At SHOT Show, RF schmoozed Edge Eyewear into a pair of its Sharp Edge sunglasses from its Tactical line, then passed them my way to review. They seemed like great specs, so I set them out at 15 yards and shot them with a CZ 712 Practical 12 gauge shotgun. . .
Naturally, in my infinite genius I did the whole shooting-the-glasses thing before taking the “before” pictures. Thankfully, RF had snapped the following pic at of me wearing them at Media Day.
And Edge provided a few stock photos.
The Sharp Edge is available in three lens options: G-15, Tiger’s Eye (copper color), and clear. The first two optimize the light spectrum hitting your eyes to maximize sharpness, depth perception, and color contrast.
All lenses are safety rated to the highest levels of ANSI and Military MCEPS standards. 12 gauge in the woods? We’ll get to that shortly.
I must admit, I was conflicted about doing the “torture test” as I liked the Sharp Edge shades and would have gladly continued using them. They made great shooting glasses, because…
- The “thin temple frame” fits easily and comfortably under earmuffs. I rarely wear earmuffs, strongly preferring plugs whenever possible, due about equally to this usual source of discomfort as well as cheek weld issues on long guns.
- The lenses really are quite nice. Unlike on many glasses, where you can tell you have lenses on due to distortion around the edges, glare, or other issues, these were sharp,flawless, and distortion free. The shaded lenses block enough light without blocking so much that it detracts from your vision, and color clarity and tone looked really good.
- They were comfortable, lightweight, and fit well. The spring tension on the temples plus the rubber nose piece kept them securely in place.
As that’s about all I have to say about a pair of sunglasses, fleshing the review out with a little torture testing seemed like a great idea. A box of Federal Game Load 7 1/2 birdshot, the Sharp Edges, a pair of $5 Remington shooting glasses, a pair of free sunglasses I got at a car show, and two cantaloupes accompanied me to the woods.
From 22 yards, the lenses of the Remington and car show glasses cracked and the car show ones deformed. The shot only dented them — didn’t actually penetrate, at least on the parts of the pieces I recovered — but it did cause cracks. At 15 yards, the one Remington lens I was able to find had broken into at least two pieces, so shot definitely penetrated. The frames of these glasses didn’t fare so well either, with the car show ones fracturing into a dozen pieces and the Remington ones breaking in multiple places as well.
At 22 yards, the Sharp Edges looked much better. The left lens came out of the frame — most Edge designs have much more frame-lens contact, for what it’s worth — but neither was distorted at all and the dents from the shot were shallower and less stretched and opaqued, plus the frame had dents but was structurally fine (all pics here are after the 15-yard shot also).
The lens popped back into the frame. Mr. Cantaloupe was clean behind the glasses, peppered with shot everywhere else.
Before moving up to 15 yards, which had completely demolished the Remingtons, I thought we’d give the Sharp Edges a shot at shrugging off a .22 LR from the 22 yard distance. A bare lead round nose Federal was chambered in my pistol. This load does ~1,100 fps out of it. My second shot hit the left lens, and. . .
it penetrated. It looks like it struggled a bit to get through, but it made it through the lens and the cantaloupe behind it. In the video I said that both channels through the cantaloupe — the shot that missed the glasses and the shot that went through them — looked the same, but watching the video again it actually looks like the glasses one is smaller. Regardless, yeah, it went through. Stopping a bullet may not be a fair expectation.
With that out of the way, I stepped up to 15 yards and plugged the Edge shades dead-on center with the densest part of the shot pattern. The frame cracked in half at the bridge, but both temples stayed attached — not the case with the other glasses — and still pivot fine. The lenses still did great. More dents, but no cracks, no distortion, no penetration.
Not too shabby.
Ratings (out of five stars):
Quality * * * * *
All plastic and rubber, they aren’t built like a fancy pair of high-end shades. Of course, at an MSRP of $29.95 they’re pretty spot-on and they’re nicer than a handful of more expensive glasses of similar frame build that I’ve had. They’re symmetrical, clear, durable, and well thought out. Lenses seem pretty excellent in clarity and color, and they’re supposed to be anti-fog and anti-scratch treated although I didn’t specifically test these things. The five-star quality rating is in relation to glasses in a similar price range.
Comfort * * * *
The thin temples make for a comfortable pair of glasses when wearing earmuffs, and the nose pad is nice. I actually have a fairly big head, though, so after wearing the Sharp Edges for a few hours straight I did find that the spring tension of the temples on the sides of my head began to bother me. At this point, the thinness that makes them so great under ear pro became a trade-off for long-term comfort.
Safety Factor * * * * *
They meet or exceed all of the important safety ratings, including the Dick Cheney test.
Overall * * * * *
Great shooting glasses at a fair price. No, I didn’t mention or rate “style” as it’s just way too subjective. Edge offers a dozen designs in its Tactical line and even more than that in the normal Edge Eyewear line, all with the same safety rated lenses, so there’s probably something to suit most fancies.