Gear Review: Sawfly Military Eyewear System

There is a huge difference between your basic pair of safety glasses and a “good” pair of safety glasses. And the difference isn’t just in terms of protection, it’s also about optical clarity and image distortion. Especially in a competition or military environment, a bad pair of safety glasses can mean the difference between a hit and a miss. It can also mean the difference between that flying piece of shrapnel being a minor annoyance or a life changing event. That’s where Revision Military and their eyewear come in…

Revision Military makes shooting glasses with the U.S. military in mind, but the same things that make these glasses great for the military also make them great for civilian use.

First things first, safety glasses should provide enough protection for your soft squishy eyes to keep them form being injured. Regular safety glasses that you can pick up from WalMart do that up to a point, but they usually won’t take a round to the face. These, on the other hand, will.

Admittedly it’s only #6 shot, but that can still do some significant damage and even blind a shooter if you aren’t wearing the right gear. I’ve had a couple experiences at competitions where the stage was improperly designed and the spectators were peppered with ricochets from shotgun rounds. So it’s not out of the realm of possibility that you’ll need something to stop a shotgun pellet from ruining your eyesight at some point on the range.

After protection, the next major criteria is that the glasses not interfere with your ability to hit the target. Ideally, safety glasses would be completely transparent and not distort the image of your target at all, as any distortion could throw off your aim. Cheap safety glasses will noticeably distort the image you see, but the Sawfly eye protection is crystal clear and doesn’t appear to distort your target.

Having passed the requirements for a good pair of eyewear, Sawfly then goes above and beyond to deliver perfection.

In terms of design, these glasses are damn near the most comfortable thing I have ever worn at the range. The plastic construction has just enough give to mold around your noggin without being painful, and the elastic strap keeps everything in place so you don’t have to worry about constantly adjusting the glasses. That also means the glasses don’t have to loop around your ears to stay in place – another comfort feature.

Revision also offers a number of additional lenses in multiple colors, and changing them out is as easy as pie. There are no screws or latches on these glasses, simply bend them a little bit and the lenses slide right in and out. Personally I still don’t understand why people need anything except grey and clear lenses, but to each their own. The interchangeable lenses also means that if you scratch your existing lens you can buy a new one much more cheaply ($20) than replacing the entire kit.

Sawfly specs are exactly what you want in safety glasses. Strong protection, comfortable wear, easy use and maintenance and stylish looks. There is a downside though: the price. These puppies aren’t cheap, but it’s a solid investment in the safety of your eyeballs.

Revision Military Sawfly Military Eyewear System
Basic Kit Includes: Clear and grey lens, carry case.
Lens Colors Available: Grey, clear, red, yellow.
Price: $89.99

Overall Rating: * * * * *
Needless to say, Revision isn’t getting these back.

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

23 Responses to Gear Review: Sawfly Military Eyewear System

  1. avatarMoonshine7102 says:

    Add the words “military” before and “system” after any product, and it’ll sell.

  2. avatarEric says:

    RX options?

    • They have inserts for RX lenses available.

      • avatarSebudei says:

        Making prescription lenses for a frame with that much curve really, really, really sucks. Standard Rx frames are flat along the front for a reason.

        Not to say it can’t work, but it won’t work for everyone or every prescription.

        Be prepared to pay premium as well.

  3. avatarJeff O. says:

    5 years back I bought myself a pair of Wiley-X SG1 goggles/glasses and have worn them pretty much everyday since then.

    They had a video of them stopping a .22 round, which I thought was pretty awesome. Eventually the orignal lenses got all scratched up, so after I bought replacements, I tested it for myself and even after 3 years of wear, the lenses stopp ed the round.

    • avatarJean says:

      Wiley is a fantastic brand of glasses. I’ve been wearing a pair of Romer’s for 10+ years for shooting/sporting/motocycling – I would recommend them without any reservations.

  4. avatarLevi B says:

    If you don’t get why people want other colors of lenses, put a yellow lens in and go shoot sporting clays. The clays light up like they’re on fire.

  5. avatarAharon says:

    Nice practical post.

    Revision Eyewear Sawfly Eyeshield Basic Kit w/ FREE S&H – 21 options
    $44.99
    http://www.opticsplanet.net/revision-eyewear-sawfly-basic-kit-clear-regular.html

    Amazon is selling them at $79 and Ranger Joes wants $99. Optics Planet wins at $44.

  6. avatarPascal says:

    I have no way to test their claims but….they state

    “Sawfly System gives you an unmatched level of ballistic protection and is certified to ANSI Z87.1 (actually independently proven to be three times stronger than the test requirements) and military requirements (MIL-V-43511C clause 3.5.10 and MIL-PRF-31013 clause 3.5.1.1). ”

    There are many other safety glasses with the same specs for half the price. There are more than a few that claim 6 times the ANSI Z87.1 rating including I believe Radians. I do not disagree with the “clarity” claim however.

    It would be nice to see independent test because I bet that more than a few will pass the test at half the costs.

    For shooting, hearing protection and eye protection should be paramount and we should all purchase the best we can afford……however…..that does not mean the most expensive.

    Like I said, I cannot test their claims, but I always question stuff like this especially when they use the words “system” and “military” which marketing buzz words to pump up the price.

    One more item, regarding your comment:

    “Personally I still don’t understand why people need anything except grey and clear lenses, but to each their own.”

    Many who shoot clay use the different colored lenses to highlight the clays especially here in the Northeast where it is popular during the fall during our many overcast days with tree leaving changing color.

    Yellow is also better for low light conditions

    A polorizing magenta version would be better than the grey/black on sunny days.

    During my motorsports days, we had different visor colors for different conditions and it helped a lot.

    • avatarGeorge Vie says:

      Before I bought the Sawflys I used Randolph Engineering Ranger yellow, amber, and vermillion lenses for sporting clays. I actually see clays better with the Sawflys using Amber lens, and the Sawflys are much more comfortable when shooting over a long day. Revision was half the cost of REs.

      I switched out to the grey lens one day just to wear outside but found it too dark.

  7. avatarAndrew says:

    I was issued a pair of these in Basic Training and absolutely loved them. Once we started white phase of training they were all I wore (thank the heavens for the prescription insert capabilities). After i was meded out and started to get back into shooting in the civy world i picked up a pair identical to what i was issued and couldn’t be happier with them. The only flaw I’ve noticed with them in 3+ years is that they have a tendency to fog up but a cleaning with anti-fog lens cleaner before use solves that problem. Great Review

  8. avatarBill says:

    Yep, got a pair and they work extremely well. The inserts work pretty well too once you get used to them.

  9. avatarJesse says:

    I personally wore these every day for four months in Infantry OSUT and they are by far the best eye pro I have ever worn. I didn’t think so at the time because I was wearing them for 10+ hours at a time but wearing other eye pro now I realize they are suprisingly comfurtable and clear. Not quite as stylish as the Nick thought they were (problably why I find myself always using Oakleys) but as far as functionality goes, they can’t be beat. I’ve taken these things through hell and back and the only problem I have ever experienced is they tend to fog up like andrew said, but nothing a lil anti-fog won’t fix. One last thing, the “military system” thing isn’t a gimick this is what the military truely is issued for training and combat.

  10. avatarbontai Joe says:

    Nice to see a positive review extensively backed up by multiple users that also have good things to say. Sounds like I need to save my nickles to get a pair.

  11. We were issued these prior to going on our deployment to Afghanistan. Alot of the soldiers, myself included, switched to the ESS Crossbow. They still meet the military standards for protection (we could be issued them in country for free, just have to order them from our unit).

    I know that an issue I had with the sawfly’s are that they have a very wide and straight lense. On a smaller head (like myself) they left huge gaps by outside corner of my eye leaving the possibility of shrapnel to still find its way into my eye, which was a huge threat we faced towards the end of our deployment. With the ESS Crossbow they have a more rounded lense that better fit the shape of my face, providing more cover. Plus they look better, almost like oakley m frames.

    Here is a link to the Crossbows. I still have a bunch that I use for my shooting glasses today.

    http://www.esseyepro.com/Crossbow_detail.html

    Either way, just dont go out and buy something for 5 bucks at walmart and call it good.

  12. avatarracer88 says:

    Just another Revision Sawfly user here. Very happy with them. In my profession, if I sustain an eye injury, I’m finished. So, I won’t skimp on eye protection.

  13. avatarfred says:

    got these for range and noticed how much better clarity than my old maui jims so these are now edc and the jims went in the drawer

  14. avatarDavid says:

    Does the revision RX inserts work in other eye pro?

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