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Shotguns and hearing loss
Vanity | Jan 27, 2010 | Yer ol Pap

Posted on 01/27/2012 1:28:07 PM PST by olepap

I like shooting skeet, 5-stand, and sporting clays. Unfortunately, my hearing is deteriorating, especially in my left ear. I can now barely hear women and small children. My wife is encouraging me to get hearing aids so I can better understand her instructions.

I am now using foam inserts and cheap noise canceling headphones when I shoot. I wonder if shooting is going to make my hearing even worse. I would hate to give it up.

If anybody has any experience on the topic, I would like to 'hear' about it.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine; Hobbies; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: gun; hearing

1 posted on 01/27/2012 1:28:19 PM PST by olepap
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To: olepap
I am now using foam inserts and cheap noise canceling headphones when I shoot.

That is good procedure, I'd keep it up.

My wife is encouraging me to get hearing aids so I can better understand her instructions.

You should use the foam inserts and cheap noise canceling headphones when she does this.

2 posted on 01/27/2012 1:31:10 PM PST by humblegunner
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To: olepap
I am no expert, but I believe that hearing protection that lowers the decibel amount a certain degree will prevent any kind of affects on your hearing.
3 posted on 01/27/2012 1:31:40 PM PST by NakedRampage (Puttin' the "stud" in Bible study)
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To: olepap

I doubt the noise-canceling headphones will do much to protect you. Properly-inserted foam inserts or quality over-the-ear protection should do the job though.


4 posted on 01/27/2012 1:32:03 PM PST by xjcsa (Ridiculing the ridiculous since the day I was born.)
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To: olepap
My wife is encouraging me to get hearing aids so I can better understand her instructions.
 
 
I HOPE YOU CAN HEAR THIS. I THINK YOU SHOULD FOLLOW YOUR WIFE'S ADVICE.
 
I THINK HEARING AIDS WILL HELP.
 

 


5 posted on 01/27/2012 1:33:51 PM PST by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS! This means liberals AND libertarians (same thing) NO LIBS!)
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To: olepap

Shotguns expose you to 150-160 decibels. That is far beyond what you should ever be exposed to without protection. Spend a few bucks to preserve what you have left of your hearing.


6 posted on 01/27/2012 1:34:17 PM PST by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: olepap

I can assure you are the red zone for increasing troubles. Unfortunately, gun shooting has caused 40% hearing loss in one son, and 70% loss in the hubby. There are some quality muffs out there $30.00 range as I’m sure you know, but with severe loss it is always a continuing risk.

Let me admit, the hubby was damaged from an indoor range with me and had his muffs off to speak to me when the shot rang off from the next platform. His hearing aides, ear plugs he calls them, have been of no real help since. We are in quite a fix and I am concerned for your risk even with good ear equipment, but it better be the best money can buy. Hope you are well and stay that way. Rita.


7 posted on 01/27/2012 1:34:49 PM PST by RitaOK (LET 'ER RIP, NEWT. NEWT 2012 / Rick Bachmann=Tool of the RINO/Romney backers)
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To: olepap

” I can now barely hear women and small children.”

It’s just too easy...


8 posted on 01/27/2012 1:34:54 PM PST by Dogbert41 (Israel is what it is all about. How we treat Israel is how God treats us as a nation. Look around.)
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To: olepap
I can now barely hear women and small children.

You lucky guy!! Keep shooting!!

9 posted on 01/27/2012 1:34:56 PM PST by GoldenPup
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To: olepap

What ever you do, don’t let them know that we can actually hear every word they say. It took years for me to get my wife to think that I was hard of hearing and didn’t hear her instructions! Shhhhhhh!


10 posted on 01/27/2012 1:36:19 PM PST by tired&retired
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To: olepap

If you have any concern, always double up your hearing protection like you are doing now. The fact is, any loud noise is going to damage and/or wear out your ear drums.


11 posted on 01/27/2012 1:36:53 PM PST by mnehring
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To: olepap

May I add that I use ear plugs AND muffs, the best money can buy on both counts, for what I could find at the time.
Cabello’s is it? in Austin and elsewhere. My first trip in there on a vacation. Great place to visit.


12 posted on 01/27/2012 1:38:43 PM PST by RitaOK (LET 'ER RIP, NEWT. NEWT 2012 / Rick Bachmann=Tool of the RINO/Romney backers)
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To: xjcsa

Yea I cram the foam plugs deep into the ear canal. Then they swell up and block the sound pretty good.


13 posted on 01/27/2012 1:38:43 PM PST by olepap (God help us)
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To: olepap

Also, if it is legal in your State (and you have the $$) check out suppressors for shotguns.

http://www.mississippiautoarms.com/suppressors-shotgun-suppressors-c-154_423.html


14 posted on 01/27/2012 1:38:52 PM PST by mnehring
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15 posted on 01/27/2012 1:39:11 PM PST by deoetdoctrinae (Gun-Free zones are playgrounds for felons)
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To: olepap

No matter what your hearing is right now, using as much ear protection as you can (I use both the earplugs and muffs) is always a good thing.

The protection won’t restore what has been ruined, but it’ll surely keep things from getting worse - due to the firearms.)


16 posted on 01/27/2012 1:40:48 PM PST by Da Coyote
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To: mnehring

Whoa, that is a nice link. Thanks. Whew!


17 posted on 01/27/2012 1:42:03 PM PST by olepap (God help us)
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To: olepap

You don’t know that shotgun blasts will destroy your hearing? Protect yourself man!


18 posted on 01/27/2012 1:43:32 PM PST by Vision ("Did I not say to you that if you would believe, you would see the glory of God?" John 11:40)
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To: olepap

What?


19 posted on 01/27/2012 1:43:54 PM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: olepap

You should use as much hearing protection as possible to preserve what hearing you have left.
I didn’t and I have noise-induced high frequency hearing loss with Tinnitus. (ringing in the ears.)
Those Navy guns did a lot of damage, along with all that loud rock-n-roll.


20 posted on 01/27/2012 1:46:31 PM PST by red-dawg
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To: olepap

My wife likes to shoot, and I was concerned she was losing her hearing, so I did a simple test. She was in the kitchen cooking dinner, so I stood out in the dining room and said “Honey - can you hear me?” in my normal voice. No answer.

So I walked slowly till about 10 feet from her again - still no answer.

So I crept up to about 5 feet from behind her. “Honey can you hear me now?”

“For the THIRD time - YES I can hear you, now leave me alone and let me cook dinner!”


21 posted on 01/27/2012 1:46:58 PM PST by 21twelve
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To: olepap

Protect your ears. I’ve got high frequency hearing loss from a summer I worked in a pulp mill as a kid firing an 8 gauge industrial shotgun without adequate protection.


22 posted on 01/27/2012 1:47:49 PM PST by Leroy S. Mort
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To: olepap
Cheap noise canceling headphones are not going to cut it.

At the very least, get yourself some decent ELECTRONIC EARMUFFS

23 posted on 01/27/2012 1:49:42 PM PST by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: olepap

My Dad had the same problem. In his case, the doctor said that no amount of hearing protection would help,the recoil of the gun alone would cause increasing hearing loss with each shot. Now he won’t shoot unless there’s a really nice deer in his sights.
Good luck to you, and maybe ask a good ear doctor.


24 posted on 01/27/2012 1:50:51 PM PST by loungitude (The truth hurts.)
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To: RitaOK; olepap
RitaOK, you might investigate that system that's advertised on Rush's program, the Esteem hearing loss system. It is not like a hearing aid and is supposed to restore full hearing ability--what it costs, I have no idea, but I am sure it isn't cheap.

Olepap, spend some money to protect your hearing. Read on the packages of those earplugs and see what their decibel ratings are. Find the highest rated earplugs and use them religiously. I would also add a good pair of muffs as well. You cannot be too careful in protecting your hearing.

Shooting is one of the most common sources of hearing loss, along with loud music and working in an industrial environment--I've done the set and I have some degradation of hearing in spite of the fact that I used hearing protection for work and shooting over most of my years in work. The worst is the tinnitus--I have a low volume very high pitched squeal in my ears, primarily my left ear from a single incident back in my 20's.

Hearing damage is cumulative, progressive, and may not show itself until years later (it has only been over the last year that my tinnitus has shown up).

When I shoot these days, I never go without at least earplugs and glasses--I value my hearing and my vision way too much.

Good luck!
25 posted on 01/27/2012 1:52:08 PM PST by Sudetenland (Anybody but Obama!!!!)
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To: olepap
Noise-cancelling headphones don't really negate the noise, they let through anything below a certain decibel level (so you can hear range commands, etc.) If you're already wearing plugs as well, there's no real advantage to using the electronic muffs.

Look at the NRR (noise reduction rating) on your muffs and see how they compare with others on the market - buy the quietest ones you can find. Make sure that the cups seal well around your ears and your shooting glasses aren't interfering there.

You might look into the custom-molded reusable plugs, too. Those are usually a bit better than foam (take it from me and my Tinnitus).

26 posted on 01/27/2012 1:55:12 PM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: olepap
I don't mind being hard of hearing. There are things to recommend it. I won't use hearing aids.

Of course, I'm not married, either. ;)

/johnny

27 posted on 01/27/2012 2:01:21 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Sudetenland

We just got the Esteem material! Thanks. However, it is $30,000 per ear and it is so new that insurance does not yet cover it—probably a year or two. It is subject to damage with any head blow of some kind and has a 70% chance of working after implanted in those who tested eligible for the procedure. 70% and $30,000 per ear and out of pocket makes one stroke their beard for awhile first, huh? :)

Thanks. :) Rita


28 posted on 01/27/2012 2:11:44 PM PST by RitaOK (LET 'ER RIP, NEWT. NEWT 2012 / Rick Bachmann=Tool of the RINO/Romney backers)
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To: olepap
I wonder if shooting is going to make my hearing even worse. I would hate to give it up.

Routine exposure to any loud noise will have a negative affect on anyone's hearing. The difference is how your hearing is currently and whether or not the damage is permanent.

Based on what you posted, it is impossible to tell if the damage is temporary or permanent. The best way to find out is to go without firing a weapon or exposure to any loud noise for a month and see how your hearing responds. If you notice improvement, the damage is temporary and the use of hearing protection is warranted to protect your hearing. If no improvement occurs, the damage is likely permanent and you would want to visit a hearing specialist to see what remedies are available.

As far as what kind of protection to use, the foam ear plugs are better than nothing, but not much. You will do yourself a world of good to purchase a set of Mickey Mouse-type hearing attenuators that provide substantially better protection or to use the noise cancelling hearing protectors another poster suggested.

If you want to be able to hear your grandkids without them having to yell themselves hoarse trying to talk to you, the sooner you address this issue, the sooner you take the necessary steps to protect one of the best gifts God gave us. Good luck!

29 posted on 01/27/2012 2:20:21 PM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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To: olepap

I would recommend using both an ear plug and electronic muffs from now on while shooting. All high noise hearing damage is both permanent and cumulative. I other words it never gets better and any further damage just makes it worse.

I like the S&W ear plugs that WalMart sells. Widner’s, Midwest, Brownell’s, Sportsman’s Guide all sell electronic muffs. Harbor Freight has a very cheap version at about $15 while other electronic muffs can go to several hundred dollars.

I would also use the electronic muffs if you hunt. Several have amplification of soft sounds and “clip” noise over 80db so you can hear animals but the firearm sound is deadened.


30 posted on 01/27/2012 2:20:53 PM PST by El Laton Caliente (NRA Life Member & www.Gunsnet.net Moderator)
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To: olepap
I use what we called in the Navy Mouse Ears when shooting. That means entirely over the ears ear muffs. That is the best protection.

I am over 50% hearing loss and wear hearing aids. First pair I got ripped off by a dealer. Please pay close attention to this advice it will save you several thousand dollars. Go to an audiologist. Hearing Aid stores usually do not have an audiologist but rather a licensed hearing aid dispenser who does their testing and hearing aid set up. An audiologist can more accurately determine nerve damage, do a much more accurate test, and you will get a much better idea of what type of hearing aids you need to deal with your specific loss. The Audiologist will set the hearing aids accordingly. It may take several trips to the audiologist too get them where you ar comfortable with how they work and that is normal.

If you are an honorably discharged Vet you may qualify for hearing aids through V.A. at a steep discount or no cost too you depending on income. Your hearing loss does not have to be service related. That is where I got my second and much better pair from.

If a dealer has a licensed audiologist doing the actual testing and set up of the hearing aids you are likely safe. If not? I do not recomend it nor would I go the cheaper route of buying a pair say from Walmart or CVS etc and having an audiologist set them. Let the Audiologist help you in choosing what you need.<{> I researched my first set or rather the dealer though and still got burned. It was through an Audibel Dealer who made promises technology could not keep. I was refunded a portion of the cost months later but still got stuck with less than I needed features. In short I asked for several specific features that I paid for, was promised, and did not get.

I started out with behind the ear type and now use In The Ear type which I like better. Behind the ear the hearing aid is behind the ear and a tube goes from the receiver to an ear mold going into the ear. If that tube comes loose the reciever drops and you have too look for it. They are also more likely to get water from rain etc. In The Ear type in entire hearing aid is one piece and is right at the ear canal entrance. There is also one that goes deeper in the canal I don't know too much on them.

Digital type is a must as is a feature to deal with sudden loud noises and an automatic volume level feature. Those functions are almost a must. As for just going the cheap route and buying an amplifier? You can do your hearing more harm. A hearing aid is designed to amplify in your hearing loss range and deliver all sound at a safe level.

31 posted on 01/27/2012 2:23:11 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Responsibility2nd

News for the hard of hearing and the Navy Port of Call recruiting commercials are my two favorite SNL skits. LOL


32 posted on 01/27/2012 2:26:31 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: loungitude
My Dad had the same problem. In his case, the doctor said that no amount of hearing protection would help,the recoil of the gun alone would cause increasing hearing loss with each shot. Now he won’t shoot unless there’s a really nice deer in his sights.

His doctor knows his stuff. The human skull is also part of your hearing. Low frequencies basically can not be stopped by hearing protection and will travel through the body. A good example is the Sub Woofers many kids have in their car. You hear them or the thuds long before you see the car. No matter how hard you stop up your ears you can not escape the sound. Those kids will pay dearly and likeky so will some manufactures years down the road.

33 posted on 01/27/2012 2:33:03 PM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: olepap
I've lost a lot of my hearing and have tinnitus, partially due to shooting, but also loud music and jet engine noise when I was younger. In more recent years, I wised up, and wear both ear plugs and muffs when shooting. In fact, any noise louder than normal conversation is damaging your hearing, so I've been told. Lawn mowers, power tools, vacuum cleaners, I wear hearing protection now.

Wearing both plugs and muffs when shooting will slow down hearing loss greatly, but won't completely prevent it.

When in the AF, a firearms instructor told us he had to leave the career field due to hearing loss, even though he used the double hearing protection. And, those were the days when our M-16's were using a 22 LR adapter for qualification, not nearly as loud as 223. But he heard thousands of those little "bangs" every day, for years.

34 posted on 01/27/2012 2:37:40 PM PST by FlyVet
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To: RitaOK
WOW! Kind of takes the bloom off the rose, doesn't it. That's a lot of jack for an iffy proposition.

Good luck!
35 posted on 01/27/2012 2:38:05 PM PST by Sudetenland (Anybody but Obama!!!!)
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To: Dogbert41

You have achieved total freedom!


36 posted on 01/27/2012 2:41:31 PM PST by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: olepap
" I can now barely hear women and small children."
... sounds like a blessing to me....
37 posted on 01/27/2012 2:48:10 PM PST by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: olepap

Noise canceling headphone will reduce constant noise at 300 hz by about 10 db, neither of which is applicable or usefull for reducing the noise of gunfire.

Try wearing the foam plugs with over the ear hearing protection (muffs).


38 posted on 01/27/2012 2:55:37 PM PST by dangerdoc (see post #6)
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39 posted on 01/27/2012 2:56:03 PM PST by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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To: olepap

Check out NRA Store (online) or Bass-Pro Shop, or visit your local Wal-Mart. Save what hearing you have left.


40 posted on 01/27/2012 3:04:52 PM PST by donozark (SAVE THE MANATEE! PUT THEM IN PENS SO THEY DON'T DAMAGE THE PROPS ON OUR YACHTS!)
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To: olepap
If you can afford them, try a set of Peltors. These things work!

Try wearing standard earplugs overnight. You may be surprised at the difference you notice in the morning.

41 posted on 01/27/2012 3:12:22 PM PST by Sarajevo (Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental)
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To: mnehring

Hearing protection isn’t additive. If you use foam plugs with a 32 dB attenuation and then also wear ear muffs at 25 dB. Your total attenuation is 32 dB. the biggest problem with the foam inserts is that people don’t properly insert them. Then they don’t work.


42 posted on 01/27/2012 3:42:19 PM PST by meatloaf
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To: Sarajevo

If the price of the Peltor Comtac II’s is too much for your wallet, try the Peltor Sporttac Series. They’re around $100 to $135 online. I have the same problems with hearing loss in my right ear and find the Sporttac’s work great. I can keep the talk through mic’s on so that I can hear while on the range, and the electronics will instantaneously clamp the sound of the shotgun to better than acceptable levels when shooting.


43 posted on 01/27/2012 3:53:00 PM PST by 41Thunder (The SUPPLY of Government is GREATER than the DEMAND of the people)
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To: meatloaf
"Hearing protection isn’t additive. If you use foam plugs with a 32 dB attenuation and then also wear ear muffs at 25 dB. Your total attenuation is 32 dB. the biggest problem with the foam inserts is that people don’t properly insert them. Then they don’t work."

I don't think that's entirely true. I think it IS additive, but only up to a certain amount, if I recall correctly, around 40-60db. After that the sound is going to get the the cochlea through the skull.

44 posted on 01/27/2012 3:59:15 PM PST by OHelix
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To: olepap
Seriouly, use these.

Long story, lots of research and experience...

45 posted on 01/27/2012 6:11:05 PM PST by MV=PY (The Magic Question: Who's paying for it?)
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To: olepap

HUUH?


46 posted on 01/27/2012 7:32:17 PM PST by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: humblegunner

I have a hearing loss, but not from shooting. You have already lost a great deal of hearing, so go to the sports store and get the BEST shooting ear muffs you can find. There is a reason police officers wear these, and not the foam ones. Don’t take any chances! Some gun ranges have a the capability of letting you hear instructions in special hearing protection.

DO get hearing aids. They won’t replace what you’ve lost. Before you do, check out hearingloss.org for some info. Good luck from someone who has had hearing aids for 14 years. Mine was caused by the noise from an air bag when I had a wreck!


47 posted on 01/27/2012 9:23:43 PM PST by hohtx
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To: hohtx

Welcome to Free Republic.


48 posted on 01/28/2012 2:37:32 AM PST by deks ("...the battle of our time is the battle of liberty against the overreach of the federal government")
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To: olepap

I was told early on that hearing loss is cumulative and to consider that every time your ears ring from a loud noise, you’ve suffered some degree, however slight, of hearing loss. Now, I don’t know if that is medically accurate, but since then I have never been on the range without in-ear plugs as well as over-the-ear cans.

Even back when shooting 3000 to 6000 rounds a week, my ears never rang. Though my hearing is more selective these days (I like to think it filter out B.S. better), I don’t think it has suffered at all from my range days.

So, I say double-up your hearing protection, continue to enjoy shooting and still save whatever hearing you have left.


49 posted on 01/28/2012 7:48:46 AM PST by jaydee770
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