Best Tactical glasses: the choice and features of various models

Shooting a firearm requires careful preparation in the smallest detail. Do not forget that even the most upscale shooter is not immune from ricochets, flew off shell cases, debris, powder smoke and other surprises. While many shooters do not accept the use of helmets and headphones, ballistic glasses are a must. They are not a fashionable attribute, but testify to the professionalism of an athlete who values ​​his health. Shooting goggles are used in airsoft and hardball, without them no serious team will put their participants in the competition.

Some people think that tactical and ballistic goggles are different types. In fact, the concept of “tactical” is very vague. These models include protective, military, construction, airsoft and other glasses. Speaking “tactical”, they usually mean exactly ballistic models intended for shooting.

The history of the emergence of ballistic glasses

The prototype for tactical and even splinterproof models of glasses was equipment for ensuring labor safety at industrial enterprises. Chronology of the creation of these glasses:

  • Late 19th century – invention of the first protective devices with translucent pieces of fabric;
  • The beginning of the 20th century – numerous attempts by the British to create ballistic glasses, gluing a pair of lenses together, adding cellulose-based nitrate to them;
  • 1914 – First models with security lamination technology invented in the United States of America. The novelty was used in the army to create glasses for gas masks and lenses for flight helmets;
  • Since the 1920s, new technologies have found application in construction: special modifications of masks for welders. Despite the efforts of the manufacturers, accessories often did not withstand the loads and cracked at the most inopportune moment;
  • In the 1960s, polycarbonate was introduced to take ballistic glasses to the next level.

For the first time, the citizens of the Soviet Union saw tactical glasses in the late 1980s on the heroes of American militants. In the early 1990s, such accessories began to appear on the faces of domestic security officials, attracting increased attention with their shape and unusual color (often yellow or mirrored).

The characteristics of the models improved from year to year, new features and protection classes were added, the emphasis was placed not only on development, but also on reducing the price, which led to their widespread distribution.

Types of optics for protecting eyes from fragments

Most ballistic goggles for shooters are made of clear polycarbonate, often with a yellow or smoky tint, and the Cerakote coating is now popular in the US Army. For shooters with vision problems, there is an opportunity to purchase models with diopters. The main types of optics for eye protection:

  • Open;
  • Mask glasses.

Open models are not too different from simple sunglasses, except that they can withstand heavy impacts. Outwardly, they can be recognized by the shape of the lenses stretched to the temples. This modification is used for shooting competitions in open areas, as it does not protect against side hits. Ballistic goggles are often supplied with interchangeable lenses designed for different weather conditions.

Closed models are called goggles, they have one solid lens, fixed with a frame made of rubber or elastic plastic. Instead of the temples, a wide elastic strap is used here. Models for combat units of troops can be made not only from shock-resistant polycarbonate, but also from a metal mesh. Mask glasses protect the shooter’s eyes from all sides, they can actively move, jump and crawl, therefore they are often called tactical. The US Marine Corps uses just such models, although they are highly durable and are sold in the civilian market as anti-splinters.

When buying closed models, you need to pay attention to ventilation, since cheap glasses, tightly fitting the face, impede air exchange, and sweat begins to flood the eyes, and the lenses fog up. Branded modifications from well-known manufacturers have several options for solving the ventilation problem:

  • Special ventilation holes;
  • Installing a lattice lens;
  • Forced ventilation device.

Each of these solutions has advantages and disadvantages. The cheapest models are models with holes, although this somewhat reduces the level of eye protection, and they do not work as efficiently as we would like. Lattice lenses provide excellent ventilation, but they are not at all suitable for airsoft, since fragments of a broken ball can fall into the holes between the cells.

The most effective are glasses with forced ventilation, carried out by conventional electric motors powered by rechargeable batteries or batteries. Their disadvantages are dependence on electrical power sources and high cost.

Choice of lenses, filters and diopters

The color of lenses for tactical glasses depends on the conditions of use of this piece of protective equipment, do not think that they are made of plain glass and painted to give an external effect. Each of the colors has its own advantages:

  • Transparent lenses are used in cloudy weather, in bright sunlight they can glare, blinding shooters and at the same time unmasking;
  • Smoke lenses reduce glare, but their light transmittance is less. They are used in the sun, near water bodies and in winter in snowy areas;
  • Yellow lenses increase the sharpness that professional photographers have used for a long time. In tactical goggles with yellow filters, all distant objects acquire a contoured appearance;
  • Green lenses are able to slightly obscure bright images and glare, in addition, the human eye is better at distinguishing the green part of the visible spectrum, so even small details can be seen in such glasses.

Some novice athletes are skeptical of polycarbonate lenses, believing that nothing can be better than glass. In fact, modern shock-resistant plastic is not inferior to glass in its characteristics, so you can even order models with diopters.

To store tactical glasses, special hard cases and cases are used to protect the lenses from scratches and damage.

Standards of various models

Tactical goggles are not a stylish accessory that any Chinese company can produce. This is a protective equipment used in those conditions where it is really necessary. They are divided according to the level of protection:

  • Work glasses can be put into the lower price category with a big stretch, since some of them repeat the shape of popular models and serve to protect the eyes when working in production;
  • Ballistic glasses are used most often at shooting ranges and protect the eyes from accidental damage;
  • Tactical goggles are essential to protect against some deliberate attack;
  • Anti-splinter models are among the most durable.

Working glasses are used on shooting ranges only in extreme cases, when it is not possible to find more effective protection. They can protect your eyes from powder gases, dust, shavings, scale and so on. The polycarbonate on these models is not able to withstand even a ball fired from an airsoft pistol.

Most popular brands and models

Before choosing tactical glasses, you need to carefully study the best models of manufacturers presented on the domestic market of protective equipment:

Oakley is a US company, a well-known manufacturer of tactical glasses and protective equipment. The lineup is extremely wide and varied both in terms of design and prices. All optics are suitable for airsoft, as they refer to the ANSI Z87.1-2003 standard. Currently, tinted or tinted glasses with different light filters are produced, there are models with stainless steel frames, with or without temples;

  • Revision Eyewear is a Canadian firm popularized by the Revision Sawfly. Has one wide lens and rubberized folding arms. The lens is interchangeable and can be replaced with a smoky, green or yellow lens. The glasses meet ANSI Z87.1-2003 standards. Officially supplied to the armed forces of Canada, USA, Great Britain and Germany;
  • Daisy is another brand from North America, where it is very popular due to the optimal combination of price and quality. The products of this company are often bought by fans of extreme sports and cyclists, especially the C4 and C5 models. The glasses come with several types of interchangeable lenses, located in their own frame, so they change in a couple of minutes. The temples are not adjustable, there is an attachment in the form of a neck strap. As an addition to many models, soft and hard covers are offered;
  • Bolle is a French company that produces a wide range of optical devices; its range includes a huge number of different types of glasses, including sunglasses, sports and others. Tactical models are produced by the Bolle Tactical division. Glasses of this company made of high-strength polycarbonate 3 mm thick. The frames are made of plastic, equipped with bows and passive ventilation. In the basic configuration, they are offered with lenses in green, sand or black, for an additional fee, you can purchase interchangeable clear, smoky or yellow lenses. There are options with double thickness polycarbonate. Most of the Bolle Tactical goggles are made according to the MIL-PRF-31013 standard, and they are used by the French army and police;
  • Rudy Project is an Italian manufacturer that produces models that comply with the EN 166 standard. Glasses from this company differ in a wide range of interchangeable lenses – there are 3 groups, each of which has 7 shades. Ventilation in these models is interesting – the lenses can be inserted into the frame with gaps;
  • ESS Crossbow is an American company that equips the army with the necessary equipment. Ballistic glasses of this brand are worn at the request of the field manual of the US Army, they comply with the world standard ANSI Z87.1-2003. The main feature of the ESS Crossbow models is the use of aspherical lenses, which reduce optical distortion. To protect against small scratches, the manufacturer uses a special coating. The set includes several replaceable lenses and a neck strap. The temples of the glasses are thin, but durable; they do not interfere with the wearing of special headsets, hats and helmets;
  • Smith Optics is a North American company that manufactures safety goggles. Their feature is the way the lenses are attached – they are inserted into the frame with the upper edge. The goggles are equipped with thin adjustable temples that do not interfere with the wearing of helmets and a back strap. The main disadvantage of the models of this company is the vulnerability of the arrow’s temples;
  • Gletcher is one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers of pneumatic and airsoft weapons, producing a wide range of protective equipment, including tactical goggles. All products of this brand meet the requirements of the ANSI Z87.1-2003 standard. The models are affordable, have a thin non-adjustable frame and only clear lenses. The set always comes with a soft suede cover and a cloth for cleaning the lenses.

It is not recommended to buy tactical glasses of unknown manufacturers, they are even worse in quality than construction models, and at the first hit of the ball they will break, causing irreparable harm to human health.

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