What earplugs do you use?


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monotonous_iterancy
May 11, 2013, 07:54 PM
I'm considering switching the brand of earplugs I usually use. I've been buying this tube of 33 NPR plugs, 60 pairs, made by Serpian Safety Wear. They work great if you get good ones, but I'm not entirely convinced they have good quality control. Some of the plugs have small holes, dimples, or slight impressions from the machining. So when I use them, I go through and hand pick "good ones".

Maybe these things don't make a difference, and if they don't, that's great, but I'm in no hurry to find out. I don't like that I feel that I have to "hand pick" the plugs I use.

So what do you use?

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orionengnr
May 11, 2013, 11:04 PM
I grew up using the yellow foam EAR plugs in the military (1977-2000). Guess they had a good contract :)

I buy them by the 200-pair box at Northern Tool--about $32 a box. When shooting, I also use muffs.

rcmodel
May 11, 2013, 11:12 PM
Ear plugs drive me up the wall.
I can't stand the feel of them.

Except for the old rubber plugs the Army issued in 1968.
They fit fairly well, and I can get by if I have to use them.

I use earmuffs, or electronic earmuffs almost exclusively nowadays.

rc

MErl
May 11, 2013, 11:23 PM
generic expanding foamies & electronic muffs for centerfire. just the muffs for rimfire.

Got the foamies in a big box at Home Depot years back, don't know the maker.

Domino300
May 12, 2013, 12:44 AM
"Except for the old rubber plugs the Army issued in 1968.
They fit fairly well, and I can get by if I have to use them."
RC,
I don't remember being issued Army earplugs in 1968. What color were they? I never used hearing protection growing up. Maybe why the wife thinks I need a hearing aid.
I usually use the earmuffs now, but I've forgotten them and just stuffed grass in my ears and it did help.

Lunie
May 12, 2013, 02:38 AM
Digital earplugs. (You know, fingers.) :p

Seriously, Caldwell Electronic Muffs http://www.midwayusa.com/product/348524/caldwell-e-max-electronic-earmuffs-nrr-25db-green?cm_vc=subv1

or E-A-R Ultrafit http://www.northernsafety.com/Product/4004/3M-E-A-R-UltraFitCorded-Reusable-Ear-Plugs-in-Polybag-NRR-25

Lerk
May 12, 2013, 04:25 AM
I prefer the yellow EAR Classic plugs made by 3M. I bought the 500 bulk box and have bairly used any out of that baby for the last couple of years.

Nalgi
May 13, 2013, 12:32 AM
speak up! I cant hear you! Oh I was wearing my injection ear plugs!

I got a pair made about 10 years ago at the SCI convention. They squirt a liquid into your ear and it expands and hardens. They imbed a chord linking both sides and there you have it! perfect fitting ear plugs that remind of silly putty gone hard that shut out about 90+% of sound. $60

usurp31
May 13, 2013, 12:50 AM
Amazon; Howard Leight MAX1 Earplugs Uncorded NRR33 Box/200 Count. $24.00 shipped for 200 pair.

Lunie
May 13, 2013, 01:28 AM
I prefer the yellow EAR Classic plugs made by 3M. I bought the 500 bulk box and have bairly used any out of that baby for the last couple of years.
500!!!

I think a box of 100 is potentially a lifetime supply... They last till you lose them. You can clean them, and mine often end up riding through the washing machine in a forgotten pocket. They come out soft and clean!

Zach S
May 13, 2013, 06:10 AM
Try to find a sample pack of earplugs that has a variety. Best way to find a kind that works.

I prefer the yellow EAR Classic plugs made by 3M. Same here. Uncomfortable, but effective.

500!!!

I think a box of 100 is potentially a lifetime supply... They last till you lose them. You can clean them, and mine often end up riding through the washing machine in a forgotten pocket. They come out soft and clean!100 isn't hardly a lifetime supply. I don't just wear them when shooting, but anytime I'm doing something loud. Between yardwork and working in my shop, 100 might last a year.

But I don't bother washing them. Use e'm, toss 'em. At less than .25 cents a pair, they're cheap enough to be disposable.

Johannes_Paulsen
May 13, 2013, 09:01 AM
Mack's earplugs -- work great, and you can pick them up at your local drug store. Comfortable and effective.

http://www.macksearplugs.com/category/shooting-ear-plugs

When I want the Mickey Mouse ears, I use this:

http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-R-01526-Electronic-Earmuff/dp/B001T7QJ9O

1KPerDay
May 13, 2013, 01:00 PM
Howard Leight MAX or MAX LITE.

Hunterdad
May 13, 2013, 05:48 PM
The only time I wear earplugs is when I'm shooting trap. Having a pair of muffs on drives me crazy for some reason when shooting trap. I use electronic muffs for everything else.

I wear Moldex Pura-Fit and have no complaints. Bought a 100 pack a few years ago for $15 and am just getting down to the end.

newfalguy101
May 13, 2013, 05:54 PM
earmuffs only for me

cold100onhw1
May 13, 2013, 05:59 PM
Peltor shotgunner muffs work great for me.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

herrwalther
May 13, 2013, 08:38 PM
Best earplugs I have used for shooting were issued, 4 flang blue ear plugs that came in the standard OD green case. Lost them somewhere in Kuwait or something.

Now I use one of three sets:
Surefire EP3
Peltor yellow-black double ended
And another pair I forget what who made them, box was long destroyed. Two plugs connected by a wire with a little diagram of a pistol before the insertable part. I think they are made by EAR or combat arms seem familiar.

roadcoder
May 13, 2013, 08:42 PM
I haven't washed my ears since 1978, so you could say I use God's earplugs.

Jim Watson
May 13, 2013, 08:55 PM
I wear muffs for pistol shooting, plugs for rifle and shotgun because with my build and stance, I always knock the stock with muff cups. Usually knocking them out of place as the shot goes off.

I like the orange conical foam jobs, whatever brand that is.

I had two pairs of the custom molded in my own ear silicone plugs, made several years apart by different vendors.
Neither was very quiet or comfortable.

esheato
May 13, 2013, 09:00 PM
I've posted this before, but apparently it needs repeating. (get it? lol) :D

I prefer plugs and buy these (http://www.earplugstore.com/howard-leight-max-corded.html) in bulk. Stuff a handful in every range bag and in my truck door panel.

No affiliation whatsoever, but I've found the Ear Plug Superstore (http://www.earplugstore.com/) helpful.

Sample packs too. (http://www.earplugstore.com/unfoamtrialp.html)

travisd
May 13, 2013, 09:20 PM
The ones I use at work the green Howard Leights. Normally go shooting on the way home as I go right by the range so it saves me a trip. Just save the pair I used that day if I'm planning on shooting. They work

Mat, not doormat
May 14, 2013, 03:44 PM
I used to use the Winchester plugs they sell at wally world, but they reduced them from 32 NRR to 31, and it made a huge difference. Felt like I was wearing nothing, especially on some CAS stages, with the shotgun being fired under a tin roof. Twenty or so shooters cycling through like that... not good. Thus began my quest for effective hearing protection. Eventually I found that Wally World does sell 33 NRR plugs, but they keep them up in the pharmacy, not back in the sporting goods section. Flents (http://www.amazon.com/Flents-Quiet-Time-Comfort-Plugs/dp/B001F5VDVE) I use those for driving, (11 hours a day in a loud semi is wearing, I find) doing yard work, using power tools, all sorts of things.

For shooting, though I use either the Flents or Moldex (http://www.amazon.com/MOLDEX-6800-PURA-FIT-SOFT-EARPLUGS/dp/B000BYAP7I/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1368556202&sr=8-2&keywords=moldex+pura-fit+6800), by themselves for CAS, or paired with Pro Ears Ultra 33 (http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Ears-Passive-Hearing-Protection/dp/B00117XML0) for everything else.

The Flents are handy to keep in the truck, since they come in a canister. I can grab a pair in the morning, and be good. The Moldex come individually wrapped, so I don't need a bulky can in my range bag, or have plugs rolling around loose.

SabbathWolf
May 15, 2013, 07:50 PM
Peltor shotgunner muffs work great for me.

Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2
That's the same ones I have x 2 sets in green.
I like how they don't interfere with your rifle stock.

GMHAYESUSN
May 17, 2013, 02:53 PM
I use surefire EP3's for earlplugs,comfortable and have very good sound reduction. Ive used them indoors and out on everything from .22LR to 25MM with no issues. I am also able to plug the motorola 5000 and my midland radios into them. As far as earmuffs I use caldwell electronics with good results.

backbencher
May 17, 2013, 04:10 PM
+1 for Howard Leight 33s. I slept through rocket attacks in Basra wearing those.

witchhunter
May 18, 2013, 01:14 AM
Huh? Earmuffs? Wish I would have years ago, my hearing is set on "mumble"
Just got some electronic models from Midway and they work good for me. I can now hear my cousin say "low and left" when we are shooting prairie dogs. Ha! When we were kids it was nothing to shoot a couple of hundred rounds each during a shoot, no hearing protection at all. We are both paying for it now.

frankenstein406
May 18, 2013, 01:22 AM
right now just cheap muffs but gonna buy the surefire ep3 since I always forget about plugs.

Zardaia
May 18, 2013, 01:47 AM
Grew up using no ear pro, amazingly I'm not deaf yet. After firing a mosin a few times one trip with just foamies and dealing with the ringing, I now double up with cheap foam plugs and ear muffs.

Chief 0652
May 18, 2013, 04:52 PM
I like as much protection as possible. I like ear plugs plus ear muffs (approximately 55 NRR total). However, sometimes I use ear plugs only with the rifle so that I can get a good cheekweld. The muffs (we called them "ear defenders" in the USAF) sometimes get in the way of a good rifle shooting posture.

Outlaw Man
May 21, 2013, 10:05 AM
I hate foam plugs. I had some Silencio reusable plugs I liked, but they wore out and it looks like they were discontinued.

I broke down and bought a set of EAR Insta-Mold plugs. They are extremely comfortable and go in one-handed. I just got the regular ones without the filters.

If I'm shooting pistols and/or in an indoor range, I have muffs over them.

Lunie
May 21, 2013, 12:03 PM
I like as much protection as possible. I like ear plugs plus ear muffs (approximately 55 NRR total). However, sometimes I use ear plugs only with the rifle so that I can get a good cheekweld. The muffs (we called them "ear defenders" in the USAF) sometimes get in the way of a good rifle shooting posture.
As tempting as it would be to simply add the NRR for plugs and muffs together, I have read that it doesn't quite work that way.

25 NRR plugs + 25 NRR muffs =/= 50 NRR combo, or at least probably not. I suspect the actual combined NRR would be somewhere between 25 and 50, but who knows what it would be without testing...

RustHunter87
May 21, 2013, 01:24 PM
I have to use the foam plugs for work and i have Tiny ear canals, the best ones i have found that dont tear my ears up are the Spark plugs and Pura-Fit.

hso
May 21, 2013, 05:16 PM
Any of the Howard Leight plugs will provide good quality consistently.

The Surefire reusable plugs are good.

You can also get reusable and disposable plugs in sizes for large and small ear canals.

***

Lunie is correct, you can't simply add NRRs for plugs and muffs. The actuall calculation runs like this - NRR plugs in dB-5dB+5dB for muffs=dB to be subtracted from noise sound pressure level from noise source. This is because the frequency response curves are different for plugs and muffs.

***

You should always use plugs AND muffs. It is surprising how much hearing loss creeps up on you if you don't protect your hearing.

lpsharp88
May 21, 2013, 05:54 PM
I've always gone shooting and only used ear plugs (the blue triple flanged USGI, or the green and orange foam ones on military ranges) but wouldn't mind using some muffs. The one reservation I have about muffs is it seems like they'd get in the way of a good cheek to stock weld when firing long guns. I saw these (http://www.amazon.com/3M-Peltor-Shotgunner-Hearing-Protector/dp/B0002INNUO) mentioned earlier in the thread. Do they allow a good cheek to stock weld? Also, how much benefit is gained from using muffs and plugs?

hso
May 21, 2013, 06:47 PM
Those and the Howard Leight Impact Sports are good for long guns.

JohnBT
May 21, 2013, 10:10 PM
"i have Tiny ear canals, the best ones i have found that dont tear my ears up are the Spark plugs and Pura-Fit."

I'll keep an eye out, but my all-time favorites so far are the Leight Max Lite plugs. Remington used to sell them and they're just plain comfortable. Now I just buy them by the case.

"Ideal for workers with smaller ear canals"

www.howardleight.com/earplugs/max-lite

cfullgraf
May 22, 2013, 12:46 AM
I use custom fitted plugs for skeet, muffs for rifle and hand gun.

JShirley
May 22, 2013, 04:08 AM
I deliberately leave foam plugs in the pockets of my ACUs when I wash and dry them.

I'm actually writing a review of the E-A-R Push-Ins. Should be done today. :)

John

hso
May 22, 2013, 11:03 PM
Yep, you can wash foam plugs 2 or 3 times and get more use out of them. I've dropped foam and durable plugs in a mesh bag and tossed them in with standard tap/cool setting clothes.

SlowFuse
May 22, 2013, 11:22 PM
Most of the time I use Radian rad bands. Fairly light duty jelly plugs. Comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time like mowing the lawn, shooting or whatever.

Next step up would be Surefire 7's.

If I grab muffs it'll be Howard Leight slim lines usually.

RustHunter87
May 23, 2013, 11:17 AM
Leight Max Lite plugs dont work as good, they are the most comfortable if you can get them in, to soft they jam up on me.

I do like the EAR push in ones, they are good for doubling up with muffs for short shooting sessions but they to make my ears hurt after a few hours

If you wash the plugs they dont stay squished as long and i have trouble reusuing them

I know Im picky but I must have little kid sized ears or something and i often have to have plugs in for like 10-12 hours some times for up to 8 days striaght, chippin scale and blasting

Oh boy do i hate plugs, but i love my hearing

maxyedor
May 23, 2013, 02:53 PM
I have small ear canals and the Surefire size small fit awesome, and after about 30 seconds, I totally forget they're in. I like that they don't protrude past me ear, as I use them in all sorts of non-shooting situation, that makes a big difference. I also like the 3M baffled plugs, but they stick out to the side and cause interference with my welding hood.

I just wish Surefire made some similar plugs that blocked a bit more noise. They're great for pistols, shotguns and most rifles, but a day at the range near a big bore rifle w/muzzle brake or near an F1 engine, and my ears still ring.

monotonous_iterancy
May 24, 2013, 04:31 PM
Do you all understand what I mean when I say these plugs have small holes and such? Part of me wonders if that's part of how the foam contracts and expands, or if it's a quality control issue.

murf
May 24, 2013, 08:22 PM
fired 38 special cases (2). the rimmed end goes in your ear!

murf

JShirley
May 25, 2013, 09:17 AM
Here's my review of the Push-Ins ( http://www.shootingreviews.com/3m-e-a-r-push-ins-inexpensive-easy-protection/). One of the big problems with foam plugs is that almost all of them lose some protection/seal once they've been removed and reinserted a few times.

The flanged plugs offer less protection, and (in the case of the harder plastic versions) are less comfortable.

John

armsmaster270
May 25, 2013, 11:25 PM
I went to the ear muffs.

Steve C
May 26, 2013, 05:30 AM
I'm considering switching the brand of earplugs I usually use. I've been buying this tube of 33 NPR plugs, 60 pairs, made by Serpian Safety Wear. They work great if you get good ones, but I'm not entirely convinced they have good quality control. Some of the plugs have small holes, dimples, or slight impressions from the machining. So when I use them, I go through and hand pick "good ones".

You are worrying about things that make no difference. As long as you properly use and insert the foam plugs you will get the rated NRR. To properly use this type of plug you need to compress the plug, rolling it between your fingers to make it smaller in diameter, Insert it in the ear canal and allow it to expand to fill the canal for a tight fit before you release it. Some people who have no proper training in hearing protection will simply poke them in their ears but the level of protection is greatly reduced with that kind of improper insertion.

The only reason to change plugs is if you are not getting a snug fit in the ear or they are causing you discomfort.

tnxdshooter
May 26, 2013, 05:53 AM
I don't use any ear plugs. Instead I use howard leight electronic muffs.

Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

hso
May 26, 2013, 08:04 AM
Everyone should use both plugs and muffs because the habit of wearing them all the time helps ensure that you'll remember to use them both just like putting on your pants in the morning.

monotonous_iterancy,

Do you mean the surface appears to have "holes" like the sponge below or just that the body of a foam plug has vesicles (holes)?
http://i-cdn.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/re-nest/5-14-2009sponge.jpg

John,

Foam plugs are only intended for a day of use and shouldn't have any problem expanding back to the volume needed to block the ear canal as long as they've not been damaged by solvents. They may not feel as "fluffy" after a couple of in and outs, but they should be doing the job if they're not sliding out. The push-in types are much much easier for people to use properly (a huge variable for many people is how well they do at inserting them) and because of proper insertion are functionally "better" for many people that just don't get the hang of rolling foam plugs and getting them down far enough to block the ear canal well.

JShirley
May 26, 2013, 11:47 AM
hso, I am speaking from 20 years of experience. It doesn't matter what "should" or "shouldn't happen" if it in fact does. And I have noticed this phenomenon many times, though it seems more pronounced with the softer foam plugs which tend to offer the highest db protection in a plug. The more times in a session the plugs are removed and inserted, the longer they take to reseal, and eventually a good seal is nearly impossible to get.

John

RustHunter87
May 26, 2013, 12:05 PM
almost all of them lose some protection/seal once they've been removed and reinserted a few times.

I completely agree with that, I also dont reuse them much because every time you roll them up filth from you fingers gets imbedded in to the foam and irritates my ears even more.

Arizona_Mike
May 26, 2013, 02:49 PM
Drug store foam in the bulk plastic bottle.

Mike

Doc7
May 26, 2013, 07:04 PM
I use Howard Leight earplugs that I get from work at the plant, and throw on the Impact Sport electronic muffs over top of them.

Firing my 20 gauge shotgun, for the first time ever, the noise was a complete non-issue which I understand may also lower "perceived recoil" for some folks. I think this setup is pretty awesome, as it allows me to carry on conversations at normal speaking volumes at the range without removing ear-pro.

tnxdshooter
May 27, 2013, 05:08 AM
How in the heck can y'all hear anything with ear plugs and ear muffs on? I have a severe hearing impairment and if I wore both I wouldn't be able to hear anything. Thus I just take my hearing aids out and put the howard leight electronic muffs on. This allows gunshots to be blocked out and voices enhanced.

Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.

Sav .250
May 27, 2013, 09:18 AM
I use small pieces of a hankie. Works for me.

hso
May 27, 2013, 11:43 AM
John,

You make a good point. The fact that we can reuse disposable plugs doesn't mean they're intended to be reused. They're intended to go in, stay in until "break" or "lunch", and then be tossed and replaced before going back to work in a noisy environment. The no-roll ear plugs do a better job for folks that go back and forth a bit between noisy and less noisy environments as well as avoiding the user problem of improperly rolling and inserting them and they avoid the entire "nasty" handling problem with dirty/greasy hands rolling them.

I'll get a sample pack of no-rolls from one of the suppliers for you to T&E.

nyresq
June 10, 2013, 04:44 PM
25 years of shooting and 10 as an instructor. Always used foamies and muffs no matter what I was shooting. About 5 years ago I had a set of custom molded plugs made and discovered what comfortable ear plugs feel like. Foamies would irritate my ears after a few hours and they were a PIA to put in and get them to seat properly. My custom molded ones go in and seat perfectly everytime, easy to put in and easy to take out. I have one set with small filters and keeper strings that let in normal sounds like talking but not loud sounds like gunshots. I have another set without the filters and no strings to better seal my muffs. When shooting very loud guns (short barreled 308 etc) or on a crowded indoor range I use these to better lower the db getting to my ears.

Custom plugs are worth the expense. if you use foamies, you will never look back after a good set of molded plugs.

Double up, plugs and muffs. With all our modern medical science, your hearing is one of those things they cant fix once its gone. Electronic amplification devices help, but stop the damage before its gone too far.

jack44
June 16, 2013, 09:51 AM
I get mine from work either the yellow foam or the white foam.

xxjumbojimboxx
June 20, 2013, 10:59 PM
I use the orange foam ones. You can buy the at academy... they work really well if you use them correctly.... most dont... But i cant hear much after i put the in, cheap, disposable, effective, reliable... all the things i like.

marv
June 21, 2013, 10:45 PM
I was in the Army 1953-1955. Had 8 wks Infantry training and 8 wks Artillery training. Then I went into Aircraft maintainence. All very noisy conditions. At NO time or place were we ever offered any form of hearing protection. It simply didn't exist. I should be getting a good chunk of disability. At least the V A gave me a couple good hearing aids and batteries for life.

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