As most skirmishers know, eye and ear protection is important in order for participants to get full enjoyment out of skirmishing. In my stumbling around the Internet and Cowboy Action Shooting, I've managed to stumble across a couple of really good deals to share with our readers.
Budget Eyeglasses has finely crafted two pair of shooting glasses for me this Spring. Having reached the age where my arms are no longer long enough to read with, I started wearing bifocals last year. I visited my optometrist and got a wonderful pair of almost period glasses, but that dang little line has a tendency to lay between my eyeball and the front sight at the most inopportune times. I have also discovered that an occasional percussion cap will disintegrate and throw a hot sliver of brass right under my eye when shooting. My solution was a larger pair of single vision glasses from Budget. They were able to get them to me in about one week, the craftsmanship was excellent, and they are just the thing for skirmishing. As a matter of fact, I just got my second pair, in a yellow tint, for those cloudy skirmishing days. I had the chance to try the new tinted glasses out on a rainy day of CAS shooting last month, and they too were perfect. I ordered the 30% yellow tint, and it was exactly what was needed to provide that clear definition on the front sight and down range. Although I am concerned about the lack of an alibi for missing all those targets, I must say that the prices at Budget are exceptional, the quality is very good, service is fast and I have been very pleased with their product. If you need a good pair of skirmishing glasses, don't forget to check Budget Eyeglasses out.
At the Maryland State Single Action Shooting Society Championship in Damascus, MD last April, I met the proprietor of Shooters Safety Products, John Romanko. While I was killing time (and I didn't kill too many targets, either), I stopped by his sutlery and John manufactured an excellent pair of hearing protectors for me while I waited. Having already lost 30% of my hearing in one ear - not skirmishing related - I am anxious to keep what I have left. The inserts that John carefully crafts are formed in your ear, so they fit perfectly each time you use them. I have used them at three shoots since then, including on the line for three relays of Cannon as the Artillery Officer at the 101st National skirmish, and I really like them. They seem to allow more normal conversation in then the less expensive plugs I have been using, and I think that it might have something to do with the compound used to make the inserts. Because John is a sutler, he makes his way around the Mid-Atlantic, or, you can check out his website. John sells other hearing protection products which are also listed on the web. To talk to somebody about hearing protection from John, call (724)547-0718 or you can fax at (624)547-8127.
While I'm touting good products I am enjoying using, I think I should mention the excellent boots I got from the Suwannee Sutler, John Boger. Last year at the Gettysburg Reenactment, it became painfully clear that I needed new boots. I stopped by John's tent, and liked what I saw, but his regular sized boots didn't fit my poor ,old, tired puny feet. John said he could measure my high instep and have a pair custom made for the same price if I could wait for delivery. After tracing and measuring my feet, John said they would be in by Labor Day, and they were. However, for some reason, the left one didn't fit. John said send 'em back, and I did. A little while later, I got two correct boots that fit perfectly. I have used them with great satisfaction since their arrival, and I am very pleased with the craftsmanship and materials of my reasonably priced boots. If you see John's big tent at a reenactment and you need good boots, don't hesitate to go in and get a pair. If the off the shelf ones don't fit, John can get you a pair that will, and your feet will thank you for it. You can contact John at Suwannee Sutlery, 3101 208th St., Siloam Rd, Lake City, FL 32024, (904) 963-3654,
And, speaking of the 101st National Skirmish, the Chesapeake Artllery, CSA, my home team, had the distinct pleasure of hosting the 101st with several other Potomac Region teams. After drilling and sorting more than 60,000 pigeons, pots and tiles, and creating 76 4 foot by 6 foot artillery targets, we got to help score 3,000 individual targets on Wednesday and Thursday. But, we had a lot of fun and I wished I had had more time to spend money in the sutlers, but I did managed to help a teammate buy a Henry! Yeeha! Now we have a Henry Team. Until the next time, promote responsible gun ownership, shoot safe and have fun.
© 2000 by Tom Kelley
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