Will shooting glasses improve your shooting?

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To shoot well your vision has to be top of its game. Without your vision shooting becomes impossible as depth perception and hand eye coordination are fundamental. This easily becomes impaired in the rain or sunlight and this is where glasses can come into play. They don’t just improve vision but can protect your eyes from the elements.

At any clay ground, you’ll see cabinets full of glistening pairs of shooting glasses. Colours from vivid purple to pitch black there are more options than you might expect. Pilla who cater to the top of the market offer 23 different coloured lenses. Now while they all provide different benefits will they improve your shooting.

They also provide good protection, rather than being made out of typical glass the polymer construction makes them rugged against impacts. This is especially pertinent when clay shooting where clay shards can come from anywhere.

Ed lyons shooting glasses
Ed Lyons with his Pilla glasses

Why would you need shooting glasses?

The idea behind most lenses is to reduce the amount of glare from the sun and improve the visibility of the target. While this sounds just like sunglasses it becomes a little more complicated. With sunglasses, the purpose is just to reduce the glare and leave you with some visibility. With shooting glasses it’s essential that not only the glare is reduced but the visibility of the target is improved.

We’ve all been stood on a peg or a stand and been staring straight into the sun. All of a sudden any distance perception is gone and you’re literally chasing shadows. A cap can improve this slightly but is a second choice over eyewear. While a set of sunglasses may help, your vision will be dark rather than improved. Shooting glasses aim to do both which should improve your shooting experience.

Additionally, for those who would usually wear prescription glasses, these are perfect. Giving you both your vision and improved target acquisition. Wearing regular glasses leaves you vulnerable to steaming up which can ruin a days shooting. These lenses are often treated accordingly to help stop this from happening.

Pilla Glasses colour options

Is the lense colour important?

With so many options of lenses available, you may be thinking you need to have all the colours just in case. In reality, this isn’t the case especially for game shooting. A typical day’s game shooting weather is fairly predictable. The later in the season the sooner the dark rolls in but it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter every light the lens caters for. Looking through the list of options available you can be sure you won’t have much use for the indoor target lens and the desert lense in the UK at least.

Unless you’re a competitive clay shot you could be content with a couple of lenses. If you’re looking it glasses it’s likely because of going shooting on a particularly bright day. If this is the case then you’ll be looking towards the light condition lenses. These colours tend to be close to purple or blue and they get darker as you combat brighter conditions.

Instructor using her shooting glasses

Are they worth it?

This is a tough question but ultimately comes down to the individual and where they shoot. For those shooting in tree topped valleys the light might not be a big factor. However, in the flatter parts of the country where you’re shooting over a wood stood in the open, you may be more susceptible to light.

There’s no doubt that the glasses are effective when trying to shoot it nonnormal light conditions. The right glasses can even improve vision in low light conditions and neutralise overly bright conditions. The glasses certainly suit the clay shot more than the game shot but the benefits can suit either.


If you are looking to eke out the best of your shooting then shooting glasses may help you on your way. They won’t improve poor technique but may give you the extra half second you may need when shooting. For those who’d usually wear glasses they can be immensely helpful. Not only returning standard vision but also providing the benefits of target visibility improvement.

I wouldn’t advise glasses for those who are comfortable shooting as they are. Unless you’re really looking to get the best out of your shooting then they may become an unwanted distraction. Having to think about the best lenses for your day can be added pressure that you don’t need. They are worth a try though, they may be the added ingredient you didn’t know you needed.

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