Do You Need Eye Protection When Shooting Outdoors?

Don't get caught without the essential gear

Engaging in shooting activities outdoors demands more than just mastering marksmanship and making sure that you are staying on target with each and every shot; it requires a comprehensive approach to safety, including protecting your eyes from potential hazards. Whether you are hunting or trap shooting, or just practicing at the range, you want to make sure you are protected. While many shooters prioritize hearing protection, the necessity of eye protection is equally crucial. However, many people tend to think that when they are shooting outside, they can just go without any form of protection, but that is not the case. 

Let's delve deeper into why eye protection is non-negotiable when shooting outdoors.

Unveiling the Risks of Shooting Hobbies

outdoor shooting

While heading to the gun range and shooting guns is a good hobby to have, as it is good to be protected and know how to use your firearms at any given time, there are certain risks that are associated with shooting, hence the reason you need protection while doing so. Let’s take a look at a few of these risks. 

Projectile Impact: Bullets, propelled at high velocities, can generate debris upon striking various surfaces. Even spent casings ejected from firearms pose a risk of eye injury, especially in dynamic shooting scenarios. Although shooting glasses are not bulletproof, you do not want those bits and pieces hitting your eyes, so having good shooting eyewear is essential.

Environmental Variables: Outdoor shooting environments are subject to unpredictable weather conditions. Wind can carry dust, dirt, or other particulate matter into your eyes, causing irritation or injury. Moreover, bright sunlight can create glare, impairing vision and compromising shooting accuracy, and being inaccurate is something that certainly impacts safety on a gun range.

Fragmentation and Ricochets: Depending on the ammunition and surface, bullets can fragment or ricochet, sending dangerous debris flying in multiple directions, posing a significant threat to unprotected eyes. For example, if you are using steel targets, there is the potential for fragmentation to be an issue. 

The Crucial Role of Eye Protection

shooting outdoors

Now that we have established what risks are associated with shooting outdoors, let’s take a look at the role that having a good pair of eye protection will play in this hobby.

Injury Mitigation: Eye protection serves as a critical barrier against potential hazards, shielding your eyes from flying debris and impacts. As stated above, shooting glasses are not bulletproof, so you cannot expect to take a bullet to the eye and be okay, but wearing shooting glasses or goggles, you significantly reduce the risk of eye injuries, ensuring a safer shooting experience.

Optimized Vision: Tinted lenses in shooting eyewear, or even tactical sunglasses, not only will help to protect your eyes but also enhance visual acuity. By reducing glare and improving contrast, they provide clearer vision in varying lighting conditions, enhancing target acquisition and overall shooting performance.

Compliance with Safety Standards: Many shooting ranges and competitions mandate the use of eye protection as part of their safety protocols, no matter if you are indoors or outdoors. Adhering to these standards not only protects you from potential injuries but also fosters a culture of responsibility and safety within the shooting community.

Exploring Eye Protection Options

There are several different options when it comes to eye protection, so let’s take a look at a few that may interest you. 

Shooting Glasses: Specifically designed for shooting sports, these are not your standard glasses. Instead, these protective glasses feature impact-resistant lenses and often come with interchangeable tinted lenses to adapt to different lighting conditions.

Goggles: Offering comprehensive coverage, goggles form a tight seal around your eyes, protecting them from debris entering from the sides. This full coverage is particularly beneficial in environments where the risk of eye injury is heightened.

Safety Standards Compliance: When selecting eye protection, ensure it meets or exceeds recognized safety standards, such as ANSI Z87.1. This ensures that your eyewear is capable of withstanding the demands of shooting activities, providing reliable protection for your eyes.

The Best Outdoor Shooting Eyewear 

Now, we wouldn’t discuss all of those things about shooting eyewear without giving you a good idea of what eyewear to purchase, so let’s take a look at the best shooting eyewear for the outdoor ranges.

FortKnight Optics 308 Tactical Shooting Sunglasses

308 shooting glasses

Enter a new level of tactical and shooting vision, the 308 Tactical Shooting Sunglasses. These are perfect for the outdoor ranges where the sun is beating down and there is all kinds of glare. The exclusive FrontSight HD lenses that FortKnight Optics offers are developed with ZEISS’s advanced polarization & riflescope technology, providing you with unmatched clarity and readiness for any situation. 

Take a look at some benefits of the lenses:

  • No more ‘rainbow-blur’ when looking through glass or optics
  • Engineered to not dim electronic screens or illuminated reticles
  • Up to 80% greater visual contrast when transitioning from bright to darker areas

Aside from that, the 308 Tactical Shooting Sunglasses offer a wide range of benefits. Let’s take a look at these.

  • Unparalleled Clarity in Every Scenario: These lenses outperform standard polarized glasses that you can get out of the hunting section at any store. The lenses in the 308 Tactical Glasses ensure clear views of electronic screens and illuminated reticles, eliminating common visual distortions and providing unmatched focus, whether you’re on the range or facing everyday challenges.
  • Fog-Free, Durable, Comfortable: One of the biggest challenges when it comes to shooting outdoors are the elements. You can battle any condition with glasses designed for real life scenarios where you may not have time to take them off and wipe them. The anti-fog technology keeps your vision clear, while the durable, lightweight frames offer comfort for all-day use. 
  • A Must for Your EDC Gear: People think that shooting glasses are only for the range, but these are actually pretty stylish sunglasses, making them suitable for taking with you when not at the range, and being part of your everyday gear. These essential shooting glasses, produced in limited quantities, are a vital part of your EDC. Always available when you need them, they're ready for whatever your day holds.
  • Top-Grade Impact Protection: With ANSI Z87.1 certification, FortKnight Optics glasses offer the highest level of eye protection. Stay safe and focused, knowing you're fully protected.
  • Customized Comfort: Designed for small to medium/narrow face shapes (check out the 338 Tactical Sunglasses for larger faces) these glasses provide a comfortable, secure fit, enhancing your focus in all your activities.


In conclusion, prioritizing eye protection is imperative for anyone engaging in outdoor shooting activities. It serves as a crucial safeguard against projectile hazards, environmental challenges, and the risks of fragmentation or ricochets. By wearing appropriate eye protection, shooters not only protect themselves but also uphold the highest standards of safety and responsibility. So, before you embark on your next shooting excursion, equip yourself with the proper eye protection—it's an investment in safety and enjoyment that cannot be overstated.

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