Progressive Glasses and Shooting – Is It a Good Idea?


In this article, we will tell you about why you will probably have a hard time shooting with your progressive glasses and what you could do to improve your vision.

It is generally not advised to use your progressive glasses while shooting. The reason is a “sweet spot” for the iron sights that is just too small. Aberrations can change the shape of the picture and you probably need to leave your head position you would feel comfortable in.

What you should do instead of using your progressive glasses for shooting is to get a dedicated pair of glasses for shooting. This is highly recommended. In our customer base, we have a few national shooting champions. Depending on the discipline they shoot in there dedicated shooting glasses are totally different from each other.

What Glasses You Should Choose for Shooting Instead of Progressive Glasses

If you are serious about shooting visit an optician that has specialized knowledge in this realm. Otherwise, will have a hard time having to get your glasses fit in the right way. Look at the picture below. This is a typical example of shooting glasses that are used for rifles and pistols too.

the picture shows the positions of shooting glasses
In this picture, you can see that the distances and angles are simply others compared to a normal pair of glasses.

The really important thing here is the adjustment of the lenses which should be orthogonal to your eyes axis of vision. No normal frame for glasses can do that it is just impossible. But it is not only about the position of the lenses that could impair your vision while shooting. Please have a closer look at the short clip below. In this clip, I am tilting a lens and mimicking you looking askew through the lens in front of your eye.

Please pay attention to the light. It is a bright dot when the lens is right but when I tilt the lens slightly the dot is not a dot anymore. This would lead to blurry vision while shooting.

It is also the refraction itself. When we fit shooting glasses we also have two appointments with our customers. The first in inhouse in my shop. The second will be at the firing range near to us a few days later.

The reason for the two appointments is we need to see how to correct your vision best. And at the second appointment at the firing range, a fine adjustment will be made with you holding your gun and aiming. This step is unbelievable important as we as opticians only then see the distances of iron sight of your gun. And that changes from person to person.

So there can not be a general adjustment. Or a rule of thumb to get your prescription right. And that´s another point why progressive glasses are not working for shooting. The adjustments aren´t just made for that purpose.

What Are the Disadvantages of Shooting With Progressive Glasses?

  • excessive head and neck tipping
  • blurry vision
  • having a hard time finding the spot for clear vision
  • not being able to find the clear spot at all
  • a changed shape when looking at the iron sight

All those things probably will occur if you use your progressive glasses for shooting. Depending on the prescription it is a matter of time when you will experience the mentioned effects.

But What About If Shooting Glasses Did Not Cut It and Progressive Lenses Made Your Iron Sight Better?

In such a case it could be necessary to get an iris aperture in front of your eye for shooting. Usually, what happens if you are presbyope and the iron sight gets blurry with single vision lenses you will have a hard time with shooing. But with an iris aperture, the depth of field gets much improved which leads to way better vision of the iron sight and the distance.

The wide field of view you don´t get with progressive glasses while shooting is a problem

One thing I already mentioned is the head position that could lead to problems while shooting with normal glasses. Because in some disciplines you need to lay down and lookup. With normal frames, you probably end up looking at the upper rim of your glasses which obviously impairs your vision.

the picture shows a picture from a man who has shooting glasses

There are other special frames that give you an extremely wide field of view. They have a higher upper frame and therefore you get a wide view that is just unmatched to your normal glasses. Look at the picture above.

I hope I made clear while shooting with your progressive glasses isn´t the best solution for you. If you want to visit us please make an appointment beforehand. I added a picture below from a frame for shooting we are specialized for fitting them. Depending on the discipline you might need one or the other.

I wish you a great day.

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