Shooting Glasses


Bruce,

What shooting glasses do you recommend for target clays? I tried on some Randolph Ranger XLs with their CMT lens today. The optometrist walked me outside to the landscaping next to the office with an orange clay (he shoots trap, skeet, and target clays himself), and the contrast was spectacular. They’re worth nothing on overcast days, he told me, but there are other lenses, such as yellows and oranges, for those conditions as part of the kit. I have been using some of my cycling glasses, but because I have a shifting eye dominance problem, I or my instructor has to apply some lip balm to the left lens. He does it correctly, I’m not so good, so some of my outings have probably been quite affected. As a result, I want to get some dedicated shooting glasses with a few lens combinations and have him put the more or less permanent opaque patches in the correct spot.

Thanks again for your assistance.

Best regards,
Ken

Dear Ken,

I’ve owned only three pairs of shooting glasses in my 35 years of clay shooting. First it was clear Ray Bans. I wore them out. Then it was Decots with an orange/amber lens. I wore them out. My current pair is Randolph Ranger XL. I don’t have a clue what they call the lens color. It’s sort of orangy. These are prescription glasses as I now need some distance vision correction.

I like the Decot/Ranger conventional non-wrap around glasses because they are easy to adjust to fit high on my face. I tend to crawl my stocks and need an adjustable nose piece to push things up. Those who have shorter necks and can shoot with a more upright head may not need this feature. Wrap-arounds certainly give more protection, but they require prescription inserts. Those are less convenient than properly ground conventional lenses.

When I got the Randolphs, they sent me pairs of ALL the lenses. No kidding. It was an entire pile of lenses. But it gave me the chance to try out all the colors before committing to one and getting a prescription in that one.

Years ago I’d spent some time chatting with Bud Decot. I remember him advising me to get the lightest tint that I was comfortable with. The reasoning is that the darker the tint, the more the eye dilates and the less depth of field the eye has. It’s just like a camera lens. If you put a dark filter on the lens, the lens must open more to let in enough light for the photo. A wide aperture on the lens means less depth of field. Moral: get the lightest tint you are comfortable with.

Color: That’s actually quite personal. Different people see colors differently. For most people, an orange lens will highlight an orange target, but it doesn’t work to the same degree for everyone.

Different lenses: That’s up to you. I had an old shooting friend who literally used to bring an attache case full of different lenses with him to a competition. He’d spend fifteen minutes figuring out which lens was best for the conditions of the day. Of course, he panicked when a cloud passed by and shaded things temporarily. I just use the same light orange tint for everything. It might not be best, but it is one less thing to worry about. I don’t change chokes or shells much either. Of course, that’s due more to a slothful demeanor than a knowledgeable one.

Best regards,

Bruce Buck
Shotgun Report’s Technoid

If you have occasional cross dominance, just use a tiny circle of frosted Scotch tape. Get one larger than a pea, but smaller than a dime. Anyone can help you put it on. Just mount the EMPTY gun like a trap shooter. Close your right eye, leaving the left open. Have someone put the patch on the left lens just so that it obscures the front sight from the sight of the left eye. Nothing easier. All you have to do is cover that front sight. You don’t need anything bigger.

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