Shooting Glasses for Aging Eyes + How to Choose the Correct Magnification

Posted on November 04 2019

Shooting Glasses for Aging Eyes + How to Choose the Correct Magnification

Can't See your Front Sights? We have the solution. SSP Eyewear Top Focal Shooting Glasses.

Originally, our Top Focal Lenses were designed for Law Enforcement pistol instructors. They allow the instructor who wears reading glasses to tilt their head down in the standard Weaver, or Isosceles stance and pick up their front sights on his or her pistol. No more blurry front sights!

How to Choose the Correct Top Focal® Magnification

The first thing to note is that the magnification that you use for reading may not be the same for shooting. The reason for this is because, when you shoot, you hold your firearm out at arms length. Now think about how you would typically read a hold it much closer. An arms length, when it comes readers, makes all the difference. 

  1. Go to your local drug store and locate their reading glasses section. Bring a pencil along for testing purposes. 
  2. If you already know what your reading glass magnification is, try on a pair of reading glasses at a magnification that is slightly weaker than your reading glasses.
  3. Now, hold your pencil out at arms length. With the glasses on, focus on the tip of the pencil like you would your sights. If the tip of the pencil is clear, this would be the correct magnification. If it is not clear, try different strengths until you can see the tip of the pencil clearly.

BONUS TIP: Ways to customize your Top Focal® glasses to improve accuracy

  • Using the Top Focal Assorted Kit, wear both right and left Top Focal® lenses. This will make your sights clear but target softly blurred. 
  • Using the Top Focal Premiere Kit, wear a Top Focal® lens on your dominant eye and a Chelan lens (no magnification) on your non-dominant eye. This will make the sights clear and the target unobstructed with both eyes open.
  • Using the Top Focal Ultra Kit, wear a Top Focal® lens on your dominant eye and a Denial lens (bottom bifocal) on your non-dominant eye. This will make the sights clear, the target clear, and reading clear when using both eyes
The SSP Top Focals are offered in: 1.00, 1.25, 1.50, 1.75, 2.00, 2.25, 2.50 & 3.00 magnification. So, whether you are shooting recreationally or relying on a firearm for your everyday job, the Top Focal® shooting glasses from SSP Eyewear can improve your accuracy by providing a clear sight picture.


  • SSP Eyewear: January 26, 2021

    In response to Larry Michel’s comment about the Top focal Premier Kit. You are the correct, our top focal kits have a magnified portion only in the top part of the lens. The whole lens is not magnified. Hope this helps! – Ali

  • Larry Michel: January 26, 2021

    I am just a little confused. I want a 1.0 lens in my right (dominant)eye. I want the whole lens at 1.0 not a bifocal. Left eye I want no correction. I thought from description that this was the Top Focal Premiere Kit. However, when I go to order the Top Focal Premiere Kit, it says:

    “a full set of lenses with bifocal magnification at the top of the lens”

    This makes me think the whole lens is NOT the same and the magnification is just at the top of the lens.Am I missing something? Please help. Love the concept.


  • David Kopf: October 15, 2020

    I have prescription lenses for a 20/400 farsighted vision. Focus on my front iron sights through the upper left corner of my right lens is difficult because as I put my cheek on the rifle stock and look through my right lens, it is angled and I end up looking through the upper left corner of the lens. It doesn’t have a very good quality of image that far from the center of the lens. Is there a standard way shooters solve this problem? Do I just need to wear contacts and then use the solution of magnification on the top of my shooting (non-prescription) glassses? Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Jacob L Wears: October 15, 2020

    How much are your shooting glasses.

  • Bob Burnitt: October 15, 2020

    The other day, I was practicing with a 22 target pistol and as always at this stage of my life, I was having trouble seeing the REAR sight. I went and got a pair of readers I had laying around they were those really CHEAP readers for $8 bucks at Wally World you get 3 or 4 pair. They were a 1.0 magnification. I could see the REAR and Front sight SHARPLY. Then squeezed off a few rounds. Let me tell you, even though the Target was pretty blurry I was HITTING and shooting BETTER than I have in YEARS. Not that I was a world champion to start with. But it made an ASTONISHING difference. I do welding TOO, have been doing that off and on all of my life. I run a magnifier in my welding hood, had one in it for over 20 YEARS. I am 68 years old. After cataract surgery I had to go to a MUCH more POWERFUL Magnifier in my hood, but welding is CLOSE WORK. I am going to try your product, it has got to work if my old readers were any indicator. Needs some in the YELLOW and in Dark sunshade. The Crystal Lens leaves you with TWO kinds of LIGHT, NOT ENOUGH, and TOO MUCH!!! Glare is a bad thing. The Crystal Lens SUCKS, If I had to to it over I wouldn’t, BB

  • Peter Lassen : October 15, 2020

    please begin a conversation with me about how SSP can help me with corrective glasses, clear and yellow tinted for hunting, other outdoor activities. I’m currently wearing progressive polycarbonate lenses w/transition for sun UV protection and single correction distance tinted sunglasses for hunting, boating, daytime driving.
    Peter Lassen

  • patrick: October 15, 2020

    I have a pair of Elvex +1.5 full lens diopter glasses for rifle shooting. My reading glasses are 2.5. I would like to get some tinted but can find none so far. The 1.5 gives me sufficient magnification to adjust my turrets but not too much for looking through the scope. Partial lens diopters do not suit me. Top diopter I can see would be good for pistol but not for scoped rifle. Do you make such a lens?

  • Ralph Rosales: October 15, 2020

    Where do I order glasses

  • Glenn A. Teare : October 15, 2020

    I have a stigmatism in my right (aiming) eye which requires glasses all the time. My left eye only requires reading glasses adjustment. So will your product work for my right eye?

  • Keith Selthofer: October 15, 2020

    I am going to order a set of top focal shooting glasses. Question I have is I need 1.25 for my tight eye and nothing for my left.

    How do I order this configuration?

    Thank You
    Keith Selthofer

  • Richard Rusoff: October 15, 2020

    I bought a 3.00 magnification for top readers. Is it possible to exchange them?

    At the recommended distance in the video the pen I am using is a bit blurry. Would a lower number make it clearer?

  • Paul Regula: October 15, 2020

    I have topfocals from you , great ! If I order bottom bifocals will they fit the same frame ?

  • William Blevins: October 15, 2020

    Can I buy just lens

  • Steven D Parker: October 15, 2020

    How can I check for a shot gun or a rifle with taking a rifle or shot gun into a store?

  • Richard F Christopher: October 15, 2020

    The video to determin correct magnification was great, but I have two questions. One, is that for the bottom of the lens and two, I shoot right handed but am left eye dominate, could I still use the same test? Thanks.

  • Dr. Wes Molenaar: October 15, 2020

    Good video but you may want to caution your audience that if they have astigmatism of 1.00 diopter or more, a visit to their optometrist might be a good idea for maximum sharp front sight prescription, which would not be the same as a drugstore reader diopter number.

  • Chuck Rundle: October 15, 2020

    How about if I need different prescriptions for near and far vision?
    I wear reading glasses sometimes for tight vision and typical old guy glasses for long distances past about 25 yards.
    Have any combos for me?

  • JAMEY ALTMAN: October 15, 2020

    I do not currently wear glasses but at 43 my eyes are not what they use to be. I am an avid shooter and also run a repair shop for agricultural equipment. How do I know which lenses to choose? Safety glasses seem to be something I am reluctant to put on when I am doing precision work due to the inability to see clearly.

  • John Donovan: October 15, 2020

    I’m right eye dominant and my right eye focuses well at a distance and left eye focuses well close up. Can you do different magnifications? I’ve used my computer glasses which focus both eyes at the same distance as my front sights and it helps quite a lot so I know I need shooting glasses that can do this. Suggestions?

  • Audie: October 15, 2020

    JI just wanted a clarification here. Is this designed for farsighted only.

    Thank you.

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