8 Easy Steps to Choose the Right Shooting Safety Glasses for You

8 Easy Steps to Choose the Right Shooting Safety Glasses for You

Hunters and target shooters know very well the importance of safety glasses each time they handle a firearm or step into the shooting range. A friend of mine witnessed a young man who received a painful burn very close to his eye. He could avoid it if he was wearing proper ANSI Z87 safety glasses.

Let us see some eye-related hazards that can occur in the shooting range or the field while hunting.

Shooting Rage Eye Related Hazards

  • Ejected brass
  • Flying objects
  • Dust
  • Liquid splash
  • Heat
  • Fragments

In this article, I will share with you the 8 steps that you should know to buy the right shooting safety glasses for you.

The 8 Steps You Should Take to Choose the Right Shooting Safety Glasses for You

  1. Protection Standards
  2. Lens Material
  3. Frame & Side Shield
  4. Lens Tint Color
  5. Prescription Lenses
  6. The Fit
  7. Price
  8. Reputable Brands

1. Protection Standards

For any pair of glasses to be safe it must comply with a safety standard like ANSI Z87 in the USA, CE in The European Union, CSA in Canada, and AS/NZS for Australia and New Zealand. 

The American standard ANSI Z87 is the most widely used in the world. The standard put the pair of safety glasses into impact, dust, UV rays, and liquid splash test. If the glasses exceed the tests they become safety glasses marked with Z87 or Z87+ for high impact on the lenses or the frame.

If not, then they are not considered as safety glasses and you should avoid them.

2. Lens Material

Lens Material

There are two lens materials that can be used while shooting to protect your eyes, Polycarbonate, and Trivex. Let us see why.

Polycarbonate is the most used lens material in the safety eyewear industry because of its high impact resistance, lightweight, heat resistance, availability, and cheap cost. Polycarbonate is not only used in shooting safety glasses but it is also used in construction fires, driving, face shields, military-grade ballistic safety glasses, and prescription safety glasses. 

Polycarbonate is also used for bulletproof windows and other situations that require transparent material with impact resistance. 

Note: polycarbonate safety glasses are not bulletproof.

Trivex is a new material introduced in 2001 by PPG Industries as a reliable and more efficient substitute for polycarbonate lenses. Trivex is more impact-resistant and scratch-resistant than polycarbonate and lighter with exceptional optical clarity. 

But he came with a price. Trivex is more expensive than polycarbonate.

I recommend that you go for polycarbonate because it offers many advantages at a low price. You can also find polycarbonate ANSI Z87 safety glasses almost everywhere online.

3. Frame & Side Shield

The frame material should be lightweight impact and shatter-resistant. Like Zylonite, Propionate, and synthetic polymers. They also need to be wrapped around your eyes, if not then they should include a side shield for total protection. 

If the frame is not wrapped around your eyes and it doesn’t include a side shield this means that those glasses are not ANSI Z87 approved and they should be avoided.

4. Lens Tint Color

Lens Tint Color

Lens tint color is important for light absorption, visibility, and depth perception. Let us see which color is the best for you.

Blue and Purple lenses enhance color perception and reduce yellow light and glare. They can be a good choice if you are hunting or shooting in the forest or with a backdrop of trees. These tint colors improve contrast and help your eyes to focus on the target.

Yellow and Orange lenses distort colors making the object sharper both indoors and outdoors. These lens colors increase contrast which makes them a good choice for hunting or shooting in hazy, foggy, or low-light conditions. 

Amber and Brown Lens make your vision bright and help you see clearly during cloudy days because they block blue light and reduce glare. hunters and target shooters prefer them because they increase the contrast of orange-colored targets, especially in open areas under the sunlight.

Red and Rose Lenses block blue light, reduce glare, and increase contrast. They are soothing to the eyes and comfortable to wear for a long time. These lens colors will help you focus on the target for a long time especially if you are hunting a moving target.

Gray Lenses are a neutral color; it reduces brightness and glare without changing the world colors. It is a good lens color for bright conditions and helps you get a level sense of contrast and depth.

Choose wisely the right color for you if you are not sure about which color you need or you are always hunting or shooting in different places you can go for gray color with polarized lenses to block the glare.

5. Prescription Lenses

Prescription Lenses

This option is only for people who already wear prescription glasses. Yes, you can get shooting safety glasses with prescription lenses or you can buy a pair of over-prescription glasses.

If you are wondering which one is the best for you, I will give you a short answer. 

Prescription shooting safety glasses will be comfortable, customizable, and look cool and protective but they came at a higher price than the over-prescription safety glasses.

Over-prescription safety glasses will also be comfortable, cheap, easy to replace, and protective, but you will not look cool or professional. 

Let me give you an example 

With shooting prescription safety glasses you will look like this:

shooting safety glasses

With Over-prescription safety glasses you will look like this:

What do you prefer? I prefer the first one.

6. The Fit

Any safety glasses that are not worn properly will not protect your eyes well. So let us see how safety glasses should fit your face.

Comfort

Safety glasses should be comfortable, they shouldn’t be so tits. If there are any pressure points on the side of the head or behind the ears. Your nose piece should be comfortable and contact your nose without pinching or falling. If so then the glasses are too big for your face.

Vision

Try to see in front of you. Safety glasses shouldn’t break your overall vision. You should have a wide vision, wider than regular glasses. The frame should fit close to the face without hitting your eyelashes or your prescription glasses. 

Lenses

The lens should cover all your eyebrows. So your vision will not be blocked. Try to move your eyes without turning your head and see if everything is clear and your vision is not disturbed by the glass or the frame.

Stability

Try to move your head in any direction you want if the safety glasses stay in place without moving, they are the best fit for you if not try another one.

7. Price 

Shooting safety glasses prices start from $10 up to $100 each, with prescription lenses can cost up to $500. Remember, you have only one set of eyes, so protect them.

8. Reputable Brands

When you are trying to buy a pair of shooting safety glasses you need to take into consideration the brand that you are buying from. If you go for any brand that attracts you with the price or with a cool design that you see in a picture, you may be disappointed after wearing them.

Try to go for one of those well-known and respected brands.

The best 5 shooting safety glasses brands

Frequently Asked Questions About Shooting Safety Glasses

Can I Use My Regular Glasses at the Shooting Range?

Regular glasses are not safe to be worn on the shooting range, because they are not impact resistant and they can shatter easily so they are not able to protect your eyes.

Are Safety Glasses the Same as Shooting Glasses?

Yes, safety glasses are the same as shooting glasses. You only need to buy the right ones for you.

Can I Use Safety Glasses Over My Prescription Glasses While Shooting?

Yes, you can use safety glasses over your regular glasses in the shooting range. They will protect you the same way as any other shooting safety glasses.

Are Polarized Safety Glasses Good for Shooting?

Yes, polarized safety glasses are very good for shooting because of their ability to block the glare.

Can Ballistic Glasses Be Used as Safety Glasses?

Yes, ballistic glasses can be used as safety glasses only if they are military (MIL-PRF-31013) approved or ANSI Z87 approved.

Can Safety Glasses Stop a Bullet?

No, safety glasses cannot stop a bullet. But they can protect you from the flying debris from bullet impacts.

Summary

When you are looking to buy a pair of shooting safety glasses make sure they are ANSI Z87 approved, they have the right tint color for your situation and they fit your face perfectly. This way you will have the best experience with your new safety glasses when you are out there shooting or hunting.

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