So I strolled into the Gun shop I frequent, and Spartan Firearms have been a Smith Elite dealer for a little while now but I never really bothered looking at their products. On this day I just happened to get talking to my buddy Gary Ahlers who runs the shop about Smith Elite products and why he started to carry the products. After some conversation (and cash) I walked out with a Smith Elite Aegis Echo Deluxe Kit in Tan.
From my Initial look at these glasses, I was impressed with the quality and innovative design. I mean most people think that “hey any pair of Z87.1+ safety glasses will do the same job at a whole lot cheaper”, and in some ways I use to believe that. I always had a couple pairs of cheap $5 safety glasses or I used my Oakley Holbrooks as shooting glasses when I went to the gun range. In reality that was a very foolish way for me to think. I wear safety glasses daily at my job and for what I do at work, they are adequate but unlike most safety glasses, Smith Elite tests their glasses to a higher standard than regular safety glasses. They even exceed MIL SPEC MIL-PRF-31013 which is the U.S. Militaries Ballistic Eye Protection Specification. If you know anything about MIL SPEC, it’s overly specific to the point of insanity and this particular Mil Spec requires a projectile of 5.8 grains in weight and .15 inches in diameter to be shot at 640-660 Ft/S at protective eye wear and not crack the eye wear or allow any material to pierce a witness sheet that is behind the lens. It also requires the eye wear to be resistant to a whole list of chemicals as well as hot and cold climate testing, UV protection, and optical clarity. What’s the point if you can’t see out of them properly? So what does this mean to you the regular guy, who isn’t enlisted in the military and is a just weekend warrior at the gun range, hunter or the many other hobbies where eye wear is needed. It means this eye wear will take just about everything you can dish out and more.
Smith Optics Elite line makes multiple different styles of eye wear that is ballistic rated. One reason I chose the Aegis Echo Deluxe Kit is for the almost completely unobstructed field of view. I mean seriously unless you cross your eyes, there is no part of the frame that creates a blind spot. Second reason is the ability to change lenses in a few seconds with no tools. The frame is designed with these two pivot lock bars that you pull up on, and then with a downward pull the Lens separates from the frame easily. The kit I bought came with 3 different colors of lenses, clear, yellow and gray/tinted so you are covered for any lighting condition you may come across; another nice thing is the nose pads are attached to each lens so no need to swap those between lenses making it that much easier to change a lens out. The kit also includes a nice black nylon carry bag big enough to hold the frames and all 3 lenses, 3 lens pouches to protect the lenses when not in use, an elastic strap to hold the glasses on if you do a lot of movement and Smith Elites anti fog cloth that actually does that job very well (the humidity is a constant down here in the swamp know as South Florida). Only drawback is for sunny Florida they’re gray/tinted lens isn’t dark enough, but down here you could use a #4 cutting torch shade regularly in the summer time no problem, so maybe it’s just me.
There are a million things I could say about these glasses, but I won’t. If you like to go shooting and take safety seriously, Smith Optics Elite is a good investment. Could you seriously say $100 is too much to spend on your eyes, if so then I don’t think you know the value of your eye sight. Do yourself a favor buy quality eye wear for the range because one preventable range accident shouldn’t hurt you for the rest of your life, Should It?
Brand: Smith Optics
Rating: 4.5 pints out of 5
Would I recommend this to friend: Yes