How to Eliminate Glare While Shooting

There's more than one way to avoid blinding your dominant eye.

How to Eliminate Glare While Shooting
Photos by Lukas Lamb

After crawling into place, we adjusted our position as the sun started to rise behind the target. As every hunter knows, you never want to look into the sun. Instead, you want your prey to have that disadvantage. You want the quarry to squint if it looks in your direction.

As luck would have it, we can’t always have things go our way. Most places we hunt, be it the elk hunter in the Spanish Peaks of Montana, or the Marine Corps sniper in the mountains of Afghanistan, we cannot predict where our target will show its face every time. That means it’s time to discuss how to fight glare. We need to build a position, limit our movement, bring the scope to bear on our target. How many times have you peered through your scope to see glare so bad that you couldn’t see the target? You want to shoot, but the target is moving. It’s now or never. What do you do?

I have seen this scenario play out in combat and in the hunting landscape. On one trip, my hunting partner was having an extremely hard time. He was using my rifle (which probably wasn’t the best idea in the first place), but couldn’t get the image to clear because of a vicious glare. Once my hunting partner handed the rifle back, I was able to make the shot for a couple reasons. One, I was accustomed to how my rifle pointed. I could easily point and get close to where the target was at, but I was also wearing a ball cap. Its visor shaded my glasses. It wasn’t easy, but I had the right gear to aid in making a successful shot.

We have all heard the excuse “the sun was in my eyes,” and warned not to look directly at the sun. You may not have looked straight at the sun, but it was close enough that you felt like your retina was going to burst into flames. With a few tricks and changes to your shooting position, you should be able to eliminate enough glare to make a successful shot.


First, you could choose to only hunt at high noon, but we all know that isn’t the best time to be in the field looking for game. Second, you could hunt at night with a spotlight. I would be all for that, but it seems that it is now illegal in many areas of the civilized world. So, it appears these options won’t work. So, let’s move on to a few other ways and take glare out of the equation.


Sunshades

Many high-power scopes and expensive hunting optics come with a sunshade, usually a 3- or 4-inch tube that threads on to the end of a scope. At the very least, they are available as an aftermarket purchase. Sunshades work well until the sun drops low enough to light your objective lens. This is where extreme glare really comes to bear. So, have a sunshade, but be aware that you may need other anti-glare options.

Hat Bill

Fighting Glare
Twist the brim of a hat to prevent glare on a scope’s rear ocular lens. Many scopes offer a thread-on sunshade to guard the objective lens.

I wear a cap, or hat, almost all the time when hunting. They can keep wind and rain out of eyes, but can also be used to shade the objective lens when shooting or spotting game. On occasion, I have had to use one hand to shade my eyes and a baseball cap’s bill laid over the edge of the objective lens of the scope to eliminate glare.

Fighting Glare
While supporting the forend, a hat can substitute for a scope’s sun-shade in a pinch to eliminate glare on the objective lens.

Sniper Observer Team

If you are working as a member of a Sniper Observer Team, or simply hunting with a friend, the discussion of shading your front lens shouldn’t start when it’s needed. Have a plan. Get the non-­shooter to shade the objective lens and your eyes, as well. This will keep you from squinting and will make seeing the target a little easier.

If you are working in a tactical environment, you have to be more careful with the amount of movement. Of course, animals run away, but bad guys shoot back.


Use Terrain and Vegetation

Fighting Glare
Be aware of your surroundings and consider positioning yourself in the natural shade of your environment. Using shadows can also improve your concealment.

A few years ago, I was trying to take a picture of a one-eyed great grey owl in Montana. As I snapped the photos, every frame came back with a glare or blurred image. I kept stepping closer to the owl as I fired away with the small camera, finally stepping into the shadow of a large cedar tree. And that’s when the image of the owl became sharp and clear. When hunting, you can do the same thing. Lay in the shadows to take your shot. Not only will this eliminate the glare, it will make your position a whole lot harder to be spotted.

Man nor beast do not seem to search the shadows as much as they should. When setting up a sniper position, you can also use a semi loophole, shooting close by a tree from a defilade position. This helps with shadowing, screwing up the enemy’s depth perception, camouflages muzzle flash and helps to bounce your sound erratically around the battlefield, which can confuse the enemy. But let’s get back to fighting glare.

Cover Your Objective Lens

Fighting Glare
Though anti-reflection devices, such as the Tenebraex Killflash are available, snipers are taught to simply cut a slit in a scope cap.

Another trick to fighting glare is to partially cover your objective lens. You’d be surprised at how little of the lens needs to be exposed to get a crisp image. With many scopes you can have less than 25 percent of the lens exposed and not realize that there’s anything in your way. Many snipers have cut a slit in their scope cover to have the ease of seeing while eliminating a reflection off the lens that could be observed by enemy spotters. If you are a sniper, make this cut irregular to help hide your position. Straight lines do not exist in nature.


Polarized Glasses

I love polarized lenses in my sunglasses. They work well in many situations, and hunting is just one of them. I also like the fact I can see into water when bow fishing where many fish would otherwise be completely invisible to the human eye.

Fighting Glare
Polarized lenses feature a laminated filter that allows only vertically oriented light to pass through, which virtually eliminates glare.

You will also see through car windows a little easier with polarized lenses. If you’re in law enforcement, this includes fighting the glare you see if you have to look through your sights at the front windshield of a suspect’s vehicle. Polarized lenses also help with observation through house windows. It is not as noticeable as auto glass, but they help. I also like the benefit of not squinting as much and the elimination of headaches on bright days.

Get the Right Gear

Some scopes are designed from the ground up to fight glare. After seeing the inside of a cutaway Leupold scope, I was pretty sure they would be the only ones I would ever use again in a tactical situation. Like some scopes, Leupold incorporates serrations on the inside of their scope’s tube to catch glare. The serrations are cut so that if light enters from the front of the scope, there is almost no chance that light can be reflected from the inside of the scope towards the eye.

This isn’t specific to tactical scopes. Every scope in Leupold’s line is designed to fight glare. They also coat the edges of their lenses with dark material to eliminate glare at the edges of the lens. This is important because many of their scopes have more than 10 lenses. The coating keeps glare to a minimum, unless you are looking directly into the sun.

Next time you head into the field and need something way to fight glare, think back to this column and pick your poison. Get the best scope you can afford and find positions in the field to help you make the perfect shot. 

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

Beretta

Beretta's New 92X

The 92X Performance model from Beretta was created to satisfy two requirements: Speed and accuracy. Beretta's new competition pistol is uncompromising and aims for top performance.

Armscor Semi-Auto Shotguns

Armscor Semi-Auto Shotguns

We look at the new shotguns from Armscor - the VR80 and the brand new bullpup VRBP100.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Crossbreed's new The Reckoning holster is a simple leather-Kydex combination with multiple points of retention adjustment and clip options. Accessories

Crossbreed's The Reckoning Holster

Eric R. Poole - May 13, 2019

Crossbreed's new The Reckoning holster is a simple leather-Kydex combination with multiple...

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by examining the requirement around which Hornady designed the .300 PRC; the requirement came from the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM). Rifle

.300 PRC Review

Tom Beckstrand - March 12, 2019

The one glaring weakness in the .30-­caliber magnum cartridge lineup is best highlighted by...

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a zeroed rifle scope. Here's how to sight in your rifle scope setup in five quick-and-easy steps. How-To

How to Sight In a Rifle Scope in 5 Steps

Craig Boddington - June 04, 2018

Whether you're going hunting or to the range, hitting your target is more fun when you have a...

Don't underestimate the fun factor. Shotguns

Review: Remington V3 TAC-13

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 08, 2019

Don't underestimate the fun factor.

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

Black powder and muzzleloader shooting can open up hunting opportunities that wouldn't otherwise be available. If you hunt with muzzleloaders, you will quickly learn the value of accurate range estimation, stalking and making a good shot. How-To

Black Powder and Muzzleloader Shooting Basics

Dave Emary - March 10, 2020

Black powder and muzzleloader shooting can open up hunting opportunities that wouldn't...

In this “Pros vs. Joes” segment, the “Joe” is Guns & Ammo TV's Darin Narlock who has to face an actual world champion: 16-time Gold Medalist and Taurus Pro-Shooter Jessie Harrison. Together they compete in a .22LR shootout using the Taurus TX22 and a Rossi RS22 semiauto rifle in a steel challenge featuring Revolution Targets Portable Plate Racks and Portable Plates. How-To

Guns & Ammo TV: .22 Rimfire Challenge

Guns & Ammo Staff - June 24, 2020

In this “Pros vs. Joes” segment, the “Joe” is Guns & Ammo TV's Darin Narlock who has to face...

Jeremy Stafford explains why drop leg holsters are less than optimal for today's law enforcement officer, soldier, sailor, Marine, and others. Tactical

Drop Holster Drawbacks

Jeremy Stafford - March 16, 2020

Jeremy Stafford explains why drop leg holsters are less than optimal for today's law...

Any shooter that takes the time to remove parallax will likely see slightly smaller groups because he's successfully eliminated one more variable from the shooting equation. How-To

How to Eliminate Parallax in a Riflescope

Tom Beckstrand - May 13, 2020

Any shooter that takes the time to remove parallax will likely see slightly smaller groups...

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now