Scope Mounting for Proper Eye Relief

Scope Mounting for Proper Eye Relief

After inspecting the scope mounting jobs done by many big box store gun department counter people, I have come to the conclusion that much training is in order. Also I have noted that many hunters and shooters not only have no idea how to correctly mount a scope, but have little to no idea when it is done properly. I have remounted several scopes for friends.

Frankly, I am a bit anal retentive when it comes to mounting riflescopes. I believe it should be done right, and by that I mean for the person actually using the rifle, not the person mounting the scope. There is a huge difference.

Just for pure aesthetics sake, I prefer to have the scope adjustment dials in the relative center of the scope tube precisely between the two mounting rings, but that is not always possible. When I mount my own scopes, I can build in some leeway on this by adjusting slightly how I might shoulder the rifle. The catch here is to get the proper eye relief.

When you mount a riflescope, before you tighten down the top half of the rings, the scope reticle crosshairs have to be squared to the rifle so there is no cant. The scope also needs the proper eye relief. This is done by moving the scope back and forth in the rings until the shooter’s eye sees a full circle view with no dark shadow around the inside of the scope.

This should be done while the actual shooter mounts the rifle to the shoulder in a shooting position as the scope is moved back and forth. Once the shooter sees the full view through the scope, mark it with a pencil on the scope at one of the rings. That is the reference to set before tightening down the rings.

Why bother? The two main reasons for setting the correct eye relief is first to maximize the scope’s magnification view. This permits the shooter to see the widest, fullest field of view downrange without a darken circle around the inner circumference of the scope lens.

Second, without a proper eye relief which is the space between the rear ocular lens and the shooter’s eye, the shooter risks the scope hitting the eye upon recoil. If this has ever happened to you, then you got an ugly half-moon cut under your eye. It not only hurts like the devil, it takes a good while to heal.

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November 9, 2017 at 08:23PM


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