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Eye-Relief - How much is too much? #2919424 03/28/09
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GunReader Offline OP
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I've had a question floating around various forums that seems to remain unresolved on one point: When is eye-relief too much?

I have very little experience with scoped rifles or maybe I wouldn't have to ask this. (I shoot competition with irons and hobby around with milsurps.)

If a scope claims an eye-relief of 4" to 4.5", what happens if it is mounted three inches from where your eye lines up when the gun is held in a natural position? Does this make it hard to pick up the image? If so, is it a little difficult but insignificant or pretty darned annoying?

My problem is that I've about decided on a Leupold VX-I or FX-1 to mount on a Remington Model Five (Zastava, Charles Daly, etc.) based on the sleek form and compact dimensions of the Leupold. But it has the longest eye-relief listed of any of the scopes I have compared it to, and I think the Model Five may be just "compact" enough that I'm not going to be able to mount the scope 4" ahead of my eye.

Should I reconsider my choice of one of the Leupolds and look further for a pleasing scope with a shorter eye-relief?


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Re: Eye-Relief - How much is too much? [Re: GunReader] #2919464 03/28/09
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fishdog52 Offline
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Eye relief varies with scope. Most good centerfire rifles use something around 4 inches, a few to 5. the Scout scopes are 2 or 3 time further out. Some of the better scope offer some flexibility with this window. Most variable scopes also vary the eye relief, less as you dial up the power. Some of the new Nikon Monarchs claim to have a fixed eye relief over the range of the scope, a nice feature.
About the time you get pick up one of this nifty half moon scars in your eyebrow, you begin to appreciate good (proper) eye relief. on a rimfire, this is not an issue.
You do want to mount the scope with eye relief in the proper eye relief range when you pull up the rifle for expediency, the best picture possible, and to avoid the infamous half moon scar.
Leupold makes some very nice rimfire scopes you should look at before putting your money down. I like Leupolds, but there are other good ones out there.
My 2 cents worth for the evening. Good shooting!


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Re: Eye-Relief - How much is too much? [Re: fishdog52] #2919678 03/28/09
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Huntz Offline
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That is one thing nice about Leupold.While they say their eye releif is say 4 inches,you actually have about an inch either side of that.They are not as criticall as say a Schmidt and Bender where if you are a little too far forward or in back of,you lose everything.But you give up some of the fine resolution in doing that.I would say get the Leupold and be happy!!!!


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Re: Eye-Relief - How much is too much? [Re: Huntz] #2919737 03/28/09
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Mule Deer Offline
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One principle of scope optics is the longer the eye relief, the more flexible it is.

While 4" of eye relief may be optimum in a certain scope, you wil also be able to place your eye 3.5" or 4.5" behind the scope and easily pick up the entire field of view, or close to it. With 3" of eye relief there is much less flexbility.

The downside is that longer eye relief results in a smaller field of view, everything else being equal. This is why a "Scout" scope has a very tiny field of view.

Magnification, of course, also has an effect on FOV, as does the diameter of the ocular (rear) lens.


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Re: Eye-Relief - How much is too much? [Re: GunReader] #2921059 03/29/09
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If you put your eye three inches from the ocular of a rifle scope with a 4.5-5 inch eye relief, you will see nothing. Your eye has to fall inside what's known as the eye box of that scope to see the image. Eye box refers to the leeway, fore and aft you have in placing your head on the rifle stock.
One of the most important things in choosing a scope is the question as to how well you can position it so that you place your head inside the scope's eye box. I've learned, for instance, that I can use only about 4.5 inches or eye relief with my build ( long neck) and the dimensions of the stocks on my rifle. I do insist, however, in using such scopes. The dead minimum that I will use is about 3.5 inches. Even then, it must have lots of leeway in head position or I'll look for something else.
While this may sound like alot of trouble, I've found that it is well worth it. Especially if you ever need to shoot in a hurry at a fast moving animal. It is also important if you shoot from different positions, and hunt in a wide range of temperatures.

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Re: Eye-Relief - How much is too much? [Re: Eremicus] #2922683 03/29/09
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1B Offline
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Do NOT rely on the manufacturers' claims for eye relief. Some --lots? -- of them lie.

MD first made this fix clear to me in his book on scopes.

Measure eye relief with a small flashlight, ruler, amd a 3x5 card before buying. Use the light at the rear of the scope, the 3x5 card at the front, and, moving the card away, measure the distance from the front to that point on the 3x5 card where the intense light pattern narrows and begins to expand again. That is your eye relief. (No other fixes -- extension rings etc -- can change what is built into the optics.) On variables, check at low and max X, just so you know.

1B


Re: Eye-Relief - How much is too much? [Re: 1B] #2924718 03/30/09
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djs Offline
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To me, it is not how much is too much, but what is comfortable. I've tried the "Scout" scope concept and have difficulty in aligning my eye with the scope - it takes too long to see the target.

I prefer conventional scopes eith 3.5 to 4 inches of eye relief.

Re: Eye-Relief - How much is too much? [Re: djs] #2925484 03/30/09
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GunReader Offline OP
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Thanks to all for many useful comments.

I'm too busy preparing tax returns to expand my comments right now, but there have been some newly understood points to ponder provided here.

Thanks!



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Re: Eye-Relief - How much is too much? [Re: 1B] #2931284 04/02/09
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deersmeller Offline
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Originally Posted by 1B
Do NOT rely on the manufacturers' claims for eye relief. Some --lots? -- of them lie.

MD first made this fix clear to me in his book on scopes.

Measure eye relief with a small flashlight, ruler, amd a 3x5 card before buying. Use the light at the rear of the scope, the 3x5 card at the front, and, moving the card away, measure the distance from the front to that point on the 3x5 card where the intense light pattern narrows and begins to expand again. That is your eye relief. (No other fixes -- extension rings etc -- can change what is built into the optics.) On variables, check at low and max X, just so you know. ...


The light must be shined on the front side and the 3x5 card must be moved away from the rear lens.


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