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avoiding ear damage with powerful rifles

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mainecoon, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. ar-newbie

    ar-newbie Member

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    I know I hear people constantly stating to double up. I can understand that if you were using low quality muffs, but I really like the ear plugs that you roll up and let expand into the ear canal. For me these work extremely well. No discomfort at all on the range. The gun shots are so quiet with these, I don't feel like adding muffs to it would matter. I also don't go to the range on a frequent basis, probably 6 times in an entire year. I do have hearing tests on an annual basis and I have perfect hearing so far according to the doctor. I also do not work in a noisy environment, so my exposure to loud sounds is minimal. I guess I will carry on with what is working.
     
  2. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    It depends as much on where you're shooting as what. There's a whole lot more sound pressure getting to your ears on an indoor range and/or with a muzzle brake than shooting a plain muzzle or linear comped rifle out in a wide open field.

    In that open field, a good suppressor or good pair of plugs/muffs is most likely sufficient to protect from the impulse noise of a gun shot, even magnum rifles. Fire that same weapon right next to a structure, you'll notice a marked increase in the volume at your head. On an indoor range? Absolutely double up with rifles, and I haven't found a suppressor yet that would render a .300 mag hearing safe for unprotected ears in the confines of an indoor range.

    Remember basic acoutsic principles; sound is vibration, and the intensity of that sound is pressure. Both are reflected off of surfaces.
     
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  3. TheSpaceWanderer

    TheSpaceWanderer Member

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    I bet if you asked any of them they would say "WHAT?"
     
  4. DannyLandrum

    DannyLandrum Member

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    "Too late for me"

    Not to prevent even further damage.

    Rule #1: Don't use a loudener (brake) unless you absolutely have to. Translation: Don't use a brake unless shooting a .338 lapua or larger.

    That rule is for hunting / shooting without protection. But since all rifles have a field purpose in my worldview, it applies to all rifles, AFAIAC.
     
  5. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Member

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    By the way, this is exactly what do. It still doesn’t work well. I have weird ear canals that are really small so it’s tough to get them to go in anyways. Add in sweat and them wanting to push out over time it’s still best for me to double up.
     
  6. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    I recently discovered Decibel Defense muffs. The provide up to 10db more protection than your average muffs, including electronic muffs. A must have for indoor range shooting, IMO

    https://www.decibeldefense.com/
     
  7. Kendal Black

    Kendal Black Member

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    What? Beg your pardon?
     
  8. DPris

    DPris Member Emeritus

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    Continuing this old thread- I've doubled up under an outdoor range canopy for years, on just about every rifle I do there.
    I shoot fairly regularly, and in my declining years I've traded the open air (from 12 degrees to 107 degrees) on handguns for the comfort of a nice indoor range in the next town over.
    Weather no longer matters. :)

    In there, with ballistic barriers between each station, I for damn sure double up on EVERY handgun I shoot.
    This is also a rental & retail joint, and one of the rentals happens to be a .50.
    Periodically, I have the good fortune to be working away at my station when somebody comes in & rents the gun for a shot.
    I say "a" shot because the most anybody's done while I was there has been 3 shots with the thing.

    At no time has it been unpleasant to my ears, even shooting two stations away.
    It did blow my target paper out of my hand once, when I was standing up to staple a new one onto the backer at the same time a shooter let go with a round.
    It moves some air when it blows.

    Plug yourself CORRECTLY, then toss on a good headset, and worry more about your shoulder than your ears.

    I was shooting a .44 Mag Desert Eagle right next to the wall last week with plugs in & testing a new Peltor Sport Tactical 500 headset, the noise was a major nothing there. And the Bluetooth feature was neat. :)
    Electric headsets have come a long way since the old Wolf Ears of the 1980s.
    Denis
     
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  9. Skgreen

    Skgreen Member

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    SBR's seem to becoming more and more prevalent at the outdoor range I use,,,
    Nothing like an SBR to the right and a brake to your left,,, :(

    I always double-up.

    FWIW, I've found Flents 'Quiet Contour' foamies to be very comfortable for extended use. More so than non-contoured plugs:

    https://www.amazon.com/Flents-Contour-Ear-Plugs-Comfort/dp/B00APJ1C5S
     
  10. 416ruger

    416ruger Member

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    Electronic muffs
     
  11. 1MoreFord

    1MoreFord Member

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    I jumped to the end so if this has been addressed before I apologize. The loudest rifles I've heard are .22-250's and .220 Swift's. .308 Winchesters with 110 gr bullets rank up there too. Just sayin'.
     
  12. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    I've got a pair of those. Says 33dB or 37dB attenuation, depending on whos info you read. Don't know if mine attenuate 37dB, but they are simply the best muff I've ever owned, and make my old Silencio Magnums (29dB) seem like wadded up tissue. Best 22 bucks I've ever spent.
     
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  13. Bruce D Pease

    Bruce D Pease Member

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    The sound you get with 1/2 a company of Marines on the firing line with M1s was intense. ( the other 1/2 of the co was in the pits pulling targets)Our Gunny had us using the filters from Raleigh cork tips. They did help, however on the lmg and ma deuce we never wore any ear protection, they didn’t seem as loud, but maybe it was just because there were only a few and we fired from pits. Now I plug and muff no matter what I’m shooting. Btw my hearing is still excellent, (eyes aren’t as good).

    The loudest I ever heard and felt was a field fire demo with a reinforced rifle co (about 270) men firing M1s BARs, browning light and heavy mgs, bazookas, 81 and 4deuce mortars, a few carbines and 1911s as rapidly as possible at an “enemy village”....damn that hurt even with filters in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
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  14. Jessesky

    Jessesky Member

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    I used to own a .50, but the weight seemed so cumbersome and impractical that I sold it off for a 338, which is the heaviest practical long range caliber in my opinion. If there ever is a shot past 1800 yards, the time to impact is too long to predict the targets movement anyway. The other reason I sold my .50 is your sinuses feel like they’re getting slapped in the face
     
  15. TikkaShooter

    TikkaShooter Member

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    Try Ma Deuce on FA, M16s, incoming RPGs and all the sounds of war. Today., courtesy of the VA, I'm wearing 2 hearing aids. They cost close to $6K; however, mine were free.
    Walk outside and can you hear the birds tweet? I couldn't until recently.
     
  16. Jeff Burgess

    Jeff Burgess member

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    I started using silicone ear plugs that have multi layers and I can tune out almost everything. Shooting the guns aren’t as loud as standing near them. The brakes on them throw most of the noise to the sides.
     
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  17. AmmunitionDepot

    AmmunitionDepot Member

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    I have only shot a 50 BMG a few times but plugs and muffs worked really well.
     
  18. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Sound does not just come thru air pressure; the impact noise will be transmitted thru the stock to your cheek weld and bone to bone. Flying on high performance aircraft in the USAF, putting your head against the inside on long flights, even with the crappy plugs they provided, would transmit the hi frequency engine bearing noise and vibration thru the skull.

    If you are a GI or exGI, ask the VA for molded ear plugs at your next visit, or when you have your hearing aides "tweeked". Mine work so well, I don't need the muffs; I can hear my heart beat pulse on my ears. Mole skin ay cheek weld helps isolate too, besides, the stock isn't so cold.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
  19. Robert Palmore

    Robert Palmore Member

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    Now,this is just a wild idea that might have some value but I can't imagine anyone showing up at the firing line with this idea. As any foundation of concussion avoidance, plugs. Don't have any information on foam vs. reusable or the like but what every you feel comfortable with. Then a motorcycle helmet. Not a cap but a full face. Find one that is good and heavy. Not only will the helmet help abate the sound but it will help abate the concussion of the muzzle blast. I wouldn't show up equipped like that but it holds some water. Well, a little. Either way, guess you have to pay something when you play. Have fun guys. Stay safe.
     
  20. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Will certainly hold water if the helmet is turned upside down.............
     
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  21. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Since muffs and plugs cover a broader frequency range than either alone, remember that muffs over plugs provides the greatest hearing protection you can get without a suppressor.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  22. Ryden

    Ryden Member

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    If you have a dedicated shooting bench you could try a tire sound trap, reduces the noice not just for you but for everyone around.
    My local shooting range has two and they are really good
    tire-and-steel-drum-range-trap.jpg
     
  23. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    FYI: Many muffs provide 29db of reduction. If the Decibel Defense really do give you 39db reduction, then the are twice as quiet as the 29ers.
     
  24. PWC

    PWC Member

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    No, Pete, the Db scale is logrimithic. Every 3Db change doubles or halves the value.

    29 to 31 halves the sound of 29
    31 to 34 halves the sound of 31 or 1/4 the sound of 29
     
  25. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

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    Those numbers are, of course, correct......on paper. As I understand it, though, most people, however, cannot detect the doubling/halving effect until the actual decrease is 10db (which is way more than "double").
     
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