Top 7 Best Long Eye Relief Scopes for Hunting and Shooting in 2023

best long relief scopes

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Scope eye happens when your gun scope slams into your face because of the recoil. Gun guru David Petzal says if you never get scope eye, you are not shooting enough.

Eye relief, the distance between your eye and the end of the scope, will help you avoid scope eye.

We round up the best long eye relief scopes on the market and give you the pros and cons of each one. Make an informed decision with this list of the best long eye relief scopes for sale before you buy.

The Best Long Eye Relief Scopes

  • Superior glass
  • Fully waterproof
  • Leupold lifetime warranty
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  • Vortex glass
  • Vortex warranty
  • Rapid target acquisition
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  • Really long eye relief
  • Good for close quarter shooting
  • Excellent choice for 3-gun tournaments
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  • Very affordable
  • MRAD reticle with choices
  • Lifetime warranty
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  • Choice of reticle
  • Solar panel backup
  • Holosun warranty
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  • Choice of dot size
  • Pic rail mount
  • Long battery life
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  • Super long battery life
  • Super waterproof
  • Very high customer satisfaction
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Here is a list of the best traditional long eye relief scopes. 

1. Best Overall – Leupold VX Freedom Scout

The best overall scope is the Leupold Freedom Scout. It comes with an outstanding lifetime warranty and excellent eye relief. This is the kind of scope you want on an African safari for dangerous game like Cape Buffalo. The long eye relief makes it a top choice for people who demand the absolute best. You will pay a bit more than some other scopes in this list.


  • It is part of the VX line. At 6 to 6.9 inches of eye relief, this is just excellent.
  • This scope is seriously tough. Professional hunters in Africa recommend getting within 100 yards of dangerous game before taking a shot. The Leupold will stand up to the recoil of Dangerous Game rifles.
  • It has a 1.5 – 4 magnification range. Since it has ¼ MOA clicks, it is more precise than many other scout scopes from other makers.
  • The front bell is only 28mm. It is not the best for twilight shooting. However, since this is a Leupold, it will gather more light than cheap scopes with a bigger objective lens. 


  • Superior glass
  • Fully waterproof
  • Leupold lifetime warranty
  • Rapid target acquisition
  • 1 inch tube


  • 67 MOA adjustment range

Summary: I am not happy about the 67 MOA click range, but this is enough for this scope. The price is awesome for a Leupold and 6 inches of eye relief is enough even on a .450 NE.

Leupold VX Freedom Scout

The price of Leupold VX Freedom Scout varies, so check the latest price at

2. Best for Acquiring Targets Rapidly – Vortex Crossfire II

This Vortex Crossfire II is the scout scope version of the Crossfire II family. Scout scopes generally offer good eye relief. You get around 4 inches of eye relief with this scope, which is the minimum for a scope considered to be long eye relief. 


  • It is a 1-4 magnification.
  • It has the lifetime Vortex warranty. If the scope ever breaks, you get a replacement or the nearest scope in current inventory to what you turned in.
  • Vortex also offers some of the best glass in the business at a price considerably lower than top European or Japanese optics glass.
  • Parallax is set at 100 yards. Frankly, this a scope you are not going to use at long range so that is good enough. If you are trying to hit something at 200 yards with this scope, good luck. It is not designed for that.
  • This scope has ½ MOA adjustments, another reason it is not a long range scope.
  • The lighted reticle uses a CR2032 battery. If you use a scope with a battery, change it once a year, whether used or not.


  • Vortex glass
  • Vortex warranty
  • Rapid target acquisition


  • ½ MOA click value
  • 30 mm rings more expensive than 1 inch rings

Summary: I am gradually switching most of my scopes to Vortex because of the quality of the glass, warranty and price. This is No. 2 on the list because the Leupold is almost the same price. 

Vortex Crossfire II

The price of Vortex Crossfire II varies, so check the latest price at

3. Best for Close Quarter Shooting – Burris Scout

The Burris Scout has enough eye relief, 8.5 – 14 inches, to make you think this is a handgun scope. It is not. A handgun scope needs a lot more eye relief. 

That distance is actually long enough to put a magnifier behind the scope if you want. A rear magnifier can be flipped out of the way if you do not need it. A front mount attaches to the scope and is not a fast remove.


  • The Scout has a 2.75 fixed magnification. The ½ MOA click value is not the worst, but certainly not the best either if you need precision.
  • You get a HUGE 140 MOA adjustment range in elevation and in windage. 
  • It is “parallax free,” but if you are shooting past 200 yards, you have to be careful how you line up behind the scope.
  • That said, the fixed magnification means this is not a long range scope. 2.75 means anything you see through the scope is 2.75 times larger than seeing it with your naked eye. I would not use this past 150 yards unless I had no choice.
  • It is in a 1 inch tube, so rings are easy to find.


  • Really long eye relief
  • Good for close quarter shooting
  • Excellent choice for 3-gun tournaments


  • Not good for heavy recoil rifles
  • Fixed magnification
  • ½ MOA clicks
  • Parallax free is not entirely correct

Summary: The fixed magnification range means if you are shooting something close, getting on target may take a bit longer than if you used a 1x scope. That second or so makes a difference when you are in a tournament and money is on the line.

Burris Scout

The price of Burris Scout varies, so check the latest price at

4. Best Warranty – UTG Scout

The UTG brand of scope is not as familiar to some people, but it is developing a reputation for quality. The UTG scout scope also offers an impressive 9-11 inches of eye relief. Big air rifles are known for shredding scopes and I shoot a UTG on my big pneumatic. It is holding up perfectly.


  • This is a mil-dot scope that uses milliradians (MRAD) instead of MOA. The reticle’s dots, elevation and windage are 1 MRAD apart. You get a choice of 9, 6 or 4 dots on each line on each side.
  • Click values are ¼ MOA. This may sound confusing since the reticle is MRAD. It is not. Just sight in your rifle. Shoot the gun by moving the reticle up and down to see where the MRAD dots line up on the target.
  • The UTG scout is a 2-7 magnification and the reticle is lighted with a CR2032 battery. The battery should be good for more than 1,000 hours, but change it each year just in case.
  • You get 8 base colors for the reticle with several shade levels for a huge color selection on the reticle. It is in a 30mm tube and the rings are included with your purchase.


  • Very affordable
  • ¼ MOA clicks
  • MRAD reticle with choices
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Parallax adjustment 10 yards to infinity


  • Heavy, 1.58 pounds
  • Not fully waterproof

Summary: As noted in the cons, this is a heavy scope and not waterproof. The “not waterproof” is a much bigger negative. This scope, for me, goes on a gun that goes into the woods to chase wild hogs. Slipping, falling or accidentally dropping the gun while I am trying to cross a creek is a real possibility.

UTG Scout

The price of UTG Scout varies, so check the latest price at


Reflex scope

Reflex scopes, mistakenly called red dots, offer unlimited eye relief. A reflex scope is a single pane of glass in a frame. If you need maximum eye relief, you need a reflex.

You can mount these to a handgun, shotgun or rifle. I have one on my Marlin 1895 Guide gun specifically because of the eye relief. 

Reflex scopes do not have a zoom. You must add a magnifier to get any zoom. The parallax will vary, but is always fixed. Some of these are parallax free, meaning you are always on target when you look through the pane. 

5. Most Lightweight – Holosun HS507C-X2

You will see Holosun products on most competitive handgun shooters’ rigs. They are that good. The Holosun HS507C-X2 is a reasonably priced Holosun. This one is also good for carbines, especially lever actions. The arrow reticle makes it ideal for shotguns as the dot will not hide the target.


  • You get a choice of a 2 MOA reticle or an upward arrow. The arrow will give you more pinpoint accuracy as it does not cover so much of the target.
  • It has a 1 MOA click value, good enough for this kind of optic.
  • The upward reticle is perfect for shotgunners. It is very good for rifles too. 
  • It has “shake awake” tech inside. This means when you move the gun, the scope turns on. 
  • This technology also means the battery dies much faster than in optics where you need to switch it on and off manually. 
  • It uses a CR1632 battery which you will have to change every year.
  • You do need an adapter to mount this to a pic rail. It comes with hardware to mount to a semi auto handgun slide with an RMR cut.


  • Choice of reticle
  • Solar panel backup
  • Great for shotguns with arrow reticle
  • Holosun warranty
  • Shake Awake technology
  • Small red dot
  • Super lightweight, 1.5 ounces
  • Waterproof


  • 1 MOA click value
  • Requires special pic rail adapter
  • Goes through batteries faster than others.

Summary: A lot of competition shooters are moving to the Holosun. They make a living shooting so they must have the best. When the pros are using something, it is a very good idea to follow them. 

Holosun HS507C-X2

The price of Holosun HS507C-X2 varies, so check the latest price at

6. Vortex Venom

The Vortex Venom is a great reflex scope for close range work depending on the model. You get unlimited eye relief. You can literally mount this at the end of the barrel and it still works. The 6 MOA dot is best for close work. Once you get past about 75 yards, the dot is simply too big for precision shooting.


  • The 6 MOA is also good for wingshooting if you need that kind of help. If you are hunting turkeys, the 6 MOA will also serve you well. If the big dot hides the bird’s head, pull the trigger and collect your longbeard.
  • The 3 MOA dot version is ideal for lever action carbines like the .30-30 and .45-70 Government. Lever actions are not known for tack-driving accuracy, but they can shoot a 3-inch group at 100 yards.
  • It has a 1 MOA click value. Given the typical use of this optic, that is good enough. It has 100 MOA of adjustment, again plenty for this type of device.
  • It uses a CR1632 battery. While you do get a really long battery life, change it each year.


  • Choice of dot size
  • Pic rail mount
  • Long battery life
  • Waterproof
  • Vortex warranty
  • Super light weight 1.1 ounces


  • 1 MOA click value
  • Large dot decreases accuracy at distance

Summary: Vortex makes a great reflex scope. Combined with the company’s warranty and superior customer service, you just can’t go wrong with this one.

Vortex Venom

The price of Vortex Venom varies, so check the latest price at

Red Dot

A red dot scope is in a tube but uses a red dot or marks powered by a battery. The tube is the biggest difference between a reflex and a red dot. Many people call both kinds red dot scopes.

Red dots do not give you a sight picture as fast as a reflex will. The speed is more on par with the scout scopes above. When reflex scopes came along, red dots lost some of their popularity. Many shooters still swear by this kind of scope.

7. Aimpoint Pro Patrol

It is hard to find optics with more than 500 customer ratings with a better than 4.5 star rating. The Aimpoint Pro Patrol has a 4.8 rating with more than 500 reviews. It has unlimited eye relief so you can place it over the barrel instead of the action.


  • This scope is waterproof to 150 feet, exceeding the waterproof level of 90% of all the gun scopes out there today.
  • The mount for a pic rail puts this scope high up, especially compared to a reflex. The mount is also included with your purchase. The tube is 30mm.
  • It weighs less than a pound and so splits the difference in weight between reflex and tube scopes.
  • The tube is 5.2 inches, a good bit shorter than the scout scopes listed above.
  • The Pro Patrol has a click value of .6 inches at 100 yards. This is not the best nor the worst adjustment range of the optics listed here.
  • It uses a pretty thick DL1/3N battery. Aimpoint says the battery has about 30,000 hours of continuous use.
  • It does not gather as much light as other optics. Aimpoint says it transmits 60% of the light. This is definitely not a twilight scope.
  • This is a 1x scope. You can mount a magnifier to increase the zoom. It has a 2 MOA dot.


  • Super long battery life
  • Super waterproof
  • Very high customer satisfaction


  • Low light transmission
  • Sits high on the gun

Summary: This is a good scope for an AR 15 or similar gun for shooters who do not want a big tube scope but also want more than a reflex scope. My biggest issue is the light transmission. Aimpoint can do better, the tech is readily available. That change will drive the scope’s cost up some.


The price of Vortex Optics Strike Eagle Riflescope varies, so check the latest price at

How Long Is Long Eye Relief?

Long eye relief is a subjective matter. Four inches is about the minimum for long eye relief. The longest eye relief, literally the length of your arm, is on handgun optics. These can be traditional tube scopes, red dot scopes or reflex scopes. Typical eye relief for scopes meant exclusively for long guns is around three to under five inches.

Handgun scopes can mount on long guns. I have a handgun scope on one of my Mosin Nagants. I replaced the rear sight with the scope. If you have a Mosin, check out our list of best Mosin scopes.

Why Does Eye Relief Matter?

Eye relief matters because if you are too close to the scope, you will get scope eye. If you are too far away, you will see black rings around the reticle. Your view can also be dark and fuzzy.

Adjust the placement of the scope on the mounting rail so the gun shoulders comfortably and you get the proper sight picture. Now, jerk the gun back against your shoulder. If the scope gets too close to your face, you must move it farther up the rail.

You may need to get a different scope if you cannot adjust the eye relief to avoid scope eye.

Eye relief means you can push the scope forward on your gun. If you run an AR platform with a long Pic rail, you can mount several of these scopes over the barrel instead of the receiver.

My eye relief is different from other shooters. I find I need the scope a bit closer than most people. I have to be careful when shooting heavy recoil guns. I learned that through painful experience.

If you wish to know how to sight in a scope, This video is for you!

Buying Guide

Before you decide to buy a long eye relief scope, decide what you are going to do with the gun and the scope. It does make a difference.

Here are some guide points to consider. These are based on my experience as a hunter, shooter, guide and gun store owner.

1. Use

Are you hunting, plinking, shooting tournaments or any combination of the three? What about self defense?

If you hunt, you need enough precision to put the bullet in the target area every time for an ethical kill. All of these listed scopes will do that on deer-sized targets out to 100 yards. I like reflex scopes on lever action carbines.

If you are shooting a dangerous game gun, elephant gun, in other words, get the Leupold.

If you are plinking, then any of these scopes will do.

Tournament shooting depends on the kind of tourney. If this is precision shooting, you need one of the traditional tube scopes. The reflex and red dots do not have enough precision.

You also need ¼ MOA click values and decent magnification. That narrows the list a bit. Precision tournament shooters can also use a front mount magnifier if allowed under the rules.

If you are running three-gun or speed shooting, then you need to get on target as fast as possible. Since the targets are not really long distance, a reflex scope is your best choice.

Reflex is the best choice for defense. You can see everything because you do not have a tube. You get the fastest possible sight picture.

If you use the gun for more than two of the choices noted in this section, then your priorities are precision and speed. Get on target fast and make sure your bullet goes exactly where you want. I recommend the Aimpoint Pro Patrol in this case.

2. Weight

Weight matters most in stop and stalk hunting. The more gear you carry, the faster you will wear out. Lightweight guns and lightweight scopes matter. Yes, ounces will matter at the end of the day.

If you plan to hunt during the day, the Pro Patrol is a good choice. If you hunt in the twilight hours, the Leupold is your best bet, despite weighing a bit more. 

If weight is your only criterion, get a reflex scope. 

3. Durability

How tough is the scope? That depends on your definition of tough.

For ruggedness, it is hard to beat the Holosun. A pro shooter demonstrates that in this video.

On the other hand, if recoil is your concern, get the Leupold. A first-time hunter in Africa takes a nice Black Death using a Leupold scout scope.

Never mind it takes more than one shot to bring the beast down. Cape Buffalo take immense amounts of damage before going down. Multiple shots are the norm, no matter the rifle.

The Vortex Venom is the least tough of all the scopes listed here no matter your criteria. Drop this one and you are likely to crack the glass. Impact damage is not covered under the warranty.

4. Waterproof

My optics have to be waterproof, no matter what I use them for. 

I might drop it in a creek accidentally while trying to cross. I might get soaked by the rain. Rain resistance is not waterproof. The Aimpoint takes the win by a huge margin for being waterproof. This one could sit at the bottom of my pond for a month and still work when I hauled it out.

5. Distance

How far are you shooting? Some of these scopes max out at 200 yards realistically. Some get to 100 yards and that is far as you can expect to go.

If you know everything you will shoot is under 100 yards, get a long eye relief scope with a low or no magnification level. If your shots may reach to 200 yards, you need some magnification.

If you get a scope with a lot of eye relief, you can add a magnifier to increase the zoom.

6. Zoom

A problem with most long eye relief scopes is you do not get a lot of magnification or zoom. Trybe Optics steps in with a front-mount doubler.

If you have a 2x scope, the Trybe doubler turns that into a 4x. Just be sure you get the right tube diameter to mount it to your scope.

This one does not flip out of the way. Also, it will not work on scopes with a taper sun hood.

If you have enough eye relief, you can also mount a rear magnifier. These are very popular with red dot and reflex scope users. The Vortex Micro attaches behind your scope on the rail. It is a 3x magnifier.

Better yet, it comes on a hinge. If you do not need to zoom in, just push it out of the way.

These magnifiers do reduce the amount of light that goes through the glass to your eyeball. If you use a magnifier on the Pro Patrol, you are definitely not using it in low light conditions.

If you wish to know how to measure eye relief for a scope, Go through this article.


What is considered long eye relief on a scope?

According to the optics industry, a long eye relief scope starts at 6 inches and goes up from there.

What size scope is best for long-range shooting?

The best size scope for long range shooting is a traditional tube scope with a tactical reticle. These do not have long eye relief.

Does eye relief affect accuracy?

Eye relief can affect accuracy because of parallax error. Longer eye relief increases the chances of you not lining up behind the scope for an accurate shot.


Long eye relief optics absolutely have a place on some of our guns. This kind of glass is best on short-range guns, ones that shoot to 150 yards at most.

Some long eye relief scopes can stretch that to 200 yards. They are not common.

If you are looking for a one size fits all, then expect trade-offs. You sacrifice precision for a big dot in reflex. You add more weight for a scout scope. 

If you can tailor the optic for the gun, then you are getting maximum value from the glass and the gun.

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