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How important is eye protection to you?


Gear Discussion

View Poll Results: What eye pro are YOU wearing??
$3 and I can't prove from factory they're actually Z87.1+ 12 2.94%
Z87.1+ shop glasses, uvex, pyrex, whatever, they're a brand and have test documents available 104 25.49%
MIL-SPEC. My eye pro eats SHRAPNEL for BREAKFAST 264 64.71%
I wear mesh, it's BB proof but not shrapnel often as that ever happens... 15 3.68%
I'm gonna go upgrade my eye protection now... 13 3.19%
Voters: 408. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 6th, 2013, 15:11   #1
Not Eye Safe, Pretty Boy Maximus on the field take his picture!
ThunderCactus's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
How important is eye protection to you?

So this seems REALLY unnecessary, and the answer may be blatantly obvious to most, but it's a preference that actually swings both ways shockingly enough.

So here's me; I work in industry, I get eye protection speeches jammed in through my ears constantly, I'm fully aware of risk, and more over, having been on a safety committee, I know what to look for in eye protection.

What do I look for when I'm shopping for new lenses?
1) Glasses or goggles?
What level of protection I'm comfortable with, and I'm okay with glasses.
***special note: glasses are made for dozens of different types of faces. If at all possible try on a pair of glasses before buying them. Even if it's someone elses glasses at a game. make sure the contours fit your face well.

FYI for European standards they go by CE and EN166. Simply being marked "CE" doesn't necessarily mean anything; they could just block 99% UVA/UVB.
EN166 has the actual letter markings denoted the ballistic protection of the glasses.

2) Safety rating! Z87.1+
Z87.1 is rated to just over 1 joule. It's specifically a dust shield. Keep in mind safety GLASSES have lower standards than safety GOGGLES. And this is going off the 2003 standard.
Z87.1+ is around 3-4 joules, "good enough" for airsoft under normal conditions, assuming everyone is obeying the joule limits.

After finally being able to find a full, completely copy of the Z87.1-2010 documentation (couldn't freaking find one a year ago for some reason), it seems that they're just using the deflection test as proof of high impact resistance. Couldn't find any evidence that they were still doing a high velocity impact test, but apparently the deflection test doubles as the high velocity impact test

CSA Z94.3
Section 229
(a) safety eyewear must meet the impact strength requirements of the CSA Standards listed – able to withstand the impact of a 6.4 millimeter diameter steel ball travelling at 46.5 metres/second.
0.982g at 152.5fps - 1.06j
Equivalent to Z87.1, and not nearly good enough for airsoft

If it's mil-spec rated;

Ballistic Resistance
The ballistic resistance of the spectacles shall be such that they will pass a Vo test using a 0.15 caliber, 5.8 grain, T37 shaped projectile at a velocity of 640 to 660 feet per second when tested as specified in


Ballistic resistance. The ballistic resistance of the lenses shall be such that they will pass a V0 test using a 0.22 caliber, 17.0 + 0.5 grain, T37 shaped projectile at a velocity of 550 to 560 feet per second when tested as specified in 4.3.5.

Same test as above, with more impacts and requirements. (Thanks to docholiday for that one)
Test specifics here

Wherein a "T37 shaped projectile" is a BULLET. And 17 grains is 1.1 GRAMS. At 550fps. That's about 15 joules of force for MIL-DTL-43511D, and 7.5 joules for MIL-PRF-31013.
Yeah, that'll stop a BB alright.

3) Documentation.
How do you know some chinese manager looking to make a quick $ didn't just use a mold with "Z87.1+" stamped in it and fill it with clear plastic? You know, because China has a reputation for doing shit like that.
Documentation means actual tests were performed, it means quality control, it means LIABILITY.

Okay some of you will think this is stupid. You can get a $5 pair of safety glasses that do the same thing as a $50 pair, right?
Where's that extra money go?
If it does turn out your $5 pair was just recycled paper bags, and it shatters in game and you lose an eye, what's your next course of action? Sue the manufacturer! Sue China? Yeah good luck with that.
***Also keep an eye out for REPLICAS. If you see a $140 set of oakley M-frames being sold for $30, chances are pretty darn high that they are fake. Good luck trying to sue oakley with a set of fake glasses.

5) More importantly, BRAND!
These people make thousands, maybe millions of lenses a year, and they can get sued or fined for hundreds of thousands of dollars for every single one that breaks. That's a lot of nerve wracking potential lawsuits out there.
I know soldiers wear the same lenses I have, day in day out, and I know some of them have seen how good the protection really is.
You never hear soldier say "Yeah those $5 princess auto glasses saved my eyes when our tank got hit with an RPG and it was like a frag went off inside!"

So obviously the minimum rating of your glasses needs to be at least 2.3 joules which is 500fps on .20s. That covers normal airsoft use.
There are some clubs that allow bolt action or other guns up to 600fps on a .20 (3.34j). You need to be aware that this is OVER the test limit for Z87.1+, and you should adjust your minimum eye protection requirements accordingly.
As well, there are some clubs that just don't chrono often or at all. We only chrono'd for fun back in the day, no one was ever required to chrono on a given weight of ammo. Be aware that some stock gas rifles, particularly 20" barrel length rifles, can shoot well over 500fps stock. I once clocked in a WE M16 at a whopping 570fps on .20s, just image what it would have shot on .36s... Figure it would have been well over 4.5j
There's also the occasional douchebag that wants to crank up the fps on their GBBR/P*/SMP/whatever.

So given all these unlikely, but very possible scenarios, I feel pretty safe having a minimum protection of 7.5j

Now the point of this is not to get you to run out and go buy a $50 set of glasses.
The point is to educate you so YOU can make that decision YOURSELF.
Either you're happy with $5 glasses that may shatter when hit and leave you screwed with a lost eye and nobody to sue. Or you feel safe in the fact your glasses are combat tested to protect you from high velocity shrapnel.

Last edited by ThunderCactus; February 12th, 2017 at 00:18..
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Old June 6th, 2013, 15:21   #2
"bb bukakke" KING!
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ottawa
for those saying 'oh my ACM has z81 stamped on them' ... chinese factories are notorious for counterfeiting trademarks and safety stampings/etching. They may say they are of higher quality when they are not. I will buy factory seconds or ghost shift merchandise from time to time, but if it's a matter of safety? Hell no, I buy from a reputed brand that I know won't be counterfeit.
I futz with V2s, V3s and V6s. I could be wrong... but probably, most likely not, as far as I know.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 15:26   #3
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Barrie
I'm happy with my Smith optics OTW Turbo Fan Goggles.
Don't fog, Working on getting the RX insert for them, Quiet as all hell.
And most importantly
Meets US standard MIL-DTL-43511D, ANSI Z87.1-2003 and EN166 standards
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Old June 6th, 2013, 15:34   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Montreal, QC
1. I have both glasses and goggles; use glasses most often.

2. MIL-DTL-43511D (Goggles), MIL-PRF31013 (glasses)

3. brand name product (ESS) purchased from a reputable source (CP Gear and DS Tactical [back in the day])

4/5. stick to reputable brands.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 16:07   #5
2 Cent Tactical
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: NB
1 - Both glasses and goggles. I like to use glasses more, goggles only when required.

2 - Glasses - EXCEEDS ANSI Z87.1-2010 / EXCEEDS MIL-DTL-43511D, CLAUSE 3.5.10
Goggles - EXCEEDS ANSI Z87.1-2010 / EXCEEDS MIL-DTL-43511D, CLAUSE 3.5.10

3 - Glasses issued w/ docs, Goggles bought straight from revision, came with docs.

4 - Both Revision
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Old June 6th, 2013, 16:16   #6
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Orangeville/Hamilton
I'm just starting out, but as far as I'm concerned this is the most important piece of gear (more than the gun). I've got some ESS Profile goggles on the way from Jeroon (ArmyIssue), and I'm not going anywhere near a field until they arrive.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 16:29   #7
Oh we do hate you, just never felt like wasting the time to give you a user title :P
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Toronto, Ontario
I choose two answers. I love my mesh at fields that allow it (ie fields that dont use bio bbs. And for the most part even a goggle hit doesnt cause bb particles (only at super close range and you should be aiming center mass if im that close) but at all other fields i rock ess.
The reason i love my mesh is im often in a ghillie suit and any/all goggles even with fans and good anti fog will fog up and or get water build up.
Originally Posted by m102404 View Post
Hectic....FFS start writing in coherent sentences!!!
Originally Posted by JDoorn View Post
Thanks Hectic,
While your posts are sometimes a difficult read, you sure are helpfull
Lvl. 3 certified sniper
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Old June 6th, 2013, 16:31   #8
Official ASC Geomorphologist
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Montr?al south shore, Qc
I wear exclusively goggles. I have ESS, Wiley-X, Revision and Pyramex goggles. They are all great but sometimes they will fog. On these days, I use those cheap 15$ steel mesh goggles. Been shot in the mesh often, never ever had shrapnel, even from bio BBs.

It would be great if the poll let us choose more than one option to reflect the fact that a lot of people might use different levels of protection depending on weather conditions and type of games.
Keep quiet. Sound travels faster than BBs.

Québec province's master age verification representative.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 16:37   #9
"bb bukakke" KING!
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Ottawa
I have a pair of ess strykers for goggles and smith optics aegis for glasses, I interchange between them to keep comfortable, indoors I will almost always use goggles, there's some pretty crazy ricochets possible.
I futz with V2s, V3s and V6s. I could be wrong... but probably, most likely not, as far as I know.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 16:38   #10
Cobalt Caliber
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Bowmanville Ont
I am okay with Glasses outdoors. Indoors goggles are a must.

I stick to revision ballistic rated eyewear. I prefer it over everything else I've tried.
Originally Posted by FirestormX View Post
I know that isn't really what you asked, but it's the internet, and I like to type things that don't matter.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 16:41   #11
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Brandon, Mb
I wear my Oakleys when it's very bright out, but I usually just wear a set that came with my G&G m4.

Though I can't find my Oakleys and have no idea where they went Might be time for a new pair anyway
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Old June 6th, 2013, 16:44   #12
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Like they say at CN. You can walk with a wooden leg you can grab with a metal claw but you cant see with a glass eye. Dont cheap out when it comes to eye wear.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 17:12   #13
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Orillia, Ontario
1- Goggles and glasses (I prefer full seal)

2- Goggles exceed ANSI Z87.1-2010, MIL-DTL-43511D, Clause
Glasses exceed ANSI Z87.1-2010, MIL-PRF-31013, Clause

3- Brand name with documentation from from an authorized retailer.

4- Buy a known, reputable brand. Not some Chinese crap.

Durate et vosmet rebus servate secundis.
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Old June 6th, 2013, 18:23   #14
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: France, Canada (Montréal)
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Always ESS glasses for me, currently Crossbow.
I have tried goggles before but never could find any that fitted comfortably, they always hurt after a few minutes and had not very good venting except for Turbofans... and yes they hurt me too.
Tous les jours nous nous endormons plus instruits mais pas forcément moins bêtes...
I can do a CTRL+ATL+DEL on your gun !

Gun doc in Montreal on AEG, GBB, GBBR and Bolt rifle (gaz and spring)
Heavy custom builder (including painting)

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Old June 6th, 2013, 19:22   #15
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Markham & Stouffville - Ontario - Canada
Most of the time I got on a pb mask and it works. I do have some Sellstrom odyssey goggles that I will run once I find mouth protection I like. I tested them out with all I got at point blank & with a daisy shooting lead pellets. I trust them.
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