Eye Relief in Scopes

Eye Relief in Scopes

The choice of the type, model, and caliber of the weapon depends on the intended game and the method of hunting. For most common ranges, a mechanical scope is sufficient for many hunters. To speed up aiming at small distances, where people often hunt with shot, choose a scope.

Eye Relief in Scopes

For hunting at medium and long distances, for small animals, and sports target shooting for weapons, an optical scope is installed in the rifled weapons. Regardless of the skill of the hunter and luck, this will exaggerate the chances of an accurate shot.

Eye Relief in Scopes

The eye relief scope plays a significant role here. It’s the distance between your eye and the scope’s eyepiece, at which the entire field of view provided by the scope is visible.


Exit pupil size — geometric value, the ratio of the scope lens diameter to its magnification. This is the diameter of the light beam coming out of the eyepiece. The ideal variant is when the size approaches the diameter of the eye’s pupil, usually 6-7 mm. In theory, the larger, the brighter the scope image.

Eye Relief in Scopes

Eye relief is an important characteristic when purchasing and using a gun. It depends on the oscilloscope and should be determined individually by each person:

  • In case of a poorly adjusted parameter, an injury may result.
  • In a poorly tuned airlift, the projected image will be fuzzy around the edges, or you will only see a small array of the entire picture.


Today in hunting, there is one of the most popular optical scopes — ‘3×9. Depending on the magnification, the eye relief will change accordingly.

Eye Relief in Scopes

In such a scope, the exit pupil distance will be much broader. This is only relevant if the hunter does not magnify the image with 6x amplification. The physics of the equipment is simple and understandable to everyone: the more a person increases the scope, the shorter the eye relief will be.


The image formed by the eyepiece that sees the eye in the focal plane of the eyepiece is called eye relief. It is essential that this image is as complete (no blackout around the edges) and sharp as possible to provide the broadest possible view of the target without distortion. Distance and diameter — concepts that characterize eye relief.

Eye Relief in Scopes

When installing the scope eye relief on your hunting rifle, it is essential to determine the natural position of the weapon in which it will be applied during the hunt. This prevents incorrect eye relief measurements and allows you to choose the optimal magnification. Thus, eye relief is one of those parameters that make any weapon personalized.

Light Transmission

This may not be an obvious fact in the sights world, but scopes don’t collect light. They rather let it through. The level of light transmission can often depend on the quality and price of the scope:

  • Numerous scopes have a 90% range.
  • Incredibly high-quality scopes — 95%.
  • Professional tools — 97-98%.


Light transmittance affects eye relief. For example, it allows you to customize it according to individual needs to not depend on the circumstances. It also gives better visibility at dusk and night.


This question is confusing to many hunters. However, things are not as tricky as they seem! A few years ago, you could still go to the gun store, get your high standard 3.5-inch eye relief, grab your rifle and go hunting that day.

Eye Relief in Scopes

However, the industry is developing, and hunting is popularized. Numerous weapons and scope eye relief appear on the market every day. All of these factors contributed to eye relief clearance as it is defined differently for each shotgun.

Given the new standards and innovations, the old standard will no longer match the contemporary weapon models. Therefore, experts believe it is best to raise the industry standard for exit pupil removal to at least five inches. This will make the options more convenient for many hunting rifles.

Short Eye Relief

What is short eye relief? There are different opinions:

  • Experts generally accept that this is anything less than 0.5 inches. If the user chooses this parameter, then the scope will almost clog the hunter’s eye socket.
  • Some hunters are confident that eye relief under 5 inches will be short.

Considering these indicators, it can be concluded that the indicators are individual for each person. To some, one parameter will seem long; to others — short.

Eye Relief in Scopes

Most hunters do not run into difficulties with the short eye relief. However, in this case, it is important to mention people with poor eyesight. They can wear glasses and contact lenses, which will change their field of vision. For them, problems with a short eye relief may be relevant. Therefore, it is better to pay attention to the bigger option.

It is important to note that short eye relief has the following advantages:

  • excellent magnification level;
  • more useful mesh for longer distances;
  • better balance;
  • a clear picture of what is happening in front of the hunter.

Long Eye Relief

A huge exit pupil distance allows you to create scopes with high magnification, a long rifle scope eye relief, making it possible to fire from large-caliber weapons with increased recoil.

Long eye relief is often the best option for massive weapons. However, this option is also relevant for handguns.

Eye Relief in Scopes

For rifles, 4.5 inches is considered a long eye relief. This is often the most recommended setting. It is considered to be the average for hunting rifle scopes.

Hunters with these parameters need to follow some recommendations. For example, a hunter needs to ensure that his eyes are on a straight line of eye relief. Users forget about this, but this is fraught with consequences: you can lose clarity of vision. The amount of transmitted light will be much lower.

The advantages of considerable eye relief in scopes:

  • well suited for low magnification weapons;
  • compatible with large cartridges;
  • guarantees fast recharge;
  • the scope is easy to install.

Determining Eye Relief

To understand how to measure eye relief for a scope, it is best to test it yourself. These indicators are very individual. The only thing that matters — hunters must have a clear image with clear lines.

It is generally accepted that, depending on the hunter’s age, the eye expands on average to 5 mm when light hits it. This leads to the idea that hunting enthusiasts often have a problem — the halo that appears when there is not enough light around. To see as clearly as possible, it is essential to know the features of your eyes and choose an eye relief with suitable parameters.


Eye relief is one of the most important parameters when choosing a scope. This characteristic plays an essential role in the physical health of a person. The accuracy of shooting and the sight of the hunter will depend on the correctly tuned eye relief. This distance affects how the shooter will be comfortable working with his weapon and the likelihood of injury.

The shooter should not reach or move away from the optics. What is it fraught with? Narrowing of the linear field of view, displacement of the diameter of the exit pupil, and as a result, a missed shot.

Eye Relief in Scopes

Many hunters are more concerned with weapon selection. They overlook figuring out the correct eye relief. Therefore, in order not to complicate the hunting for yourself, you should give preference to eye relief of at least 3.5 inches.

Eye Relief in Scopes
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