Since most military and police sniper rifles are handed down from previous users, there's a hesitancy for the inheriting marksman to change anything that has "worked" in the past. This attitude is not entirely wrong—"if it ain't broke, don't fix it"—but when it comes to eye relief, it's a big mistake. Whether you're mounting or remounting a scope or you've just been issued a sniper weapon, you must adjust the eye relief.
Excuse my harping, but I must emphasize: correct eye relief is critical to properly employing a scope. If you have correct eye relief, you can shoot very fast since the instant you throw- your rifle to your shoulder, you can see through the scope. If you have correct eye relief, your entire field of view is visible,
yielding the maximum benefit from your optics. If you have correct eye relief, you've largely eliminated parallax. If you have correct eye relief, you'll see the maximum brilliance from your scope, with your eye at just the right exit pupil distance. If you have correct eye relief, your natural stockweld will become an even stronger "muscle memory" and make for better shooting. These are not inconsequential benefits.
On the other hand, if you don't have correct eye relief, you'll find yourself "curkey necking"— bobbing your head back and forth until you find the scope's focus. This is slow and leads to inconsistent shooting.
Interrelated to eye relief is ensuring that your rifle's cheekrest is the correct height so that your eye aligns with the center of the scope and 3'ou aren't bobbing your head up and down to find the image, a bad habit I've dubbed "goose necking." Your cheek should be firmly planted on the cheekrest in a natural stockweld and not craned up when eyeing through the scope.
Once you've installed the base and rings, look through the scope and push it as far forward as you can and still see the entire field of view. You'll find that there's about a half-inch margin of vision, and you want to begin with the eye relief as far forward as possible. You start here so your fine-tuning will leave a maximum gap with less chance of the scope striking your eyebrow during recoil.
Now, raise the rifle to your shoulder several times with your eyes closed; when your cheek feels naturally positioned, open your eyes and check the eye relief. Don't try to focus on anything, just check and see if the field of view is at its maximum and you have a clear scope picture with the image filling the glass. Fight the temptation to slide the scope back the tiniest bit more than is absolutely necessary, remembering that recoil will thrust it back during firing.
Once satisfied, tighten the screws a bit more, but leave them loose enough that you can rotate the scope with thumb pressure. Now you're ready to adjust the vertical and horizontal crosshair alignment to prevent canting.
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