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Shot Show in Las Vegas, January 19-22, 2016. Meet Tactical Rx there!

SHOT Show Preview

SHOT Show is the largest, most comprehensive trade show for professionals in the shooting sports, hunting and law enforcement industries. Luckily for us, everyone involved in those industries has eyes they need to protect, whether it’s the knife-maker at his steel grinder or the hunter who needs low-light lenses for early morning bird hunting. Tactical Rx provides the highest quality custom prescription eyewear for all of these diverse groups.

So, every January we head to Vegas as SHOT Show takes over with the newest gear from manufacturers large and small. It’s a scene, to say the least. Some products are as high-tech as tech gets, such as the Leopold D-EVO Scope, and others are lower-tech (if beautifully precise traditional craftsmanship using high-carbon steel is lower-tech), such as our local knife-making friends up in Golden, Spyderco.

In any case, it’s a fun time, and it’s a great opportunity for a small, independent company like Tactical Rx to gain exposure to a national audience. In the past, the friends we make out at SHOT Show have developed into deep, long-lasting relationships with people who have diverse roles in our industry. Of course, it’s also a chance for us to keep an eye on the latest trends in eye-pro to make sure we continue to offer our customers the best they can get.

As we gear up for this year’s event, if you’re going to be out there and would like to meet us, shoot us a note and we’ll see if we can catch up.

Rudy Project Rydon in Crystal, with black chromo kit. Custom Rx Lenses, in Transition.

Cool as Ice.

This is an icy cool pair of shades perfect for winter. It’s the Rudy Project Rydon, in Crystal. We swapped out the standard red chromo kit for black. This is about as clear as a pair of sport glasses can get, though the lenses are transition, so in sunglight they’ll go black.

*The crystal version of the Rydon aren’t ANSI z87. They’re safe, in the sense that the frame is made to the same specs, but it hasn’t been put through ANSI z87 testing so not safety rated. Only the all-black model is ANSI.*

Randolph Engineering Concorde Aviator.

EDC and Street Style

There is a strong, growing trend of the EDC (EveryDayCarry) movement and whatever you think of the acronym and even the movement (What’s new about carrying things around everyday?) the concept is legit: There are certain items that are crucial to your lifestyle and when they are they often take on significant, highly-highly personal meaning to your life.

Usually the list includes things like wallets, knives, pens. A firearm if you conceal carry. Some candy if you’re diabetic. We all have different needs, and yet there’s a lot of overlap on EDC gear. For anyone who requires corrective vision, prescription eyewear is an easy one. What’s more crucial than sight? What’s more necessary to finding all the other things in your bag than a pair of glasses? What’s more elemental to your job and your recreation than seeing it clearly? What’s more…I’ll stop, but you get the point. If you can’t see without your glasses, prescription eyewear needs to be on your EDC list.

If it’s on yours, is it a point of style? Of durability? Of performance? Eyewear needs to function and perform, but along the way it also expresses who you are and what your needs are.

The New Artemis, a cool website focusing on gear, design and EDC, was cool enough to run an article on Tactical Rx eyewear as an Every Day Carry item, check it out: The New Artemis article.

American Shooting Journal, September 2015

American Shooting Journal – Optimize Your Eyes

Guess how excited we were this afternoon when the friendly folks over at American Shooting Journal pointed out that they’d given us a sweet product review in the September 2015 issue. We’d made some glasses for a staff member up there hoping that they’d be able to get a feel for our work and feel comfortable spreading the word about who we are and what we do. Turns out, they liked them! And wrote about them! In September. And we just didn’t know:)

Two nice highlights from the American Shooting Journal article were:

– “Our goal is simple: provide law enforcement officers, security personnel and civilian shooters with prescription eyewear that meets the rigorous demands of both protection and performance.” Yes, that’s our goal.

– Bret’s “proprietary optical formulas and adaptations are highly refined and provide cleaner optical perspectives.” If you can see clearly, both your target and your surroundings, you can shoot clearly and make clearer decisions.

Here’s the text:

Tactical Rx Custom Vented lenses.

Custom Venting

Lenses are prone to fogging. It’s a reaction based on the heat produced by your face, the humidity of the environment and the temperature, as well. There are certain things that can be done to alleviate fogging:

– Get the right frame. If you know that you produce a lot of heat and sweat, don’t get a frame that creates a tight seal around your face. It’s going to fog. Open-bottom frames naturally allow for more ventilation and airflow, but full-frame options can be just as good if they fit properly.

– If you give us a heads up, we can treat a lens with an Anti-Fog coating for you at no charge. This coating does a pretty good job of reducing fogging issues and it’s easy to notice the difference between a lens that has been coated and one that hasn’t. If you breathe on one and breathe on the other, the untreated lens fogs up.
Other sports eyewear companies literally charge upwards of $60 for this coating. We’ll do it for free, and if you want a full bottle of the concentrate we use it’s an additional $10. We’ve demo-ed and tested dozens of anti-fogs, and it turns out the $10 one works as well as the $100 one.

– CUSTOM VENTING. This is what’s so cool about making custom lenses and doing all your lenscrafting in-house. We can custom vent the heck out of a lens. You want a few vent-holes? No prob. You want twenty vent-holes? Sure thing. By venting the lenses the moisture has a route to escape and it makes a substantial difference to the fogging properties of a piece of eyewear. This is, naturally, the third step in the process to prevent fogging. We drill into the lens and there’s no going back, so if you request custom venting, please be sure. It takes a little bit of time and handiwork, so we charge $30 for the service.


Why You Can’t Buy Our Glasses Online

The issue: We don’t let our customers place orders by clicking through on their own and submitting an order.

The reason: Sorry, we just don’t trust you that much. (Plus, it would hurt our feelings to think all of our expertise and the decades we’ve spent developing our product and service so we can offer fantastic personal consultation to our customers isn’t actually needed or appreciated.)

We don’t trust you to understand exactly whether you need an inverted shooting bifocal or just a traditional lined-bifocal. We don’t trust you to understand that applying an Anti-Reflective coating to a sunglass lens is actually just a counter-productive upcharge and not necessary at all. We don’t trust you to recommend to yourself another frame because even though your prescription can technically be made in a specific frame, it’s not the best option for you.

Of course, there are many places out there that let you click through an Rx eyewear order. They give you lots of questions and drop-down tabs and upcharges and options and just set you loose and take your money, so your overall interaction with them looks something like you’re placing an order for online delivery food:

Click-Through Order Template

Click-Through Order Template

What, for example, is the difference (besides $30) between a Premium Anti-Reflective and an Ultra Premium Anti-Reflective? Do you need an Anti-Reflective at all?

Look, this is a business, and we’re in business just like the people who run these click-through sites, we’re just not the type of place that encourages these blind, rapid sales. We actually want to speak with you or exchange emails with you because it helps us ensure that the final product we put in your hand is the one you’ll be the most pleased with. We want to know your very specific optical issues, the quality of the lighting at your local range, if you’re using mounted optics or open sights, and if you’re a heavy sweater that might fog up your lenses. It’s tempting to say that click-through purchasing would be easier, but honestly, there’s nothing easy about getting a product in your hands and not having it perform the way you’d hoped. It’s not easy on your end, calling us up and explaining that you’re disappointed, and it’s also not easy on our end, taking that call, apologizing profusely, and then trying to fix the problem. There’s nothing convenient about that, and ultimately it just ends up back in a discussion that should have happened up front.

We’re proud to offer a custom product, handcrafted for each of our customers. It’s not just a marketing convention to say that the service matches the product. It truly does, in the sense that the product needs to be made to suit your specific needs and the personal service is an integral part of what ensures that alignment. We’re not trying to suggest that we invite our customers over for Thanksgiving dinner (this has happened, once) or that when a return customer calls up we immediate recognize their voice and know their name (this happens, but we also have caller ID). Not all of our customers chat with us for days, sometimes it’s just a three minute order to confirm the details, and other times it’s just via email with a hunter in Australia or a soldier in the Ukraine or a metal fabricator here in Denver.

So, to order please call, at 888-807-5165. Or write. We’ll all be glad you did.

April 2014 issue of American Hangdunner, featuring Tactical Rx custom prescription lenses in the Randolph Engineering Concorde frame.

American Handgunner Magazine

In American Handgunner we’ve found a great outlet to reach a group of shooters who can very specifically connect to our work. We were lucky enough to have a cool feature in the March/April 2014 issue after we made a set of Randolph Engineering Concorde’s for Roy and his The Insider column. It’s a relationship we’re glad to have made.

The magazine itself was founded in 1976, meaning that even a 20 year-old reader in their inaugural year will be pushing sixty these days. That being said, with the AH readership we’ve made a lot of Almost Lens shooting bifocals for customers who are at that age when the front sights aren’t as clear as they once were. We also found that many concealed carry wearers prefer some of the less-sporty styles, mostly from Randolph Engineering, that are a bit more street-friendly.

If anyone hasn’t seen the magazine, it’s another great publication from the folks over at FMG that does an excellent, dedicated job of delivering fresh, reliable handgun news and info, both keeping up with the very latest tech but also doing an admirable job of tracing the legacy and development of products and companies in our industry to better explain the world today.


TFB TV – Tactical Rx Video Review

Check. This. Out. From James over at TFB TV.

It’s an awesome video review, both fun and funny and accurate and necessary to all shooters who care about their eyes. More to come, because the phone is ringing off the hook, but we just wanted to put this up!


Hunting Season.

Numa Point Ballistic in Camo with custom Almost Lens inverted shooting bifocal.

Numa Point Ballistic in Camo with custom Almost Lens inverted shooting bifocal.

For many people around the country hunting season is wide open or about to open. We’ve been getting a lot of calls from folks who want a new pair of prescription hunting glasses before a big trip and here are a few points based on the common questions we’ve heard:

– There isn’t one lens that will be perfect for all situations. Just as there are multiple rifles and ammo options depending on your hunt, there are also different lenses. Besides the fact that lenses are a point of personal preference and you might not like the same lens tone as your friend, the yellow lens you need for early morning light is not the same one rose you need for mid-morning light. A few hours later and you’re wearing a polarized brown in bright sun but then the clouds roll up and a polarized rose-copper would probably be a better choice. You get the point. Light shifts throughout the day, and it shifts quickly. Of course no one wants to buy 8 lenses for all possible light conditions (except for that one, very special customer who shall remain nameless but is always in our hearts and minds). Lenses are expensive, first of all, and it’s not the most convenient thing to be swapping them in and out with every cloud or new sun angle. In most situations, we recommend a high-light lens and a low-light lens. For me, it’s a clear and a polarized rose-copper. For you, it might be something similar.

– Yes, we have some Realtree camo options. Most of the Smith Elite frames are available in Realtree, as are the Numa frames. See photo above.

-If you’re shooting rifles with mounted optics you do not need near correction. Scopes will use and apply their magnification to your distance vision, so our Almost Lens is not a relevant lens for scoped hunting.

– Considering the amount of time you’ll spend in these, we strongly encourage customers to let us send a few out so you can try them on. After hours and hours little points of pressure can become pulsing pains. Take the extra step to make sure the frame is a comfortable one before you have us make custom Rx lenses for it.

And that’s about it. Hunt well. Stay safe.