New shooter eyes and ear protection


February 20, 2008, 10:13 AM
I need to purchase some eye and ear protection and am wondering if there is a particular kind that is better than others. I see quite a steep cost difference between brands.

Need some help from thi sforum because the people at the store have an attitude with anyone who is new to shooting.

thank you.

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Brian Dale
February 20, 2008, 12:23 PM
Yeah, that can happen at a lot of stores. Glad you came here.

Any good, polycarbonate shooting glasses or safety glasses will serve you well. You can spend a fortune on specialized, prescription shooting glasses, but very few people need to do that.

If you don't wear eyeglasses, I mean, if you either have good eyes or you wear contacts, then it's easy. ANY shooting glasses or safety glasses that meet normal standards will be fine. That's ANSI Z81-point-something. Just ask for safety glasses or shooting glasses. Clear is OK, or use the tint that you like.

I buy Beretta shooting glasses at the hardware store (they have a gun counter) that used to be $8.99 a pair; they've gone up to $11.99 a pair now, but I use them all the time. I wear them because they happen to fit my face very well. Higher priced glasses cost more for one of two reasons:
1) optical quality
2) brand name

I have a pair of Oakleys that were given to me. This pair is very dark, so they're great if I want to shoot when there's snow on the ground on a bright, sunny day. Otherwise, any of them are fine. Check Wal-Mart—if you hate Wal-Mart, you don't have to buy any there, but you can see perfectly good glasses, cheap.

Hearing protection: I just buy earmuffs with the biggest decibel number. I think that I usually pay 20 or 25 bucks a pair. I like wearing earmuffs and earplugs at the same time when I'm firing .357 revolvers, or firing M1 rifles on a firing line at a match with other shooters. Some folks just wear plugs. Earplugs are extremely cheap. Always wear something; again, good hearing protection need not be expensive.

There are also electronic earmuffs, and some knowledgeable people speak very highly of them. I haven't used them, but the Search function (found at the top of every THR page) might give you some good information if you're interested.

It's possible that the guys at your gun store are being jerks. News Flash for them: eye and ear protection are available for sale all over the place.

In a nutshell:
1) any proper, ANSI-rated safety glasses;
2) hearing protection with a high dB number

If you already wear glasses, they'll probably be OK, but you can add whatever makes you feel comfortable until you develop a routine of your own.

February 24, 2008, 08:39 PM
Brian Dale gave good advise. I'll add that if you do wear glasses anyway, get a pair of prescription safety glasses. I prefer the Titmus brand but there are others. They have saved my vision at work and at the range.

I use Peltor or Pro Ears electronic muffs with Howard Leight foam plugs each and every time I shoot. Your hearing and eyesight is critical and easily lost. Don't lose yours.

The glasses and muffs may seem expensive but have you priced hearing aids and glass eyes lately? Now, that is expensive.

New shooters are always welcome here. We were all a new shooters somewhere down the line.

March 1, 2008, 02:50 PM
Hearing and eye protection needn't be expensive, though you can get expensive later if you want. It's more important to have something you can afford than nothing because you can't afford the "best".

I'm partial to Peltor - good quality at a good price, and have several of the Bull's Eye 9, both for myself and to pass around when I take others shooting. You should be able to find these around $20 to $25. I think I paid around $15 for mine, around ten to 15 years ago.

In the expensive category are the electronic ones that let you hear very well, yet limit the sound level. Mine is the Peltor Tactical 7S (stereo). Around $150. I absolutely love these, but you shouldn't spend that much money on these to start out - they're for later, as you get more involved in shooting.

My shooting glasses are something I picked up fairly cheap at a gun show. Probably around $10 or so. They're not great quality, but they do the job. Walmart should have some, and even Lowe's and Home Depot have wrap-around eye protection that should work fine, at least until you decide to get something better.

March 1, 2008, 06:26 PM
Eye protection, nothing much to say. You can get cheap stuff that meets whatever ANSII requirements there are.
Ear protection - electronic muffs do not, to the best of my knowledge, reduce the noise of gunfire any more than decent non-electronic models. They just allow you to hear other things (like voices) that might otherwise be drowned out by gunfire. Muffs I find to me more comfortable than the foam earplugs. I've found the plastic & rubber plugs (green on one side, yellow on the other) to work pretty well... only I lost mine. Muffs are harder to lose.
Also - you might find that earplugs work better when shooting rifles (cheek-weld issues) than muffs.

March 2, 2008, 03:53 AM
Exactly right on the electronic muffs. They're like a regular muff, but with a sound system. They're really handy at the range with friends, and especially when training, to be able to hear everything well. They can also amplify a bit more, so you can hear even quieter sounds than normal.

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