In the UK/Ireland it is now compulsory to wear eyewear at CPSA registered shoots and almost all shooting schools/grounds. Even most clubs strongly advise that eyewear is worn. Eyewear lenses for shooting should be made from polycarbonate or Trivex as both materials provide a very high level of impact protection whether from a stray or falling pellet but more likely a shard of broken clay. A piece of broken clay hitting an unprotected eye will likely cause permanent eye damage. Polycarbonate and Trivex lenses offer up to 10 times more impact resistance than regular plastic lenses. All Evolution shooting models have polycarbonate lenses with a minimum thickness of 2mm sufficient to withstand the impact test requirement of EN166F.
Another important and often overlooked factor is that good quality UKCA/CE marked eyewear will be UV400 rated providing maximum protection from harmful solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Long term exposure to UVR can damage eyesight, potentially causing serious eye health issues such as cataracts, cancer of the eyelids and macular degeneration.
Shooting eyewear should either be rimless / frameless or designed to sit high so the top of the frame / lens doesn’t interfere with vision. Some Evolution models have adjustable nose pads so they can be made to sit higher on the face. Shooting eyewear models come in a variety of lens colours options to work with different types of light, background and clay colour. The use for different lens colours broadly falls into two categories:
The recommended lens colour match for light & weather are:
The following is a general guide to the main lens colours used for shooting and their uses:
Grey – Reduces all light equally (dulls light) and does not increase contrast. Best used in bright sun / bright light conditions and when shooting directly into the sun.
Smoke – ‘Smoke’ is used as the lens base colour when a mirror finish is applied to the lens. It is similar to grey but can have a brown or blue hue.
Amber, Vermilion, Brown & Light Brown – Good all round colours for most light including variable conditions, they increase contrast and make the field of vision appear sharper.
Yellow – A very popular clay and game shooting colour, it greatly improves contrast and is especially suited to poor light, low visibility, dark and cloudy conditions. Also useful for shooting in woods. A good colour when a black clay is against a sky background but not suitable in bright, sunny conditions.
Clear – For protecting eyes from pellet/clay impact, dust, dirt or abrasion. Good for shooting in woods. Popular with practical shotgun enthusiasts and pistol shooters.
Red, Rose and Orange – High contrast, high definition lens colours ideally suited to overcast conditions. These colours filter out blue light which is the hazy end of the light spectrum it means everything in the field of vision will appear “sharper”. Popular shooting colours because they emphasise orange and pink clays. The orange lens is best for orange clays against a sky background and the red or rose lens when the orange clay is against a dark background. Good colours for use at the end of the day when eyes are tired.
Purple – Now one of the most popular shooting colours; a great all-round colour for most light conditions. Also called ‘the background neutraliser’ as it dulls or “kills” a green / brown background and enables the shooter to see a black clay better and especially an orange, white or pink clay against a dark background. Because it helps you see any moving object against against a dark background it’s a good option too for game shooters. Purple has a ‘soothing’ tone making it ideal for extended wear comfort.