Review of the Hunters HD Gold Velocity Shooting Glasses

Written by John B. Holbrook, II | Published in USPSA Magazine

Last summer, I was fortunate enough to win a pair of Hunters HD Gold Caliber shooting glasses at the 2018 Area 5 Steel Challenge Championship. These glasses were probably the best single gear change I made in 2018. You can read my previous review in the September 2018 issue of USPSA Magazine, but the bottom line is that the improvement in visual acuity with these glasses both outdoors and indoors has been significant and helped me make serious improvements in my shooting. I need corrective lenses when I shoot (or do anything else, really) and I vowed that each year when my prescription changed, I'd be getting a new pair of Hunters HD Gold right alongside my regular prescription glasses.

When January came around and I got my annual eye exam, I reached out to Hunters HD Gold President Brian Conley and he made me aware that they had a new model that he thought I should try - the Velocity. In the short time I've known Brian, I've quickly come to the conclusion that I should never question his good judgment, so I enthusiastically agreed to give the Velocity a try.

In terms of the lenses, everything I've come to love about Hunter's HD Gold shooting glasses stays the same with the new Velocity glasses. Hunters HD Gold lenses are constructed from Trivex® which allows the lenses to be made thinner and more impact-resistant than standard plastic or polycarbonate lenses, with 43 percent more light transmission. One of the keys to the enhanced visual experience provided by the Hunters HD Gold glasses is the golden amber/yellow tint to the lenses. The colored lenses filter visual light, creating an excellent contrast between colors, and improving visual clarity in low-light conditions. I shoot on an indoor range every Tuesday night, and the lighting is a little weak down range. I've noticed a considerable increase in down-range visual clarity since using my Hunters HD Gold glasses. The lenses have both anti-reflective (AR) and scratch-resistant coatings applied - just like my regular prescription eyeglasses. They are also "photochromic", which means that they darken on exposure to specific types of light of sufficient intensity, most commonly ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In other words, the lenses "change so you don't have to" as the Hunters HD Gold slogan suggests. This feature alone makes the glasses worth their weight in gold. I've seen shooting glasses out there (very expensive ones, in fact) which offer three sets of changeable lenses that forces the user to change lenses based on lighting conditions. That's something you'll never have to do with the photochromic lenses in Hunters HD Gold shooting glasses.

The big change with the new Velocity model is the frame itself. Let me start by saying that I've been wearing glasses for 40 (plus…) years, and there are things about glasses that I've just come to accept, like the fact that when I move around aggressively, my glasses will probably move around on my face - particularly in the summertime when I'm sweating. The design of the Velocity addresses these issues by providing unparalleled adjustability at all the points at which the glasses touch your face and head.

During 2018, Brian Conley was on the road almost every weekend attending state and national level USPSA and Steel Challenge competitions. His support of competitive shooting really defines the term "above and beyond." During his time on the road attending various events, Brian got to know the needs of competitive shooters extremely well. He used his unique insight to match up the fantastic lenses his company manufactures with frames which matched the performance of Hunters HD Gold lenses. For starters, frames are lighter than those previously available - and while my previous pair was by no means heavy, the new Velocity feels even lighter and "invisible." Thanks to the custom fit nose pad and the "infinitely adjustable" temples which are manufactured with wire cores, it is now possible to get a "no-slip" comfortable fit from the Velocity.

This is important from not only from a comfort and shooting performance standpoint, but it's also important from a safety standpoint. Glasses that don't stay in place can introduce the possibility of an ejected bullet casing or spall striking the eye. The Velocity even comes with a cord that wraps around the back of your head with attachment points that integrate into the frame of the Velocity. Personally, I've not found it necessary to use the cord, but the shape of everyone's head, nose, and ears are all different and some may well benefit from this feature.

For a long time, I shot with my regular prescription eyeglasses as my "eye protection", because…you know…any glasses will protect your eyes, right? I learned my lesson in this regard while at a handgun class at Tactical Defense Institute some years ago. A hot 9mm shell casing ejected from my handgun and actually managed to clear the top of my glasses and drop behind them, landing just below my eye, and leaving me with a nice burn on my face. It's a small miracle that the casing didn't actually burn my eyeball. The Practical Shooting sports can present some unique eye safety considerations - hot shell casings, spall and ricochets all represent possible and permanent eye damage. This is why every discipline of the Practical Shooting sports mandates that shooters wear eye protection. Hunters HD Gold lenses are rated and tested at ANSI Z87+1-2015 which provides impact protection from a .25″ steel ball traveling at 150 fps. Coupled with the Velocity frames (which are OSHA safety frames), you get unparalleled protection for your eyes. I see far too many shooters who choose to wear shooting glasses with a "fashion first" mentality - when your vision is on the line, vanity needs to take a back seat to safety.

I've been testing the Hunters HD Gold Velocity since January and I've worn them while shooting both indoors and outdoors during USPSA, Steel Challenge and 3-Gun matches, and I'm extremely impressed. More so than any other glasses I've owned, once I put them on, I completely forget they are there. The lightweight materials combined with the adjustability of the nose piece and arms really do a great job of keeping the glasses in place - even when perspiration builds on your face. The Velocity frame design also ensures optimal protection for your eyes from every conceivable angle.

Hunters HD Gold is the Official Eyewear of both USPSA and Steel Challenge. If you are a USPSA/Steel Challenge member, you can benefit from special pricing by visiting the USPSA Preferred Vendor web page. Brian Conley also extends this pricing when you buy them directly from him at the various USPSA, Steel Challenge, and other practical shooting events he attends throughout the year - it's always great to talk to and purchase from Brian directly if you have the opportunity to do so.

Finally, if you happen to see me at a match, I keep a pair of non-prescription Hunters HD Gold Aviators with me for anyone to try out just for the asking. I strongly believe in this product and want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to experience it for themselves.

-John Holbrook is a writer, photographer, competitive shooter and member of Team Steel Target Paint.

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*Hunters HD Gold® protective safety glasses are manufactured by Optical Prescription Lab and have been tested for impact and passed to meet the ANSI Z87.1+ - 2020 High Impact requirements**.The lenses are made from impact resistant Trivex® material. Hunters HD Gold® are not unbreakable and offer only limited protection. For work hazards involving the possibility of high mass / high velocity impact, such as fragmenting grinding wheels - goggles, face shields and or machine guards should be considered. Consult with your supervisor or safety specialist to decide which type of protection is required for your work environment. Eyewear should be frequently inspected. Scratched, pitted, or crazed lenses will have reduced visibility and impact resistance, and should be replaced immediately. Tinted lenses filter out 99% of all harmful UV radiation. Tinted lenses offer protection against sun glare, BUT should not be used in welding, brazing or cutting operation or where there are dangerous levels of IR radiation. Spectacles should be worn as supplied. These spectacles do not offer protection against molten metal, chemical splash or Laser light. Hunters HD Gold® should be cleaned using ONLY soap and warm water and dried off with a dry-clean cloth. DO NOT use abrasive cleaning compounds or solvents. **Impact resistant lenses are neither shatterproof nor unbreakable. Coatings may alter the impact resistance of any lens material. Lenses that are tampered with or re-edged are not covered by warranty. Hunters HD Gold lenses are only designed for approved Hunters HD Gold frames. Hunters HD Gold keeps your information when contacted in a Sales Funnell. Once Customers decide to purchase Prescription Lenses then Optical Prescription Lab with gather information and follow all HIPAA Rules and Regulations. Prop65 - This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm. For more information visit Copyrights © 2023 All Rights Reserved by Hunters HD Gold ®Trivex Is a registered trademark of PPG This site is protected by hCaptcha and its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
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