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In one of my previous guides, where I discussed how you can fix the binoculars that got wet. And guess what, a few weeks back, I met an elderly person from my town who appreciated me by saying that he was able to fix his binoculars. It made me so happy that I was helpful – and what I typed actually proved to be helpful.
Apart from satisfaction, it also gave me the motivation to produce more helpful guides that make others’ lives easier and save them from trouble. So, I have decided on another in-depth guide in which I will discuss how to get the moisture out of scope. So, if you’re facing an issue, read the whole guide to get the solution.
Also Read: How to Sight in a Thermal Scope?
Why is moisture a problem in scopes?
Moisture is a significant problem in scopes because it causes the lenses to get foggy and make the scope unusable. If you use scopes that got moisture inside, chances are high that you’ll have to disassemble and clean it which is time taking process.
Moisture usually gets accumulated within the scope due to various reasons, such as exposure to humid environments or sudden temperature changes. This moisture that goes inside the scope makes the lenses foggy and you fail to view through your scopes
Imagine yourself in the hunting field and then all of a sudden the moisture makes contact with your scope and makes its lenses foggy. How will you feel? You’ll get irritated as well as frustrated as the fogginess won’t let you use the scope for hunting or shooting. This is why I say that moisture is a big problem for the scopes.
How to Remove Moisture from a Scope?
Have your scopes got moisture inside them? Oops, I feel your pain. You might be getting gut feelings that you’ll have to buy a new scope as the previous one is affected by moisture. If yes, I have good news for you.
In the section below, I will go down into the steps that you can follow to bring your scope back in working conditions. Look, the fogginess that you are seeing on the lenses is due to the moisture present inside the scope.
So, I will give you easy-to-follow steps for removing the moisture from your scope. Once you remove the moisture, all the fogginess will go away and you’ll be able to see everything clearly and won’t need to buy a new scope. So, let’s drill down.
Step 1: Analyze the Moisture and its impact
First of all, you will need to understand the situation by analyzing the impact of moisture. In case your scope made contact with moisture but the moisture did not go inside the scope, then you don’t need to worry. Only clean the exterior and your scopes will be in good position.
But if the moisture has gone inside the scope due to weak sealing of your scope, then the issue is serious and you’ll have to disassemble your scopes. In the upcoming steps, I will explain all the processes that you’ll need to follow to get things done.
Step 2: Disassemble the Scope
So, has water or moisture gone inside the scope and made the lenses foggy? If yes, then disassemble the scope. I recommend you remove the scope from the rifle and then carefully take apart the different components of the scope.
There will be small nuts and bolts that you will have to remove. To unscrew the nuts, you can use any screwdriver. It is important to keep track of all the pieces and where they go so that you can easily reassemble the scope later.
Step 3: Use a Desiccant
Once you’ve disassembled the scope’s components, now it is time to use a desiccant. Don’t you know is desiccant? It is a substance that absorbs moisture from the air, and there are many different types available.
Some common desiccants include silica gel, rice, and cat litter. The desiccant should be placed in a container with the disassembled scope and left for several hours or overnight. I recommend you put the components of the scope in rice for at least 12 to 14 hours if you don’t have any other desiccant.
Step 4: Use a Hairdryer
Using desiccant is a slow process and it will take at least 12 hours to dry your scopes. But if you’re in a hurry, I recommend you use a hairdryer on a low heat setting to dry out the scope components.
Using a hairdryer is an effective method of removing moisture from the components of scopes. However, be careful not to overheat any of the components, which could cause damage.
Step 5: Use a Cleaning Cloth
I hope and believe that all the moisture will go away once you place the components of the scopes. If you doubt that the components are not fully dried, then I suggest you leave them under the sun as the heat from the sun will dry them.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that lenses that got fogginess due to moisture must be cleaned. The cleaning process should be done when you’re assured that all the moisture is gone. I have written a complete guide on how to clean the scope’s lenses and I highly recommend you to read that before cleaning the lenses.
Note: After drying the components of scopes, you should use a cleaning cloth and clean the whole body including its lenses, and exterior.
Step 6: Reassemble the Scope
After all the moisture has been removed and you have cleaned the lenses completely, then you can reassemble the components of your scopes. Don’t you know how to do it? Don’t worry, I have written a complete guide on how you can reassemble the scopes and I suggest you read that too.
It is important to take care when reassembling the scope to ensure that all components are properly aligned and tightened. Once the scope is reassembled, it should be checked to ensure that it is functioning properly.
By following these steps, it is possible to remove moisture from a scope and prevent potential damage to the scope components.
How does water reaches inside the scope?
If the scope’s O-rings or other seals are damaged or not installed correctly, water can enter the scope and cause damage. Due to compromised sealing, the purged gas also escapes, which makes the situation even worse and makes your scopes useless.
One of the most obvious reasons that cause the moisture and water to go inside the body of scopes is ‘‘Poor sealing’’. I know the cheaper scopes are attractive, but they also have drawbacks. One of those drawbacks is that they have poor and compromised sealing.
So, when you use the scope with such poor sealing, moisture and water easily go inside the scope and make the lenses foggy which is frustrating for the users. I always recommend buying a high-quality scope that comes with strong o-ring sealing and nitrogen gas purging that protect the scope against moisture.
When you buy a scope with compromised sealing then all of the purged escapes and leaving behind nothing that could protect your scopes when moisture attacks. Poor sealing is one of the most important factors that cause the problem.
Can you Repair a Water Damaged Scope?
When a scope is exposed to water or moisture, it can cause significant damage to the lenses and internal components. It is important to note that the extent of damage varies in different cases.
If the moisture has gone inside the scope and remained there for a few hours, then chances are high that your scopes won’t get repaired. The reason is that the moisture will cause corrosion inside the scope that will overall affect the performance.
However, if the moisture made contact with the exterior surfaces of the scope and did not go inside, then the issue can be resolved. In fact, even if the water or moisture has gone inside and you immediately disassemble the components and dry them, the chances are high that your scopes will be repaired as there won’t be any corrosion inside.
If your scope has wet, immediately dry it and remove all the moisture. If you don’t do it right away, then moisture will damage the interior component and you will have to replace the scope.
How to Prevent Moisture from Getting into a Scope?
It is the ending part of this guide. I am feeling a bit tired now as it is midnight but my motivation to give you a complete guide over the matter is keeping me awake. So, in the section below, I will mention some of the key tips that will help you in keeping your scopes safe from moisture.
1- Always Choose Waterproof scope over Water Resistant Scopes
There are two types of scopes available in the market whose names are listed below:
- Water resistant scope
- Waterproof scope
Water-resistant scopes are cheaper and just come with water resistance, not proofing. It means that can bear a few splashes of water, but if you submerge them in water or use them in moist conditions, the water will go inside them.
On the hand, the waterproof scopes are a bit more expensive, but they give you excellent waterproofing. It means that even if you throw them in water or use them in moisture they won’t get affected.
I always recommend you buy waterproof scopes as they won’t get affected by moisture or anything else. Spending more will give you peace of mind and your scope will be with you for a longer period of time.
2- Store the scope properly
When not in use, store the scope in a dry and cool place. Avoid storing it in a damp or humid area, as this can lead to moisture buildup inside the scope. Many people don’t pay attention to their scopes when they are not in use. If the scopes remain unchecked for a longer period of time, they will be affected by external elements such as moisture.
3- Use a scope cover
When using the scope, use a cover to protect it from moisture. A cover can be made of neoprene or other waterproof material that will protect the scope from rain, snow, and other moisture. In fact you should always keep your scope in power-carrying cases so that the external factors have minimal effect on them.
4- Avoid sudden temperature changes
Sudden temperature changes can cause condensation inside the scope. When moving from a cold to a warm environment, the warm air will cause the cold metal of the scope to fog up. So, it is not recommended to introduce your scope to sudden temperature change as it can affect their lenses.
How to avoid sudden temperature changes? To prevent this, allow the scope to acclimate to the new environment slowly. Keep the scope covered until it has reached the same temperature as the surrounding air. Don’t immediately start using it when you are entering from room temperature to extremely high or extremely low temperature. Give them time to adjust.
Frequently Asked Questions
To prevent moisture buildup in the scope, it is important to store the scope in a dry, cool place. Avoid using them in a humid environment. You should also make sure to keep the scope clean and dry by wiping it down with a microfiber cloth after use.
Yes, it is safe, however, you should not bring the hair dryer too close to the component so scope as excessive heat can affect the scope’s components.
Yes, silica gel packs can be used to remove moisture from a scope. Simply place the silica gel pack in a sealed container with the scope and let it sit for a few hours. The silica gel will absorb the moisture and help to prevent future moisture buildup.
I’m a passionate outdoor activist who has got special love for optics. The school studies in optical mechanics and the travelling experience has made me an expert in optics like binoculars, scopes, and other devices. Stay connected with us for in-depth knowledge!