Skip to comments.May I ask a question of our FR shooters re hearing protection?
Posted on 02/17/2013 9:28:56 AM PST by LouAvul
I've damaged my hearing from unprotected shooting. Now, everything I've read insists I wear both earplugs and muffs while shooting.
I also read that people are using electronic muffs for hunting so they can hear game movement.
If muffs and plugs are necessary to protect our hearing, how is it that electronic muffs, alone, are sufficient?
Also, I have a pair of Howard Leight Impact Sports muffs and wore them yesterday for coyote hunting.
I discharged my 223 and must not have had a good "weld" on my left ear because there was a slight "ringing" after the shot that didn't last long.
I say it didn't last long because it blended in real well with the nonstop "ringing" (tinnitis) I have anyway.
Walker Game Ears $279.00. Buy the best and you won’t have a problem. You can get them at Cabelas.
I know NOTHING about those particular ear muffs, but typically so many fewer rounds are discharged when hunting, than when on the range, that the total exposure to hearing is much less. And you are somewhat less likely to have other shooters near you.
I’ve always used electronic ear muffs, sometimes turned on and sometimes not, and my hearing is exceptionally good. However, I have a good fit. I have ear plugs that I tried a few times, but didn’t like the feel and they didn’t seem to be needed.
I have a pretty bad case of tinnitus also. It acts up the most when I am stressed or don’t get enough sleep and also when I have been exposed to loud noises. There is a pretty big difference in ear muffs. Sometimes out at the range I do wear both muffs and plugs especially when I or someone else is shooting something really loud.
I have some Peltor ear muffs that are considerably more effective than the ones I picked up for a dollar or two at Harbor Freight. I would assume that the same variability goes for the electronic muffs. Price may not be the best indicator of effectiveness, so I too will be anxiously awaiting a response to your question.
Mostly Sporting Clays here, used a variety of foam plugs until they became uncomfortable. Had a local guy mold custom silicone plugs that fill the ear canal. Most comfortable ever! First time out I wore them for 5 hours and hardly noticed. Granted you can’t hear much else going on, but I think they also make some with the electronic protection installed.
Wow, you’re in rough shape !
A friend of mine deals with Tinnitus. It’s a living hell. My parents are both deaf from loud music in the 70s. My father has some crazy, $5000 hearing system and my mother just deals with it.
I swore to never go through that. I’m 36 and I have perfect hearing (Off the charts). That said, I often do activities that are ear damaging (Driving a convertible, loud muscle cars, jeeps with the tops off, and shooting every chance I get)
I carry around several styles of ear plugs on me at all times. I drive my car with ear plugs, and I’m frequently seen outdoors with earplugs in, even when the occasion doesn’t really call for it.
I get my earplugs at a local motorcycle shop. I have learned that they are rated for specific frequencies depending on their material. I frequently use the “Skull plugs” at the range, and the “booger” style plugs on the road.
I’ve also become familiar with their fit and resistance, and I keep my left one in, and my right one out (Or vice versa, depending on what hand is free). If I’m shooting in the woods where the gun fire is predictable, I’ll reach up real quick and push one in further to close the canal. When the shooting stops, I rub my lobe and the ear plug frees up enough to hear. I have never used an electronic muff at the range though.
Often times a walk-in medical clinic will clean out my ears with a deep procedure (It’s painful as hell) I go through that about once a year. I will weekly clean my ears with a drugstore soak, and I’ll swab my ears throughout the day about 3 times. I also have 8 ear piercings, so I clean those out frequently throughout the day as well.
All of this is because my parents have this loss of hearing, and it’s a pain in the ass - truly. People talk to them with malice (I lost my hearing once due to an infection - And yes, people treat you like shit when you can’t hear). All of these have taught me to be vigilant with my hearing.
Until nerve death occurs in the timpanic membrane, all of this hearing damage IS (likely) undoable. You can heal and regain a lot of that sensitivity back.
I damaged my hearing when I was young and had not heard about hearing loss from shooting. Actually I failed my draft physical because of my hearing.
When plinking, target shooting etc. I would wear as much as is reasonable. Although it probably does a tiny amount of damage when hunting I still don’t wear protection then.
At 140 dBA noise causes immediate injury to almost any unprotected ear.
.223, 55GR. Commercial load 18" barrel 155.5dB
.243 in 22" barrel 155.9dB
.30-30 in 20" barrel 156.0dB.
7mm Magnum in 20" barrel 157.5dB.
.308 in 24" barrel 156.2dB.
.30-06 in 24" barrel 158.5dB. In 18" barrel 163.2dB.
.375 18" barrel with muzzle brake 170 dB.
.410 Bore 28" barrel 150dB. 26" barrel 150.25dB. 18" barrel 156.30dB.
20 Gauge 28" barrel 152.50dB. 22" barrel 154.75dB.
12 Gauge 28" barrel 151.50dB. 26" barrel 156.10dB. 18" barrel 161.50dB.
.25 ACP 155.0 dB.
.32 LONG 152.4 dB.
.32 ACP 153.5 dB.
.380 157.7 dB.
I can't afford to lose any more hearing, if it can be helped.
I wear military earplugs and am happy with them. don’t bother looking for them at an Army/navy store, order a couple of pairs on-line.
I consider myself lucky. I’ve been playing heavy metal professionally for over 25 years and rarely wore earplugs. Had stacks of Marshalls behind me. No problems. Now that I’m older I do wear earplugs, always military ones, never the crap foam ones.
I’ve actually been meaning to ask this question for some time now but don’t like vanities too much so I held off.
I wonder what, if anything, is used for hearing protection in combat? I never see any being used by our troops and the volume must be unbelievable! I know communication is obviously important in combat as well, so a soldier has to be able to hear. I don’t get it. How is it done? Do soldiers just go without and blow their ears out and hope it comes back after some time?
There really is no one great design/brand/model in sound-cancelling electronic hearing protection, I'm afraid.
I can at least tell you the model that's been widely adopted by the US military: Peltor SwatTac MT15H68FB-08.
Personally, I don't have any electronic hearing protection. I have custom molded earplugs because I suffer from Tinnitus like you do. These are the best but they have their downside too.
"If muffs and plugs are necessary to protect our hearing, how is it that electronic muffs, alone, are sufficient?"
ABOUT TWENTY 'TIL.
I use my original pair of earplugs from 1979 that I was issued in Basic Training at Ft Leonardwood. They are not as orange as they used to be and the clear plastic case has changed to a brownish color but they still work as good as when they were issued. Depending on what I shoot I will use the plugs, muffs or both.
When target shooting I always double up on my hearing protection, ear plugs and ear muffs.
Some of my handguns are extremely loud, such as my J frame S&W snubbie when shooting +P loads (or even target loads.)
When hunting, I use these earplugs that have a valve in them. It allows normal hearing, but attenuates loud bangs. A deer rifle is not as loud to the shooter as many handguns are due to the long barrel.
Also, when target shooting, I am burning through 100-150 rounds of ammo. (Or used to before the current madness. I’m not burning up my stocks until I know I can replace them.)
Deer hunting is a shot, maybe two.
All good reasons to double up on hearing protection at the range, especially an indoor range.
MidwayUSA Ultimate 10 by Peltor
On sale for 17.99 this month (plus shipping, so add on a lot more stuff to spread it out).
I wear these when reading in the house to dull (almost eliminate) the TV when others are watching. And any other noisy place - got more than one pair.
I'm looking at those online. Their configuration (bulky at the bottom) would absolutely prevent a good cheek weld on the gun stock. Even mine (Howard Leight Impact Sports) bump and "knock" against the stock a great deal.
On a side not, I sometimes put the muffs on when I go to bed, to just lay there and listen to what I wasn't hearing ebfore retiring for the night. That's how I discovered that my neighbor takes his cell phone to his back deck when he wants to talk out of earshot to his family. His deck is about fifty or so feet from by bedroom window. The muffs are also good at the range since you hear everything except the booms. ... Electrons travel quite a bit faster than sound waves, even close by sound waves.
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