Revision Sawfly Ballistic Eyeglasses Review

If you are planning a vacation to a nice region of Afghanistan courtesy of Uncle Sam, you might want to think about protecting your vision. The Revision Sawfly eyeglasses might be just what you need.

Perfect for the service member, police officer or part-time mall ninja in your life, the Sawfly promises a high level of protection without sacrificing optical clarity or style.

Revision manufactures a wide range of eyewear designed for extreme duty environments. The Sawfly is no exception, meeting a variety of civilian and military standards for protection.

To demonstrate the level of protection provided, Revision produced videos of their products being shot with 12 gauge #6 shot (1.25 ounce load, 1300 fps at 10 yards). While plainly scarred, the lenses never fail. Pretty darn impressive.

But, I wanted to check these out for myself. So, I ordered up the Sawfly Shooter’s Kit and gave them a real workout.

General Sawfly Information

The Revision Sawfly are full wrap-style spectacles, offering protection forward and to the sides.

The Sawfly lenses are interchangeable, and easily swap out. I was concerned that by changing lenses, the frame would become loose and the lenses would not be securely held. My worries were unfounded, as the lenses always seemed very secure.

The kit I ordered came with a clear lens, a smoke lens (gray tinted) and a vermillion lens. All of the lenses offer full UV A/B protection and the same level of impact resistance.

The Revision Sawfly exceeds the civilian impact standards of ANSI Z87.1-2010 and the military standards for spectacles (MIL-PRF-31013, clause 3.5.1.1) and goggles (MIL-DTL-43511D, clause 3.5.10).

The glasses come with a retention strap, which seemed to work very well. However, the strap can be easily removed if you do not want to use it.

Overall Evaluation

Over a six month period, I used the Sawfly spectacles exclusively for all shooting. Additionally, I have used them as eye protection for other mundane projects like mowing the property and running chainsaws.

I have a really poor track record for self-injury. If something can fly up, lash out or cut me, it will. So having good eye protection is very important.

For all of these “low threat” activities, the Sawfly glasses performed admirably, keeping 100% of the brass, tree branches and other debris from causing and injury.

According to Revision, the lenses offer “flawless optics” and “distortion-free vision.” I don’t have the scientific equipment to test these claims, but I can say that none of the lenses introduced any perceptible distortions when I wore them.

I had two other people wear the Sawfly glasses, and both commented that their vision seemed clearer with the glasses on than without any spectacles on. I doubt that the Sawfly offers any magical vision improvement, rather I suspect the UV blocking characteristics helped cut the glare. That’s just a guess, but it is MY guess.

Shooting Testing

Fortunately, I did not find myself in any shootouts or similarly dire circumstances to test the limits of the Sawfly glasses. But, that doesn’t mean that I could not create a situation in which I could test these glasses.

The neighbors generally disapprove of me shooting 12 gauge slugs in their direction, but I can usually get away with BB guns and air rifles. So, this is where I went.

To start the test, I brought out my daughter’s Daisy Model 1998 BB gun. For those not familiar with it, the model 1998 is very similar to the classic Red Ryder, but it is pink.

The Model 1998 launches a standard BB at a maximum of 350 fps, so I had every confidence it would not penetrate the Revision Sawfly glasses. After about 10 rounds with no visible damage, I determined I was right, and the Sawfly survived to round two.

Round two was a lot more intense. This time I broke out the Crosman NPSS air rifle. This rifle will push a .22 caliber pellet to 1000 fps. This posed a significantly greater possibility of penetrating the Sawfly lens.

I put a total of 10 pellets into the glasses from about 15 feet away. Five rounds of Crosman Premier 14.3 grain went into the right side of the lens, and five rounds of the Crosman Field Hunting 14.3 grain pointed pellets.

None of the pellets penetrated the lenses. None of the pellets caused any chipping or other fragments on the inside of the lens.

The lens was definitely dinged and damaged on the outside of the lens, but the eyes would have been protected.

Keep in mind that these glasses are not designed, nor will they stop bullets. A 5.56 round will shatter them on the way to demolishing your brain box. But, they can keep lower velocity bits of shrapnel and other debris from injuring your eyes. Every little bit counts.

Conclusion

I highly recommend the Revision Sawfly glasses for virtually any purpose. The offer very good protection, but you do not sacrifice optical clarity by wearing them.

The ability to swap lenses to meet your varied needs is a real bonus.

If you want the best in protection for your eyes, give the Revision Sawfly a look.



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • charles222

    Meh. Had a pair of these a couple deployments ago and didn’t like them at all; Wiley X, ESS, and Oakley all offer a superior product. The ESS ICE is probably the best from a budget perspective; you get two complete sets (dark * clear) for like 45 dollars. Oakley M Frames are the most comfortable, but also most expensive; they start at 94 dollars from what I’ve seen and just go up from there, although you can buy a frame plus a lens seperately and save yourself a few dollars. The Wiley X brands (been awhile since I owned a pair) were pretty comfortablr and IIRC occupied about the same price bracket as the Oakleys.

  • Chuck

    Do these protective glasses work over regular glasses?

  • I have been using Sawfly almost a year now, and got nothing but good thing to say. What I like the most is the ability to use it with the Rx Carrier, so you can have your custom prescription lenses along with the Sawfly protection. For people like me that need prescription lenses, this is a must.

  • David

    But how do they look on Bono?

  • Geoff

    I had a pair of these when I was in ROTC, and although I didn’t shoot a BB gun or #6 shot at them, I can say they protected my eyes from a lot of nasty stuff. They held up quite well against a lot of tree branches and flying brass.

  • James

    These are standard issue in the Canadian Armed Forces, love them.

  • Andrew (European Correspondent)

    I am more concerned about small, sharp-edged fragments than rounded or soft-edged projectiles. I saw the issued ESS eye pro save vision on a number of occasions – and even a life, once. A large chunk of metal with sharp edges penetrated the “lens” enough to destroy the eye, but was stopped before it could continue on to the brain.

  • Joe Schmoe

    Nice review.

    Charles, I have a pair of ESS Crossbows that I recently got; maybe I can do a review here on them?

  • Armored

    I’m leaning more towards the ESS Crossbow. I had an issue with the data sheet pdf on Revision’s website for the Sawfly, particular that part under ‘INTERCHANGEABLE’ that says, “……100% protection from harmful UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays.” I had a talk with ESS over the phone while comparing both data sheets of the Crossbow and Sawfly and I asked, “Why don’t your glasses protect from UV-C rays?”. The Lady who answered put me on hold and then she came back and said that it was ,”all fluff.” She then went on to say that the UV-C rays are dissipated in the ozone layer. She suggested a quick search on google.

    So I went and did a quick search and I saw that UVC rays “do not penetrate the atmosphere.” Now, I’ve never worn either Crossbow or Sawfly but I wondered why Revision was beeing dishonest about the UV-C rays. It makes me question their integrity.

    • Tyler

      They aren’t being dishonest; they are stating that you can wear these glasses into space and still be protected. Just because most of us don’t need that feature doesn’t make them disingenuous

  • Jeremy

    If you actually wear these regularly, you’ll find they scratch(and bad, deep, highly visible while wearing scratches) so insanely easy, that they are more a hindrance then and aid.

  • Daniel

    I love revision products. I had 2 pairs of the Hellfly sunglasses. One pair was stolen from me and the other was lost in the river during a hiking trip.

  • Matt G.

    Armored, it’s possible they included ub-c rays in the description to appeal to pilots, particularly high altitude pilots, who are maybe more in danger of exposure to such rays? Idk.

  • Vrt

    I have them. I bought them for ASG and when i was testing them (400FPS, plastic, from 5 cm) I made damage. Now i have light distortion on clear lens. They are useless now… I can’t shot normal guns in shadow lens too, bcs i see nothing through it… What’s more this glasses on my face do not protect my eyes from the sides. I’m using it like a normal sunglasses now..