When people are asked if they had to give up one of their five senses which sense would they give up, no one says their vision. This is because our eyes impact how we see the world. Our eyes play such of a valuable role in our perception of reality that if something tricks our eyes, our brain will ignore the rest of our senses and tell us to believe what our eyes see.
It is important for you to protect your eyes by wearing shooting glasses. It doesn’t matter if you are practicing at a shooting range or hunting white-tailed deer in northern Minnesota. Sadly, some of the most safety-conscious gun owners skip using protective eyewear.
We cannot over emphasize the importance of protecting your eyes at all costs. Wearing prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses purchased from the dollar store is not good enough. The following are three reasons shooting glasses are a must every time you shoot a firearm.
No One Is Immune to Accidents
Accidents happen with greater frequency than most people realize or want to admit. It would surprise you to know the number of hunters who get hit by a ricochet or a birdshot that went the wrong way.
Several firearm users who do not wear eye protection get injured because of excessive powder blowback. This can get into your eyes and burn your eyes.
The right eyewear can protect you when a spent cartridge gets ejected from your firearm. Your eyes are so sensitive that if not properly protected, the flash of a muzzle can even damage them.
Most safety-conscious gun users would not think of going out to shoot without wearing proper ear protection. They know that loud noises from firearms can damage their hearing. Shouldn’t you value your vision as much or even more than your hearing?
Use Glasses to Protect Your Eyes from the Environment
Even if we take the firearm out of the equation, there are other hazards that have the potential to damage your eyes. You are out hunting in the thick woods of northern Minnesota. You turn your head and before you know it your eyes get struck by a twig or a stray branch. Now, your hunting trip is over, and you are on your way to the doctor. All of this can will avoided by wearing eye protection.
We recommend that you wear eye protection when you clean your firearm. You want to protect your eyes from the solvents you use for cleaning. Glasses will protect your eyes from springs that can come loose and fly at you out of nowhere.
Glasses Can Help You See Better
It is possible to get safety glasses that are prescription. However, even nonprescription glasses may help you see better when shooting. This is because certain glasses create a greater contrast when you are target shooting. For example, if you are wearing yellow-tinted glasses and you are shooting at a target that is white on black, the yellow tint in the glasses will turn the white target yellow but will keep the black black. There are many shooters who insist that this contrast improves their accuracy.
Getting a Pair of Shooting Glasses That Are Right for You
When selecting protective eyewear, you want to consider several components. First, you want the lenses to be strong. The material in standard reading glasses or non-rated shooting glasses shatters on impact. This is dangerous because glass will be thrown into your eyes.
Polycarbonate is the best material for shooting glasses. Your shooting glasses need not be expensive, but you want the glasses to rate at least ANSI Z8 7.1 standard. Shooters who were concerned about their vision in the 1980s would wear aviator style shooting glasses. These are not that common today. Now, it’s more common to use wraparound style glasses. They sit much closer to your face. They have a smaller opening, so it’s harder for anything to get in between the glasses and your eyes. There is sufficient airflow, so your glasses do not fog up.
You can purchase lightweight glasses that have frames made of plastic or titanium. These are usually the most comfortable.
Finally, consider the lens color you want. The four most popular colors are purple, gray, amber, and yellow. Gray glasses are the best for blocking glare without detriment in your perception. Yellow lenses give you an improved line of vision. Amber-colored lenses improve visibility on cloudy days. Purple lenses help distinguish targets that sit up against trees.
If you are a safety-conscious shooter, wearing glasses should not be an option. In the same way that you would never go out without your hearing protection, never go out without your eye protection. It should always be a part of firearm safety. Even those who go out with you and who are standing behind the shooter should have a pair of glasses.