Some folks have called me a doubting Thomas. Others seem to feel that I'll write something nice about any company that sends me equipment to test. To that second group I say, "You have no idea how much stuff I've sent BACK because it failed." In the case of this week's review item--a recheck of Revision Military Eyewear--I decided to put my own convictions to the test. I have long been a fan of Revision Eyewear and believed their ads about "37 hits, no penetrations." I decided not to take it for granted and test it myself. This week's review has pictures of ONE pair of Revision's Sawfly eyewear protection system that we shot THREE times with eight-shot. The short report is "92 hits: no penetrations". The long report is--below.
Off to the range I went. My test shotgun was my Remington 870 pump 12g with a 20-inch slug barrel. My test load was Federal 2.75-inch eight-shot shells. My target, as you can see from the photos, was a cardboard "backer" hung and fitted with a pair of Revision Eyewear Sawflys. To simulate eyes, nose and mouth in a way that would clearly show hits, I used black adhesive dots from Shoot-N-See Products which show yellow when penetrated (or scraped hard enough). I felt that shooting the target from 16 feet, which is what Revision did for testing, was a bit unrealistic. My feeling is that, from that close, a blast of eight-shot is going to do so much damage to my head that I won't care about my eyes. What was a more realistic distance? A distance that I believed would result in superficial facial injuries--not incapacitating--where damage to the eyes through the closed lids would be blinding. The distance I decided to start with was 15 yards.
So, from the 15 yard line I fired one round of eight-shot at the target. Accounting for muzzle rise I tried to aim accordingly and the resulting hit pattern is visible on the photo shown to the right here. I probably aimed just slightly lower than I should have, but the number of hits in the Shoot-N-See dots are easy to see. The holes in the gray head are also worth noting. Each represents a puncture in skin, cheek, forehead, chin, lips, ears, etc. What is important is that, of the 16 hits counted on the glasses from this shot, none penetrated.
So, okay, cool. From about 45 feet a blast of eight-shot isn't blinding. But that's just one shot. How about another? I had to find out. So, making sure the Sawflys were still in place on the target, I took that second shot. I adjusted my aim a little higher this time. I wanted to get maximum impact on the head area of the target, increasing my chances of getting as many pellets as possible to hit the glasses. What I was trying to find out is if the lenses, having been impacted once, would have weak spots that could be penetrated with a second volley of shot. As you can clearly see from the next photo down, the glasses survived the second shot and prevented any penetrations. I had to do the counting: we added another 23 impacts to the Sawflys (my aim was better) for a total of 39 hits (so far) without any penetrations.
As you can see on the right side of the target's head, the glasses were being pushed into the cardboard pretty well. Obviously, the impact energy of 39 eight-shot pellets is still enough to do some damage. I found it significant, though, that even on a second blast, the glasses hadn't failed. What would a third shot do? We were about to find out. I made sure that the glasses were still in place and stable. I moved my firing position up to the seven yard line: 21 feet. Standing there looking at the target that close I remember thinking, "Even if the eyes are still there, the head won't be." With that in mind I loaded my round of eight-shot, took aim and fired.