Ballistic glasses are one of the types of protective eyewear that differ significantly from the models developed for civilians. Ballistic glasses were designed to protect the eyes from high velocity impacts such as bullets and ricochets. Several standards have been established to determine the protection and resistance of ballistic eyewear that provides military-grade impact protection. Today, there are three standards that determine the effectiveness of protective eyewear. These standards include ANSI, MIL and EN. In addition to resistance features such as the color of the frame and lenses, which vary between different models of protective eyewear.
What Are Ballistic Glasses Used for?
Standard safety glasses are generally preferred by people working in industry and on construction sites. Ballistic or tactical glasses, on the other hand, are for people who work with firearms. Tactical glasses are not only used to protect against objects scattered by weapons. They offer additional advantages for law enforcement in areas where there are strong sand and dust storms. Wearers of tactical glasses can be listed as follows:
- Airsoft players.
- Shooting range users.
- Professional hunters.
- Law enforcement officers such as soldiers, policemen and gendarmes.
What Are Civil Protective Glasses Standards and Certificates?
The European standard EN166 for ballistic protective eyewear for civilian wearers defines the durability of the lens according to the following criteria:
- Increased strength: 43 g. It withstands the fall of a 22 mm steel ball weighing 0.38 metres onto the lens from a height of 0.38 metres.
- Low impact energy: 0.86 g, movement of at least 45 m/s on impact. Weight and resistance of a 6 mm steel ball.
- Medium impact energy: 0.86 g of 6 mm at 120 m/s impact velocity. can be protected from a steel ball.
- High impact energy: 0.86 g of 6 mm at 190 m/s impact velocity. can withstand a steel ball.
The classification made by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is mostly used for civilian protective eyewear. The ANSI certification serves as a guide to the minimum standards that manufacturers must meet when producing protective eyewear. The standard ANSI Z87.1 aims to provide the necessary protection for potential hazards that may occur in the working environment. The protective elements covered by ANSI Z87.1 include:
- Blunt effect
- Splashes and droplets
- Small particles
What Are the Standards and Certificates for Military Ballistic Glasses?
The standard for ballistic glasses used for military purposes was set by the US military. The protection of tactical military eyewear is defined by two certificates: MIL-PRF -31013 and MIL-DTL -43511D. MIL-PRF -31013 indicates that the glasses are resistant to 0.15 calibre projectiles and MIL-DTL -43511D to 0.22 calibre projectiles. Ballistic glasses that meet either of these standards are listed on the US military's APEL (Authorised Protective Eyewear List). Most military-grade tactical eyewear tested in harsh conditions exceeds the standards of ANSI. Testing for the MIL-PRF -31013 standard produces about 7 times more impact energy than the ANSI Z87.1 standard.
What Features Increase the Comfort of Safety Glasses?
Although impact protection is the primary consideration when choosing ballistic glasses, there are also some features that increase comfort. Lightweight materials such as plastic, aluminium and titanium are usually used for the frames of ballistic shooting glasses. Adjustable or flexible frames are preferred for glasses that are meant to provide more comfort.
UV protection is very important when choosing tactical glasses for outdoor use. UV protection glasses prevent your eyes from being affected by the sun's harmful rays. In addition to UV protection, which is very useful for daylight use, different lens colours offer various advantages in ballistic glaasses.
Lenses in shades of grey are useful for avoiding glare when you are shooting in bright sunlight, snow and bright places. Shades of yellow and brown improve clear vision, which is weakened by diffuse light. These colours, which are very effective in cloudy environments, have a positive effect on the perception of depth and contrast.
Most tactical glasses, which come in different tints, have interchangeable lenses. This way you can change the colours of the ballistic glasses depending on the conditions of use.