Survival Gear Review: Oakley Ballistic M-Frame 2.0

Doomsday Preppers Apocalypse 101

Eye protection. It‘s essential. There is no getting around it, if you find yourself working with firearms, power tools, heavy machinery, ATVs, etc. You know how important it is to have good eye pro.


By Josh, a contributing author of

Today, we take a good hard look at the grandfather of ballistic eye pro- the Oakley M-Frames.

Specs (From Oakley):

The Oakley SI Ballistic M Frame 2.0 surpasses ANSI Z87.1 Industrial Standards for high-mass and high-velocity impact protection. Additionally the M Frame 2.0 meets MIL SPEC, MIL-PRF-31013.  All lenses are made of pure Plutonite®, a proprietary material that offers the highest level of optical clarity available in eye-wear.   You get razor-sharp clarity at all angles of view, which maximizes peripheral vision and protection against sun, wind and side impact.  It also features a clip that holds the lens and frame together providing more secure support.


The Oakley M-Frames come with two different lenses, a clear and a tinted shade.  During testing I logged more than 200 hours Doomsday Preppersoutdoors with the dark shade, and some 250 hours working around a busy welding and fabrication shop with the clear shade.  The M-Frames are rated to ANSI Z87.1 Industrial Standards for high-mass and high-velocity impact protection, which is the standard for industrial eye pro.  The M-Frames held up just fine to the impact of sticks and small rocks being tossed up by the lawnmower and weed-eater while doing yard work.  They performed just as well in the shop- wire wheels shredding off, cutting and grinding discs fracturing, slag, and metal shards were no problem.  At one point of time a wheel on an angle grinder fractured and some of it came spinning back at my face, it impacted my M-Frames across the right eye and a left a pretty deep scratch.  After more than a year of that treatment they were essentially fine, they were just too scratched up to really see out of.


I wore my M-Frames during a wide variety of activities.  They are pretty cool looking shades and I enjoyed wearing them while hiking, biking, running, doing typical yard work, tree cutting, metal cutting, grinding, welding, and shooting.  I discovered that the earpiece is pretty low profile and wore well under a variety of other protective gear.  I wore them under my welding hood with no discomfort.  I also wore them while shooting and wearing a variety of popular helmets.  No problems running them under your run of the mill Gentex ACH, no problems with the Ops-Core series of helmets, and no problems with the Team Wendy Exfil helmet either. They are low profile enough that there aren’t any huge discomfort issues with running them under over the ear hearing protection like my Peltor 6s. It is definitely better though when you are running your headset integrated into the helmet (ie. TCI Liberator II.) Overall pretty good.

Torture Testing:

Through general usage we proved that the M-Frames will stand up to far more than your average shades will, but you can’t Doomsday Preppersstop there. We really wanted to test the limit of the ballistic protection capabilities, so we took them along for yet another trip to the range. Thus far we have demonstrated that the M-Frames will stand up to everything up to actually being shot. The plan was to use our friendly neighborhood “tacti-cool snowman” model and to run it through its paces with a couple of different rounds. We doctored up our snowman and let him have it. Perhaps it would have been wise to take our first shot from a greater distance than we did. At 6 feet, it only took one dose of 12 guage 2 ¾” #8 shot to turn our victi- I mean volunteer into carrot salad on ice. The M-Frames, sadly, did not survive our first shot.


If you are familiar with Oakley products, you know that they like to take a proven lense and build a million different frames to fit so you can get the look you are going for. This review covers the lense used in the Military issue SI Ballistic M Frame 2.0, M Frame Strike, M Frame Array and many others. The whole lineup receives my highest recommendation.

All Photos By: Josh

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew February 3, 2013 at 8:28 am

You killed the snowman!!! LOL


Josh February 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

We tried!


Dave H February 3, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Great review Josh! Next time you want to try a BB or pellet rifle first and work your way up to a 12ga LOL!


Josh February 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Hindsight is always the kicker :D I am gonna shoot you an email this afternoon.


BamaMan February 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

Great Read! And thanks for having the past three or four new articles in such a short period of time.


Josh February 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Thanks, BamaMan!


Dan February 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Can these be ordered as prescription glasses?


Josh February 22, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I honestly don't know. I searched the Oakley website but I wasn't able to find any prescription lenses, they have everything else though. All different shades of colors, even photochromic. Who knew? It might be worth a phone call, I hear they have a great customer service hotline.


Rescue7 February 13, 2013 at 5:35 am

Good post! Gargoyles also offer a similar level of ballistic protection. We used Oakleys and Gargoyles in CQB for years. I just wish they had a scratch resistant coating.


Josh February 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Man, I know what you mean! The only way I was able to justify shooting them was because they were too scratched up to see through.


mr_smashy March 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I have a pair of SI FLAK JACKET XLJ POLARIZED that I am really happy with, and they do offer prescription replacement lenses for all colors except polarized. I thought about getting clear lenses for these for indoor ranges, but I just toss on some cheap clear goggles and keep the oakes for outdoors.


Bobby N. Heckman May 23, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I barely used such Oakley piece in my welding classes. Our instructor doesn't allow me to use such instead, we were taught to use proper welding gears.


www.PolishX.Com July 28, 2013 at 10:03 am

I got a set given to me from an friend who is still in the Army , I gota say best shooting and work glasses I have ever owned


mehzib November 16, 2013 at 7:35 am

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