Eye Protection for Shooting Sports

Jan 19, 2024

Eye protection for shooting sports

Achieving a consistent shot requires shooting glasses that provide a sharp view, block the UV rays, and defend against unexpected elements like debris, clay target chips, shot fall or a firearm malfunction. That’s why lens coverage and fit is one of the five considerations when buying shooting glasses

While protection is of utmost importance when choosing your glasses, did you know that certain lens colors can offer a competitive edge?

Athlete wearing eye protection with dark purple lens'.

For example, with “really bright, deep blue sky backgrounds, a dark purple [lens] reduces glare, makes the eyes more comfortable and highlights the orange [clay target].

Yellow and orange lenses are known to block out blue light and help with depth perception which makes it a standard for competition eyewear.

Most competitive clay target athletes will have a few lens color options to choose from depending on the forecast and the range’s background. 

Pro Tip: Take advantage of your ability to preview targets. Arrive early to your assigned field early and watch the squad before you shoot. Test out your different colored lenses to determine which color makes the target stand out the most. Keep the other lenses close by just in case you need to switch colors between rounds.

The cost of glasses varies depending on the manufacturer. Basic clear safety glasses can be purchased from local outdoor stores and shooting ranges for only a few dollars. High-quality glasses with a robust set of colored lenses, on the other hand, can cost a few hundred dollars.

Ultimately, choosing shooting glasses hinges on personal preferences. An ideal pair should snugly fit your face, provide you comfort and clarity without distortion, and be ANSI Z87 safety-rated. 

Athlete wearing prescription glasses as eye protection.

For individuals with less than perfect vision, there are options for prescription glasses. While it is acceptable to use everyday glasses for shooting, certain frames may obstruct your view.

Several manufacturers offer colored lenses with a prescription, and some provide a prescription insert that allows interchangeable colored lenses to be placed. Custom prescription lenses can be costly, so trying contact lenses may be a more affordable alternative.

Crucial to target accuracy, keep your lenses clean from fingerprints, gun grease, and more by having cleaning supplies in your range bag. To address fogging during the summer months from sweat and humidity, consider using an anti-fog lens cleaning spray. Remember, when you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you.

Visit tnwf.org/shooting-sports-essentials to explore all of the different equipment essentials you need for shooting sports.

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