No matter if you are on the shooting range or out hunting, there are several safety precautions that need to be taken when operating firearms. Wearing protective eyewear is something that, unfortunately, is sometimes overlooked.
The following information provides three reasons why shooting glasses are extremely important.
1. Accidents Happen More Often Than People Realize
It's amazing how many hunters get hit with an errant birdshot or a ricochet. Even excessive powder can blow back and burn your eyes. Eyewear will also protect eyes when spent cartridges are ejected from the firearm. Even the flash of a muzzle can cause damage. Many people wear ear protection when using firearms. We should value our eyesight as highly as our hearing.
2. Glasses Give Added Protection From the Environment
Even when the firearm is not in use, there are other hazards that can potentially harm an individual's eyes. When in a thick wooded area, stray branches, twigs, and leaves can also damage your eyes. Even when cleaning a firearm it's a good idea to wear glasses to protect the eyes from cleaning solvents or springs that can come loose.
3. Glasses Not Only Protect the Eyes But May Help an Individual See Better
The right pair of glasses can produce a great contrast when target shooting. Yellow glasses will turn the white on a black and white target yellow, but the black remains the same. Some shooters insist that this provides a greater contrast and will improve accuracy.
Selecting a Pair of Shooting Glasses
When choosing a pair of protective eyewear, there are several components to consider. The lenses need to be strong. Standard reading glasses or non-rated shooting glasses may shatter upon impact with the glass from them going into your eyes. Polycarbonate is the strongest material that can be purchased for shooting glasses. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but the glasses should be rated to at least the ANSI Z87.1 standard.
It was popular in the 80s to wear aviator style shooting glasses, but today, wrap-around glasses are recommended. The aviator style glasses leave a gap around the frame and the face which allows things to potentially get to the eye area. The wrap-around style glasses which most people use now are much closer to the face with a much smaller opening, so there is less chance anything will get in. However, there is still enough airflow to prevent the glasses from fogging.
Lightweight frames that are made of either plastic or titanium are usually the most comfortable. Finally, there are several lens colors available. Gray, amber, yellow, and purple are four of the most popular lens colors to choose from. Gray or gray-green are good at blocking glare without hindering overall perception. Yellow and orange lenses can provide a more detailed line of vision. Amber works well on cloudy days. Purple or blue lenses can help distinguish a target that's set against trees.
Wearing shooting glasses should always be part of firearm safety. Even those who are standing behind the shooter should wear a pair of glasses.