How to Repair a Rifle Scope?

As a hunter, it is important to take care of your rifle and gun. Despite the amount of time and money spent on keeping the rifles in a good state, little or no attention is given to the scope. Taking good care of the scope is equally important.

Good quality rifle scopes last long, but there are times that frequent repairs will be a must. These repairs involve adjustments to settings, cleaning a cloudy scope, and even seeking optical resolution services. Be sure not to miss a dear on the next hunting season.

What is a Rifle Scope?

A rifle scope is used to magnify an image by putting the image and your eye on the same optic lane. A scope achieves this via bending rays of light using lenses inside the scope.

High power scopes are longer and have more lenses than low powered scopes that are shorter and have fewer lenses.

The center of the field of view inside the scope is marked by a dot or crosshairs that are reticle like.

A scope solves the problems associated with focusing on the target. All you need to do with a scope is to align the center point of where the bullet will hit the target and press the trigger.

The scope increases the magnification of the target making you see it better. This enhances the accurate placement of your shot. A scope ensures a humane kill by placing the dear on target.

Components of a Rifle Scope

Knowing the parts of your rifle scope goes a long way in determining the parts that need repair. A rifle scope’s basic anatomy includes the objective lens where light enters.

The light passes through the small ocular lens and focuses on the eye of the shooter.

If you have trouble with your scope check out the following parts:

  • Objective Lens: Focuses light to the ocular lens.
  • Focus Lens: Corrects parallax error by sliding it away or towards the objective lens.
  • Erector Tube: Ensures that the image that reaches your eye is upright.
  • Elevation Adjustments and Windage Turrets: Between the erector tube and the windage and the elevation adjustment is a set of springs. The erector tube is elevated when the elevator knob is pushed inwards. The erector tube moves right or left when the windage knob is pushed in.
  • Magnification: The magnification level is adjusted when the magnification lens moves towards the erector tube by using the magnification knobs. The magnification lens moves towards the objective lens for increased magnification.
  • Reticle: A First Focal Plane (FFP) reticle is positioned at the front of the magnification lens. A Second Focal Plane (SFP) is a reticle positioned behind the magnification lens. Read more about FFP vs. SFP.
  • Lens Coating: The type of coating on a lens determines the transmission of light. If it has multiple coatings it enhances protection and improves the transmission of light. The lens coating minimizes the glare of the sun enhancing a clear sight of your target on a sunny day.

Importance of Fixing a Rifle Scope

A broken rifle scope can be a nuisance when trying to shoot a target. Reindeers are hard to get and missing one on target disperses the whole herd. You do not want to go hunting without making sure that your rifle scope is at its top performance.

Fixing a rifle scope saves on buying a new one unless it gets damaged beyond repair. Disassembling the scope and making the repairs yourself helps you interact with your scope and make the possible repairs before making quick decisions on getting a new one.

Fixing a scope gives you an accurate shot at your target. A properly aligned and firmly fixed scope that has clear lenses keeps the target in stable focus enhancing an accurate shot. A rifle with a broken scope is almost useless.

Taking a rifle scope apart helps establish what the problem is and take necessary action. This also helps you to know the different parts that make up the rifle scope.

Before going out hunting it is important to know what each part is called and its work. This goes a long way in making an informed judgment on establishing the real problem of the scope.

Breakable Parts of a Rifle Scope

Some parts of the riflescope are easily prone to damage. Knowing these parts is an advantage during handling and maintenance and when to do a rifle scope repair.

The objective lens can easily get damaged. This owes to low-quality glass or poor coating. The lens can get some scratches if the coating is not adequately thick. The poor quality glass shatters easily and consequently need replacement.

The windage and elevation turrets can easily damage making it hard to adjust the scope. The scope can rust due to insufficient nitrogen levels. Nitrogen helps keep moisture out.

The scope has got many breakable parts. Taking good care of it increases its durability for many years. Every time you are out hunting in the fields your scope risks getting damaged.

It can sometimes be hard to notice whether your scope needs adjustments.

Repairing a Rifle Scope

Fixing an Out of Adjustment Scope

Being unable to see clearly through the scope might be because of some misalignment. When sighting a scope, hold it on a stable flat surface to make sure that it does not move out of place.

This ensures a perfect scope adjustment. For the newcomers, sighting your scope means keeping it in line with the rifle for proper aim.

Causes of Scope Misalignment

Mount Rings

Proper mounting of a scope on a rifle is paramount. Poor quality mounts will not properly hold a scope on a rifle.

The misalignment may be too poor to even make it harder for parallax error adjustment. Follow the steps below to figure if the scope is the problem.

If you are working with weaver mounts try out this method. Weaver rings have parallel ridges that run across the mount.

If you cannot adjust the rings any further, note the point and the target’s location at the same point.

Mount the rings at an angle of 180 degrees from the initial point. Sight the scope again. Replace the scope rings if the problem persists.

Off-Center Holes

Holes can be drilled off-center on your rifle. Use the right tools of measurement to check whether the holes are off-center.

Since rifles are expensive it is important to be cautious when drilling holes to avoid off-center holes.

If your scope does not work after adjusting the knobs and rings externally there might be something wrong with the internal alignments. In such instances, it is advisable to get the scope replaced or repaired.

Type of Ammunition Used

The kind of ammunition used changes the sighting of the scope. Rifles work better with the proper bullets but if they are too heavy the sighting might be affected.

Size of Scope

Check out a scope that fits easily into the rifle. Some rifles were not designed to support big scopes. Sighting the scope on a rifle will be harder on an extremely thin barrel.

If using it on a different rifle works then you can rule out that your scope is just fine. However, if it does not work think of getting it replaced or repaired.

Maintaining a Rifle Scope Properly

There are several factors to keep in mind when seeking to maintain a rifle scope. This is the only way of avoiding damage to the scope.

Filling it with Nitrogen

Nitrogen prevents moisture from entering and damaging the scope. A cloudy lens blurs the image in focus. Incase nitrogen has escaped silica gel bags that can do a similar job.

Nitrogen is injected into the rifle scope before it is sealed at the factory. It is advisable to send it to the manufacturer to have it refilled.

However, if you choose to do it yourself you can have the scope put inside a nitrogen-filled bag.

Avoid Using Oil

You can be tempted to use oil when you see rust accumulating in the scope. Oil damages the interior of the scope if it seeps in. If you have already used oil, have the scope checked to avoid any extra damage.

Regularly Clean the Lens

Use alcohol to clean the lens and keep on the lens cap when not in use. Cleaning the lens with a rag or cloth can scratch the surface.

Always Keep the Scope in Good Shape

Make sure the repair or replacement of your scope has got it properly sighted. If these conditions are achieved you can now have an accurate aim and sight of the target.


We have just seen the important parts of a rifle scope that easily break and might need replacement or repair. Most importantly we have discovered that we can disassemble the parts of a rifle scope and repair them ourselves.

Purchasing an expensive rifle but a cheaper scope renders the rifle almost useless. It is important to take note that a high-quality scope for some extra bucks ensures accurate image focus and durability.

The next time you go deer hunting make sure that everything is right with your scope for the best shot. Good luck!

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