Proper Eye Wear Protection
January 16, 2012
Here at Airsoft GI, one of our main goals is to promote safety. In airsoft, the most important piece of equipment is eye protection. Anyone who is near an airsoft gun must wear eye protection at all times! No exceptions! Even when you are not in an actual game, you must wear eye protection.
As a real steel shooter, the primary factor I look for in shooting glasses is the lens. The lens on all my shooting glasses (including sunglasses) must meet or exceed the A.N.S.I. Z87.1. A.N.S.I. stands for the American National Standards Institute, which establishes standards for products, services, processes, systems and personnel in the United States. A.N.S.I. Z87.1 is the national standard for eye and face protection.
I use a pair of Oakley glasses when I am shooting. Every pair of Oakley glasses exceeds the A.N.S.I. Z87.1 standard. The cool thing about this pair of Oakley glasses is it has clear and dark lenses for indoor and outdoor shooting. Whenever I am handling a firearm (shooting at the range or cleaning it at home), I will put that pair of glasses on. Whenever I am at work handling airsoft guns (shooting or not), I will still wear that pair of glasses.
For airsoft games, obviously there are only a few types of eye protection which airsofters are allowed to use. In fact, airsoft fields require all airsofters who participate in any airsoft games to wear fully sealed eye protection such as goggles and full face masks.
I like using full seal goggles whenever I play airsoft. The benefit is a good portion of my face is protected, and I can still use the optics (or even iron sights) on my airsoft gun. The goggles I use is the Revision Desert Locust Ballistic Goggles.
Revision makes phenomenal products. The Revision Desert Locust Ballistic Goggles are standard issue in the United States Army. The lenses manufactured by Revision Eyewear exceeded the A.N.S.I. Z87.1 standard. Another reason why I chose the Revision Desert Locust Ballistic Goggles are the lenses can be changed easily. If you purchased the Essential Kit, it comes with a clear lens as well as a smoke lens.
Another decent brand of eye protection which meets or exceeded the standards of A.N.S.I. Z87.1 is Bobster. As you can see below, there is a layer of foam around the edge of the glasses, making it sealed shooting glasses. A good majority of airsoft fields actually allow these “sealed” shooting glasses. But I would not recommend it, especially if it is an indoor field.
Last but not least, the full face masks. Airsofters favor the full face masks the most, especially in C.Q.B. (Close Quarter Battles). Full face masks cover the operator’s entire face, from the forehead to the chin. Believe it or not, a lot of full face masks do not meet the A.N.S.I. Z87.1 standards. If you are looking to purchase a full face mask, make sure you do your research before you spend your cash!
One of the brands that does meet or exceeded the A.N.S.I. Z87.1 standards is Save Phace. Save Phace masks also come with the dual panel thermal lens, which means the lenses are anti-fog. Save Phace also has different color lenses (sold separately) and different styles of masks to meet your need.
Having eye protection for airsoft and real steel shooting is extremely important. Just like the deputies at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department mentioned, “Airsoft is a fun sport, but it is not worth losing your eyes over it.” Even if you are not playing airsoft (or real steel shooting), but you are near an airsoft gun (or firearms), I strongly recommend that you wear your eye protection. I am Andrew, until next time, stay safe, get out and play airsoft, and WEAR YOUR EYE PROTECTION!