Shooting with Poor Eyesight

#1
I've just finished basic training as a Reservist. All was well apart from the ranges where I struggled mightily, partly to being a naturally lousy shot but also (I think) due to my -3 prescription. In real terms that means if I stretch my arm out fully in front of me my hand is blurry and on a Snellen chart I can't even see the 1st big letter (which kinda crushed my dreams of being a firefighter).
I wear contact lenses (since 11 years old) but they seemed to collect a mixture of dust / gunpowder residue / sweat when on the ranges. However I never had any issue with the CS gas.

We shot in 5 round groupings and by the 3rd shot of the 1st grouping my eyes were completely blurred over as if someone had washed out my lenses. On the 2nd grouping I ended up having to break my position to gently wipe my eyelashes/lenses. Also maybe squinting through the iron sight wasn't helping?

We didn't get any real coaching (it was just to practice firing positions and being safe really) so I'm not exactly sure of the mechanics of what is going on.

Anyway my question(s) is this; being a reservist I am unlikely to go on tour any time soon and get issued ops glasses - I also don't get access to Army opticians (I've seen posts referencing this but not anything you can buy in the reserves). Has anyone experienced this with contact lenses or know anybody who has? What did you do to solve it? Can anyone recommend decent glasses (which I think may be the best solution?), available on civvie street, I could buy for use on ranges?

I don't have a massive budget so ideally something less than £100 if possible but if it's more it's more, I do get the bonus after all. Cheers.
 
#3
I've just finished basic training as a Reservist. All was well apart from the ranges where I struggled mightily, partly to being a naturally lousy shot but also (I think) due to my -3 prescription. In real terms that means if I stretch my arm out fully in front of me my hand is blurry and on a Snellen chart I can't even see the 1st big letter (which kinda crushed my dreams of being a firefighter).
I wear contact lenses (since 11 years old) but they seemed to collect a mixture of dust / gunpowder residue / sweat when on the ranges. However I never had any issue with the CS gas.

We shot in 5 round groupings and by the 3rd shot of the 1st grouping my eyes were completely blurred over as if someone had washed out my lenses. On the 2nd grouping I ended up having to break my position to gently wipe my eyelashes/lenses. Also maybe squinting through the iron sight wasn't helping?

We didn't get any real coaching (it was just to practice firing positions and being safe really) so I'm not exactly sure of the mechanics of what is going on.

Anyway my question(s) is this; being a reservist I am unlikely to go on tour any time soon and get issued ops glasses - I also don't get access to Army opticians (I've seen posts referencing this but not anything you can buy in the reserves). Has anyone experienced this with contact lenses or know anybody who has? What did you do to solve it? Can anyone recommend decent glasses (which I think may be the best solution?), available on civvie street, I could buy for use on ranges?

I don't have a massive budget so ideally something less than £100 if possible but if it's more it's more, I do get the bonus after all. Cheers.
There's no such thing as an Army optician. I don't know the process for reserves but to get an issue pair of glasses I went to the med centre, they sent me to the opticians who ordered me a very fetching set of tortoise shell NHS style gigs. Not the height of fashion but free!

The operational specs are the same for everyone but those who require a prescription get a removable lens insert for the ballistic glasses.

As an aside, I've worn contact lenses allover the place. Many of which were a bit worse than the ranges and never had any problems.

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk
 
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#4
Get Optrex/Artificial Tears or some shit. I would suggest that you are not blinking as much because you are concentrating on the target and your eyes are watering.

Glasses might work, but you may still get teary because you are not blinking as much.
 
#7
There are no MOD opticians as such, but there are contracted opticians who conduct the eye exams for MOD prescriptions and that is filled by a separate contract to deliver the 'Joe 90' black or tortoiseshell rimmed glasses. I've never used contact lenses and only used reading glasses in the last few years. Bizarrely my vision exams on PULHEEMS and at the opticians, improved in the last 2 years of service, but I'm buggered if I know why unless it was the Merlot!

Other contact lens wearers have already given you their view (no pun intended), but everyone is different. Unfortunately, the AR doesn't get free glasses, unless they've mobilised or undertaken an FTRS(FC) tour, although I'd really like to see some positive movement on the AF Covenant front about this. Having said that an approach to your nearest MOD contracted optician may offer an MOD discount option. Your nearest DPHC MedCen will have details of the opticians. Investing in some sport frames with the right prescription may also help with longer exercises and dusty or muddy range days.
 
#8
Jarrod missed an opportunity - there was a related thread more than 10 years ago...

The AR is disinclined to issue glasses but there's a work-around. Ask about lenses for your respirator.

You'll get a form to take to a civvy optician who will do an eye test and write the prescription on the form (you can claim the cost of the eye test back if you remember to get a receipt). On the form, you tick the box for respirator lenses. Also tick the box for spectacles. You could also tick the box for aviator spectacles but there are two hopes of this getting through the system and one of them is Bob.

Fire the form through the admin system and about 6 weeks later, you'll get the respirator lenses and placcy specs.

As regards shooting, fold the targeting system away and use The Force, Padwan.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#9
Jarrod missed an opportunity - there was a related thread more than 10 years ago...

The AR is disinclined to issue glasses but there's a work-around. Ask about lenses for your respirator.

You'll get a form to take to a civvy optician who will do an eye test and write the prescription on the form (you can claim the cost of the eye test back if you remember to get a receipt). On the form, you tick the box for respirator lenses. Also tick the box for spectacles. You could also tick the box for aviator spectacles but there are two hopes of this getting through the system and one of them is Bob.

Fire the form through the admin system and about 6 weeks later, you'll get the respirator lenses and placcy specs.

As regards shooting, fold the targeting system away and use The Force, Padwan.
My respirator glasses still haven't arrived.
 
#10
Go and get lasered. Your life will be changed, a veritable Lazarus moment for your eye's.

I have worn specs since I was seven, always loved shooting, and then I suddenly ended up with a +3.something prescription and could'nt see the mirror in front of me without specs. Dire.

Had wavefront laser treatment, and the eye were magickly perfick again, it wears off a bit with time and now, some 12 years later I am wearing +1.75, but I can still see well enough without specs to walk, talk, drive. For shooting I had some special specs made up, which is a whole different kettle of fish.
 
#12
Doesn't laser eye surgery bar you from the Army?
Dunno. I am pretty sure some of the CP lads and THEM were allowed to have it done eons ago, probably wrong.

The good news is: He is already in and if he doesn't tell anyone who would know.
 
#13
Join the shooting team.

I have had the same prescription for 30 years, which encompasses my Army career. -3.5 L, -3.25 R. Every bit as "blind' as you are. I was a lousy shot. Idiot Trg Wg DS trying to get everyone through MATTs, concurrent activity making you ball-bagged when you finally get onto the firing point.

A buddy of mine persuaded me to go shooting one day for fun, rather than being ordered to. A completely different perspective on shooting. No pressure, more individual coaching. Better zero on the gat, and yes, it was iron sights too (A1).

From then on, I pissed the APWT and had a great time on the shooting team. Contact lenses are for winners. Don't bother with respirator specs, they are shite. Use the ressie lenses to support the rear sight on the gat. The dominant (shooting eye) will get scratched to fook every time. Dunno about now, but the S10 lens used to be interchangeable. So just swap out the scratched lens. They are only plastic, free from the SQ. Get him onside before you bugger up a bunch of lenses though!

Seriously. Join the shooting team.
 
#15
Doesn't laser eye surgery bar you from the Army?
My last boss, a 1* went ahead and had it done without going through MedCen and got away with it, but I wouldn't advocate it for a Reg. However, going through a MedCen for consultation and advice is the safer play.

As to AR personnel, theoretically the same MOD rules exist, but I would suggest there are less controls as at this stage the Occ Health oversight for AR is still exceedingly weak beyond recruitment. Risky if it goes pittong!
 
#16
It used to be the case that you'd fail the entry medical but once in, you could have it done. I don't know whether that's changed.
Slightly askew to the topic, but.....

I met a spec wearer who told me he flies fast jets, showed me his ID and everything. Amazed look on my face. He told me he had wanted to fly jets since he was a rugrat and always had borderline eyesight. So about a year before doing the US Airforce entry test he was taken to an eye Dr. who put together a regime of eye exercises for him.........sounds daft, I know. But, he passed the eye test, did his training and within weeks of graduating with his wings he started wearing specs to fly. 'mazing.

I know nowadays (for about 10 years now) that the US Navy has an in house laser eye surgery program in place for people like pilots, and Navy SEAL's who start to need specs in their 30's. They don't want to lose the experience.
 
#19
Why put yourself and others at risk? Contact lenses for home and vanity. Glasses for when I was doing soldierly things. I had decent glasses for show and metal frame spares. Contact lenses too fiddly and a risk to me and others. Glasses easier, safer and as far as my eyes in dirty dusty sandy places- safer and healthier.
 
#20
I've just finished basic training as a Reservist. All was well apart from the ranges where I struggled mightily, partly to being a naturally lousy shot but also (I think) due to my -3 prescription. In real terms that means if I stretch my arm out fully in front of me my hand is blurry and on a Snellen chart I can't even see the 1st big letter (which kinda crushed my dreams of being a firefighter).
I wear contact lenses (since 11 years old) but they seemed to collect a mixture of dust / gunpowder residue / sweat when on the ranges. However I never had any issue with the CS gas.

We shot in 5 round groupings and by the 3rd shot of the 1st grouping my eyes were completely blurred over as if someone had washed out my lenses. On the 2nd grouping I ended up having to break my position to gently wipe my eyelashes/lenses. Also maybe squinting through the iron sight wasn't helping?

We didn't get any real coaching (it was just to practice firing positions and being safe really) so I'm not exactly sure of the mechanics of what is going on.

Anyway my question(s) is this; being a reservist I am unlikely to go on tour any time soon and get issued ops glasses - I also don't get access to Army opticians (I've seen posts referencing this but not anything you can buy in the reserves). Has anyone experienced this with contact lenses or know anybody who has? What did you do to solve it? Can anyone recommend decent glasses (which I think may be the best solution?), available on civvie street, I could buy for use on ranges?

I don't have a massive budget so ideally something less than £100 if possible but if it's more it's more, I do get the bonus after all. Cheers.

as Jarrod said, just get glasses.

my prescription was -6.5 in one eye and -7 in the other, my focal point was about 4 inches in front of my face and it never hindered me when shooting.
 

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