Can Scopes Be Used In The Rain?
Preparing Scopes For Use In The Rain
Anyone who has used a rifle in extreme weather, rain, snow, or anything of the sort, can appreciate the ease of shooting fog-free. Fog is a very real contaminant when it comes to spoiling a shot or hunting experience. Anti-fog scopes are sold all the time, but many people wonder “do they really work?” Some of them work, for the most part, but ultimately, all scopes can collect fog under the right circumstances. Therefore, a plan must be devised to keep a scope free of fog, as to optimize accuracy. Depending upon the scope and its natural anti-fog properties, that plan may greatly vary. Fortunately, this is not a new issue, and many gun experts have already come up with the solutions to keeping a lenses clear in sight.
With the right preparation, a scope can be used in the rain, snow, and all other extreme conditions.
How to Use A Scope In The Rain
Using a scope in the rain comes down to selecting the right scope, and properly preparing for the weather. Scopes come in all shapes, sizes, and qualities. Some of the nicest scopes are weather proofed and fully sealed. They do not allow any moisture to enter the chamber of the scope. Still, these scopes will fog on the outside. Cheap scopes are much worse, fogging from both, the outside and the inside lenses. All types of wipes and clothes can be used to keep the outside lenses clean, but if the scope is too cheap, the inside lenses will always fog.
All that said, regardless of the type of scope, fogging does not have to mean the end of a hunting experience. There are some age-old recipes for fixing fogged lenses, such as applying wax to the lenses before hunting. Flitz gun and Knife wax has been well-known for many years and works great for this purpose.1Some people insist on using Vaseline or even vinegar. Rain-x also makes an anti-fog spray which is highly efficient. There are also many products similar to the Rain-X spray that are meant to eliminate fog from lenses and scopes (the purple stuff, Jaws Quick Spit, TYR Anti-Fog, and Cat Crap).
Tips for Keeping Scopes and Lenses Clear In The Rain
While all lenses are prone to fog under the right conditions, there are certain rules which can help a hunter keep their lenses as fog-free as possible.
- Cheap scopes are more likely to fog up than higher quality scopes.
- Nitrogen-purged scopes are less likely to fog.
- Look for scopes that are billed as “waterproof.”
- Use lenses covers (such as those made by Butler Creek) – Just don’t cover them after they get wet!
- Rain-X – especially the anti-fog Rain-X, or a wax, can greatly reduce fogging. Bear in mind that Rain-X CAN RUIN some finishings though.
- Dive mask Cleaning Agents work a lot like Rain-X and are made specifically for these types of applications (Jaws Quick Spit, Cressi Anti-Fog Spray, Aquaseal, Gear Aid Sea Drops, Scuba Choice, etc.).
- A sandwich baggie and rubber band can substitute for a lenses cap when in a bind.
- Keep a microfiber cloth quickly accessible for times when the lenses are uncontrollably fogging.
- A can of compressed air can be used to quickly and safely remove debris from the lenses.
- Wearing acrylic gloves can help provide a hunter with an easy way to “wipe” the lenses before shooting [with the gloves], provided the gloves are free of abrasive debris.
- Breath out through the nose when using the scope to avoid accidentally fogging the scope from a mouth-based exhale.
- Travel while hunting with the muzzle pointed down to prevent inviting dust, pollen, rain and snow, from even making contact with the lenses.
The “Bikini Scope Cover” is also worth mentioning, as many gun enthusiasts seem to prefer this over the lens caps. It is a simple way to keep the lenses protected and fog-free.
Last Words On Using Scopes In Extreme Weather
Never underestimate a good quality scope. Nice scopes with anti-fog properties can save the hassle of having to apply messy solutions and waxes. Although it is true that any scope can become fog-resistant with certain solution applications. There are also some seriously good hunters who insist upon simply keeping a paper towel or microfiber in their pocket at all times. After all, wiping the lenses every few moments will not stop a hunter from sinking their prey. Rest assured that even the most “fog-proof” lenses on the market, will still fog up on the outside under the right conditions, so it is always a real possibility and risk in the rain. But there’s always spitting on the lenses, which truly does work.
And if you’re going to buy a scope specifically for it’s anti-fog properties, choose Leupold, as it is undeniably one of the best weather tight scopes on the market. Leupold also has a custom shop that allows customers to make unique requests in finishes, dials, and laser engravings for their scopes.2
Click here to check out Leupold Scopes.
1Flitz. (2019). Rifle, Gun & Knife Wax. Flitz.com. Retrieved from:https://www.flitz.com/rifle-gun-knife-wax/
2Leupold. (2019). Custom Shop. Leupold. Retrievied: https://www.leupold.com/service-support/custom-shop
About the Author:
Mark Doberman, The Proprietary Gun Smith
The Proprietary Gun Smith is a marksman, expert gun handler, ammunition specialist, survival guru, and lifetime gun enthusiast. He owns (or has owned) nearly every legal firearm and ballistic available, has fired nearly every gun, and regularly consults professionally in the firearm world. He has studied firearms and similar tactical lifestyle for more than 40 years. In addition to writing for ArmoryBay.com, TheProprietaryGunSmith has guest written for more than a dozen other sites and/or magazines in the industry.
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