Written by Steve Foster
It was four short years ago when Larry Joe Steeley Jr, Steel Target Paint, approached me about the best shooting glasses on the market. I remember a skeptical conversation about his claims. He asked if I wore a prescription in my current shooting glasses and I told him that I did. He said he would get with Brian Conley of Hunters HD Gold to make me a pair and then I would become a believer. I cautiously sent me prescription to someone I have never met.
Three short days later, I had a parcel package waiting at my door. I opened up the box and here was a pair of Hunters HD Gold Caliber glasses with a copy of my prescription inside with a hand written note from Brian asking for feedback. I put on the glasses and two thoughts rushed to me; 1- everything turned to gold! 2- the clarity of my prescription was more crisp than anything I have ever experienced. They literally changed my vision instantaneously.
I could tell these lenses were not just a pair you would find at a Supermarket let alone lenses I could find at my high-end optometrist. I never knew what clarity looked like until I put them on.
I had the opportunity to visit and sit down with Brian to discuss the manufacturing process of his lenses at Optical Prescription Lab (OPL) where Hunters HD Gold lenses are made. During the tour, Brian stated there are predominately two different types of lenses; 1- Pre-manufactured Lenses and 2- Custom Manufactured Lenses. Not all lenses are the same. The Pre-manufactured lens is what it sounds like. They are “stock” lenses, which undergo a cast moulding process where a type of plastic is injected into a mold of a singular prescription. They have a certain base curve, think curve at the back of the lens, are then coated with anti-glare or anti-scratch coating or both and then packaged for retail.
The Custom Manufactured Lenses are created OPL using a process called Digital Surfacing Technology, which is state of the art for the lens manufacturing industry. In this process, the lens starts off as an oversized piece of plastic with no prescription in them. There is a grinding process where the prescription is created by grinding into the plastic with expensive precision machinery. It is amazing to see this process in person. The result is a lens reminiscent of the first time I saw High Definition television. The visual improvement difference is staggering.
During the tour it was a reminder non-shooting lenses are also being made. Since 2017 OPL has been making my daily/work glasses and the same, ‘high definition” experience is had both on the range as well as the office. For more information on your shooting glasses or those for off range use, reach out to Hunters HD Gold at www.huntershdgold.com.