Eye relief for magnum rifles

curtism1234

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I am looking to scope my new 338 win mag. Not really looking for scope recomendations per say (lots of threads on that) - my question is regarding eye relief lenght.

I am probably looking for a 3-9. While there are some outlyers, most of what I'm seeing are 3.3" or 3.5" (at 9x). My 3.3" on my 7 mag has never popped me good but has touched me a few times over the years. Obviously posture and fit helps determine that.

What is the eye relief you consider a safe minimum for the 300 win mag, 338 win mag, and 375 type rifles? 3.3 or 3.5" ok?
 

YancyW

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I have been using Leupold Mark 6s on my 375 and 416 rifles, eye relief is just under 4", I haven't had any issues.
 

Tra3

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I’d go longer than 3.3”, especially if it is a light rifle.
95 mm (3.74”) works for me on .300 WM and .375 H&H.
Ive been kissed by a few scopes. A prone shot downhill with poor position of the rifle got me a nice cut with a .270, I would have needed a 6” relief to avoid that one. So, form matters more than eye relief, but generous relief helps build confidence.
Buy the best scope you can afford, you can always change the rifle the scope sits on!
 

JimP

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I have a Leupold VX3 3.5-10x40 on my .340 Weatherby and have had zero problems with the eye relief which is 3.6" on high magnification and 4.4" on low magnification.
 

Dr Ray

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Eye relief especially when shooting upwards, is really critical.
Swarovski, for example, has around 90-95 mm eye relief whereas (according to Leupold) has 101.
On my 338 and greater calibers I use Leupold for that reason.
I’ve had a cheap entry level just touch me when I was shooting a 270 of mine. Luckily the scope hit the rim on my sunglasses.
I’m very conscious of holding my rifles when shooting because of the recoil causing the scope to whack me.
Reason: the kahles scope on a 460 Weatherby has hit me a few times and I can assure you that I’ve never had such an instant headache.
So to answer your query I suggest that any of the upper level scopes will be fine.
 

TTundra

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I use a Tract Toric on a 300 Win that has virtually constant 4" ER from 2-10x. I think it actually is 3.9" at 10x, but I can keep a constant cheek weld which is nice.
Anything over that recoil i do like to keep it at 3.7"ish or above if possible.
 

Ridge Runner

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Just my 2 cents:

I like to have the longest eye relief possible, roughly in the 4-5 inch eye relief, especially with light medium and heavy recoiling rifles (30-30 and up)

Other considerations in choosing Your eye relief options, is the scope tube and magnifications: I prefer 30mm and larger tubes, 2.5 -18 x 36 - 50mm depending on caliber and purpose for the use of rifle.

My choice of eye relief is based on:

I wear glasses: the extra eye relief allows for better clarity shooting with; or in my case without my glasses on.

Since I'm a multiple member of the "Crest Moon"; long eye relief scopes have aided my efforts in overcoming flinching in expectations of being hit by the scope during recoil.

Since I also opt to mount and use see thru sight mounts on some rifles (30-30) long eye relief is a necessity!! because of the differences between rifle holds using a scope and using iron sights.

What is your comfort zone for eye relief and pick a scope with the eye relief you want.
 

fourfive8

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Scope eye is a very real potential with most any combination of caliber and scope. It can cause serious injury and a flinch that lasts. I did it once pretty well about 35 years ago with a borrowed 338 WM with a cheap, short eye relief scope mounted too close. No more! Worst I ever saw was a pronghorn hunter taking an awkward rest with an average 30-06 rifle and scope.... nice relaxed trigger squeeze and whack!- knocked three front teeth out with a severely cut upper lip.

I do two things to help prevent any possibility of scope eye. I use a scope with plenty of eye relief and always make sure to double check scope mounting position. I would rather have a scope mounted "slightly long" with a thin halo around the field than have one mounted slightly close with a nice full field and no halo. Plus a slight halo allows you to correct any parallax at all ranges as the eye will automatically center the halo in the scope thus eliminating any parallax. That's a free tip for shooting best possible groups without worrying about parallax. I use that technique when shooting 22 rf with scopes not parallax free at the ranges being shot. :)

Two things I really pay attention to with serious hunting scopes, especially for DG rifles - exit pupil and eye relief. For rifles that produce something like 30- 50 ft lbs of recoil, I think a minimum eye relief of about 4-4.5" is OK. I think the average 8-9 lb 338 WM yields about 30-35 ft lbs. A light weight, quite a bit more. I am comfortable and worry free shooting my heaviest recoiler that produces about 80 ft lbs of recoil mounted with a scope that has 4.9" of eye relief and an exit pupil of about 8 mm. A good, deep scope cut is an educational experience.
 
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Rule 303

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On rifles that recoil I like 4" as a minimum. I have a longish neck so in the heat of the moment I sometimes forget to pull my head back...ouch. Hence the 4" or greater.
 

BeeMaa

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About 95mm or 3.75 inches should do.
But this also plays into how you set up your scope.
Along with how well the rifle fits you.

I have a detailed procedure for setting proper eye relief.
Send me a PM and I'll share it if you would like.
 

rnovi

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4" is my number but truth told his this: it all depends on how the stock fits you and your shooting technique.

My .375 H&H weighs 8#, 6oz with a Leupold VX6 1-6 and I'd actually like to go lighter. The recoil actually rather pleasant. I have other rifles that are far more vicious with lesser calibers.
 

curtism1234

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Thanks all. I went with a 4" eye relief 2.5-10x44 vortex viper. It's a somewhat heavier scope than I wanted and its going to bring this setup to 9 pounds. But carrying around another 1/2 pound is probably better than laying my eye open.
 

Newboomer

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Got my bush tattoo on my last hunt from a 375HH and a stout 350 gr Barnes TSX. We were hunting eland and the shot was slightly downhill. I inadvertantly crawled the stock a little and got a good thump that opened up my eyebrow some. I didn't feel or notice it until the PH mentioned that my face was bloody and my glasses were obscured. Many rounds through that gun and it finally got me.
 

Edster

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I’m in favor of LER scopes!!!!
IMG_7001.JPG
 

Jfet

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For those of us that are not familiar with the detailed aspects of putting a scope on a rifle, how does one measure eye relief? For those of you who know I am a graduate of Texas A&M go ahead and say, "With a tape measure.":A Hey:
 

mdwest

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Google the specs. All manufacturers will tell you the eye relief of each scope.

Eye relief is greater at lower power. This is why it’s important (IMO) when mounting a scope to do so with it set at its highest power (where eye relief is lowest).. that will help with the scope creep tendency that often is what causes a bush tattoo...
 

John McLaughlin

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I've received more than one scope cut (must be pretty dumb) while shooting my 340 Roy. Now I've gotten rid of all my scopes with less than 4 inches of eye relief on all my rifles. These include a 270 Winchester, 270 Weatherby mag, 340 Weatherby and 375 H&H. I'd rather have to much vs. not enough.
 

Jfet

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