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Shooting Glasses with Bifocals?

Discussion in 'Sights, Optics and Lasers' started by ncglock19, May 10, 2011.

  1. ncglock19


    Jan 6, 2010
    Apex, NC
    I'm not sure if this is exactly the right place to ask this, but I figure it will keep the peanut gallery out and I can get some serious and well considered answers and sources.

    When I'm doing a target to front-sight transition, I'm noticing the front sight is a bit blurry, and the target a brown out-of-focus blob.

    I'm considering having shooting glasses done, perhaps with my bifocal prescriptions done in the upper part of the lenses, rather than the standard bottom of the lenses.

    I want to try and get it right the first time, since I'm assuming that the glasses will not be cheap. I was wondering if anyone else has had this done and if it has worked. Also, who would be a good company to have make the glasses? I'd prefer them to be ballistic grade to help keep out shrapnel and lead dust.

    Thanks for any positive help.

  2. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    This has come up a few times over the years, and I can see--or can't--that I'm also going to be in the market for a similar fix one of these days... :freak:

    We've had positive reports on the stick-on corrective lenses that you apply to your favorite shooting glasses--and they're relatively cheap! ;)

    I've also read positive reviews on some custom shooting glasses over the years... :cool:

    Let's remember to "bump" this post until we get some firsthand feedback and/or testimonials... :dunno:

    You can always try this site's search function... :headscratch:

    Good luck! :thumbsup:


  3. frankt


    May 9, 2005
    I have used the stick on Bifocals and they work simply great. A drop of water and stick it to the inside of your regular Glasses. Place it so when your head is in your shooting position you are looking through the bifocal.
    I used the same one for a couple of years and they are still fine.

    I got the itch to get some shooting glasses so I bought the ESS Ice glasses from Optics planet for about $50 and a prescription insert for $20. The Glasses came with three lens.

    My eye doctor put a close up prescription in my shooting side and regular prescription in the other lens. He charged me $50 and $30 for the yearly full eye exam.
    This was a year or so ago and prices may have changed and depending on your eye doctor also.
    I shoot with guys who use the Rudy project or Eagle Eye glasses that has their prescription with the bifocal built in high for shooting. They are nice but pretty expensive.
    I went the way I did because if my eyes change, it is fairly cheap to change out the prescription inserts.

    The stick on bifocals are a good way to try and see how it works and maybe upgrade later, or not.
    Good Luck and hope you find something that works.
  4. platoonDaddy


    Jul 20, 2010
    The guy I shoot skeet with has the OPTX affixed to the top of his safety glasses and loves it. He said with them on the upper part of the glasses he doesn't have to raise his head.

    For less than $10 buy a pair and try them out, they can be easily (quoting him) reinstalled until you locate a position that is comfortable to your shooting style.
  5. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    This is great information guys, thank you.
  6. ncglock19


    Jan 6, 2010
    Apex, NC
    I forgot to include a piece of information, basically because I live with it every day. I'm nearsighted as well, so I have a regular prescription, and have had the bifocals added in the past 2 years. So I'm looking for a full prescription set of ballistic prescription glasses.

    Sorry for the omission. I'm so used to it, I forgot to mention it.

  7. I'm at the point in my life where I'm needing bifocals. I've been using a transition-type bifocal for the last couple of years. My biggest problem was having to tip my head back to get a sharp focus on the front sight.

    After doing much research I decided to come up with my own setup. I bought a set of Rudy Project shooting glasses at a discount using a USPSA deal. I then had my optometrist put my standard bifocal prescription in the left lens (right-handed, right eye dominant) and a single cut, non-bifocal lens on the right. This was a insert frame directly through Rudy Project.

    I brought my pistol with me to my eye doctor. While seated in the chair I held the gun up as if shooting. He measured the distance from my right eye to the front sight. It was around 26". The right lens was cut for this distance, the left eye my standard bifocal.

    It took some getting-used-to, but I have found that with both eyes open, my dominant right eye grabs my front sight instantly. There's no more tipping my head to find the sight.

    These are, by no means, driving glasses. They are for shooting only. I've been using this setup for about two months now and have definitely been raising my USPSA scores.

    The target still looks like a brown blob with the right eye. That's what the left eye is for. The front sight literally "pops" when I pull the gun up.
  8. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

    Dec 2, 2005

    My wife uses a monocular fitting for her contact lenses--each eye is a different prescription strength. :freak:

    Since half our vision is our brain, many people find that with a monocular fitting their eye-brain learns quickly how to see with this set up! :wow:

    She does cock her head sometimes, when looking at near or far objects... It makes her appear inquisitive or skeptical... :eyebrow:

    But since they're contact lenses, her eyes look normal enough! :eyelashes:

    Interesting stuff! :thumbsup:


    P.S. Hey, MrVvrroomm! What do you drive? :dunno:
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  9. The screen name I use was originated by various motorcycle forums I used to frequent more than I do now.

    I am sportbike guy at heart, but presently ride a Suzuki V-Strom. My wife rides one identical to mine. They are our touring bikes.

    If it has two wheels I've ridden it, or owned it.

    My daily driver for the six months or so we have snow is an '07 Subaru Forester, turbo'd, with manual transmission. It's a sweet little sleeper.
  10. smilach


    Aug 1, 2010
    My father was an NRA/Camp Perry competitor back in the day and he wore tri-focals. For his shooting glasses he had the lenses custom ground as bifocals with the near-vision on top and the distance grind below. At age 72 if you turned the target sideways for time & rapid fire he could hit the edge of the target with 5/5 rounds at 50 feet. I always thought that had more to do with decades of the exact same stance, grip, squeeze, etc. than it did with a sight picture.
  11. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I use the OPTIX stick on lenses and they have worked great for me. I actually only use one lens, for my right eye, and it's stuck on the left side rather than at the bottom.

    If I look straight ahead it's out of the way, if I move my head slightly to the right then my "shooting" eye is looking through the OPTIX lens without having to tilt my head back.
  12. RayB

    RayB Retired Member

    Dec 2, 2005


    Can you do that? :freak:

  13. cciman


    Jan 19, 2009
    SW Ohio
    Decot Hy-Wyd custom shooting glasses. Best shooting glasses.

    They can make you bifocal lenses that can be exchanged out. Not cheap, not fashionable- made for shooting sports.
  14. bobelk99


    Mar 1, 2005
    Central KY
    Lenses can be ground to any specs. Your optician can get any lenses configuration you desire.

    When I was doing considerable target work I discussed this with my optician. He made a special end of day appointment, and I took guns to his shop, and he did the necessary measurements to provide lenses to do exactly what I desired. Ended up with two pairs of shooting glasses, and the cost for each was about 140% of 'regular' glasses.

    Expensive, but wonderful.
  15. Palouse

    Palouse The Resistance Lifetime Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    Washington State
    I got a cold, "I don't know anything about guns or shooting," from my optician. If I wear my contacts, I can't see my sights well, but I see the target well. If I wear my bifocals, I can see the target and the front sight is better, but not great. After seeing some of the responses here, I need to find a new optician.
  16. bobelk99


    Mar 1, 2005
    Central KY
    Try to get 2 or 3 serious references before any change. I was just lucky to have an understanding guy who was at least understanding. Notice that he scheduled me when no other customers were there.
  17. stevesangels007


    Jun 2, 2011
    The experience we are describing here is a condition called presbyopia. Everyone experiences presbyopia as they age, regardless of whether they have been near or farsighted in the past.

    As presbyopia develops, the eye’s lenses become less flexible, making focusing on close objects difficult, and this causes the most frustration as shooters lose accuracy. There are tons of vision tricks to offset the impact of presbyopia, such as using custom-made, cantilevered stocks and scopes.

    Here is a diagram that shows what shooting can be like when trying to view a target through reading glasses, bifocals, or progressives. I’ve also seen many of my peers switching between lenses as they prepare to shoot, but I tried it and have found it extremely frustrating. I would love to hear more about the solutions other older shooters have found!

    Happy shooting,
    Caitlin of Steve’s Angels