man practicing shooting with eye protection

Why is Eye Protection Important at the Range

Eye protection does a lot more than make you look cool. Eye protection is a crucial safety precaution around any firearm, and along with a quality optic, can improve your shooting. Your eyes are a vulnerable, fragile and crucial part of your body it’s important to protect while shooting. When you’re at a range, it is a crucial part of your kit to keep you safe and comfortable. In fact, most professional shooting organizations require eye protection for both competitors and onlookers. Here are some reasons to consider eye protection for your next range day.

woman practicing shooting with eye protectionEye Protection Keeps You Safe

There are all sorts of things flying in a range environment. Lead, brass, powder and primer, to begin with, along with the dust, sand and potential target debris caused by target shooting. In short, there are all sorts of known unknown variables in a range environment, all of which you don’t want in your eyes. Catastrophic instances such as ricochets, misfires, or flying spalls all can cause serious injury. In particular, flying brass, a certainty in a shooting environment, can cause permanent damage or blindness in the instance of a direct hit.

Eye Protection Keeps You Comfortable

In addition to the clear safety benefit, eye protection can make your general range experience more comfortable. From dark sun tints to protect you from UV rays, to full seal eyewear to protect from wind, dust or insects, there are plenty of forms of eyewear and reasons to consider wearing them. Different lenses also offer benefits in various situations. Most popular are amber, yellow, gray or purple. Some competitive shooters swear by yellow lenses to increase contrast between targets and the background. Gray or blue lenses can also cut down on glare and increase object perception.

X-Vision scope on a firearm next to binoculars and rangefindersSome Eyewear Tips

It is important to select eyewear that fits properly. Full wrap around lenses leave less of a gap between the nose and eyes and are safer than aviator style lenses. The governing standard for shooting eye protection is American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1. Compliant glasses should have a Z87.1 imprint somewhere on the frame. ANSI compliant safety glasses can cost as little as $20 or several hundred dollars for high end models with more features. If you wear prescription glasses, there are models that fit over top of most glasses. If you spend a lot of time in safety glasses, prescription safety glasses that can be ordered through an optometrist. Stay safe on the range! For more information on safe hunting on public land click here.