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To the old hands at a shooting range who have only a dim recollection of the pain, it's jokingly called a scope kiss. To those who can vividly remember having their gun scope clobber them in the forehead, it is most assuredly a scope bite.
Whatever you want to call it, pulling the trigger and having the rifle scope smack your brow line can be a real turnoff for new or experienced shooters. Most are so hopped up on adrenalin; though, they don't even know there was a half moon howdy-do between their eyepiece and eyebrow until the blood trickles down their face.
There are three main reasons why shooters get scope bit, according to Vickie Gardner, Alpen Optics Vice President of Marketing.
"Number one, it happens when people get excited, and they're not focusing on what they're doing", Vickie said. "Another reason is when people are shooting, they're trying to see the full field of view through their scope. If they're not seeing it, they tend to scooch their face up on the stock to get a better look. And the third reason is the scope isn't mounted correctly for the shooter. It should be mounted so there is enough room between the ocular lens and your eyeball so you don't have to struggle to get the full picture."
There are steps you can take to make sure you don't have a head on collision with your scope.
First, be an active part of the process of buying your scope and having it mounted so it's right for you.
"When you buy a rifle scope, make sure it has soft rubber ocular covers in case you do get bumped" Vickie advised. "Older scopes often have sharp edges. All Alpen scopes feature that more forgiving rubber ring."
"Also, if you're shooting a bigger gun, a recoil pad will help you keep your distance from the scope."
Lastly, Vickie recommends that you get comfortable with your gun.
"Know where to put your face on the stock and practice that way so your positioning becomes second nature. Although shooting is fun, try not to get too excited. Shoot with control. Breath in, then breath halfway out and squeeze the trigger. Don't hold your breath."
Bottom line, use your head for thinking, so it doesn't end up as a battering ram.
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