Top 5 Tools to Help You Replace Hunting Sights and Scopes

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Top 5 Tools to Help You Replace Hunting Sights and Scopes

Sights and scopes are used for rifles during hunting as a means of making targets clearer by magnifying them to a level that allows the shooter to see more detail before shooting.

One may wish to replace their sight or scope for a few reasons. The first is that the scope may have become faulty or may have been damaged whilst hunting. The second is that one may wish to change their scope as they wish to change to a different shooting style or may be shooting from a different distance. The final reason is that one may simply to upgrade their sight or scope to one that is of a higher quality, in order to improve the shooting experience.

This guide is written with the intention of helping those who wish to replace their hunting sights or scopes and buy the tools best suited to the task.

The Anatomy of Hunting Sights and Scopes

To understand the tools required to help with the replacing of hunting sights and scopes, one should be fully aware of the components that make up these shooting aids. By understanding the makeup of a sight or scope, the replacing of them becomes easier. A table is offered below to provide those wishing to replace their sight or scope with an understanding of their anatomy:

Hunting Sights and Scopes Features



The lens is one of the more pivotal features of a hunting scope. It provides the shooter the opportunity to gain a clearer, sharper and more detailed view of their target. The lens that provides this magnification is referred to commonly as the objective lens and there are those available that can be adjusted mid-hunt. The reason why they may need to be adjusted is that measures may need to be taken to allow a greater amount of light into the scope, if light is fading or if a clearer image is required. The part of the scope that adjusts the lens and its power is known as the power ring. The objective lens is always at the furthest end of the scope away from the body of the shooter.


Commonly referred to as the crosshair, the reticle is a feature on a scope situated in the ocular lens of the rifle. The ocular lens is the part of the scope that the shooter looks through and should be situated at the end of the scope closest to the body of the shooter. The function of the reticle is to allow the shooter to align the scope with the target in question. It is made up of a series of lines that allows the shooter to centralise their target at the POA (Point of Aim). It is important that when one is replacing a sight or scope that the reticle is realigned and calibrated again.

Adjustment Turrents

There are two adjustment turrents on a rifle scope. Each turrent serves a different function. One turrent, known as the wind turrent, allows for an adjustment of the reticle to make sure that it accounts for any wind that may affect the accuracy of the shot. The other turrent serves the purpose of adjusting the scope's elevation. This in itself is a form of calibration, as it enables the shooter to change the point of aim to account for how high the scope sits on top of the rifle. Understanding the function of these adjustment turrents is important in the replacing of scopes, as they also need to be calibrated before any hunting can be done after replacing the scope.

Outer Shell

The outer shell of the hunting scope is the visible framework of the scope. It is home to the adjustment turrents, the power ring, and the parts of the scope that fit in with the rifle mounts, which are located at the bottom of the outer shell. The outer shell determines the length and width of the scope. This should be an indication as to whether the scope or not can be fitted onto a hunting rifle. Outer shells tend to be either 1-inch or 30 millimetres in diameter.

Tools Required for Replacing Hunting Sights and Scopes

Once an understanding of the anatomy of a rifle scope has been gained, the buying of tools can commence. Whilst some of the tools listed below can be similar to regular DIY tools, it is recommended that these specific tools are used as a way of making sure that the replacing of a scope is done as professionally, easily and safely as possible. Here is another table detailing the tools required:

Scope Replacement Tools


Gunsmith Screwdriver

This specific type of screwdriver is required in order to unscrew the existing scope and screw the replacement scope into place. A gunsmith screwdriver, as opposed to a regular flathead screwdriver, is recommended to lessen the chance of threading the screws and scratching the rifle itself. A gunsmith screwdriver will have a slightly larger tip than a regular screwdriver in order to avoid such damage.

Scope Ring Lapping Tool

This specific tool is used as a means of attaching the scope ring to the base of the rifle and is also used to help with the attaching of the scope to the scope rings. More precisely, a lapping bar is used to turn the rings of the scope to allow for a better fitting of the scope. It is important to buy a lapping bar that matches the size of the scope. For example a 30 millimetre lapping bar should be used for a 30 millimetre hunting scope. The same goes for a 1 inch hunting scope.

Small Mallet

A small mallet is useful for tapping certain parts of the rifle scope into place to allow for a tighter and more accurate fitting. A small rubber mallet is recommended as a metal or wooden mallet may damage the metal of the gun. It is worth noting that any tapping with a mallet should be done lightly, as a means of lessening the likelihood of damaging individual parts, and in turn compromising the effectiveness of the hunting scope.

Reticle Alignment Tool

Whilst reticle alignment can be done manually, it is a difficult process. There is, however, a tool that can be purchased to aid with the alignment and calibration of the reticle. These are generally two spirit bubbles that can be placed on the adjustment turrents as a means of measuring the flatness of the rifle scope. If one cannot find a reticle alignment tool, a small spirit level may be used. However, this is not recommended.

Rifle Mount

This is an important tool used in the replacing of a hunting scope. A rifle vice provides a secure and flat surface for the rifle to be worked on. Whilst replacing a scope it is vital that the gun is kept flat and in one position the entire time, so that each individual part is fitted and calibrated in alignment with the others.

Cleaning Tools

Whilst not necessarily a required tool it is widely considered that it is best to clean both the rifle and the scope rings before replacing the scope. After the original scope has been removed, one should use pipe cleaners, gun oil and a cloth in order to make sure that the gun is in as perfect condition as possible to allow for an accurate fitting of the replacement scope.

Buying Tools to Help Replace Hunting Sights and Scopes Online

There are many different places that one can go to in order to get advice on how to replace hunting sights and scopes.

These online resources include blogs and forums that are specially designed for the discussion of all things hunting. They provide valuable information on both the best ways of replacing a hunting scope, as well as providing recommendations on not only the tools to use, but also the best ones that are available on the market.

Make use of these sites to make the scope replacement procedure as simple and educated as possible.


Therefore, there are 5 fundamental tools that are necessary in the replacement of hunting sights and scopes, as well as the likes of the cleaning tools that are recommended.

When replacing a hunting scope be sure to have all the necessary tools at hand, so as not to have to halt the replacement process. Having all of these tools to hand can make the replacing of the scope as consistent and as accurate as possible.

It is worth noting that one should clean the rifle, the screw rings and mounts before commencing with the mounting of a new scope.

Once all these tools have been acquired, the replacing of the hunting scope can begin and be carried out securely and precisely.

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