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How to Clean a Rifle Scope Properly?

Feb 03, 2022 | 02:42 pm 291 0
How to Clean a Rifle Scope Properly?

Everyone is well-aware of the fact that a high-quality rifle scope can significantly improve the rifle performance.

That is why a wide range of various scopes is now available on the world's market differing in price and performance characteristics.

However, buying the most desired scope is just the first step. The most important issue is to keep it clean and unscratched to ensure its long-term excellent performance.

Why is it Necessary to Clean Your Rifle Scope?

Usually, when you purchase a scope, it is supplied with special protective caps which ensure the scope's proper storage. So it is definitely a good idea to use these covering caps every time you stop actively using your rifle.

These covers are the best way to prevent accidental scratching or contamination your device. To improve the preventive care of the rifle even further, you can purchase a special box or fabric cover to store your scope in. It will guarantee that the scope will be kept away from dust, mud and (with a solid box) from physical damage.

However, during the active phase of your hunting experience, your scope may be rather susceptible to accidental dust or grease or mud or residue accumulation however cautious you may be.

Precipitation, dust, sand, minor tree and grass particles, even human grease and skin particles may unwantedly accumulate during the extensive use of the rifle. All these dirt will negatively affect the viewing characteristics of your weapon.

So it is a good idea to inspect your scope regularly and, in case there is some dirt or debris obscuring the observance, to get rid of this contamination as quickly as possible.

If not removed in due time, the contamination may grow more hoarse and more extensive, making the cleaning far more complicated, when finally performed.

The Best Way to Clean Your Rifle Scope Properly

So now let us see how the cleaning of the scope can be conducted in the best possible way.

First of all, you should inspect your scope for contamination and decide whether it is reasonable to start the cleaning procedure at all, or it is clean. Avoid unnecessary cleaning, as it endures the life-time of your device.

If you find some contamination of the scope, verify what part of it actually requires cleaning. Is the scope lens is clean, and the dirt has accumulated on the casing of the device, try to remove it without touching the lens and avoid contaminating the lens during the process.

If you detect that the scope lens is contaminated, then you should first evaluate the degree and the essence of the contamination.

There are three major cleaning procedures in respect to the type of contamination you find.

The contamination can include dry dust or sand or other physical debris particles, or grease, or a residue of some precipitation or other liquid substances. It can also be a mixture of the above-mentioned types.

The degree and the type of contamination will result in the exact procedure as well as the tools and cleaning materials you will need to apply.

In case you find that two or even three types of contamination take place, below we provide a complete procedure and the exact order in which all the three types of contaminants should be removed.
But prior to performing any kind of cleaning, make sure that your working area is clean and clear of any unused objects, no dust is in the air and the lighting of the working area allows you to have a proper view of the scope, its lenses and the accumulated contamination you want to remove.
First, you should deal with the dry particles like sand, dust, plant or human particles.

Typically, your rifle scope is originally supplied with a kit of cleaning tools and materials. Otherwise, you can easily purchase one in a specialized shop. A kit usually contains a lens pen, one side of which is a retractable brush, secured with a cap. And the other side of the pen is a special flat-surface rounded tip covered in artificial suede or microfiber cloth, coated with minor fragments graphite, or mineral carbon. Graphite is considered to be a material with very profound absorbing characteristics.

The kit should also contain a microfiber cleaning cloth. A good-completed kit will include a special liquid cleaning solution. If not included, it is a great idea to purchase a spray bottle of such cleaning solvent as well as a canned pressurized air and/or a bottle of distilled water, which can be used for more thorough cleaning. Although it is not always very convenient to carry a bottled water or canned air with you during your hunting excursion, you can have them available at home to remove severe contamination on your return.

So, we start with removing the dry contaminants away from your scope lens. Hold your rifle scope in a way that the subject scope lens is looking towards the ground. It will make the gravity law work for your benefit. Using the brush-end of the lens pen, remove the sand, dried mud or other particles off the lens by slight gentle circling motions, each short swipe directed from the center to the edge of the lens. Try to brush off the debris particles as gently as possible to avoid possible scratching of the lens surface.

It is a good idea to use canned air to remove part of the debris prior to the application of the lens pen.

Never use air from your lungs for the procedure, as it contains very small particles of saliva, which may easily damage your lens coating by corroding it.

After removing the dry debris, inspect the lens again to detect whether it requires some additional cleaning.

In case it does, try to find out what kind of contamination is left on the lens surface.

If it is of grease character mostly or some minor dust and debris are still present on the lens, use the other end of the pen lens. Apply the device again with slight circular motions, directed from the center to the edges of the lens. The graphite coating layer should absorb most of the dirt or gather it into bigger portions which can be easily swiped off with the brush-end of the lens pen.

Inspect the lens surface after the procedure to assess whether it still requires some cleaning. If so, apply a small amount of the cleaning solution on a microfiber cloth and clean the lens in gentle circular motions, again moving from the center to the edge of the lens.

Always use a special certified cleaning solution which is approved for the scope optics. Unauthorized cleaning agents, for example those used for domestic cleaning purposes, may corrode the vulnerable lens surface coating.

Never apply the cleaning liquid directly onto the scope lens as in big amounts, as it also may cause some corrosion, especially if accumulated near the edges of the lens, where it touches the casing. Additionally, large portions of cleaning liquid may also cause some unwanted residue.

Sometimes, it is allowed to use pure alcohol like 90+% isopropyl alcohol, ethanol or isopropanol in its original concentration of dissolved a bit with pure distilled water (to prevent it from vaporizing too fast), but you should always consult the purchased scope's manufacturer's maintenance instructions or manual first as there are various lens coating's specifications making the use of these cleaning agents impossible.

Sometimes, if the contamination does not contain any grease, fingerprints or precipitation residue, and consists only of mud or clay, pure distilled water alone can do the cleaning, as liquids containing alcohol or other chemical agents are aimed primarily to dissolve and vapor away residues and grease-containing contamination.

After this liquid-cleaning process, let the lens dry out by itself.

After the procedure, re-examine the lens to find out if additional cleaning is still required. Apply dry microfiber cloth in gentle circling motions to remove the remains of the contamination, if any.

We hope that you will find these instructions useful and that they will help you to considerably extend the life-time of your rifle scope.

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