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. A shooter may assure a comfortable and clear sight image, resulting in more accurate and effective shooting, by considering these elements and taking the moment to modify the scope’s position.

How To Mount A Rifle Scope - Step by Step Guide

How to install a Scope?

You want it to be as far away from your face as possible without casting shadows from the inside of the scope. Install the scope loosely into the mount. Place it as far forward as your upper receiver will allow. Put yourself in your chosen shooting position. Focus your attention on the scope. Back it up till the image is as free of shadows as possible.

The eye box on most scopes is about 3 or 4 inches behind the eyepiece. It typically implies that most individuals will find it most comfortable when the rear of the eyepiece is almost parallel to, or slightly ahead of, the back of the charging handle.

Once you’ve determined where you want to install the scope, you may want to adjust how far fore or aft you attach it because you want to reduce leverage in the mount and you generally have a lot of rails to work with. 

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.

rifle scope

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. The 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 ensure a comfortable and clean sight image, which leads to the 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

It’s vital to keep a few factors in mind while changing the scope position to get the correct amount of eye relief. Before making any alterations, make sure you’re in a comfy shooting position. Second, be patient and take your time throughout the adjustment period. While making adjustments, a spotting scope or binoculars might be useful for monitoring your eye relief. 

To guarantee consistency, double-check your shooting position and eye relief on a regular basis. Moreover, keep in mind that changing shooting conditions, such as lighting or weather, may need changes in your eye relief distance. Following these tips will help you locate the correct amount of eye relief for a scope, allowing you to fire accurately and comfortably.

Even if you use low mounts, you may not be able to look through the scope from the correct level due to the rifle’s lower cheek rest design. As a result, you’ll need to raise the elevation of the cheek and rest somewhat. For the cheek rest, you can utilize an adjustable stock or a cheek-rising pad.

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 riflescope 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 avoid 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.

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