problem many of us who are avid shooters face as we get older is
that our prescription glasses may no longer aid--but may
actively hinder--our shooting. This
problem normally arises because the prescription that allows us
to see the target at a distance makes the front sight blurry or
the prescription that makes the sights clear makes distant
target acquisition difficult. There
is a solution, however. A
few opticians--in my experience, very few--specialize in making
prescription shooting glasses or prescription glasses for other
special applications. I
am fortunate that Complete Eye Safety,
which makes prescription shooting glasses and other specialized
prescription eyewear for industry, military, law enforcement,
and sportsmen all over the world is based in St. Louis, MO,
where I live. I will note
right now, however, for readers that it is not necessary to
visit Complete Eye Safety in person to get specialized glasses.
Chris Vogler, who is the specialist in
prescription shooting glasses, has a lot of experience in
working with shooters over the phone to get the information
necessary to produce the glasses they need.
getting into that process, though, let me talk a bit about how
prescription shooting glasses work.
I've been using a pair for the last few years and
recently had to get new pairs because my prescription has
changed. When I first got
my glasses from Vogler I was amazed at how much my groups
tightened up. In the case of my
glasses, the right lens is ground so that I can see the sights
on a pistol, combat shotgun, or battle rifle with my dominant
eye (right in my case) when I assume the shooting position.
The left lens is ground so that I can see the target.
Since I shoot with both eyes open I had little difficulty
learning to use this system, though I will note that for the
first hour or so using this
type of shooting glasses, you will feel a bit odd.
However, this passes quickly and the glasses work great.
I now put mine on when I arrive at the range and leave
them on throughout the day, even if I have to drive from rifle
to pistol range. My
glasses also have a lower bifocal section so that I can read
instructions for optical sights or see dials when zeroing
first I didn't see how the prescription that works for pistol
sights could also work for battle rifle and combat shotgun
sights. However, if
you hold a pistol in shooting position, then hold an AR15 in
shooting position, you will see that the front sights are
actually about the same distance from the eye.
Although they are not recommended for full-time usage,
shooters who may occasionally shoot a rifle or shotgun with a
radically different sight radius (i.e. for Turkey Shoots) can
also have Complete Eye Safety produce a press-on bifocal which alters the
normal shooting lens for the longer sight radius.
Complete Eye Safety
also specializes in making prescription glasses for military
personnel, law enforcement personnel, industrial applications,
and various other tasks. Many of the military and law enforcement personnel order goggles or
tactical-type glasses such as those from Wiley-X.
Complete Eye Safety can also do prescription gas mask lenses or
lenses for other types of masks. Because Complete Eye Safety specializes in glasses for applications such as
industrial and military usage, they are designed to be very
tough. Years ago when I
first had Chris Vogler make me a pair of glasses, he showed me a
pair one of his customers had sent back for him to examine.
The customer, a bird hunter, had taken a blast of shot in
the face at relatively close range.
The glasses had not shattered despite being hit by
pellets and had saved his vision.
specialized type of prescription shooting glasses offered by Complete Eye Safety
is especially applicable for law enforcement, some
military applications, and those with concealed carry licenses.
Vogler calls them reverse bifocals.
Reverse bifocals take your normal prescription and add a
prescription bifocal at the top of the glasses at the point
where one looks with the dominant eye when acquiring the sights.
I wear mine just as I would my normal glasses, but if I
have to draw my gun, the sights are crystal clear. I mentioned
these reverse bifocals some years ago in a column I did for a
law enforcement magazine, and the response was overwhelming.
Various officers from around the country sent Vogler
e-mails thanking him for letting them stay on the street since
they had been having trouble qualifying before they got the
reverse bifocals. I also
heard from some officers thanking me for drawing their attention
to the specialized prescription glasses.
I had my standard prescription shooting glasses made this time,
I also decided to have two pairs of Wiley-X glasses made for use
when I do tactical training or for everyday wear in some cases.
Complete Eye Safety specializes in Wiley-X prescription glasses
and prescription shooting glasses and sells a large number of
pairs to military personnel. The
Wiley-X frames sold by Complete Eye Safety are OSHA approved safety
frames. The folks at Complete Eye Safety
tell me that because the Wiley-X glasses look good as
well as work so well, they've helped reduce eye injuries in the
combat zones substantially--BECAUSE THE TROOPS WILL WEAR THEM!!
I'll admit I like the way they look--they have a high CDI
factor, as the SEALs would say.
ordered one of my pairs of Wiley-X reverse bifocal glasses with
the breathable gasket which may be installed for use in dusty,
sandy environments or when it is very windy.
These have proven a real boon for troops deployed in the
Sand Box. I also ordered
this pair of Wiley-X with the transitional lenses so that they
darken in bright sunlight or in high glare situations. These function as my prescription sunglasses, too.
My other pair of Wiley-X glasses employs the PAF (Premium
Anti-Fog) treatment which Complete Eye Safety has found works very well
in industrial situations. This
is an anti-fog coating which keeps the glasses from fogging in
virtually every condition. I've
worn mine a half dozen times in situations where my glasses
always fog and so far they've stayed completely clear.
Just last night, my wife ordered me to empty the dish
washer as soon as it had completed its run.
This is a task that normally fogs my glasses immediately
so I stuck on the Wiley-Xs with the PAF treatment and they
stayed completely clear. Note
that the PAF treatment cannot be used with certain other
treatments which may have been applied to the glasses.
who's done tactical training for military or law enforcement
wearing a gas mask knows the problems with lens fogging when
carrying out any strenuous activities. In fact, when we used to train Army MP Special Reaction teams, one
of my associates, who was former SAS, always made it a point to
take the soldiers on a brisk run before we did shooting in gas
masks to get them used to shooting with them fogged.
Complete Eye Safety can produce prescription or nonprescription
gas mask lenses with the PAF treatment--problem solved!
though Complete Eye Safety ships glasses all over the world and often has
one or more of their optometrists travel to distant sites to
give eye tests or take measurements for glasses, they
remain dedicated to individual service via the phone
and/or internet as well. Chris
Vogler and Joel Wishne take care of the Optometric
duties, Alicia Steward (who is ex-military herself)
grinds specialized lenses, and Lynn Ryan deals with
customer service and shipping. They
are especially dedicated to getting glasses out quickly to
addition to shooting glasses, Complete Eye Safety offers prescription
glasses designed for an array of other sports including fishing,
hunting, trapshooting, golf, pool, etc.
And, of course, Complete Eye Safety specializes in prescription
safety glasses for a wide array of industrial applications.
The Complete Eye Safety team told me stories about how much
quality control had gone up at some plants after they provided
safety glasses with the workers' current prescriptions. Quality control in your shooting will go up as well!
those who want to order prescription shooting glasses from Complete Eye Safety, you will need a current eye exam within the last
year. Have whomever
performs the exam include the pupillary distance on the
prescription and mark PD next to it to make sure the folks at Complete Eye Safety
will note it. There
will be a few other measurements necessary, but Chris Vogler has
walked hundreds of shooters and other sportsmen through the
process over the phone and does it very clearly and concisely.
am very impressed with my Wiley-X and standard shooting glasses
from Complete Eye Safety. I am also very impressed with the Complete Eye Safety staff who really take
customer service seriously and provide glasses which help the
user do what he or she needs or wants to do more effectively.
When I'm doing gun tests these days and shoot an
excellent group--an event that doesn't happen as often as I
would prefer!--I note the gun, optics used, and load for the article, but I also give a silent
thanks to Complete Eye Safety.
more information or to begin the process of ordering glasses,
contact Chris Vogler at:
Eye Safety - Phone
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