Years before World War I, many nations experienced significant improvements in the technology of rifle optics. Before the introduction of the long eye relief rifle scope, a technological advancement known as a refractor scope, came into play. A refractor is a type of scope that enables light to pass directly to the shooter’s eye and significantly improve their ability to see targets in the dimmest of light conditions.
However, it wasn’t until 1880 before these lenses could be made small enough and durable enough for military and hunting use. Eventually, an advance in optics design evolved to give sharpshooters the upper hand for low light light conditions. This technological breakthrough was the long eye relief scope.
Today’s sports optics industry manufacturers many brands of long eye relief scopes which are very common among shooting enthusiasts. They are usually found on hunting revolvers, but are also popular on Scout rifles and some surplus rifles. Extended eye relief scopes can be mounted further up on the firearm’s receiver, therefore they are excellent choices for surplus rifles and will not hinder the receiver.
Unlike high powered scopes, long eye relief scopes are more effective and generally have a minimal eye relief of 6 inches. Here’s where eye relief comes into play — eye relief is basically the distance between the ocular lens and the eye where the full field of view is visible.
However, it depends on the situation to determine the amount of scope eye relief needed, as well as the type of firearm being used. Will you be using a large hunting rifle or a handgun?
Long eye relief scopes are the only type of scope that can be used for handguns. And they are certainly compact enough to keep the handgun balanced — but you do need a decent amount of eye relief to have the correct positioning for shooting.
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Long Eye Relief vs Short Eye Relief
Both long eye relief (LER) and short eye relief optics have a certain design and function and they have many different advantages and disadvantages for the consumer. As stated above, long eye relief scopes can begin at the minimal, 6 inches and proceed upwards.
The preferred weapon for a long relief scope is a large hunting revolver, and also have a shorter magnification level. The function of a good long eye relief scope is all about hitting your target with speed — and it needs to be extremely tough and reliable.
When you’re in a situation where your image needs to be clear, you’ll most definitely need an easy to use, lightweight, crisp and high definition optic. Precision and accuracy goes without saying when you’re looking for a quality LER scope.
1. Leapers Accushot
This long relief scope is one of the finest for scout and surplus rifles by Leapers Accushot. Its long eye relief of 11 inches enables it to be mounted well above the receiver — perfect for numerous surplus rifles.
The variable power adjustment of this scope can be extremely beneficial for multiple shooting situations. However, this scope is heavier than most at 25.4 ounces, so you should practice extreme caution when mounting this optic and make sure your firearm is balanced. If you follow these basic rules, the ballistics will not be affected.
Featuring multi-emerald coating for excellent light transmission and image clarity, the Leapers Accushot also includes a TactEdge angled sunshade over the objective lens further alleviates any reflections or glare.
In addition, the Leapers Accushot long eye relief scout scope has elevation, windage and parallax adjustment turrets that offer zero locking and zero resetting. With 1/4 MOA finger adjustment clicks for easy adjustments on the move, this scope also offers a six mil-dot reticle to provide quick elevation adjustment.
The reticle can be illuminated in 36 different color modes and it does require batteries — which can add to the scope’s overall weight. The Leapers Accushot is a trusty long eye relief optic that is perfect for rifles because it combines a compact design with a good level of magnification.
- Superb eye relief
- Zero locking properties
- Tough and durable design
- Emerald lens coatings
- Waterproof, shockproof and fog proof
- TactEdge angled integral sunshade
- Eye relief: 11 inches
- Six mil-dot etched glass reticle with 36 color modes
- Check price on Amazon
2. Leupold VX-3 Xtended Twilight Lens System
Leupold is a world-leading scope manufacturer with a huge consumer base and ranks among the best in the optics industry. Their team of engineers, expert designers and scientists deliver some of the world’s most popular scopes.
In this review, there are two LER scope options listed by Leupold. The first long eye relief scope we’ve chosen is the Leupold VX-3 Handgun 2.5-8x32mm with Xtended Twilight Lens System. You’ll soon read about our second long eye relief scope option by Leupold.
The Xtended Twilight Lens System™ has the capability to optimize the transmission of low-light wavelengths — low-light images appear in brighter detail than with other riflescope. In addition to this lens system, Leupold gives you their DiamondCoat 2™ lens coatings on exterior lens surfaces to provide an extremely high level of scratch resistance.
In addition to the generous 15-inch eye relief, it offers over 12 feet of view at 100 yards on its lowest setting and blackened lens edges reduce light diffusion, meaning that light reaches the eye for a brighter image. The twin bias spring utilizes up to 30 percent more holding force on the erector for longer scope life.
The Leupold VX-3 Xtended Twilight System™ offers finger-adjustable, cryogenically treated, ¼-MOA click windage and elevation adjustments. The pointer dial is also resettable to the zero point quite easily.
The Leupold VX-3 comes fully equipped with a tactile power indicator that offers built-in range estimation functions and graphite O-rings for easy operation. This long eye relief scope made by Leupold is designed superbly, user-friendly and definitely one of our favorites.
- Durable, tough and scratch-free
- Easy to adjust
- Supreme quality
- One-inch main tube
- Graphite O-rings
- Eco-friendly lead-free elements for maximum light transmission
- Fast focus eyepiece
- Fully multi coated lenses
- Magnification: 2.5x – 8x
- Objective lens diameter: 32mm
- Eye relief: 15 inches
- Waterproof and fogproof
- Backed by Leupold’s full lifetime warranty
- Check price on Amazon
3. Leupold FX-1 Scout Scope
This simple, yet sturdy scout scope is a gem of an optic that’s made with some of the best lens technology on the market. In addition, the Leupold FX-1 is a fixed 2.5×28 Scout Scope ideal for shooting at distances within 100 yards.
This sturdy long eye relief scope is perfect for any rifle or shotgun with its 9.2-inch scope eye relief and lightweight design at 7.5 ounces. The FX-1 Scout Scope offers an etched Duplex reticle to provide easy target acquisition while in the field, in addition to the company’s patented Multicoat 4 lens coating for increased light transmission through the objective lens.
Featuring a low profile elevation, the Leupold FX-1 Scout Scope boasts windage adjustment turrets with 1/4 MOA finger clicks. The Leupold FX-1 Scout Scope is an effective long eye relief scope for consistent performance in the field and comes available in silver (sharp color option), matte, or gunmetal gray. It’s a solid and smart choice.
- Excellent lens system
- Lightweight, reliable and durable
- Large field of view at 100 yards
- Constructed of tough aluminum
- Backed by Leupold’s Gold Ring Full Lifetime Warranty
- Check price on Amazon
4. Nikon Force XR Scope
The Nikon company is a Japanese multinational corporation specializing in optics and imaging products. From cameras, camera lenses and binoculars, to microscopes, spotting scopes and rifle scopes, Nikon remains a consistent leader in the optics industry.
The Nikon Force XR is tough, rugged, and sports a recoil proof construction. As well as an exceptional level of magnification, it only weighs a little over eleven ounces. The Force XR handgun scope also offers up to 30 inches of eye relief.
Featuring a variable magnification from 2.5 times to 8 times power, the Nikon Force XR offers a high level of magnifications to allow precision shots at longer handgun ranges. However, this makes the scope a bit long, but it remains compact by keeping a 28mm objective lens.
This ultra-compact pistol scope was designed to handle and take in high recoil from large caliber handguns and its recoil-proof construction presents you a handgun scope that will stand up to the repetitive shock of pistol firing. The Nikon Force XR has a quick focus eyepiece that allows the shooter to have the reticle in focus automatically.
In addition to long eye relief, the Nikon Force XR also provides a wide and clear field of view at 100 yards. The Nikon Force XR extended eye relief scope is waterproof and fog proof from nitrogen purging thanks to the tight O-ring seals.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a hunter or a competitive shooter, we here at Gun News Daily think you’ll be very happy with the user-friendly Nikon Force XR.
- Compact, reliable and lightweight
- Incredible eye relief
- Built for handguns, not rifles
- Quick focusing lenses
- User-friendly optic
- Ultra Clear Coat Optical System provides up to 95% light transmission
- Waterproof, fog proof and shockproof
- Check latest price on Cabela’s
5. Aim Sports Scout Scope
Aim Sports Inc. has been a leading supplier of innovative, quality, affordable products since 20017. Located in California, their design team has years of experience in optics for law enforcement, competition shooting, numerous other industries.
The Aim Sports Scout Scope is a brilliant choice for rifles handling long eye relief. The optic on this Scout Scope includes a set of scope rings mountable to any one-inch Weaver rail. In addition, the Scout Scope provides a crystal clear picture at any magnification setting. And at higher levels, the 42mm objective lens is very handy for gathering light at dawn or dusk.
Made to be tough, reliable and durable, the Aim Sports Scout Scope offers a variable magnification, from 2 times to 7 times power, and it provides anywhere from 8.5 inches to 10 inches of eye relief. The optic on the Sports Scout is shockproof, fog proof, nitrogen purged and tightly sealed to prevent water and fog from entering the scope.
The Scout Scope is easy to use, dependable and offers a high level of magnification for a good long eye relief optic. This is one of those LER optics that will last for years to come.
- Magnification: 2x-7x
- 42mm objective lens
- Eye relief: 8.5-10.5 inches
- Mil-dot reticle
- Very user-friendly
- 30mm tube diameter
- Check price on Amazon
For your next hunting trip, it’s always a wise choice to take along your best long eye relief scope (and with a good set of scope rings as well). With a longer eye relief, or extended relief, you’ll be able to see the full image of your target without feeling like your eyes are inside of the scope.
But remember, to qualify as a long eye relief optic, your scope will need at the minimum, six inches of eye relief. There are many brands and models out there, some with bells and whistles, while others are simply bare bones.
While it might seem difficult to choose the right LER scope for you, it really isn’t that tough. Some of the very best long eye relief scopes offer versatile capabilities and functions and can be mounted onto a variety of different surplus rifles or platforms for accuracy. Plus, if you read online reviews by verified purchasers you’ll get some good advice.
In this review, we’ve highlighted some great long eye relief rifle scopes, and as with other reviews, we’ve chosen a best pick. Overall, the Leupold VX-3 Handgun 2.5-8x32mm with Xtended Twilight Lens System, offers crystal clear clarity and sharp accuracy of the image. Although the eye relief on this Leupold optic is longer, it still shows extremely clear and accurate visuals.
The best part about this Leupold scope is the price is right in sync with its all-around optimal performance. By no means is it a cheap optic, but you will get great value for the money. Whether you choose the Leupold VX-3 or any other scope in this review, you really can’t go wrong — they’re all fantastic optics.