How to look after your optics
It is easier than you might think to keep your riflescope in top condition.
“Modern optics are so well made that you can actually do most things you need to maintain them yourself ” says Hawke Technical Manager, Alex. Adding that the most common mistakes people make are rubbing too hard on the lenses, using the wrong kind of cloth or simply not cleaning at all. However never attempt to disassemble or clean the scope internally. “Some of the riflescopes we see are decades old and have never been cleaned. Optically, they’re still brilliant, but the grime has had a long time to build up.”
So does it take a lot to remove 30 years of dirt?
“Not really, considering,” says Alex. “A good wash in warm, soapy water should get most, if not all of it moving and a cleaning wipe should get rid of any particularly stubborn or ingrained particles. Don’t rub too hard though,” he adds. “If you do, you risk scratching the lens itself or damaging the coating by grinding small particles of grit against the glass. The soapy water should loosen everything. We never have to worry about water getting inside as all our riflescopes are fully waterproof and nitrogen sealed.”
With premium riflescopes, there’s no need to use any lubricant.
If you do, you’ll just end up moving the dirt around rather than getting rid of it. “The moving parts on our riflescopes are designed to function without any need for lubricant, so that performance will be perfect all the way across the temperature range, from extreme heat to extreme cold.”
The importance drying
Finally, once you’ve washed the dirt off, Alex stresses the importance of wiping away any water droplets and drying the product properly – ideally in a warm place. His preferred way to remove any smears or marks on lenses left over from washing is by breathing on them then wiping gently with a clean, good quality microfiber lens cloth.
It’s as simple as that: the hard part is remembering to do it often enough.
So how often is often enough?“It really depends on what sort of use you’re giving the scope and how often you’re using it. Obviously, if you drop your riflescope in a bog or it gets thoroughly filthy during an outing, you should clean it as soon as you get home. If you’re using your scope near saltwater, it’ll need cleaning more often to prevent invisible salt residue building up and potentially damaging coatings.”
When not in use, keep the protective lens covers in place, always store in a moisture-free environment and away from direct sunlight.
Of course, when you buy a Hawke riflescope, you’re buying peace of mind. In the event your product becomes damaged or defective we’ll repair it at no charge to you. It doesn’t matter how it happened or whose fault it was – we’ve got you covered. The Hawke No Fault Lifetime Warranty is only available directly through our UK or US service centres.