BULLSEYE: Shooting glasses Magnified and Prescription
By Steve Tracy
With either simple bifocal magnification or prescription shooting glasses, options are available to help you see better when you’re shooting.
It doesn’t happen often, but it’s rewarding when you stumble upon something worthwhile, completely by accident. On vacation in a tourist trap shop full of magnets, shot glasses, and raunchy T-shirts, I spotted a pair of attractive sunglasses at a reasonable price. I needed a new pair so I picked them off the rack and tried them on.
They were lightweight and comfortable. I noted that the nosepiece was a single unit and screwed onto the frame. This system is much better than the little rubber covers that seem to fall off other sunglasses. The nosepiece is also adjustable by squeezing it tighter or spreading it open.
Once I had them on, I noticed that there was a bifocal section at the bottom of each of the lenses with 1.5x magnification. Glancing down, I could easily read my watch’s date window. Usually I would have to swap out my sunglasses for my 1.5x reading glasses to do that. The make and model were Crossfire AR3 sunglasses and I liked them a whole lot.
Upon even closer inspection, I saw the 99.9 percent UV and ANSI Z87+ ratings. The UV rating means the glasses protect your open eyes from the sun’s rays. This protection is a must because darkened lenses cause you to squint less and you want quality glasses to shield your eyes from UV light.
The ANSI Z87+ rating means these are shooting glasses. They withstood a test where a pointed 1.1-pound object was dropped from 50 inches onto the lenses without breakage or fracture. It also means that the glasses will withstand a ¼-inch steel ball fired at 150 feet per second. The + certifies the lenses survived high-impact tests. On their website, Crossfire touts their glasses protecting against a 12-gauge shotgun blast at 60 feet with #5 shot.
I bought the sunglasses along with a keychain, baseball cap, and necklace for my wife and daughter. I wore them the rest of the vacation and during the 23-hour drive home. I found the lenses to be very clear without any noticeable distortion.
Once back home, I did a bit of research on the Internet and ordered two more pairs of Crossfire brand shooting glasses from Amazon.com. There are many different styles available in 1.5x, 2.0x, or 2.5x magnification or plain without the bifocal option. They are also available with clear lenses in addition to the darkened sunglasses. I ordered a second set of the sunglasses I already had, along with a clear version incorporating the 1.5x bifocal.
At the range, it’s difficult for me to see the tiny lettering on scope turrets. Switching from shooting safety glasses to reading glasses is virtually impossible and definitely unsafe on a shooting line while others are firing away at their targets. The AR3 glasses were crystal clear due to their 100-
percent visually correct lenses. Utilizing the magnification at the bottom allowed me to easily adjust a scope without having to switch eyewear.
The extra pair of Crossfire AR3 sunglasses went in my patrol bag. They make reading driver’s licenses and writing reports much easier without swapping glasses back and forth.
The next best thing about these quality glasses is their cost. The price on Amazon.com through Wren Industrial was just $12.62 per pair. If you’re in need of shooting glasses with built-in bifocal magnification, the Crossfire AR3 glasses may be just what you’re looking for. And you won’t have to go to a vacation gift shop to get them.
SafeVision LLC Prescription Shooting Glasses
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who wear glasses and those who will. As we age, our eyes begin to fail us. It’s such a certainty that prescription eyewear is right up there with death and taxes. I came to need reading glasses a few years ago, which I blamed on too much time spent in front of a computer. But the truth is that I’m aging.
I still shoot well, but my pistol’s front sight is not as easy to see as it used to be. It’s still there, but that black blade is out of focus these days. I remember a veteran officer on the range 20-plus years ago telling me, “I can’t see the target all the way down there at the end of the range. How am I supposed to hit that?”
I replied, “You don’t have to see the target very well, you just have to see your front sight.” The real problem becomes when you can’t see your front sight as well as you used to. The solution may be a pair of prescription shooting glasses.
I turned to Chris Vogler at SafeVision LLC located in St. Louis, Mo. I checked out the SafeVision website and then obtained a prescription from my local eye doctor. The special measurement that must be obtained, in addition to the standard prescription, is the PD. \
With my prescription in hand, I then spoke with Vogler over the phone. He recommended several safety rated frames and then I looked at them on the SafeVision website. He advised me to pick three or four that I felt I would like. The frames were then shipped to me without lenses. I charged them on my credit card. Once they arrived, I tried them on in conjunction with my electronic hearing protection.
I decided that the Wiley X “Brick” model fit and felt the best. Following Vogel’s instructions, my daughter took a closeup photo of the glasses while I wore them with my hearing protection. I e-mailed Vogel the digital photo and shipped the frames back to SafeVision.
Vogel then made my prescription safety glasses. He used the photo I e-mailed him to be sure the press-on prescription optic made by 3M Health Care would be in the correct spot.
Once my new Wiley X “Brick” shooting glasses were ready, they were shipped to me and my credit card was adjusted for the difference between the three plain frames I had already paid for and my new
Upon arrival, the Wiley X glasses came with a branded hard case, two different retention straps, and various cleaning accouterments. The Brick’s lenses have a 1.5 magnification bifocal at the bottom and the right eye lens has the press-on prescription in just the right spot for seeing my front sight. Which is now clearly in focus!
If you have considered a pair of prescription shooting glasses, check out SafeVision’s website and give Vogel a call. PM
Steve Tracy is a 26-year police veteran with 24 years of experience as a firearms instructor. He is also an instructor for tactical rifles, use of force, less-than-lethal force and scenario-based training. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Crossfire AR3 shooting glasses come in clear or as sunglasses.
- Crossfire’s bifocal magnification is available in 1.5x, 2.0x, or 2.5x magnification. These shooting glasses let you see closeup for scope adjustments or similar shooting situations.
- SafeVision LLC can get a quality pair of prescription shooting glasses to you without you ever stepping into their office. Just call them with your prescription and they’ll handle it.
- SafeVision recommends ordering several safety frames to try out along with your hearing protection. You can then choose which pair works best for you.
- Author’s new Wiley X “Brick” prescription shooting glasses. These safety glasses incorporate 1.5x magnification bifocals at the bottom and a prescription press-on lens in the right lens for focusing on a handgun’s front sight.