Airgun Scope Teardown

Most of us use scopes with our air rifles, but few have looked inside them. So, HAM presents this airgun scope teardown. Now you can see what’s inside a typical 4 x 32 scope, as is bundled with many attractively-priced air rifles.

Obviously, zoom magnification capability, adjustable objective (AO), illuminated reticles and other features make scopes more complex. This airgun scope teardown shows a scope at it’s simplest with a basic, fixed focus, fixed magnification model.

Above, we see the complete scope in pieces – er, well at least almost complete. There’s also 3 or 4 tiny screws that would have been hardly visible in the photograph. Also, for simplicity, we’ve shown only one of the turrets. Both elevation and windage turrets are the same.

The scope tube is a one-piece part that’s manufactured from Aluminum. The eyepiece assembly screws into one end (the left as seen here), the objective lens the other. It’s easy to see the locations of the turrets.

Airgun Scope Teardown

Here’s the mechanical part of the eyepiece assembly. It includes a locking ring so that the eyepiece lens can be rotated for sharpest focus on the reticle, then locked into place.

Airgun Scope Teardown

Next we see the optical parts of the scope. The erector tube contains the lenses that make the image look “right way up”. Without this, the image would be inverted if the scope had just objective and eyepiece lenses.

Although not visible in the photographs, the wire reticle (crosshairs) is located just inside the rear of the erector lens tube.

Airgun Scope Teardown

Below we have a closeup of one  dis-assembled turret and the erector tube spring.

Elevation and windage turrets are essentially no more than screws that push against the erector tube. By rotating the adjustment knob , the erector tube – containing the reticle – is displaced and thus the point of aim of the scope is moved up, down, left or right, as desired for sighting-in.

The turret adjustment knobs are provided with a simple “click” sub-assembly to graduate the movement. As the turrets move, their motion is opposed by the erector tube spring that pushes the erector tube back when the adjustment knob is unscrewed.

The turret body fits against the appropriate location in the scope’s tube body. The rubber washer is to prevent moisture entering the tube.

Airgun Scope Teardown

This airgun scope teardown illustrates one type of low cost 4 x 32 scope. Others will be similar but different.

Of course, the more highly specified and complex a scope becomes, the more parts it contains. But all airgun scopes operate in basically the same way.

NOTE. Don’t try taking your airgun scope apart. They’re almost impossible to reassemble without special tools and jigs!