Eye Protection: A Non-Graphic Reminder To Cover Your Eyeballs

    Use eye protection when shooting

    Dallin Prisbrey's damage to WML from bullet fragment.

    The title image from Dallin Prisbrey will hopefully spur some self-reflection for those that still don’t wear eye protection when shooting. Fortunately, for Dallin, he was not injured to bring us this good reminder that eye protection is a necessary piece of equipment when shooting. Dallin had been shooting his Glock 19 at AR500 rated steel targets. He guessed he was about 10 to 15 yards away and said that the steel was hung at an angle with chains. Dallin said that a fragment ricocheted back and broke the lens of the Streamlight TLR-1HL mounted on his pistol. Having a fragment strike his light with enough force to break the lens gave Dallin pause to reflect on how just a slight change in trajectory could have directed the fragment to his eyes.

    There is some debate about how close is too close for shooting steel targets, but even beyond the distance most would consider “safe” is still in range for small fragments to pepper those standing behind the shooter. Even if you’re not shooting steel targets, eye protection is still highly recommended due to the fact that guns are machines, and all machines are prone to malfunction eventually. Then there’s the potential for hand loads and even factory loads to cause “kaBOOMs”.

    TFB TV’s James Reeves “got his science on” to demonstrate a variety of different problems guns can cause to shooters’ eyes. He was specifically testing Tactical Rx eye protection in that video as well as providing good humor in the process.

    I recently visited the museum home of William Larrabee, the 13th Governor of Iowa. He had been blinded in one eye when a rifle blew up in his face. Most of the photos and paintings of him were at an angle so as to see his one good eye. Even though eye protection wasn’t available in his day, it just goes to show that bad things happen, so it never hurts to be prepared since the technology is available to us.

    Eye protection wasn't available to William Larrabee

    One of the few images of William Larrabee showing the right side of his face after his injury. Image from findagrave.com

    TFB TV’s Miles V. made a great video all about shooting steel targets. Miles covered the safety considerations up front in the video and I recommend watching it if you’ve never shot steel before or if you want a refresher.

    If you’re reading this, then it’s probably safe to say that you rely on your eyes all day, every day. Eye protection is cheap and readily available at the nearest Walmart, sports store or your local gun shop, so if you don’t have any yet, I highly recommend buying a pair (or more if you take others to the range with you) so that you can continue to enjoy the shooting sports and, of course, reading TFB. Stay safe out there.

    Doug E

    Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he’s taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT gmail DOT com.