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How to clean and maintain your rifle scope

A reader asks for some tips on keeping his rifle scope looking and working in tip top form

second focal plane

With second focal plane scopes you need to learn (or have written down) the trajectory distance at different magnifications

Q: With all this rain of late, 
do you have any tips for cleaning my rifle scope and keeping it safe?

Bruce Potts, our resident expert gives his advice

A: People tend to put a scope on 
a rifle, then forget about it and never consider cleaning it until something goes wrong.

is better than cure when it comes 
to scope maintenance and just a few products can keep your scope 
in tip-top condition.

Scopes, especially for fox or deer rifles, can be incredibly expensive and just as we clean the bores of our rifles to maintain good accuracy, 
so should we consider a routine scope maintenance regime.

Probably the most common cause of scope damage, after breakage in a fall, is damage to the lens coating resulting from water or dirt not being removed quickly or properly. There are some excellent lens cloths and brushes available from photographic shops, as well as dedicated scope cleaning kits, such as the Swarovski kit, that include everything you need.

Spudz microfibre lens cloth

Spudz microfibre lens cloth

The Leupold Lens Pen, a useful tool, has a retractable brush and 
is easily popped into a coat pocket.

The Spudz microfibre lens 
cloth , which is available from retailers such as BushWear, 
is excellent. It comes protected in 
a fabric pouch that can hang from your rifle’s sling, ready to 
use instantly if rain or dirt comes into contact with your scope’s lens. Remember to brush the dirt off first and not rub with a cloth 
to avoid the 
dust wearing away the lens 

Tips for servicing and cleaning rifle scopes

  • Prevention is better than cure
  • You don’t need to do much to keep your scope in good condition
  • Get into a scope maintenance regime
  • Breakage is most common damage
  • Remove water or dirt from lens promptly
  • Use good lens cloths or brushes
  • Brush the dirt off first before rubbing scope with cloth