When most people think of scopes, they envision high magnification aiding in shots traveling over hundreds of yards. There is another side to firearm optics, and the long eye relief scope is the answer.
Extended eye relief scopes serve a very specific purpose and in certain situations are much more effective than high powered scopes.
In general, long eye relief rifle scopes have a minimal eye relief of 6″. Eye relief is simply the distance between the ocular lens and the eye where the full field of view is visible. The amount of scope eye relief that is needed depends on the situation and the type of firearm being utilized.
So, in what situations are long eye relief scopes needed?
They are perfect for high caliber, high recoil weapons where short eye relief scopes can lead to scope eye. They are also a good choice for surplus or older firearms that were not designed with mounting optics in mind. Because extended eye relief scopes can be mounted further up on the guns receiver, they are great choices for surplus rifles and will not obstruct the receiver.
LER scopes are also the only type of scope that can be used for handguns. Not only do they have to be compact enough to keep the handgun balanced, but you need a lot of eye relief to have the correct positioning for shooting.
Top Long Eye Relief Scopes
In this section, we will look at the best long eye relief scopes. We will take a look at several long eye relief rifle scopes, long eye relief scout scopes, and handgun scopes and discuss what makes these scopes the best available.
This LER scope by Leapers Accushot is one of the top long relief scopes for scout and surplus rifles. Its long eye relief of 11” to 9.5” allows it to be mounted well above the receiver which is needed for many surplus rifles.
Depending on the shooting situations, the variable power adjustment of this scope can be advantageous for a lot of shooting situations.
This scope is heavier than others on the list at 25.4oz so you should be careful when mounting and be sure the firearm is balanced and the ballistics will not be affected.
The lenses go through a multi-emerald coating that provides excellent light transmission and picture clarity. A TactEdge angled sunshade lip over the objective lens further mitigates sky reflection and glare.
Like any scope worth the money, this long eye relief scout scope has windage, elevation, and parallax adjustment turrets that also offer zero locking and zero resetting. This is a huge component of well designed long eye relief scope as they are usually used for high caliber, high recoil firearms where the vibrations and shock waves can throw off scope adjustments.
Besides the zero locking technologies, the TS Platform utilizes spherical structures that optimize the structure and interplay between scope parts and is designed to allow the scope to stand up to high recoil and shock.
It features 1/4 MOA finger adjustment clicks for easy adjustments when in the field and the target within the crosshairs.
A six mil-dot reticle provides easy and fast target acquisition as well as quick elevation adjustment. The reticle can also be illuminated in 36 different color modes that allow optimal sightings in any light and weather conditions. Keep in mind that the reticle illumination does require batteries, which can further add to the scope’s overall weight.
- Excellent eye relief
- Variable power for better long range target acquisition
- Zero locking properties
- Durable design
- Heavier than other scout scopes
- Requires batteries for illumination
The Leupold FX-II is a fixed 2.5X28 scout scope perfect for shooting at distances within 100 yards. Leupold is one of the biggest names in optics. This pick gives you a simple, sturdy, and fixed scope option with some of the best lens technology on the market. There are no frills or gimmicky marketing strategy for this scope.
The Leupold FX-II is also available in matte, silver, or gunmetal gray color schemes.
While you lose some versatility with fixed power magnification, what you get in turn is a scope that is extremely durable with fewer moving parts and designed to withstand shock waves caused by firing.
It is a great long eye relief scope for any rifle or shotgun with its 9.3″ scope eye relief and lightweight design (only 7.5oz). The only limitation regarding firearms it can be used with would be for shorter pistols as this scope is 10.1″ in length. And for shooters with long arms, the eye relief might not be long enough for comfortable shooting stances.
This scope offers a field of view of 22ft at 100 yards which is perfect for situations scout rifles are often used in. The etched Duplex reticle provides quick and easy target acquisition while in the field.
Leupold also offers some of the best lens technology and is the reason why such a simple long eye relief scout scope can make our list.
Leupold uses its patented Multicoat 4 lens coating which provides increased light transmission through the objective lens, through the body, and to your eye. This coating along with the blackened edges of the lenses helps reduce glare and provides much better picture resolution.
The twilight lens system employed by Leupold maximizes light transmission in low light conditions that shooters will often find themselves in.
Not only are the lenses of the FX-II Scout excellent at light transmission and glare resistance, but the Diamond Coat 2 treatment makes the glass extremely abrasion resistant.
This extended eye relief scope is also fully water and fog proof through its Argon/Krypton gas system. While nitrogen is used in most scopes for this process, the larger Argon and Krypton molecules provide a more robust resistance.
The FX-II has low profile elevation, windage adjustment turrets with ¼ MOA finger clicks. As it is a fixed scope, you are not going to have as many adjustment options as you would with a variable scope with more power, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Leupold also offers its Gold Ring Full Lifetime Guarantee giving you unparalleled confidence in this scope’s ability to hold up to high powered rifles.
The Leupold Scout FX-II is a simple, yet effective long eye relief scope that you can be confident will perform consistently while out in the field.
- One of the best lens system
- Lightweight, but durable
- Large FOV @ 100yds
- Lifetime Warranty
- Too long for handguns
- Very specific uses. Not a lot of versatility
The Nikon Force XR 2×20 not only makes our list for one of the top long eye relief scopes, but it also is our choice for the best handgun scope. Whether you are a hardcore varmint hunter or competition shooter, you will be more than satisfied with the Nikon Force XR.
This is an ultra-compact pistol scope that was designed to handle and absorb high recoil from large caliber handguns. The ruggedness of fixed scopes along with its single 1″ tube recoil-proof construction results in a handgun scope that will stand up to the constant shock supplied by pistol firing.
With the nature of handguns, you need an extreme amount of eye relief to utilize a scoped handgun effectively. The Nikon Force XR has 22.4″ of max eye relief for natural firing stances. It also provides a wide and clear field of view at 100 yards with a 20.5ft FOV.
The XR extended eye relief scope is waterproof and fog proof from nitrogen purging and tight O-ring seals. The tight sealing also keeps these scopes water and fog proof for years of use.
Because of the nature of handguns, it is important that you can focus and locate a target quickly when drawing the weapon and aiming. The Nikon Force XR has a quick focus eyepiece that allows the shooter to have the reticle in focus instantly.
The reticle is easy to use, and for the shooter, the target can easily be acquired because of the Nikoplex reticle. The heavy and bold outer ports that taper down make it extremely easy to locate the target and center the crosshairs quickly. For handguns, this type of reticle is extremely beneficial.
Nikon lenses have been put through an Ultraclear Coating that allows up to 95% light transmission. For the distance between the eye and scope means you need a clear picture. This light transmission allows for that.
The scope features both windage and elevation adjustment turrets as well as parallax adjustment up to 100 yards.
This scope is 8.23” in length and only weighs 7.4oz so you should not have an issue with throwing off the balance of your pistol.
- Compact and lightweight
- Incredible eye relief
- Quick focusing lenses
- Bold reticle for easy target acquisition
- Better adjustment locking needed
Burris is one of the top names in firearm optics, and the Burris Scout Ballistic Plex Scope is one of the best extended eye relief scopes for surplus and scout rifles.
Out of the gate, the ballistics plex scope is easy to aim with even in low light conditions. It also utilizes and elegant and simple trajectory compensating design for on the spot adjustments.
The Burris Scout 2-7X magnification gives you a lot more versatility in shooting situations with your rifle. It is 9.7″ long and only weighs 13 oz which is impressive for its durability. The eye relief ranges from 9.2-12” with a field of view from 23-8 ft at 100 yards.
This LER scope is designed for high action and high recoil. It is double spring tensioned for excellent shock resistance. It is also able to keep its zero setting even during extreme shooting situations.
The steel on steel click adjustments are in 1/4 MOA increments and are easy to adjust on the fly and maintain their setting. This applies to both windage and elevation adjustments.
The Burris Scout Ballistic Plex Scope is nitrogen purged for a fog proof and waterproof scope.
As far as lenses go, they bring with them the expected quality of Burris scopes. All lenses are index-matched with Hi-Lume multicoating providing superb low light performance and glare elimination.
Burris scopes also come with the Burris Forever Warranty.
- Built to withstand high recoil
- Excellent balance with scout and surplus rifles
- Locking turret adjustments
- Fantastic lens quality
- Easy to use reticle with elevation adjustments
- Higher priced than other scopes on this list
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Wrap up and Winner
So, we have provided several examples of long eye relief rifle scopes, including long eye relief scout scopes and pistol scopes. The question is, what is our choice for the best long eye relief scope?
While not an easy decision, we have picked the Burris Scout 2-7X32 as our best long eye relief scope. The craftsmanship and quality you get for the price of this scope are difficult to match. It is lightweight but designed to handle extreme shock and vibrations generated from high caliber scout rifles while maintaining its adjustments.
It offers excellent eye relief along with the versatility that variable scopes provide.
The long eye relief scope serves a specific and needed service in the shooting niche. When you need both eyes available to keep on field targets, have situational awareness, and fast target acquisition, long eye relief scopes are bar none, the scopes of choice.