June 11, 2012
Many of the shooters who attend the Detroit-area USPSA matches have known each other for years, if not decades. I've been shooting matches locally since the fall of 1993. Guys being guys, we all have encouraging comments for each other during competition —
"Hey, does your wife know you're wearing her shirt?"
"You decide to shoot with your eyes closed today to make it more challenging?"
"You really move fast for someone so fat."
The first time I showed up to a local match wearing a new pair of Point Ballistic glasses from Numa Sport Optics one of the regulars looked at me and said, "You shouldn't wear those, they're ugly."
Sigh. With friends like theseâ€¦..
In years past I have preferred yellow lenses for my shooting glasses because they seem to make the tan cardboard targets pop out against the background. The only problem with yellow, however, is that on very sunny days (and I've shot a number of matches outside Vegas), they can make things too bright. The lenses on the Numa glasses are described as "Mandarose". They are an unusual orangey color.
The Numa lenses cut the glare, but they are not very dark. In fact, on cloudy days they seem to make everything brighter, and increase the contrast. I have experimented, and can actually see more detail in a lot of lighting conditions with the glasses on. Let me repeat that — I CAN SEE BETTER with the glasses on in most lighting conditions.
What sold me on the glasses was the three hour hike I took with my two boys last Labor Day weekend across the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. This was a sunny day, and we spent hours going up and down partially grass-covered dunes on a hike to and from Lake Michigan. With those glasses on it was like I had a new pair of contacts in, the contrast was awesome, and the sunlight never bothered me.
There are no-slip rubber pads on the nose piece and the end of the arms, which have a good amount of give to them — I think they might survive me sitting on them, but I don't want to find out for sure, because I like them too much.
Numa makes a number of different models. The Point Ballistic glasses are designed to meet military impact tests. I have seen in person these glasses shot repeatedly with a 12-Gauge shotgun. The face of anyone wearing the glasses would have been shredded before the lenses were actually pierced by the lead shot (on the third shot a pellet hit a previous impact crater and was finally able to penetrate one lens). If I remember correctly it was #6 lead shot shot from about fifteen feet. If you Google them you will see all sorts of abusive tests being done to the glasses, which survived probably a lot better than anyone wearing them would.
The glasses are sold with clear and smoke-colored lenses, but I have no shortage of sunglasses and safety glasses laying around — the Mandarose lenses are what make the difference for me. They are available with black or desert tan frames.
I do have to admit, my fellow shooter had a point about how the glasses look on me. The orangey lenses do look a little unusual. You can see someone's eyes through them, which you normally can't do with "sunglasses". That is why I wear traditional tinted or clear-lensed safety glasses when I'm doing TV for The Sportsman Channel or getting my picture taken for articles. That said, I wear the Numa glasses when I am shooting or driving, because of their performance. Searching the internet I see that they are going for around $50, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than other glasses I've bought. If you're looking for some new sports or shooting glasses, check them out.