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Discussion Starter #1
Do benchrest matches require eye protection? I am the Chief Range Officer to a none profit, shooting range ran by volunteers, we have required eye and ear protection for all shooters. We now have a 1,000 yard range and some of the long range shooters don’t want to wear shooting glasses. I am looking for input on how it is done on other ranges. All input welcome.
 

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Here's my take on it. Don't make it optional. Either wear them or don't shoot there. From a liability standpoint, it's the only way to go, IMHO.
 

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Safety Glasses

To answer your question: Some ranges require them during matches and others do not require them. It has been my experience that even when required, the rule is loosely enforced.

I never took it very seriously until I saw a mishap once. Thankfully, the guy’s eyes weren’t damaged but he received powder burns on his face and the action on his rifle was ruined. The topic came up here on the board and George made a comment that really impressed me. I’m paraphrasing , but basically he said,” with the pressures we are dealing with, that close to our face, it is foolish not to wear them”.

I’ve been wearing them ever since and encourage others to do likewise.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Keep the opinions coming

More information needed, one the chief arguments is distortion caused by shooting glasses effects the long range performance. ? True or false any champions that wear glasses? Are high grade shooting glasses even made, let me know your thoughts.
 

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Waiver

This kind of stuff is happening in many other sporting events. Senior softball, for example, has had to deal with the issue of pitcher safety. There are 65-70 year old guys who can still hit a ball out of a 300' ball park. The pitcher is 65' away, with 65-70 year old eyes and reactions. He is in a life-threatening situation. They started out mandating some sort of mask and/or helmet. Then they made the head protection optional but, and this is the big deal, if you choose to not wear any protective gear, you either signed a waiver or you didn't pitch. Period. Get an attorney.
 

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I was a member of a club in Folsom CA in the 1970's when pistol silhouette was just getting started. Some of the chicken targets at 50 meters were pretty well cratered, having been made of mild steel. One day a shooter using a .44 mag lost an eye to a straight-back ricochet off one of the craters. Made a believer out of me.

Out of battery discharges are not that uncommon, especially with .22 autoloaders. An eyefull of hot gas along with bits of metal and burnt powder doesnt appeal to me either.

But then, if you dont wear your seatbelt in your car as you whiz down the highway, you probably arent interested in safety glasses either.
 

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Insurance?

Better read your insurance policy. Our insurance requires signs posted saying eye and ear protection are required. All match directors require eye and ear protection at matches, or at least they are supposed to.
 

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I agree w/ checking w/ the insurance policy. Even if it doesn't specifically call them out, in court a smart lawyer would have a foot-hold by citing examples of other ranges.

Personally, I've had an incident or two episodes: - once with a 22LR case rim that ruptured and sprayed my face with powder.

The second time happened with fellow GVGG'er witnesses while on a PD safari on Don McCutchen's "War Wagon" with Mike Jones on my left and Don on my right.

A round didn't chamber fully and my AR-15 slam-fired it anyway. The explosion destroyed the magazine and blew it out of the rifle, scattering unspent rounds all over the shooting bench. Powder and little pieces of brass were stuck on my face around my shooting glasses!

Ask Mike (aka Kentucky Fisherman) about it. Startled the crap out of all 3 of us. No damage to the gun, except the magazine sides (later) had to be straightened out and put back together.

CHIT HAPPENS! So, yeah I wear shooting glasses whenever I'm shooting. (BTW, good quality safety glasses w/o distortion is important too, if actually hitting the target is desirable.:rolleyes:)

.
 

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My take is you're asking a lawyer/insurance company question on a hunting/shooting website. For your club's sake, I'd definitely be talking to my insurance company AND agent, AND an attorney. We all have stories about this and that mishap. Mishaps WILL happen. In this day and age of constant threats of litigation, it's a matter of how much risk you wanna take, and how much it costs to mitigate that risk. Local club I belonged to had their rifle range shut down BY A FORMER INSURANCE AGENT who got lucky, and made it big with a local company, and bought a log mansion out of a divorce that was STRAIGHT DOWNRANGE of the rifle range.....IIRC the mansion was built AFTER the rifle range?? Club had been moved to this site after they realized years ago that shooting across and the river at the old clubhouse IN TOWN wasnt such a good idea...w/ houses and businesses and a busy highway on the other side. Current owner of said mansion (and purportedly former owner) complained of bullets hitting his house and around it. Not surprised - always wondered why they pointed the range towards 2 local towns!??!?! It woulda been easy to launch a stray one a mile or a few miles into said towns. Houses also got built around the range such that there's occasional complaints about the noise, etc. Not apples to apples w/ your situation, but shooting-related liabilities none the less.

Anyhoo, I'd be calling and paying an attorney who works with such issues, your agent/ins. co., and I'd drop a call to the NRA - they deal with a lot of shooting range issues and help them out. I personally think shooting glasses should be mandatory or shoot somewhere else, but as jnyork said above, I'm one of those guys who has eaten a couple windshields, had some bones in my neck bolted together becuz of it, and still forgets his seatbelt most of the time.......duh!
 

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Paul's comment on the quality of the safety glasses is exactly right. Sure, if you use the $3.00 plastic things you are going to get distortion. If you go to a place that sells glasses and get REAL industrial quality safety glasses that you pay a little for, you are not going to have any distortion any more than you would get with a pair of prescription glasses.
 

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I agree with checking with your Insurance Co. I can't imagine they wouldn't require it.
I always wear eye protection. I used to shoot a variety of shooting sports each weekend and can tell you that I have seen eye injuries or nearly so in almost every type of shooting. From trap, clays, skeet (station 8 anyone?), sub-gun, high power, USPSA, rimfire, etc...I can't think of any club I shoot at that does not require them. It's not just the shooter you need to worry about, but their family if that shooter looses his/her eyesight. The club and every officer would be named in following suit.


Steven
 

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As I have read:
"If you think shooting glasses are an inconvenience, try aiming with a glass eye."
 

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Our club is insured requiring the use of eye protection (shooting glasses) and the use of properly installed, properly fitted ECI's. At benchrest matches we furnish the ECI's and give a short training session on what a properly installed ECI is. Then we do not require that the shooters remove the bolt after the relay but the ECI installed is a must. We now have literally NO dropped, misplaced, or wrong bolts on the benches.

Getting a conversation and clarifying letter from your club lawyer and insurance company is great advice. JME. WD
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks all

We do not have benchrest matches yet,but have a 1,000 Range that is getting a lot of use. There was some resistance to our shooting glasses rule. It has since been settled and glasses will be use. Thanks again and shoot safe.
 
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