. Those few extra minutes of light SIG’s Spectra Coat might cost you a few more dollars, but especially if you’re a hunter, those are the most important minutes you’ve got. They’re worth every penny. 

SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18x44 scope

There are a few different versions of the TANGO-DMR scopes. One is a larger 5-30x56mm, this 3-18X44mm version and a 1-6×24 LPVO.  The 5-30 and 3-18 are first focal plane optics. At those magnifications, neither one of these scopes falls within the traditional US Army or USMC Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) optic ranges. If you want the actual US Army Squad Designated Marksman Rifle Optic, that’s also a SIG SAUER TANGO 6X optic, the TANGO6T 1-6×24.

There are only a few reticle choices offered by SIG on the TANGO-DMR series, but they’re probably what you would want anyway. The 5-30×56 TANGO-DMR has SIG’s “Christmas tree” style reticle in both MOA and MRAD subtensions. Although I very much like this type of reticle for multiple targets at long range, it’s a bit crowded for faster moving targets or when you need to see more detail around the target. For hunting applications, the simpler versions offered on this 3-18×44 version is more appropriate. 

Mounting this 3-18x44mm on SIG’s new CROSS MAGNUM rifle (just as great as the original CROSS, just more of it) I headed to the range and mounted the rifle in the Ultradyne Launch Pad. Zeroing was simple and resetting the zero is even simpler. A single top screw allows you to reset your zero for both the windage and elevation, and the TANGO-DMR provides a locking zero on the elevation turret. 

SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18x44 scope

The elevation is locked with a simple button with an exposed turret. The windage isn’t locked and the turret is capped. The exposed elevation and capped windage set-up is becoming more and more the standard for quality optics, especially those designed for longer range shooting. You dial your elevation, but you use your reticle for windage. Since wind is always the indeterminate variable, that’s the most efficient system for accurate, fast, long-range shooting in a real-world environment, at least for most shooters. 

After getting the rifle zeroed, I fired a round and then simply ran the turrets up and down, left and right to their limits about a couple dozen times, then brought them back to zero. The next round landed within the margin of error (.9″) from the first. The same thing occurred with a simple box test using 10 MOA adjustments. 

Finally, firing out to 1,000 yards at The Ranch shooting range, I found the rounds landed exactly where they were supposed to when using the turrets or the hashes…as long as I did my part. 

In short, the turrets track and the subtensions are where they should be. In reviewing my past notes from previous SIG optic reviews, I’ve yet to find a SIG scope that didn’t track as it should. 

There’s maybe a tiny bit of squish to the clicks on both the windage and elevation turret movements if you’re slow and feeling for it.SIG’s turrets are accurate and well-marked, so use the numbers and hashes supplied instead of trying to shoot by Braille. 

Although there are more limited options for mounts, the advantage of the TANGO-DMR’s 34mm main tube is the great amount of elevation and windage adjustment available. This particular scope boasts 45 mils of total elevation and 25 mils of total windage.

SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18x44 scope

To give you an idea of how much elevation that really is, an M24 firing 118LR ammunition would need to reach out to about a mile away in order to use up all the elevation, assuming you mounted the scope to provide all the elevation available. And then you’d still have the 14 mils of lower subtensions in the reticle.

For most calibers, rifles, and shooters, that’s overkill. You’re likely to appreciate it the most on rimfires with subsonic ammo, but anytime you’re trying to reach way, way out there, that big fat main tube has a clear advantage.

The TANGO-DMR boasts an IP7 waterproof rating. That means it should be able to be submerged in one meter of water for half an hour. I left in the bathtub to soak for most of the day without effect. Ditto with setting it in the freezer overnight. Because of SIG’s Lens Armor coating, the water and the frost both just slid off without leaving any film or spots. 

SIG’s Tango-DMR also includes six illumination settings on the outside of the parallax adjustment, powered by a single CR 2023 battery. There’s also an “off” position between each brightness level, as there should be.

SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18x44 scope

Setting it apart from much of the competition, the brightness settings lock and unlock with a pull of the dial. The real value of the locking illumination is that you won’t accidentally move it while adjusting for parallax, a practical detail missed on most other scopes at this price point. The lowest setting of the brightness level is still a bit too bright for use with night vision devices.  The reticle itself remains surprisingly clear in front of an AN/PVS14, but it washes out the image behind the reticle completely.  

SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18x44 scope

All of the controls are well done. The turrets have blocky, grabby textures that work well with a gloved hand. The magnification ring includes a removable quick throw lever and, again with the little details, the textures on the parallax and the illumination feel different so you won’t get them confused. The controls all move smoothly and don’t require you to move the rifle out of position or to pull your eyes out of the glass to make adjustments. 

SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18x44 scope

At this price point, I was assuming a 34mm main tube scope at this magnification range would weigh around 30oz. It’s pretty amazing that quality, robust scopes have gotten that light, but at only 25.5oz, the TANGO-DMR 3-18x44mm optic is even less than that. 

SIG backs this Philippines-made scope with their unlimited lifetime guarantee, detailed in the operator manual:  

We will repair or replace your SIG SAUER product in the event it becomes damaged or defective, at no charge to you. If we cannot repair your product, we will replace it with a product in perfect working order of equal or better
physical condition.

• Unlimited Lifetime Guarantee
• Fully Transferable
• No Warranty Card Required
• No Receipt Required
• No Time Limit Applies
• No Charge

The TANGO-DMR 3-18x44mm riflescope fits in SIG’s “Tactical” category in their online menu. I’m sure it would fit that role just fine. However, given its light weight, image quality, reticle design and light transmission at dusk, it also makes an ideal hunting scope.

At a penny shy of $1,300 according to the SIG SAUER website, the SIG SAUER TANGO-DMR 3-18×44 is a heck of a value, especially for a crossover optic. 

Over the last decade, SIG SAUER’s optics line has gone from an “also has scopes” product line to a suite of optics with a very dedicated following. They’ve captured a big chunk of the mid-tier market for shooters looking for good glass and great features at more reasonable price points than you’d expect from one of the largest firearms manufacturers on earth. SIG’s done this by partnering with a solid overseas manufacturing and paying close attention to what shooters are asking for. The TANGO-DMR series is their latest example of exactly that.  


WEIGHT: 25.5oz
MSRP: $1299.99

SNW Rating: * * * * ½ 

This scope does so many things really well, it’s difficult not to give it the full five stars, but it loses half a star for very good, but not quite great image quality in full light conditions. 



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