How to Prevent Scope Bite

30th Aug 2021

When you're out in the woods hunting, adrenaline is high, and you're always locked in on your target. Sometimes, mistakes can happen in the heat of the moment, and you can end up with injuries like scope bites.

What Is Scope Bite?

Scope bite, scope eye, scope ring — no matter what you call it, it's something you want to avoid. Scope bite is an injury to your eyebrow, forehead or dominant eye that occurs when your rifle's scope jumps backward with the firearm's recoil, making contact with your face.

While some may think of scope eye as more of a nuisance, it can result in serious injuries. Wounds to the head and face tend to bleed a lot, and if you're out in the woods hunting, it may be a while before you get to the nearest emergency room for stitches or other treatments.

What Causes Scope Bite?

Scope bite occurs when you fire your gun and the recoil causes the rifle and its mounted optic to move forcefully backward. If you're close enough, the back edge of the eyepiece makes contact with your eyebrow area, leaving you with anything from a slight bruise to a nasty cut that requires stitches.

There are a lot of small factors that can cause your scope to bite, like using a scope that requires you to get close, shooting without proper support or shooting quickly without taking the time to ensure you're set up correctly.

Tips for Preventing Scope Bite

Whether you're an amateur or an experienced shooter, you're still susceptible to scope bite. It only takes forgetting your fundamentals for one shot — like when you're fighting a case of buck fever — to end up with that telltale scar by your dominant eye. However, there are several preventive measures you can take to avoid this injury:

  • Start with the right scope: Get a scope with greater eye relief that allows you to obtain a good view while keeping a safe distance.
  • Mount your gun properly: Your firearm should always be firmly planted against your shoulder to mitigate recoil.
  • Adjust your head position: If you're firing uphill or at an angle, be sure to adjust to keep your eye a safe distance from your scope.
  • Use a firearm that fits: If your length of pull is too long or short, you may not be able to firmly brace the rifle's buttpad against your shoulder for a proper mount.
  • Practice keeping your distance: Use your unloaded rifle to practice shooting in different positions, keeping your eye away from the scope.
  • Upgrade to an advanced recoil pad: A quality pad will help manage your firearm's recoil to reduce your risk of scope bite.

Most importantly, always be sure to take your time. Any hunter that sees their target show up unexpectedly may be tempted to take a quick shot, but doing so without taking the time to set up properly could leave you with a bloody eyebrow.

Find a Scope That Won't Bite

As mentioned above, one of the most important parts of preventing scope bite is having a quality optic with generous eye relief so you can obtain the proper sight picture from a safe distance. Browse our collection of exceptional optics to find a scope that will give you an edge without the bite. 

Additional Shooting Tips: