Keeping Your Eyesight Despite Eventualities

Suppressed ACR556 M4Looking at firearms in use, it’s pretty evident that plenty of gas, unburned powder, and oil droplets are in the air at once. Add to that ejected empties from your own weapon and those of people around you, plus possible ricochets…it’s a bit of a wonder that many shooters make it to old age with intact vision. The relative infrequency of eye injuries comes from the widespread use of protective glasses. Unfortunately, those of us who require corrective lenses have long faced an awkward dilemma — we could either wear prescription glasses or ballistic eye protection, but not both. Contact lenses plus shatterproof glasses provide a solution to some, but not everyone likes those. Fortunately, recently several companies have offered projectile-proof ballistic eyewear.

Tactical RX

One of them, TacticalRx, makes multiple styles. Their optical clarity is superb, and the photogray lenses will lighten or darken in response to the ambient light levels. The more fashionable curved variant works best in low strength prescriptions. At minus 5 diopters or so, the fishbowl effect at the edges becomes disconcerting for action, though it remains perfectly usable for precision shooting. The less curved variant works equally well for low or high strength prescriptions and adds side shields for better protection from casings bouncing off range lane dividers.

Tactical RX - profile

In actual use, these two styles work equally well. I found the optical quality to be so clear as to make them also well-suited for driving.

Tactical RX Pistolero

Troy 5.56 Leupold Tactical RX

What can these stop? We tested a pair with steel BBs at 1400fps from a shotgun at ten feet.

Shot Up Glasses

The result: no penetration, no spalling, and no separation from the frame.

Tactical RX Safety Glasses

Now, consider what the result would have been without the ballistic protection. Glasses obviously don’t protect the rest of the face. Eyes are by far the most vulnerable part of the head, and can be badly hurt by gas from suppressor blowback,  fragments of bullet jackets or lead splash, other relatively minor projectiles. With or without prescription lenses, these glasses are a worthwhile investment in personal safety, not to mention a good gift.

What’s your favorite pair of eye protection, and why… Tell us in the comment section!


One Comment On This Article

  1. There has been for a number years a company who had this problem solved. They are UVex safety glasses. Made to ballistic standards, made to osha standards
    One of the product that they make is the Genesis series of safety glasses. Multiply lens are available for nearly any environment. 10 to 12 dollars gets one the frames with a lens, additional $4.50 to $9 or so for replacement lens depending on color. Coating an type. In aggition for those of us who are prescription users is a $29 incert that holds ones script lens. I have used these glasses for years. From
    deserts to Antarctica , Combat, construction and several sports. UVEX folks !! It simply makes good sense