Like a lot of people, as I’ve gotten older my vision just isn’t what it used to be. As a shooter, that makes it harder and harder to get a nice crisp focus on my front sight without wearing my prescription glasses- which we all know isn’t exactly ideal eyepro! For me, solution was to get some top focal shooting glasses, so I poked around online and found these SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses.
SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses Overview
When I opened the package (which shipped the day I ordered it) I found a black neoprene zippered pouch that has belt loops on the back. The pouch had slots for the frame with a set of lenses mounted, as well as storage for spare lenses. The package included the aforementioned pouch, the frame, and three sets of lenses- Clear, Amber, and Smoke. Also included was a set of instructions on how to change the lenses, and a microfiber cleaning cloth.
(Be sure to read all the way to the bottom so you can see their rating and find out where to get ’em!)
SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses Build Quality
Everything was well made. The stitching on the pouch was well executed. There was no visible mold flashing on the plastic frame. The lenses are well polished and even, with no distortion where there isn’t supposed to be.
The package is 7.35 by 3 inches and weighs 4 ounces. The lenses are made from a shatterproof polycarbonate and have coatings to resist both scratching and fogging (the anti-fog coating is double sided). These glasses exceed ANSI Z87.1+2015 requirements for impact protection and block 100% of UVA/UVB light. The bifocal portion is 3/8 inch from the top of the frame down by 1-1/4 inch wide.
SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses Durability
Though only weighing in at 4 ounces, these things are tough. I bent both the lenses and the frame quite a lot, and there were no failures. I also dropped them onto concrete from a height of 5 feet. There were NO scratches, dents, dings, or other damage.
SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses Ease of Use
To install the lens place the temple end of the lens in place then bend the center end until the notch can slip into the tab provided in the center of the frame. Removal is just the opposite- changing the lenses is very simple.
When you order your glasses, DO NOT simply specify your prescription strength for your normal bifocals. That magnification is calibrated for close in reading distance, and the focal length between where you read and where you hold your front sight is different. In order to find what strength you need, SSP Eyewear recommends that you take a trip to your local drug store’s reading glasses rack. Take a pen or pencil with you and hold it out at front sight distance as you try on glasses of differing strengths. When the pencil tip comes into focus, you will know which magnification level you need to order.
SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses Versatility
These glasses are GREAT for the shooting range and a training environment. The different colored lenses allow you to tailor them to changing light conditions, and if you get the Ultra kit you will also have the bottom focal lenses. This will allow you to have a top focal lens over your shooting eye while having a bottom focal lens over your other eye- which will enable you to use that eye to spot the target, as well as use the bottom bifocal to read maps, diagrams, instructions, etcetera. If you just pop the bottom focal lenses in both sides you have a pair of safety glasses that you can configure for either indoor or outdoor use.
These glasses are lightweight, easy to use, durable, and you can configure them in a variety of ways. They allow you to see your front sight in clear focus, just like you used to before time crept up and knocked you on the head. They have a nice pouch to protect them during storage, and they do exactly what they’re supposed to.
The only things I could find to complain about, and I’m reaching here, are:
- With the top bifocal lens in front of my non-dominant eye I have a hard time seeing the target. However, this can be remedied by getting the Ultra kit and using the bottom focal lens of the appropriate color on that eye. Problem solved.
- “They” say that you should train as you fight, and most civilian concealed carriers aren’t going to be walking around with these glasses on their heads. Consequently, when and if they have to engage in a gunfight for real, they won’t be able to see their front sights like they are accustomed to on the range. On the other hand, the muscle memory developed from being able to practice correctly and consistently should help to mitigate that, especially at typical concealed carry fight distances.
How Much Are SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses?
The Assorted kit with just the top focals will run about $40, with the Ultra kit with both top and bottom interchangeable lenses will set you back about $80 on the SSP website, and about $70 for both top and bottom on Amazon.
The SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses very definitely turned out to be the answer to my front sight focus issue. They’re a quality product that certainly gives you value for your money. Their versatility allows you to tailor them to your specific needs, whether it’s swapping from a smoke lens to a clear lens to accommodate changing light conditions, or if you need the top focal lens on your “shooting eye” so you can see your sight and the bottom focal lens on the other so you can see at a distance or read maps, diagrams, or examine anything else up close, these glasses leave you protected.
SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting GlassesAround $40
- Easy to use
- Configurable to meet different needs
- Included storage case
- Hard to see target with top focals in both sides
- Only good for shooting at the range- not practical for day-to-day use