Suggested Retail Price: $75.00 to $110.00

The Good
These are really crossover shooting glasses. They offer ballistic protection without looking like range gear.
The Bad
The fit is very close to my face and there can be a touch of fogging on hot and humid days.
The Ugly
We don’t look nearly as menacing as The Terminator wearing Gargoyles.
Our Rating
3 Nuns Three Nuns – Love the style, light weight, and comfort of these glasses, but the occasional fogging prevents a 4 nun rating.

First Impressions

There are shooting glasses and there are stylish sun glasses. And never the twain shall meet. Until now. What prompted us to check out the new line of Gargoyles Ballistic Defense sunglasses was the appeal of wearing our every day sunglasses to the range and still feeling confident that our eyes would be properly protected. Yep, we’re that lazy. Changing glasses eats into range time after all.

Toric Lenses

Boy did we get an education on optics at this years SHOT Show. And we learned that Gargoyles Eyewear founder Denis Burns invented the whole Toric thing back in 1979. Here’s the simple explanation from Wikipedia:

The greatest radius of curvature of the toric lens surface, R + r, corresponds to the smallest refractive power, S = (n – 1) / (R + r), where n is the index of refraction of the lens material. The smallest radius of curvature, r, corresponds to the greatest refractive power, s = (n – 1) / r. Since R + r > r, S < s. The lens behaves approximately like a combination of a spherical lens with optical power s and a cylindrical lens with power s – S. In ophthalmology and optometry s – S is called the cylinder power of the lens.

Got it? Good.

Toric Lenses for Dummies

In case you slept during your graduate level light refraction lab class, here’s a simpler explanation:

  1. You can see great through flat lenses – but they don’t protect the sides of your eyes.
  2. Bending a lens so that it covers your eye more completely makes stuff look funny.

Toric lenses play nifty tricks with thickness and shape of the lens so that, regardless of where light enters the lens (side, front, etc), it’s focused on your retina. And things don’t look funny like in those carnie houses of mirrors.

Got it? Good.

Ballistic Defense

Make no mistake: although light, comfortable, and downright sexy, these are shooting sports appropriate glasses. They’re rated as 5 to 6 times stronger in terms of impact resistance than regular polycarbonate lenses. And they exceed ISO and ANSI test standards. So leave your regular glasses in the car, and don these on the way to the range.

Subjective Stuff

The big standout feature of these glasses is comfort. They are light, light, light. Even lighter than Perez Hilton’s loafers. The other thing that stands out is the rubberized texture at the back of the frames (see photo.) This helps the Gargoyles Strikers stay put during strenuous activity like IDPA, Steel Challenge, cycling, or extreme beach sitting.

The Striker can be ordered with a variety of lens types. The green lens is optimized for outdoor activities and we will be looking at this lens type in an upcoming review of a different model. Also available is Copper. Our set came with Smoke Polarized lenses. While polarized lenses are not ideal for shotgun sports, we find them just fine for rifle and pistol shooting where targets are stationary. By the way, Gargoyes offer 100% UV protection.

The clarity of the Gargoyles Striker with the Smoke Polarized lenses is fantastic. We had no complaints about optical quality and the peripheral vision was phenomenal.

We’ve got three more pairs of Gargoyles being featured in upcoming reviews – stay tuned.

Available here: Gargoyles Striker Sunglasses

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