Additional scope info at the bottom
There has been several posts/comments lately on "how much" eye relief one scope or another might have. When it comes to good optics, I look at eye relief as 2nd (at least for me) right after overall glass/scope quality. It's more important to me than the exact magnification range, in most cases. I recently was told by a friend a way to measure very accurately the eye relief of any scope. This method can be very handy when we are looking at more than one scope as a choice to mount on a particular rifle, which we feel, do to recoil, needs "X" amount of relief as a minimum.
He had found this method in an excellent book on optics he'd had for years. Scopes can be checked while on or off a rifle and this method will give you a definitive answer and actual measurement of true eye relief within 1/8" or less. On a variable power scope, it's not unusual for the eye relief to change somewhat (over 1") throughout the power range and we have already seen some conflicting numbers on the same scope here as one member quotes one source (using the lowest) while another member quotes another (using the highest), both being correct.
On variable power scope I like to set the scope's eye relief at the lowest setting or very near so when setting up the ring configuration and scope placement. My reasoning is that critical eye relief is most important for close-range (fast action?) shooting, perhaps at an animal running away or even charging . Our rifles will normally be set at a low power when anticipating such an occurrence and we will have no time to reposition our head/eye placement at such a time. And, when we have the time or need of higher magnification, we should have time to re-set our eye relief while we take careful aim at a more distant target.
Here's the method:
Items needed are:
the scope :P
ruler or stiff tape measure
small piece of paper (3X5 card)
Lay the scope on a flat surface (mounted or not), take the small flashlight and place it against the objective lens, facing into the scope. Turn the light on. Take the ruler (tape measure) and place the end against the ocular bell edge straight outwards from there. Now, take the paper (card) and move in/out until the light beam from the flashlight is in perfect focus. You will be able to easily see a difference of focus with as little as 1/16th to 1/8th inch of movement. When the light beam is in perfect focus, that is the true eye relief of that scope at that power setting and then, simply look at that corresponding measurement.
This is a great way to compare scopes wanted/needed for odd ring configurations or for hard recoiling rifles (most important!).
Using this method, the following results were found on a VXI 2-7x33 SG: @2X: 4.25", @4X: 3.75", and @7X: 3.5"
Weaver 4X SG scope: 4.125"
Again these numbers are taken from the edge of the ocular bell, which is what smacks you, should the relief not be enuff! , so the numbers could be slightly off from factory claims that might use a measurement from the ocular lens (less helpful, IMO).
Some additional new information that might be helpful:
Weaver V3 1-3x20 (one of my favorite scopes for a lever rifle) eye relief at 1X = 5" , eye relief at 2X = 3 3/8", and eye relief at 3X = 3".
Nikon Monarch SG 1.5-4.5x20, eye relief at 1.5X = 4", eye relief at 2.5X = 3 3/8" and eye relief at 4.5X = 2 3/4" (careful there!)
Nikon Monarch Africa Series 1-4x20, (German #4 reticle) eye relief at 1X = 4.5", eye relief at 2.5X = 3" and eye relief at 4X = 3".
Leupold European series 30mm 1.25-4x20 (German #4 reticle and one of my favorite scopes mounted on a .450M) eye relief at 1.25X = 4 3/8", eye relief at 2.5X = 3 3/4" and eye relief at 4X = 3.5"
Leupold VXI SG 1-4x20,(HD reticle and mounted on my 1895) eye relief at 1X = 4 1/4", eye relief at 2.5X = 3 3/4", and eye relief at 4X = 3.5"
Leupold Vari-XII 1-4x20, eye relief at 1X = 4 1/4", eye relief at 2.5X = 3 3/4" and eye relief at 4X = 3.5"
Leupold European series 30mm 2-7x33 (German #4 reticle and an outstanding all-around scope, IMO) eye relief at 2X = 4", eye relief at 4X = 3.5" and eye relief at 7X = 3 1/4"
Thanks 336ER. You have done well to describe how to correctly arrive at a scopes eye relief. Fom
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Leupold rifle scopes have always been excellent on plenty of "eye-relief" amoung other things that makes them great to own.........An excellent track record bare none!
Thanks for this info! Just ordered a Weaver V3 1-3 for my Marlin 1894SS.Originally Posted by 336ER