How much eye relief do you need or want on a rifle scope? Many times, the answer to this question depends as much on the rifle as on your personal preferences. The action on some rifles requires a scope with long eye relief to mount the scope.
For example, adding a scope to one of the many variants of the venerable M14 puts the scope mounts well in front of the rifle’s action. The added distance forward demands a long eye relief scope. Many other rifles, most notably those rifles classed as scout rifles, tend toward long eye relief scopes.
In this article, I look at what I consider to be the best long eye relief scopes available on the market. These are my choices and may not fit your needs or situations. I hope that my suggestions and opinions will help you better understand what to look for in a long eye relief scope. With this information, you can make a more informed decision on the scope that best fits your needs.
What to Look for in a Long Eye Relief Scope?
There are always many factors to consider when shopping for a rifle optic. You should consider the same criteria as you would for any other rifle scope, with the need for long eye relief as a limiting factor. When considering any rifle optic, these factors figure prominently in most people’s decisions.
- Budget – Cost is always a consideration. Very few of us can ignore cost issues or budget concerns when shopping for firearms and accessories. The goal with any purchase is to balance cost with features and performance. There are always trade-offs that occur.
- Quality – Quality figures into the mix in many ways when choosing a scope. There are several areas where quality is a consideration.
- Materials – Quality materials usually translate into a quality performance. Cheap materials don’t last as long and will no handle the kinds of stresses most shooters heap onto their scopes.
- Construction – Construction does make a difference. Construction is often a place that manufacturers can cut corners and save money. The result is scopes that may look good but perform poorly and have limited lifespans.
- Glass – Cheap glass performs poorly. The clarity is low, and the light transmission suffers. Poorly ground optics are the biggest issue with cheaper scopes. Good glass is expensive and comprises most of the cost of many scopes.
- Performance – What do you expect from your rifle scope? The best judge of performance is how a scope meets your expectations and needs. Unfortunately, you may not discover a deficiency in this area until you can take the scope to the field and put it to use.
- Customer Support – Like any other product, scopes are subject to issues and problems. The level of support offered by the manufacturer is always a concern. You can have the finest scope available, but if you can’t get it fixed or serviced when needed, the quality doesn’t mean much.
On to the Good Stuff
Let’s dive right into the meat of this article. There are so many options in the rifle optics market that choosing the best is a challenge. This choice gets even more difficult when you consider rifle optics with long eye relief. The options are varied and plentiful. However, having said that, these long eye relief rifle scopes are my choices.
#1 RELIEF SCOPE
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Overall Choice of Long Eye Relief Scopes – Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7X32 Scout Scope Review
You are going to see a lot of scout scopes on this list. Scout scopes designs feature extremely long eye relief. That is the nature of a scout scope. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the scope that tops my list as the best overall choice for a long eye relief scope is a scout-style scope and that it comes from Vortex Optics.
Vortex Optics arguably builds some of the best scopes on the market for the price. The Crossfire II scout scope is no exception. This rugged and compact rifle scope offers one of the longest eye reliefs on the market yet provides a generous field of view. You won’t find any lacking in clarity, or light transmission with the quality glass Vortex uses.
Comparing the Vortex Optics Crossfire II 2-7×32 Scout Scope to my list of features doesn’t leave many points unchecked. Vortex seems to always hit the mark on providing what shooters expect in a quality scope. For example:
- 9.45 inches of eye relief
- 2 – 7 zoom range
- Fully multi-coated lenses for the best in light transmission and glare reduction
- The second focal plane reticle maintains the same size no matter the magnification chosen
- One inch tube diameter makes finding mounts easy
- Single-piece tube construction for rigidity and durability
- Built from air-craft grade aluminum
- O-ring sealed construction for waterproof operation
- Nitrogen purging prevents fog on the lenses
- Rugged and rigid construction rated for almost all high caliber rifles
- Finished with a hard-coat anodizing process for years of trouble-free service
- Capped recessed turrets for low profile snag-free operation
- V-Plex MOA reticle is all-purpose and highly popular for hunting
- 32 mm objective lens for a generous field of view
- Field of View – 18.3 – 5.2 feet at 100 yards
- Adjustments per click – ¼ MOA
- Maximum elevation and Windage adjustment – 60 MOA
- Parallax setting – 100 yards
- Overall length – 11.52 inches
- Weight – 12 ounces
- Tough and able to withstand the recoil from high powered rifle cartridges
- Easy to manipulate turrets for quick and accurate adjustments
- One of the longest eye reliefs of any scope on the market
- It comes with the Vortex Optics no questions asked warranty
- The reticle may not be suitable for tactical or competition shooting
#1 RELIEF SCOPE
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My Take on the Vortex Optics Crossfire II Scout Scope
I admit that I am a huge fan of Vortex Optics products. Vortex scopes are most optical devices in my gun safe. I believe that Vortex Optics delivers some of the highest quality optical sights on the market for the price.
The Ultimate Long Eye Relief Scope – Leupold VX-3 Handgun Duplex Scope Review
Don’t let the name of the Leupold VX-3 scope fool you. Leupold advertises this scope as a handgun scope, but It is equally at home on rifles where extra eye relief is needed. If you are a scout rifle shooter or carry a lever-action rifle, the Leupold VX-3 2.5-8×32 scope will be at home.
Leupold is a premier manufacturer of shooting optics. No one questions the quality of the Leupold line of products. If you want to mount the best of the best on your rifle, you should be shopping Leupolds product line.
The VX-3, although advertised as a handgun scope, has all the features to perform just as well mounted on a rifle where that extra eye relief is needed. When I say extra eye relief, I mean plenty of extra eye relief. The Leupold VX-3 boasts an amazing 15 inches of eye relief. You won’t find a lack in other features either. Leupold has loaded the list with features on the VX-3 scope.
- Features Leopold’s Advanced Optical System for the best in light transmission, glare reduction, and resolution
- Machined and assembled in the United States
- Leupolds patented Duplex reticle design on the second focal plane of quick, accurate target acquisition
- Multi-coated lenses for scratch resistance
- Fully waterproof, Fogproof, and shockproof
- Finger click elevation adjustments
- Adjustment per click – ¼ MOA
- Maximum elevation adjustment – 100 MOA
- Maximum windage adjustment – 100 MOA
- Magnification range – 2.5 – 8 times
- 32mm objective lends
- Eye relief – 15 inches
- Fixed parallax adjustment – 125 yards
- Extremely long eye relief
- Easy adjustments
- Probably the best build quality on the market
- Sleek low-profile design
- Mounting it on a rifle may void the warranty
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How I See the Leupold VX-3 Scope
Leupold is a gold standard in optics. The VX-3 scope carries on this tradition of quality and durability. As a handgun scope, the VX-3 may be unequaled. As a rifle scope, it serves well but has some downsides. The biggest issue is the warranty. Mounting the VX-3 on anything but a handgun, and you may be out of luck if the scope is damaged.
Many shooters do this and have years of service without a problem. I don’t know if the gamble is a good choice or not. That is up to you to decide. However, if you need 15 inches of eye relief on a rifle, this may be your only option.
Runner-up for Best Overall Long Eye Relief Scope – Burris Scout Riflescope 2-7x32mm Review
Like my other choices, Burris is a known name in the rifle optics field. The reputation of quality and dependability is a hallmark of the Burris Operation. The Burris company traces its roots back to a desire to build high-quality optics at affordable prices for hunters and competition shooters.
The Burris Scout riflescope holds to this tradition and brings the best of Burris design and engineering to a riflescope that any shooter should find fills their needs and expectations. The Burris concept of service and quality is reflected in the Forever Warranty.
The Burris Scout Riflescope features 2-7 magnification and a 32 mm objective lens for a generous field of view. The features of this scope don’t stop there. Burris has made sure that the 2-7×32 scout riflescope maintains the Burris policy of providing features that every shooter wants in a quality scope.
- The Ballistic Plex reticle is a simple yet effective compensating reticle.
- The reticle is on the second focal plane allowing quick and accurate range and windage estimations
- One inch single piece tube for ease of mounting and rigidity
- Field of View – 23 – 8 feet at 100 yards
- An amazing 9 to 12 inches of eye relief
- Maximum elevation adjustments – 66 inches at 100 yards
- Maximum windage adjustments – 66 inches at 100 yards
- Adjustments per click – ¼ inch at 100 yards
- Overall length – 9.7 inches
- Weight – 13.0 ounces
- Finger adjustable low profile turrets for accurate and easy adjustments in the field
- Hi-Lume multi-coated lenses for maximum low light transmission
- Double internal spring-tension system for shock, recoil, and vibration resistance
- steel-on-steel adjustments
- Nitrogen-filled scope body
- Durable, lightweight, and extremely accurate
- Best clarity and image quality
- Easy to see and use reticle
- Good field of view for a scout rifle
- Low light visibility is a bit suspect
- Eye relief for some people may not meet the advertised numbers
In Perspective – My View
There is no doubt that Burris builds quality glass. However, the Burris 2-7X32 Scout Riflescope only gets a nod as the runner-up because of a couple of items. Users’ reports that this scope’s low light transmission is not as good as others we tested is one issue. Price is the other. The Burris scope comes in a bit higher in price than some of the other scopes on my list, which pushed it down to the runner-up position.
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Budget Long Eye Relief Scope – UTG 2-7X44 30mm Long Eye Relief Scope Review
Sometimes the budget is the biggest hurdle in finding a quality scope for your rifle. Fortunately, there are now scope builders in the market producing quite exceptional optics for the price. One of these manufacturers is UTG.
UTG started many years ago producing accessories for the growing paintball gun industry. As that market began to wane, UTG shifted to making parts and accessories for shooting sports. Many shooters were wary of these products, but slowly, UTG gained market share and acceptance. When the company moved all its aluminum milling operations back to the United States, quality took a huge improvement, as did customer satisfaction.
UTG now offers a wide range of optics as part of its product line. One of these scopes, the UTG 2-7X44 Long Eye Relief Scope, stands out as a real winner for the restrained budget shooter. For the price, there is no better long eye relief scope available. UTG fills out the offering with a rich list of features not found on comparable scopes or even more expensive scopes.
- 30mm one-piece tube construction is rigid and durable
- Single-piece tube construction sealed, and nitrogen filled
- Shockproof, waterproof, and fog proof construction
- Illuminated reticle featuring either red or green illumination
- EZ-TAP patented illumination control and enhancement system
- 36 color-mode combinations
- Premium zero locking and zero resetting turrets for consistent and precise adjustments
- ¼ MOA adjustments per click
- Emerald coated lenses for maximum light transmission and clarity
- Unique 6 Mil-dot Tactical Range Estimating Etched Glass Reticle
- Side wheel adjustable turrets
- Integral sunshade
- Includes Twist Lock Medium profile Picatinny/Weaver rings and high-quality flip-up lens caps
- eye relief – 9.5 – 11 inches
- Objective lens – 44mm
- Length 292mm (11.5 inches)
- Weight – 25.4 ounces
- Battery – CR 2032
- So many reticle and color combinations it may be hard to decide
- Long eye relief
- Great price
- Easy to adjust turrets
- Maybe a little heavy for some shooters
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On UTG From Experience
My history with UTG goes back to when I opened my retail store. UTG was one of the first manufacturers I did business with, and I was still selling their products when I closed the doors the last time. I still buy and use UTG parts and accessories. I think they are one of the most undervalued and under-appreciated companies in the shooting markets. My sentiments cover their optical products as well.
The Final Word
In the end, you must make your own decision about which long eye relief scope best fits your needs. Evaluating and choosing a scope is a very personal experience. I hope that the information I have provided in this article helps you as you make those considerations.
If you found this article helpful or would like to add some words of wisdom or experience, please use the comments section below. Adding to the knowledge and understanding is an important part of our community. Stay safe and shoot straight.