Why is My Rifle Scope Blurry?

Why is My Rifle Scope Blurry?

A Comprehensive Guide

Whether you are a hunter or you love shooting as a hobby, there are some things everyone has in common. It is the love for perfect devices. Having a great rifle and cartridge is not enough to get you through a successful outing. You also need a great riflescope. Beyond that, you need a riflescope scope that provides clear images- a riflescope that isn’t blurry. In this article, we have outlined the possible reasons why your scope is blurry and the possible solutions you can explore.

Table of Contents

There are several brands of scopes including Burris, Vortex, etc. that are reputable for producing some of the best scopes on the market today. While a scope might be efficient and practical, it might perform below expectations. This often happens when the scope is blurry. A great scope might deliver a blurred image. This does not mean that the scope is faulty but it needs to be worked on. There are several reasons why a scope might be blurry. Issues like dirty lenses, incorrect mounting, blurry reticles, mirages, etc. can cause a scope to be blurry. No one wants to be in a situation where they have to return home or manage their rifles without a scope because their scope has collapsed on them. But when this situation knocks, you have to answer with a solution.

Why is My Scope Blurry?

Imagine yourself on an outing and ready to get into action. And then you discover that the crisp clear images your scope always delivers have given way to some boring blurred images. This is not a situation to smile at. Your outing can be in jeopardy if this happens to you. Have you ever set out for hunting in the early hours of the morning or at night? These are suitable times for most hunters because of the kind of game they target. If your scope delivers blurred images, you might think that it is the time of day but it is not. You can hunt at these times of the day and still have a successful outing. Your scope might be built to deliver crystal clear images at any time of the day.

What if you hang out with the guys to have fun just shooting and you discover that your scope won’t let you see the target areas clearly? This is a joy-killer. Your mood might be messed up and the fun will fizzle out. Another sad scenario is when you are out for a competition and your scope is blurry. Well, before going out you might have checked to see that your rifle and accessories are ready as much as you are. However, there are times when we repose some level of trust on our devices because we know they functioned well the last time we used them. And then boom! You’re disappointed. All of these situations are not nice. But there is no need to worry too much. We have some great tips to help you get your blurry scope to deliver crisp clear images again.

Why s My Scope Blurry

The Reason Why Your Scope May be Blurry

A blurry scope is not the norm. This means that something is not right. If the lens is not dirty, then the mounting is not right or there are some other issues with the scope. Here are some reasons why your scope is giving you blurry images:

The Wrong Scope

One reason why your scope is blurry is that you have the wrong scope. There are specific scopes for specific rifles. Some scopes are built for specific cartridges and rifles. If you mount the wrong scope for your weapon, you might experience some difficulties including blurry vision. If your mirror is covered with fingerprints, your reflection through the affected areas will be blurred. This is the same with your lenses

Blurry Reticle

A blurry reticle is another reason why your scope is delivering blurry images. Your reticle is blurry because the setting on your reticle is not compatible with your eyes. If your eyesight is constant, you only need to set the scope once.

Dirty Lens

The lens on your scope might get blurred with fingerprints, dust, and other foreign bodies. The lens is a part of the scope that easily attracts dust, fingerprints, and other dirt. If this is the situation, your scope will be blurry.

Incorrect Mounting

If your scope is not well mounted on your weapon, the image delivery might drop. There are procedures to mounting the scope to enable it to deliver clear images. If your scope is not well sighted, the image delivery will be poor. This happens when the scope is not well mounted.

Focusing Parallax

if your scope features fixed focus or fixed parallax, the focus will be preset when you get it. The focus is usually set in terms of yards. So a scope with a fixed focus has the length of the yard it will be suitable for. If you target an image that is not at the set yard, then there is the possibility of your images not being clear enough. For example, if you have a scope with a parallax set to 50 yards, it will not be clear if you try to see a target at 35 yards. However, if the target image is at the same 50 yards, the image will be clear. This is because you are targeting an image at the same distance.


Mirage is the illusion of steam or water at a distance. Have you ever traveled on-road and noticed water on the road some distance in front of you? That is a mirage. This mirage is one reason why your scope image is blurred.


The magnification on your scope can impact the clarity of image delivery. If the magnification on your scope is high, that might be the issue. Not that high magnification is always a problem. However, some scopes are better suited to delivering clear images at low magnification. Also, some scopes have low optical power. This is often common with cheap scopes.

Water in Your Scope

If there is water in your scope, it might cause blurriness. Most scopes are built to withstand water. They are purged with nitrogen or sealed with an O-ring to enable them to function under any weather condition. As such, these scopes are water and fog-proof. This means if you have your outing in wet environments, you can go with the scopes and be fine. Also, if you have your outings in the night or early hours of the mornings when there is dew, you should be fine, too. Although these scopes promise to withstand water and fog, it is just to some extent. Submerging your scope in water should not be an everyday affair. Water in your scope can impact the quality of image delivery.

Damaged Scope

If your scope is delivering blurred images and you have explored these possibilities and more, your scope may be damaged. Some damages are easily fixed if they are minimal. However, if the damage is severe, you might just need to get a new scope. The manufacturing of the scope may also be the problem.

How to Fix Your Blurry Scope

If your scope is blurry for one or more of these reasons, all hope is not lost. There are some moves you can make to get your scope to deliver crystal clear images. Getting a clear image delivery is a paramount reason why you get a scope to go with your rifle. If this is not the case, there is more than one way to get the situation under control. Here are some options you can explore to fix your scope’s blurry image delivery:

Pick the Right Scope

While getting a scope will enhance the performance of your riflescope, getting the wrong scope will not help much. If your scope is blurry, chances are you have the wrong scope. Getting the right scope will help. Before you get a scope, ensure that you are well guided and pick a scope that will meet your expectations. If you already have a scope that is suitable for your weapon, sorry you have to part with it. You do not have to feel much pain parting with your scope because the money spent on it is not entirely wasted.

You can gift it to someone with the weapon it will match. Get a scope that is specifically made for your cartridge and rifle to avoid sad experiences. Another essential aspect of getting the right scope is buying from the right brand. There are several brands in the market but not all of them are reputable. Some brands have been in the market for a long time and are still thriving. Before getting a scope, ensure that it ticks the necessary boxes. Do not compromise on the qualities you are looking for.

Clean the Lens

The scope is meant to be maintained and cleaned regularly, especially the lenses. The lenses on your scope easily attract foreign bodies and as such require regular cleaning. Cleaning your scope should not be difficult. There are wipes specially made for cleaning scope lenses. You can also use a lens pen or scope brush to effectively remove traces of fingerprints without adding more to it. Scope brush or lens pen features a fine brush and flatter brush on either end respectively.

These devices are meant to get the ocular and eyepiece end thoroughly cleaned. If the lenses are not well cleaned, then you can wet-clean them. This cleaning method is not difficult. Simply put a drop of water on the lens and work it over the surfaces. After this, you will clean the water left on the lens with a lens cleaner. If you do not have a fabric meant for cleaning lens you can use a soft cloth or tissue.

Adjust the Magnification

Since the magnification can impact the quality of image delivery on your scope, it is advisable to make sure of this. First of all, you have to decipher if that is where the problem is coming from. To know this, set the magnification on the low side and then on the high side at different times. Then notice the image delivery at both times. If the image delivery on the low setting is clearer than on the high setting, then the magnification range is the issue. Also, you should know if your scope is manufactured to deliver low image quality. Cheap scopes usually have low optical quality.


If mirage is the reason why your scope is blurry, there is an easy way of fixing this. You should reduce the magnification on the scope to help it focus better. If the magnification on your scope is high, it is likely to capture the illusion of steam or water. This will cause the image to be shaky. If the magnification is low, the image will appear stable.

Focus the Reticle

If your reticle is well-calibrated, it will not deliver blurry images. You should always set your riflescope according to your eyesight. If your eyesight changes over time or you lend your scope to someone and get it back, you need to refocus the reticle. Also, ensure to remove the eyecups in your scope if they are there. When using the scope, ensure that you direct it rightly. Do not look at the sun directly to avoid damaging the shooting eye. Also, if you are shortsighted, ensure to use them when going on your outings.

Shortsightedness will not let you see clearly when the image is far from you.  Even if the reticle is focused rightly, you will not have a clear image delivery because the images that will meet the eyes will be blurred. It is always better to get a scope with adjustable parallax or adjustable focus. This is because you can easily adjust the focus or parallax to the distance you are shooting at to get a clear image. This is better because you might need to target images at varying distances. All you have to do is to adjust the scope accordingly.

Dry Your Scope

If your scope is blurry because of water, you have to act fast. First of all, get the water out of it. Then you have to dry the scope with a soft dry cloth. Also, try to keep your scope away from water as much as possible. These scopes have a limit to which they can tolerate liquid. If you must have your outing, then you can use these scopes in wet conditions. However, if you can avoid it, let them stay out of water and wetness generally.

Fix the Scope or Get a New One

If the problem is from the manufacturers, you might want to explore your options. Some scopes come with a warranty to secure against the manufacturer’s defect. If your scope is not under warranty, you might have to part with some cash to get another scope.

Mount it Correctly

Most scopes come with a user manual that has instructions on how to mount the scope. Most times, these instructions are simple and straightforward that even a beginner can mount the scope well, even if it takes some more time.


[ultimate-faqs include_category=’why-is-my-rifle-scope-blurry’]


Before getting a scope, you are expectant of getting crystal clear image delivery. However, this might not always be the case. If your scope does not deliver clear images, it does not mean that it is damaged, although this might be the issue. You should check if the scope is wet, dirty, or not mounted correctly. You might also check if the scope’s magnification is too high or if you are affected by a mirage. You should also check if you have the right scope. There are specific scopes for specific weapons. If you get it mixed up, you might end with a situation of blurry image delivery. A bitter possibility is that your scope may be damaged. Depending on what your findings are, you might have to clean your scope to rid it of water or dirt, or fingerprints.

Also, you might have to get your scope unmounted and then mount it again to make sure that you get it right. Another possible solution is to set the magnification on the low side. If none of these work, then you might want to check if you have the right scope. Your scope might be of low quality and so have low optical delivery. If your scope is damaged, you might have to get it replaced. If it is under warranty, then you can take advantage of the coverage and get the manufacturer to look into it. However, if it is no longer under warranty then you have some expenses to make.