adjusting eye relief of a scope

Adjusting Eye Relief of a Scope- 8 Step by Step Guide

Many times, shooting enthusiasts encounter problems when they are trying to get access to the full field of view through their riflescopes. This can be quite daunting considering that they had taken their time to choose a quality riflescope that would bring the world closer. It goes without saying that at this point there is the need to study and research on adjusting the eye relief of a scope. 

Therefore, proper calibration of any rifle scope will give the best eye relief.

Major Steps of Adjusting Eye Relief on a Scope

adjusting eye relief of a scope

In order to get the correct eye relief,

Step 1

Make sure that the riflescope is loosely tightened on the rings. This will make it easy for you to make the adjustments.

Step 2

Place the rifle on a platform whose stability can be relied on. This will make it easier for you to have a comfortable position that would allow you to shoot effectively.

Step 3

Hold your rifle the way you are used to when you are shooting.

Step 4

Ensure it is as far forward from you as possible. When doing this, you should not be looking through the scope.

Step 5

Once you are sure of the stability of the mounting hardware, ensure the shooting position you have chosen is comfortable.

Step 6

adjusting eye relief of a scopeBring the scope towards your eyes while looking through it. This should not be hurried.

Step 7

When you attain the full field of view, stop moving it and ensure it remains in that position. If the elevation dial is not already at the top, rotate the scope to bring it on top. There should be an alignment of both the vertical reticule and the axis of your rifle.

Step 8

adjusting eye relief of a scope

The loose ring screws should then be tightened. You should not be in a hurry to adjust the eye relief if you want the best results. Take your time to ensure everything is done correctly.   Besides this, the scope should never be mounted too close to the eyes.

Recoil from the high-caliber cartridge would cause far more injury to your eyes in such instances than you could ever think. It should, therefore, be avoided at all costs. A full field of view can still be attained without putting your face and eyes at risk.

You should also note that the magnification of a rifle scope affects its eye relief. Here, when the magnification is increased, less eye relief is obtained. This is for the reason that more magnification compromises the field of view.

Unknown to some, eye relief in some cases is the culprit to such bad experiences with their scopes. When a scope has inadequate eye relief, the functionality of the riflescope gets lost. This means you have to put your plans on hold and find out where the problem lies.

Your rifle scope is as good as it came but the eye relief needs some attention to allow you to get clear pictures that are not clipped. This matters a lot even if you buy the best spotting scope under $200.

This guide clearly explains the details concerning eye relief of a scope and gives details on adjusting eye relief of a scope.

What is  Scope Eye Relief? 

adjusting eye relief of a scope

Now, eye relief is known to be the distance that is required for you to be able to hold your eyes behind the ocular lens of your riflescope, therefore, allowing you to get access to unobstructed pictures of the full field of view.

If you get too close to the lens, you will find that the images become blurry around the edges. This is not what you would expect a great rifle scope to deliver. On the other hand, when you are too far away from the lens, the images become quite small. There is a need, therefore, to properly calibrate the eye relief of a scope.

Sufficient eye relief is quite imperative and therefore it should never be overlooked. In fact, sufficient eye relief should top your priority list when you go shopping for a great rifle scope. You should steer away from the riflescopes available on the market whose eye relief is insufficient.

Using such riflescopes can leave you with severe migraines due to strains as you try to get a better view of the clipped images attained. In addition, when a shot is taken using the high-caliber cartridge, a spring back is experienced and this can cause injury to your eyes.

You want to have the best experiences with your rifle scope whichever way you are using it. Anything that would cause injury or eye problems should, therefore, be rectified. Adequate eye relief is therefore vital in all aspects.

The standard eye relief holds to 3 ½ inches. Such eye relief is great since it helps improve the overall focus on the images obtained and therefore bad shots are done away with. Besides, no matter the bullet you will be using or the unconventional angles you will be shooting from; your eyes will be kept out of harm’s way when the eye relief is right.

With this, you will not have to worry about the sight picture you will obtain since it is usually clear, crisp and of high quality.

Adjusting the Eye Relief of a Scope

The eye relief of most of the rifle scopes in the market today can easily be adjusted. However, each rifle scope comes with an optimal eye relief that is provided by the manufacturer.

Some shooting enthusiasts can easily work with this. On the other hand, others have to adjust it since it is not right for them. A comfortable position is vital while shooting and if you cannot attain it, it will not be easy for you to shoot safely.

When the eye relief is adjusted correctly on a riflescope, you will never get enough of shooting due to the great experiences you will have. Moreover, your shots will be more accurate and faster than ever before.

Adjusting the eye relief need not be an overwhelming task at all. When you mount your riflescope carefully, you will attain proper eye relief.

If this becomes overwhelming, use the installation manual that accompanies the rifle scope once it is bought. The base and the rings can be installed easily using this manual. This can be done accurately and within a very short time.

It is important to note that the instructions provided on each rifle scope differ because the manufacturers of these products are not the same and the type of the riflescope is also different. So look at the manual for any tips on adjusting eye relief of a scope.

What is Unlimited Eye Relief? 

It is possible to get riflescopes whose eye relief is unlimited. When a scope has unlimited eye relief, it means that it can be placed as far away from the eyeball as possible and still obtain a maximum field of vision.

Some of the pictures obtained require you to be closer to the scope or a little distance from it in order to get a clear image. This is determined by the distance through which you are shooting, whether short, mid-range or long-range. This is very advantageous when adjusting eye relief of a scope.

 The Scope with the Best Eye Relief

adjusting eye relief of a scope

While considering the specifications of the scope you want to buy, you should never underestimate the eye relief that scope has. If you want the real-world performance to be excellent, then the eye relief should always be precise.

The scopes that are being manufactured today are in two categories; those with short eye relief and others with long eye relief. Long eye relief rifle scopes are highly recommended because flexibility while viewing can easily be attained.

Additionally, they are more comfortable to use and the eyes are protected against injuries. If you compare the magnification of both types of scopes, it is easy to note that the magnification of the long eye relief scope is much smaller.

Nikon Force XR 2.5-8×28 EER Matte with BDC

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In making the consideration of the scope to buy it is also good to ask if it will give you problems in adjusting the eye relief of the scope. Even the best spotting scope under $500 needs to be checked on its kind of eye relief. One of the best long eye relief rifle scopes that you will find on the market today is the Nikon optic.

This is one of the most widely used scopes that has won the hearts of many people. Its quality, functionality, and great features are some of the things that make it difficult for shooters to keep their hands off it. Altering the eye relief of scope is key in the kind of image to get.

Before it is released into the market, the manufacturers test it to ensure that what they are making available exceeds expectations.

To the professional shooters, there is greater news; this optic is recoil-proof. You can rest assured that no injuries will be attained even when the cartridge is of the highest caliber. In terms of durability, this optic is what you need to look out for. It has a solid construction thus making it more sturdy and reliable at all times.

No matter how demanding your needs are when you go hunting or doing other outdoor activities, Nikon rifle scope has been made to tackle them all.  Talk of the quick focus eyepiece that would allow you to take a swift, precise shot even when the game is on the move.

hoe to adjust eye relief of a scopeThe brightness of this scope is unparalleled.  At 100 yards, the images that are delivered are super clear, bright, and quite crisp. Light transmission through the scope is easily achieved due to the presence of a fully multicoated lens.

To top it all, it is sealed with O-rings and it is Nitrogen purged; a feature that makes it water and shock resistant and prevents it from fogging up. Whether you want to make a short or long shot, Nikon scope is fit for this. This tool provides value for money and much more.

How to Measure Eye Relief for a Scope?

The eye relief is the space between the lens of your scope and your eye when having a full field view via the scope. It’s pretty easy to measure this space by yourself. Fix the scope on the rifle and set your eye in a position that allows you to have a full field of view through the scope, then measure the distance between your eye and the eyepiece. You can choose to use a tape measure or ruler to get eye relief. 

What is a Scope Eye Relief Extender?

Ideally, this device does not extend the eye relief as the name suggests. Instead, it’s a device that prevents ambient light from entering the area around the ocular segment of the riflescope. An extender can yield various light cones, which is not expected under the standard objective lens. It is made from rubber and is mounted on the ending side of the riflescope, thereby prolonging the scope’s tube by 2 to 4 inches. The eye relief extender also protects your eye from injuries when you recoil your rifle.

What is a Good Eye-Relief for a Riflescope?

Different scope manufacturers produce scopes with different eye relief sizes. The average eye relief for a scope is three and a half inches. However, the hard-kicking rifles result in a severe recoil. Hunter, who uses scopes with an average eye relief of 3.5 inches, suffers injuries when using scopes with such a relief distance. An ideal eye relief distance would range from 4 to 4.5 inches.

With the recent developments in scopes manufacturing, different brands are increasing the relief scope. For instance, the 3-9x scopes from Bushnell are providing up to 6 inches of eye relief.   

Common Riflescope Adjustment Problems

Adjusting a riflescope is a must-do thing for every hunter or shooter. However, changing the scope is not a simple route. Here are some of the common adjustment problems;

  • Windage loss: It is a common problem for rifle owners adjusting their rifles for long-range shootings.
  • Parallax error: This error occurs when the shooter aims at a target through the scope, but the focus is on a different plane from the reticle.
  • Elevation problem: It’s the inability to get your rifle on a similar plane as the target object.    


The terms and mechanisms involved in adjusting the eye relief of a rifle scope matter. This is an aspect that many people overlook but it can wow you or be a source of disappointment when you use your rifle scope. Long eye relief will allow you to attain a maximum field of view and a clear picture.

There is more to eye relief as seen in this article. Each of them is quite paramount. With this information, you will find it easy to choose the scope with the best specifications and your experiences will never be the same again.

1 thought on “Adjusting Eye Relief of a Scope- 8 Step by Step Guide”

  1. Pingback: Best scope for 350 Legend: top 4 recommendations - Opticsvilla

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