I’ve only been shooting for a couple of years, but I’ve already amassed a decent-sized collection of cheap shooting glasses that don’t work well, and are now collecting dust. I recently upgraded to a pair of $30 outdoor store sunglasses because I just can’t bring myself to drop a few hundred dollars on “professional” glasses, and the options for anything in between big box store $5 cheapies and full paycheck glasses are very few and far between.
Enter the 5.11 Tactical Deflect Shooting glasses. At $99.99 plus shipping, you get the glasses with interchangeable smoke, clear and ballistic orange lenses, a cleaning bag, eyeglass holder and molded carrying case with a strappy thing with a snap that I would guess is for use with other tactical gear (sorry, I’m new at being tacticool).
I’ve had a chance to wear the glasses several times while shooting in both daylight and at night with range lighting, and here’s my breakdown:
Fit and Comfort: I was a little worried that the 5.11 shooting glasses would be too big, as I have an average, girl-sized head. Not only do they fit me well, but on a recent trip to the range, C. Pig borrowed them to wear while driving, and they fit his larger-than-average noggin as well (he needs a bigger head to fit all the extra brains he has up in there). I’m normally not a big fan of wide arms on glasses, as they can interfere with ear protection, but I’ve had no problems with them getting in the way or causing my ear muffs to gap. These glasses have been so comfortable that I’ve been in no hurry to change over to my sunglasses on the drive home after wearing them for 3-4 hours on the range.
Optical Quality and Safety: What was I thinking using el cheapo glasses all this time? These babies are clear (both smoke and clear lenses), with no sign of distortion. The first time I wore them was during a practice that started just before sundown, and it was way past dusk before I felt the need to change over to clear lenses. There have been no signs of fogging, which is awesome, and one of the reasons most of the glasses I’ve purchased have ended up in the closet.
I’ve taken more than a couple shells to the face while wearing these glasses (extractor issues seem to follow me everywhere), and there are no signs of scratches or dings. I’ve been really good about putting them back in their case after each use, but they have taken a couple of tumbles on the ground. Again, no sign of scratching or dings. I have always been
clumsy with hard on my sunglasses, so while I know I’m living on borrowed time with the scratching, I’m pleased to see that replacement lenses can be purchased separately. That may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve got another pair of glasses that I’ve pretty much destroyed the smoke lenses on, and I would have to by the whole set again to get the replacement lenses.
Replacing the Lenses: This is the only thing about the glasses that I don’t like. The glasses come with instructions for changing the lenses, but I couldn’t get the lenses to budge. After about 15 minutes of struggling with them, I finally turned them upside down and flexed them from the middle outward, and got the lenses to release. Popping the new lenses in was a bit of a pain, but I got that figured out in about five minutes. I have noticed that the lenses are coming out and going back in much easier, now that I’ve done it a few times. Last week, I forgot to change the lenses out before heading to the range for an evening of steel shooting, and I was able to replace the lenses at the range in only a couple of minutes.
Overall, I am very pleased with these shooting glasses, and I guarantee they won’t be gathering dust with my other pairs of shooting glasses anytime soon. The 5.11 Tactical Deflects are a great value, and I would definitely recommend them to anyone looking to purchase a solid pair of shooting glasses. For full specs on the glasses, visit the 5.11 Tactical website.
Yes, these glasses were supplied to me at no charge by folks at 5.11 Tactical in exchange for my unbiased review. I was not compensated for the above review and No, you can’t have them.
Tags: 5.11 tactical, gear reviews, shooting gear, shooting glasses, tacticool