Greetings Mr. Technoid!
I wear prescription glasses and I am tired of pushing them up to see through them as I shoot (Trap – Skeet – 5 Stand & Sporting). So, shooting glasses here I come. I might as well look cool, right? Why get clear lenses and keep it simple when you can complicate the shooting game even more with colored lenses.
I’ve pretty much settled on the Decot Hy-Wyd in the bifocal style. Your color preference? Is there a “one color does it all?” I am from Illinois, so we have a mix of sun, overcast, what have you I also shoot under the lights as well. I don’t usually wear a hat, but can. I don’t usually wear sun glasses either. .
So far my favorite shade is “Target Sun”, which is a light purple. Others in the running are “V-Lite 1” (rose colored), or the old favorite “Light Target Orange”, which I am afraid might be a tad too bright on really sunny days and has a low intimidation factor cause they are so common. Thoughts, oh great technoid?
I used the same pair of Decot Hywyds for over 20 years. I got the kind with the adjustable nose bridge. For my face and the way I shot (I’m a bit of a stock crawler) I adjusted the bridge post as high as possible. One day I found it slipping, so I soldered it in place and never had another problem. I don’t wear standard glasses on a daily basis, so I had nothing to compare them to, but there is no question that proper shooting glasses are light years ahead of “street” glasses when it comes to the specialized fit required for shooting. You want the ocular center much higher on shooting glasses than on standard glasses. The makers of prescription shooting glasses understand this and will do it right for you. You local optometrist may or may not have a clue.
Over the years I wore out a couple of cable temple pieces, but the Decots are so popular I had no trouble replacing them. I had the same pair of lenses the entire time. Talk about a product lasting a long time- those glasses were the best. Over the years the lens color had faded a couple of shades, but they still worked great. It was the only pair of glasses I wore- whether sunny or cloudy, rain or snow.
If you shoot enough skeet and sporting clays, you are going to get hit in the face with bits of clay target. Those glasses and their durable plastic lenses saved an eye injury a couple of times. By the way, you might consider shooting in a baseball cap. It can offer some protection against flying target pieces on the skeet field. Don’t ask me how I know. One day I loaned my Decots to a shooting student who managed to not only drop them, but step on them at the same time and that was it.
I replaced them with Randolph Ranger XL glasses. This wasn’t because I didn’t like the Decot. I love Decot. It’s just that Randolph had sent me the glasses for review. Since the Randolphs are pretty much a copy of the Decots, I didn’t see the point of buying a new pair. I had also arrived at that time in my life where I needed a little correction for distance and some help reading score cards and choke tube markings. Translation: bifocals.
Randolph was kind enough to send me their entire selection of plano (uncorrected) lenses, so I had the chance to try out all the colors before deciding which ones worked best for me. I picked the single color that I liked best and had a pair made in my prescription with small bifocals at the very bottom of both lenses. These glasses have worked marvelously for me for the past several years.
Bottom line here is that I was very pleased with the Decots and I’m very pleased with the Randolph Rangers. You can’t go wrong with either.
Notice how I haven’t talked about colors yet? That’s because colors are very subjective. What works for one person may or may not work for another. People seem to see color differently to some extent. I’m sure that there are some major basic color attributes that people share, but when it comes to nuances it’s personal preference.
When I shot a lot of competitive International Skeet, I had a Canadian friend who would arrive at the shoot with, literally, a briefcase full of different colored lenses. He’d fuss around and pick the one that he liked best for that day, often changing colors between rounds. He felt that the exact color helped him win. He was a good shot, so it worked for him. I just used one color for everything as it seemed to work well for me and it was one less thing to think about.
I did follow the advice that Bud Decot gave me when I bought my first pair: “Wear the lightest tint that is comfortable for you.” This is because dark tints make the pupil of the eye dilate or get larger in order to let in more light as the eye automatically tries to compensate for the dark tint. This is like opening your F stop on your camera. It lets in more light, but it shortens the focal distance. The wider open your eye is, the less depth perception you have. You have to balance how much brightness you can tolerate up to the point of discomfort against the depth of field you need. I live in Florida and find that a fairly light color works best for me as a “one lens does it all” compromise.
As to the color of the lens (as opposed to the darkness of that color), again that’s personal. You say that purple works well for you, but it does nothing at all for me. I do best with the light oranges or maybe a touch of bronze. See what I said about it being personal? For very dark background or cloudy conditions or when shooting under the lights, many people like a very pale gold. Go with what pleases you. You may shoot under different conditions than I do or you may have eyes that are more or less sensitive. You may find that your color preference will change over time, but so will your prescription. You’ll have plenty of chances to change your mind as the years roll by and you redo your prescription.
As to certain colors being cool or more intimidating, don’t fall for that stuff. What’s cool and intimidating is to get the color that allows you to see best and win the most. When you walk up to the front of the room to get your prize after the shoot, that’s cool and intimidating. Get what works best for you. Glasses are too important to be a style contest. A few years ago I found that I needed regular everyday glasses. My wife urged me to get the new highly fashionable thin glasses as opposed to the larger lens glasses that I wanted. Well, she talked me into it and it was the dumbest move I’ve made in a quite while. The glasses have too little depth to properly accommodate the variable lenses I use, forcing me to look out of corrective “slits” rather than larger areas. My properly made shooting glasses with larger lenses work far better and are more comfortable. Lesson learned. Be practical first. Fashion will follow. Proper shooting glasses are an invaluable tool and must not be compromised for any reason. Get what works best for you. You can’t hit what you can’t see.
The Technoid writing for Shotgun Report, LLC
(Often in error. Never in doubt.)