Our eyeballs are important. Without them itâ€™s hard to drive a car, fully appreciate a double rainbow, or throw longing gazes at that voluptuous blonde across the bar. Makes sense that we should protect our eyes since they do so much for us. Protection for our eyes is particularly important when it comes to firearms since we are subjecting ourselves to hot gas, lead particles, or even chunks of metal from steel targets and ricochets.
Most people I see at the range are shooting with whatever cheap pair of plastic glasses they could find at the store. This might be alright most of the time for the average plinker who is just standing still and shooting at paper targets, but you never know when some hot brass or a chunk of dirt or metal is going to get thrown into your face at a decent velocity.
Given this, it’s not a bad idea for even the average shooter to grab a higher quality pair of shooting glasses. What about the â€œshooting enthusiastâ€, military operator, or law enforcement officer? You NEED a high quality pair of eye protection! You are running and gunning, rolling around in the dirt, performing malfunction drills, and shooting at reactive steel targetsâ€¦those $8 specials are not going to cut it.
Enter Revision and their line of military eyewear. I was unfamiliar with Revision when Monderno asked me to do this review. So I went to their website to check them out and saw that they have a wide range of products including goggles, sunglasses, prescription glasses, and even helmet mounted face protection. When I received my package from Monderno, I opened it to find the Revision Sawfly model of shooting glasses.
What I received was the â€œDeluxe Kitâ€. This package included a soft, zippered carrying case, Sawfly frame in black, clear lenses, smoke lenses, yellow lenses, and a head strap, microfiber pouch, and anti-fog cloth.
The Carrying Case
The case that came with my Sawfly kit is pretty nice. It is made of a very light and thin nylon. Noâ€¦ itâ€™s not the latest, high speed, 500-denier Cordura in kryptek or multicam, with molle attachments for extra magazines pouches and medical kits. Why should it be though? Youâ€™re just supposed to put your glasses inside. It’s a black zippered pouch with the Revision logo in a subtle grey across the top.
The back of the pouch has two strips of nylon sewn vertically. You can thread your belt through these strips for waist carry if you wanted. You could also get a little creative with some para-cord or malice-clips and attach the pouch to your gear. I chose to just clip the case to my call out bag with the plastic keychain style clip sewn on the side of the pouch.
The pouch has a large pocket for the Sawfly glasses, then it features three dividers that allow you to store extra lenses. These dividers are secured to the interior of the carrying case with hook and loop. So they can be easily removed if you do not need to carry around spare lenses. The interior of the carrying case and the sides of the dividers are all made from a soft material that will not scratch up your lenses.
Overall it is a decent case, but I do wish it had a little more padding and after a few weeks of use I did notice a seam or two come loose from the stitching.
The drawstring pouch and anti-fog cloth are fairly standard. The drawstring pouch is made from a thin material that feels a bit like microfiber. You slip your glasses in the bag and secure them with the pull strings. The bag works as advertised and keeps your lenses from getting scratched and can also be used to wipe your lenses off.
Included in the kit is an â€œanti-fog clothâ€. Iâ€™d be lying if I said I had any idea what this cloth was treated with. All I can say for sure is that it smells a bit like the dried seaweed that they wrap sushi with. The package says that the cloth should be used to wipe off the lenses and then should be restored in the bag it came in to preserve the anti-fogging properties of the cloth. The package also claims the cloth is good for about 25 uses.
Far from a scientific test, I put on the Sawfly frames with clear lenses and sat in my car with the air conditioner set to â€œreally really coldâ€. The weather was hot and extremely humid outside. So when I got out of my car, the lenses immediately fogged up so much I could not see out of them. This was expected. I then took the anti-fog cloth and wiped the lenses down. I then repeated the test. When I got out of my car the second time the Sawflyâ€™s still fogged up, but I did notice that I was still able to see a bit through most of the lense and that a few small sections of the lense hardly fogged up at all. The cloth didn’t seem to completely eliminate fogging, but it seemed to help at least a little.
A nice extra included in the kit is an adjustable strap that snaps in to the back of the Sawfly arms. The strap seems to be made of some type of elastic and comes with a sliding buckle for adjustment.
The Revision Sawfly glasses are certified to ANSI Z87.1 and EN 166. The writing on the box indicates that the â€œhigh velocity impact performance of the Sawfly System is 3 times greater than required by ANSI Z87.1â€. It also states that the Sawfly â€œexceeds U.S. Military Eyewear Ballistic Impact Resistance Requirements, MIL-PRF-31013, Clause 18.104.22.168.” If you visit the Revision webpage, you will find a pretty interesting video of the Sawfly being shot with a shotgun. The glasses were pretty dinged up but there was no penetration.
Aesthetically the glasses look like standard sporting style glasses. They are a wrap-around design and form a nice seal across my eyebrows. There is a tiny gap between the sides of my face and the lenses, and also a tiny gap between the bottom of the lenses and my cheeks, but overall I felt the glasses provided sufficient coverage around my eyes. This of course will vary with different faces.
The Sawflys are available in small, regular, and large which is a great option considering many similar glasses are a one-size only affair. Each pair of Sawfly glasses is also adjustable. You can grab the arms of the frames and extend them if your head is a little bigger. There are notches in the frame that allow the arms to lock in to one of four lengths. My glasses were a size â€œregularâ€. Even at the smallest setting, I still had a small section of the arms poking past my ears. So perhaps a size small would have served me better. Occasionally the back of the arms might get pushed forward causing the glasses to start sliding off.
Even though they may be a size too big, the arms of the frames grabbed my head securely and even during high impact activities I did not experience the glasses coming loose. I ran sprints and performed various shooting drills with rifle and pistol in different shooting positions. The Sawflys did not slip, fall off, or interfere with my rifle cheek weld. They also worked fine with different styles of hearing protection. Thumbs up as shooting glasses.
Another great feature of the Sawfly are the interchangeable lenses. No need for different pairs of glasses for different scenarios. The Sawfly can pretty much handle them all. The lenses pop right off and installation just requires you to load one corner of the lenses into the frame, and then push the rest of the lens in to place until you hear and feel a snap.
I shot at an outdoor range in the bright Texas sun with the smoke lenses installed. They worked just like a good pair of sunglasses and kept most of the glare out of my eyes. They actually helped keep some of the sweat out of my eyes as well due to the good seal against my eyebrows.
To test the yellow lenses, I wore them when conducting a forced entry search/arrest warrant. The warrant was executed past midnight and required the breaching of a door and clearing a large, dimly lit house. The yellow tint in the glasses gave good contrast in low light and actually made things a little easier to see. The red dot on my rifle looked a little funny through the yellow lenses, but I got used to it quickly.
For a thorough test of the clear lenses, I basically turned all the lights off in my house at night and walked around. High speed, I know. Not much to report here. The lenses are clear. I could see through them. Thumbs up.
During some of my testing the lenses got knocked around a little bit, but I took pretty good care of them overall. So Iâ€™m not sure how much I tested the â€œscratch resistanceâ€ of these bad boys, but they definitely donâ€™t seem too PRONE to getting scratches any more than other glasses of similar quality.
The only real issue I had with the Sawfly glasses were when I wore them with a Kevlar helmet. I tried them on with a Crye-Precision Airframe and a MICH style helmet. The problem I had was with the shape of the lenses. The angle at the far right and far left of the lens would always get pushed up against the retention straps of the helmet. So when I turned my head in certain directions, the straps of the helmet would push the glasses off my face. Tightening the head strap helped mitigate this problem, but occasionally the glasses would still get pushed away from my face and the tight head strap would just pull the edge of the nose pieces painfully into the bridge of my nose.
That being said, I was very impressed with the fact that no matter what part of the lens I was looking through, I did not notice any visible distortion. With some glasses, I find that when I look through the outer perimeter of the lenses, there is some slight change distortion. This is especially prominent when shooting a rifle in certain positions. No problem with the Sawflys.
Overall I give the Revision Sawfly a thumbs-up. They make a great pair of shooting glasses that offer a good amount of protection from hot brass and shrapnel. They are comfortable, adjustable to different head sizes and available in different sized frames. They also offer a spectrum of colored lenses to suit your preference and application. The price point is also lower than other similar military eye protection. I would like to have a stronger carrying case that offers a little more structure and better stitching, but that’s being really nit-picky. Also the quality of the glasses themselves and the price point that this eye protection is available at outshines the very minor imperfections of the carrying case. I probably would not wear these when running a Kevlar lid, but I may have better luck with a smaller size frame or with a different face.
If you just need some great shooting glasses, Iâ€™d tell you to go get some Revision Sawflys. If you plan on running these with a helmet on, Iâ€™d say try them on first if you can. If you donâ€™t have the helmet issue like I did though, Iâ€™d tell you to buy them!