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Prescription Eye Glasses - Optics vs Iron Sights


Hoops
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I have been wearing Decot HyWy Shooting Glasses (Phoenix) for at least 6 years.  Love the glasses and the folks there.  But, when I first started shooting competitions, I was shooting Iron (fiber optic) front sights.  About 3 years ago, I began to mix in pistol mounded red-dots.  My glasses worked for both.  About 18 months ago, I got caught up in and have stayed in PCCO and RFRO.  I rarely shoot pistols anymore.  I am 68 1/2 years old.  About six months into shooting carbines, I noticed a bit of eye struggle but still managed to hold my own in local steel matches.....made M class last year in both PCCO and RFRO.   Lately, the eye struggle continues.  I have an eye exam scheduled and will be able to compare to my current 2 year old exam.

 

Good shooter friends of mine tell me they may lean towards the distance prescription with the carbines and red dots.  I am near and far sighted.  The Saturday I am planning on using my driving glasses, an older (weaker) pair of shooting glasses and my current shooting glasses to see if I can get an idea before my eye exam.

 

I am curious how some of you more mature shooters go about this problem?

 

Thank you.

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Hoops - I am 60 and recently started experiencing some of the same issues...A gentleman friend I was shooting with who had been down the same pathway suggested I spend $20.00 to see if his idea, that worked for him, would work for me...I did what he said and it worked.....

 

Allow me to share what he taught me...currently I wear 2.50 - 2.75 power reading glasses and I also wear driving glasses. What he suggested I try was to order off of EBay a set of 1.50 power and a set of 2.00 power safety shooting glasses. Cost - $9.50 a pair with free shipping from a US seller....Brand Name is Elvex......

 

This allowed me to do two things - see the red dot or open sights on my Pistols and rifles clear enough to see the sight pattern or red dot AND it also allowed me to see the IDPA or USPSA targets.....

 

Remember - the key is to go to a lower power than you currently wear and it allows everything to be clear enough to enjoy shooting....I wear a 2.50 - 2.75 power reading glass and I settled on the 1.5 powered safety shooting glasses....It may be worth a try especially for the Minimal cost to give this a try.....Good Luck Sir.....

Edited by Sigarmsp226
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While it certainly would not be the least expensive route, I would consider contacting Brian at Hunter's HD Gold and ask his opinion on this. I believe he would give you solid information and recommendations. The fact that they are a grinding lab may also offer you some non-traditional options. 

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1 hour ago, Hoops said:

I have been wearing Decot HyWy Shooting Glasses (Phoenix) for at least 6 years.  Love the glasses and the folks there.  But, when I first started shooting competitions, I was shooting Iron (fiber optic) front sights.  About 3 years ago, I began to mix in pistol mounded red-dots.  My glasses worked for both.  About 18 months ago, I got caught up in and have stayed in PCCO and RFRO.  I rarely shoot pistols anymore.  I am 68 1/2 years old.  About six months into shooting carbines, I noticed a bit of eye struggle but still managed to hold my own in local steel matches.....made M class last year in both PCCO and RFRO.   Lately, the eye struggle continues.  I have an eye exam scheduled and will be able to compare to my current 2 year old exam.

 

Good shooter friends of mine tell me they may lean towards the distance prescription with the carbines and red dots.  I am near and far sighted.  The Saturday I am planning on using my driving glasses, an older (weaker) pair of shooting glasses and my current shooting glasses to see if I can get an idea before my eye exam.

 

I am curious how some of you more mature shooters go about this problem?

 

Thank you.

Call Robert at Decot 😉

 

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Thanks for the quick replies and input.  After this weekend’s test runs at one of our 8 stage steel challenge matches with 3 different pairs of glasses followed with a new eye exam, I will update the forum on my progress.  

 

Note:  This also includes a comparison of C-More Slideride and Romeo 3 XL.  I have only used Slideride but a few weeks ago, I bought a Romeo 3 XL (larger window).  

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Ask about monovision glasses.  Dominate eye focal distance to front sight/red dot and non-dominate eye focal distance for infinity (distance vision).  It takes about 5 minutes to get used to them the first couple of times you wear them, then it becomes almost instant adjustment from your normal glasses.

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I'm 72.  Somewhere around 68 I found it nearly impossible to shoot Limited (iron sights) any more.  So I did buy the 1.25 diopter stick on lenses and put one on upside down at the top of my planar shooting glasses.  I could tip my head down and see the front sights.  It also let me run and see the ground clearly.  It worked okay for a year.  The next year it gave me a splitting headache behind that eye, so I quit and switched to red dots for everything.

 

I had been buying prescription shooting glasses for years.  Every two years I needed to have more made.  I finally found one color that worked for all the shooting games, except at night.  I always went for distance correction.  It worked for me.

 

Steel challenge will eventually eat up your glasses, especially if you are an RO.  I'am an RO and have been hit by chunks of lead or jacket many times.  Some drew a little blood.  A couple of times they hit my shooting glasses hard enough to ding them.  Naturally the dings were always in the line of sight.  Having one prescription lens made and expecting it to match the existing one is folly, as I found out twice.

 

I went to Smith Optics planar glasses with interchangeable lenses.  They also have an Rx insert you can place on the nose bridge behind the lens.  It works well.  Now when a lens gets damaged it only costs $20 to replace it.  Also, the lenses are clearer than my old prescription shooting glasses.

 

When you have your eye exam, ask about cataracts.  Mine were not severe, but made it almost impossible to drive at night if there was any oncoming traffic.  All I could see was halos.  At 70 1/2 I had both cataracts removed.  I went for monovision corrected for distance.  It was a huge improvement.  Now I can drive at night and my vision is 20/15 left and 20/20 right.  It's not as good as when I was young, but good enough for all things shooting.

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For pistol red-dot shooting, I have the prescription set to take the astigmatism out of the dot, but optimize both eyes for focus downrange (btw, I can still pass the driving test w/o glasses so YMMV).

 

For irons I use monovision with the dominant eye set a couple 'clicks' downrange from perfect focus on the front sight to get more depth of field.

 

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I can't offer specific advice, but I would recommend contacting Brian at Hunter's HD Gold as well. I have typical age related presbyopia and some astigmatism with a mild correction required for distance. I use my HD Golds primarily for Steel Challenge(CO, RFRO, PCCO) and couldn't be happier.

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I got my eye exam this afternoon.  As suspected, my numbers declined slightly in both eyes.  Essentianlly my distance vision declined slightly in both eyes and my reading vision declined slightly.  Astigmatism in both eyes....varies....but on the moderate scale.  I did not mention before, but I do shoot with both eyes open and right eye dominate and right handed.

 

I have been working with Robert at Decot since my first glasses in 2013 but as time can slip away easily, it has been about 18 months since my last pair of Decot glasses......when I was still shooting pistols.  During this time period I shifted to PCCO and RFRO 95% of the time.  Just started with RFPO.  All in Steel matches.  

 

The answer I am searching for and will be discussing with Robert is what is the best prescription set up for red-dots on carbines (red-dots in general) vs my past prescriptions when shooting pistols.  

 

The input I have had thus far is that with the carbine and red-dot combination,  distance is the predominant concern since I don't have the pistol front sight to contend with.

 

Tomorrow I shoot an 8 stage steel match....not official SC classifiers due to range constraints that restrict our distances.  But there are plenty of quick transitions and distances to shoots.  RFRO # 1 will be with my Decot, 18 month old prescription,  which I have been using and RFRO # 2 will be with my driving glasses (for distance) that I have never used in a match.   Since this is an un-official match, shooting RFRO twice is not a problem with the local shooters and MD so it's a good opportunity for me to get some comparisions to discuss with Decot next week.  Could be good comparison or a bust..........will see.

 

I will share the results of Saturdays match in this topic and update my progress over the next few weeks.  

 

In our area, and I suspect a lot of other places, Super Seniors continue to grow in numbers as physical restrictions with knees, joints, etc, etc (our Golden Years) make Steel Challenge a great sport for us that love competition and shooting, so hopefully I can add something to the discussion of aging eyesight and still being competitive.

 

ps.......I do intend in contacting Hunter's HD/Brian just for additional insight.

 

Thanks................

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I also most hardily recommend Brian at Hunters Gold... He knows his stuff .

 

His glasses were a instant improvement... the yellow gold lens adds the right amount of contrast even in bright sun  He is a shooter and a big supporter of shooting sports especially steel challenge... I am 73  and the progressive glasses he made me were prefect for   red dots and rifle irons  the lenses have the Rx all the way across which is vital in speed shooting  You will not regret his service

 

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Update from my steel match today.  8 stages x 2 RFRO for total of 16 stages of shooting.

 

I shot my first stage, gun # 1, with my driving glasses (distance prescription).  First time I used these glasses shooting carbine optics.   I had so much fun the first stage, being able to see the front and downrange targets,  that I decided to shoot the remaining 15 stages with the same glasses.  I shot several personal best times.  Unlike before with my pistol set-up prescription, my eyes were not strained at all.  

 

I appreciate everyone’s comments and suggestions.  I’m glad I posted this on Enos.......very helpful.

 

Next week I will be talking to both Decot and Hunter’s HD.

 

Many thanks.............happy shooting......

 

 

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