Recommend me some earplugs


March 23, 2012, 08:10 AM
Hi all, I'm looking to get some good earplugs, ie. non-disposable, effective enough to replace ear defenders (except for really loud bangs). Can I have some good recommendations please :cool:

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March 23, 2012, 08:23 AM
The earplugs I use I purchased from a hearing aid place years ago.

I worked in a printing plant and my insurance covered periodic hearing exams. The doctor took a mould of my ears and had them made, which took about a week (IIRC). They ended up costing me about $20 but that was 15 years ago. They still work very well.

The M
March 23, 2012, 10:13 AM
I have some custom silicone ear molds made by a company that came to Daytona's bike week last year (can't remember the name.) I use them for motorcycling and shooting. More than adequate for most guns although my 30-06 and a nearby .44 start to feel a little loud. Better than headphones though because my glasses break the headphone seal, letting in lots of noise.

March 23, 2012, 10:23 AM
I also have custom molded silicone ear plugs, which are supposed to be NRR 33. I got mine done at Cabellas, but I would suggest getting a doctor to do your molds. The first time I got mine done, they didn't make the mold right so they were useless. I then had to return them and get it done again and the results were pretty good, but I can't help but feel as if a doctor would have been able to do a better job. After the molds were made, they sent them out and the finished plugs were mailed to my house. For the last three years, I've been using them for everything from shooting to mowing the lawn. When I'm shooting centerfire, I still like to double up on ear protection.

March 23, 2012, 10:33 AM
Yeah the problem I was having was glasses breaking the headphone seal. Seeing as I normally only shoot .22, .38 and 9mm, doesn't seem to be too much of a problem. I've ordered some Combat Arms earplugs, they were reasonably cheap so I'll give them a go first.

March 23, 2012, 10:54 AM
Buy the silicone kit style.

March 23, 2012, 05:25 PM
I double up plugs and muffs. And, I use cheap ones of both.

March 23, 2012, 10:06 PM
Stick a couple of bullets in your ears. I saw it on TV once and tried it with some .40s. Works surprisingly well. But I usually use these:

I've seen them for under $50 so do some shopping.

March 23, 2012, 10:13 PM
I use surefire.

March 23, 2012, 10:14 PM
Another vote for customs. I've used radians custom molds. I would suggest using something to hold your mouth open when you do it so that the fit is a little tighter. I just got a new set of doctor made molds so we'll see how they do

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March 23, 2012, 10:17 PM
I have the custom molded ones and they work great. might have to replace them every 5 to ten years as your ears don't stop growing and can change slightly but thats no biggie. They work great. Surefire also makes good ones. When it doubt, foam earplugs rule.

March 23, 2012, 10:47 PM
I wear elect. ear muffs. Run on sale at Midway for $20 or so. Work great as range officer. Also work great when running equipment.

March 23, 2012, 10:57 PM
What are the ones you see a lot of shooters wearing on Top Shot that look like they are custom molded?

Jim Watson
March 23, 2012, 11:03 PM
I have had two pairs of those molded plugs done by shooting supply dealers. Neither one was much count, uncomfortable and not very quiet. I think the vendors pressured the monomer in too hard and distorted my ears so the finished form was not the same as my relaxed ear canal. But two different outfits, some years apart? I dunno, but they were a waste of money.
Maybe a doctor or audiologist will do a better job. But he will charge for it.

The foam plugs have about as high NRR as anything and are reasonably comfortable. Work well under muffs for indoors or comp guns, too.

March 24, 2012, 11:20 PM
The VA made me a set of custom molded ear plugs when the made my hearing aids.
I really like them.
Fit perfect and they work well.
Most of the gun shows I have been to had someone there making ear plugs but I don't know how good they are.

March 25, 2012, 12:51 AM
You can get to an NRR of 36, but that requires the highest rated muff (NRR 30 or 31) and the highest rated plug (NRR 33) to be worn at the same time.

Much more information on earplugs here:

Just googling around it looks like the best you can hope for with custom ear plugs is 30 NRR:

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