Whoever said that safety glasses look dorky obviously never saw the safety glasses that Crossfire Protective Eyewear produces. Their glasses offer the looks of high-end sunglasses but with ANSI-level bullet-proof safety features. They are literally bullet-proof, at least according to their literature. With a claim like that, we definitely had to take these to the shooting range just to see how well they performed.
The folks at Crossfire Protective Eyewear sent us a sampling of some of their most popular protective sunglasses. They pretty much have a style, lens color or frame color that can suit the need of even the most discriminating consumer. All of the glasses that were in the assortment that was shipped to us had tinted lenses, which made them well purposed to be used for outdoor applications. While they do make polarized models, none of the ones we received were polarized. Of all the different models of glasses we checked out, the overall construction of the glasses had many similarities. All the lenses are made of a type of polycarbonate which meets and exceeds the requirements of ANSI 87.1+ high-impact standards. We will dive into this standard a little later in our review.
The lenses offer 99.9% protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays. All of the lenses that we received were tinted and some of them even had mirrored coatings. The mirrored coatings are extra nice since they actually help to reflect even more of the bright light away from your eyes which can help to cut down on glare. Where needed, soft molded rubber inserts are added for nose pieces and on the inside and backs of the temple ends. The hinges are integrated into the frame and temples. All of the glasses have a very lightweight feel and since there are so many models available, most folks will be able to find one that fits their face and head properly. While it is not as critical with regular sunglasses, when wearing safety glasses, it is important to find glasses that match your face and offer a fairly tight fit so that you are sure to minimize the space between your face and the glasses. This will ensure that harmful or even dangerous items don’t get around the glasses and into your eyes.
Crossfire Protective Eyewear Testing and Use
We showed up on a construction site with a pile of these glasses and started to hand them out. Most of the guys thought they were just plain sunglasses until we told them they were also safety glasses. Every one of the guys were able to find a pair that fit them comfortably. Needless to say, after stopping back at the same site a few weeks later most of the guys still had their glasses on and were using them. One of the guys actually said he liked his pair more then the Oakley glasses that his wife had given him. We did get a few comments back in that on one of the pairs, one of the rubber nose pieces came loose and also the rubber inserts on the temples on a different pair started to come off, but all in all, the Crossfire safety glasses were very well liked!
Shooting Z87+ High-impact Rated Protective Glasses
Now that we know that the guys out in the field like them, It was time for us to see if these glasses were really bullet-proof like the manufacturer claimed in the literature they sent us. Pretty much what they said was that with using a .22 cal short bullet (650 feet per second), a Sig Sauer .22 cal pistol at 50 feet away; that the bullet would not go though the lens. To us this sounded like a challenge, so we set out to replicate the test. Now keep in mind that while this is not exactly a scientific test procedure, it would be kind of fun to see what we would find out. Don’t try this at home; using a firearm is a serious and potentially dangerous thing if proper safety is not always exercised.
For our test, we headed down to the local police department’s outdoor shooting range. We took with us a pair of the Crossfire CORE glasses, our slightly customized Ruger 10/22 rifle (sorry, we did not have a suitable .22 cal pistol in our arsenal), CCI .22 Short bullets, a 100ft long measure tape and a specially made target stand. We chose the CCI .22 cal short bullets because their velocity at 50 feet meets the Mil Spec 31013 of 650 FPS (feet per second). We first set up our target stand, mounted the safety glasses on it and carefully set it at 50 feet away from the muzzle of our weapon. Next we loaded a single round into the gun and sighted on the glasses. Just to make sure we that got a good solid hit on the glasses, we actually took a few practice shots at another target at the same distance. Once we knew we that we were ready, we took aim at the center of the lens and pulled the trigger. When we walked over and examined the glasses, much to our amazement, the bullet had not pierced it. While it did leave a large dimple in the middle of the lenses, it actually stopped the bullet. We were pretty surprised! Since we had one more lens to test out. We again repeated the test to which we had the exact same results as the first try.
Just so that we understand what the Z87+ rating really means; it pretty much is an improvement on the original ANSI Z87 standard for eye protection. The little “+” symbol was added in 2003 and it signifies that the eye protection meets the high impact standard. Z87+ or high impact standard glasses must pass a much more stringent set of tests than the basic or Z87 impact standard. Z87+ glasses must pass the “high mass” test which consists of dropping a 500 gram pointed weight from a height of about 5 feet onto the lens. It also must pass the test of having a 1/4″ steel ball shot at the lens. The velocity varies with the product. For example with glasses it is 102 mph from a distance of 150? and with goggles it is 170 mph from a distance of 250? At the end of the day the high impact standard of Z87+ offers much better protection. These glasses also meet the Military Spec 31013 which is even more stringent then the ANSI standards. For the few dollars more it might cost, it is well worth it to have the added protection of the Z87+ rating. Remember that all protective eyewear provides limited protection and will not protect against all possible eye hazards.
The Crossfire safety glasses are a fantastic choice if you are on or off the job. Since they offer all the UVA and UVB protection you need along with the Z87+ high-impact rating, you can be sure that you will keep your eyes safe. While it is not every day we get to use a firearm to do product testing, we definitely had a great time putting these glasses to the test. For our Performance rating we gave the glasses a 10 because not only did they test out well in the field with real working guys, they also withstood our torture testing at the shooting range. For our Value rating, we gave these glasses a 9 since they offer great looks and awesome protection for just a few dollars more then a pair of regular sunglasses at your local discount store.