You might have heard the term “eye relief” before, but not everyone knows what it means. Just imagine this—you see a large elk in the distance, you aim to shoot at it, and look through your scope. But your view is blurry, so you keep adjusting it and adjust it some more, and by now the elk is gone. This happens more often than you think. That’s why knowing what eye relief means can help you get that elk you’ve been waiting for all season.
What is It?
Eye relief is the distance from your eye to the lens of your scope or binoculars. If you look through your optics and it’s fuzzy, it means you are viewing with incorrect eye relief distance. It’s important to know what the eye relief distance is of any optics you are using so you can see things clearly and accurately. Typically, the calculation of finding eye relief is complicated. But as a general rule, the higher the magnification, the shorter the eye relief.
Why is it Important?
This is especially important if you commonly use a scope. If you don’t get your measurement right, you might get too close to your scope when looking through it. If you are shooting with a powerful gun, the recoil could cause the scope to hit your eye. Consequently, you could come back from the range or from hunting with a black ring around your eye. Getting the correct measurement will help you avoid this problem!
How Much is Enough?
It’s always fun looking for new optics, but just don’t forget about the eye relief. As a starting point, purchasing a scope with at least 3.5 inches of eye relief should be good. However, if you know your gun has a heavy recoil, go for an even higher relief. Also, if you wear glasses, purchasing optics with a longer measurement will help you, too.