Why you need a good pair of shooting glasses

Shooting glasses adjusted precisely to the shape of your face and your gun mount can make all the difference, says Ed Lyons

There’s no substitute for putting the cheek on the stock and making sure everything lines up

Sometimes I will have a client come to see me thinking they have an eye dominance problem, when in fact they have a poorly fitting gun. A customised stock can be a great investment in one’s shooting. It makes the gun feel more comfortable, fit better and give a better sight picture. One size definitely does not fit all.

Occasionally I also need to make modifications to shooting glasses for exactly the same reasons. Most manufacturers make glasses in one size only. Some offer a couple of different side length options, but this still gives us limited choice.

Randolph Engineering make their very popular Edge frame (suitable for prescription or non-prescription lenses) in three sizes: 69mm, 67mm and 63 mm, and in four different side lengths: 140mm, 150 mm and 160mm cable end. There’s a 140 mm skull fit option too. This has proved to be a versatile range as we can mix and match the options to create the fit that we need. However in some cases, even this super product doesn’t quite fit the individual or work with their shooting style and head position, so further customisation is required.

The finished product: could bespoke spectacles up Jason’s game?

A short while ago, Jason Gibson came to see me at the Wolverhampton practice for some prescription shooting glasses. Although he was shooting very well, he felt that his generic non-prescription ones needed an upgrade. He had been noticing some definition loss and was suffering from the glasses moving when he mounted his gun and with recoil.

I always ask my clients to bring their gun with them to their appointment so we can get the optical centres smack on. Sometimes I will have a client whose spectacle prescription is correct, but only when looking straight ahead in the default position; as soon as the gun is mounted their vision goes wrong.

Jason is a big chap and a pretty handy DTL and Single Barrel shooter, so the integration of the correct spectacle and gunfit relationship was crucial. We made the prescription weaker than his regular spectacles, as they were a little too strong. We then set to work selecting the most appropriate colour filtration.

Ed substituted out the centre post of the spectacles to provide Jason with the perfect fit

Once that was complete, we looked at a range of products from Oakley, Randolph Engineering and Pilla, finally settling on the Sebring option as it had the cable fixings to reduce slippage and gave a decent field of vision.

The glasses didn’t quite sit high enough and when the gun was mounted they lifted a little on the cheek, so I swapped the centre post for a longer one from the Panther Post frame, modifying it to take into account Jason’s ‘rugby nose’. Then I reduced the lens depth to ensure a comfortable fit.

Jason slammed in a 99/294 on the first day of the Krieghoff DTL competition at Mid Wales. The glasses certainly seemed to be doing the job.

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Clay Shooting magazine. For more great content like this, subscribe today at our secure online store www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk

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Posted in Advice and tips, Coaching

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