There are specific measures every shooter should take to protect their eyes when handling a firearm. This is true whether you’re pheasant hunting, shooting sporting clays, or engaged in exciting 3 gun competition. Thankfully for shooters, protective eyewear options abound. However, even with so many options, finding the best shooting glasses to suit your specific needs can be tricky.
A good pair of safety glasses will protect your eyes from dirt, debris, ricochets, and hot brass. But how can you know which models are worth the money and which aren’t worth the powder it would take to blow them across the street? You don’t want to entrust something as precious as your eyesight to a pair of subpar eye pro.
This article will walk you through what to look for in a quality pair of shooting glasses. We also review some of the best models on the market, covering everything from budget priced too high end eyewear.
If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for Shooting Glasses :
- ESS Rollbar Ballistic Safety Glasses
- Wiley X Saber Advanced Shooting Glasses
- Oakley Ballistic M Frames
- Smith Optics Aegis Echo II Compact Elite Tactical Eyeshields
- Allen Company Ballistic Over Glasses
- Radians Clay Pro Shooting Glasses
- STNGR Alpine Ballistic Sunglasses
- Smith & Wesson M&P Thunderbolt Full Frame Shooting Glasses
- GruntX Ballistic Shooting Safety Glasses
- Magpul Terrain Sunglasses
Table of Contents
- How to Choose the Best Shooting Glasses?
- Best Shooting Glasses on the Market Review
- 1 ESS Rollbar Ballistic Safety Glasses
- 2 Wiley X Saber Advanced Shooting Glasses
- 3 Oakley Ballistic M Frames
- 4 Smith Optics Aegis Echo II Compact Elite Tactical Eyeshields
- 5 Allen Company Ballistic Over Glasses
- 6 Radians Clay Pro Shooting Glasses
- 7 STNGR Alpine Ballistic Sunglasses
- 8 Smith & Wesson M&P Thunderbolt Full Frame Shooting Glasses
- 9 GruntX Ballistic Shooting Safety Glasses
- 10 Magpul Terrain Sunglasses
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose the Best Shooting Glasses?
Deciding on a pair of shooting glasses is a highly personal choice. There are tons of different options on the market, so knowing where to start can feel pretty intimidating, especially for new shooters. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the options, here are few key things to keep in mind when searching for protective eyewear.
There are two main organizations that have set standards for eye protection.
The first is ANSI (which stands for the American National Standards Institute). This organization sets industrial safety standards. ANSI Z87 is a basic standard for shooting glasses. This rating indicates the glasses are capable of withstanding a .25-inch steel ball traveling at 150 feet per second.
The second organization is the US military. Their impact standards are much higher and certainly more relevant to shooters. Glasses that are rated MIL-PRF-31013 can survive a 0.15-inch projectile traveling at a velocity of 650 feet per second. This is closer to the velocities commonly seen in shooting.
You may also see ratings for MCEP (Military Combat Eye Protection). This standard is typically listed as MCEPS GL-PD 10-12. Military standards are determined by putting safety glasses through a series of tests much more demanding than anything ANSI dishes out and includes simulated projectiles and other dangers that may be encountered during combat.
Shooting lenses come in a rainbow of colors. However, there’s more to choosing a color than finding a shade you like. Different colors can enhance your vision, which in turn can enhance target acquisition and shooting accuracy.
Here is a very basic run-down of the different lens colors available and what they do best.
- Yellow – Brightens contrast. This color is perfect for low light shooting. It can also enhance the visibility of orange clays.
- Orange – Blocks blue light and enhances orange targets.
- Vermillion – A great option for shooters who are red/green colorblind. Red tints also help highlight orange targets against a green background.
- Amber – Improves vision on cloudy days and can increase depth perception.
- Brown – Perfect for upland hunting, lenses with a brown tint reduce glare against an open background. They also enhance the brown color of game birds, making them easier to spot.
- Violet – Light purple lenses increase the contrast of orange clays against a backdrop of green trees or other foliage.
- Purple – Reduces glare. Very effective for shooting over snow or in bright sunlight.
- Grey (or Smoke) – Grey lenses are best for shooting in bright sunshine. They help reduce glare without affecting color perception.
Polarized lenses are another popular option for shooters. These lenses are designed to block blue light and increase color contrast.
Comfort and Fit
If you need to wear your shooting glasses for extended periods, comfort becomes a key consideration. Look for options with extra padding or slip-resistant rubber around the nose and temples.
Since every face is different, what feels comfortable for one shooter may be torture for another. Some companies offer their shooting glasses in different sizes to ensure a perfect fit. Ultimately, the only way to really test comfort and fit is to give your shooting glasses a test run at the range.
Best Shooting Glasses on the Market Review
Here are a few of our favorite shooting glasses. We’ve included options for hunters, competitors, and tactical shooters, as well as models that fall into every price range.
1 ESS Rollbar Ballistic Safety Glasses
These are some of the most comfortable and stylish safety glasses we’ve ever seen.
ESS Rollbar glasses are perfectly balanced, feature a soft cushioned nosepiece, and have low-drag arms that don’t get in the way of your hat, helmet, or ear pro.
The frame geometry makes these glasses work for nearly any shooter, even those with small faces or big heads. These glasses wrap nicely and sit comfortably close to your face for full protection and an uninterrupted field of view.
The lenses are made of shatterproof military grade polycarbonate. Rugged and dependable, the Rollbar frame features a unique rotating lens gate that allows you to quickly and easily swap out lenses. However, the design also maintains secure lens retention under impact.
2 Wiley X Saber Advanced Shooting Glasses
The Wiley X Saber Advanced shooting glasses feature a wrap-around design that is both attractive and effective. Not only will these high-quality glasses protect you from shooting hazards, they also protect you from the sun. They meet GL-PD 10-12 MCEP standards and exceed MIL-PRF-31013 standards for impact resistance and ultraviolet protection. Also, these glasses block 400 nanometers of harmful UV rays, making them perfect for shooting on bright sunny days.
Providing maximum comfort for all-day wear, these shooting glasses have a padded nosepiece and a patented adjustable temple. Not only do these features ensure comfort, they also help keep the glasses securely on your face, even during vigorous physical activity.
3 Oakley Ballistic M Frames
Although Oakley M Frames aren’t standard military issue, they are the preferred safety glasses of numerous active duty soldiers and Marines. Lightweight, and uber comfortable, Oakley M Frames are also incredibly durable. They also work well with helmets, hats, and other tactical gear.
The stress-resistant frames are made from injection molded thermoplastic. This design improves flexibility and strength, ensuring these glasses don’t degrade over time or when exposed to extreme heat.
The lenses used in Oakley M Frames do more than protect eyes from impact. They also feature Oakley’s patented High Definition Optics (HDO) which delivers razor-sharp clarity from every angle. The lenses also effectively filter UVA, UVB, UVC, and harmful blue light for the ultimate in ultraviolet protection.
4 Smith Optics Aegis Echo II Compact Elite Tactical Eyeshields
Smith Optics is best known for producing fashionable sunglasses. They bring that same sense of fashion to their Aegis Echo II Tactical Eyeshields. Wear these to the indoor range, and you’ll be the most stylish shooter on the line.
In addition to their stylish design, these glasses exceed mil spec ballistic impact standards and still maintain excellent optical clarity.
When it comes to comfort, the Aegis Echo II Eyeshields are at the top of our list. They feature ultra thin temples that work seamlessly with helmets, headgear, and ear muffs. They also have an infinitely adjustable nosepiece, so you can easily achieve that just-right custom fit.
5 Allen Company Ballistic Over Glasses
If you wear prescription glasses, finding protective eyewear can be tricky. Shooting with astigmatism, old eyes, or other vision impairments can be hard, so you definitely need to wear your glasses. However, most corrective lenses don’t provide ample eye protection. These shooting glasses from Allen Company are designed to fit over eyeglasses, so you can enjoy clear vision while still effectively protecting your eyes from shooting hazards.
These ballistic over glasses are certified for MIL PRF 31013 Ballistic Impact, and meet ANSI Z87+ high velocity specs. They have a yellow lens designed to enhance the contrast between the target and its background, making them perfect for low light shooting on cloudy days.
Allen Company’s Ballistic Over Glasses also feature an anti fog and anti-scratch coating. And best of all, you can buy these awesome shooting glasses for well under $50.
6 Radians Clay Pro Shooting Glasses
If you love shooting trap, skeet, or sporting clays, these are the shooting glasses for you. Radians Clay Pro features deep vermilion lenses that are designed to make orange clays visibly pop. These glasses have a wraparound uni-lens design that provides an unobstructed view and maximum peripheral vision. If you want to spot clays fast, you need to add these glasses to your gear bag.
Radians Clay Pro Shooting Glasses are extremely lightweight, yet surprisingly durable. They meet ANSI Z87.1+ standards for high velocity. The red lenses also look pretty cool and definitely helps set this eyewear apart from other models on the competition field.
7 STNGR Alpine Ballistic Sunglasses
These multi lens ballistic sunglasses from STNGR are virtually indestructible. Made with a unique memory flex nylon construction and a 110-degree hinge system, you can twist, bend, and drop them, and they still come out looking like new.
STNGR Alpine sunglasses feature anti-slip rubber temples, adjustable nose pads, and interchangeable lenses. STNGR uses patented RAZR lens technology that amplifies color and improves depth perception. These lenses are incredibly clear and do a magnificent job of taming bright sunlight and reducing glare.
When it comes to protection, these sunglasses are top-notch. STNGR Alpine glasses are
Ballistic ANSI Z87.1 certified and provide 100 percent protection from UV rays.
8 Smith & Wesson M&P Thunderbolt Full Frame Shooting Glasses
Just like Smith & Wesson’s famous M&P pistol, these M&P Thunderbolt shooting glasses are versatile and effective. They offer full peripheral eye coverage, are high impact resistant, and feature anti fog lenses.
You can choose from three different lens colors to optimize your shooting. Choose smoke for sunny weather, amber when it’s overcast, or clear mirror for true-to-life viewing.
Thunderbolt shooting glasses are MIL-PRF 32432 rated, ANSI Z87+ certified, and UV400 rated for the complete spectrum of protection.
These shooting glasses are also covered by a full one-year warranty. Thunderbolt glasses are surprisingly affordable and offer the best quality for the money of any eye pro on our list.
9 GruntX Ballistic Shooting Safety Glasses
These tough safety glasses from GruntX are designed to meet the demanding standards of the hard-working men and women who live and work on the frontlines. Meeting ANSI Z87.1+ and MIL-PRF-32432 standards, these glasses give frontline workers the peace of mind they need to focus on the job at hand.
Featuring clear anti-fog lenses without coloring or tint, these shooting glasses work best in environments that require zero vision distortion.
GruntX Ballistic Shooting Glasses are seriously tough. Built for rough use and extreme durability, GruntX ballistic glasses have a frame reinforced with high tensile strength nylon to maximize strength while keeping the glasses lightweight. The arms of these glasses are made from a flexible plastic polymer, which allows them to bend and twist without breaking. There is also rubber padding at the nose pad and arm tips to prevent slipping and maximize comfort.
10 Magpul Terrain Sunglasses
Magpul busted onto the firearms scene in 1999 with their high-tech polymer magazine pullers. Today, Magpul is famous for manufacturing rugged tactical accessories, and these sunglasses definitely live up to the company name.
Magpul’s Terrain glasses feature a durable yet flexible polyamide frame and oleo-phobic, scratch-resistant lenses. These high-quality lenses are also coated to be anti-reflective to help minimize shooter distractions.
The lenses are ballistic rated Z87+ and MIL-PRF 32432, and the frames meet high velocity impact protection ratings.
Magpul Terrain sunglasses are as comfortable and stylish as they are rugged and effective. They feature specially padded, low-profile temple areas that help them integrate seamlessly with helmets, headsets, and ear pro. Shooters will also appreciate the rubber nose and temple pads which are over-molded to the frame for extra comfort.
While some high end tactical glasses are definitely cool and have a ton of features, you don’t have to spend a fortune to properly protect your eyes when you’re shooting. There are some excellent budget priced options that will do a fine job without hurting your wallet. Even so, there really is no price too large when it comes to protecting your eyes.
Since the best shooting glasses are largely a matter of personal preference, it’s impossible to name one clear winner. However, each of the models on our list meet minimal safety standards and should feel generally comfortable on most faces.