Choosing Eye Protection for Hunting and Shooting
Whether you are out on the shooting range or hunting game in the field, clear vision is essential, and so is protecting your eyes. Proper eye wear will allow you to spot your target better and will shield your eyes from things like gun recoil, UV rays, glare, dust and wind. Plus, by protecting you from the elements and reducing eyestrain, shooting goggles can improve your comfort and level of enjoyment, as well as your performance.
Safety glasses and goggles come in a variety of shapes, materials, lens colors and are available with or without vision correction. Which is right for you will depend on a number of factors.
Special requirements for competition and more
For some ranges and organized competitive shooting, certain safety standards must be met and maintained. There might be a particular type or style of glasses or goggles that is required. If you have a specific shooting range or competition in mind, it would be wise to see what, if any, specific eye protection requirements they have before purchasing your eyewear.
The temple of shooting glasses should have a spring hinge which will flex to withstand the impact of recoil or other mishaps, absorbing most of the force before it gets to your face and eyes. The frames should fit your face well so that you do not need to constantly grab and adjust your glasses. A sweat bar above the lenses will help keep the glasses steady and in place. Padding on the frame, especially around the eye, is good protection against recoil as well. Nose pads can improve both comfort and fit.
Look for frames that have a slight wrap to help protect the eyes from the wind and dust as well as safety features that will allow them to absorb the impact of a recoil should one occur. In addition, many of the non-prescription frames have interchangeable lens colors that can be popped into place for a variety of lighting conditions.
The frames can be made of nearly anything, however titanium is a popular metal choice and polycarbonate is a good plastic option. The best lenses for shooting glasses are polycarbonate lenses with scratch resistant coating and UV protection. Make sure that the lenses are rated as high impact resistant and that they are labeled for use in shooting or hunting.
Polarized lenses are the best choice to cut glare and reflection and can be made in nearly any color. Yellow or orange lenses block out blue light and can reduce haze and glare. Pale yellow lenses are a great choice for low light conditions. Light purple can enhance an orange skeet target when seen against a background of trees. Vermillion (sometimes called pink or rose) is also a good lens color for highlighting a target against a green background, especially for those with red-green color blindness or who have trouble seeing orange.
Protection and vision enhancement
At your next eye doctor's visit, be sure to mention any sports or hobbies you participate in, including shooting. Your eye care professional can give you valuable advice about frames, lenses and proper fit and help you find the best protective eye wear for your specific vision needs.
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