How to clean scope lenses

With the beast from the east and on off “spring” time snow, it’s important to know how to care for your gun. Mike Morton helps you to maintain a clear scope in this unreliable weather…

The exterior lenses on a telescopic sight have a vital job to do, gathering as much available light as possible and delivering that light to the shooter’s eye with as little distortion as possible. Prevention is always better than cure, and it’s good to keep your lenses as clean as you can by keeping your fingers away from the glass, and by deploying lens covers when the scope’s not actually being used.

Modern lenses aren’t just made of well-engineered glass: they’re treated to numerous chemical layers to assist the transmission of light, but these coatings are fairly delicate. Plenty of scopes have been damaged in the past by well-meaning shooters using the wrong techniques. If in doubt, it’s better to leave  your lenses alone rather than risk scratching them – but if you follow the correct procedure, all will be well.

1. Inspection

Check the lenses for any remaining debris and gently lift it away with a cloth – the corner of your T-shirt is not exactly ideal!

Inspect the objective and ocular lenses of your telescopic sight, and let them air-dry if they are wet. If they have picked up any flecks of mud, let this dry, then try to remove the mud by spraying it with canned air. If this fails to work, use a damp microfibre cloth – the regular fuzzy type, which is designed to pick up detritus – moistened with clean water.

2. Clean!

A microfibre cloth is great for lifting away any remaining particles of dirt – you still need to be gentle, though

Spray the lenses again with canned air, or use a camera puffer brush. If there are any water or grease spots present, use another microfibre cloth – the glass-cleaning type this time – to gently clean the lenses. Use clean water or a product specifically designed for camera lenses, spectacles or computer monitors. Chemicals such as isopropyl alcohol, meths or vinegar are not suitable because they can damage the coatings on the lens. The glass-cleaning cloth used with the correct product will deliver a crystal-clear, streak-free lens.

This article originally appeared in the issue 108 of Airgun Shooter magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store:

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