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Why Your Rifle Scope is Blurry?

There’s nothing as irritating as aiming at a blurred target, and a fussy image in your sight. How are you supposed to take that beautiful shot with an ever frisky image, right?

As a hunter when you have your goal at the end centre of your field of view, you feel a rush that nothing can beat. The rush is of knowing that you have a perfect shot. But more so it happens, you end up having to tilt your head or reposition your scope slightly because your view is unclear!

Why Your Rifle Scope Is Blurry

Your scope could be blurry for a range of reason: filthy glasses, blurred reticle, vision problems at high magnification, parallax focusing, mirage, etc. Let’s dig in a little deeper to find the exact problem.

Possible reasons for a blurred scope

Dirty: Perhaps, easily the number one reason in the community which leads to people facing a blurred vision.

Poor sighting: This occurs when the scope is not mounted correctly according to your eyesight requirements. Many people are not aware of how exactly to sight using their scopes, hence causing blurriness, which leads to poor shots.

The wrong scope type: If you end up buying and placing a wrong scope type for your rifle, it will create problems, and blurriness being the least of them. You can refer to a range of our other articles, which covers the perfect scope for your particular rile.

Not correctly mounted: Another reason for making your rifle scope blurry is incorrect mounting on the rifle. Same as above, you can refer to our other articles to understand how to properly mount the scope on your rifle.

Magnification: If the scope gives a clear vision under low magnification, and all other conditions are covered, you can be quite sure that high magnification to be the problem.

The water inside a scope: If you hunt out in the rain, there is a possibility of water getting inside your scope, leading to blurriness. and the same goes for hunting under snow-clad conditions. 

How to solve a blurry scope issue:

How to solve a blurry scope issue

Dirty scope and lenses:

Like other glasses, rifle lenses attract all sorts of foreign particles, fingerprints being the biggest culprit. Over time, the foreign material constructs on the reticle and gradually deteriorates lens transparency.

How to clear your blurred rifle scope? Well, to achieve this, use a glass cleaner and a decent micronutrient fabric. Before using the cloth, blow out rough particles from the lens. You will be surprised at how easy it is.


  1. Wipe the lens and the surroundings gently, then moisten a towel. Focus closely on the oyster as it has multiple gridlines that can cover soil. Using a cotton swab if you are unable to enter the areas by fabric. Then remember to clean and fix the cups to have residual traces of dust or grime.
  1. Sight again at the light to see some fatty marks or leftover debris. Take a lens brush or blow the lens gently.
  1. Add a washable substance to a microfibre cloth and rub off in a circular motion to avoid leaving traces.
  1. Clean the surface again to make it look polished. It would be best if you rinsed it with water when it is washable, then polish it with a microfiber cloth.
  1. Check the remaining gravel marks under the light, and smoothly clean them off.
  1. Finally, use this pen to clear off the remaining smaller particles on the lens

There is a range of cleaning kit available, but we prefer the Leupold lens pen (model 48807)

High magnification:

The manufacturer of scope may place factory settings at a specific point, probably 150 to 200 yards, making the magnification power of such scopes to be less than 11.

Another essential factor to be noted when facing blurry riflescopes is that often the scope may not be of premium quality. Hence, the more you increase the magnification with such riflescopes, the blurrier the picture you might get.

The problem in the Parallax setting

In general, most of the riflescopes in the affordable price range would give the highest quality up to only 100 yards. These maintain the focus and lens on the same line to ensure sharper images, but losing the picture’s high quality.

The above indicates that the problem is related to Parallax, and the magnification capacity of these areas is less than 10. To address this problem, we suggest reducing the rifle scope’s length to see if the image quality is affected. 

Cheaply designed models appear to have a bad optical buildup; thus, the scope cannot be supported entirely by high magnification capacity. This depends on the application of the lens, it is always better to purchase a higher-priced scope.

Focus and parallax settings

Utmost importance needs to be given for focus and Parallax while setting the target. Most of the riflescopes have a maximum limit of 100 yards. Hence, when you aim at a goal, the distance set for your riflescope has to be accurate, and only then the image would appear as clear as desired. 

Reticle focus:

Reticle focus is usually set only once to get a clear image as per your eyesight. Yet, if your eyesight changes, you might start seeing blurry images. 

Once again, the reticle focus needs to be changed accordingly since this focus would be different for each individual and set according to their eyesight. Despite resetting your reticle focus, you keep receiving a blurry image, and you need to get your eyesight checked.

How to deal with issues due to mirage:

A mirage can cause problems in both long and short-distance targets. Also, even the best scopes in the market can not solve this problem for you. Although mirage is not bad for your scope, per se, the longer you see the object and the greater the magnification on your scope, the greater the distortion will be. 

Most experienced shooters use the heat waves’ angle and direction to help read the wind. But, when mirages hinder you in getting a perfect shot, we advise you to dial the magnification down a bit.

The other form of mirage is what we know to be a barrel or a suppressor of mirage. This also happens for hunters nearby, as heatwaves emanate from the fuselage or the abolisher itself. Mirages can be corrected by letting the rifle cooldown by popping off some rounds or by placing an anti-mirage shield or band.

Getting the riflescope serviced

You have checked all the possible reasons why my riflescope is blurry but still haven’t able to resolve it. One of the simplest reasons, why you are not getting a clear-cut image could be that your lens or the riflescope may be damaged. 

You would either need to get it serviced by the manufacturer or get it replaced, depending on the severity of the damage. 

For example, if you own older Weaver, older Redfield, or older Leatherwood scopes, Iron Sight specializes in repairing the above-mentioned brands. 


Hunting is an enjoyable adventure that can be much more fun if you’re hunting in the right place. It’s all about getting a working rifle for a successful hunting adventure. It wouldn’t be of much use to have a rifle with parts that aren’t working well now, would it?

Dealing with a blurred scope is essentially not a daunting task. It would help you to first understand how your scope functions, which is typically contrary to common opinion. 

For the most part, this will give you an idea of where and what has to be changed. If there’s a problem with the scale of development, there’s practically nothing you can do about it. Ensure that the lens and the focus area in the straight line to get a crisp picture.

Riflescopes are reasonably durable but can be broken if dropped on a hard surface while travelling. The same goes for a scope, which on the other hand is not as strongly built as your rifle. Hence, remember to take extra good care of it while in motion. 

If you have not been able to find and fix the cause of the blur with the information present in this article. There are high chances that your scope is broken or might need services from an expert.