Article 10 – 2015
Question: I have been struggling with my shooting for some time and I finally decided to go and have my eyes checked and sure enough old age has caught up with me. I needed to get some prescription glasses to shoot in. I found some frames I liked and are now concerned about what colour lenses I need to get. I quite like the deep red colour and I am told I need yellow to shoot in bad light. Are there any others I need to get in your opinion?
Charles McKinley, Burswood WA
Answer: Charles I am sure prescription-shooting glasses will help you shoot like you are years younger. A good set of frames is a huge bonus and it sounds like you have bought a brand that has the added versatility of interchangeable lenses. The colour of the lenses is purely a personal choice. Each individual colour will make the background and more importantly the target appear slightly different.
If your asking me for my personal preference then I always found that if I was shooting at florescent orange clay targets (which is by far the most popular worldwide) then a lense that has a reddish/bronze tint is really good as it tends to take the florescent glow or flash that the target can appear having flowing from its tail. I found this color great ONLY on days where there was constant bright sunlight. If your eyes are sensitive to light and intense brightness causes you to squint then any color will help not just red or bronze. It is essential when you are ready to call for the target to be released your eye is open fully. A half closed eye caused from squinting will certainly not help you hit what you are aiming at.
The most important factor about shooting with colored lenses is this. When the light is bad, changing, fading fast or if you are shooting at night under lights then NO color is best. The greatest advantage you will have if you need to shoot with a prescription is to buy a set of clear lenses. Any color you put over your eyes in bad light will only make your target acquisition worse not better. It is absolutely an old wives tale that yellow works great in poor light. Yellow certainly works better than black in poor light, but not better than your own natural eyes. For my entire competitive career I only used these two lenses. I am not sure if you are a clay target competitor or a field shooter, but it really is irrelevant. Buy a lense that will act like a sunglass to stop you squinting and another one for all other times when the sun isn’t burning down brightly upon you.
Make sure your frames are set high enough on your face that after you mount your shotgun to your shoulder and position your head on the stock your eyes will be looking through the optical centre of the lense and not through one of the corners which can give you a distorted view. It may be worth a trip to your local optician to help you here. A good optician can adjust or recommend what type of frames you may need. If you are lucky enough to have purchased a frame that has an adjustable nosepiece then finding the optical centre of the lense with the aid of a professional is very easy. I did this regularly throughout my career. At first my optician was a little gun shy, but in time he got used to me pointing my shotgun around his shop.