Professional Training


Part of being a responsible shooter is protecting yourself from the hazards involved in shooting. This is done largely through equipment. We covered some of what you should bring in the “range bag” tip but thought it would be good to become more acquainted with the gear that keeps us safe and having a great time on the range.

Let’s start with our eyes. We suggest that anyone on the range wear good eye protection. Bullets are high velocity projectiles and while that the vast majority of the time, things go to plan… sometimes they don’t, in spite of our best efforts. This is why we wear safety glasses.

What are “good safety glasses”? Typically, what someone is referring to when they use those words, are eye protection bearing the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87+ rating. This rating ensures that all of the industrial requirements for protecting our eyes are met (very important). Let’s discuss some of the lesser considerations involved.

#1 Comfort


This is important for several reasons. First, if your glasses don’t fit well or are uncomfortable, you are less likely to wear them or at best… you’ll relax their coverage. It’s not uncommon to see shooters wearing safety glasses so low on their nose that their eyes are completely exposed to the danger angle. Some shooters take them off entirely. We have experienced enough hits to our safety glasses from spall and target material to say that this is a terrible practice. Always have protection in place.

The best way to combat this problem is to invest in some good ANSI Z87+ glasses that fit you. There are many options out there and some that adjust on an astonishing number of angles. Do the work. It will pay off.

#2 Good Lenses


It doesn’t make a great deal of sense to invest in optics with great glass (like Aimpoint sights) only to look through terrible glass to get to it. There are safety glasses out there that have very bad clarity and add a substantial amount of distortion.

Make sure the lens is appropriate to the scenario as well. We’ve all seen shooters wearing dark lenses during low light. This isn’t a good idea and often results in the shooter (again) lowering their protection. If you find yourself in changing light conditions often, glasses with changeable lens sets may be your best option.

#3 Care


The most common problem we see with safety glasses is that they are treated terribly, resulting in lens surfaces that look like a road map. Significantly scratched lenses become difficult for the shooter to ignore. The best-case scenario with any PPE is that it blends seamlessly into the effort. Substantial interference with the aiming process is working to cross purposes and should be avoided. Use the case that the glasses came with, preferably a hard case.

Anti-fog chemicals are great when they work (let us know if you find one) but make sure they are compatible with the coating on your lenses. We only use what the manufacturer sends with the glasses or that is listed in their information. We’ve seen enough delamination to be cautious. You should be too.


Safety glasses are there to stop that one terrible moment… and they do happen. Often. The only real way to ensure that your vision will be unaffected is to choose a good pair of ANSI rated glasses that fit you well and are appropriate to your surrounding…

…and always wear them.

Until next time, train smart (and safe).

Author Bio

Duane “Buck” Buckner

After spending 25 years in the USCG, Duane “Buck” Buckner is now the U.S. Director of Training for Aimpoint. The Aimpoint Training Division conducts training courses for military and law enforcement agencies up to the Federal level as well as for the prepared civilian. Buck is widely known for his emphasis on brain psychology as it relates to combat and survival.


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Posted by Duane Buckner, Aimpoint US Director of Training on Nov 14th 2022