If you are planning to get a scope for your rifle or you already have a scope and you are wondering how far should a scope be from your eye while using. Either way, you are at the right place. This guide will help you find exactly what you are looking for.
Eye relief is something very important to be considered when buying a rifle scope.
What is Eye Relief?
The distance of the eye and the scope eyepiece is decided by eye relief. Eye relief is the distance that you need to achieve and hold by your shooting eye from the scope eyepiece, in order to get the full image being produced by the rifle scope.
What does “Short Eye Relief” mean?
A short eye relief would mean your eye needs to be closer and a large eye relief would mean your eye needs to be farther. If you’re too close than the proper eye relief, the image becomes blurry; if you’re too far, it becomes a tiny object in the center of the scope lens. A health hazard related to eye relief is that if your eye gets closer than the proper level, a rifle or firearm with greater recoil could make the scope slide back explosively when its shot, resulting in an injury to the shooter’s eye.
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How to Measure Eye Relief?
Eye relief is measured in inches or millimeters, and it’s mostly found in product descriptions and/or packages, unlike power and objective diameters and any other essential information found on the scope itself. A common low power rifle scope’s eye relief distance is 4 inches or 101.6 mm, which means that loss of image clarity will occur if one moves in closer or farther from it. The distance can vary between different brands and models of scopes. In general, more eye relief is considered to be better in scopes. For example, magnum rifles have large recoils and therefore, require more eye relief for safe shooting.
Keeping in mind the need and requirement of the shooter, eye reliefs vary from scope to scope. For instance, spotting scopes have short eye relief; their eye reliefs are always precise and close. This is due to the fact that they are only used for spotting and not for actually shooting, so short eye relief doesn’t cause trouble for the shooter.
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As mentioned above, the distance of the eye and the scope eyepiece depends on the eye relief given by the product creator. However, the practical execution isn’t as simple as said. One cannot simply pre-decide an eye relief distance for a rifle scope. Before mounting a scope, you need to check its different models for different rifles, as the shoulder support for various stocks changes.
Once you decide your rifle and scope and have checked all possible bracing positions, only then you will know the eye relief for your rifle scope eyepiece. It is always recommended to loosely attach the scope to the rifle and check all positions for maximum scope efficiency and also to ensure proper usage of the scope. Adjustments can also be made to the scope rings while mounting to help achieve the required optimum eye relief because once the scope is securely attached, there is no way to change it.
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