On the importance of eye protection

The risk to the boy’s vision, above, is pretty obvious. The cock of the gunlock blocks some of the debris from reaching the right eye, but the left eye is unprotected. While blinking offers some protection to the eyeballs, our reflexes aren’t always rapid enough…and getting fragments of burning priming powder, frizzen sparks or flint chips on the eyelids isn’t much fun, either. The danger is reduced but not eliminated with percussion and cartridge firearms, though the danger there is more from ricochets, gas leakage and splashing of lubricants.

Shooting without eye protection may be more authentic, but it’s a considerable risk. he same is true of shooting without hearing protection: blank shots aren’t very loud, but live rounds can damage hearing. Flesh-colored molded plugs won’t stand out, and neither would period-correct glasses. Fortunately, this young lady used glasses during actual live fire events.

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9 Responses to On the importance of eye protection

  1. SAM says:

    You had me worried no posts or updates for three weeks. I hope every things OK.

  2. John says:

    We all need to be reminded to be safe. Thanks.
    P.S. I was concerned too.

  3. Ray says:

    The reason that most flintlock rifles do that today is because the reenactment “know it all” “rules comity” that runs most events requires a FARB little “safety” addition to your firelock called a “flash guard” that does nothing to make the weapon safer but does throw crap into YOUR face by throwing it UP and BACK instead of DOWN and FORWARD like an 18th century lock. (or at least my 18th century flint lock). OH! and eye glasses are FARB for the 18th century “common man”as they were the prevue of the very wealthy city dweller who could afford a hand ground and crafted set of lenses and frames. “optometry” as we know it was just being invented in the 1770’s by men like Ben Franklin. Eyeglasses would have been a thing of wonder for anyone along the “frontier” as late as the 1830’s.

    • Paul Koning says:

      Actually, eye glasses are centuries older than Franklin. Galileo correctly documented that his telescopes were a refinement of the original invented by a Dutch eyeglass maker in the early 1600s.
      As I recall, Franklin’s contribution was the invention of bifocals.

      • Ray says:

        Yes Paul, BUT they(the dutch lenses that went back to Henry VIII) were hand ground one off items for the mega wealthy. Franklin and others like him in the late 18th century were the first to make a scientific study of glass lenses as prosthetics. I didn’t mean to infer that he invented them. But he was one of the leading lights, on the road leading to mass production. My point was that until the 1850’s “Eye glasses” were both rare and expensive in the Americas, and almost unheard of on the “frontier” until the advent of mass production and the coming of the rail road.

    • Mike M. says:

      I honestly don’t give a damn what the reenactors think. Not when it comes to protective gear.

  4. Andy says:

    Wear eyes and ears: Though there are have been rapid and stunning advances over the past decade in modern implanted prostheses (Cochlear and retinal) the cost per prosthetic is still anywhere between $60k (Cochlear implant) and $150k. (Argus II retinal implant) And that’s leaving out the cost of the surgery required to put them in. Your parents gave the originals for free, and the implanted prostheses are extremely limited (To the tune of losing 90% of your former acuity) and temperamental. (You don’t want to go through life having to change your batteries (at the worst possible moment) just to see or hear, do you?

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