How Far Back Can You Go to Mount Your Scope?

When mounting a scope on a rifle, the distance between both the scope and the shooter’s eye, also known as eye relief, must be considered. The eye relief defines how far back on the rifle the scope should be positioned to create a clean and comfortable sight image.

The distance between both the scope and the shooter’s eye is crucial since being too near to the sight might create eye strain, which can lead to imprecise shooting.

If the shooter is too far away from the scope, he or she may not be able to view the complete sight image, resulting in poor accuracy.

The distance at which the scope should be mounted is determined by several factors, as well as the type of rifle being used, the caliber of the rifle, the dimensions of the scope, and the shooter’s personal preferences.

How do you determine the fact about how far back can you go to mount your scope? Sounds like a tedious job. It is, if you make it one. But if you want an easy explanation and what not to do, welcome. Let’s start.

How To Install A Scope? – Procedures

Installing a firearm scope requires precision and careful attention to detail for accurate shooting.Firearms can be dangerous, so always prioritize safety when handling them.

If you are not familiar with firearms or their components, it is strongly recommended that you seek the guidance of a qualified gunsmith or a knowledgeable firearm enthusiast.

The following is a general guide for installing a scope on a rifle:

Tools and Materials Needed

  1. Rifle with a Picatinny or Weaver-style rail (for mounting the scope).
  2. Scope with rings appropriate for your rifle.
  3. Torque wrench with appropriate bits.
  4. Screwdriver or Allen wrench (size depends on the scope ring screws).
  5. Bubble level.
  6. Lapping bar and lapping compound (if needed).
  7. Bore sighter (optional, but highly recommended).

Safety First

Ensure the firearm is unloaded and pointed in a safe direction. Before handling a firearm, remove the magazine and check the chamber to ensure it is unloaded. Keep the safety engaged if it is applicable.

Select the Right Rings

Ensure that the scope rings you’ve chosen are the correct height and size for your scope and rifle. Low, medium, or high rings may be needed depending on the objective lens size and rifle configuration.

Mount the Base

If your rifle has a Picatinny or Weaver-style rail, skip this step. If not, you’ll need to attach a scope base to the rifle’s receiver. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for this specific part.

Position the Rings

Place the scope rings onto the base, positioning them correctly for your eye relief and comfort. Most scopes require the rings to be evenly spaced along the scope’s tube, with a small gap between the rings.

Lapping (Optional)

Lapping is the process of ensuring that the rings are perfectly aligned with each other. It’s not always necessary, but it can improve the scope’s stability and accuracy. Apply lapping compound to the rings, slide the scope in, and lap the rings using a lapping bar. Clean thoroughly when done.

Install the Scope

Carefully place the scope into the rings, making sure it’s level and positioned correctly for eye relief. Use a bubble level to confirm that the scope is perfectly level.

Properly torque the screws on the rings using a torque wrench according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Tighten the screws gradually and evenly to prevent any tilting or distortion of the scope tube.

Bore Sight the Scope

Before heading to the range, it’s highly recommended to bore sight your scope. A bore sighter helps align the scope with the rifle’s barrel, saving time and ammunition at the range.

Test and Adjust

Take your firearm to a safe shooting range and test-fire it to fine-tune your scope’s settings. Make elevation and windage adjustments as needed to zero in your rifle. This may require several shots and some patience.

Secure the Scope

Once your scope is properly zeroed in, double-check that all screws are securely tightened, especially if the rifle has significant recoil.


Periodically check the scope and rings for any loosening or damage, and clean the lenses as needed to maintain optimal performance.

Considerations For Sufficient Eye Relief

When establishing the optimum eye relief distance for a scope, numerous aspects must be considered:

  1. The type of gun used might have an effect on the eye relief distance. A rifle with strong recoil, for example, may require more eye relief to prevent the shooter from being smacked in the face with the scope.
  2. The caliber of the rifle might also have an effect on the eye relief distance. A longer eye relief may be required with a bigger caliber rifle to prevent recoil from causing pain or damage to the shooter.
  3. The size of the scope might also affect the eye relief distance. A greater eye relief distance may be required with a wider scope to guarantee that the shooter can see the complete sight picture.
  4. The position of the shooter when firing the rifle can also affect eye relief distance. If the shooter chooses to shoot from a more upright position, for example, a longer eye relief may be required to suit this stance.
  5. Lastly, while establishing eye relief distance, the shooter’s personal preferences should be taken into account. Some shooters prefer a larger distance for eye relief, while others prefer a shorter distance. Finding a comfortable eye relief distance that enables clear and precise shooting is critical.

By taking these aspects into account, a shooter may establish the best eye relief distance for their unique needs and preferences. To achieve a comfortable and clear sight picture, which leads to more precise and effective shooting, it is critical to take the time to correctly adjust the scope’s position.

Adjusting Scope Position For Eye Relief

Adequate eye relief helps the shooter to maintain a comfortable shooting stance while looking through the scope without straining their eyes. This reduces eye strain and discomfort, enabling the shooter to concentrate on accuracy and precision.

Adequate eye relief promotes a steady cheek weld and sight image, which can aid in the shooter’s long-term accuracy. Follow these procedures to change the scope position for adequate eye relief:

  1. Install the sight on the rifle as directed by the manufacturer.
  2. Place the rifle in a shooting stance and place the sight as near to the shooter’s natural cheek weld as feasible.
  3. Move the scope’s location forward or backward until the shooter can see a crisp sight picture through the scope’s complete field of vision.
  4. Modify the scope’s location such that the shooter can maintain a constant cheek weld without straining their eyes to look through the scope.
  5. Move the head forward and backward slightly while gazing through the scope to provide enough eye relief. Eye relief is likely acceptable if the visual image stays clean and continuous.
  6. Tighten the scope mount screws to guarantee that the scope stays in place.
  7. Check the eye relief distance on a regular basis to verify that it is constant and pleasant for the shooter.

It is important to remember that eye relief varies from shooter to shooter, therefore finding the appropriate eye relief distance for a person may need some trial and error.

Taking the effort to adjust the scope’s position will assist in ensuring a comfortable and clean sight image, which leads to more accurate and effective shooting.

What Issues Might Be Caused By Incorrect Eye Relief?

When shooting a rifle with a scope, having the wrong eye relief can cause a number of issues:

Eye Strain And Pain

If the eye relief is too short, the shooter’s eye may be too near to the scope, producing discomfort and strain. This might make it harder to maintain a steady firing position, leading to decreased accuracy.

Decreased Field Of Vision

If the eye relief is very lengthy, the shooter’s eye may be too far away from the scope, resulting in a limited field of view. This might make it difficult to aim precisely, resulting in missed shots.

Parallax Error

This occurs when the shooter’s eye is not properly positioned behind the scope. As the shooter’s head moves slightly, the reticle seems to shift in relation to the target. Parallax problems can cause imprecise shooting.

Recoil Injury

If the shooter’s eye is too close to the scope, the rifle’s recoil might injure the shooter’s eye or face.

Inconsistent Accuracy

If the shooter’s eye relief is uneven, it may be difficult for them to maintain a consistent shooting position and sight image, resulting in inconsistent accuracy over time.

A Few Recommendations For Providing Proper Eye Relief With Your Scope

Certainly, ensuring proper eye relief when using a scope is crucial for both safety and accuracy. As a gun expert, I can provide you with a few key recommendations for achieving the correct eye relief with your scope:

Understand What Eye Relief Is

Eye relief is the length between your eye and the rear lens of the scope that allows you to see a full and clear sight picture. It’s critical to maintain the proper eye relief to avoid injuries from recoil and to achieve accurate shots.

Check the Scope’s Specifications

Different scopes have varying eye relief distances, so it’s essential to consult the manufacturer’s specifications for your particular scope model. This information can usually be found in the scope’s user manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

Mount Your Scope Properly

Mounting your scope at the correct height and position on your firearm is essential for achieving the proper eye relief. Ensure that the scope rings and bases are properly aligned and torqued to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Establish a Consistent Shooting Position

Maintaining a consistent shooting position, including the distance between your eye and the scope, is crucial for consistent accuracy. Practice your shooting stance regularly to develop muscle memory.

Start with a Safe Eye Relief Distance

To avoid injury from recoil, start with an eye relief distance slightly longer than the specified minimum. This gives you a safety margin, and you can gradually adjust it closer to the optimal distance while ensuring safety.

Use Proper Shooting Fundamentals

Good shooting fundamentals, such as a firm but not overly tight grip on the rifle, a consistent cheek weld, and a relaxed and natural shooting stance, will help you maintain the correct eye relief position.

Experiment with Eye Relief

Depending on your firearm, scope, and shooting style, you may find that a slightly longer or shorter eye relief distance works better for you. Experimenting with different eye relief distances during practice sessions can help you find the sweet spot for your setup.

Be Mindful of Recoil

Be aware of the recoil characteristics of your firearm. Some firearms generate more recoil than others, so always be prepared for it. A proper eye relief distance will help mitigate the risk of scope eye injuries caused by heavy recoil.

Consider Adjustable Eye Relief Scopes

Some scopes come with adjustable eye relief, allowing you to customize the distance to your preferences. If you have multiple rifles or frequently change shooting positions, an adjustable eye relief scope might be a good investment.

Safety First

Finally, always prioritize safety when handling firearms. Proper eye relief is essential not only for accuracy but also for avoiding injuries. If you experience any discomfort or uncertainty about eye relief, consult a firearms instructor or gunsmith for guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is My Scope Pointing Too Far Back?

If you have to pull your head back to see the entire field or to keep the ocular ring from scratching your brow, the scope is too far back. The scope must be installed in such a way that aiming comes naturally and promptly from a variety of field locations; you see a whole field at first glance, as soon as the stock touches your cheek.

Is The Length Of A Scope Important?

The longer the mounting length, the easier it is to attach the scope and acquire the proper eye relief. The correct distance between the scope and the eye is defined as eye relief.

What Is The Best Scope For 300 Yards?

The answer is straightforward: a 3-9X rifle scope adds a level of magnification for every 100 feet out to 300 yards (900 feet). For many years, 300 yards were considered the maximum ethical shooting distance by most big-game hunters.


Finally, how far back to install a scope is determined by various criteria, including the type of rifle, shooting posture, and personal choice. Yet, getting the correct amount of eye relief is critical for shooting that is pleasant, precise, and safe.

An appropriate eye relief distance can assist in avoiding eye strain and discomfort, as well as limit the danger of damage and maintain constant accuracy.

Shooters can find the proper amount of eye relief and get ideal shooting performance by taking the time to adjust the scope’s location and following some basic tips.

Happy Shooting!

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