The rifle scope is one of the most crucial parts of a rifle. It is a sensitive part that will need to be replaced when damaged. Since the replacement is not cheap, it is better to take care of it. Firearms owners use different rifle scope cleaning kits to keep their scope in tip-top shape.
There are many different brands of rifle scope cleaning kits in the market. But all of them have a few standard pieces of equipment. They are ultra-fine brushes, air spray, cleaning cloth, and solution spray. These are the main equipment of a rifle scope cleaning kit that can easily clean any scope.
Cleaning a scope can be done in any manner and with any equipment. But not using the proper cleaning kit will only lower the scope’s lifetime.
- Why Use a Cleaning Kit?
- Contents of A Rifle Scope Cleaning Kit
- How to Use a Rifle Scope Cleaning Kit?
- Tips for Cleaning a Rifle Scope
Why Use a Cleaning Kit?
When the rifle scope is damaged, it hinders your aiming. A rifle scope does not get damaged easily, but it does get dirty. And the dirt or dust that gathers on the objective lens and eyepiece is enough to cause you to miss your target. That is why most people use cleaning kits.
Using such kits, they can quickly get rid of the dirt and have a clean lens. But what if you use your scope with care. Will you still need a cleaning kit? Well, to be honest, yes, a cleaning kit is a must for a rifle scope owner, no matter how careful and caring they are.
If you go out to hunt or on an expedition, you will undoubtedly bring your rifle scope. You might have lens caps to protect your lenses from weathering elements. But will you not have to take off the protective cap when you try and aim?
And when the cap is off, the lens is sure to accumulate dust. You might be thinking that you can brush it off with a regular brush or wipe it off using the edge of your sleeves. If you are a veteran firearms owner, you know that it would be one of the biggest mistakes of your life.
That’s because the lenses of your rifle scope are sensitive. If you use irregular substances to clean it, you will damage the lens and leave scratch marks. So if you don’t want to cause harm to your scope, the best thing is to use a scope cleaning kit.
Contents of A Rifle Scope Cleaning Kit
You can find rifle cleaning kits online easily. They are available on Amazon and other online-based shopping sites. There are many different brands of kits with many products in them.
Though the shape and size or the name of the cleaning equipment may differ, their functions are the same. Here are the main components you will find in a scope cleaning kit, no matter which brand you buy.
Calling this equipment, a spray might be misleading. That is because if you look at it, the shape is nothing like a spray. Instead, it is more like a blowing balloon.
If you use this equipment over your lenses, most of the larger dust particles will be blown off. They are portable so that you can carry them around with ease.
You might be thinking about why not simply use your mouth to blow off the dust? Well, in that case, your lenses will be free from the dust but will become foggy due to your breath.
Scope lenses are very sensitive. That is why finer dust particles get attached to them quickly. And once they are stuck, it is tough to get rid of them with only air pressure. In such a case, the best thing to use is a brush.
But if the brush you use is stiff, it will scratch the lens surface and cause damage. This is why most cleaning kits are equipped with soft and light brushes. The brush’s bristles are densely backed, but as light as feathers, so they don’t leave any scratch when used.
Not all types of foreign substances on your lens surface can be wiped off with a cloth or brush. In some cases, the substances stick around like a smudge. These are, in most cases, oily spots.
To get rid of them, it is best to use a cleaning solution, and that is precisely what you will find in any universal cleaning kit. These solutions come in the form of a spray. The main content of the solution is isopropyl alcohol.
For those of you who don’t know, isopropyl alcohol dissolves all the oily substances and evaporates like it wasn’t even there. So, when you use the solution and wipe the lens, they will be cleaned as well as new.
As you will need to wipe off the excess once you spray the lens with the solution, you might want to use any regular old cloth. But that will be a grave mistake. Even if you use a silk cloth to wipe the lens surface, you will surely leave scratches.
This is why gun cleaning kits are usually packed with microfiber cleaning cloths. If the dust and debris are not cleaned properly, even a smooth fabric will cause a scratch. That is why use a lens brush before you wipe off the lens surface using a microfiber cloth.
How to Use a Rifle Scope Cleaning Kit?
If you are new to using opticals for shooting, you need to know the proper way to take care of your optics. Getting a universal gun cleaning kit and calling it a day will not do. You need to know the appropriate cleaning instructions, and they are as follows.
Step 01: Get Rid Of Large Particles
The riskiest thing for a scope is the large dust and debris over the lens surface. If one swipes at them, then they will indeed cause scratches. You might not be able to see them with a naked eye, but they will be there when you try to use the scope to aim.
So, the best thing is to brush off the dust. You can use the air spray to blow off the debris. Though most of the dust will be blown off, much will still remain. It is best to use an ultra-fine brush to lightly brush the lens clean in such a case.
Step 02: Wipe The External Body
Even if you are cleaning a rifle scope, it is necessary to clean the exterior parts. The main components of the scope are the lenses and the ocular lenses.
All these parts are secured inside the scope tube, and only the lens surfaces are exposed at two ends. This is why many think that only cleaning the lens surfaces will suffice.
But you will also need to wipe the exterior body of the scope. That is because the turrets, power ring, and focus ring are in these parts. If dust or debris accumulates in these rotating parts, it will damage the scope and make it unusable.
This is why you should use the microfiber cloth or the ultra-fine brush and wipe off all the external foreign materials.
Step 03: Soak The Lenses
Once all the excess dust is brushed off, you are good to wipe the lenses. But before that, you will have to spray the cleaning solution.
This will help you get rid of any organic material over the lens. These organic or oily materials might have accumulated when you accidentally touched the lens with a bare finger.
Most cleaning solutions are eyeglass cleaner grade, and that is why they contain about 90% isopropyl alcohol. It is better than water as it clears all the oily residues. Moreover, the alcohol evaporates fast enough to not leave any watermarks on the lens surface.
Step 04: Wipe It Clean
When you are sure that all the dust and debris are brushed off, and the oily contents are dissolved off, but the cleaning solution, wipe the lens. Using a soft cloth of silk or cotton might seem the best, but that is not the case. These materials cannot reach the very edge of the eyepiece and objective bell.
Moreover, the fibers in them are very tough on a microscopic scale. You should use the microfiber cloth that comes with almost all cleaning kits.
Wipe the lens surface in a spiral pattern. This will ensure that the whole surface is adequately wiped and no spots are missing.
Step 05: Let It Dry
After all the steps are correctly followed, you will have to put on the protective cap on the lens and pack the scope. Before you do that, make sure that the whole scope is dry. The lenses might already be dry as you wiped them clean.
But the body of the scope, that is, the place around the objective bell and eyepiece, might still be wet. This case is more common when water is used to clean the scope instead of the cleaning solution.
If such a state occurs, lightly wipe the exterior with a dry cotton cloth. And you will be good to go!
Tips for Cleaning a Rifle Scope
Not everyone is an expert in using cleaning kits. They are bound to make a few mistakes even if they follow the perfect cleaning instructions. That is why here are some cleaning tips that might be helpful.
- Dust-Off Properly: Brushing off the debris is a must as they will cause scratch marks when wiped on.
- Only Use Microfiber: Regular fabric leaves microscopic scratches on lenses. So, use a microfiber cloth to have the perfect lens.
- Apply Solution Indirectly: After spraying it on the cleaning cloth, apply the cleaning solution to avoid excess use.
- Protective Caps Are Must: Leave the protective caps on all-time except when shooting.
- Make Use Of Q-Tip: Using Q-tips can help you reach the small nooks and corners and brush off the dust.
- Use Lens Pen: This dual-ended tool is designed for portability and the perfect cleaning of lenses.
- Remove Turrets: When cleaning the scope’s exterior, unscrew the turrets to ensure no dust remains.
- Always Carry A Kit: Ensure you have the cleaning kit or the Lens Pen when you go for a hunt.
- Take Care Of Battery Compartment: In the case of battery-powered scopes, take off the batteries periodically and clean the compartment.
- Clean Within Limits: While cleaning, make sure not to use force and don’t clean at frequent intervals.
Scopes are one of them, if not the, most essential parts of a rifle. They help in seeing far distance targets and also help in ideally aiming at them. That’s why many want to take care of them properly, and thus they rely on cleaning kits.
A rifle scope cleaning kit is not similar to a universal gun cleaning kit. There are no cleaning rods and such. But it is filled with essential elements that will help keep the scope in perfect shape. Get a cleaning kit for your rifle today and see the differences for yourself!