Safety Glasses?


February 20, 2009, 02:48 PM
Do you use safety glasses for shooting? I wouldn't consider it outside of a self-defense situation...

What got me to thinking about this is all the YouTube videos of people shooting without glasses.

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February 20, 2009, 03:11 PM
I do when shooting Black Powder Revolvers. Last year I witnessed a fellow shooter get hit from a spent percussion cap. It embedded itself into his cheek. An inch higher and it would have been in his eye.

He'll wear safety glasses from now on!

dave from mesa
February 20, 2009, 03:14 PM
Always and ear protection.

February 20, 2009, 03:17 PM
Your chances of having a gun actually blow up in your face are small, but having a case split or otherwise rupture, sending gas and small bits of brass your way is not that uncommon.

Safety glasses are best, but ordinary eyeglasses or even a cheap pair of sunglasses offer near complete protection against all but the worst accidents.


Anna's Dad
February 20, 2009, 03:20 PM
Usually just my ordinary eye glasses.

I do own a pair of safety glasses that surround glasses but rarely use them myself. I bought them after my wife managed to get a hot case to land in right above her glasses and burn her eyelid!

February 20, 2009, 03:31 PM
Just because you haven't had an accident doesn't mean it can't happen to you.

Wear protective eyewear suitable for what you're doing (growing an eye back is such an annoying time-consuming thing these days :cool:).

Do you need to wear Z87+ high impact rated safety glasses while shooting? Probably not. An ejected casing that would hit your eye will be stopped by almost any glasses. A ruptured casing that could spray brass will easily be stopped by any standard pair of safety glasses.

Just be sure that you understand that the glasses you do wear need to provide protection from particles coming from the front as well as the occasional casing arcing over the top of your glasses (have a slight burn scar just under my left eye from a hot .45 case getting trapped behind my Ray Ban Aviators). Also be sure that the temples of your safety glasses don't make big gaps in your ear muff pads that let noise through.

Safe shooting can be fun for years.

February 20, 2009, 03:37 PM
I never shoot without 'em. Last year I was shooting at an indoor range with my wife. She fired a 9mm round that hit the metal piece of the target holder, and it sent a chunk of copper jacket straight back at me. The chunk embedded itself in my cheek bone just below my eye. I had to dig it out with a pair of tweezers.

February 20, 2009, 04:05 PM
I wear my perscription glasses which are safety glass. I also always a hat which would stop the brass from going between the face and the glasses.

I thought already of getting sport glasses to wear when shooting but haven't done that yet.

February 20, 2009, 04:07 PM
Safety glasses: $4.95
Six pairs of earplugs: $1.97
Earmuffs: $7.95
Preserving your vision and hearing: priceless

(Yes, I wear both earplugs and earmuffs when shooting.)

February 20, 2009, 04:18 PM
I don't know why anyone wouldn't wear them, they aren't uncomfortable or anything. The full 1 second it takes to put them on is worth the possibility of saving my vision in my opinion

February 20, 2009, 06:32 PM
Ear muffs and safety glasses. Add ear plugs if shooting large caliber or loud guns.

February 20, 2009, 06:37 PM
Hearing and eye protection always, always, always.

If you don't, eventually you'll learn why you should have.

February 20, 2009, 07:43 PM
Some years ago my oldest son was shooting a s & w .22 pistol (forgot model). Anyway the adjustable rear sight flew off the slide and hit him just above his eye. I called s & w to let them know of this problem and they put a rivet thru the sight and frame. Prior to that there was just a tiny screw holding it. By the way, he wasn't wearing any glasses.

Innocent bystanders beware. I was shooting my 29 smith and my friend was about 2 feet to my left and slightly behind me and received a nice piece of copper just under his eye. You never know.

February 20, 2009, 07:49 PM
Always. Only takes once.

Claude Clay
February 20, 2009, 07:59 PM
polycarbonate glasses. i keep my most recent old ones in my range bag. a 9mm casing left a long 1/2+ inch rather deep scratch/ gouge just above center right eye. i show them for training and the point of eye protection rather makes itself.
i dbl ears also--plugs plus e-muffs for any shooting except 22lr.

Boba Fett
February 20, 2009, 08:18 PM
Always wear eye and ear protection. I have super sensitive hearing (I can hear things like a watch ticking three rooms away at night) so I wear the muffs and plugs. Both have a NR of over 30 each.

As for the eyewear, I went with ESS ICE (

Supposedly it will stop a 22lr or a shotgun blast from 35 ft away. Personally I think if you are getting shot at, the eyewear stopping the projectile is the least of your concerns. I like the ICE because you can easily switch between the three different tints and they are very comfortable.

Hungry Seagull
February 20, 2009, 09:16 PM
Without fail. Always on the range ear protection and eye protection.

Once one of the guns did not close the action all the way, I eyeballed it and caught it in time before spouse fired. If she did, that stuff would have hurt her eyes or something else.

Always without exception. If in doubt, refer to rule number one:

Ear protection and Eye protection.

How did I learn? Giddy with new gun purchase and feeling oats, I fired Magnums through the 870 and heard hellsbells and phones for a month. Luckily things have quieted down...:scrutiny:

In home defense it wont matter anyway one way or the other; even so, an effort is made to take a moment to grab the eyes and ear stuff.

We also wore protection when attending Living History Artillery shooting years ago. Those things, particularly the James and Parrots had a peircing voice when firing ammunition downrange. A day of that is enough and hard on the body besides sight, hearing and air quality breathing.

I should put up a video showing leftovers bouncing back towards the firing line from that yonder wall 100 yards away. That will be a testiment to eye safety.

February 20, 2009, 09:48 PM
Yes. That brass flies everywhere, and once I had one hit the glasses...if I hadn't been wearing them, it likely would've hit me right in the eyebrow...and heaven help me if if it'd then dropped behind my (prescription) glasses. Ow.

Redneck with a 40
February 20, 2009, 09:53 PM
I just wear ordinary sunglasses, I figure that's good enough protection.

February 20, 2009, 09:58 PM
I always wear ear protection and eye protection. As I have been having a harder time keeping the sights from blurring (Shadow image) I am going to try wearing a pair of old bi-focals at the range tomorrow. As I paid quite a bit for them, I am making an assumption that they are shatter resistant.

February 20, 2009, 10:03 PM

February 20, 2009, 10:10 PM
Eye protection was not always in the vogue. What convinced me a long time ago was a primer burst while shooting a 380 Beretta and shot a jet of gas through the firing pin channel hitting me in the eye. Fortunately, just mild discomfort.

Eye protection when shooting has even come into style for the military.

.38 Special
February 20, 2009, 10:52 PM
You can almost certainly get away with a lifetime of shooting without wearing glasses. Countless shooters in "the good old days" did so.

However, shooting -- and especially shooting at a range -- does present an increased risk to your eyes. It's so easy and cheap to protect them that it's hard to understand why anyone wouldn't.

For my money, I suppose it would be slightly more convenient to forgo glasses. But I know how stupid I would feel to lose an eye for want of a pair of glasses, so I always wear them.

February 20, 2009, 10:59 PM
I got a wicked facefull of something once when I fired a friend's Carcano. I don't know jack about old bolt-guns, so I don't really know what happened. It felt like somebody threw a handful of sand in my face - really hard - right when I pulled the trigger... actually stung. Safety glasses? ALWAYS. Hearing protection? ALWAYS.

February 20, 2009, 11:10 PM
I once got hit in the cheek (right below the eye) from a pellet gun ricochet, I have never shot any guns without glasses after that, I never knew those pellet guns could ricochet pellets back so fast, It made a pretty bad welt for a few days and I can't imagine the pain I would have been in if it would have hit my eye.

February 20, 2009, 11:12 PM
After having a PSL blow up in my face.
Actually that exact same rifle was posted on for a couple days :p

February 21, 2009, 12:34 AM
I used to not worry about either. I'm still bad about hearing protection depending on the situation. If only one person is shooting at a time (sighting in at the hunting lease) I still don't wear my ears, but I'll manually hold my ear at the time of shot. If multiple people are shooting, always.

Eyes are different, but same goes. I used to not worry about them, until I had, what I best describe as a backfire. I reload shotgun shells, my old 870 had gone several thousand rounds without being cleaned. So the action was filthy with unburnt powder residue. I actually noticed this that day and told myself it was time to clean it. Well during the course of the day (skeet shooting) I pumped the gun (what must have been) extremely quick after the shot. The hot gases from the barrel ignited all the unburnt powder residue, and shot a large fireball out the side of the action. Out of surprise and instinct, I threw the gun down, on it's side, with the action open. Nobody with me could believe what they saw. After finding the empty shell, there was nothing wrong. It was scorched on the outside, but that was it. I continued shooting for the rest of the day. But ever since that you won't see me shooting without something covering my eyes. Things happen too fast in our sport to take chances with it.


February 21, 2009, 12:53 AM
Supposedly it will stop a 22lr or a shotgun blast from 35 ft away.
At 11 yards? Birdshot maybe. 22LR I'm skeptical it could stop. I'll bet 00 buck would sail through.

February 21, 2009, 01:12 AM
I just bought a second pair of ANSI rated safety glasses with bifocal lense for $6 each. I have worn the first pair for couple months. They still are like new and I wear them outside (MN) for 3hrs a day easy. I tend to get them dirty so got second pair so I could switch rather then risk scratching them wiping them off dry.

Boba Fett
February 21, 2009, 01:20 AM
At 11 yards? Birdshot maybe. 22LR I'm skeptical it could stop. I'll bet 00 buck would sail through.

Yeah, I'm rather skeptical too, and I'm in no hurry to find out either. But I also didn't get them because of their supposed stopping capability. They look nice, they have the three different lenses, they are comfortable, and what I read about the company at the time seemed pretty good too.

I still have and use the pair I bought and have no complaints about them. They have never fogged on me, they have never fallen apart even after changing the lenses around many times, and they have most certainly protected my eyes from casings and shaved bullets shards from a defective revolver. I'd get another pair tomorrow if I need one.

Jorg Nysgerrig
February 21, 2009, 01:38 AM
Not only do I use them, I usually keep a spare pair or two in the range bag in case someone else needs a pair. You can pick up the spare pairs at WalMart or any other such place for about $5 (or less if you get the super cheap ones) in the hardware section (the same type of glasses cost more in the sporting goods section).

February 21, 2009, 01:40 AM
"Do you use safety glasses for shooting?"

Yes,and they've caught a returning round, which while it ruined the glasses spared my eye. Wear them.

Yosemite Sam
February 21, 2009, 03:38 AM
Sorry to get off track, but do you guys get a weird taste in your throat after a session at an indoor range? I get it every time, and I'm a new shooter. I think I'm inhaling way too much lead or something... I've been going to the range 2-3 times a week, and this can't be good.

Travis Bickle
February 21, 2009, 04:29 AM
Do you use safety glasses for shooting? I wouldn't consider it outside of a self-defense situation...

No. I don't really see the point unless you're using super hot reloads or a questionable gun. In that case, I wouldn't just want safety glasses, I'd want full face protection.

February 21, 2009, 05:00 AM
Had glasses my whole life, so no choice. Hearing, OTOH, is something everyone should protect even if it seems inconvenient. I was blessed with heavy tinnitus, and played drums for years. Without hearing protection, I'd be even worse off. Don't regret your choices years later.

February 21, 2009, 05:07 AM
I were eye protection with pistols now because I`ve got hit in the eye by the spark or something a couple times from a Walther P22.

February 21, 2009, 11:46 AM
Sorry to get off track, but do you guys get a weird taste in your throat after a session at an indoor range? I get it every time, and I'm a new shooter. I think I'm inhaling way too much lead or something... I've been going to the range 2-3 times a week, and this can't be good.
I don't go to indoor ranges because basically I'm a cheapskate, but from what I've read a strange taste in your mouth following an indoor shooting session is a sure sign of lead inhalation.

Claude Clay
February 21, 2009, 12:31 PM
sometimes if the fans are not turned up high enough
or someone is shooting especially dirty powder--or lead bullets with smokey lube.

February 21, 2009, 12:32 PM
Always at the range. Not always when hunting.

Zach S
February 21, 2009, 12:43 PM
Always. I get these ( free at work, and I buy these ( for outside of work. At $3, they are somewhat disposable and I buy a pair whenever I'm at Northern. At night I'm at work, and during the day I'm asleep or out and about, so I pretty much have safety glasses on all the time.

For hearing protection I use EAR Classic plugs. ( Uncomfortable, but they work well.

February 21, 2009, 01:11 PM
Does anyone wear goggles over the glasses that are comfortable to shoot with. I once got a brass bounce back that took and scorch my lens. Progressive tris and photo-sensitive. Cost $200 to replace lens.

February 21, 2009, 01:58 PM
Our Club insists on both Ear AND Eye protection.

February 21, 2009, 02:11 PM
Since I cut wood for my wood stove a home I've always been careful with my eyes but not so with my ears. I think the concussive sound is what causes hearing problems. I have muffs and stuffs for my ears now and always use one or the other. I've had polycarbonate lenses for years and been whacked by metal pieces hard enough to knock them off & bend them so I feel confident with them when cutting wood or shooting.

February 21, 2009, 03:01 PM
Please put me in the 'Absolutely, every time,' camp.

16 years ago I was running a circular saw, trimming some MDF, no eye protection. I saw one particular particle leave the blade and travel in an absolutely straight line right into my left eye. No damage, no doctor, but it still completely sucked.

Ever since then, I've been a zealot.

February 21, 2009, 03:12 PM

Yes. I wear prescription bifocals. When I'm shooting I wear a pair of Uvex Astro OTG safety glasses over them. I didn't want to blow a lot of cash on prescription safety glasses. These things work fine for "over the glass" wear; and you can choose different tint colors. Cost me a whopping $10 or so. I found them at a safety equipment supply company.

February 21, 2009, 03:15 PM
Always, I wear Safty glasses when doing almost every thing.

Never shoot with out them.

I also wear plugs & muffs. Call me crazy or redundent, but God only gave me two ears & two eyes and I like them to work.

February 21, 2009, 06:00 PM
Thank You for the info will try and get a pair to cover my Rx

Sauer Grapes
February 21, 2009, 10:00 PM
Take it from me, I never used to wear anything shooting outside. I now have ringing ears 24\7. Not good, but didn't know any better.

February 21, 2009, 10:03 PM
Sometimes I put all that safety stuff on, but most of the time I don't.

February 21, 2009, 11:36 PM
The ranges I shoot at require safety glasses while on the range. Therefore I wear them.

Straight Shooter
February 22, 2009, 12:37 PM
Yes, always both eyes and ears.

A while back I had read an article about canting your gun 15-45 degrees to the left (right handed shooter) causes a more natural faster draw and faster target acquisition. "Think of throwing a punch" it said "your fist is naturally turned inward".

I tried this out at the range, fired the first shot at about 45 degrees and took the casing to the forehead. Fired a second shot at about 15 degrees and the casing hit the right lens of my shooting glasses.

Needless to say that ended the experiment.

Glad I had my glasses on.

February 22, 2009, 02:42 PM
What got me to thinking about this is all the YouTube videos of people shooting without glasses.
Very early on in my shooting activities it was the loss of eyes and eye injuries in shooting mishaps of one sort or another that got me thinking.

I wear protective glasses quite often even driving and at work. I had a friend in my school days that lost sight in one eye when a large pheasant came through the windshield of the car they were a passenger in. A small glass fragment hit just the right spot.

Last year I was on the freeway one evening with my window down when the right front tire of the pickup that was passing me in the lane to my left blew out. Fortunately I did not get hit by anything at all, but the tire literally exploded. It was like standing a few yards level with the muzzle of a rifle discharge - my left ear was smarting for quite awhile.

Eye injuries are among the most common in many activities and often routine everyday life. A pair of good optically quality glasses that look very much like clear lens sunglasses are very cheap. About $5.00. If they were $500 they would still be cheap compared to the costs of a lost eye(s).


February 22, 2009, 03:03 PM
Absolutely. Always. I've never been hit with one of my own brass, but have been hit numerous times with brass from another firing position.

Ears? Right on. And I don't use plugs. Having worked in a lab using (extremely loud) shock and vibration testing, I found that so much noise is picked up through the skull that plugs just didn't work. Muffs stop all kinds of noise. And, even with my advanced age, I can still enjoy my music and hear the birds sing in the woods.

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