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Gun Scope covers are more for than just looks – they are important pieces of equipment that keep your scope in good condition.
Not only do these covers keep dirt and grime off of your lens, they keep it from getting scratched.
Lastly, they are able to keep moisture out of the lens unit which will help clarity and integrity of the unit.
Everyone that has a scope on their rifle should have a scope cover.
We compiled a list of 5 great scope covers that should be more than adequate in protecting your scope.
Vortex Optics Sure Fit Riflescope Covers
Vortex makes a ton of products centered around firearm care, and their riflescope cover doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.
This case fits most scopes from 14” up to 15.5”, and if that’s not enough, there are three additional sizes that scale up for larger scopes.
Fully weatherproof and stretchy to fit over your scope with ease, this cover protects from dust, debris, dirt and grime regardless of how long you keep it in storage.
If you’re interested in finding out which scopes this works best for, the sales page has information about specific scope sizes.
Vortex Optics Defender Riflescope Flip Caps
Flip caps protect from more damage than your typical pull-over cover, and Vortex makes a pretty excellent scope cap that takes care of most incoming damage to your scope lens.
This fits all but a single Vortex riflescope, and holds a stainless steel spring for different positions to help you out when you need it.
Everything about the defender is durable, including the sturdy hinge. Where most flip caps don’t stay in place properly, this pops open perfectly time and time again without issue.
Use the cap in multiple directions, where 45° or 90°, or anything in between.
ScopeGuard Alaska Neoprene Scope Covers
Pulls over the scope easily, protects it from all harm.
It’s not just about impact resistance with ScopeGuard; it’s about long-term storage and keeping your lens free from dust and debris.
The reason that’s important is that dust can get behind the front lens and get trapped in the prism. That’s not a good thing.
Pull the bottom strap over the barrel of your rifle, and slip the stretchy cover over the entire scope.
It’s a simple application, fairly average price, and you can choose multiple sizes from a 10-12” up to a 16-19”. Select basic black or digital camouflage.
Monstrum Rubberized Flip-Up Scope Lens Covers
Flip caps are excellent, especially when they’re built from a hardener rubber like this one. Fit this tightly around the tube of your scope and let it do its thing.
As one of the most inexpensive options on our list, it comes with stipulations. There are plenty of sizes available, but you’ll notice some gaps in certain sizing.
The steek pin keeps this rigid, so when you flip it open it’s not going to just fall back down and seal it.
It can be a bit of a tight fit, but this flip cover gets the job done, and protects from dust, debris and scratching.
Butler Creek Flip-Open Covers
Ultra cheap and built to last, Butler Creek has won over many gun owning crowds because it simply works very well.
There’s a lot of sizes to choose from, and that’s because it’s going to be a very tight fit when you get it. You might have some finagling to do after it arrives.
Grab onto either side of the cap to pull backwards and pop up the plastic. The pin is a little loose, but does its job.
Basically, this is a storage cover, not one that you would keep on a scope and bring out into the field for use.
Scope Cover FAQ
Why do You Need a Scope Cover?
There are two main reasons, two times where you’d need a cover to help carry you through. That’s during use, and for storage purposes. That’s why there are pull-over covers and flip caps.
For use, flip cap covers help you out during hunting. Most of them are weatherproof due to the natural rubber seal they crate. It keeps water out, which helps with anti-fogging.
You can keep these flip caps on your scope even when you bring it out in the wilderness. They’ll protect the scope until the second you’re ready to use it.
If you’re carrying your rifle over your back, this is going to be a major help.
Hunting for whitetail in the early morning is how you bag more game every season. But early morning hunting means humidity, mist, and fog.
Fogging on your lens can majorly damage it, because the humidity is getting trapped inside the lens. This produces mold, but it can also damage or block the prism behind that front lens.
These are also good for storage, but definitely better suited for field use. These prevent scratches and simple wear-and-tear while you’re hunting.
Then you have pull-over covers that are mostly used for storage. These tend to be a little more expensive, but that’s because they protect the entire scope.
Instead of buying a cap for the front and back of the lens, this just covers it all for you. You can use these for long-term storage to prevent scratching and dust buildup over time.
These prevent your adjustment dial from getting damaged as well, so you’ll spend less time using a laser bore sighter to right your aim.
What is the Best Material for Your Scope Cover?
Rubber is usually the best, because it prevents a ton of issue from cropping up.
Waterproofing is always a good idea, regardless of what you’re applying it to, but with scope covers it’s especially important.
Rubber also doesn’t break down with age like some cloth materials do.
Reasonably, you should have these scope covers for the rest of your life, so why get something that’s going to degrade over time?
Then you have neoprene, nylon, polyester, and poly blends. These are all solid choices as well, especially if you commonly purchase and trade weapons.
If you’re like me and you go to weapons shows all the time, then you might trade in your rifle for an upgrade or something you’ve never had before.
At that point, you might need a different size cover.
Rubber caps are made very specifically, but neoprene, nylon and the like are made with a bit of elasticity to them.
They have a range that they can stretch, making them more versatile.
You’re not going to give away a scope cover with your gun trade-in or sale, so if you have one of these, you can hold onto it with a pretty good chance that it will fit your next scope as well.
How Can You Damage Your Scope?
There are a few ways.
First of all, scratches are going to ruin a perfectly good scope in no time. Even if you get a scratch resistant lens, it’s still not guaranteed.
That could put you out a few hundred dollars. You can get that one lens replaced, but it’s still going to cost you a pretty penny, plus shipping times if you can’t find a shop near you to handle it.
Additionally, storing your scope means putting it in a dust-filled spot where a ton of debris is going to form on top of it. That’s also bad.
Dust can get into the prism of your scope and cause visual problems, which is the last thing you want.
Scope damage can also occur at the windage and elevation dials. These are susceptible to being altered by slight movements, whether that’s dropping them or knocking into them.
Last but not least, you’re also a threat to your own scope. All it takes is a slip while removing it from the gun rack to seriously damage your scope.
How to Cover and Store Your Scope?
If your scope is attached to your gun and you’re putting it away, try to hang the gun horizontally. This will result in the least amount of dust buildup on the top of a rubber flip-up cap.
For full covers, you can rest your guns horizontally or vertically since they’re fully covered.
But what about those additional scopes that are just laying around?
Well, these covers we’ve discussed today are just for mounted scopes.
You could put rubber caps on unmounted scopes, but that’s only protecting part of them. We want to keep them safe and free from dust and debris.
This is where some DIY ingenuity comes into play.
Purchase a simple plastic case, like you’d find on a medium-sized first-aid kit. You can usually find these online or at stores for five dollars or less.
Next, get some black foam cushioning, similar to the kind you see in gun storage cases.
You’re going to use two pieces of this. Lay one on the bottom of the case. You might have to use a utility knife to shape the edges to fit in properly. Take the time to do this properly.
Next, take the other piece and lay it on a flat surface. Take Place your scopes on them with about 1-1.5” of clearance between them.
Now you’re going to mark exact outlines for these scopes, and then use your knife to cut into the foam. Cut all the way through.
Lay this on top of the other piece, and now you have a comfortable cushion for your scopes.
You can also attach other full pieces of foam to the opposite side of the case’s interior to keep things steady, so you don’t have to keep the case horizontal at all times.
Scope Cover Measurement Video
What to Look for When Buying a Scope Cover
We talked a lot about nylon and rubber versus polyester and neoprene. Now it’s going to come down to your preference.
Rubber caps can be used in the field, but pull-on covers are just another item you need to put in your backpack on your trip. It’s more weight.
We recommend going with rubber caps for your most-used gun, so you can take it with you when you go hunting, and pull-on covers for those that see less action.
This also gives you the opportunity to test out each cover type and see what you like best.
Just looking at the sheer number of sizes that some of these offers is enough to make your head spin.
Pull-on covers come in about a half-dozen sizes to accommodate most scopes, but rubber caps are far more specific in sizing. They’re even sometimes specific to the unique curve of the lens on certain gun brands.
Getting the right cap can be tricky, so know your measurements before going into this.
It’s always helpful to look at user ratings and see where people stand. It’s a bit of fun as well.
Pick out the good reviews: the ones that are written thoroughly with proper grammar and spelling (which shows attention to detail and shows you intelligible reviews), and avoid those that are strictly critical without being constructive in some way.
For rubber caps, the steel pin that allows you to flip it up is pretty important.
Some pins are flimsy, so you’ll have to pull the cover up all the way and just let it sit there. Other pins are sturdy, and wherever your move the cap to, that’s where it’s going to stay.
Pins can also get loose with age, but it’s best to start with a sturdy pin from the start.
How to Care for Your Scope: A Short Guide
There’s a few things you absolutely need to do in order to properly care for your scope.
The first thing is to make sure you have a quality scope ring, and that it’s secured beyond the shadow of a doubt.
When you fire your gun, vibration and kickback and loosen these rings, which then misaligns your sight.
Once you’ve secured your scope, you also need to align your scope with a certain distance for shooting. The best way to do this is with a laser bore sighter.
Keep it tight, keep it aligned, and you already know to keep it covered at this point. That’s really all there is to it.
If your alignment is still failing or you’re noticing issues with vision (fogged prism), do what you can to DIY it.
If you can’t figure it out, bring it to a gunsmith or repair shop for further analysis. The worst thing you can do is let a problem sit and stew for too long.
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