Bolle Safety — High Speed Eye Protection for the Shooting Range

Bolle Safety — High Speed Eye Protection for the Shooting Range

Several decades ago when I started shooting, safety glasses were worn some of the time. The ones with clear lenses were usually heavy-duty industrial safety glasses that were large with thick temples that reduced the effectiveness of ear muffs. On humid days, fog on these primitive glasses made it hard to see targets.

I once drilled some 1/16 inch holes in a set of tinted safety glasses so airflow would prevent fogging. Well, its 2024 and there are many safety glasses designed for shooting, that rarely, if ever, fog and provide protection against ejected cases and harmful UV rays.

My Upgrade?

Over the past few months, I have been using several models of Bollé Safety glasses while shooting, driving and on duty as a police officer. Bollé Safety Standard Issue is the division that markets to law enforcement, military, industry and healthcare and was launched in 2021.


Here the author is testing the Bolle eye protection while shooting.

The glasses I’ve been using are designed and intended for use as shooting glasses as well as in hard-use environments. Fortunately, a person does not need to be a Navy SEAL or SWAT operator to use and appreciate these quality lenses.

Bollé glasses, irrespective of style, are available in three lens colors: smoke, for use in bright sunlight; copper, (orange) for use on overcast days or on indoor ranges; and clear, which does not change how things look while still providing eye protection.

All Bollé styles are made from the same scratch-resistant polycarbonate material and are ANSI Z87.1 and STANAG 4296 certified. So, they will protect against impact — things like ejected shells, blowing sand or even small pebbles, all of which can harm an eye. These glasses will obviously not protect against gunfire.

The Source

I spoke with Marc Van Buskirk, Bollé’s Director of Military and Government Sales, to learn as much as I could about the product line. Marc came to Bollé when Bollé acquired Spy Optics in 2019, where he was employed in a similar role. He has over four decades of experience in the performance eyewear space, and has held senior management positions with various eyewear manufacturers. It was this experience that enabled Marc to lead Bollé’s marketing push into the military and law enforcement markets. Marc kindly explained the benefits and features of the various Bollé glasses.


Shown in this digital photograph is the Bolle Safety Gunfire 2.0 eye protection.

All types of shooters, from seasoned competitors to weekend plinkers as well as police officers and military personal, will appreciate the “special Platinum anti-fog coating”. Bollé has a machine to test lens coatings to make absolutely certain that they will not fog. Cold water is placed in the machine and heated, and then the steam created is blown through the top to test the coating. Marc told me that while the machine is low-tech, it provides important information about how their designs will work in real-world conditions.

Next Level

Over the past few months, I’ve used several different models of Bollé glasses on indoor and outdoor ranges. I used a pair on a snowy day, and I used different glasses on a few rainy days. I used the copper and clear on indoor ranges and on an outdoor range on a foggy day. The subtle copper (orange) color makes things a little brighter and easier to see in dim lighting — something especially helpful on overcast days.

All lens colors provide UV protection. Bollé Safety lenses also include Comfort Sense Perception (CSP). The CSP technology is available in many different lens tints and is adaptive to indoor, indoor/outdoor, and outdoor work environments.


Here the author shows the wrap around ability of the eye protection. This is an important safety feature on the shooting range.

There are many styles to fit different head sizes. All have the common features described above. Another important feature of all Bollé glasses is how thin the temples are. If a temple is too thick, it makes wearing ear muffs uncomfortable and reduces the effectiveness of ear protection. In other words, shooters should not be forced to choose between good-quality eye protection and good-quality hearing protection. Both are equally important.

[Ed. note: Good eye protection should be on your list of what to bring to concealed carry class.]

Anyone who regularly shoots AR-type rifles is likely aware that hot gasses can escape over the charging handle. This is more common when a suppressor is being used. Anything that covers the shooter’s eyes is always preferable to shooting with uncovered eyes, but in an email, Bollé said: “Anything related to gasses (especially hot gasses), only completely sealed goggles can protect eyes from it.”


Bolle goggles are compatible with corrective lenses as shown here. This is an important feature for anyone on a tactical team or in the military.

If a shooter regularly shoots AR-type rifles, works on ammunition load development, tests prototypes, or does anything else that involves a higher risk than casual shooting, I would strongly recommend using Bollé Safety X1000 Ballistic Goggles.

I wore a pair of the smoke-colored Sentinel glasses for most of an eight-hour police patrol shift where I was assigned to traffic enforcement duty. The Bollé glasses reduced eye strain from bright sunlight, yet enabled me to read the onboard radar unit and clearly identify license plates. Another benefit is that colors are not distorted — this is important for patrol officers.


As shown here, the Bolle B-Clean cleaning kits. These were developed by the company to maintain the eye pro in top condition.

In my opinion, if the main use of glasses is for shooting, the Gunfire Kit 2.0 is an exceptional value. It includes two sets of interchangeable temples, two microfiber bags, and three lenses, smoke, clear and copper. The set comes packed in a hard case. The cost for all of this is a reasonable $76 MSRP before any discounts or promotions. To be sure, I can easily recommend any of the Bollé Safety styles to other shooters because the glasses live up to the manufacturer’s claims and are very affordable.

Bollé Safety also supplies several products to clean lenses such as premoistened lens tissues and a couple of sizes of bottles of lens cleaner spray.

Conclusion

Bollé, a French company, has been making Personal Protection Equipment since 1880. Besides tactical and shooting markets, Bollé also makes ski goggles and helmets. The Armory Life readers may also be interested to learn that in 2019 Bollé acquired Serengeti Eyewear, which makes several different styles that are more urbane and might be seen on a high fashion runway — Serengeti complements the Bollé Safety line nicely. Bollé also markets performance eyewear and helmets specifically designed for bicycling, as well as everyday, non-use-specific performance sunglasses.

In short, if you need to protect your eyes or head from impact, glare or harmful UV rays, one of the various divisions of Bollé probably makes the right product to protect you.

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