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turner 03-28-2011 02:24 PM

Checking eye relief on any scope
I just arrived home after being away for a week and found a box delivered (to my office) and not remembering what it might be, I opened it to find a new scope (used, but new to me). It's a Leupold Ultralight 3-9x33 I found for sale in excellent condition for way under 1/2 of the cost of a new one, a pretty good price for any Leupold product, considering their excellent warranty.

Even as I purchased it, I was not sure what rifle it would eventually live on top of, but knew it would be an excellent addition and likely work well for a number of rifles I now own. Rifles chambered in .257Rob, 6.5RM, .270Win, .284Win, .325WSM and .350RM were some I considered. I also knew it would be important to actually measure the eye relief this scope has/had before simply "checking" at the range with a 7 lb .325 OR 7.5 lb .350.:boxing:

As I was checking the actual eye relief (not knowing if it would be the same as a new scope's) I got to thinking that some here might not know the best way to do that with a scope they might have that's no longer produced, or one they cannot find specs for.

It's really very easy, about a 2 min job. Here's the best way to get accurate & actual eye relief measurements for any scope you might have lying around, even if it's already mounted.

1.) make sure the rifle is unloaded, if the scope is already mounted (I know, dumb disclaimer
2.) Lay the mounted/umnounted scope down on a flat surface.
3.) using three tools; a flashlight, tape measure or small ruler and a small piece of paper (3x5 card is perfect), place the lit flashlight up against the Objective lens.
4.) Lay the ruler/tape measure back from the Ocular lens, with zero placed at the edge of the bell.
5.) Take the 3x5 card and start at about 7" (or more) and slowly move it forward (towards the Ocular bell) and when the light beam comes into sharp focus, read the number (measurement) on the ruler and that is the eye relief for that scope, at that power.

For variable power scopes, the eye relief will likely change between lowest power (most relief) to highest power (shortest relief) and it is very wise to check at least those two. The numbers for this scope were a tad short for big hitters at 3.5" @ 3X and 3" @ 9X. These measurements are to the closest 1/8" and it's not a problem to figure them to this close a number. This scope will not sit on top of the .325 or .350, but should be fine for any of the other chamberings on the type rifles they are.

ronn 03-28-2011 03:29 PM

thats interesting but it still will require one to fit the scope/adjust the eye relief for each individual shooter. different folks shoulder rifles differently. i always do the close the eyes, shoulder the rifle, and look for a full lens. without being in my eye or having to move my cheek weld around to find it.

Hunting Man 03-28-2011 09:16 PM

Haven't ever tried the card, ruler way. All my scope mounting has been done the shouldering way too. get the scope just barely snug and bring up the rifle eyes closed making sure of the same head position and open shooting eye and check obj lens for full view. Any adjustments need to start the process all over and until you get that perfect fit and full scope picture.

Hunting Man 03-28-2011 09:21 PM

That 3x9x33 would be perfect for my Savage 99 in 250-3000 as I can't clear a 40mm over the rear sight, hint hint.

turner 03-29-2011 10:38 AM

The process is not necessarily for rifle "fitting", but rather to let a shooter know how much eye relief is available for a particular scope. For most new scopes, that can easily be found and the stats they give are normally pretty close from the ones I've checked. I have seen a few scopes that seem only to show the longest eye relief found in a scope's power range, which may or may not matter when mounted.

A scope with too short eye relief for a particular rifle/cartridge combination can still be mounted with "proper" eye relief fit. But, that "proper" eye relief may not prove to be enough for a hard recoiling rifle, being too short. This is the most prevelant "fudging" I've seen by scope manufacturers. They do not list the proper least amount of eye relief, which is normally found at the highest power setting. In the case of this new-to-me scope it may well have saved me a case of scope eye (another :wallbash:

Muley 04-06-2011 04:36 PM

This is why I like a fixed power scope. Once I have it set. It stays that way.

turner 04-07-2011 11:37 AM

Very difficult to argue with a good fixed power scope, no doubt! :yes:

Muley 04-07-2011 06:07 PM

It seems perfect for my muzzleloader. I tried a cheap Simmons Pro Diamond 4x33 to see how i'd like a fixed scope.

Now that i'm sold on the fixed scope i'm going to get a Leupold FX-II 4x33. I think that will be just what I was looking for when I started with this idea.

turner 04-07-2011 06:19 PM

After messing with a couple of other scopes, I settled on a Leupold 4X (older m8 version) for a Ruger #1A in 7X57. Perfect! I have several rifles with fixed four power scopes now and that's a pretty fine all-around scope in my humble opinion.

Muley 04-07-2011 07:04 PM

I'm hoping. A full freezer with elk next fall will seal the deal.

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