What is eye relief on a scope: All you need to know

Eye relief is the distance between your eyes and the rifle scope. When you pull your rifle’s trigger, it kickbacks to you. If your eyes are too close to the scope, then there is a great chance to become injured by the rifle recoil. 

To avoid such unwanted events, you must know how to protect your eyes and face by keeping proper distance and as well as hitting your target. Hard-kicking rifles need a bit more space than low kicking rifles to recoil.

So, it’s essential to get to know about all the details about eye relief and kickback.

What is eye relief? 

What is eye relief

Eye relief is the standard distance between your scope’s ocular lens and your eyes. Every rifle kickback towards the shooter’s body. If the shooters do not maintain the proper eye relief, then they might end up with a reddish face or punched eyes.

Taking proper eye relief is also essential for hitting the target perfectly. If your eyes are too much away from the scope, you might miss your target. The standard eye relief is 3.5 inches to 4 inches.

Why is eye relief important?

Why is eye relief important

Eye relief is important for several reasons, including hitting the target efficiently and keeping yourself safe from recoil. Imagine you’re waiting hours to find your target while hunting and when you find one, you missed your bullet because of incorrect eye relief! I can imagine that would be a great disaster for you. 

So, make sure you’re correcting your eye relief before pulling the trigger. Correct eye relief will eliminate fuzzy view and will improve the view with proper light.

Moreover, the perfect eye relief will save you from kickback injuries that are often seen to newbies. 

How much eye relief do I need?

How much eye relief do you need

You would need 3.5 inches eye relief for maximum rifles. However, it entirely depends on the recoil space of rifles. If your rifle’s kickback range is low or medium, then you should go with the 3.5 inches one.

If your rifles have a hard kickback, then you should use a scope with 4-inch eye relief. Though there are as high as 6 inches, long eye relief is available in the market.

Hence, Average hunter and shooter uses not more than 4 inches of eye relief. So, choose the eye relief according to your rifle’s recoil and your comfort.

Standard eye relief: Foremost info before getting the rifle in position

Standard eye relief

Standard eye relief for a rifle scope is considered as 3.5 inches to 4 inches. However, as I mentioned earlier, it depends on the recoil range of your rifle. Most of the cases, it is enough to have a scope with 4 inches eye relief even with a high range of recoil.

Though, some experts recommend not to take the huge eye relief when your rifle’s recoil is not too high. It will help you to aim the target perfectly and get the bright picture of your object. Therefore, you will get the top output with your rifle scope.

Long eye relief : Specially in hunting

Long eye relief

Eye relief more than 5 inches is considered as long eye relief. Some people feel more comfortable with long eye relief as it gives a wide field view as well as a clear object image.

Moreover, it allows aiming the object real quick that is sometimes needed while hunting. Alongside, a more relaxed shooting position is ensured by long eye relief. Despite all the benefits, it also has some drawbacks.

Mounting a long eye relief requires an extended mounting rail that might be annoying for newbies. Lastly, the little magnification and wider view might lead you to miss the object.

Practical Application : Rifle Scope

Enhancing the accuracy wasn’t easy as now it is. You can now easily give the best shot with your rifle nowadays with the proper mounting of scopes. Rifle scopes are now considered as a mandatory equipment while hunting.

A good rifle scope makes your hunting easy and pleasurable. It is rare to miss a target with a perfectly mounted scope. So, what are you waiting for? Go get a rifle scope now and haunt birds, deers, rabbits or whatever you want. 

Source: https://www.wikihow.com/Use-a-Rifle-Scope 

Rifle scope eye relief chart:

Rifle scope eye relief chart

Here I am giving you the chart for rifle scope eye relief. You will see different eye relief for different brands. Most of them stay between 3.5 inches to 4 inches. And widely it is considered as the standard eye relief range.

What is eye relief on a telescope?

The distance between the eyepiece and the eyes is called telescope eye relief. Eye relief is an important part of rifle scope to keep yourself injury free as well as for accuracy. Unlike rifle scope, the telescope eye relief is essential to view the stars accurately. 

What is eye relief on a spotting scope?

Usually spotting scope doesn’t need longer eye relief. Most of the users look by as near as possible of the spotting scope’s eyepiece. Hence, eyeglass wearers need to maintain a certain distance. It is called eye relief on a spotting scope. Basically eye relief of the spotting scope is between 12 to 14 mm. 

How to measure eye relief for a scope?

Eye relief is the distance range between your eyes and your scope’s ocular lens. The distance could be measured by a simple measuring gauge.

Scope eye relief extender: 

There are lots of brands that offer eye relief extender for your convenience. It helps to protect your face and eyes from getting injured by recoil from a rifle. The extender can extend your eye relief between 2 inches to 5 inches. 

What is a good eye relief for a rifle scope?

3.5 to 4 inches is the ideal eye relief for a rifle scope. Though it depends on and varies person to person. 

How to increase eye relief on a scope?

You could easily increase your scope’s eye relief with a simple method. Just loosen your scope’s ring and move it forward according to your desired eye relief. And then tighten the rings with a screwdriver.

Additionally, if you don’t want to go through this process, you can simply buy an extender. That will do your job within seconds!

Scope eye relief problems

Eye relief is the prime concern for a shooter to accurately shoot the target. If the scope doesn’t mount with proper eye relief then it is obvious that you’re gonna miss most of your shots. Because incorrect eye relief results in a fuzzy and distorted object view. 

Constant eye relief scope

Back a decade ago, people needed to adjust their eye relief by moving their heads forward and/or backward. Nowadays almost all rifle scopes come with constant eye relief. So that you can easily adjust your eye relief like in ancient days. Make sure your scope has constant eye relief for additional advantages. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good scope eye relief?

A scope with 3.5” to 4” eye relief is a good scope eye relief. However, some shooters may find comfort with a long eye relief such as 5’’ to 6’’. Basically, it depends on the uses and the person’s comfort.

Can you adjust eye relief on a scope?

Yes, definitely. You can easily adjust eye relief on scope with some simple steps. First, you have loosen the rings then move forward or backward depending on your comfort zone. Then simply tighten both rings.

How is eye relief measured?

Eye relief measurement is provided by the manufacturers. Yet, you can measure it yourself by a gauge meter. Get in the prone position and measure the distance between your eyes and the ocular lens of the scope. You will find the measurement yourself.

What is the best long eye relief scope?

Here is the list for the best eye relief scope.
– Burris Scout 2-7X32
– Vortex Crossfire II Scout 2-7X32 
– Leupold FX-II Scout IER 2.5X28 
– Leapers UTG Accushot 2-7X44

Does Eye Relief change with magnification?

Eye relief changes with magnification on rifle scopes. The shorter eye relief has greater magnification. On the contrary, If your eye relief is longer then you will get a comparatively lesser magnification.

How far should a rifle scope be from your eye?

A rifle scope should be 4” away from the eye. It is the standard length for keeping yourself safe from the rifle’s recoil and shooting the target effortlessly. However, you can be closer as much as 3 inches but not lesser than that. Also, you can go backward for 6-7 inches for longer eye relief depending on your target and comfort. 

Should you wear glasses when using a rifle scope?

It depends on yourself. You could use glasses or not. Though there are some arguments about wearing glasses such as it creates parallax and apparent reticle position. But this is not true. You can wear one or not, it doesn’t make any difference.

Is more eye relief better?

Longer eye relief is better when you need wide-field view and more light on your object. Basically, longer eye relief is used in hunting and in a comparatively shorter distances. Longer eye relief causes lesser magnification than shorter eye relief.


Knowing details about eye relief is the foremost part before you shoot your first bullet. I have gone through every detail possible to make you understand every tiny portion of it.

Keep a good eye relief and keep yourself safe from rifle recoil while precisely shooting toward your target. Good luck with your shooting and hunting!


My first deer at the age of 45 I joined the deer hunting fraternity a little late, but the desire to hunt has always been there. I love hunting, so I often have to deal with hunting equipment.