I don't wear earplugs with this am i alright


January 21, 2008, 05:37 PM
I don't wear them with my .22's including pistols, .410, and my 25-20 lever action. Will i lose my hearing like this

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January 21, 2008, 05:41 PM

January 21, 2008, 05:42 PM
is it alright with a .22 though

January 21, 2008, 05:43 PM
.22's not too bad, but better to err on the side of caution.

your hearing does not grow back if you break it.

January 21, 2008, 05:44 PM
Pretty good read here:


"Recall that sounds over 85-90 dB can lead to permanent hearing damage without hearing protection. As can be seen from Table 2, even firing a .22LR (134 dB) has the potential of causing permanent, irreversible, inner ear damage."

I always wear hearing protection even when shooting my .22 revolvers. Recently, I was shooting outdoors and shot a round or 2 without hearing protection. I was amazed that even the lowly little .22LR was a lot louder than I expected it to be.

January 21, 2008, 05:44 PM
yea i'm only 13 so i was worried kinda

January 21, 2008, 05:46 PM
You will wish you would have later in life, you wont even notice it until one day your in a crowded room trying to seperate the conversation at your table from those around you.

"Learn to read lips"

January 21, 2008, 05:47 PM
I don't know about you, but a .22lr out of a handgun is LOUD.

January 21, 2008, 05:49 PM
yea it is out of my mrk2

Bwana John
January 21, 2008, 05:53 PM

January 21, 2008, 05:54 PM
YES WEAR EAR PLUGS!!!!! I never thought it mattered with .22's and I've shot since I was 8, I'm now 64 and now wear hearing aids. The new electronic ear muffs are not to expensive and you can still hear whats going on.

January 21, 2008, 05:55 PM
The following is for your perusal. You can try to ignore the facts and wind up like a lot of us old timers, viz, we have this constant ringing in our ears 24/7 that will never go away.

Facts on noise levels:

Decibels measure sound pressure and are logarithmic. That means that only a 3db increase almost doubles sound pressure, a 6db increase quadruples sound pressure, etc.

Gradual hearing loss may occur after prolonged exposure to 90 decibels or above.

Exposure to 100 decibels for more than 15 minutes can cause hearing loss.

Exposure to 110 decibels for more than a minute can cause permanent hearing loss.

At 140 dBA noise causes immediate injury to almost any unprotected ear.

There is also the more extreme ‘acoustic trauma’, which is an immediate loss of hearing after a sudden, exceptionally loud noise such as an explosion.

From: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu...aring-loss.cfm

“When someone goes to a concert, cuts grass or runs a power saw, they can suffer from NIHL,” said Dr. George Hashisaki, assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of Virginia Health System. “Afterwards, if their hearing is muffled or their ears are ringing, they have suffered NIHL. Even if their hearing comes back to what they perceive as normal, a small part of that hearing loss is permanent."

"People who are most in jeopardy of losing their hearing are those who use firearms regularly without ear protection or who are in the military and unable to wear hearing protection, such as those on the frontlines, Hashisaki said. The noise level of gunshots can reach 170 dB and is capable of immediate damage. Hashisaki recommends wearing both earplugs and earmuffs to protect hearing while target shooting."

Comparative noise levels and corresponding damage

12 gauge shotgun 165 dB Instant damage
Jet engine taking off 140 dB Instant damage
Thunder/Ambulance siren 119 dB 3 minutes
Hammer drill 113 dB 15 minutes
Chain saw/Earphones/Concert 110 dB 30 minutes
Bull Dozer 105 dB 1 hour
Tractor/Power tools 96 dB 4 hour
Hairdryer/lawnmower 90 dB 8 hours

Here are noise levels of firearms:

.223, 55GR. Commercial load 18" barrel 155.5dB

.243 in 22" barrel 155.9dB

.30-30 in 20" barrel 156.0dB.

7mm Magnum in 20" barrel 157.5dB.

.308 in 24" barrel 156.2dB.

.30-06 in 24" barrel 158.5dB. In 18" barrel 163.2dB.

.375 18" barrel with muzzle brake 170 dB.

.410 Bore 28" barrel 150dB. 26" barrel 150.25dB. 18" barrel 156.30dB.

20 Gauge 28" barrel 152.50dB. 22" barrel 154.75dB.

12 Gauge 28" barrel 151.50dB. 26" barrel 156.10dB. 18" barrel 161.50dB.

.25 ACP 155.0 dB.

.32 LONG 152.4 dB.

.32 ACP 153.5 dB.

.380 157.7 dB.

9mm 159.8 dB.

.38 S&W 153.5 dB.

.38 Spl 156.3 dB.

.357 Magnum 164.3 dB.

.41 Magnum 163.2 dB.

.44 Spl 155.9 dB.

.45 ACP 157.0 dB.

.45 COLT 154.7 dB.


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.

Using muffs and plugs together: Take the higher of the two and add 5 dB. 30 plug with 20 muff gives an effective NRR of 35.

If you are shooting by yourself, roughly 100 rounds of 140 dB instantaneous noise in a day should not produce hearing damage. Put your plugs and muffs on and you get to shoot up to a thousand rounds without damage (louder ammo/gun and the allowable drops by a factor of 5). Shoot with other people and you have to add all the rounds shot cumulatively (10 people shoot 100 rounds and everybody's done for the day; toss a handcannon or 30 cal rifle in and you're back down to 200 rounds cumulative). If you shoot on an indoor range then all the rounds fired while you are on the range go into your total. So you can see that it doesn't take very long on a range to have a thousand rounds popped off around you.

If you want to know what the noise level you are exposed to is you can rent noise dosimeters that you can wear. They will record the total noise exposure and present the information to you as dB. You can then subtract the adjusted combined NRR of your hearing protection to determine if you're getting too much exposure.



CZ 75 BD
January 21, 2008, 05:56 PM
that don't use hearing protection.

those that are deaf and

those that are going deaf

January 21, 2008, 05:56 PM
Plugs are the best way to go. They deaden more sound than anything else. They're also cheaper.

January 21, 2008, 05:56 PM

January 21, 2008, 06:02 PM
um... why would you not want to? bothersome? it's nice to hear the phone ring in the next room.

expense? sure, but only if you're buying those crappy disposables every time. spring five bucks and get a pair of muffs. if you were near me id give you one of my old ones.

January 21, 2008, 06:06 PM
Will i lose my hearing like this


January 21, 2008, 06:09 PM
I just picked up a pair of the Earplugs that they make by molding them to fit your ear exactly. I used to think they were a gimmick, but they work great!

January 21, 2008, 06:09 PM
I don't wear them with my .22's including pistols, .410, and my 25-20 lever action. Will i lose my hearing like this
Yes you will.

is it alright with a .22 though
No it isn't.

A .22lr rifle can be as loud as 134dB, a handgun will be even louder. Exposure to noise over 85dB can cause hearing damage. Wear plugs deep in your ears and a good set of muffs on top of them if you like your hearing. Wear safety glasses too.

expense? sure, but only if you're buying those crappy disposables every time
Some of the disposable ones are good quality and still quite affordable. I bought 100 pair of disposable 33dB nrr howard leight plugs for $24. Thats less than a quarter for each trip to the range.

January 21, 2008, 06:11 PM
Well, sure it causes hearing loss.

But at least you don't look like a Nancy.

January 21, 2008, 06:34 PM
You will lose your hearing, even with a .22, even outdoors. Hearing damage is cumulative. Will a shot or two, every now and then (as in hunting), hurt you? Probably not. Will repeated constant shooting (as in range sessions) hurt you? Absolutely yes.

You may not notice it now. You will when you're 70.


January 21, 2008, 06:42 PM
For the love of Pete wear hearing protection. I'm only 22 and still know that I'm young, invincible, and know everything. I'm already losing my hearing and I have ringing in my ears on occasion (especially when it's really quiet).

This isn't all from shooting, a lot of it's from aircraft (Marine Corps/Navy Aviation) but the point is that you must protect your hearing. It's just as important as stepping into your car and buckling up. Trust me, man. I'm a young guy and I have the hearing of an old man.

January 21, 2008, 06:42 PM
Skip the plugs.

By the time you lose most of your hearing, you'll be old enough that you won't care that you're unable to hear what people are saying about you anyway.

January 21, 2008, 06:52 PM
I have a somewhat irritating case of tinnitus, and it sucks. I have to sleep with a fan on high or I will not get to sleep on any but the most exhausting of days.

Those numbers for gun dB's are interesting. I am curious if the numbers are from the business end or from where the shoot is, as that would make a huge difference on rifles and shotguns vs pistols, revolvers, and those with a muzzle break.

But either way, hearing loss sucks. They say anytime your ears have a ring after something loud, you just lost 1/2 of 1% of your hearing.

January 21, 2008, 06:56 PM
you'll will suffer hearing damage with a .22 pistol for sure, each shot

January 21, 2008, 07:25 PM
you'll be fine without muffs until you're 30. Then, you'll regret every day you went to the range without muffs or plugs. I'm only 19, and I sometimes swear that I'm going deaf despite doctors saying that my hearing is perfectly fine because of all the electro-industrial and power rock/metal I get blasted into my head from either concerts, clubs, or my iPod, and then all of the countless times I've been hit in the ears and head from scholastic wrestling. Imagine how much worse it'd be if I shot without muffs. I'd be deaf in another 15 years if not sooner. At the rate I'm going, I'll probably be alright until I retire from work if luck permits.

bottom line: you're young, with lots of very loud things nowadays in your life that will damage your hearing one way or another. Don't add onto it with gunfire.

Double Naught Spy
January 21, 2008, 07:26 PM
To prevent hearing damage which is both cumulative and permanent, YOU

Sorry, I still can't believe there are folks saying it is okay to shoot a .22 without hearing protection, or any other caliber.

The only exception can be the use of silencers/suppressors which few people have. Either way works, reducing the sound pressure reaching the ears.

When your ears "toughen up" as some people claim, it is just the hearing damage that has reached a noticeable level.

January 21, 2008, 07:42 PM
I've tried it just to see what it was like and it made my ears ring. Ears ringing means your hearing is gonna get damaged if you keep doing it. Don't. At 13 it may seem like being old and deaf is 1000 years away, but it will be the situation one day if you shoot without ear protection.

Harley Quinn
January 21, 2008, 07:47 PM
No Brainer and at your age who is with you allowing it:confused: Not very good parenting IMHO.

January 21, 2008, 07:50 PM
another thing to note is that noticable strain and pain begins at 125dB. So if you shoot a .22 and wince a bit, or feel a slight momentary ring in your ears, then that is your ear quietly getting punched in the face :p

highlander 5
January 21, 2008, 07:55 PM
My hearing is shot from high db noise at work. Up till a few years ago it was "you want earmuffs wadda ya some kind of wimp?" Now we give out earplugs like halloween candy. I won't shoot indoors or outdoors without a set of earmuffs or plugs even shooting 22 rf. Hell I won't even run my lawn mower or snow blower without hearing protection. Take it from us old timer protect your ears and eyes
original equipment only once broken no replacement

January 21, 2008, 08:30 PM

January 21, 2008, 11:23 PM
I was 13 when i played with one too many firecrackers on a 4th of July. I'm 52 now and have had ringing in my ears for as long as can remember. It doesn't hurt, but it's awful. You don't want to lose your hearing; not even a little bit. Hearing protection is cheap, simple, and effective. Use it.

January 21, 2008, 11:58 PM
I don't understand people who don't want to use ear protection.

Never mind the long term damage, anything past a .22 rifle is outright painful to my ears and I'll be flinching too badly to hit anything by the end of the magazine.

Couldn't pay me to shoot a pistol without muffs.

January 21, 2008, 11:58 PM
yes, your sharp , clear , hi end stuff, like hi end light cymbols strikes on a drum kit, will go bye bye.

January 22, 2008, 12:27 AM
I have a somewhat irritating case of tinnitus, and it sucks. I have to sleep with a fan on high or I will not get to sleep on any but the most exhausting of days.

+1. I have it (not from shooting), and it is not fun. Avoid it at all costs, unless you like high pitched noises that will never stop.

January 22, 2008, 05:55 AM
Let me get back to you as soon as I answer the phone.

There was no one there the last time. Or the time before that now that I think about it.

I'm sorry. What were you saying? Beer mugs? No, I don't have any beer mugs. OH! Ear Plugs. Naw. I never used them for years. I can hear just fine.

There's that phone again. BBL.

January 22, 2008, 07:02 AM
I have difficulty discerning a conversation when in a noisy environment, as well as mild tinnitus. This is not from shooting, but from years of performing in and teaching marching bands.

It sucks.

Imagine listening to a woman screaming--like in the horror movies--24x7. That's what it sounds like. It never goes away, and you can't do anything about it. The quieter the environment, the louder it gets. Say "goodbye" to "alone time."

Wear hearing protection. It's cheap and will save you half a lifetime or more of irritation from tinnitus.

January 22, 2008, 09:02 AM
No, it ain't all right. Keep it up and you will be saying "huh" a lot just a lot of us other folks who did not use hearing protection.

January 22, 2008, 09:09 AM
User hearing protection. I'm 39 and I have started using the subtitles on my DVDs. Guess why.

January 22, 2008, 09:18 AM
.22 rifle no big deal, but I don't know how anyone can take no hearing protection for anything else.

January 22, 2008, 10:08 AM
I could most likely attribute MOST of my hearing loss from firing .22 rifles in my early teenage years. Back then, hearing loss really wasn't a concern for most people. It wasn't realized how serious a threat it was. By the time I was wearing hearing protection constantly, a LOT of damage was done.

Wear the protection! When you are 36, you will thank yourself!

-- John

January 22, 2008, 10:27 AM
You will damage your hearing, even with a .22. Once your hearing is damaged it never gets better again. By the time you're 35-40, you'll have constant ringing in your ears. I learned that the hard way. If I had a chance to do it over I would have worn ear protection from the beginning.

cracked butt
January 22, 2008, 01:39 PM
If you are shooting .22 CB caps or Colibris out of a rifle you'll be fine without hearing protection, with everything else, wear protection.

January 22, 2008, 02:02 PM
Ow, shooting my single six is actually physically painful to my ears if I don't have muffs or plugs.

January 22, 2008, 07:10 PM

I'm 38yo and have been using hearing protection for the last 20 years,

at my last hearing test (last march) the audioligist walked in with my test report and asked if I was right handed, I answered yes,

then he told me I'd lost approx 60% hearing in my left ear (almost all of the high frequency range),

then he asked if I shot firearms a lot, when I answered yes, he said that he was 99% certain of that before even asking, he explained that he knew by compairing the test graphs of my right and left ears, and experience of seeing the graphs of many other shooters, some race car drivers and musicians, and he just figured that I was either a shooter or played in a rock band since I am too fat to fit in a race car,

he told me that even though I'd been wearing good hearing protection for the last 20 years or so, the damage caused from before I started wearing was already done and would only get worse in the future,

right now I have tinnius (sp?) in my left ear, constant ringing of the ears, sounds much like my alarm clock going off, I've had it long enough I can tune it out, but I miss a lot of what can be heard in that ear also,

so man, I'm not going to tell you to wear hearing protection, but it pays in the long run to start wearing it early.

January 22, 2008, 08:39 PM
better safe than sorry

January 22, 2008, 08:51 PM
never shoot my .22 with hearing protection, but i almost never shoot, and its a bolt action so it takes time to shoot, and i shoot a max of 100 rounds, ears don't ring.

now the time i got to shoot my dad's sig .40, and snubby .357 my ears didn't stop ringing for 3 days... ill never shoot again without hearing protection

January 22, 2008, 09:31 PM
I have a .22 magnum revolver with a 6.5" barrel and I fired six rounds without ear muffs/plugs on and for the next 12 hours whenever I would talk I heard ringing. I am 19 and already have the hearing of a 40 year old, (not from guns, but ear infection when I was an infant) and I have no intention of making it worse.

Wear ear protection.

January 22, 2008, 09:42 PM
yes wear ear and eye protection. you might not notice hearing loss for a while, but keep doing what you're doing and you will suffer hearing loss

January 22, 2008, 11:34 PM
ALWAYS wear eye and ear protection when shooting! Anything over 85 decibels for for long periods or louder for short periods can damage your hearing, always protect your hearing.

January 22, 2008, 11:44 PM
I'd wear hearing protection even with a .22 to be cautious.

A bit of a tangent, but those decibel ratings for various rounds surprised me. I've heard 9mm and .45 without protection, and they are both far too loud to be around without it, but I also heard .223 fired out of an AR without protection and it was way louder (bad idea, I know, I'd never been to a range before back then). Rifles just seem far louder to me than handguns save for the big six-shooters; if I don't have earplugs in properly handguns won't really bother me but rifles will have me adjusting them or doubling up in a hurry.

January 22, 2008, 11:45 PM
your 13 right, just play your music at the normal level and you will not hear the gun fire.
i thought some one was going to answer that phone.

January 22, 2008, 11:59 PM
Where is the best place to look for the electronic ear plugs?

January 23, 2008, 01:02 AM
Somebody tell me what the kid said, I can't hear him. Fired too many shots without ear protection when I was a kid.


January 23, 2008, 10:44 AM
I don't use hearing protection with 22LR. But with everything else I definitely do. I may have to rethink the 22 as well. My Marlin 60 just never sounded very loud...I can't remember any 22LR sounding loud. Huh.

January 23, 2008, 11:26 AM
I can't remember any 22LR sounding loud

January 23, 2008, 11:33 AM
.22 out of a rifle isn't too bad...not even uncomfortable for me actually, but a .22 from a pistol is really loud, uncomfortably so. I may be partially deaf already, i suppose.

January 23, 2008, 11:38 AM
can someone just put up a sticky?

(and that includes with a .22)

January 23, 2008, 11:42 AM
wear hearing protection. .22s can be loud enough to harm your hearing. In fact the few times I've shot a .22 pistol without hearing protection, I temporarily heard muffling, which signified to me that damage had been done.

January 23, 2008, 11:49 AM
I've heard that .22LR is even more dangerous than other cartridges because of the frequency.

January 23, 2008, 12:00 PM
The deal is, if you live long enough, you lose your hearing. This process can be sped up considerably by doing lots of fun things like shooting and going to rock concerts.

January 23, 2008, 12:11 PM
is it alright with a .22 though

Let's put it this way. I fired scores of thousands of rounds out of a .22LR rifle during my growing-up years. I never wore hearing protection then. I now suffer some hearing loss, particularly for higher frequency sound waves. I cannot say for certain that the years of firing .22LR is responsible for it, but I suspect it was.

That said, I wear hearing protection all the time, now, as well as eye protection. Older and wiser, they say. When you are young, you are less likely to consider these things, or to consider the consequences of repeated actions over time.

Also, when I was a kid, a .22LR case ruptured in an old Remington rolling-block rifle. I still have a black piece of unburned powder (or some other debris) stuck in my eye (it's actually stuck in the cornea, over the iris). I am fortunate to still have two good, functioning eyes. Had I been wearing eye protection, that could have been avoided.

Do as you will, but I strongly recommend hearing and eye protection.

January 23, 2008, 12:12 PM
.22LR out of my 10/22 i thought was okay without hearing protection but i'll be stopping by the store for some muffs today after reading this thread.

January 23, 2008, 12:14 PM
If I wear 30 db muffs and shoot about 100 rounds of 22 and 100 rounds of 9mm or .45 (200 rounds total) about once a week will I suffer hearing loss???

Pat McCoy
January 23, 2008, 12:16 PM
Shooting , or being around, 22s for over fifteen minutes WILL cause hearing loss. Always wear protection.

Our airgun shooters also wear ear plugs to help keep them from being distracted by others during practice and matches.

January 23, 2008, 12:19 PM
Just because it doesn't hurt your ears like a 'Pink Floyd' concert doesn't mean it isn't damaging your hearing. at least wear plugs. I usually wear plugs and muffs.

January 23, 2008, 12:23 PM
Makes me think of the old story about two old shooters sitting around at the range and visiting one day. One said to the other "Boy, since I got my hearing aid I can hear as good as I used to." The other asked, Oh, what kind is it?" The first guy looked at his watch and replied "It's 10:30."

When I started shooting no one even knew about hearing protection. After a lot of years shooting and working around noisy machinery I have very poor hearing. Wish I had known to protect mine years before I did.

January 23, 2008, 01:13 PM
Yeah wearing ear plugs/muffs can be annoying or uncomfortable, but when you consider how much losing your hearing could suck, i have just one question: Why not wear hearing protection? There really isn't a good reason not to.

chris in va
January 23, 2008, 02:11 PM
Go get a hearing test. Bet you there's some frequencies already being damaged.

A 22 pistol is actually quite loud.

Hey if you don't like wearing it, I suggest electronic muffs. You can still hear normal stuff just fine.

January 23, 2008, 02:24 PM
The thing about hearing loss is, you don't notice a thing until you don't notice a thing.

Wear hearing protection ALWAYS!

January 23, 2008, 02:36 PM
No hearing protection while shooting now means no hearing to protect later.

Muffs over plugs worn properly should be the standard for all shooters. I you can afford them, or can get someone to gift a pair to you, electronic muffs over plugs are the best.

Master Blaster
January 23, 2008, 02:54 PM
You will be great, You wont be able to hear after a while, with the high pitched perception going first.

Wear good hearing protection, repeated exposure to a .22 can destroy your hearing completely.

January 23, 2008, 03:00 PM
If I wear 30 db muffs and shoot about 100 rounds of 22 and 100 rounds of 9mm or .45 (200 rounds total) about once a week will I suffer hearing loss???
I'm not a health and safety professional but...
The numbers I see for a .45 are 159.8 dB, you lose 5dB on your muffs for wearing safety glasses and breaking the seal so you're effectively exposed to 135dB per shot. The osha guideline for exposure says at most 100 sound impulses a day at 140db and 1000 impulses a day at 130dB. It seems like those are pretty safe numbers although I'm sure it couldn't hurt to throw a pair of plugs on underneath.

January 23, 2008, 03:19 PM
either buy as silencer oh sorry your stateside can't:D
then wear ear muffs plugs

January 23, 2008, 03:35 PM
Come on guys!

Heck no don't wear hearing protection. You will look so much more fly to your homies wit notin in your ears but wax bro! Turn that hat, drop them pants and hold that gun sideways... be all dat!

And by the time you are 28...29...30... you can join the rest of us who's favorite word is WHAT? and our favorite phrase is WHAT DID YOU SAY??

As long as you look cool, does it matter that you are ruining your second most important sense after sight???? Oh wait... don't tell me you are wearing proper eye protection????

That is so WACK! Heck you two good eyes, right? Why wear those silly lookin glasses! Just wing it, bro! If you catch some brass shrapnel or a ricochet in the socket, what are the chances it will take out both of 'em????


Now seriously. Anyone who shoots anything without proper eye and ear protection is blind, deaf man in the works. Not a matter of if... a matter of when. You probably also have not thought of it this way... you are an example to anyone that knows you that is NOT a shooter. Do you want to be the one example to everyone of what a shooter is - an irresponsible bufoon that KNOWS he is harming himself, yet does nothing about it?

That's kind of crazy now, isn't it? :rolleyes:

January 23, 2008, 03:44 PM
either buy as silencer oh sorry your stateside can't
then wear ear muffs plugs
Well, you can't have handguns, so :p.

I wear electronic muffs for .22 rifles outdoors. Muffs + plugs for everything else(except maybe hunting, where I'd just go with the muffs).\

I started to go nearsighted(at 18) from excessive time behind a computer screen. It cleared up when I went on vacation, and I've been keeping my distance from screens since. There's nothing quite like being able to see the difference having an impaired sense to highlight the importance of protecting them.

January 23, 2008, 03:58 PM
My hearing is checked every year. I’m told that it is above average for my age (55). I plan to do everything possible to keep it that way. Use hearing protection religiously!!! My father was deaf as a duck’s butt. No fun for him or those around him.

January 23, 2008, 06:25 PM
I'm 23 and can't hear anything in a crowded room... Damage done in my teen years from loud music. If you're 13... wear ear plugs with guns cuz I know you'll be blaring that music!

Note: It's hard to be social in a club at this age if you can't understand anyone.

Rich K
January 23, 2008, 06:41 PM
Not to sound like a broken record, but ye wear your hearing protection. When I was a kid, I thought it would be ok to fire a few rounds without hearing protection. I should have taken better care of my ears. Now I have tinnitus, and a constant sound of crickets chirping in my ears. The hearing in my left ear is almost gone, probably a 50% reduction in hearing. I am only 50 years old. Not complaining, it is my own doing.
We grow too soon old, and too late smart as my great granddad used to say.

January 23, 2008, 06:58 PM
I used to shoot without earplugs, go to rock concerts, play loud guitar through a Fender twin- my ears ring 24/7. ANY time you get done with an activity, and your ears are ringing, you have damaged your ears and that exact ringing sound is what you have to look forward to. Please, wear some plugs or muffs.

January 23, 2008, 07:04 PM
Growing up in a shooters family, I went to the range often. Thankfully, my Dad insisted on hearing protection; he had already been through the time in the Marines when hearing protection was for wimps, then in the Dallas PD before hearing protection was the norm. Permanent ringing in the ears. Lousy, lousy hearing definition.

That isn't what made me want to protect my hearing. I love music. That did it. I want to always be able to really enjoy the nuances in my Pink Floyd collection. That's it.

You are young & my bet is you like your tunes, too. If you want to continue years from now, get a set of ear plugs or some muffs.

January 23, 2008, 07:35 PM
Anything other than a BB gun you should use hearing protection. When you get to the point where you're deaf in one or both ears it's too late.

January 23, 2008, 07:49 PM
yea i'm only 13 so i was worried kinda

i was only 13 about the time that i started going to concerts... 15 years later, i am about 60% on my left ear and about 75% in my right ear... i think back and i just wish that i had been more careful... imagine what its like to have your wife yell at you because you didnt hear your toddler son crying because he wants a bottle... it happens all the time to me...

January 23, 2008, 08:18 PM
Yes you will. As if you haven't already heard enough about this, take it from somebody that wishes he could turn back the clock to your age, just to be able to wear earplugs/muffs when shooting. I'm sure the hearing that I've lost over the years would be, for the most part, still with me.

Protect your hearing, especially now.

January 23, 2008, 08:59 PM
Seth -
Wear ear plugs!
I worked with explosives and rode around in tracked vehicles in the Army. I also subjected myself to lots more gunfire than I should have both in and out of uniform.
I'm 27 and my hearing is starting to go already. I have tennitus and trouble hearing people when there is background noise.
Be smarter than I was.

January 23, 2008, 08:59 PM
I don't wear it if I'm shooting in a very open outdoor area with a 22 long rifle.
With a pistol, definitely. It will hurt your hearing more than you can imagine.
THE ONLY gun I would EVER fire without ear protection (unless in some sort of emergency situation) is a 22LR OUTDOORS!

January 24, 2008, 09:12 AM
either buy as silencer oh sorry your stateside can't
Most US citizens can buy all the silencers they want. They are legal in 36 states.

January 24, 2008, 09:31 AM
WHAT you say? HUH? lose it totally? probably not,, lose a lot of it and get constant ringing in your ears.. Yep,, take it from me,, been there,, don't that,, need hearing aids now.

January 24, 2008, 09:39 AM
WEAR EAR PROTECTION!!! I neglected to wear ear protection just a few times. I would forget it and figure it wasn't that big a deal. Now I've permanently lost some of my hearing, and I'm only 22. It's not severe, but it's noticeable, and it will be that way for the rest of my life. I was shooting centerfire rifles and shotguns, so my hearing loss happened a lot faster than yours will, but I assure you that you will start to lose your hearing if you continue to neglect ear protection.

the naked prophet
January 24, 2008, 12:52 PM
The only gun I shoot without hearing protection is a 24 inch barreled .22 while using subsonic loads, or a shorter rifle using colibri (powderless, primer-only shorts). I have shot a .410 with a ridiculously long barrel, something like 32 inches, that was really quiet.

The longer the barrel, the less pressure released at the muzzle and the farther it is away from your ears. A 16 inch .22 barrel is still quite loud, a 24 inch barrel is not really that loud but can still cause hearing damage. Using subsonic loads, the sound is diminished by the lack of a sonic crack from the bullet AND the fact that there is less powder (heavier bullet takes up more room in the case ==> less powder ==> powder is more completely burned by the time the bullet exits ==> less pressure at muzzle).

I would ONLY forego hearing protection when shooting a long-barreled .22 using subsonic loads. And only for a short time.

January 24, 2008, 01:37 PM
Not only do you risk hearing loss, you could end up in the wonderful world of tinnitus. I have it not from shooting, but from years of playing music. I haven't played for years, but I have dramatic hearing loss in my right ear. Plus when I'm in a quiet environment, I have this horrible high pitched ringing in my ears. Please take care of your hearing. You'll be glad you did. Also, you won't have to say huh, what, and sorry I didn't hear that nearly as much. ;)

January 24, 2008, 01:58 PM
Wow, reading all this makes me glad I only did shooting at the Boy Scout camp growing up.

I felt I had missed out cause my dad never took me shooting or hunting.

I'm particularly thankful because the Boy Scouts INSISTED (as in, get off the range) on hearing protection. My dad would have just gone shooting.

Now, I listen to the songs playing at restuarants and people look at me and say "What music?"

AND since my dad has worked around heavy machinery all his life, he is definitely losing his hearing. And he mumbles. So people can't hear him and he can't hear people.

Someone inside the family often has to translate.

I wear plugs and muffs at all times now.

Just need to find an outdoor range in NOVA to go with the indoor...

January 25, 2008, 09:23 PM
I find it interesting that we are getting the "the only gun I shoot without hearing protection is (fill in the blank here).

You know why I find it interesting? Because THAT is the gun that is going to cause your hearing damage and you still think it's OK.

That is the epitome of insanity. You KNOW it's going to damage you. You KNOW it will affect your quality of life negatively. You KNOW it will affect your family negatively and yet you are still rationalizing it.

Rock on dudes... you will be us one day saying.. .'YEAH THEY WARNED ME BUT I DIDN'T LISTEN AND NOW I CAN'T HEAR A DARNED THING!'.


January 26, 2008, 09:52 AM
HUNTERS . . . start wearing hearing protection while hunting. The ears don't care if you are at the range or hunting. Gun noise is the same. A duck blind is LOUD.

Electronic muffs have come down in price, and they work.

If you can't hear a bird sing or your grandchildren laugh, you'll miss out on much joy latter in your life.

January 26, 2008, 10:07 AM
I would not advise anyone to fire any gun, including a .22 rimfire, without ear plugs. The soft ones are not any trouble or cost much.

One can never recover the lost hearing. I wear 2 hearing aids, and sure do wish I had had the plugs when I was young. We used cotton in the ears.


January 26, 2008, 10:33 AM
HUH, WHAT WAS THAT YOU SAID, as i'm being interviewed for a job.:(

January 26, 2008, 10:45 AM
yes you will

January 27, 2008, 04:34 PM
The sharp sound will do some degree of damage. There is also the sounds made by other shooters to consider.

January 27, 2008, 05:33 PM
Yes, it will contribute to hearing loss. BB gun, airgun, .22, .50 BMG, use hearing protection.

The little foam earplugs cost a couple of bucks at most.

Why risk damaging something that you can't regain to save a dollar? Just doesn't make sense to me.

January 27, 2008, 05:48 PM
Loud noise may/will damage your hearing. Caliber is meaningless. Decibels are what matters, and gunshots are pretty high on the decibel meter.
I can understand forgoing hearing protection at first (before one knows better). I grew up shooting rifles in .22 short and birdshot from a long-barrel 12-gauge shotgun. Didn't seem to bother me too much. No/very little ringing in the ears - so why bother? Didn't realize it was doing damage.

Then I got into handguns. They are incredibly loud, by comparison. Painful. Shooting was somewhat miserable. Got a nice flinch from it. The ringing lasted for hours after I'd done. Hearing protection took the pain out of shooting.

You can get good earplugs cheaply - try those olive/yellow models. Mine worked great until I lost 'em. They're reusable - just wash 'em down. Not much expense, nothing to lose from 'em - except the annoying ringing after shooting. Good muffs are out there, too, for cheap. The plugs worked fine, the muffs are a tad more comfortable.

January 27, 2008, 05:51 PM
Drats, I wanted to be the 100th post in this thread.

Hey, people. I wonder if the OP is even reading anymore, after what happened in the other thread. (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=4118532#post4118532)

Maybe this one should get locked too, so people will not waste their time giving advice to someone who probably wouldn't take it, if they were getting it, but who probably isn't even reading here any more.

January 27, 2008, 06:04 PM
Anything that makes your ears ring causes permanent damage, and it is cumulative. Every time adds to the damage. I know whereof I speak. Due to industrial noise and gunfire (used to be a gunsmith) I have a constant LOUD high pitched tone with occasional chirping sounds. It is quite annoying and nothing can be done about it. Don't shoot ANYTHING louder than a Daisy BB gun without hearing protection. If you do, get used to saying "What??" a lot.

The worst thing I ever shot was a Ruger SA in .30 Carbine. With mouse ears on it felt like an ice pick stuck into my ears. About 2-3 shots was more than enough.

January 27, 2008, 08:01 PM
Not wearing hearing protection around loud noise levels is just plain stupid....and that includes rock concerts, work spaces in your/friends' cars, even ear plugs and Walkmans are capable of damaging audio levels.... Use hearing protection anywhere/anytime in high level situations.

Or spend a good part of your life being known as "HUH?" BTDTGTTS... >MW

January 27, 2008, 08:42 PM
Sorry, I didn't catch that. What did you say?

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