Everyone thinks they don’t need sight protectors until their expensive scopes get shot out. And yet, for $40 or less, you can get a premium sight protector for your replica gun and save yourself a lot of money and hassle.
Once a BB hits your scope’s glass in a close-quarters battle (CQB), it’s almost always game over for that sight. Even if you have a cheap scope, it will be expensive if you have to replace it now and then.
A quality sight protector can take multiple direct hits without so much as a scratch, making it a worthwhile investment no matter what kind of optics you’re using.
But why choose premium sight protectors instead of those $9 pieces of plastic that are sold everywhere? Here are three reasons why:
- Premium sight protectors are made of polycarbonates like Lexan. Lexan is tougher than acrylics like Plexiglass, so they last much longer.
- The best sight protectors look much cooler than the boring, cheap round ones. Our very own I Am Black Lion sight guards feature a sleek, signature look inspired by military stealth vehicles.
- The best sight guards are designed and tested to extreme standards. You get crystal-clear clarity, seamless fitting, and they won’t interfere with your aiming.
Premium sight guards cost more than $30, so they sound very expensive at first. But here’s the kicker: would you rather buy a $10 sight guard every other week, or have a $40 guard that lasts for months and looks way cooler?
If you’re going to invest in a high-quality scope, you might as well buy an effective and beautiful sight guard.
Let’s look at the price of sight protectors and understand why, in this case, cheap is truly expensive.
Table of Contents
- How Much Do Good Airsoft Sight Protectors Cost?
- The Price and Advantages of Premium Sight Guards
- Are Quality Scope Protectors Worth the Price?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Good Airsoft Sight Protectors Cost?
Part of our price research involved combing through Amazon, Alibaba, and a ton of other online platforms. We found a large variety of sight protectors in different designs, aesthetics, materials, and prices.
Right away, we could tell a few things:
- Most generic brands use acrylic, which is why their protectors are so cheap.
- Most of the options we saw were cut into generic circular, oval, or rectangular shapes. No attempt was made to add character or style.
- Variations in mounting type can make or break the long-term value of the sight protector.
Below is one example of a cheap sight guard. It is made of Plexiglass, but you can already see that clarity could be an issue here.
This is a far cry from the high-end options going for $30 or more.
We also noticed that price alone is not a reliable guide to the quality of airsoft sight protectors. For the sake of fairness, let’s do a price check by category.
Acrylic or Plexiglass Sight Protectors
You may already know that Plexiglas is one brand of acrylic plastic. The cheapest sight guards are made from this material, although some can cost as much as $20.
Acrylic sight guards do very little to protect your scope, though they are shinier and more clear. Acrylic cracks easily, and a high-energy BB can easily penetrate the panel. Just watch the following test video to see for yourself.
As you can see, even the low-speed BBs will shatter the acrylic, which obstructs aiming and makes the sheet useless.
Unfortunately, it is hard to tell acrylic from genuine polycarbonate unless you know what you are looking for. One rule we have come to live by is that if it costs less than $15, it’s probably not worth the money.
This scope protector costs $12.95, which sounds cheap until you start replacing it every week. Luckily, Plexiglas sight guards are almost completely out of fashion due to their unreliability.
Polycarbonate Sight Protectors
Polycarbonate (PC) is a harder, denser plastic material than acrylic. It is also expensive, which is why polycarbonate airsoft sight guards are more costly.
Lexan is one of the most popular brands of polycarbonate. Since the material scratches easily, it is usually coated with a clear protective coating. The best polycarbonate sight guards can take several shots at close range without so much as a scratch.
The Valken PC sight guard below costs $14.95, but it is a worthwhile investment.
Expert tip: Many manufacturers try to pass off acrylic sight protectors as if they were polycarbonate. Genuine polycarbonate has a less shiny but dense look compared to acrylic.
Do-It-Yourself Scope Protectors
If you are good with your hands, it might make sense to try a DIY scope protector. You can buy Lexan from hardware shops and have it cut to size, then fit the panel to an existing mount.
The video below shows the process of making a DIY lens protector.
However, most airsoft guns will require a rail-mounted protector. It is almost impossible to buy a rail separately, so you have to buy a complete sight guard and swap out the panel. You will also need to drill holes to fit the mount.
A Lexan panel measuring 24” x 36” costs about $30 and will give you plenty of sight guards. Other tools needed include an Allen key and sandpaper, which add to the cost.
Overall, it is cheaper and easier to buy a finished sight guard.
The Price and Advantages of Premium Sight Guards
A premium polycarbonate sight protector has an immediate functional and aesthetic advantage. Look at the I Am Black Lion sight guard below.
This sight guard goes for $40.50. It is more expensive than the cheaper acrylic options, but the quality difference between them is huge.
Our sight guards are designed from start to finish to offer unbreakable protection and unparalleled class. Compared to the generic versions above, our premium sight guards are made with love and care.
These sight protectors are tested and shown to withstand a 0.40g BB shot at 337.4 FPS (2.11J of energy) at point-blank (10cm) range. You can therefore expect a much longer service life and a big return on the investment.
Comparing the Prices of Various Sight Protectors
The table below compares the prices and benefits of different types and brands of sight protectors available today.
|Type of Sight Protector||Price Range||Example|
|Polycarbonate sight guards||$10–$20|
|Premium sight protectors||Over $30|
We used public price data to make this comparison table, so now you have a good idea of what you can expect to pay for your replica gun’s sight guard.
However, the cost of ownership goes beyond this. This is why a good quality sight protector makes more financial sense in the long run than the cheaper ones.
Are Quality Scope Protectors Worth the Price?
A premium-quality scope protector is worth its price many times over. That is because it will give you continued protection even after being subjected to several strikes. The video below shows what it takes to break a high-strength sight protector.
Unlike Plexiglass, Lexan is much tougher and features a scratch-resistant coating, which allows it to stop most BBs with no problem. This coating also makes it ultra-clear to improve sight, so that you can see through the scope as if it weren’t even there.
One of our happy customers had this to say:
I’ve lost about 14 different protectors since I started almost 9 years ago…
The Black Lion sight guard has yet to fail me however, and it’s taken a fair amount of hits thus far!
If you care about your optic, it’s an easy investment to make – and certainly one that looks better than any average protector.
Matt Cruiser, The Netherlands
Finally, the best sight guards are shaped and designed to help you stand out in the field. We design our sight guards with the fierce character of military stealth vehicles, giving them an unrivaled appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an optic protector to play airsoft?
Yes, if you don’t want to keep replacing your fancy scopes. While a scope protector is not compulsory, it is necessary. You are going to have BBs hit your glassware now and then, so we recommend investing in a good sight protector for your sights.
Is Lexan the same as Plexiglas?
Not at all. Lexan is a brand name for a tough polycarbonate material built by GE since the early ‘70s. Plexiglas (single “s”) is a German brand of acrylic plastic, which makes it inferior to Lexan. Always buy sight protectors made of polycarbonate for maximum protection.
Is a killflash better than a sight protector in airsoft?
No. A killflash is dangerous when playing airsoft because the metal honeycomb mesh can split BBs and send them flying into your eyes. They will also pass through the mesh and damage your scope, so a good sight protector is a much better choice.
Can you use a sight protector with a red dot scope?
Yes. Even seemingly cheap red dot scopes will still need a good sight protector to keep them from shattering all the time. This saves you money and makes playing airsoft hassle-free.
Protect Your Expensive Scope Now
Whether you have a cheap red dot sight or an expensive holographic scope, a quality sight protector is a valuable investment. It keeps you from having to replace your optics over and over again, giving you peace of mind and saving you money.
At I Am Black Lion, we have finally brought you quality sight protectors that not only stop shots but call the shots as well. Get your cool, fierce stealth sight guard and rule the field today.