By Dave Spaulding
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Everyone who works the street wears sunglasses—the job requires it. If the sun’s glare impairs your vision, you won’t see to drive, look for crimes in progress or defend yourself from attack. The criminals we face know we need vision to avoid, evade or counter danger. During my 30- year career, my eyes were attacked on numerous occasions. You never know when the distressed little old lady will turn into a raving lunatic and try to poke you or the teenager smoking a joint will decide to throw dirt in your face. I defended myself against such attacks by keeping people at a distance, always a good idea, but closing in on other people remains unavoidable. Our soldiers, sailors and Marines fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan also face this necessity and the inherent risks, and they do something about it by wearing safety glasses at all times. Yes, I know that for American law enforcement officers to adopt this practice, the glasses must look good. Fortunately, the makers of Revision Military Eyewear understand the style requirement. After all, military personnel like to look good, too.
I recently read a letter sent to Revision by First Lieutenant Anthony Aguilar, an infantry platoon leader assigned to B Company, Task Force 2-1 Infantry, 172nd Stryker Brigade combat team in Mosul, Iraq. While on a combat patrol, Aguilar’s platoon was struck by a massive improvised explosive device (IED). This explosion launched a spear-like chunk of metal directly at Aguilar’s right eye, but his Revision Sawfly lenses stopped its progression. Had the shrapnel penetrated the glasses, he would have lost his eye at a minimum, but more likely his life, since the shrapnel would have entered his brain. The performance of the Sawfly military eyewear didn’t surprise the folks at Revision because they purposely built the lenses to stop small projectiles.
During initial testing of the Sawfly ballistic eyewear, Revision shot 12-gauge #6 shot at the glasses from a distance of 16 feet using a Remington 1187 with a 28" barrel. Depending on the lens model used, the Sawfly eyewear stopped the shot between 16 and 37 times with no penetration.
Made from high-impact polycarbonate, the Sawfly system also offers complete UV ray protection. The deluxe Sawfly kit features a matte black frame with an elastic retention strap, three interchangeable wrap-around lens shields with rubber nosepieces, a microfibre cleaning mitt and a black nylon storage case. The clear lens maximizes light transmittance indoors or at night; the dark solar lens reduces glare in bright outdoor settings; and the yellow high-contrast lens provides sharp definition in hazy or cloudy conditions. The kit sells for about the same amount of money as a pair of namebrand fashion sunglasses, which do not offer the ballistic protection of the Revision model. No, they will not stop a .357 Magnum held directly on your face, but they will stop any number of projectiles, hot water and chemicals from entering your eyes.
When I wear Revision Sawfly glasses at the range while teaching my firearms classes, I receive a number of compliments and inquiries about them. Weighing only 1 oz., they’re easy to put on and just forget . . . until the light changes and you need to change lenses. These days, not wearing protective eyewear on the street is akin to not wearing body armor. They’re your eyes—protect them! No one else will.