Ear muffs or ear plugs?


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bdjansen
August 6, 2007, 05:41 PM
What do you like when shooting? I see most people use the muff over the ear type. But ear plugs have a slightly higher db rating. I used ear plugs for the first time at the range today and really liked them. They are cheaper, more portable, provide more protection, and best of all, don't press my glasses into the sides of my head (ie more comfortable).

So what do you like and why?

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indie
August 6, 2007, 05:44 PM
33 db ear plugs so far.

Novus Collectus
August 6, 2007, 05:44 PM
You forgot "both".

Although I only use earplugs, the other day I took a friend and her 13 year old daughter shooting for the first time. I said she should use both. That extra few decibels of protection goes a long way, especially for someone so young and with many years ahead of them.

RioShooter
August 6, 2007, 05:44 PM
You need one more choice in your poll. I use both at the same time.

DoubleTapDrew
August 6, 2007, 05:46 PM
I use muffs because they are super quick to take on or off but I'll have to start trying plugs since the shooting-glasses-into-temples problem is annoying.

Bazooka Joe71
August 6, 2007, 05:46 PM
both





when I remember

Bruce333
August 6, 2007, 05:47 PM
Both. I use foam plugs and electronic muffs.

Plugs are great, but the bone behind your ears conducts sound also. Muffs help reduce expose that way.

shadowalker
August 6, 2007, 05:48 PM
muffs at outdoor ranges, often both at indoor ranges.

coat4gun
August 6, 2007, 05:56 PM
Muffs when shooting a handgun, plugs when bench shooting a rifle.(muffs get in the way when bench shooting a rifle)

Thad
August 6, 2007, 05:57 PM
I have had custom made ear protection, it is expensive($100) but more than worth it. They have a string and clip for your clothing to aid in ease of removal and they are there when you need to put them back in.

Nomad101bc
August 6, 2007, 05:58 PM
Agreed muffs can get in the way which is why i got these specail low profile ones. Thier muffs but very thin no larger than a centimeter beyond your ear so i hardly notice them.

Jorg Nysgerrig
August 6, 2007, 05:58 PM
Yep, both electronic muffs and 33db plugs here.

Feanaro
August 6, 2007, 06:02 PM
With glasses AND safety glasses on, I can't get a good seal from muffs. I use plugs, even though I find them deathly uncomfortable(ear infections from my childhood left me with some very messed up ears).

glockman19
August 6, 2007, 06:08 PM
At the range I wear muff's. when hunting I'll most likely wear plugs.

Feanaro,
With glasses AND safety glasses on, I can't get a good seal from muffs.
Your Glasses are the only eye protection you need why do you wear safety glasses over yoru regular glasses? I just had Lasik and woul highly recommend it. Do a search and find the thread and you might end up ditching the glass.

eastwood44mag
August 6, 2007, 06:10 PM
Plugs when hunting, muffs when at the range.

FuzzyBunny
August 6, 2007, 06:17 PM
Please wear BOTH!

If you have to choose then go with the muffs. The muffs WILL cushion the bone behind the ear and reduce transmitted vibrations that can cause damage.

Plugs are better than nothing. Even your fingers in your ear is better than nothing.

I'm sure you know that hearing damage is cumulative. Every noise (even 22s) that makes your ears ring has done some amount of damage that can not be repaired.


edit: sorry I did not see your post Bruce333. It is worth repeating though!
I like the slimline Peltor amplified muffs. There might be some better but I got these avout 10 years ago and have not needed to replace them yet. I do not know which muffs are better nowadays as I'm not in the market yet.


Sorry Bruce333 I did not mean to dupe what you said. I should have read before posting. It is worth repeating though

FireArmFan
August 6, 2007, 06:28 PM
I wear both as well

Feanaro
August 6, 2007, 06:30 PM
Your Glasses are the only eye protection you need why do you wear safety glasses over yoru regular glasses?

My glasses are not ANSI rated. Neither are most regular glasses. This (http://oakley.com/innovation/optical_superiority/impact_protection) is what happens when a projectile hits non-impact resistant glasses. The idea of my eyewear exploding into a thousand tiny projectiles is not one I cherish. I've been hit by more than a few ricochets, several times by whole bullets that nearly broke the skin.

I just had Lasik and woul highly recommend it. Do a search and find the thread and you might end up ditching the glass.

I've already done research into LASIK and PRK. Not interested right now.

cdrt
August 6, 2007, 06:31 PM
Both!!!!

10-Ring
August 6, 2007, 06:36 PM
Ear muffs for handguns, ear plugs for long guns -- sometimes both, if the situation calls for it

Hoffy
August 6, 2007, 06:36 PM
Both at the indoor range...plugs only when plinking with a 22 pistol outside.

springmom
August 6, 2007, 06:41 PM
I wear both :o

If I don't wear double ears, I come home from the range with a migraine. With them, I do a lot better. I used to get very cranky about people with .223's or .44 mags (you know, like the ones I shoot and the double ears made my range time MUCH more pleasant (and my after-range time usually headache-free).

Springmom

MOSINS
August 6, 2007, 06:43 PM
I use plugs, they're more comfortable,

though there are times that I use a full on ear muffs when shooting my fifty BMG.

:)

hankpac
August 6, 2007, 06:44 PM
Both.

BigBlock
August 6, 2007, 06:45 PM
I can't stand having plugs in my ears, they drive me crazy. Am I the only one? :confused:

Hoffy
August 6, 2007, 06:45 PM
Both at the indoor range...plugs only when plinking with a 22 pistol outside.

MOSINS
August 6, 2007, 06:48 PM
I can't stand having plugs in my ears, they drive me crazy. Am I the only one?


They make some soft foam plugs that are comfortable.

or one of those form fitted to your ear.

fletcher
August 6, 2007, 06:50 PM
I use both.

Matt King
August 6, 2007, 06:54 PM
Both!

obxned
August 6, 2007, 08:02 PM
Most of the family prefer muffs, but a couple want nothing to do with them and insist on ear plugs.

wally
August 6, 2007, 08:11 PM
I can't stand wearing plugs, although with some rifles I've no choice as the stock interferes with my muffs, so I put a disposable plug in the right ear and let the stock break the seal on the muff when shooting. Needless to say these are not my favorite range rifles.

--wally.

Scanr
August 6, 2007, 08:46 PM
The electric muffs are something else! I do not own any, but my ccw instructor let me use his and they were fabulous. They are well worth the money.

Harbor freight sells them and I plan to buy them when I get the money.

torpid
August 6, 2007, 08:52 PM
Electronic muffs plus foam plugs make for happy ears. :)

testar77
August 6, 2007, 08:55 PM
Like others I'm sure, I tend to just use earplugs when shooting rifles (since muffs tend to get in my way), muffs when shooting pistol, and both when shooting indoor pistol.


Toby

redneck2
August 6, 2007, 08:56 PM
I used to use muffs when shooting clays, but the bottom of the muffs rubs against the top on the stock and gouges it. I use plugs for SC

For pistols, particulary loud ones like my .357 Herrett I double up.

K3
August 6, 2007, 09:05 PM
Both.

Trebor
August 6, 2007, 09:22 PM
I wear both. You should too. Hearing damage is cumulative and permament. Every little bit of hearing you lose now you'll really notice later. This is especially true indoors or when firing large caliber rifles in any circumstance.

Neither ear plugs or muffs provide enough protection if you are a regular shooter firing primarily centerfire rounds. With plugs alone the sound can still be transmitted through your bone. With muffs by themselves the problem is getting a good seal as safety glasses tend to break the seal slightly. That reduces the effectiveness of the muffs.

The best thing to do is use the highest rated plugs and muffs you can find. You should realize that in most cases you the protection you are getting will be short of the "maximum" protection rating. For ear plugs that's because most people do not insert them correctly and they then won't give the full rated protection. For ear muffs that's because the glasses temples break the seal slightly and lower the protection value.

When you wear both muffs and plugs you increase the total effectiveness of your hearing protection.

If you keep the plugs in when you remove the muffs, like when you *think* everyone is finished shooting and your packing up, you'll also get some protection against that "unexpected" shot. That's happened to me a few times over the years and I'm glad I had the plugs in at least.

lcambre
August 6, 2007, 09:40 PM
Another vote for both.

skinnyguy
August 6, 2007, 09:41 PM
Plugs because of glasses, would prefer muffs though.

thebaldguy
August 6, 2007, 09:48 PM
I always use one or the other when exposed to loud sounds. I keep muffs handy while using a circular saw, because I only need them for a short time. For longer continuous use, like a concert or a long shooting session, I use earplugs. I always try to use the ones with the greatest noise reduction. I found a bunch of foam earplugs which I think have a 30 decibel reduction. I think I will try plugs and muffs next time I shoot.

Between military service and numerous rock shows, I have to save my hearing. My girlfriend's brother in law lost his hearing after 25+ years of construction. He now has hearing aids in both years, and he's my age of 42 years.

dracphelan
August 6, 2007, 09:50 PM
I wear both. Also, I had my prescription glasses cut to safety lens specs. This solves the entire need of an additional set of safety glasses. I have had my eyes protected by these glasses when walking down the sidewalk.

MP5
August 6, 2007, 09:52 PM
Always both when shooting.

Hands of blue
August 6, 2007, 09:56 PM
I use muffs. I think I will start using both

GRB
August 6, 2007, 09:56 PM
Most of the time at the range, I prefer both, especially if shooting s shotgun or rifle that may dislodge my muffs.

All the best,
Glenn B

Regolith
August 6, 2007, 10:30 PM
I use muffs. I dislike having things inside my ear canal, and 26db muffs have always been sufficient. I always shoot outdoors, though.

pdowg881
August 6, 2007, 10:44 PM
Muffs can get in the way when i shoot rifles, so i usually use the plugs that are on the string. But takimg them in and out gets annoying.

scurtis_34471
August 6, 2007, 11:07 PM
I wear both.

DMK
August 6, 2007, 11:09 PM
I always use ear plugs. They are cooler in hot weather and don't interfere with the stock on a rifle.

Sometimes I use both if it's exceptionally loud.

Interesting about the bone transmitting the sound. Wouldn't that transmit lower frequencies mostly?

Dave R
August 7, 2007, 12:00 AM
Muffs, plugs, empty 9mm brass, whatever.

Just kidding (mostly--I have used 9mm brass when I forgot my regular hearing protection. It works.)

I got some electronic muffs this year. Just love 'em.

Average Guy
August 7, 2007, 12:51 AM
Indoors, both. Outdoors, usually just muffs (31NRR).

garymc
August 7, 2007, 03:57 AM
Both.
So I didn't vote.

JP from Phoenix
August 7, 2007, 04:08 AM
I value my hearing alot so i'm going with both, I wish i still had my custom plugs they made for me when i was on the Kitty Hawk. Double hearing protection was a must have anywhere near the flight deck and it was smart to do about your everyday business with at least plugs on.

.cheese.
August 7, 2007, 04:53 AM
both - didn't vote

AlaskaErik
August 7, 2007, 05:04 AM
Plugs, but you have to insert them correctly to get the full level of protection. I've dealt with thousands of people in a high noise environment and I've always seen people wearing them incorrectly.

scout26
August 7, 2007, 05:06 AM
I didn't vote either, as I wear custom fitted plugs under my electronic muffs.

RyanM
August 7, 2007, 05:11 AM
Both. Always both. And if there were a third form of hearing protection (that didn't require a $200 tax stamp and months of waiting), I'd use that too.

Isildur
August 7, 2007, 11:47 AM
Mostly muffs sometimes both.

Is it possible for the shock wave to cause hearing damage even if the direct way is blocked by ear plugs?

ZeSpectre
August 7, 2007, 12:01 PM
I have a hard time getting muffs to seal around shooting glasses because I just can't stand pressure on my temples so I use good quality plugs and am fine with that.

My wife can't stand having things IN her ears so she uses muffs.

waterhouse
August 7, 2007, 12:13 PM
As with many others, at the range, both. Sometimes when using a suppressor I just wear plugs.

When hunting, I wear plugs.

esq_stu
August 7, 2007, 12:19 PM
I use both. Poll should give that option.

Can't be too careful - hearing loss due to inner ear damage may be permanent.

jaysouth
August 7, 2007, 12:30 PM
The bones behind your ears transmit shock waves that can damage your hearing. Whether you wear plugs or not, always wear your muffs.

The electronic muffs that I have owned do not work as well as the cheap muffs. I always wear foam plugs with them. Then I can't hear what the electronic muffs are transmitting. I guess that's kind of like wearing rubber gloves because your fountain pen leaks.

DMF
August 7, 2007, 12:31 PM
Let's clear up some things by going to the experts:

http://www.entnet.org/healthinfo/hearing/noise_hearing.cfm

http://www.entnet.org/healthinfo/hearing/sound.cfm

"Decibels are measured logarithmically. This means that as decibel intensity increases by units of 10, each increase is 10 times the lower figure. Thus, 20 decibels is 10 times the intensity of 10 decibels, and 30 decibels is 100 times as intense as 10 decibels."

"Properly fitted earplugs or muffs reduce noise 15 to 30 dB. The better earplugs and muffs are approximately equal in sound reductions, although earplugs are better for low frequency noise and earmuffs for high frequency noise.

Simultaneous use of earplugs and muffs usually adds 10 to 15dB more protection than either used alone. Combined use should be considered when noise exceeds 105 dB."

As you can see even 1 decibel extra in NRR is very important, and the extra 10-15 from combining plugs and muffs is a huge gain in protection.

Wear both!

glummer
August 7, 2007, 12:41 PM
Muffs, because I've never found plugs that work for me - I can never get a good seal.

Mat, not doormat
August 7, 2007, 12:44 PM
Plugs outdoors, both at indoor rages.

The Deer Hunter
August 7, 2007, 12:49 PM
The urethane throw away kind work well. I can't stand the muffs, they hurt my head.

And the muffs get in the way.

I don't care if I wear both to save another 12-15 Dbs, because lifes to short to worry about that nonsense.

arthurcw
August 7, 2007, 12:51 PM
Both.

Maybe those of us who use both didn't here you when you were asking what questions to put. Our apologies.

learn2shoot
August 7, 2007, 12:53 PM
I wear the custom molded with muffs, combined with the minor hearing loss I already have, I cannot hear much of anything.

11c2v
August 7, 2007, 12:57 PM
Jeez, if I listened to you all, I'd never leave the house!:evil:

At the range is fine and dandy, but honestly, does anyone double up while hunting? OK, maybe birds, but not deer or especially 'yotes.

I don't bother for the one shot I take at the later. For squirrel I don't feel the need for any protection (from .22lr)

Flame away, I wear fire retardant underwear

RubenZ
August 7, 2007, 01:05 PM
Jeez, if I listened to you all, I'd never leave the house!

At the range is fine and dandy, but honestly, does anyone double up while hunting? OK, maybe birds, but not deer or especially 'yotes.

I don't bother for the one shot I take at the later. For squirrel I don't feel the need for any protection (from .22lr)

Flame away, I wear fire retardant underwear

I'm with you man. I only wear protection indoors and outdoors shooting my .45


Anything else outdoors doesn't bother me. And I think wearing Muffs or Plugs while hunting is STUPID. You lose your ability of Sound.

20nickels
August 7, 2007, 01:11 PM
When inserting foam plugs roll them up then for your right ear use your left hand to pull your ear outward, this straightens your ear canal and allows the plug to be inserted deeper instead of bunching up. Hold for 10 sec. or so and do the opposite for left ear. This takes a little longer and gives you Dumbo ears for a minute, but gets the maximum seal and that is what is important.
Depending on indoor or outdoor range, and volume level of the firearm I use; Shure E4C sound isolating headphones.
http://www.shentech.com/e4c.html
Then double up with muffs and eye protection.
Nickels.

American_Pit_Bull
August 7, 2007, 01:16 PM
Both

Nolo
August 7, 2007, 01:17 PM
I like ear plugs. They're small, they don't interfere with anything outside of my normal "headspace" and you can carry them in you pocket. Also, they're perfectly comfortable (to me, at least) if you put them in right, which I think is key.
I've actually often forgot that they were on.
Funny story about ear plugs, actually: the first time I went shotgun shooting (when I was about 10 or so) they gave us a pair of ear plugs each at the range. Interestingly, I had never worn ear plugs before, so I didn't know how to put them on. I shoved the ear plugs as far as I could in my ear (I was kinda afraid of the loud shotgun blast, not that I'd ever really heard one before) and left them in like that. After a day of shooting, I tried to get them out. I couldn't. Eventually, I got smart and took a small fishhook from my fishing kit and got them out that with with nothing but a couple of scratches to show for it. Now, of course, I know how to use earplugs.

CarpeInferi
August 7, 2007, 01:22 PM
Indoor range both
Outdoors pistol plugs only
Outdoors rifle both

psmoharemoff@hotmail.com
August 7, 2007, 03:23 PM
ear plugs, more comfortable

isa268
August 7, 2007, 05:47 PM
Both

Bruce333
August 7, 2007, 05:50 PM
He's started a new poll with "both" as an answer.

http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=294279

lesjones
August 7, 2007, 06:09 PM
Both.

With a good set of electronic muffs you can raise the volume so that you can hear conversations while wearing your plugs and muffs. I have a set of Peltor 7s I really like.

hso
August 7, 2007, 07:02 PM
Considering noise levels from small arms fire I use both.

We've discussed noise from gunfire repeatedly here and the referenced facts indicate that noise from small arms fire is damaging to your hearing and that you should protect yourself from it as much as possible.
http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=256966&highlight=decibels

Harley Quinn
August 7, 2007, 07:11 PM
Both is good, IMHO... Someone mentioned a nickle in there also, that makes three, cool.

HQ

DMF
August 7, 2007, 08:06 PM
I don't care if I wear both to save another 12-15 Dbs . . . What you're not taking into account is that decibels (dB) are measured on a logarithmic scale, not linear. So a 10 dB difference is huge difference in noise reduction. So a 12-15 dB is definitely not nonsense and it's a huge difference in protection of your hearing.

Zach S
August 7, 2007, 10:14 PM
I prefer plugs. EAR Classic Superfit 33s. Uncomfortable, but the most effective for me. The safety glasses prevent a good seal with muffs.

When shooting rifles or shotguns indoors, I wear muffs too.

DavidVS
August 7, 2007, 11:27 PM
Both!

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