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Every field that uses common sense requires eye protection of a minimum
requirement. There are 3 types of eye protection: Goggles, Glasses and
Goggles are larger than glasses, and are typically most common. They are
used by military and law enforcement, and give more protection than glasses
without sacrificing comfort. Manufacturers of goggles are: Arena, Eye
Safety Systems, WileyX, Oakley,
Black Hawk Industries also produces a small line of goggles.
Note: when buying goggles, most should have a little marking on the side
that says Z87, this signifies they are resistant to a 1/4" steel ball being
shot at them, therefore, this will make them safe for airsoft use. Also,
when purchasing goggles, do not purchase ski goggles, they are not safe for
If you are in question about the safety of your goggles, first look at the
lenses. Does it have "Z87" imprinted anywhere? If you don't see it, then it
may be that the manufacturer doesn't do that, or they're not Z87 certified.
Something can be BB resistant even if it is not Z87 approved, but with the
ANSI rating on it, that makes it official. If you still question the safety
of it, remove the lens if possible. Is it too flexible? Is is too thin? How
does it feel when you flick your fingernail against it?
Shooting your goggles is a last resort as it weakens the lenses, and how
many hits it can take in the future. If you want to be positively sure,
shoot it with the highest FPS gun you have from a few feet away 2-3 times. A
small mark after repeated hits should be normal, however, make sure the
goggles can stand up to repeated hits. This does weaken your lens however,
and it is advisable to get a new lens.
NOTE: Sand Dust and Wind goggles are not safe to Airsoft use
Sand Dust and Wind goggles are military issued goggles in the 90's, they
offer no ballistic protection. They are designed to prevent against the 3
elements they're titled after, Sand Dust and Wind goggles. If you really
want to wear these, you need ballistic lenses that are rated Z87.1, which
are rather hard to find.
Some of the more well known safety glasses manufacturers are Oakley, WileyX,
Glasses do not offer the amount of protection goggles do. Goggles provide a
full seal around your eyes, not allowing anything to enter. However, in
glasses there is a small gap, and it could be possible for a BB to go
through the gap, or for you glasses to fall off your face. In the event you
do prefer the compactness and size of glasses, the only glasses advisable to
use are WileyX's
climate controlled glasses with elastic bands,
however, these can fog really easily. Also, for the price it would just be
more advisable to get goggles instead.
Not suggested for skirmish use.
Glasses are good for target practice, in the event a BB bounces back at you,
because you will not be getting shot at directly.
Also known as paintball masks, they provide full face protection. All of
them supposedly stand up the impact of a paintball, so they are safe for
Airsoft use. They provide the most face protection out of all of these
listed, however, some do not like paintball masks as they muffle your voice
and fog easily. It can be hard to see your sights using such a mask, as it
prevents you from resting your cheek on the stock. Also, most paintball
masks aren't compatible with helmets.
If you want the protection a mask provides to your mouth or face, but do not
want a paintball mask, consider a balaclava, mouth guard or a shemagh.
MESH MASKS USERS! TAKE HEED TO THIS ADVICE!
Cheap bb's (Crossman, Infinity, .12's) and Biodegradable bb's have been
known to shatter upon striking the mesh. ALWAYS wear glasses of some kind
underneath mesh goggles to prevent fragments from hitting your eyes.
DON'T SKIMP OUT ON EYE PROTECTION! YOU ONLY HAVE 1 PAIR OF EYES!