Sunday, April 14, 2019

Go get yourself some cheap (safety) sunglasses...

I have to make a confession... while I have a fairly expensive set of Oakley Radar shooting safety glasses... and a couple of other more costly brands too... more often than not, you'll find me wearing a set of Walmart's Safety Vu Bifocal Safety Glasses.

Yep, that's right... most of the time on the shooting range, in the shop, working around the barns, weed-wacking, grinding, drilling, chainsawing, mowinig, hunting, woodworking, walking through the woods... I'm wearing $5.97 safety glasses. Go ahead... don't read another word... jump straight to the comments and fire away... it won't likely change what we do around here.

The gals and I have been using the Walmart Safety Vu's for years and maybe I can summarize why:

  • They're inexpensive, so you can have multiple sets all over the place and so there's no excuse for not wearing some eye-pro. There's clear ones and tinted ones ready to go... the car, the suv, the truck, the barns, the tractor, the motorcycles, the workbench, the mower... you'll find them all over around here.
  • We've tested them ourselves and have used them for years.
  • The wrap-around styling protects the eyes from objects coming in at angles other than straight on to the face.
  • They're comfortable with soft-rubber nose and ear-pieces. They rest easy on your nose and don't cut into your ears or hurt the sides of your head when wearing hearing protection like our 3M Peltor Sport-Tac's.
  • Even after being dropped on the gravel drive and on the concrete barn floors multiple times, they've proven themselves to be fairly scratch resistant, something I can't say for my prescription eye-wear in the past.
  • You can get them with bi-focals! Sometimes they're called magnifiers or readers. Yes, for those of us in the second half of our first century... having those "helper" lenses built-in work great for seeing those tiny screws on guns and many other things.
  • They can be had in clear, tinted, and amber (yellow)... with and without the readers... and the reader bifocal lenses can be found in several magnification powers... we've seen +1.50 up to +3.50.

We shot a set of our Walmart clear Safety Vu glasses with #8 lead bird shot from a 12 gauge shotgun seven or eight years ago just to test them for ourselves. I repeated that test with a new set purchased this weekend just for this blog post. 

The results of multiple pellet hits to the protective lenses were the same as years ago. Nothing penetrated the lenses, the glasses and frames remained intact.

There are dimples to the inside of the lenses from the shot pellets' impacts, but they did not crack or penetrate the lenses. You can also see the very comfortable nose pieces in this photo.

We also keep a couple of boxes of the ULINE ICE Wraparound safety glasses on hand for folks that forget their eye protection. I also included a set of those for this test since it's been a couple of years since we purchased and tested the ULINE safety glasses.

The ULINE Ice Wraparound performed just as well as they did a couple of years ago when we shot them. Dimples, but no penetration, cracks, or frame failures. They are not as comfortable as the Walmart Safety Vu's, but you can buy a box of twelve in a number of tints and colors or clear for $2.50 each!

Now, please let me be clear... I'm not an expert on safety glasses... the ANSI Z87.1 standards that OSHA goes by... or the MIL-PRF 32432 standards the military uses. Honestly, it doesn't really matter to me, because anybody can slap a sticker on safety glasses that says they meet a standard. The gals and I know these safety glasses will meet our anticipated needs because we've tested them ourselves.

If you're interested, Lucky Gunner had a great review of eye-pro a few years back that tested a lot of eye protection over a variety of price ranges. By the way... you notice that in their review... some of the most expensive eye-protection was good, but not the best performing when compared to others when tested.

Now, will the eye-pro I mentioned stop a bullet... like even a small .22 long rifle... no... but from my time in law enforcement years back... I've personally witnessed two different dead dudes whose skulls didn't stop a .22 long rifle... eye protection isn't a big factor with a direct hit to the head from any caliber bullet fired from a gun.

Our recommendation... if you are buying cheap eye-protection... get two and test one... who knows... you might be just like ZZ Top and... Go get yourself some cheap (safety) sunglasses...

Monday, April 8, 2019

Every Day Preparedness for Regular Folks: The Dorcy LED Mini Lantern...

Sometimes inexpensive is cheap... and sometimes inexpensive is good enough. Good enough is right where the Dorcy LED Mini Lantern falls in providing a good, portable, and affordable light source for regular folks during a power outage, while camping, or just for temporary small-area lighting.

The Dorcy LED Mini Lantern operates on four AA batteries and the manufacturer claims they will run for 70 hours on a set of alkaline AA batteries. The gals and I tested one of our lanterns with a brand new set of Amazon Basics AA alkaline batteries and while the lantern's LEDs did dim down a bit at the end... they lasted just over 76 hours!

They don't even list the lumens for the four little 5mm LED bulbs that light this lantern, but these lanterns are not meant to light up a 400-yard perimeter at the bug-out compound. What they do well is lighting up areas of your home during a power outage or a tent while camping. A hook is built into the carry handle and folds out to hang the lantern in your tent, or from many things as the lanterns don't weigh much at all.

In the photo above taken with the iPhone... you can see that it throws a nice, even white light for 360 degrees around the lantern. We've even knocked one of ours off the kitchen table... it hit the hard floor and bounced a couple of times, but never broke.

There are better, brighter, and more rugged products out there like the Streamlight Siege X, but when you can pick up one of these for under six-bucks... or a three-pack with batteries for under seventeen-bucks at Amazon... they're easy on the budget. We've had a couple of these lanterns for over two years now... and recently picked up a couple more. They were worth every penny this winter during a two-day power outage.

So... our recommendation for Every Day Preparedness for Regular Folks: The Dorcy LED Mini Lantern...