He's been part of the New Zealand IPSC national team for nearly 10 years.
Firstly, he's a hell of a nice guy. He's always keen for a chat and his knowledge about the shooting sport is one that you have to experience.
I enjoy talking to Brian, because having experienced and competed at such a high level of the sport - every little aspect becomes important, and that's where our passions of having the best gear for the job align.
Brian is big on his safety on (and off) the range and he wrote a great piece that we had to share, with his permission.
Don’t tempt Murphy’s ricochet
Safety glasses are a must and are mandatory on most pistol ranges that cover the different styles. The only exception is ISSF, which is the Olympic-style, shot with .22 and Air.
The chance of a ricochet is always a possibility and most who have been shooting for a while have been hit at some stage. The biggest risk is not when you are shooting but when others are, and you’re supporting or watching. However, not for a second am I saying that I would not wear them when I am shooting. In fact, just the opposite. I wear safety glasses even when I do not have to, as I believe it is important to protect your eyes at all times.
Over the years I have used a number of different styles and brands. The ones I use now have a number of different coloured lenses, clear, yellow, and dark so I am ready for all weather conditions. What do I consider important when looking for a pair of safety glasses? Well, strength of the lenses is obvious, as it is all about protection. Will they take a hit without causing problems? Then there is comfort, because you are going to be wearing them all day. When at competition, it could be for several days in a row and if they are not a comfortable fit, then you risk removing them for a rest or break and that could be at the wrong time—it isn’t worth the risk. (Good old Murphy’s law never seems to rest, so don’t tempt it). Clarity of lenses is also very important; if you cannot see through them, you cannot hit your target. Top quality glasses can cost good money and I have gone from buying them from the likes of NZ Safety/Boc Gas, to gun supply stores. However, I now use the same as the NZ Army, (ESS) but who knows what I will try next. Suffice it to say, they will be of good quality because it is just not worth the risk to your eyes, so do not skimp, or worse yet, do not go without safety glasses.
Please be safe people.