Handgun Eye Relief

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Is the relief in my handgun the same as on my rifle?

Handgun Eye Relief

No, it can't be! Since a handgun is held at arms length away from your sighting eye, the “eye relief” of a handgun scope is set for a longer distance than it is on a rifle scope. What a lot of folks don't realize is that variable power (zoom-magnification) scopes change their eye relief as the magnification zooms from low to high.

A scope that is an arms length away at 2-3X has to be sucked back to 10-11 inches away on 7-9X. Since a handgunner is most accurate when he maintains a consistent hold, having to change his hold for a variable scope is bad for accuracy. With the limited field of view and reduced eye relief of handgun scopes in the over 7X magnification, I recommend them primarily for bench rest target and varmint shooting.



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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.