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Shooting Glasses Reviewby Geoffrey English
Don't take your eyesight for granted. Many of us do, none of us should. As you head off to the range or into the field shooting glasses are a must. When you stop to think about all that is going on in close proximity to your face and eyes, it becomes clear - you just cannot do without the proper shooting eyeglasses. Just the normal act of mounting a semi-auto shotgun and pulling the trigger puts your eyes in harms way of debris leaving the chamber - "blow-back" and ejecting shells. Never mind environmental factors such as wind, dust, chips from incoming target or ricochets. In fact, if you think about it, your choice of shooting eyeglasses could be one of the most important decisions you make before heading into the field.
Don't take your eyesight for granted. Many of us do, none of us should.
I know what you’re thinking; I shoot with standard eyeglasses or sunglasses - that should be enough to protect my eyes in the field. Well truth be told, it’s better than nothing. However, today's shooting glasses are designed specifically for shooting sports and offer protection for your eyes that is unmatched by your standard eyeglasses or sunglasses. In this buyers’ guide, we hope to offer you some guidance when selecting a pair of shooting glasses. We will look at the design characteristic of each of the components of shooting glasses one by one.
Why not start with most important consideration when purchasing a pair of shooting eyeglasses- lens material. Without question, Polycarbonate lenses are the best choice when it comes to lens material. Polycarbonate is a type of Lexan, and was developed by the aerospace industry for use in helmet visors worn by Apollo astronauts and is the same material used in bullet proof glass at banks and armored vehicles. The material is 10 times more impact-resistant than other plastic lenses on the market. Polycarbonate lenses are lighter than standard plastic or glass, which is good news when it comes to comfort in the field - you won't be constantly pushing your glasses back on your nose. Polycarbonate lenses offer inherent ultraviolet protection. About 99 percent of potentially damaging UV rays are filtered out by these lenses. Polycarbonate shooting glass lenses are also treated with a scratch-resistant coating to keep the lenses clear for as long as possible. Simply put, we strongly recommend shooting glasses made with lenses from polycarbonate material.
Randolph Ranger Shooting Glasses come standard with industry leading 2.5mm polycarbonate lenses that can withstand a 12-gauge shotgun blast from 10 meters (34 feet).
When it comes to shooting sports the ability of the lens to protect you against "blow-back" and "bounce-back" is essential. After all, safety is the primary reason we buy shooting glasses in the first place, followed closely by choosing a lens to help us pick up targets easier in different lighting conditions. When it comes to impact resistant, the one manufacturer that made it clear to me why polycarbonate lenses are the best choice is Randolph Engineering. See picture above. The Randolph Ranger Shooting Glasses come standard with industry leading 2.5mm polycarbonate lenses that can withstand a 12-gauge shotgun blast from 10 meters (34 feet).
Comfort and Fit:
Eye coverage is extremely important when considering a style of shooting glasses to purchase. There are many styles of shooting glasses on the market today; they include standard to wrap style shooting glasses. Wrap style shooting glasses offer additional protection on the side of the shooter’s eyes. These types of glasses have become very popular with hunters as they offer protection from a stray branch or thorn while pushing through the thickest cover. Sporting clays shooters also find wrap style of shooting glasses popular as they offer maximum eye coverage when shooting oncoming targets where the chance of clay fragments or ricochets is greater.
Closely related to comfort is the weight of the glasses. For this reason, we recommend a frame constructed of lightweight material like aluminum or plastic. We also recommend shooting glasses that offer a fully adjustable silicone nose piece which allows shooters maximum comfort and the ability to adjust the glasses for proper line of sight. Frames constructed with spring hinges and flexible temples and cable cords that wrap around the ear are also useful features designed to add comfort and style to any pair of shooting glasses.
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