While at the 2014 SHOT Show I happened upon Oakley Optics Booth and picked up a pair of their new Oakley SI Prizm Tactical eyewear with the M frame 3.0. They have their new Plutonite lens that I had heard were pretty good. Well it just so happens that there was a tent with a red and white striped top on it and I turned and looked at it and the red just jumped out at me. I was truly impressed at the color enhancement, the contrast and the clarity of the lens. While looking at their literature it showed it as the (tactical) glasses for the pistol , ak’s and rifle sports. Now I am a full blown clay sports fanatic so the red and orange color enhancement of the lens was something I had to pursue further. I have had at some time or another used almost every brand of shooting glasses and I really wanted to do a review of these Oakley’s. The next day at the show I looked up Dane Howell with Oakley. We talked and a week later he sent me a three lens set and I put them immediately to use.
Let’s start with the frames first. The M frame has a wrap lens with flat temple pieces. They are very comfortable and what I like about the flat ear pieces are that if you wear ear muffs for shooting they in no way interfere with the fit of the earmuffs. Also a lot of the shooting glasses on the market have wire or not so flat ear pieces and I have found that if they are snug fitting glasses, that after wearing for a while they get uncomfortable. The Radar frame has a wrap lens with different ear pieces where the Flak Jacket frame has lens that don’t wrap and different ear pieces also. Personally I like a lens that wraps around some as it will take the glare off on bright days and you don’t strain your eyes as much.
Now to the meat of the glasses, THE LENS. If you look at the scientific info on the lens’ they block out UV, meets ANSI Z87.1, fragmentation requirements etc, etc, but most do as long as you get top brands. What impressed me the most was the color enhancement, the clarity, and the contrast while looking through the lens’. There was absolutely no distortion what so ever and the contrast between bush’s, rocks, structures etc is awesome.
Through the next few of weeks I have shot many rounds of clays with these glasses and was truly amazed at how much faster they let me acquire targets and how much easier it was to stay focused on the target because of the contrast and color enhancement. And as you all know that translates to more targets hit. As a matter of fact my scores have come up since using these new Oakley’. No matter how you add this up it all comes to the same conclusion, these are a must for all you gun shooters whether it is for rifle, pistol, or shotguns.
They are available in one, two, or three lens sets and three different frames. Go to OakleySI.com and take a look and if you try them I think you will be hooked as I am. The only thing that I would change would be the fact that you cannot remove the nose piece. When the nose piece is removable it is a lot easier to clean the lens as there is nothing to get in the way. Also as of now they are not available in prescription.
I am just like all of you out there that are looking for something better. I love to be able to pass along what I think is equipment that is the best and will work for most of us average Joes . These new Oakley’s will be a mandatory part of my equipment from now on.
Larry Wengert contributing editor