Glass Care

Some Mistakes Are Very Avoidable

If you’re anything like me, you appreciate fine glass. Some people, however, like the inexpensive stuff that comes in that tough bubble wrap and takes a chain saw to open. You can buy one of them every year, throw the old one away and have a new one. But for those who step up to the plate for the good stuff, ruining them can be a heart breaker.

Leica sent a very nice binocular for evaluation and an article. I was testing the quality of the image when my wife told me the back fence had just blown over. The bino was still hanging from my neck as I ran outside to rescue the fence and keep the dogs at bay. As I bent over, the bino hung from my neck, swinging like a church bell. The objective lens met its match with a nail, and the resulting ding ruined my day. I ended up buying the glass, which happened to be quite expensive.

That experience taught me much about the value of lens covers. Many top binoculars are now sold with covers that can be quickly removed, but retained so you don’t lose them in the excitement of the moment. Every tactical shooter I know protects their riflescope lenses with Butler Creek-style covers. Jacob Bynum of Rifles Only harps on every student at the end of an event: “Protect your glass”; by this he means, replace the lens covers.

I have the bad habit of stabbing the ocular lens of a prized riflescope now and then with the sharp end of a cleaning rod. I hope no one is as spastic as I am. Both lenses should be covered when cleaning a rifle. Most scopes and lens’ coatings don’t care much for the solvents we use.
I used to like to hike into bad country after some elusive trophy. In doing so, I have twice fallen from the sides of mountains. I was bumped a little, mostly embarrassed, but found the rifle more damaged than I. On both occasions, I noticed rather large dents in the scope body. And both times the zero had changed a foot or more, if the scope was still usable at all. Now, I bring a backup scope, pre-sighted in, using quick detachable mounts.

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