What Is Eye Relief?

What Is Eye Relief_

Are you familiar with eye relief? When you are buying a new rifle scope, make sure you understand what eye relief is and why it’s important.

When looking for a new rifle scope, you will come across a range of different terms and specifications that are meant to help you learn more about what the rifle scope can offer. Product information for scopes will often include information on the level of magnification the scope provides, the size of the objective lens, the housing, the reticle, and similar specs. It will also likely include the amount of eye relief that the scope offers.

However, this tends to be one of the elements that people look at last and often don’t understand. Many don’t think that the eye relief is important at all, so they ignore it when they are looking at the specifications of a scope. However, it might be more important than you realize.

Below, we will be delving deeper into eye relief, so you have a firm understanding of what it is and why it could be important. We will also provide you with some great options for rifle scopes that offer excellent eye relief, along with other excellent features.

Understanding Eye Relief

The term eye relief is the distance from the rear lens that your eye needs to see what’s happening through the scope. The amount of eye relief will vary based on the scope. The reason that the eye relief is so important is that you need to have a good image of what’s happening through the scope to take your shot without getting your eye too close.

If you have your eye right up on the scope when you fire, it will cause an injury. The recoil from the rifle will push it backward, including the scope. When your eye is too close, the scope will hit it. This could cause a nasty cut or worse.

Since high-powered scopes today are used on such a range of rifles, including high-caliber rifles with a lot of recoil, the eye relief is extremely important. With that added recoil, it means that unless there is a substantial amount of eye relief, an injury is likely to happen for those who get too close to the scope when shooting.

Fortunately, most of the manufacturers today understand the importance of eye relief and they are ensuring that their scopes are safer to use. Still, when you are looking at scopes, make sure that you check the eye relief it provides. Many of the top manufacturers, such as Feyachi, have eye relief that’s well over 3.5”, which used to be a standard for many scopes.

This ensures that shooters are safer when they are lining up their shots and firing. However, it is important to remember that when the eye relief distance is increased, it will reduce the field of view. With today’s scopes, though, you will generally still be able to fully see your target and part of the surroundings. If not, you could always slightly reduce the magnification if needed.

Adjusting Your Eye Relief

Remember, you want to be able to have a comfortable position when you are shooting, and you want to be sure that you have a full field of view when looking through the scope, even though we know that the FOV will be reduced somewhat. While manufacturers typically provide optimal eye relief with the scopes they offer, there might still be a need for adjustments.

Some shooters might find that the eye relief is not ideal for them, and they will want to make a few changes, while still ensuring they have plenty of distance between their eye and the scope. Fortunately, you will find that making the adjustments is simple, and should not take up too much time. Let’s look at what you need to do.

Making the Eye Relief Adjustments

Here are the steps you will want to take while adjusting the eye relief.

  • First, you will want to make sure that you loosen the scope rings slightly so that it will be able to move and slide easily while you are making adjustments.
  • Make sure you then mount the rifle in a steady and stable location, such as a table, so it won’t move. Place it in a location where you will have a large image that will fill the entire lens when you look through it.
  • Bring the rifle to your shoulder with your eyes closed and get into what is your typical shooting position. Make sure that you keep your eyes closed, so you get your body comfortable and you do not inadvertently get into a position that provides you with your ideal eye relief.
  • Then, you can look through the scope and move it until you can see the entire field of view with your preferred shooting position.
  • Repeat until you get the best position possible for your comfort and your eye relief.
  • Level the scope and tighten the rings.

Once you have done that, you will want to zero the scope, and you should then be ready to shoot. You will have proper eye relief, you will be in a comfortable position when you shoot, and your shots should be on target.

An Important Safety Tip

Whether you need to make adjustments to the eye relief or not, you will always want to be careful when you are shooting. Not only do you need to consider all of the essential firearms safety rules when you are shooting, but you still need to be careful of where you are putting your face when you are shooting.

For many newer shooters, especially those who are hunting and finally see their quarry in the distance, it can be exciting. You want to line up a shot and fire before the prey moves into that copse of trees or over the hill. However, you shouldn’t let your excitement cause you to get into an improper shooting position.

Those who are excited might move their face too close to the scope without realizing it. When they fire, the recoil is going to rapidly push that scope back into their eye with a substantial amount of force. Always take some breaths and make sure that you are situated properly behind the rifle and that you have plenty of room between your eye and the scope.

The last thing you need is to have a serious injury when you are deep in the woods on a hunt. Maintaining composure and being aware of your surroundings, as well as how you are holding the rifle help to minimize these types of risks.

High-Quality Rifle Scopes with Excellent Eye Relief to Consider

If you are searching for a great rifle scope that can provide a large amount of eye relief, while still providing quality optics and excellent field of view, check out the options below. We’ve collected four high-quality rifle scopes that could be an ideal solution for you. In addition to the eye relief, we’ve also included other pertinent information about the scopes, so you can make a sound purchasing decision.

Feyachi Falcon 2-7×32 Long Eye Relief Rifle Scope

Feyachi is a popular name in rifle scopes, and you will find that there are plenty of great features with this model. It features variable zoom from 2x to 7x with a 32 mm objective lens. The second plane rifle scope has excellent eye relief from 4.33” – 3.93”, providing plenty of room and a great sight picture.

The black matte rifle scope has a fast-focus eyepiece that can provide fast reticle focusing, so you can get on target quickly. The Dead-Hold BDC reticle makes holdover and windage corrections simple, which is helpful when you are shooting at varying ranges.

The scope has a multicoated optical system to provide brightness in the images and excellent light transmission even at dawn and dusk. The positive-click turret system is easy to use, as well.

The one-piece tube is made from aircraft-grade aluminum that is lightweight and durable. It is also shockproof, and nitrogen filled for waterproofing and fog-proofing. The rifle scope also includes two lens covers, a cleaning cloth, and a lifetime product warranty.

Feyachi Falcon 3-9×40 Rifle Scope

For those who like what Feyachi offers, but who may need to have higher magnification, this rifle scope from the Falcon line could be a nice choice. You will find that the other features, including the build quality, are the same for this model. For example, the scope also features eye relief from 4.33” – 3.93”, along with a Dead-Hold BDC reticle to provide you with accurate shots. It also has 3x to 9x magnification and a 40 mm objective lens.

It also features a fast-focus eyepiece, making it easy to focus the reticle and to get on target quickly. The scope has been made using aircraft-grade aluminum that is light and durable enough to withstand your most rigorous hunts. It is shockproof, fog-proof, and waterproof, and it has scratch-resistant lenses.

The turret system used on the scope is high quality, providing positive-click adjustments that you can make by hand to help you zero faster. The build quality ensures that you can maintain the zero on the rifle even when dealing with heavy recoil.

The multi-coated lenses ensure excellent light transmission, so you can get a clear and bright picture no matter the time of day you are shooting, even at dusk and dawn. The scope includes a cleaning cloth and two lens covers, as well as the Feyachi lifetime warranty.

Hi-Lux Optics LER27X32BDC Long Eye Relief Rifle Scope

 Hi-Lux Optics offers the LER27X32BDC model, which can provide you with 2x to 7x magnification with a 32 mm objective lens.

One of the great features of the scope is the extended eye relief that it can offer. Due to the size and the design, it can provide a full view of the target when places between 8” and 14” from the shooter’s eye. The distance will depend on the magnification setting.

The scope works exceptionally well when it is placed on lever-action rifles with a top ejection, as well as scout rifles and muzzleloaders that have a side hammerlock that might make it difficult to mount a scope in the normal location.

The scope features a .308 BDC reticle, and the housing is made from lightweight but durable aluminum. It should be tough enough to take with you on any hunt that you might be planning. Those who are looking for extremely long eye relief that still maintains an excellent picture may want to check out this model.

UTG 2-7×44 Long Eye Relief Scout Rifle Scope

 Created with scout rifles in mind, this UTG rifle scope provides ample eye relief that should please any shooter. The eye relief for the scope is from 11” to 9.5”, while still ensuring an excellent sight picture. You will find 2x to 7x magnification, which is excellent for scout rifles, along with a 44 mm objective lens.

The 30 mm one-piece tube provides excellent light transmission, and you will be happy with just how durable the housing is with this scope. The scope has been completely sealed and nitrogen-filled to protect from fogging, rain, and shocks. It features a 6 MIL-dot tactical range estimating etched glass reticle, as well.

The turret system is easy to use and provides windage, elevation, and a side adjustment for parallax. The emerald coated lenses help to improve light transmission for a clear and bright picture. You will also appreciate the sunshade that will make it easier to see through the scope on sunny days.

Conclusion: Eye Relief is Always Important

Now that you have a better understanding of eye relief, and you know why it is so important when you are choosing your rifle scope, it should be easier for you to make your decision on a purchase. Make sure that the eye relief is always something you check, along with all of the other factors in choosing a scope, to ensure you are getting the right one.

Check out the options that we’ve included for rifle scopes above to see if one of them might be a good solution for your hunting needs. Get a great scope and have a successful hunt.