Troubleshooting a Blurry Rifle Scope

sweet17 adjustable rifle scope

Are you having trouble with a blurry scope? Check out the tips for troubleshooting a blurry scope, so you can get back on target whether at the range or hunting.

Do you have an old rifle scope that you have been using for years and that now has some issues with blurriness? Maybe you recently bought a new rifle scope, but you are still finding that it has problems with blurriness that you can’t seem to correct. It can certainly be frustrating when you are hoping to get out and shoot some targets or you want to go hunting but can’t because of the scope. We will be looking at troubleshooting a blurry rifle scope that you can try, so you can get back to what you enjoy doing.

Additionally, you will find some information on two high-quality scopes that are available on the market right now that could be suitable replacements. These high-quality scopes have a lot to offer, and they are easy to use. Best of all, they are durable and should not have issues with blurriness.

The Problem with Blurry Targets

When you look through your scope, you need to have a clear, clean, and bright image of your target. If the image is blurry, it can cause a host of problems. You are more likely to miss your shot entirely. If you do hit, you are likely going to be off-target somewhat, which is the last thing a hunter wants. You want your shots to be accurate for a quick kill, so the animal does not suffer and so you don’t have to follow a blood trail for miles through the bush.

Having a blurry rifle scope can be dangerous, as you aren’t always certain where the bullets are going to land. If you have issues with blurriness, use the following tips for troubleshooting a blurry rifle scope. The first thing you need to do is figure out what is causing the blurriness.

Is the Reticle Blurry?

If the reticle seems fuzzy, even slightly, there is an issue. The reticle should always be clear and crisp. When it is blurry, it generally means that you will need to recalibrate the reticle. Properly focusing the rifle scope will often help to clear up this issue.

To do this, you don’t want to look at a target. Instead, you will want to look at a blank white background or a patch of blue or gray sky. Look through the scope at the reticle and then look quickly away, so your eyes don’t become accustomed to and try to “fix” the blurry reticle on their own by compensating.

Next, you will rotate the eyepiece, typically clockwise, one click. Look through the scope again at the reticle and look away quickly again. Was the reticle still blurry? Rotate the eyepiece again and repeat until you have a nice, sharp reticle.

Problems with Parallax

If you have a side turret on your scope, it serves as a parallax adjustment knob. If you aren’t getting a clear view, and if the reticle doesn’t stay on target when you move your eye around the sight picture, you have an issue with parallax. Once you notice this issue, it will be easy to rectify in most cases. You will want to make sure that the reticle and the target are on the same optical plane. There are ways to adjust for this whether you have an adjustable objective lens, or you have a side focus. There are tips below for each.

Adjustable Objective Lens

  • First, estimate the distance to a target or use a rangefinder to get the actual distance
  • Leave the sight picture and rotate the objective bell and line it up with reference markings on the adjustable objective to match the target distance
  • Go back to the sight picture and adjust the magnification until it is suitable for a shot at that distance
  • Check the image quality and make sure the reticle doesn’t appear to be swimming around when you move your eye behind the sight picture
  • Make small adjustments until the reticle and target are on the same optical plane

Side Focus

  • Estimate the distance to the target or use a rangefinder for the actual distance
  • Set the side focus so it is past the infinity setting
  • Dial it down slowly to get the image in focus
  • Adjust magnification
  • Continue making adjustments until the reticle and the target are on the same optical plane

Mirage Distortions

In some cases, your rifle scope might seem clear at the start of your day on the range, but over time it becomes blurry and hazy. It might even appear as though there are mirages when you look through the sight picture. Often, this is caused by excessive heat that comes from your rifle after multiple shots.

You will want to let your rifle cool down between shots, as this can make the mirage problem go away on its own. Hunters tend not to have this type of problem, but those who are shooting a lot of rounds at the range could find that it is an issue. If that’s the case, you might also want to consider getting and anti-mirage shield for your rifle.

Even though it is not as much of a problem for hunters, it can still occur, particularly on warm days. The mirage effect might not be due to the rifle, but it might be happening in the surrounding environment, akin to when you see the heat mirage rising of blacktop on a hot day. Reducing magnification can help with this issue.

Are the Outsides of the Lenses Dirty?

You might find that the only issue with the rifle scope being blurry is that the lenses have not been cleaned properly. This is one of the first things you should consider if you notice your scope is blurry.

Fortunately, this is a simple fix for a blurry scope. Use a soft lens cloth and proper lens cleaner for scopes and clean the lenses. This can help to clear them up, so you have a clean and clear picture when you are looking through your scope.

Has Your Eyesight Changed?

This is a troubleshooting tip that many people never even think to consider. They may have had their rifle and scope for many years and have used it with no problem. However, they now notice that things are starting to become blurry when they try to get on target. If the troubleshooting tips above have not worked, it might be time to get your eyesight checked.

Over time, the eyes will often weaken, which can cause a blurry effect when you are looking through your scope. You may notice the same issues with binoculars, spotting scopes, or simply trying to read road signs when you are driving.

The best course of action, in this case, is to make an appointment with the eye doctor. You may need to have some corrective eyewear to help with the blurry rifle scope and everyday life.

It Might Be Time for a New Rifle Scope

If you have tried troubleshooting the blurry rifle scope and you still find that it has issues that can’t be fixed, you have a couple of choices. First, you could take it to a professional and have them examine it and let you know whether it can be salvaged, or if there is a serious problem. They will also likely be able to make the repairs for you if needed.

However, this can be costly, and some might find that getting a new rifle scope instead is a better option. Having a new scope, particularly one that has a warranty will provide you some peace of mind. You will know that the scope is ready to go whenever you take it into the field or out to the range.

Keep in mind some of the most important elements you need to consider when you are getting a new rifle scope. You want it to be durable, so it can be used for hunting without worry. You want a great optical system, rugged housing and quality materials, and a nice turret system that is easy to adjust. Always opt for the best you can find when getting a new scope for your rifle.

High-Quality Scopes to Consider

Below, we will be looking at two excellent scopes that could be a good new addition to your gear. They are hardy and durable, and they have some great features that help them to stand out from the competition.

BSA S17-618X40SP

BSA S17-618X40SP

BSA offers a high-quality scope with a 6x to 18x magnification and a 40mm objective lens. The Sweet 17 Rifle Scope has been calibrated to use 17 and 20 grain .17 HMR bullets. The scope offers an excellent turret system with windage and elevation controls, along with a side parallax adjustment, which is particularly helpful for the higher magnifications.

The rifle scope is relatively simple and aesthetically pleasing. It will be easy to mount and to get sighted in and zeroed. One of the other nice features of the scope is that it will keep the zero once it has been set up properly. The zoom ring has an inner drum with markings, along with a fixed inner ring and a window cutout.

Of course, you want to have a scope that is going to last for a long time, and that won’t have issues with blurriness due to moisture. You will be happy to know that this is a rugged rifle scope that can stand up to the stresses it undergoes when it is out in the field with you. This could be a fantastic option for those who are looking for a new rifle scope for their hunting trips.

Athlon Optics Argos BTR Rifle Scope

Athlon Optics Argos BTR Rifle Scope

The scope is another high-quality option, and this one works well for those who are shooting at long ranges thanks to the reticle. The scope offers variable magnification from 6x to 24x with a 50 mm objective lens. The first plane focus reticle will stay valid no mater the power settings, so it will shrink or grow as you change the magnification.

The scope has fully multicoated lenses that help to improve the light transmission, ensuring the best possible brightness through the sight picture. You will also appreciate the true color that the scope provides, ensuring you are getting an accurate picture of what’s happening downrange. This can even make it easier to spot your quarry.

The turret system includes not only elevation and windage controls, but also side parallax adjustment. This ensures that you can adjust to any range, and you can still keep the reticle and the target on the same plane, so you don’t miss your shot.

The reticle that’s been etched onto the glass is durable, and the scope has excellent shock resistance from recoil. It has been made using 6061T6 aircraft-grade aluminum that is extremely strong, so it can stand up to even the most intense hunts. Because it features argon purging, you will be happy to know that it offers excellent thermal stability, as well as waterproofing. Both of these are very important for a rifle you plan to take hunting with you.

As with the BSA scope, this rifle scope is easy to use, it looks great, and it could be a suitable replacement if you have a scope that continues to provide you with a blurry image.

Conclusion: Keep Your Scope in Great Shape

Conclusion: Keep Your Scope in Great Shape

Even during months when you might not be out shooting at targets or hunting, you should make it a point to check on your scope once in a while. Naturally, you want to keep the scope in great shape since it is such an important part of your gear. Check to see if there is any blurriness, or if there is any moisture that has gotten into the housing. If there are issues, troubleshoot, and if that doesn’t fix it, start looking for a new rifle scope.

The tips above should help you keep your scope clear and your reticle sharp, so you can shoot with confidence.

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