How To Disassemble A Rifle Scope

Rifles are great tools and they are very easy to shoot. That doesn’t mean that they are easy to shoot perfect. Having a high quality scope can help to ensure that you get on the target and in the bullseye every time. Just like you need to learn how to shoot and care for your rifle, you need to do the same for your scope.

A rifle scope requires meticulous setup from leveling to zeroing in. Each step takes time but the more you do it, the better and quicker you will become. But there is something more you should know how to do when it comes to your scope. You should know how to repair it.

How To Disassemble A Rifle Scope-2

Image by WoozleSPB | CC BY 3.0

We have already briefly discussed the process of shimming, a quick fix for a misaligned scope or damaged scope. But it is only a temporary fix and if you do not fix the overall problem, you may end up damaging the scope further. This is where disassembling a rifle scope comes into play.

Disassembling a rifle scope is a relatively easy task as long as you are capable of paying attention to detail and taking your time. It involves taking the scope from completely put together, breaking it down, and then putting it back together again.

In this article we are going to go over the basics of what you need to do to disassemble your scope. But first, you will need the following:

  • A lens cloth
  • A hex wrench and/or any scope specific tools
  • A workplace where you can keep all of the parts
  • Tweezers for working with small parts (optional)
  • CAUTION: Work Carefully

A rifle scope has a large amount of parts in it. Many of them are very small. Make sure that you take each piece and account for where it came from. Some people find it helpful to put pieces on a piece of paper in the order that they came out of the scope. Any pieces that belong as a group should be grouped together.

Another point of caution is to ensure that you are careful with each part. Many of the parts inside the scope are delicate. Some can also be scratched. Treat each piece gingerly.

How To Disassemble Your Scope

Step One: Locate Your Scope’s Owner’s Manual

A rifle scope has a large amount of parts in it. Many of them are very small. Make sure that you take each piece and account for where it came from. Some people find it helpful to put pieces on a piece of paper in the order that they came out of the scope. Any pieces that belong as a group should be grouped together.

Another point of caution is to ensure that you are careful with each part. Many of the parts inside the scope are delicate. Some can also be scratched. Treat each piece gingerly.

Step Two: Detach The Scope

The first hands on step with the scope is to detach it from the rifle. Usually this is an incredibly easy process that requires you to remove two to four hex bolts. Set the hex bolts to the side with the rings that hold the scope in place.

We recommend giving the whole body a light dusting at this point just so you are not getting anything on the inside of the scope while you work.

Step Three: Detach Pieces (Experts Only)

Breakdown each piece of the scope, typically this is fairly straightforward to do. As you take each part off, look at the piece and inspect it for any damage or faults. If any faults are found replace the piece or repair it.

An important note is that you do not need to detach any pieces if you are simply trying to check the alignment of your scope or reset the scope. Skip step three and four if this is the case.

Step Four: Wipe Everything Down (Experts Only)

Wipe everything down on the inside of the scope. That includes wiping the lenses off. If you are going to apply grease or lube, make sure it is specifically designed for use on a rifle scope. Average gun grease will muck up a scope and could potentially cause problems.

Step Five: Reset The Scope (Optional)

An additional step to repairing and disassembling your scope is to reset it. This process returns the adjustments back to the manufacturer’s default. Before selling your scope this is something that you typically want to do. You might also want to do it if you are starting from scratch on zeroing your rifle.

Take your eyepiece on your scope and turn it clockwise. Keep turning until the piece won’t go any further. Once this is done, you have reset the scope.

Step Six: A Final Wipedown

Before you put the scope back on you want to wipe it down once more. We recommend using a clean cloth for this as it could affect your ability to shoot. Smudges, smears, and debris on the lens could cause err to your aim.

Step Seven: Reattach Your Scope

Now you will have to reattach your scope to your rifle. For a professional shooter, that means leveling your scope again to ensure that it is perfectly aligned. We wrote an article on how exactly to level your scope. Essentially it means ensuring the axises on your scope are properly aligned in comparison to the rifle.

When tightening the scope down, only tighten it as much as your manual suggests. Overtightening can cause damage to the screws and the mount holes.

Step Eight: Zero In Your Scope Again

After you have done this chances are that you have changed the windage and elevation. Go through the standard process of zeroing in your scope. Set up your rifle on a target, take three shots, and adjust the aim point. Continue to do this until you have zeroed your scope in.

Try to make zeroing in your scope a practice that you are familiar with. We recommend that people practice it several times.

Disassembling your rifle scope is a pretty simple process if you just want to detach it and then reattach it to attempt to diagnose your impact point. But if you want to take it a step further, it is more complicated. We recommend either starting with a scope that you don’t care about or follow directions from a manual/guide explicitly.

That being said, in order to determine what is wrong with your scope, you might need to start disassembling it. Your exact level of disassembly depends on the nature of the problem. Point of impact adjustment can often be solved by re-mounting and re-zeroing the rifle.

Make sure that you follow this guide to help you disassemble your rifle and get the job done right. If you have any questions along the way, feel free to take a look at our other articles on working on your scope. The more you learn to do with your own rifle and scope, the quicker you will become self-sufficient in the gun world.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *