Purple lenses on shooting glasses? What?

At first glance it might seem like a joke, but purple lenses on shooting glasses do make more sense than simply adding a color to a mold for the manufacturer. Purple glasses have very specific benefits and we hope to highlight those benefits well enough to help you understand if they make sense for you.

Most purple shooting glasses are minimally produced because demand isn’t particularly high when compared to grey, or yellow or amber lenses. That said, we think you will find this exploration of the purple shooting lens, quite interesting.

We strive to enlighten and educate you through our series of deep dive blog posts on the ArmsCart website. We are comprehensive, and sometimes you will see repeated content ideas throughout different articles. That’s because we think it is important that we reinforce certain ideas. Within this article you will see some overlap of things you have heard before from us, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the information about purple shooting glasses – there is a lot here that other websites don’t explore. We consider it one of our hallmarks, to deep dive like this.

Aren’t purple glasses just the same thing as pink glasses?

Firstly, let’s dispel a rumor. Purple and pink glasses besides being normally associated with each other, fulfill different tasks in practice, even though they do have some carryover benefits.

What this means is that while you can find a lot of similarities, there are real reasons why purple lenses are sold separately from pink lenses. Some of the most specific use cases widely diverge from each other.

They are both used for orange target contrast enhancement, that is true, but they offer varying degrees of that benefit and therefore fit different conditions appropriately, despite these obvious carryovers.

Pink glasses, like purple glasses offer muting of backgrounds including greens and blues. They are also both popular lenses when orange colors are involved. No statement about these two lens color options, is truer than that.

But that is where the similarities end really. Purple lenses are a combination of smoke or gray lenses, and vermillion lenses. The resulting lens offers good VLT blocking which makes the purple shooting lens an excellent option for snow shooting scenarios. When the sky is overcast, this is even more true.

When would I actually use shooting glasses with purple lenses?

As alluded to above, the purple lenses work exceptionally well in snow, and even better with open sky in the background. Additionally, they work well with any type of orange target and where visible light might negatively affect your shooting.

This means that shooting sporting clays or skeet and trap in snow covered grounds, or with some light snow cover fits these lenses.  Shooting in fresh light snow conditions on a hunt is also a good place for purple lenses. This is enhanced when there is a one color or two-color background with blues and greens in the environment.

Orange target markers on ranges with some glare issues are also a good fit for purple, where pink lenses wouldn’t offer some of the same glare protections, even in the deepest vermillion hues.

In open competitions with blue-sky backgrounds, purple can be a game changer. The lens is not meant for indoors and will rarely provide better benefits indoors comparatively to other specialty shooting lens colors. They remain a popular outdoor option for those who have tried them before, and yet, they are still relegated to a niche product status.

Sporting clays is probably the best use case that we can think of, especially in the afternoon or late morning, where glare can make an appearance.

Hunting in early fall or winter conditions, where some moderate to bright light is expected on freshly fallen snow is also a particularly good situation for purple shooting glasses. Yes, we recognize that this is an awfully specific set of circumstances for a shooter.

That concept cuts to the heart of what we are as an industry. The shooting industry prioritizes optimization and choice over just about all else. Once you have the core skills down, the rest is a continual progression towards fractions of seconds of improvement. You will constantly be chasing the slightest advantage to keep your skills relevant.

It’s also part of the reason why we highlight topics like these, that are not exactly reflected in our core offering. Here’s a link to our entire catalog of product offerings [LINK]. While we don’t carry all possible colored lenses, or a ton of esoteric frame types and sizes, we fully embrace the idea of universal incremental improvement. We are also well aware that it’s the fractions of seconds and the thousandths of an inch in group shrinking that make shooting the most fun. Who doesn’t want to constantly get better?

Hence the real reason that purple lenses are a thing. You COULD do without them, but if you are in it for the progressive optimization, they can offer additional betterment. This betterment comes from additional contrast and color enhancement of oranges, while there is color muting of greens and blues. It also comes from the grey addition to the vermillion lens colors. 

Purple lenses can be beneficial, especially for those who are already convinced of the potential game changing benefits of having multiple tools for the same job that come in handy when conditions change slightly.                                                                                                                                                                                                            

But isn’t this purple lens concept just a lot of marketing hype?

Sure. We can admit that a lot of our industry allows somewhat unrealistic marketing to hit the general marketing arenas. That said we do our best to be the most transparent about the practice, and we do our best to be as transparent and as up front with you as possible. We love our customers and recognize their contributions to the shooting sports and the world around them.

We also call the industry out on it constantly. This isn’t the only article this week wherein we have called out such practices. And note, again, we don’t even offer some of the lens colors we cover on our information blog, because some of those color options don’t benefit the core audience that we are loyal to. When these options do cater to our audience, we strive to give the most comprehensive overview on the topic. Your trust is very important to us.

Here’s a perfect example of what we do to help educate the consumer for their benefit: we wrote an article about the misleading aspects of certain marketing materials behind yellow and amber lenses for use in night driving [LINK]. The industry marketing practices are sometimes dubious at best, when it comes to defining the line between what’s good for the customer versus what’s good for the company.

Purple lenses have a real place in the shooting community. They work very well for their desired effect. But they are not a magical panacea for all your optimization or skill enhancing needs. But you know that because you’re reading this. And therefore, they may actually make sense for your needs. Here you can find some purple lens shooting glasses that might be a good fit for you [LINK].


Shooting glasses, like many other accessories is about nuance and optimization. If you’ve read any number of our articles about glasses, you’ll know we tend to be quite harsh to certain overall industry practices. We want our customers to be able to grab real value from our product offering. We are also advocating for consumers in finding out the truth about what they are reading and hearing.

We are also hugely into this concept of optimization, as long as the shooter realizes that optimization needs to be an opt-in practice. That is, buyers of specialty lenses or shooting glasses, should be able to utilize them for their niche properties, but not because they were sold on some other concept. We want the user of niche shooting glasses to be in it for the subtle benefits and knowing about them. We don’t want the alternative: that you were mislead into a purchase.

It’s why you see articles about lens types we don’t even carry as a company who manufactures shooting glasses. We want to inform and educate shooters, even if they don’t buy from us. Of course, we think we’ve got some of the best shooting glasses on the market [LINK]. But we are ok with helping you find another brand when it makes sense. We recognize shooters don’t live in a bubble and need choice to progress.

Purple shooting glasses are perfect examples of our internal philosophies. They are nuanced and niche. But they offer specific benefits that can enhance a shooter’s experience, or skillset. That makes them a power tool in the toolbelt for those shooters that can recognize and capitalize on those benefits. They should be positioned as that: a tool to be used where they make sense and put away when they don’t.

They are a perfect addition for shooters who shoot in unique conditions like snow with mostly green or brown or blue background. They are a very good option for high glare competitions that have orange targets, too.

We think it’s important that you know what you’re getting into when you dive into the specialty lens arena, and purple shooting glasses fit in that conversation.