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Shooting and Rx glasses

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Patriotme, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Patriotme

    Patriotme Well-Known Member

    I've seen a few people recently write about shooting in Rx glasses. Someone mentioned that they told the doctor that they were shooters and the optometrist changed the prescription or cut the lenses differently.
    Has anyone run across this and is it something that I need to worry about when changing from regular Rx glasses that I've been using for years to bifocals?
    Thanks for the help.
  2. BigN

    BigN Well-Known Member

    My Rx glasses sit kind of low on my nose and they're equipped with bifocals. It's a major pain in the butt to look through a scope with them. I have to slide them all the way up onto the top of my nose to see through the scope. If not, I get a double crosshair picture. I wasn't aware that shooters could get a special kind of glasses. Could come in handy.
  3. Pete D.

    Pete D. Well-Known Member

    I have done this. My normal wear glasses are the varilux type where the distance correction changes continually from bottom (reading) to top (distance). Looking at iron sights on a pistol requires that I hold my head at an awkward angle.
    I took a set of steel framed shooting glasses to the optometrist and explained that I was a shooter yada yada yada. I had him make a lens for my dominant eye (right) that allows clear focus on the front sight of a firearm held at arms length.
    The other lens was left as a plano so that I could have distance vision without changing glasses (this is called "monovision" - one eye doing one thing and the other something else - and not everyone is comfortable with it. I did it for years wearing one contact lens for reading and a clear eye for distance so I was used to it).
    I believe that one can do the same kind of thing with cheap drugstore reading glasses if the correct diopter is chosen. Don't know how well they'd work as shooting glasses though.
  4. MarkDozier

    MarkDozier Member.

    I am n the process of this issue currently. I hope to have a good resolution in a few weeks. When I do I will post the details in a brief.
  5. wrench

    wrench Well-Known Member

    I've worn prescription glasses since I was a kid, nearsighted. Now age has caught up with me, and I need bifocals on top of that.:rolleyes:
    Like the other poster, my everyday lenses are varilux, and don't work well for shooting.
    I had a pair made with my normal distance prescription, and normal bifocals.
    Then I added to that, a half strength bifocal cut into the top of the right (dominant) lens. That focuses my right eye on my front sight.
    I have to say I like the way it works.
  6. Smokey Joe

    Smokey Joe Well-Known Member

    Shooting + Old Eyes...

    I've gone both ways. Had a special prescription pair of glasses ground for league pistol shooting, cost a pretty penny, and when it was done & paid for it didn't work that well for me.

    Went to a Wal-Mart, tried on the various--and CHEAP--reading glasses they sell until I found a pair that was nicely focussed on my arms'-length fist plus a little bit, bought them, and have used them successfully. (At least, the glasses are successful. My pistol shooting is, um, OK.)

    My current optometrist does shooting glasses as a regular part of their business. If I start having trouble w/the Wal-Mart glasses, mebbe I'll try a special pair once more. Mebbe not--they're pricey.
  7. menacingsquirrel

    menacingsquirrel Well-Known Member

    I also have bifocals Rx glasses. I have a pair of Rx wrap-around safety glasses that I use for shooting. I just had the bifocal removed and it seems to work well with me.

    I wouldn't use regular glasses for shooting. They aren't up to the task of safety glasses if something happened. Just my $0.02.
  8. gregj

    gregj Well-Known Member

    I did this a few years ago, and it's one of the best things I could have done to help my shooting. I wear progressive bi-focals, and tilting my head back to get the front sight in focus was a PITA, and was impossible during IDPA matchs. So I had my eye doc make me a pair of shooting glasses. My right eye (dominate eye) is single Rx with focus about 27" in front of me, which is about where the front sight normally would be, and the left eye is single RX for distance. Takes some getting used to when walking around, but once you start shooting, all is good!!
  9. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Well-Known Member

    I am using cheapo reading glasses. 125 or 150 depending on what my peepers are doing that day.
  10. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Well-Known Member

    I've worn perscription glasses for 20+ years. Not quite at the point for bifocals. I've been told/advised that when I reach the point that I need bifocals I need to have my shoot safety glasses made so that the bifocals are "upside down" relative to how they are normally done.
  11. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Well-Known Member

    I wear the same thing. Got special lens set put in the largest safety glasses frames. Deducted them on my taxes too. Required for work you know.
  12. mbruce

    mbruce Well-Known Member

    http://www.sportrx.com has the best prices and best service. I have purchased many prescription glasses for other sports from them and they always take care of me. Get a script then fax or email it to them and they'll do the rest. Only added info needed will be your PD (Pupil Distance).

    their customer service has instant chat which is cool these days.
  13. -eaux-

    -eaux- Well-Known Member

    I'm astigmatic in both eyes, fortunately(?) more so in my weak eye. When I close my weak eye to aquire a sight picture my depth perception goes away completely. This newfound inability to hit a squirrel in the head with a .22 in my mid-20's was the reason I went to the eye doctor. My prescription has only changed by a fraction over the years, but it sure is nice to be able to take headshots on squirrels with iron sights. The only drawback is having to drop a few hundred bucks every year or two for a fresh set of spectacles. (scrip doesn't change, but I'm rough on 'em)
  14. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    To give you an idea of the state of my eyes, I am 73.

    I wear tri-focals and have for a number of years.
    The top lens is a normal lens for distance.

    The center lens, the important lens for shooters, is focused at about 36 inches. This I call my shooting or computer lens. Actually I started using this center lens years ago because I flew helicopters for a living and needed this center lens to see the instruments. It made the front seat passenger nervous if I asked him, "What does that gage read now". :D
    So the center lens is focused at about pistol front sight distance and computer screen, instrument panel distance.

    The bottom lens is a normal close up reading lens.

    So when I'm shooting I use the center lens to see a sharp front sight. This makes the rear sight slightly blurred and the target more blurred.
    Does that sound familiar? It should, that the same thing that's going on with strong eyes.

    When you first start using bi/tri-focals it takes a little getting use to, but after a little bit it becomes normal.

    Do properly focused tri-focals work OK for shooting? Judge for yourself. The black target at 52 yards is my 2-3 inch barrel S&W J Frame target, and I seldom miss.

    Or how about close up shooting with tri-focals?
  15. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Well-Known Member

  16. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    Because my (center) shooting lens is mostly too low to see the rifle sights through the lens I had a pair of glasses made with just the center prescription in the whole lens. So no matter how I have to look through the glasses I'm looking through my shooting lens. Works fine. Nice sharp front sight.

    The only problem is the lens is focused at about 36 inches, so everything is a little blurred. So I have to swap back to my tri-focals when I'm done shooting.
  17. Cookie45

    Cookie45 Active Member

    I wear tri-focals normally. Mostly pistol shoot, so last year asked my doctor to make me a pair of glasses just for shooting them. They are bi-focal with the bottom part set for the sights at my normal shooting stance and the top for distance [the target]. He also had the sights portion ground higher than normal so I don't have to tilt my head to see the sights. A slight movement of the head down and the targets are sharp and clear. It has helped a tremendously!!
  18. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    Excellent idea Cookie. I believe I'll do that also.

    As I said, when rifle iron sight shooting, I have to keep swapping glasses between my shooting lens and my regular tri-focals. I could probably go the whole shooting session wearing the two lens glasses.

    I'll have to take note of where I'm looking through the (shooting lens) glasses at the rifle sights and have the distance lens come down only that far.

    Yes, a very good idea.:)
  19. brickeyee

    brickeyee Well-Known Member

    It really helps if you can actually see the front sight (at least).
  20. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Well-Known Member

    When I'm updating my eyeglass prescription I hold my hand out like I'm shooting. The Optometrist measures the distance from my eye to my hand and adds several inches more to the front sight. He then prescribes the (center) lens that allows my eyes to focus at that distance.

    So when I'm looking through that center lens it's about like shooting with good uncorrected vision.

    But bi/tri focals do take getting use to so you automatically look through the correct lens without thinking.
    Whether I'm fast point shooting while looking through the top (distant) lens or fast aimed shooting looking through the center lens at the front sight, I give it no thought. I just do it.

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