Hunting & FishingRifle Scopes

How To Know If A Rifle Scope Is Bad? All Things You Need To Know

Problems with the scope are common. How to know if a rifle scope is bad? This article helps you detect errors early to avoid mistakes when making shots.

Have you ever tried to hit a target with your rifle but couldn’t seem to do it right? Maybe the goal always seems to evade you, no matter how much you turn your adjusting knobs.

If any of these conditions apply to your present situation, you may be having issues with scope adjustment. Knowing how to tell if a rifle scope is bad, on the other hand, can assist you in confirming.

On that topic, you will find out how to know if a rifle scope is bad.

Check it out now!

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How To Know If A Rifle Scope Is Bad?

How to know if your rifle scope is bad? When attempting to figure out whether your scope is bad, look for the following signs.

A Lot Of Shot-To-Shot Variation In Point Of Impact

How To Change Battery In Rifle Scope_

Gun Scope Rifle

How to tell if rifle scope is bad? Modest differences in your point of impact from shot to shot are reasonable. But, once the gap becomes too large, you may need to start paying special attention to the quality of your targeting device.

When you start noticing significant fluctuations in your point of impact, it’s one of the most accurate indicators that you might need to buy a new scope. Or you need to send your old one back to the manufacturer.

Inconsistent Tracking

Do you struggle to keep your shorts on a horizontal track but can’t manage to get a straight line? Perhaps you’re monitoring vertically as well, and the findings are the same.

In situations like these, the shooter is frequently the issue. However, the problem might be with the rifle’s sight in other less typical instances.

Installing your sight on another rifle and then trying to track again is a great method, to be sure. If the results are still inconsistent, you’re most likely dealing with issues of targeting devices.

The Number Of Clicks Does Not Correlate To The Change In Point Of Impact

Adjusting dials may make the difference in shooting correctly with a rifle sight. When your sight or dials fail, though, your rifle’s accuracy is effectively thrown out the window.

So, if the change in your point of impact does not correspond to the twirls you provided in your adjustment dial, the targeting device may be defective.

Unexpected Changes In Required Click Values

2. Shooting-scope

Shooting scope

After utilizing a rifle and scope, you should estimate or forecast the number of click values required to achieve a certain modification.

Your forecasts may occasionally be wrong by a click or two, which is understandable. Yet, your scope might be the problem if the gap is excessive.

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Visible Reticle Shifts Away From The Lens’s Center

If your scope’s reticle is visibly displaced from the center, it’s a dead giveaway that something is wrong with the targeting device.

If you want to attain precise results while shooting, make sure the reticle of your targeting device is always in the center. So keep an eye out for it!

Clicking Resistance Or Varied Click-To-Click “Feel”

While your targeting device adjustment dials are not intended to move freely, they should not be rigid when turned.

So, if you notice any excessive resistance while turning the dials or observe a substantial shift in resistance, you may need to get your scope serviced.

Inability To Adjust Parallax For A More Detailed Image

How to know if rifle scope is bad? When you get an image out of focus, another common problem indicates that your telescopic sight is bad.

You may be unable to hit anything precisely if you cannot set parallax for your targeting device and create a crisp image. If your rifle telescopic sight’s image is out of focus, you may need to replace it.

Internal Scope Components Are Rattling

Finally, the recoil of your rifle and unintentional drops are just a few of the numerous factors that may cause components in your sight to break or detach.

You’ll probably hear items rattling about inside the targeting device if this happens. When you hear sounds like these, you should know something is wrong with your targeting device.

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Why Do Rifle Scope Lose Zero?

Many shooters often forget to level scopes

Why does rifle scope lose zero?

Several causes may lose a zero might. If you overuse the rings and make them worn, they might throw your targeting device out of balance and cause it to lose focus every time you shoot.

Cheap or low-quality targeting devices lose focus more rapidly. And after a few hours of target practice, some gunners have discovered that they are off by as much as 2 – 3 inches. For telescopic sights, the loss of zero can be due to five reasons.

Mechanical Issues

The most common cause of telescopic sights going out of focus is mechanical faults. When you modify the magnification power of your targeting device, for example, the point of impact changes.

At a range of 200 yards, the bullet may reach the target, but at 300 yards, it may be off by a foot or more. It all relies on how you organize the lenses within the targeting devices.

Modern targeting devices can help you make shots at specific distances, and the aim does not change significantly as magnification increases.

Problems with the gun’s barrel droop are another concern. The barrel determined the gun’s trajectory. It may drastically throw your images out of focus if it becomes even slightly tilted.

When the vertical reticle is set too high for shooting at a longer range, the third source of zero loss occurs. The sight’s reticle is imprinted on a tube known as the erector tube.

When you shift the reticle, the entire erector tube moves with it. On the other side, a spring gets excessively relaxed and fails to hold the erector tube firmly in position, causing it to lose focus with each shot.

The majority of other mechanical failures resulting in a zero loss happen similarly. Every time you fire a shot, the springs in the targeting device, mount, or pistol wear down, causing the sight to lose its aim.

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Mounting Issues

Another reason telescopic sights lose their zero is when you place them improperly on the mount or install the mount on the rifle. Rings, screws, and the base make up the mounts of your targeting device.

If one of these isn’t screwed in tight enough, it can come loose with each shot, throwing your aim off. Another issue is excessively tightening the screws. It may result in damage to the mount’s base and screw holes.

Cleaning And Different Ammunition

Even the tiniest amount of rust inside the barrel can significantly impact the scope’s accuracy. Damaged or obstructed barrels might potentially lose the scope’s precise zero.

They’re not only terrible for your gun’s accuracy, but they’re also dangerous. Corrosion or fouling of the mechanisms might cause them to fail or misfire.

Allowing a modest bit of fouling to build up in your rifle will affect its consistency and accuracy. If you have any worries about the firearm’s condition, you should not use it until thoroughly tested, cleaned, and fixed.

Traveling/Transporting Scope

Mishandling during travel is the fourth reason why rifle scopes lose their zero. If you put too much pressure on the telescopic sight, it will flex and lose its ability to aim.

When you’re putting the telescopic sight on the rifle in the field, you may need to test it to make sure it’s at the right angle and tight. It will prevent your telescopic sight from twisting when traveling.

Scope Parallax

The parallax in your telescopic sight might also be causing it to lose its exact zero. When you look down the rifle sight, you may see an irregularity in the telescopic sight.

When you change your gaze to the left or right, the crosshair on your target seems to move left or right as well. It indicates that the reticle isn’t displaying the precise place where your shots will land.

To strike the target, you’ll need to correct for parallax and alter your aim. Scope parallax is more prevalent with telescopic sights that have higher magnification.

The following video will show you how to zero a rifle scope:

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FAQs

4. Target-over-scope

Target over telescopic sight

Can Scopes Go Bad?

It doesn’t happen frequently, but you must respond quickly when your optics go haywire. In the field, the issues can be subtle.

If you feel you have one but can’t pinpoint it, you might be better off renting another rifle.

What Should I See When I Look Through My Rifle Scope?

A decent sight picture entails centering the reticle in your field of view and putting it over your target. After the telescopic sight, your view should form a perfectly centered circle. Adjust the weapon till it is centered if there is more black on one side or the other.

What Causes Parallax In A Rifle Scope?

When the target and reticle are on separate planes within the sight, parallax occurs. The reticle seems to move or swim around the thing you’re aiming at when you move your head or eye around while looking through the telescopic sight.

Final Thoughts

This article has helped you figure out how to know if a rifle scope is bad.

But, except for a skilled scope builder, it may be difficult for the typical individual to repair a malfunctioning telescopic sight. If your telescopic sight becomes defective, it is typically best to take it to a professional repairer.

Would you please let us know if the suggestions we provided are helpful to you?

Thank you for reading!

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Lisa J. Thompson

Hello, my name is Lisa Thompson and I’m the Founder of Daily Home Insider, your go-to resource for all things home security and home improvement. In this day and age, security should be your top priority, and that’s exactly why my dedicated team of writers and I offer reliable information pertaining to gun storage, home safes, and so much more. When I’m not running the blog, I enjoy gardening and homesteading. As an avid nature lover, I also love going on camping trips. Currently, I happily reside in the heart of Los Angeles.

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