In the Frame

They may be a safety item but they can be stylish too

Mark Harwood-Stone took a range of shooting glasses to a local club shoot to find out what shooters really look for and which glasses were our readers’ choice

Now compulsory at most grounds and major competitions, modern shooting glasses have become as much of a fashion accessory as a
safety item.

With an almost bewildering selection when it comes to the all important lenses – that’ll give you a supposed optical edge – the choice has become even more daunting.

So when a box full of new shooting glasses is placed in front of an enthusiastic group of average Sunday morning clay shooters, it’s their opinion that truly counts. Remember, it’s you who matter, the end user who has to reach into your pocket and shell out your hard earned cash: the megabuck glasses, though desirable, can be dismissed on cost alone. Some clay shooters can’t tell a great deal of difference, a smoked or orange lens by one company very much like another from their point of view. It’s also interesting to see that when a direct comparison was made, it was still many of the more economical versions that those who took part preferred.

Lesley Lee

Lesley Lee
Choice: Doyle Sports Top Shot 500: £59.95 + £15 for prescription inserts

“I wear glasses so for me any pair of shooting glasses has to have the facility for a prescription insert. But, I don’t believe in overspending. Looking at all the styles on offer the best for me in both style, value for money and the fact they have an insert facility are the Doyle Sports Top Shot 500. For me they look the best, fit well, are comfortable and represent value for money even with the additional cost of the insert lenses.”

Graham Lee

Graham Lee
Choice: Wiley-X Saber Advance: £60

“I’ll be perfectly honest and say that for me it’s down to cost. I won’t spend any more than £60 on a pair of shooting glasses, which means I tend to wear what’s often referred to as the budget options. So, for me the Wiley-X Saber Advanced is the perfect pair. The price is exactly right, there’s the option of interchangeable lenses, although I tend to stick to just one and the wraparound style means they offer excellent protection, there’s no light or particle ingress and they’re comfortable to wear over extended periods. Basically they tick every box.”

Andi Wood

Andi Woods
Choice: Optilabs Zeiss: £134.95 or £159.95 with prescription lenses and Optilabs Top Gun: £39.95 with prescription lenses from £99.95 extra

“If I was looking for a pair of traditionally-styled shooting glasses I’d go for the Optilabs Zeiss immediately. The price isn’t bad, they’re extremely comfortable, well made and should provide good value for money. On the other hand the Optilabs Top Gun also appeals. They’re comfortable, modern, offer a choice of lenses and in my opinion offer great value for money. The other thing is I’m a confirmed biker, which means I could use them with my open-faced helmet and change the lenses to suit the road conditions then change again once I got to whichever ground I was shooting at.”

Martin Powell

Martin Powell  
Choice: Wiley-X Saber Advance: £60 and Wiley-X PT-33CL: £100

“It doesn’t really matter which ones – I like both these pairs of Wiley-X shooting glasses. I’d probably have to wear both styles to make my mind up as to which I’d finally buy, but it would definitely be one or the other. I like the style, quality and the comfort factor. And with the right lenses fitted I’d also be able to wear them for fishing, which would be an added bonus.”

Phil Old

Phil Old
Choice: Optilabs Zeiss: £134.95 or £159.95 with prescription lenses

“For me it’s got to be the Optilabs Zeiss. I wear prescription glasses and I always have Zeiss lenses fitted so without question it’s these I’d go for. Apart from the traditional and comfortable style and shape that I like, as soon as you see the Zeiss name on anything you know you’re getting quality and value for money given how many years’ service you’ll get from them.”

John Roberts

John Roberts  
Choice: Pilla Sport Outlaw Pro3: £550

“It’s not so much a case of money no object, but as someone who shoots as much as I do at Sporting and various trap disciplines, the Pilla Sport Outlaw Pro3, fitted with MaxOrange lenses and the deep soft rubber side guards, are in my opinion as good as it gets. I currently wear Oakleys but after trying these today it won’t be long before I’m off to my nearest dealer to buy a full set for myself. Although others might disagree for whatever reason, for me these are the best there are.”

Ryan Easlington

Ryan Easington
Choice: Sunglasses for Sport Mission: £39.95

“I found these really comfortable, which is great for the budget end of the market. In terms of style I really like them and they are really practical with the interchangeable lenses and shock-absorbing frame. I’m actually looking to invest in a pair of shooting glasses at the moment – having tried these out, I think I’ve decided which I’ll choose!”

Peter Muirhead

Peter Muirhead  
Choice: Randolf Ranger XL: £149.50

“I’ve been a confirmed Oakley wearer for years but after trying the Randolf Ranger XLs I could well be changing. Although they’re not cheap, they seem to be of an average price for this type of shooting accessory and for the few minutes I’ve worn them they’re without doubt the most comfortable I’ve ever tried. They fit well, the soft bridge distributes what little weight there is – the shafts seem hardly to touch the side of my face, yet they seem to have smaller lenses than others, they wrap round nicely and take in every aspect of my vision and eye movement. Excellent!”

Trevor Stanley

Trevor Stanley
Choice: Optilabs Top Gun: £39.95 with prescription lenses from £99.95 extra or any of the Pilla Sport models

“I already wear a pair of Optilabs Top Gun shooting glasses which I have had for a while and really like. The price is right for me and they do everything I need and ask of shooting eye protection. I must admit though that if money were no object I’d have a pair of Pilla Sport with MaxOrange lenses. The style wouldn’t matter a great deal I’d just love to own and shoot in a pair of what I regard as the best there is.”

Karen Graham
Choice: Pilla Sport Hornet Pro2: £295

“I wear contact lenses so the Hornets would give me ideal protection from dust and other irritants that can get round the sides of more traditional shaped glasses. The shape and design of the frame is comfortable and modern without having to use the one-piece design that I personally don’t like. I know the Hornets aren’t cheap and that the additional lenses are quite expensive but the good thing is I’d also be able to wear the Hornets for a variety of other activities. I play golf and enjoy walking in the Alps so I could use them for that as well, which means the cost isn’t so bad when divided three ways.”

Face the facts
It was interesting to see that not everyone went straight for the high-end products and for many, value for money was as important as style and comfort. It was also interesting to see that several of our testers look at shooting glasses as multi-purpose and wanted a model that could be used for other hobbies and activities.

Posted in Reviews
2 comments on “In the Frame
  1. Christer Andréason says:

    I shot without glasses for many years and do not consider glasses as necessary in order to hit more clays. The reason I always wear them nowadays, goes back to a windy day when I was preparing to take a clay at number three skeet at my club. As I looked up after loading, half a clay, which had been broken at our high tower, whistled by close enough to zing my left ear. Later that day, a person had her lip cut up by another clay and had to spend rest of the day at hospital. Today I use fairly cheap american Redheads with orange lenses and a pair of Remington´s with yellow lenses. I alternate between them dependent on the light as I don´t want to engage in the routine of changing lenses all the time.

  2. Christer Andréason says:

    I shot without glasses for many years and do not consider glasses as necessary in order to hit more clays. The reason I always wear them nowadays, goes back to a windy day when I was preparing to take a clay at number three skeet at my club. As I looked up after loading, half a clay, which had been broken at our high tower, whistled by close enough to zing my left ear. Later that day, a person had her lip cut up by another clay and had to spend rest of the day at hospital. Today I use fairly cheap american Redheads with orange lenses and a pair of Remington´s with yellow lenses. I alternate between them dependent on the light as I don´t want to engage in the routine of changing lenses all the time.

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