avoiding ear damage with powerful rifles - Page 2 - THR

Go Back   THR > Tools and Technologies > Rifle Country

Welcome to THR
You are currently viewing our site as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have, access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit the help section.

Thread Tools
Old April 17, 2012, 12:44 AM   #26
Join Date: April 24, 2011
Location: NorCal.
Posts: 179
I definitely double up on hearing protection when firing a Magnum rifle, especially a magna-ported one .
Seriously, hearing damage is irreversible . Protect what you have.

I know a Vietnam Vet who spent his tour on a PBR (Navy)
firing the forward mounted Twin .50's with no hearing protection.
Let's just say he has a real tough time with cellphones.....None of them are loud enough. VA denied his hearing loss claim as well.
Wear your "ears" folks .
Μολὼν λάβε
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur
talldragon is offline  
Old April 17, 2012, 07:17 AM   #27
Join Date: May 8, 2007
Posts: 219
I fail to see how a piece of foam is not completely and utterly universal.
Trust me. I've not only read the book, seen the movie and been there - I am there. My ear canals are narrow and not straight. Doctors and nurses struggle to see my ear drums! Yet my hearing is good. Mind you, I've always used hearing protection. I do have tinnitus but it's from something else.
peterotte is offline  
Old April 17, 2012, 07:20 AM   #28
Join Date: May 8, 2007
Posts: 219
VA denied his hearing loss claim as well.
There can be no question of the cause of hearing loss in the military. Aren't there lawyers ready to get rich fighting these claims? They can't lose.

Last edited by peterotte; April 18, 2012 at 01:00 AM.
peterotte is offline  
Old April 17, 2012, 05:28 PM   #29
Join Date: August 21, 2010
Location: South West Florida
Posts: 417
I lost 30% of my hearing while in the Navy. Big Guns, Missiles and Navy jets will do that to you over 20 years.

I usually double up but I've been using some coated foam ear plugs that Really do a good job! When I put them in, I can't hear anything... including my wifes snoring...I didn't say that out loud did I???

I need to get some good over the ear "Mickey Mouse" ears but I haven't found any that I like yet.
"We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." -Ronald Reagan
Gtimothy is offline  
Old April 17, 2012, 08:31 PM   #30
Join Date: July 8, 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 113
I use molded in the ear plugs with an 85 db cutout filter.
Usually $75.00
gunnysmith is offline  
Old April 18, 2012, 11:21 AM   #31
Join Date: March 5, 2007
Location: McLean, VA
Posts: 1,027
I typically use standard winchester earmuffs when on an indoor range. The closest indoor range permits everything .460 Wby and below; I regularly shoot high-power rifles there. TBH, the earmuffs are a bare minimum in an environment like that. I occasionally double up with screw-in rubber units.

Outdoor ranges are a lot milder,but a SBR or braked rifle will still rock you pretty good if you only have a pair of foamies in.
SpeedAKL is offline  
Old April 18, 2012, 11:39 AM   #32
Join Date: August 28, 2009
Posts: 5,024
When I shoot or am around a .50, I just use plugs and I'm perfectly fine. No ringing, not too loud, and doesn't hurt.

I wonder how our GIs had to feel who had to shoot one of those Garands all day ????? Never saw one of them with a plug or muffs on the ears. Wonder how they felt about that ?
You should ask one when you see one, might have to yell your question though.
Why are we allowed to own cars that can go over 100 MPH? Who, besides the military and police, needs to have a race car? Many people die each year from race cars, we don't have a need such high powered cars so they should be banned. Those that own race cars think that they are Vin Diesel and are dangerous to society.
FIVETWOSEVEN is offline  
Old April 19, 2012, 11:22 AM   #33
Join Date: February 25, 2012
Posts: 17
It's just idle speculation on my part, but I wonder if they have some sort of helmet device with integral hearing protection to reflect back sound rather than conduct it through your skull, something reserved only for the most extreme noise levels.
Sure would be uncomfortable for shooting, but I would be willing to bet you could significantly improve upon the practical NRR rating of 33 with something of that sort.
oldpink is offline  
Old April 21, 2012, 11:27 PM   #34
Join Date: May 12, 2004
Location: Rocky Mts
Posts: 2,656
I have serious hearing damage also. I keep foam plugs on me at all times. I wont even take a shot hunting without them, no game animal is worth losing any more hearing. For the worst offenders I use plugs and muffs. Most anything with a brake/flash suppressor falls in that catagory, as do 357 loads in a pistol. The 44 seems more pleasant to shoot.

I made one shot with a 338 in the woods and lost noticable hearing in my left ear. Never again. That wasn't the only thing I've lost hearing from, but I knew the instant I fired that something was wrong. That deer was absolutely NOT worth losing any hearing over.

338's don't need brakes in any event. I wouldnt have a braked gun for a field gun. Just my preference. If I couldnt get it tamed by proper stocking fit and a good pad, I wouldnt shoot it in the field. I still use plugs when hunting tho, just put them in when I'm about to shoot. If I lose the shot, oh well, there will be another one of whatever. I dont recall losing a critter from not being ready tho.
"It amazes me that people "think" themselves into helplessness."
Bartholomew Roberts

"...always endeavour to raise your own standards."
Arfin Greebly

Isn't it amazing how many people post without reading the thread?
Malamute is offline  
Old April 22, 2012, 08:42 AM   #35
Join Date: February 25, 2012
Posts: 17
Malamute, you don't really have to insert plugs just as you're about to shoot.
There already are electronic plugs that cut off with gunfire, allowing you to hear through them up until that point.
You can simply wear them, adjust the sound amplification level (yes, they can act somewhat as hearing aids), then go hunting.
The electronics will do the rest for you.
oldpink is offline  
Old April 22, 2012, 01:05 PM   #36
Join Date: March 28, 2012
Posts: 29
I'm new to this so could you post some product examples and/or web links. Thanks!
KeithR is offline  
Old April 22, 2012, 01:11 PM   #37
Member in memoriam
Join Date: September 17, 2007
Location: Eastern KS
Posts: 59,082
Walkers Game Ear was probably the firstest with the bestest.
They have several models and price ranges so look around their website.


Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Or all your primers in a glass jar!

Time has finally taken over, and we can't fight getting older! 'Kid Rock'
rcmodel is offline  
Old April 22, 2012, 02:47 PM   #38
Join Date: September 26, 2006
Location: all over Virginia
Posts: 7,328
With the foamie earplugs, I generally push them in until they are touching.
W.E.G. is offline  
Old April 23, 2012, 09:21 AM   #39
Tom Held
Join Date: June 28, 2003
Location: Germantown, Maryland
Posts: 495
doubling up value?

I've been seen a couple of times at the Starkey Institute for my gun-related hearing loss and asked about doubling up. The audiologists that I spoke to who were rifle shooters said it makes minimal difference, almost unperceptible in hearing reduction. The rest of the loss occurs through your bones in the side of your head which transmit noice to your inner ear. Nothing short of a full sound absorbing head device would absorb the noise. Not very pratical.
Tom Held is offline  
Old April 26, 2012, 10:43 AM   #40
Join Date: June 1, 2011
Posts: 333
after many years of useing ear plugs and standard ear muffs,it got so I coulden't hear conservations at the range.Every time I'd lift the standard muffs to hear a conservation,someone would fire a .300 mag,OUCH. So I bit the bullet and bought a set of Walkers Power Muff Quads.Problem solved.And their great out hunting in the woods.biker
hdbiker is offline  
Old April 27, 2012, 12:15 PM   #41
Join Date: January 1, 2011
Posts: 545

PTMCCAIN is offline  
Old April 28, 2012, 09:05 PM   #42
Join Date: February 20, 2008
Location: usa
Posts: 44
for those where eye gear,,, ear muffs won't do enough,, there will always be slight a gap from the eye gear,,, just anoth reson to double up
one wife, many guns
agoodpeter is offline  
Old May 4, 2012, 06:11 PM   #43
Join Date: July 17, 2008
Location: Lousiana
Posts: 211
i use walker game-ears headphones for .223 and handguns can hear conversations and game moving around but blocks out the ear popping .223 round with a 12.5 barrel and when it's too hot for over ear protection i use plugs or behind the ear pro hear phones. also works with .308, anything bigger you def want plugs and or plugs+muffs
Beware false smiles, for they conceal wickedness.
Southernsorrow is offline  
Old May 4, 2012, 11:25 PM   #44
Join Date: February 22, 2003
Location: Mitchi-gun, the Sunrise Side
Posts: 4,047
I double-up for everything including .22LR outdoors. Never hurts to be overprotective when it comes to that. There are just some things that require doubling up with the absolute best of both. .45-70 Contenders indoors come to mind.

I've been seen a couple of times at the Starkey Institute for my gun-related hearing loss and asked about doubling up. The audiologists that I spoke to who were rifle shooters said it makes minimal difference, almost unperceptible in hearing reduction.
Those audiologists, who are supposed to be professionals are downright crazy! Fire a .44 magnum indoors with one or the other and it HURTS! Now double-up and try again. HUGE difference!

I've never heard of such a thing!
Join the NRA/ILA
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.".......John F. Kennedy

Last edited by Stevie-Ray; May 7, 2012 at 09:53 PM.
Stevie-Ray is offline  
Old May 7, 2012, 04:44 PM   #45
Join Date: June 22, 2006
Location: Montmorency Co, MI
Posts: 921
Thanks for the demo on page one..

I have worked 'sight in days' jut before der season.

All kinds of characters show up-very many without plugs/muffs. When asking some about it they say "Oh we shoot 44s all the time without muffs."

Remember to wear em for 22s-still important even if they are 'just 22s'. I have heard that a lot. 22LR is about 135 dB-about the same as a jet engine.
langenc is offline  
Old May 7, 2012, 05:18 PM   #46
Join Date: August 16, 2011
Location: Peachtree City Ga
Posts: 81
How about a 155

Standing in a hooch in Nam, didn't know a 155 was behind it , right over my head,and about to fire into a free fire zone. BLOOOOmmmmmringring ring ring ring both ear drums blown out. 45 min for right ear to have some hearing and 8 hours for the left. Have permanent nerve damage but about to get two hearing aids from VA. I still use doubles with electronic muffs. Bad as my ears are, (constant ringing and loss) protection is important so that they won't go out totally. I also get the headache after a few rounds of the 50 cal. Indoor ranges, where concussion can bound from wall to wall will also give me a headache. Take care of your ears and eyes.......with double protection you should be all right.
Bob72 is offline  
Old May 9, 2012, 03:38 PM   #47
Join Date: March 31, 2012
Posts: 9
Go with "Mine Safety Appliances" or "David Clark's". Stay away from those discount $5-$10
"specials". They are regular muffs and are not overly expensive,
ladytech777 is offline  
Old May 10, 2012, 01:38 AM   #48
Join Date: August 23, 2011
Posts: 350
My boss had to fire a quad .50 back during the Korean War, he was a little hard of hearing. I don't know how he could have done that more than once....

Another guy was on the Army shooting team in the late '50s and early '60s. He shot .300 magnums all day and had the rest of the team banging away on both sides. It wasn't until I knew him for about 3 years and he was telling me about the shooting that he mentioned he had 76db tinnitus and was a lip reader. He could carry on a conversation and never make a mistake.

It wasn't till about '75 that the military started giving ear protection to the troops. Before that it was just bear it....

I always double up, the side frame from the glasses messes up the seal. Plugs alone won't do it, came home with 24 hour headaches after a range trip.
Ken70 is offline  
Old May 10, 2012, 11:39 AM   #49
Join Date: August 5, 2007
Location: Halifax,NS Canada
Posts: 1,651
The best passive over-the-ear muff I have found (and use) is this product:

Peltor 97010 Ultimate-10 Hearing Protector


NRR of 30 dB

You can also purchase replacement cushions elsewhere.

Good pricing and availability thru Amazon. I have also gifted these to others.
rodregier is offline  
Old May 11, 2012, 04:23 AM   #50
Join Date: February 3, 2012
Location: Sweden
Posts: 153
Originally Posted by TITAN308 View Post
I fail to see how a piece of foam is not completely and utterly universal.

I mean, perhaps trimming the ol' ear hairs might make the room that is needed... lol
Simply because everyone's ears are different.
I used to work in industrial environment with foamplugs in my ears for many years and even though I'm a big guy, 6'4, I have to use plug size small or my ear canals will hurt like h@ll after the shift.
They make different sized plugs for a reason.

And as to ear hairs, I start to resamble my grandfather. Do Black&Decker make miniature weed whackers?
Me, my Gun and Brother Ball
In whatever fight we equal all!
R. Southgate

Last edited by Ryden; May 11, 2012 at 04:49 AM.
Ryden is offline  

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:15 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
This site, its contents, Shooting Reviews, and its contents are Copyright (c) 2010-2016 Firearms Forum, Inc.
Although The High Road has attempted to provide accurate information on the forum, The High Road assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information. All information is provided "as is" with all faults without warranty of any kind, either express or implied. Neither The High Road nor any of its directors, members, managers, employees, agents, vendors, or suppliers will be liable for any direct, indirect, general, bodily injury, compensatory, special, punitive, consequential, or incidental damages including, without limitation, lost profits or revenues, costs of replacement goods, loss or damage to data arising out of the use or inability to use this forum or any services associated with this forum, or damages from the use of or reliance on the information present on this forum, even if you have been advised of the possibility of such damages.