Many TFB readers already know that I love to talk about good optics. However, one type of optic that is often neglected is the eyewear. It doesn’t matter how good the scope is on your rifle, if your eyes are bad, then you won’t be using the mounted optic to its full potential. Most of the reflex collimator sights and fixed magnification prism optics do not feature diopter adjustment.
I was told by one of the well-known red-dot sight manufacturer that about 1/4 to 1/3 of their returns and repairs are actually nothing wrong with the optic, the real cause is that the end-user needs corrective eyeglass.
Tactical RX (a division of Sport Optical) based in Denver, Colorado, is specialized in making custom prescription eyewear for the shooting sport, law enforcement and military clienteles. The company was founded in 1993 by an Army Veteran that pioneered the techniques and procedures in making corrective prescription on curved lens without optical distortion. Tactical RX is one of the few eyewear providers that can do this and for some styles of lens, they are the only one in the world that can do it.
The technicians at Tactical RX hand grinds each set of lens according to the prescription of their clients. Each step is meticulously inspected and the lens are hand fitted into the customer’s frame. I would highly recommend you call them (303-455-3369) and talk to one of the Tactical RX’s technicians about choosing a frame and lens configuration that will fit your needs. Once I had talked to a Kyle from Tactical RX about my prescription, I received three frame samples to try out.
One of the popular frames available from Tactical RX is the Numa Point ($109 frame only). It comes in black, desert tan or camouflage. The sample I received features matte black finish with rubberized non-slip pads on the nose and temple areas. The Numa Point offers a perfect fit to my face.
The 2nd frame sample is the Numa Chisel ($139 frame only). It features an open frame design for the lens and it has a set of conformal rubber nose pads. The lightweight frame is strong yet very flexible and it’s coated with matte RealTree camouflage finish. It’s also available in the standard black and pink color. The Numa Chisel is very comfortable and it will be a tough choice between this and the Numa Point.
My 3rd frame sample is the Smith Elite’s Director Tactical ($99 frame only). It’s styled in a popular tactical sunglass shape and it come in matte black only. As with all Smith Elite’s tactical line, the Director Tactical frame comes with a lifetime warranty. For me the Smith Elite Director doesn’t feel as good as the two Numas but it’s more affordable.
One of the Tactical RX’s lens specialties is what they called the “Almost Lens”. It’s a specially ground inverted bifocal design which gives shooters of iron sights a clear sight picture of the front sight. This is a popular lens choice for many pistol shooters.
A close-up of the inverted bifocal lens. A small horizontal dividing line is shown near the middle of on the right lens. The lens surface above that is grounded for seeing close. The shooter can use that to line up the front and rear sights. Then he or she just needs to tilt up very slightly and use the lower lens surface, which is grounded to see distance, to see the target.
The open-frame design of the Numa Chisel is not only a weight saving feature but it also increases the field of view for the shooter. However, Kyle from Tactical RX told me that the open-frame design has some limitations on how the lens prescription could be ground, as well as the limited availability of lens colors.
I was surprised to find the mandarose color high-contrast lens works better than the yellow lens that I usually use on my non-prescription shooting eyewear. The mandarose resembles a shade of orange color with some magenta-tint added. The mandarose color lens allow me to pick up targets faster from the high desert background.
The Smith Elite setup features dark color lens to serve the role of sunglasses. It works great in the bright outdoors. Kyle recommended adding the polarized lens coating for use in the desert. Tactical RX also offer extra dark tint coating for those who need it.
My best friend Chris Wilson is wearing the Numa Chisel model. Chris and I still have fond memories of hitting targets at 500-meters with just iron-sights in our younger days during range qualifications. Now both of us can’t see past 100 yards without our prescription eyeglass.
Tactical RX’s eyewear with prescription lens starts at $195. The Almost Lens inverted bifocal and progressive models start at $249. Those are actually very reasonably priced for a set of custom-made eyewear that’s tailored to your needs. I paid more than that for my last couple pairs of regular eyeglass and those don’t even offer ballistic protection. The total cost of a set of Tactical RX eyewear depends on the choice of the frame, lens prescription and the lens coating applied to it.
If you are a shooting sport enthusiasts that wears eyeglass, you may want to consider checking out Tactical RX for your next set of dedicated shooting eyewear. Those that are active duty military or law enforcement, Tactical RX will give you a 20% discount on their products and service.