Shooting Glasses

 Shooting Glasses

Your Source for Information on Shooting Glasses


Recommended Shooting Glasses

As stated before, there are a number of shooting glasses manufacturers on the market today offering several different models and designs. Those manufacturers include brands like:

  • Decot
  • Knobloch
  • Oakley
  • Randolph Ranger
  • Tasco
  • Wiley-X
  • Zeiss

Rather than go through all these manufacturers and give you an opinion on each one, we'd ask that you utilize the information provided on the pages about:

Shooting Glasses Lenses

Shooting Glasses Frames

Once you've reviewed that info, take it and assess the brands that you are interested in. See how they stack up to the recommended criteria. If they don't stack up, I'd consider eliminating them from consideration.

A few important points:

As you review your choices, you are going to see several brands that are designed on the metal "aviator" style frames made very popular by Ray Ban™ . Be cautious with these brands, especially in the area of eye coverage. In most cases, this style won't offer sufficient protection for the sides of the eyes.

I don't mean to harp to this topic, but please take advice from someone who learned the hard way. Back during my law enforcement career, I routinely wore the Ray Ban Aviator style sunglasses on duty. We were also allowed to wear these style glasses during firearms qualifications. While qualifying with semi-auto pistols during a day qualifications course, the officer to my immediate left ejected a 9mm brass cartridge that came flying towards me from my left side. I never saw it until it entered past my sunglasses (through an unprotected side area) and struck the outside edge of my left eye just inside my eyelid. Although I was fortunate enough to escape permanent injury, I did have to have an eye surgeon removed small debris that was embedded in my eye from the impact. I also sustained a significant scratch to my cornea that took about 4 weeks to heal and required an eye patch for several weeks. That one close call was all it took for me. Please don't make the same mistake I did.

Although money will always be a factor, please consider purchasing some quality shooting glasses that will offer adequate protection. Ask yourself the following question:

Would you rather take a ricochet round in the eye area wearing some quality high impact polycarbonate lens that cost you $50.00, or would you rather be wearing some no name, un-rated plastic pair that cost you $8.00 at the hardware store?

Our Recommendation

Don't want to do your own research and want to know what we recommend? We'll be glad to help.

Before we start our recommendation, I wanted to let you know that we fully research and test all products that we recommend. No matter how popular the item is or how much money it makes for us, we will not recommend or carry that item if it doesn't pass our evaluations or standards.

With that being said, we highly recommend a shooting glasses system made by a company called Eye Safety Systems or ESS for short. ESS specializes in eye protection equipment for the military, fire, and law enforcement. Traditionally they marketed their products to only those three markets, but have now started selling to the civilian market.

ESS manufactures an outstanding line of shooting glasses called the Interchangeable Component Eyeshield system or ICE system for short. It's a complete high performance component based eye wear set-up designed for high intensity eye defense in any light conditions. It's also one of the best eye wear systems that we've seen at an outstanding price.

The system is built around a set of three (3) interchangeable 2.4mm high-impact polycarbonate lenses. The lens come in clear, amber, and dark gray for use in any light conditions. All 3 lens offer 100% UVA/UVB protection and are 100% ANSI Z87.1 & OSHA standards compliant. 

 Protective Shooting Glasses

The lens are so sturdy that they can stop a shotgun blast from 30 feet. It’s the only eyeshield on the market today that passes the rigorous MIL-V-43511C .22 caliber ballistic impact test.

 Shooting Glasses for Shotgunners

The frameless ESS ICE design allows for an unlimited field of view. The adjustable temples can be made longer or shorter, and have custom fit ear bends to fit any user. The lens are setup for quick change. The temples and nose pad can quickly be removed and replaced on another lens.

 Eye Safety Systems Glasses

 A rugged carrying pouch that comes with:

  • divided lens pockets
  • A belt loop
  • A handy clip attachment
  • An ESS Clear Zone fog repellent cloth
  • Snap-on neck leash
 Impact resistant glasses

In addition to all that, the ICE also has 2 different optional prescription lens carriers accessory which are sold separately .

The Wire RX Carrier is a frameless design that supports prescriptions up to +/- 5.

The Nylon RX Carrier is a rugged framed model that supports prescriptions up to +/- 11.

The ESS ICE Rx Lens Carrier snaps into the ICE nosepiece for a low profile, lightweight prescription integration. To utilize the Rx carrier, simply take it to your eye care professional and have them insert your prescription lens into the Rx carrier.


ESS Wire Frame inserts


ESS Nylon Frame Prescription inserts

Some common questions that we get are:

How do you change lens? The frame arms and nose piece snap right off the frame. It takes about 3 minutes to change lens. Here's a picture of how it's done:

Removal of Prescription Lens

How do you use the prescription insert? It's pretty simple actually. Take the insert to your eye care professional and have them insert your prescription lens into the carrier. Then insert the carrier into the ICE nose piece, and you're ready to go. Here's a picture showing how that's done:

Prescription Inserts

Now you're probably saying "Nice set-up, but how much?" That's the great part. The entire ICE package is $63.00. The optional prescriptions insert is an additional $28.00.

You may also be thinking that $63.00 is an awfully low price for the ICE package, so something must be wrong. Actually, in terms of products, the ICE system is still fairly new to the shooting glasses market. As a result ESS is trying to establish brand recognition and gain a foothold in the shooting industry. I'd imagine the price will go up once they become more popular.

One of the amazing parts of this system is the optional Rx carrier. Think about how much money you'll save over typical prescription shooting glasses. Let's do the math on this.

 The ICE System $63.00
 RX Carrier $28.00
 Prescription Lens $50.00

On the prescription lens cost, I estimated on the high end. My buddy had his prescription lens done on his vision plan for $35.00. So for $160 to $180 dollars, you have a set of fully functionally prescription shooting glasses in 3 different lens tints. Take the $160 to $180 dollars invested for the ICE with prescription inserts and compare that to the $200.00 to $350.00 that you can expect to pay to have a pair made with ONE lens tint.

We field tested a few pairs and found them to be an excellent performer on the range and in the field. We were especially impressed with the outstanding value, especially when compared to similar shooting eye wear on the market today. How impressed were we? So impressed that we became a distributor for ESS.

If interested in more info or purchasing a pair for yourself, please click this link for ESS Shooting Glasses. We try to keep the ESS ICE in stock but availability can come and go. If you have questions, comments, or prefer to order by phone, please call us at 919-388-1991.

Whether you decide to go with the ESS line or not, please take the time to appropriately protect your eyes.