Electronic Muff - with a shotgun


March 28, 2006, 09:41 PM
Do you wear plugs in addition or just the muffs?

My best friend is having a clay busting party in lieu of what I would consider a standard bachelor party on friday. I've picked up a few cases of pigeons and a few cases of shotgun trap loads. I'm just trying to figure out what the DB level of shotguns are as compared to pistol/handgun/rifle. I never wore any hearing protection growing up shooting shotguns, but that was primarily pheasant hunting so I'm just trying to educate myself.

thanks in advance for any advice.

Have a good one,

If you enjoyed reading about "Electronic Muff - with a shotgun" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 28, 2006, 10:11 PM
Always wear quality hearing protection when shooting any gun. I ALWAYS wear ear muffs.

Dave McCracken
March 28, 2006, 10:49 PM
Muffs and plugs when possible. See the old thread on hearing loss.

March 28, 2006, 10:52 PM
EH?? What's that you say? Speak up; I can't hear you.

ALWAYS WEAR HEARING PROTECTION!!! I've worn muffs and/or plugs during the last 42 years when shooting any kind of gun. Just wish I had worn them when shooting during the first 25 years of my life.

Good shooting and be safe.

Double Naught Spy
March 28, 2006, 11:34 PM
It really is in your best interest to wear both. One of the benefits of wearing both beyond the additional protection of using doubled hearing protection is that the plugs will do a good job of protecting your hearing if and when the muffs you are wearing get knocked askew. This sometimes happens when the shooter's muffs bump the stock of the long gun when getting a cheek weld or during recoil if the stock contacts the muffs.

You should consider going with one of the thinner electronic muffs. The large or bulbous muffs tend to suffer getting hit on the stock much more often than thinner muffs that don't protrude out so far from your head. Unfortunately, the thinner muffs usually don't or can't offer as high of an nrr rating as some thicker muffs. For example, some of the thicker passive muffs may offer protection up to around 33db of noise reduction. Thinner muffs like thinner electronic muffs may only provide 16-20 db nrr. There may be exceptions, but they are probably much more expensive.

So if you go with the thinner electronic muffs, you need to get the higher rated plugs. Plugs are cheap and you can get plugs providing 30 or more db reduction.

One of the problems of using plugs and muffs together is that there is so much noise reduction that it can be difficult to hear what others are saying and almost impossible if the voices coincide with loud noises. By comparison, it can be hard for a person with hearing loss to be able to follow/hear a conversation when there is a lot of background noise, such as at ranges, dance halls, or around loud machinery....to name a few comparisons.

To overcome this aspect, what makes doubling up so cool with electronic muffs is that you can turn up the volume on the electronic muffs to actually increase the sound broadcast through the muff. So the extra volume of normal sounds such as voices can help offset some of the nrr provided by the plugs. So things like regular voices can make it into the ear at levels approaching normal conversation levels. Of course when the electronic muffs shut down the broadcast due to a loud noise, the loud noise is reduced through the muff and then through the plug, providing greater protection than the muff or plug alone.

I have Pelto Comtacs that are a mid thickness electronic muff. To overcome the plugs, I have to have the volume of the muffs turned up fully to adequately hear conversations. With sounds broadcast that loudly by the muff, if you aren't wearing plugs, then you probably don't want the volume turned up so high. I haven't verified how loud the broadcast is, but I suspect it is enough to cause hearing damage. Prolonged amplified sound when turned up high can become uncomfortable after a while. That indicates the sound is more than you should be wanting to experience.

Electronic muffs with the volume turned up high and not wearing plugs can be beneficial in many situations where there isn't much sound. Through the ampiflication of sound in environments where there isn't much noise, you get to experience something akin to having a bionic ear. You get super hearing. The Walker game ear is based on super hearing to help you detect sounds in the woods that are too soft to hear with your regular ears.

For example, with the house dark and wearing muffs on full volume, I can essentially clear my home audibly. I can locate walls based on the few sounds in the house when the house is quiet. The quiet sounds are reflected by the walls and so when facing a wall, the sounds heard are louder than when facing away from it. I can walk into a room, or just to the door and determine if my kid is in bed as I can hear the kid's soft breathing. Normally, the sound of the breating would be so soft that I would not be able to hear it unless very close to the kid, say within five feet. Similarly if there was an intruder in my home and hiding, unless that intruder knows to significantly mute the sound of his own breathing, I can tell he is in the room.

In other words, it is like using the muffs as a form of passive sonar.

Cool stuff.

March 29, 2006, 12:07 AM
I thought I was the only one that wore plugs with electronic muff's ?

When I shoot on my time, I wear both - when I teach tactical ranges I just wear the muff's and when I'm on a traditional range I'm only allowed the softies. I really preffer my electronic muff's, I've got a pretty decent pair, they were worth all $160

I never wore ear protection while pheasant or grouse hunting, but that was before the Corps had taken a toll on my hearing, it really sucks always haveing the right ear ringing and saying alot of " huh's "

March 29, 2006, 02:14 AM
I wear both at the range. Peltor-Tac 6's and foam plugs.

Dove hunting (because it's so hot), I usually just wear plugs.

Starting this year, I'm going to wear muffs while turkey and deer hunting. Already have some hearing loss in the right ear from a childhood infection/rupture, and I don't want to lose much more. Bought some Walker Quad Muffs (http://www.walkersgameear.com/dig_quad.asp) from Eder's, and I'm going to try them out while turkey hunting this weekend. In deer hunting season, they should help keep my ears warm. :D

March 29, 2006, 05:47 AM
Thanks guys! I always wear plugs and muffs when shooting the rifle but I tend to only wear muffs when shooting the handguns. I don't know if that's stupid or not so I'll have to give that some more thought. I'll put the plugs in with the muffs on Friday. (I've got a nice set of thin electronic muffs . . some of the best money I've spent in the last 2 years. :) )

Have a good one,

March 29, 2006, 07:38 AM
As noted above, muffs may rub the top of the stock. I put a mark in the finish of my Weatherby clays gun from muffs. Fortunately another experienced shooter warned me before the damage was permanent. He'd put a permanent gouge in his Browning.

If you do use muffs, I'd put some type of soft covering on the bottom of the right one to stop the stock damage. HTH

March 29, 2006, 09:12 AM
If you do use muffs, I'd put some type of soft covering on the bottom of the right one to stop the stock damage. HTHThey make felt with a sticky back. That might do the trick.

March 29, 2006, 01:17 PM
Muffs are a great way to put a bunch of big dings in the comb of your gun. Messes up your shooting, too. Some tall guys do okay, but usually the muffs are in the way.

Rubber earplugs work fine. A couple bucks at Wal-Mart or a contractor's supply store and you're good to go.

Shotguns are very loud when they're all around you at a range, especially with echoes off buildings. Bring the electronic muffs for when you're socializing in the vicinity, though. They're nice for that.

March 29, 2006, 01:40 PM
If the muffs hit the gun, they're getting knocked loose during recoil, which somewhat defeats the purpose.

I use plugs for all long guns and electronic muffs for pistol.

March 29, 2006, 02:19 PM
I have a set of Radians Pro-Amps that I use on my 870 (w/ monte carlo stock) that work well. They're also fairly inexpensive as active protection goes ($65-$80) and low profile. The only problem is you have to be careful when folding them up or it's easy to pop off/lose the mic covers. :)

March 29, 2006, 08:21 PM
I have custom formed molded ear plugs, about $30-$40 made at the big shotgun shoots. I have never been able to wear muffs while shooting shotguns as they get knocked off when I mount the gun and that pretty well defeats the purpose.

March 30, 2006, 12:11 AM
I've got an older pair of Pro Ears Stalker muffs. They're pretty nice. The attenuation isn't as good as thicker muffs, but it's fine for most range work. You can double 'em up with plugs if you want for really loud areas (read as muzzle brakes). The Stalker and Sporting Clays models have an angled ("chopped") cup on one side that has (at least on my version) some felt-like material attached to the bottom portion to reduce damage to your stock. Pricey, but they've been worth it. Kind of looked at it like my spotting scope. Spent quite a bit on both, but both are used more than any firearm I have, as both are used EVERY time I go out to shoot.

The Pro Ears don't cut out like some of the other electronics. Kind of fun. Used to work safety at a range, and would hear shooter's comments after I left. If we'd had been a discussion of range rules, their comments were usually negative, and I'd casually mention something about what they'd said the next time I wandered by -- usually embarrassed the heck out of them to realize that I could hear every word they said, even from way down the line.

March 30, 2006, 09:34 AM
new furniture is cheaper than new ears. always double up, no matter what, even during a life threatening attack of clay pigeons.

March 30, 2006, 12:54 PM
Why in hell would you wear ear plugs and ELECTRONIC muffs?:rolleyes:

I don't know what kind of ear plugs you use, but a good pair that fits will protect your ears just fine. And a shotgun will typically lift your shooting side muff off your ear when it recoils, so that muffs generally won't do much besides screw up your shooting.

March 30, 2006, 01:09 PM
Quote: "Why in hell would you wear ear plugs and ELECTRONIC muffs? "

Ans: For MORE hearing protection! The attenuation is cumulative (although less than the sum of both individual attenuation ratings) and more protection means less hearing loss later in life!

Good shooting and be safe.

March 30, 2006, 01:29 PM
Indoor shoots: Both for sure

Outdoor (near solid reflecting surfaces): both to just plugs depending

Outdoor (open field): Plugs alone are pleanty adequate for me

March 30, 2006, 02:38 PM
That wasn't my point. If you want a lot of protection, just get passive muffs to wear with your ear plugs.

Passive muffs usually offer better protection for less money, and the ear plugs render the audio circuits useless in electronic muffs. That's not even considering that for most shooters, the recoil of the shotgun pushes the muff out of position.

Or just get GOOD molded ear plugs and be done with it, outdoors at least.:rolleyes:

March 30, 2006, 03:07 PM
I've found that ear plugs and Peltor Tac 6 muffs work well together. For indoor handgun shooting I use plugs and standard muffs, but for rifle where I need to hear range commands, I use the electronic muffs. For Trap and Skeet, I go with fitted plugs alone. The muffs don't give me a good cheek-weld.

March 30, 2006, 03:18 PM
Yeah, the Peltors either mess up my shooting, or get knocked off, at least when I'm shooting a trap gun with a high comb.

But for pistol, they're great.

And indoors or with a muzzle brake, I'd fully agree that you need whatever you can get!:)

March 31, 2006, 12:09 AM
The useful thing about using electronics along with plugs for me was that with plugs well inserted, I couldn't hear ANYTHING very clearly. With the electronics on and turned up, I was able to hear normal sound at a reasonable level, yet get the protection of both from loud sounds.

If you enjoyed reading about "Electronic Muff - with a shotgun" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!