Firearms can be dangerous, and all have some recoil. In addition most shooting occurs outside, where elements such as dust, wind, sun, trees and vegetation can potentially harm eyes. Therefore, it's very important to use eye protection at all times when engaged in shooting activities indoors and outside.
If you wear contacts or don't need glasses, sports sunglasses are an option. These sunglasses usually wrap around your eyes to form a shield against the elements. Make sure to buy glasses with lenses made of polycarbonate or Trivex which are the most impact resistant material available.
Features of Shooting Glasses
Glasses for shooters are specially designed and have several important features. These glasses have more features that the general aviator-shaped frames that are popular. This protects your face from gun recoil and "blow back". Additionally, it adds to the protection against the elements.
Glasses for shooting often have temples with spring hinges. This type of hinge allows the frame to move without breaking. Many glasses often include temples that wrap around your ear which helps keep the frame in the correct position on your face. Features that make the frames more comfortable often include soft silicon pads around the nose, which also help to keep the frame in place. Frames may be made out of several different types of materials, including various metals and titanium, plastic and polycarbonate. Frames must be comfortable so the shooter is not aware of the glasses, but what they are doing. Frame should also fit the shooter's face as not to occlude the target while in act of shooting.
Lenses for Shooting Glasses
Shooters have chosen polycarbonate lenses with UV protection and a scratch-resistant coating as their lens of choice for years. Polycarbonate lenses are extremely resistant to impact, and also give a lot of "bounce back" and "blow back" protection. However, there are newer materials for lenses that have been developed recently that are also excellent choices for shooters such as Trivex.
Prescription and Non-prescription shooting glasses often come with interchangeable lenses. These lenses are used when facing varied conditions of light. If you need prescription lenses, you can order your lenses in various colors of your choice. Shooters often enjoy using orange or yellow colored lenses. These colors of lenses block blue light as well as haze. They also provide a more vivid hue of orange, which is often the color of the target. Bright yellow lenses are good for using in low light, or foggy weather conditions.
A light purple lens, which is a neutral filter (grays everything out but the target) is particularly good for seeing an orange target when the background is green trees. Purple lenses are made from a mixture of vermillion and gray. Some shooters like vermilion because this color helps to see where there is a natural outdoor background, and helps the target to stand out and increases contrast sensitivity. If your prefer a neutral or natural color, gray is the color of choice. A gray lens allows you to see all colors naturally, and are good for using in strong sunshine or light sensitive eyes.
Polarized lenses are available in most colors. Polarized lenses are good for use in the outdoors, as they reduce glare. This is particularly helpful when shooting near water or the horizontal light glare that comes off of snow and wet roads in direct sun light.
Most shooting disciplines require specific targets that are specific colors and therefore need certain traits or colors to help the shooter visualize the targets position, speed and direction.