Monday at the 2015 SHOT Show, Oakley Standard Issue introduced the Tombstone, a new system of eye protection for competitive shooting. While derivative of their military products, the Oakley SI Tombstone is optimized for competitive shooters with a wider, unobstructed field of view, a new rapid lens-exchange mechanism, and Oakley’s Prizm lens tint technology to help shooters increase contrasts between targets and surrounding environments.

I had a chance to shoot a 3-gun stage using an AR rifle wearing Tombstones with a Prizm lens at Media Day at the SHOT show. The effect was dramatic. The targets appeared to pop out of the background like watching a movie with 3-D glasses. The lens enhances contrast, which enhances depth perception. This promotes speed and accuracy. I was impressed.

Oakley Standard Issue has partnered with the U.S. Armed Forces for more than 20 years. This alliance was formed to develop new technologies that improve the safety, performance and comfort of tactical eyewear. This initiative in research and development continues to produce combat-ready equipment for those whose lives depend on their gear.

In 1975, Oakley began with the development of a motocross hand grip (below) with an innovative orbicular design. Innovation is routine at Oakley. They have a systematic approach to product development based on three fundamentals: Find opportunity, solve with technology, wrap in art.

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Oakley’s partnership with the U.S. Armed Forces began in the 1980s. Oakley’s research and development continues to produce combat equipment for America. I used them during my time in the service and so did thousands of others.

Oakley Tombstone Eye Shields: Quick Look

The development of Tombstone started with identifying problems that professional shooters were having with glasses. Three-gun shooters are forced to operate a number of weapons (three, obviously) in sometimes contorted positions driven by barricades and props. This creates field-of-view challenges unique to action shooting, as shooters look out of their lenses at varying angles. Traditional frame profiles created issues with obstructed field of view and provided poor peripheral vision. Here comes the science.

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Oakley’s mad scientists started by figuring out exactly how shooters looked at targets. They looked at 100,000 test participants using a 60Hz eye tracking system designed by Sensomotoric Instruments Inc. They were able to gauge and record eye position and movement in real-time situations. The data indicated that periphery of the lens is critical in providing the visual field shooters need for performance and safety. The Tombstone eye shield maximizes the lens zone to a full 120-degree view. Oakley’s High Definition Optics virtually eliminate curve distortion and provide clarity at every angle of vision.

Tombstone uses a release trigger on each side of the frame, allowing shooters to quickly change the lens without ever touching the lens front. The lens locks into place the way a magazine locks into into a magazine well.

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If that wasn’t enough, Oakley Prizm lens use special dyes to block specific wavelengths of light that interfere with vision while emphasizing the color spectrum where the eye is most sensitive to detail in specific environments. Different lenses for different environments. The result is a perfectly tuned contrast that makes targets stand out against foliage, dirt, or sky (for aerial targets).

Because human heads vary in size, there are two lens profiles: the “Reap” for larger heads and the “Spoil” for smaller.

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Read the details from Oakley’s product info.

Oakley SI Tombstone eye shields:

  • Meet or exceed impact and optical requirements per ANSI Z87.1 2003/2010.
  • Have lenses that block 100 percent of UVA/UVB and harmful blue light up to 400 nm wavelength.
  • Have advanced anti-fog coating and hard coating for scratch resistance
  • Are composed of Plutonite®, Oakley’s high-purity optical-grade polycarbonate.
  • Come in two cuts: Reap (larger profile) and Spoil (slightly smaller coverage) and a variety of lens tints. Tombstone glasses will be available on OakleySI.com in Spring 2015.

Prizm lenses:

  • Oakley SI Prizm™ technology uses formulated dye-compounding technology, producing a color-tuned contrast lens specifically for shooting.
  • Boosts visual recognition of targets while blocking a variety of neighboring backgrounds such as dirt, trees, and sky.
  • Allows the shooter to reduce eye fatigue and strain, while
    improving the ability to see reticle scope patterns more
    clearly.
  • Made from Plutonite®, Oakley’s high-purity optical-grade
    polycarbonate.
  • Blocks 100 percent of UVA, UVB and harmful violet-blue light up to
    400 nm wavelength.
  • Features Oakley’s HDO® Optics to ensure razor-sharp clarity at
    every angle of vision.

Optical standards and accessories:

  • High Definition Optics meet all optical standards per ANSI
    Z87.1-2010 (Clause 5.1.4).
  • Custom storage case allows for retaining up to three additional
    lens options.
  • Rimless frame increases scanning passive field of view to
    120-degrees.
  • Thin-stem technology enables compatibility with over-ear
    hearing protection/comms.
  • Rapid, single-release trigger lens exchange keeps lenses free of
    fingerprints.
  • Durable and stress-resistant O Matter® frame material makes it
    comfortable and ultra lightweight.

The Oakley Standard Issue Tombstone eye shield system confers a significant advantage to the shooter wearing them. Expect to see them on winners across the country very soon.

Tombstones will cost about $180 when Oakley makes them available.

(Images courtesy of Oakley)