September 15th, 2017

How to Choose Protective Eyewear — Factors to Consider

Safety Eyewear 6.5 Guys 65guys.com

Proper eye protection is ‘must-have’ gear for shooting sports. In addition to providing reliable impact protection, good shooting glasses should be comfortable, fog-free, and not interfere with your preferred hearing protection. Those who require corrective lenses also need to consider the various options available. In a past episode of their Weekly Gear Review, the 6.5 Guys discuss a variety of shooting glasses they have tried, including examples from DeCot, Oakley, and Wiley-X. Ed and Steve outline the key considerations when choosing eye protection, and then review practical aspects of eyewear design and construction that enhance comfort and functionality in the field.

READ FULL ARTICLE ON 65Guys.com

The 6.5 Guys (Ed and Steve) offer a number of smart tips consider safety eyewear, helping you select the most effective safety glasses at an affordable price. Here are the 6.5 Guys’ KEY Take-aways when choosing shooting glasses, including prescription eyewear:

Key Things To Consider When Choosing Eye Protection

1. Avoid polarized lenses or lenses that reduce light transmission significantly (except for action shooting in very bright conditions with large, close targets).

2. Avoid frame designs that interfere with prone shooting.

3. Avoid designs that easily fog.

4. Avoid frame designs with thicker temples that are uncomfortable to wear underneath hearing protection.

5. Select lenses with an appropriate degree of ballistic protection. CLICK HERE to learn more about eyewear safety standards.

6. When you get your prescription, be sure your ophthalmologist includes the interpupillary distance. This is a critical measurement particularly for heavier prescriptions.

7. If you have a complicated prescription select a vendor who will actually spend time with you to address any concerns.

Safety First — Your Eyes Are Irreplaceable
Safety Eyewear 6.5 Guys 65guys.comAccurate shooting begins and ends with the human eye. Your career as a marksman could be cut short if you don’t use good eye protection every time you go to the range and/or handle a firearm.

Every year, 1,000,000 people suffer serious eye injuries. Shooting is hazardous; it is estimated that there are 30,000 firearms-related eye injuries each year (if you include paintball sports.) After paintball, general hunting accidents comprise most firearms-related eye injuries.

Quality eye protection need not be expensive. You can find comfortable, ANSI Z87.1-certified shooting glasses for under $10.00.

If you select shooting glasses carefully, and ensure that your eyewear is safety-certified, inexpensive shooting glasses can perform very well. But you need to avoid cheap, soft-plastic lenses that claim “impact resistance” without satisfying a testing standard.

For more comprehensive information on safety eyewear, read the AccurateShooter’s Guide to Eye Protection for Shooters.

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May 5th, 2017

NSSF Offers Grants to Boy Scouts of America Councils

BSA Boy Scouts Council Rifle Shooting Grants NSSFThe National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is pleased to announce the launch of its annual grants partnership with the Boy Scouts of America Councils. Through this partnership, BSA Councils can receive a portion of $100,000 in NSSF-provided grant funds to develop or expand their troop activities in target shooting and marksmanship. Target shooting programs continue to rank among Scouting’s most popular activities, teaching firearms and range safety, teamwork building and fundraising skills.

“This seventh year of supporting the BSA Council Grant Program … brings with it a new level of excitement,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Range Services. “Safety and marksmanship training through the Boy Scouts is a time-honored introduction to the shooting sports. We’re looking forward to increased participation from Scouts pursuing [merit] badges in these activities and then taking those new skills afield for a lifetime of enjoyment.”

How Scouting Groups Can Apply for Grants
BSA Councils wishing to apply for grants should visit the grant guidelines and application procedures at nssf.org/bsagrant. Councils awarded funds through NSSF’s BSA Grant Program must use those grants to purchase of equipment and supplies for their shooting sports activities from an NSSF Member Retailer. The full list of these retailers is available at nssf.org/retailers/find. Examples of qualifying purchases are: ammunition, eye and ear protection, firearms, targets and shooting vests. For more information on this special program and qualifications, contact NSSF’s Zach Snow at zsnow@nssf.org or 203-426-1320 ext. 224.

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July 3rd, 2016

Eye Protection — Guard Your Precious Eyesight

Eyewear Safety Eye Protection Glasses Guide

There is one subject as to which we should all be in agreement — the need to wear quality, protective eyewear whenever one uses a firearm. Sadly, it’s not uncommon, at the range, to see shooters wearing no eye protection, or wearing cheap, “dime-store” glasses that can shatter on impact.

This video from Luckygunner Labs shows what can happen with low-quality eyewear. When hit with pellets, the left lens came out and the right lens entered the eye socket!


Read Our Guide to Protective Eyewear
We’ve created a comprehensive Guide to Protective Eyewear. Forum member ChuckW2 told us: “That was the most important article that has ever been posted on this site. I am amazed how many people do not wear glasses while shooting or hunting. Great read….” If you haven’t done so already, read the story. We guarantee you’ll learn something new.

CLICK HERE to READ Comprehensive Eyewear Guide

The Eyewear Guide explains the safety standards that apply to protective eyewear and reviews the best lens materials currently available including Polycarbonate, Trivex™, and SR-91. You may not have heard of Trivex, but it is probably the best material out there right now — it’s tough, lightweight, and has better optical properties than Polycarbonate. SR-91 is a good choice for those who need a polarized lens. Our Eyewear Guide also includes a section by Danny Reever on Prescription Shooting Glasses. Danny discusses the available options in lens materials and has many helpful recommendations.

Along with our reviews of lens materials, tint properties, and frame design, we highlight a study done by the NRA’s American Hunter magazine. 10 popular brands of eyewear were tested, with some very interesting results. The testers observed that price does not necessarily assure quality. Relatively inexpensive Bollé VX and Pyramex eyewear both worked better than some expensive brands.

On the other hand, don’t select eyewear simply because it’s cheap or easy to find. American Hunter editor Jeff Johnston observed: “It’s a mistake to assume that any plastic-lens sunglasses off the rack at the local 7-11 are made of polycarbonate and therefore are effective as shooting glasses—cheap plastics are not polycarbonates; in fact, wearing them could be worse than wearing nothing, as they can introduce sharp shards of plastic to your eyes in addition to the projectile(s) that caused them to break.”

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December 14th, 2015

Bargain Finder 13: AccurateShooter’s Deals of The Week

Accurateshooter Bargain Finder Deals of Week

At the request of our readers, we have launched a “Deals of the Week” feature. Every Monday morning we offer our Bargain Selections. Here are some of the best deals on hardware, reloading components, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

1. Amazon — Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII Scope $779.00

Sightron Scope 10-50x60mm SII Target Dot Amazon

Quite simply, this is a steal. This Sightron 10-50x60mm SIII scope originally retailed for around $1250.00. You can grab it now for well under $800.00. If you want a high-magnification scope for Long Range Competition, this is a good choice. It has been used successfully by many top competitors. There is also a Fine Cross-Hair (FCH) model ($1039.00) and a Mil-Dot model ($960.00).

2. CDNN Sports — Baikal MP161K Rimfire .22 LR Rifle

Deals Week CDNN Baikal .22 LR Rimfire Semi-Auto Ruger 10/22 Bargain

Here’s a very cool semi-auto rimfire rifle from Russia. The modern design of the Baikal MP161K is very ergonomic, making it useful for off-hand shooting. It has an adjustable comb and adjustable LOP. We tried it for some informal silhouette shooting and the testers like it. On the bench the flat “toe” in the rear of the stock works well in the bags. At $229.99, this rifle costs less than a Ruger 10/22. Out of the box we think it’s a better rifle — with a better stock and better trigger. It also comes with a scope rail AND iron sights. A 10-round magazine is included.

3. Cabela’s — Herter’s Range Bag $9.99

Deals Week Herters Range Bag Cabela's Bargain

Range bag for under ten bucks — this $9.99 Herters Range Bag measures 15″ long x 9″ wide. Along with the main compartment, there are four additional zippered pockets suitable for muffs, ammo, safety glasses, and more. There is a removable shoulder strap. If you order other items from Cabelas.com, you can even get free shipping. Use Coupon “5JOLLY” for Free Shipping with orders over $49.00.

4. Midsouth — $100.00 Off All Leupold VX-3 Scopes with Rebate

Deals Week Herters Range Bag Cabela's Bargain
Click Image to Zoom for details

No doubt about it — this is one of the best deals going. This $100.00 rebate offer applies to Leupold’s entire line of VX-3 Optics. And Midsouth has sweetened the deal by offering FREE shipping on VX-3s purchased this month. The Leupold $100 cash-back program is good through December 31, 2015. CLICK Here for VX-3 scopes with $100 Rebate and Free Shipping.

5. Grafs.com — Federal .22 LR Ammo $48.99 for 500 Rounds

Deals Week rimfire Federal Discount Ammo .22 LR

You can’t have too much rimfire ammo… particularly when you can get quality, American-made .22 LR ammunition for under $50.00 a brick. This Federal HV Match ammo is good for varminting, cross-training, and general plinking. Graf’s price includes shipping after a single $7.95 handling charge. Buy while you can — this will sell out fast.

6. Amazon — Kowa 60mm TSN-601 Spotting Scope Body

Deals Week Kowa Spotting Scope TSN-61

If you are looking for a rugged, reliable, and affordable spotting scope to watch flags, mirage, and shot spotting discs, this angled-body Kowa TSN-61 will do the job. These Kowa spotters have been used successfully for years by prone and High Power competitors. Sure the glass is not as sharp as the latest top-of-the-line HD spotting scopes, but the TSN-61 is a small fraction of the price of high-end models which can run $2000 or more. The money you save can buy four premium hand-lapped barrels. NOTE: This item is the scope body only. Eyepieces are sold separately — expect to pay about $250.00 for a Kowa 20-60X Zoom eyepiece.

7. CDNN Sports — Insanely Cheap ANSI-rated Eye Protection

Deals Week Stansport Thermos Bottle Shotgun Shotshell

Safety eyewear for two bucks. That’s right, you can get ANSI Z87.1-rated safety glasses (clear or amber lenses) for just $1.99. At that price you should pick up a half-dozen sets, just so you have extras for friends and family. We strongly recommend that shooters wear eye protection at all times when handling firearms. You only have one set of eyes folks — take care of them. This eyewear special is offered by CDNN Sports in the latest catalog (pp. 101-102). Call 800-588-9500 to order.

8. Amazon — ShotShell Thermo Bottle

Deals Week Stansport Thermos Bottle Shotgun Shotshell

Looking for a perfect, last-minute holiday gift for a shooter in your family? This is a great gift item that is as useful as it is clever. Verified purchasers of this 25 oz. Shotshell Thermo bottle give it high marks, saying it is a great gift for a hunter or sportsman.

9. Amazon — 8x30mm Military Marine Binoculars

Deals Week Steiner Military Marine Binoculars

Your Editor uses these Steiner 8×30 binoculars. For most duties, they work great. They are compact, light-weight (18 oz.) and easy to hold. The best feature is the focusing system. Once you adjust each eyepiece for your eyes, everything from about 25 yards to infinity is in focus — honest. The $202.49 price at Amazon.com is $30-$50 less than you’ll pay at other vendors. NOTE: If you want better dawn/dusk low-light performance, spend more money on premium binoculars. But for basic daylight duties, these will do the job. NOTE: Steiner offers a 10x50mm version, but the 8x30mm is HALF the weight. Verfified Purchaser Review: “I bought these binoculars for a recent hunting trip. They are…very clear at any range. I have very different eyes, one is 20/200, the other is nearly perfect, 20/30. The sports auto-focus on this is GREAT. Once I set them for my eyes, they were perfect.”

Steiner 8x30mm Military Marine

Permalink Hot Deals, News 3 Comments »
September 24th, 2014

Eye Protection — LuckyGunner Labs Field Tests

If you’re one of those folks who doesn’t wear eye protection, you need to check out the LuckyGunner Labs Eye Protection Test. For those who DO wear safety glasses — don’t assume that everything is OK. Just because you purchased name-brand “safety glasses” doesn’t mean that you are getting truly effective protection. In fact, many forms of protective eyewear sold today are flimsy, or poorly made. Consequently, they won’t stop even low-energy, slow-velocity fragments.

CLICK HERE to Read Complete Eyewear Test Report by LuckyGunner Labs.

Lucky gunner eyewear testTwo years ago, LuckyGunner Labs conducted very extensive field tests of 28 types of eyewear, ranging in price from $7 to $220. Remarkably, some of the most expensive safety eyewear performed no better than $10 items. Many of the products failed shockingly — with the lenses coming right out of the frames when hit with pellets. LuckyGunner recorded these kind of failures even with ANSI Z87-“approved” eyewear. The reason is that the Z87 test is not tough enough: “The basic ANSI standard is referred to as Z87, and you’ll see this marked in a number of locations on most eye protection marketed to shooters. However, the Z87 impact standard involves a .25″ steel ball traveling at 150 fps — this is fine for protecting eyes from debris that might fall or be thrown, but is not extremely relevant to shooters, who are dealing with objects traveling at much higher velocities.”

Standard Impact speed Caliber/Size
ANSI Z87.1-2003
High Velocity
150 feet/second
45 meters/second
0.25″ diameter steel ball
(25 caliber)
Mil-PRF-31013
Vo ballistic test
640-660 feet/second
195 meters/second
0.15 inch diameter steel projectile (15 caliber)

The testers recommend you select eyewear that meets military specification (above and beyond ANSI Z87). The MIL-PRF-31013 Standard covers projectiles up to 650 feet per second. This is much more stringent. Additionally, you want to replace often-used protective eyewear every year or so. Long-term exposure to UV radiation can weaken polycarbonate and lessen its ability to withstand impacts.

SUMMARY — What to Look for in Protective Eyewear

THE GOOD — Eyewear Protects Against Direct Hit with .22 Short Bullet
APEL Revision Sawfly eyewear was shot with a .22 Short, pushing a 29 grain bullet at 710 fps. That’s not powerful by modern firearm standards, but this might be fairly representative of a ricochet bullet fragment. The Sawfly lens stopped this 29gr bullet with minimal damage to the cheek area.

Lucky gunner eyewear test
THE BAD — Remington Eyewear Lenses Separate. Right Lens Enters Eye Socket
The most gruesome example was the cheap Remington eyewear which shed both lenses back towards the eyes, one of which embedded itself into the eye socket. The real-world implications of this action are disturbing to say the least.

Lucky gunner eyewear test

THE UGLY — Prescription Glasses Failed Miserably
Many ranges don’t see any need for protective eyewear beyond prescription glasses. However, most prescription lenses offer little if any protection. If the prescription lenses are glass, this can create more problems. As shown below, these prescription glasses offered no ballistic protection, and, in fact, proved more dangerous to the eyes due to the flying glass shards.

Lucky gunner eyewear test

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Results Chart, Video Clips, and Photos copyright Luckygunner.com.

Summary and Conclusions:
For faster-moving projectiles such as ricochet fragments, you need high quality, tested eye protection. LuckyGunner recommends eyewear with a single (one-piece) lens for any activity where your face might be struck by small, fast-moving objects. Individual lenses detach from the frames once a certain level of force is reached, and they are driven back into the eye sockets, where considerable damage may be done. There are good examples of protective eyewear with two separate lenses, but a broad, one-piece lens distributes force much better.

Lucky gunner eyewear testA wide, comfortable, and preferably soft rubber nosepiece is critical. Along with good “arms”, this will serve to keep the eye protection in place and will also reduce the chances of the lens being driven down or back into the face with enough force to damage the orbital bones.

A frame that connects across the top of the lens, not individual arms which attach to the outside corners of the lens, is recommended. This will reduce the chances of the lens detaching from the frame under impact (it’s still possible, just less likely). Some types of eye protection actually use the frame to absorb impact and distribute force.

NOTE: Andrew, the author of the LuckyGunner Eyewear report, was a former Navy Corpsman. Accordingly, he is familiar with health and safety matters.

Permalink - Videos, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
December 16th, 2008

BARGAIN BIN — Great Deal on Shooting Glasses

We recently shopped the web to find a new pair of protective shooting glasses. Expecting to pay $20 or more per pair, we were surprised to find high-quality UVEX safety glasses for under $9.00! Available from CooperSafety.com, UVEX glasses feature wrap-around lenses and comfortable padded temples and nose bridges. The UVEX line of safety eyewear passes ANSI Z87+ and CSA Z94.3 standards and meets the MIL VO ballistic test for impact protection. UVEX offers a lifetime frame guarantee–something you won’t get with many $100.00 sunglasses. Among the UVEX product line, we liked the UVEX Skyper ($7.80) with its extended side-shields, the UVEX Genesis ($7.75 -$9.92), and the lightweight UVEX XC ($9.07-$10.55). All three come in a variety of lens shades, and replacement lenses are available for under $5.00 per set.

UVEX safety glasses

For more information on protective eyewear, read our comprehensive Guide to Shooting Glasses. It explains the various safety standards which apply and gives the pros and cons of the various preferred lens materials: Polycarbonate, Trivex, and SR-91.

CLICK HERE to learn more ….

EDITORIAL — Zero Tolerance Needed on Protective Eyewear
I’ve noticed a disturbing percentage of shooters, novice and expert alike, who fail to wear proper eye protection when shooting from the bench. You’ve probably seen this yourself — experienced shooters who’ll grudgingly wear protective glasses in a match (only because they are required), but who won’t wear glasses while practicing. Or, you may have noticed young shooters who shun protective eyewear because they think safety glasses “look dorky”.

shooting glasses

To be honest, guys, I think we need to exercise “ZERO Tolerance” when it comes to eye safety. “Mandatory eye protection” rules need to be enforced… no safety glasses = no shooting, period. Rangemasters must INSIST that ALL shooters on the line wear protective glasses. And when you’re out practicing on your own, wear your safety glasses… always… no matter whether you’re shooting centerfire, rimfire, or even air rifles. One little shard of brass or a popped primer and you could be blinded. Your eyesight is precious. Take care of it!

Permalink Optics 7 Comments »