Prescription Shooting Glasses

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Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by mikemyers on 8/12/2017, 11:09 am

For the past few years, I have been using a pair of glasses fitted with prescription polycarbonate lenses.  The prescription is for the distance to the front sight, meaning they're good for steel sights, and are usable for red dot sights as well.  They lack side protection.  My right lens has a prescription for shooting, and my left lens has a prescription for distance.


Anyone here know of any new developments in shooting glasses?  I've been searching some of the websites, including "double-D" safety glasses, but I'm wondering if some of you guys might have some good information on what to select.


  • I assume that for safety, the lenses should either have side covers, or be wrap-around.
  • I assume that polycarbonate lenses are essential.
  • It would be nice if they could be "bi-focal" to allow seeing close-up when needed.


My current plan is to get a pair of new lenses installed in one of my older frames, but maybe it's better to get a whole new set designed for shooting.

Any advice?
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by LenV on 8/12/2017, 12:11 pm

I generally wear Tri-focals. I have a prescription for reading, front sight (car instrument panel) and distance. I had a pair of shooting glasses made that incorporates those three into the perfect set of shooting glasses for me. They are safety glass, amber colored and the left lens only has the reading and distance prescription. The right lens only has the front sight and reading prescription. This makes the dot or front sight in focus with the right eye and distance in focus for left eye. A little disorientating for a couple of minutes but body quickly adapts.
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by mparker on 8/14/2017, 5:56 pm

SSP Top Focal

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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by mikemyers on 8/14/2017, 9:41 pm

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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by bogierich on 8/15/2017, 12:05 pm

Mike,

You might also try SportRX.com. I used them to custom build my prescription shooting glasses and the are absolutely perfection. Admittedly they are on the expensive side ($400) but I was literally able to put every little feature I wanted into them (super scratch resistant, polarized transitional from absolutely clear to complete mirrored shade in sunlight, wraparound, extremely lightweight, etc...). I had a good experience with them and had the glasses within 1 week after placing the order online.
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by SteveT on 8/15/2017, 6:01 pm

I have single focus shooting glasses and change glasses every time I go downrange to score. It's a bit of a pain, but I've gotten used to it. I use my normal progressive lenses when scoring.

As far as I know, poly-carbonate lenses are the only material approved for safety glasses and side lenses are required. That said, CR-39 is pretty safe and shatter proof and a bit optically better. Fancy Olympic style shooting glasses lenses are often made of optically better, but less protective material. I swear I've seen some lenses that felt like glass.
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by BE Mike on 8/16/2017, 7:35 am

I have a pair of bifocals for shooting with the dot. The upper part keeps the dot nice and round. The lower part lets me score without changing glasses. I have a single vision pair I use for iron sights. I have the Randolph Classic. The lenses can be switched and you can send in your RX and they will make the lenses. Here's a link: https://www.randolphusa.com/re-ranger/frames/ranger-classic/
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by Aprilian on 8/16/2017, 8:17 am

SteveT wrote:I have single focus shooting glasses and change glasses every time I go downrange to score. It's a bit of a pain, but I've gotten used to it. I use my normal progressive lenses when scoring.

As far as I know, poly-carbonate lenses are the only material approved for safety glasses and side lenses are required. That said, CR-39 is pretty safe and shatter proof and a bit optically better. Fancy Olympic style shooting glasses lenses are often made of optically better, but less protective material. I swear I've seen some lenses that felt like glass.
Anyone have a recommendation for side shields that fit over prescription class frames?   I don't need to block side vision, rather add to safety.  I have been thinking about it and had a bad blowback yesterday which peppered my cheek which makes it a higher priority now.
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by Chris Miceli on 8/16/2017, 8:28 am

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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by jmdavis on 8/16/2017, 9:21 am

Unless you are wearing a facemask, sideshields won't help with the powder on your cheek. But they will protect your eyes. 

Frequently people cut old ammo boxes to make blinders. They work. Others use a piece of tagboard target folded. You can buy them from Champions Choice, Larry's Guns and other online retailers. 

I use commerical plastic blinders, I have one pair that says Pardini, even if I am shooting a Benelli, and another that is plain transluscent plastic. I find that I can slide them between the arms of my glasses frames and they will stay in place and be easy to remove. 

My dedicated iron sight glasses are wire frames and will not fit in the case with the blinders.

If you order them online, I suggest that you order other things at the same time, since you will be paying a minimum shipping. 

http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.aspx?p=ItemDetailOptions&item=CC200W
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by mikemyers on 8/16/2017, 10:41 am

SteveT wrote:....As far as I know, poly-carbonate lenses are the only material approved for safety glasses and side lenses are required......
What do you guys think about the following line of thought.  Polycarbonate lenses are approved for safety, meaning if something hits them, they are least likely to shatter or break?  For our use, suppose something does hit them, coming back from the gun.  I would think that long before the polycarbonate would shatter, it would be knocked out of the frame, meaning everything could be thrown back against the face and eye.  Is this realistic?

Does anyone here use the Wiley-X glasses?
They seem to offer everything - any kind of prescription, polycarbonate lenses, and what seems to be a sturdy frame.  Is there anything better, that is made specifically for shooting?

http://www.rx-safety.com/specialty-collections/prescription-safety-glasses-for-dusty-environments/plastic-wraparound-safety-glasses-rx-1171-rx.html

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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by BE Mike on 8/16/2017, 11:08 am

Aprilian wrote:
SteveT wrote:I have single focus shooting glasses and change glasses every time I go downrange to score. It's a bit of a pain, but I've gotten used to it. I use my normal progressive lenses when scoring.

As far as I know, poly-carbonate lenses are the only material approved for safety glasses and side lenses are required. That said, CR-39 is pretty safe and shatter proof and a bit optically better. Fancy Olympic style shooting glasses lenses are often made of optically better, but less protective material. I swear I've seen some lenses that felt like glass.
Anyone have a recommendation for side shields that fit over prescription class frames?   I don't need to block side vision, rather add to safety.  I have been thinking about it and had a bad blowback yesterday which peppered my cheek which makes it a higher priority now.
Someone used to make clear plastic side "blinders". I don't see why you couldn't make your own with some quality flexible clear plastic. I remember, many years ago (how come I'm always saying that) attending a competitor's meeting at Camp Perry. Bill Blankenship said that opaque "blinders' were a crutch.
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by Aprilian on 8/16/2017, 11:32 am

I wasn't thinking of blinders.  I am more interested in safety shields that would stop a launched shell, from the adjacent competitor, from clearing the corner of my frame and hitting my eye.   The straight back launching is probably covered with my frame and lenses.  like this one
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by dronning on 8/16/2017, 12:59 pm

Side shield or "blinders" will stop a launched casing.  If you are really concerned make sure any glasses you get fit tight across your eyebrow.  I've had a 45acp case land between my glasses and eyebrow - kind of distracting Shocked!
- Dave
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by BE Mike on 8/16/2017, 1:40 pm

dronning wrote:Side shield or "blinders" will stop a launched casing.  If you are really concerned make sure any glasses you get fit tight across your eyebrow.  I've had a 45acp case land between my glasses and eyebrow - kind of distracting Shocked!
- Dave
A .22 case will really sizzle! Shocked
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by mikemyers on 8/16/2017, 1:51 pm

You guys have convinced me.  I'm no longer going to get new polycarbonate lenses for my existing frames.  I had a case land on my foot once when I was wearing open toe shoes, and yeah, it wasn't very comfortable.  

To add to the original question I asked, are there more wrap-around frames that have side protection and fit close to the face, with prescription lenses available, that can be purchased?  Preferably, with bi-focal lenses for seeing both the sights and the scoring?  

Also based on what you guys have written, I don't see how any single pair of shooting glasses could work for both iron sights and red dot sights.  That means two pair of glasses, for those who shoot both (me).
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by jmdavis on 8/16/2017, 1:57 pm

I do have two pairs of glasses. I do not like wrap around glasses. I use a brimmed hat, and side blinders for protection and to eliminate distraction.
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by Cort on 8/19/2017, 7:00 pm

I have been using industrial safety frames with prescription safety lenses (bifocal).  The frames come with removable side shields.  I have two pair; one pair is clear and the other has a slight brown tint to knock down glare on particularly bright days.  I use these glasses for all of my shooting activities; pistol, rifle and shotgun.  They have worked well for me.

My optician supplies the frames and sends them out to a firm that supplies the safety lenses in my prescription and installs the lenses in the frames.  Industrial safety frames have a special lens installation groove that is supposed to keep the lens in the frame if the lens takes a direct hit.  My optician cannot fit the lenses to the frames with her normal equipment.  There is a safety standard for each type of lens material so you can have the lenses made from whatever material works for you.  Polycarbonate lenses give me a headache.  My lens are made from CR-39 plastic.

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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by mikemyers on 8/20/2017, 9:09 am

Curious - what is it about polycarbonate glasses that give you a headache?  I can't tell any difference between them optically - or is it a "smell" from the plastic?
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by Cort on 8/20/2017, 1:00 pm

You will have to talk to an optical professional to get the real answer but I will try. 

Each type of lens material has an ABBE value.  As I understand it, the ABBE value is a measurement of how the lens transmits the light spectrum.  Evidently, polycarbonate lenses "distort" the light spectrum in a manner that causes eye strain in me and, consequently, gives me headaches.  Most people don't have a problem with this. Polycarbonate safety lenses are quite a bit lighter than CR-39 safety lenses.  As a result, they are a better choice if you can wear them.

Several years ago, Dr. Norman Wong, a bullseye shooter and an optical professional, posted several articles on shooting and vision.  They were originally posted on the old Bullseye-L forum.  I don't know if they are still on the web or not.  His articles are well worth the time to find them and read them.  His explanations are much better than mine.

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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

Post by mikemyers on 8/20/2017, 2:20 pm

I'm guessing you mean one of these articles?
http://www.bullseyepistol.com/wong.htm

I will start reading - never heard of this before.


Added later:
http://www.bullseyepistol.com/wong2.htm
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Re: Prescription Shooting Glasses

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