Skip to comments.A question for you shooters re hearing protection. (Vanity)
Posted on 01/03/2014 9:33:37 AM PST by LouAvul
I often see experienced shooters wearing only ear plugs for hearing protection. I usually double up with plugs and muffs, but when I'm shooting in extreme cold, sometimes it's uncomfortable (not being able to wear the type of head covering I might normally wear).
I'm headed to the range next week to break-in a couple of rifles, a CMP Garand w/CMP ammo and an unfired M1A w/factory ammo. The charts usually circulated say 140 dB at an unprotected ear causes instant damage. The M1A is a 308 at 156.2 dB and the Garand is 30-06 at 158.5 dB.
My plugs are rated at 31 dB. My understanding is that because these figures are logarithmic, I subtract 5 from the 31. The plugs actually only reduce the sound by 26 dB. That reduces the Garand, for example, to 132.5 dB.
Assuming one has the plugs inserted correctly, etc, and assuming one is shooting by himself, exposure to instantaneous sounds at 132.5 dB is safe.
After all, even with the addition of muffs, you only add 5 dB to the total hearing protection anyway.
Any Freeper's input on this subject?
I wear plugs and earphones. Every bit of protection you can wear, WEAR!
Dont forget the eyes and shooting gloves......and never, EVER take the OPROD out of an M60 if the charging handle is locked back. Trust me.
Since that is not where your ears are when you fire, the sound is far less. I first fired an M-14 many decades ago and my 17yr old ears only had plugs. All I heard was a loud thump. You should be fine.
If someone else is shooting, stay well behind them for max sound reduction.
Why are you assuming a 5 dB decrease in effectiveness? The fact that the measure is logarithmic is just describing the measuring system of dB. It means that an increase of 10 in the system is 10x as much. So an earplug which does 20dB protection, vs. 30 dB is 1/10th as good.
So if you have earplugs which do 31dB of noise reduction, then just subtract that number from the noise level.
Personally I just use earplugs for most of my shooting unless I am at an indoor range (which I avoid). I shoot plenty of rifle and I don’t have any issues with the noise.
Always wear hearing protection. ANything is better than nothing. Even if shooting a .22 Hearing loss is cumulative. So you might go out today and have do affect but prolonged exposure is what gets you. It isn’t always the decibel level either.
This is from somebody who has tinnitus from shooting *hand cannons* when he was young and stupid, it ain't worth it.
Never did trust ear plugs, they can slightly slip out of position without you noticing.
Forget not that if you are at an indoor range and the fellow next to you pulls out his .454 Casull or .44 Mag and you’re there with your lightweight earplugs, you will hate life.
I wear plugs, plus electronic ear muffs, which amplify speech (so I can hear people on the range) but cut out loud sounds like gunfire.
Find the highest quality, lowest profile, most efficient, most comfortable shooting muffs that can be afforded. Not only does a muff keep the compresional wave out of the ear canal, protecting the tender bits within, it comes in contact with the temporal and mastoidal bones around your ear. These bones can act as transducers for the concussive force of muzzle blast and harm the inner ear as well.
Electronic muffs are great for training situations where one needs to listen to instructors. They block muzzle blast and then continue to allow hearing. With or without ear plugs, good muffs are a best practice. Make headgear adjustments to protect hearing and still keep the noggin warm.
Over the years when I’ve gone shooting I’ve only worn foam plugs in the ear or the outdoors, and doubled up when indoors. I also work on a flightline where I am bombarded by loud intensity noise constantly, so I take measures to preserve my hearing. Fortunately, it’s been a trend over the years for me to pass yearly audiograms with flying colors, never having to move my baseline back.
Something I’ve also learned is that the perception of noise/muzzle blast also ties in where you are in relation to the muzzle of a firearm, and also what’s on it like brakes or compensators. How this effects how many decibels you take with each shot is an unknown, but SOMEBODY had to have done this test. 90 degrees to the left or right of it and it can be painful, even with hearing protection, whereas behind it not so much. I have some research to do, I’m intrigued now.
Five dB isn’t much, but once you lose it, you don’t get it back, at least naturally.
There is no cure for Tinitus!
My father is totally deaf and was an expert marksman. (representing RI in the Camp Perry meet in the early 50’s) We spend a lot of time shooting (outside) with a 30-06 when I was a youngun. Back in the 70’s there was no priority to safety and I didn’t wear protection. Now I have tinitus and always will.
I wear ear plugs of the highest rating as well as ear muffs also.
Always protect your hearing, if you can.
The OSHA Hearing Conservation Standard introduced in 1981 was based on 8 hrs of continuous noise exposure. You aren’t going to be exposed to constant noise while shooting.
Firearms produce concussive sound pressure levels. It is crucial that right-handed rifle shooters protect their left ears as it is open to more of the blast than the right ear in standard shooting positions. Vice versa for lefties.
I wear the best plugs I can get when shooting standard rifle and handgun calibers. When hunting with any rifle I wear a left ear plug. If I was part of an artillery crew I’d wear plugs AND muffs.
The noise that will really kill your hearing comes from turbine engines.
You will be fine with just ear plugs. Just make sure that you have them fully inserted. I can’t shoot with the covered ear head phones because I lay my head along the stock when I shoot which pushes them off my right ear.
There is a brand of ear plugs which have little caps to cover a small channel into the center of the plug. Leaving the little cap off and wearing electronic muffs over top, with mics aimed to your back (to hear the range master) will give excellent hearing protection, BUT allow you to pick up rnage commands too.
I prefer muffs.
Off topic but when going to the movies i bring ear plugs
NRR rating. The electronics in the ear muff do not protect your hearing. Only the ear muffs can do that. Make sure you get an NRR rating high enough to provide the protection you need. Small caliber weapons call for a minimum NRR 20. Larger bore hand and long guns call for NRR 25 or better, and for large caliber and magnum handguns, long guns and shotguns, the highest rating you can get (NRR 33) is appropriate. Dual protection which includes wearing ear plugs under your electronic ear muffs, is also recommended for large caliber practice. In general, you will need more protection when practicing due to the number of muzzle blasts to which you are exposed. Similarly, indoor shooting calls for higher, and/or dual protection due to the sound being trapped and echoed within the room.
A change of 3db is either a doubling
or halving of loudness.
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