Why you may want to read this article about shooting glasses cases and buying a set of shooting glasses
We have a goal in this article to talk about some of the often-overlooked aspects of the shooting glasses world. We’ll be talking about case options and buying glasses as a set or pair. This is an article that some may dismiss as unnecessary without actually reading all the way through. If you’re serious about finding the right overall user experience with safety glasses, we think these topics have merit.
Clearly it’s a topic that hasn’t had a lot of play in the past, but if you look at the overall value of the information contained, it is a relevant and important part of the discussion when it comes to finding the right shooting glasses.
The first part of the article will focus on the idea of buying in a pair or as a part of a set; the second part will focus on cases, and which type of case makes sense for what type of user and the different scenarios the glasses will be used in.
Why would you ever want to buy a set of shooting glasses?
For too many years, shooters have been pushed into the mindset of owning cheap, underperforming glasses that were of questionable design, style-wise. With the options available on the market these days, there is a different mindset shaping up. GruntX offers sets of shooting glasses to meet the newly burgeoning demand.
But why would GruntX offer sets of glasses? Because we are in favor of choice and nuance, without being unrealistic. We offer (2-pair) sets of MIL SPEC-PRF-32432 shooting glasses with two distinct lens options as a group. This gives you substantial options to choose from when you’re out shooting. A polarized pair and a clear pair of glasses clearly delineates between safety glasses, and weekend or outdoor shooting glasses.
The clear pair offers undistorted, true to life color and the highest standardized safety rating in the industry. This gives you options for where you use them, on the range or in the workshop. The polarized pair is a multipurpose option for the water, the sunny range, or for weekend warrior stuff. The same MIL-SPEC rating applies to both pairs of glasses in the set. That particular set is just a single option. Here are some other options that might make more sense for some shooters.
Should my shooting glasses only be shooting glasses?
That is a great way to open the discussion for the spectrum of use cases for safety glasses. For glasses rated to ANSI z87.1 AND MIL-PRF-32432 there is always a bit of “pigeon-holing”. These safety designations make them superior from a safety and hard-use perspective. But that doesn’t mean they’re the only characteristics that define these glasses.
Things like lens color (Note: you can get our full lens color guide HERE), and lens treatments (polarizing, mirroring, etc.), can also factor in. These multiple characteristics and expanded use cases mean that shooting glasses aren’t just for shooting anymore. It just makes sense when you find a pair of glasses that works for you, you want to use that pair everywhere.
We get feedback from our customers all the time, that shows they are using GruntX glasses for work, play and shooting.
Many would be as likely to be caught at the beach in our polarized glasses, as they would be in the water fishing. Or using the clear lens versions for work in construction, or fabrication as they would be shooting in them.
What’s the point? If you like the fit and comfort, and the unmistakable safety specifications, you can use shooting glasses just about anywhere. In the case of GruntX, the styling is more civilian than competition shooter. Here are some other shooting glasses that don’t look like the cliché shooting glasses of the 1980’s.
In the shooting world, optimization is everything once you have the basics down
The important thing to remember, too, is that every little bit helps. Once you’ve got the basics squared away, everything else can help to optimize performance.
Bullet grain weights and barrel twist rates can optimize flight trajectories, and ultimately, bullet stabilization and accuracy. Checkering and stippling can optimize shooter control. Trigger jobs can shave fractions of a second from your competition timers, while improving user experience.
Likewise, shooting glasses can help to improve your use cases, and optimize performance metrics within each use case. Again, you can consult our guide for an in-depth look at how this works, utilizing color and other factors. The point of a set? Multiple options in a plug-and-play format that can help you improve performance as soon as you equip them.
Can’t I just get away with a single pair of glasses?
Yes, of course you can shoot with a single pair of glasses. Just like you can drive, or work with a single pair. You need to decide what option works best for you. In the case of our glasses, we see the multi-use situations all over the place. There are other brands of highly rated safety glasses that can accomplish the same lifestyle needs, too.
If you look at the options though, for the money, and the ease of use, most people can justify a 2 pair set. The pricing is very competitive. The choice between a clear and a polarized smoke colored lens offers a ton of flexibility in the day to day usability of the package.
If you have two pairs, you will be able to adapt situationally. You’ll have the option to move to a different type of lens without the safely concerns that come from interchangeable lenses. There’s a section on that later.
Which set of shooting glasses should I choose?
Most of our customers like really simple combinations that have contrast. At the time of this writing, and since our inception, there has been a favorite set. The most popular combination is the antifog set with a smoked polarized pair and a clear pair. These are a set of two pairs that have a reputation for protection and functionality that is top-tier.
Additionally, the glasses look very stylish and aren’t out of place in the real world, whether you are a car mechanic, an early retiree, a special forces operator or a teacher. GruntX mentality is about being on the front lines, doing the hard work. We’ve got a whole philosophy that helps drive our brand based on this dynamic. And we think you can see it in the toughness of our builds and the attention to detail. The uniform design; the long-lasting fit; the hardcore technical specifications.
What effect can case style choice have on your glasses?
The set we mention above comes in two distinct SKU’s, with soft cases or with MOLLE cases as standard.
In the world of MIL-PRF-32432 some conditions on the battlefield require incredibly tough hard plastic cases to transport the headwear. That is actually built into the military specification for certain use cases. In the case of day to day glasses, this sometimes fits the bill. But for most real-world situations, you won’t have the benefit of a hardcore protection scheme. Hence, the protection has to come in the glasses themselves and the small cases they come with. Aftermarket cases are also available if you want to get something from a third party.
Hard Cases vs. Soft Cases
Hard cases take up a lot more room but do offer some better protections against crush risks. They are also not extremely easy to fit into spaces where a pair of glasses in a soft case can fit, generally.
Soft cases are often simple microfiber or cloth bags that offer scratch protection only. Obviously, the hard cases will have some advanced protection against scratches.
MOLLE cases are a good bridge between the two standards on the market (hard vs. soft).
MOLLE stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. Long story short, if you don’t know what it means – it fits into an existing robust set of modular sets for use together. These MOLLE components mean you can store different accessories in thousands of different configurations. The set of Velcro or webbing will allow easy customization and fast re-configuration. They are great for attaching to backpacks, etc. There are thousands of MOLLE compatible components on the market.
Some important notes: how many times can you change your lenses on a pair of interchangeable lens shooting glasses?
It is important to understand the concept of the holistic build qualities of high-end safety glasses. It’s not just the lenses that count when reaching certified specifications that safety and shooting glasses have. That is: glasses with a MIL PRF 32432 specification must be “all-in”, in their capabilities.
The lenses are important. But the frames cannot be shoddily built, just because the lenses are good. the way that lenses attach to the frame determines the impact resistance tolerances. The anti-fogging has something to do with the angle of the lens design. The underlying material used in the frame and lenses help determine the chemical resistance.
Flexing can even be a problem if it’s not normal
With that understanding, it is important to also understand that the frame can be degraded in a sense by frequent flexing. For the same reasons that baseball bats, tennis rackets and trampoline nets get retired, so should glasses be examined.
Frequent flexing and compression can wear on plastic – enough, sometimes to negate the safety specifications. Plastic is named that for a reason. The “plasticity” is what makes plastic so utilitarian. That plasticity doesn’t always hold up long term. Speaking in broad themes here, the nylon, metal, or other materials in glasses can have an adverse effect on the lenses. On the other side of the coin, the lenses being changed frequently can hurt the frame too.
Safety WILL BE COMPROMISED if the frame is not able to handle the impact of the projectile, or debris. Lenses or frames that have too many impacts, or have been flexed improperly too many times should be retired. It’s not a ploy to sell more glasses, it’s a legitimate safety concern.
A baby’s car seat needs to be retired after a car accident. A safety harness and bungee per OSHA specifications need to be retired after a single fall.
Safety lenses must be used properly to ensure the proper level of impact and projectile resistance.
Our Recommendation when you own interchangeable lens shooting glasses
It is our recommendation that if you decide to buy interchangeable lens safety glasses that you do the following:
Retire them from shooting or safety use where a MIL PRF 32432 rating is necessary, after 10 lens changes.
The above is applicable to lenses that are seated in rigid frames and are interchangeable. NOTE: GRUNTX DOES NOT SELL THESE TYPES OF GLASSES. The above statement is a general piece of information about market available options. (It is possible that we have linked to a pair of these types of glasses in the past)
After so many changes into and out of the frame, the frame is weakened. The elasticity that makes up the frame’s strength can be compromised and may nullify many of the safety ratings.
Why is any of this important? Because there is a drawback to using a multi-lens option if you need to maintain safety specifications. That’s a major reason why sets of glasses that are specialized to do certain things, are so popular. Many users aren’t aware of this important build characteristic as it relates to ratings of safety glasses. But when it comes to your only set of eyes, would you rather err on the side of safety? We would.
You can resolve this rating degradation by purchasing a pair of shooting glasses that are built to the same standards as GruntX. Shooting glasses in these configurations meet the absolute parameters of the MIL SPEC.
To summarize: hard cases offer good crush protection and weigh more and are bulkier than soft cloth cases. Soft cases are generally just helpful in avoiding scratches, not crush protection. Glasses with industry standard specifications are systemically built for hard use. Buying a set of more than one pair of glasses, can make a lot of sense if you are using your glasses often for recreational or other endeavors.
Buying glasses that have interchangeable lenses in a rigid frame setup, can mean you don’t retain the full safety value over time.
If you are looking for the best safety glasses money can buy: look for those that meet the highest specifications. Look for those that factor in overall build quality, not only lenses. Look for those with good quality cases that meet your needs.
If you want a set of shooting glasses that ticks all the boxes, we sell a set with MOLLE cases included. This is a set of 2 pairs of MIL-PRF 32432 glasses in clear and smoked gray polarized. The set will handle just about everything you’re looking to do in them.
On our blog, there are plenty of in-depth articles that can help you learn about personal protective equipment, and not just the safety and shooting glasses we sell. They have proven to be much more comprehensive than other articles on the subject online. Take a look.