avoiding ear damage with powerful rifles

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

  1. dahermit

    dahermit Member

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    If it makes your ears ring, it is doing damage...even once. Having ruined my hearing from shooting years ago, I always use foam earplugs and muffs so as to not make things worse. I suggest you use plugs and muffs as I do. I believe that using both will keep your hearing intact.
     
  2. Jeb Stuart

    Jeb Stuart member

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    The new fad now at indoor shooting ranges is for every Saturday have the weekend AR warriors come in by the dozens. I have a feeling the 25yds is the longest yardage 95% of them have been shot. And of course you must rapid fire them to hit the target. Yes bring in double ear Protection. The highest you can find.
     
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  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Ouch, that sound loud from here.
     
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  4. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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  5. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    Used the Decilbullz today for the first time. Best ear plugs I’ve ever used. I highly recommend them
     
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  6. Average Joe

    Average Joe Member

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    I wear plugs and muffs, but first I have to take my hearing aids out !
     
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  7. TikkaShooter

    TikkaShooter Member

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    To prevent further damage, courtesy of Vietnam, I take my hearing aids out too.. I wear ear muffs and foam ear plugs.
     
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  8. Musicianized

    Musicianized Member

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    My daughters 20guage mossberg ported slug barrel. I SHOT IT ONCE with no protection. I've had hearing problems in my left ear ever since.

    I cant imagine what a .50 cal would do.
     
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  9. Picher

    Picher Member

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    My ears are so sensitive, I almost installed my ear plugs to READ this thread.
     
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  10. Camohunter

    Camohunter Member

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    I always put in plugs as I pull into the parking lot at the range. (Outdoor)
    That way I have some protection as I am getting out of my vehicle and getting my gear unpacked.
    I then add muffs over the top for the rest of the session and while shooting.
     
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  11. Frankd90

    Frankd90 Member

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    I value my hearing too much. I double up with muffs and plugs. But if shooting 30-06, 8mm, .308 etc I'll stick to my muffs.
     
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  12. gunsrfun1

    gunsrfun1 Member

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    You already have the answer, from the second poster and others: Plugs and muffs. And not those cheap crappy expandable plugs. Get Mack's silicone ear plugs, and a good muff with a high NRR (30+). Noise cancelling maybe, if you can afford them.

    At my age, not sure I want to try those high-caliber rigs. I like my ears and shoulder the way they are.
     
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  13. daniel craig

    daniel craig Member

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    Many of them didn’t live long enough for it to be a real problem. Those who did, many went deaf.
     
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  14. robhof

    robhof Member

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    I had 2 uncles and 2 cousins in WW2 and all had major permanent hearing loss for their lifetime all from the Garands they used.
     
  15. Huntolive

    Huntolive Member

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    Hearing protection is generally recommended;
    This often can include insertable foam ear plugs, or headset style earmuffs that fully cover the outer ear
    Or thumbs plugged in ears justl this:neener:
     
  16. remingtonfan

    remingtonfan Member

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    I am new here, so defer to older members. However I have shot a 308 and a 3006 and what works for me is orange plugs PLUS Pro Ears electronic ear muffs.
    I am deaf since I was 4 so i am trying to retain whats left of my hearing.
     
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  17. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

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    I use ear plugs under muffs....the 50 is obnoxiously loud...but double up and it's ok
     
  18. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

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    As far as how many rounds a day at the range....well... Be ears are protected....my wallet may suffer!

    I shoot 20-40 rounds of 50 BMG at the range without any issues....
     
  19. Weflyfast

    Weflyfast Member

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    Airplanes do the same....huh....
     
  20. BLACKHAWKNJ

    BLACKHAWKNJ Member

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    I have been wearing plugs and muffs for over 45 years. I clean my plugs after every range session.
     
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  21. trekker73

    trekker73 Member

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    The fact is the loudest rifles and handguns you cant really fully protect from. 2 sets of hearing protection dont double the ratings, they add about 5DB to the best ones rating. That is because even completely occluding the ear canal, sound still penetrates to the inner ear via bone conduction through the face, teeth and bones around the ear. With a high powered braked gun or short barrel magnum revolver pushing 170DB even with decent ear protection you may be in the danger zone. Experts are not even sure the protections are as high as they say, they cant agree whether we are measuring gun noise properly.

    Ways to mitigate damage from the most powerful guns in my opinion- Dont use muzzle brakes, limit shooting at ranges- the noise exposure to other firers in a single day can be more than a lifetime of hunting and choose longer barrels. There were always short barrelled guns historically but the amount of 20, 18 and 16" barrels these days across all gun types is far greater than it was in the day.

    The old timers didnt have hearing protection at all but niether did they have the big calibres, the money or time to blast off hundreds of rounds a month like we can.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
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  22. PWC

    PWC Member

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    Early hearing aides worked thru the mastoid process, the bone behind your ear, transmits sound to the inner ear.

    Cheek bones from " cheek weld" also transmits sound. I use 2 layers of mole skin strips on my wooden stocks (I have no plastic). Don't know if it works, it will take longer than I have left to find out for sure. I think it does, and that's what counts. But, it does help get my weld faster, and in winter it's warmer than cold wood.
     
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  23. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

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    I have a few rifles & pistols that can really rock your world.
    Most guns with muzzle brakes that deflect the blast back or up can be very loud.
    My hearing was gone from a manufacturing job before I got into shooting, so as long as I have my ear plugs in right the sound doesn't bother me. I get bad looks from others at the shooting bay, usually it's not long & I'm shooting by myself.
     
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  24. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I still hear well, at 76 yrs, but have some "hissing' in my left ear. It was caused when my buddy and I were shooting at a running fox in a "woodchuck field" We were standing "side by each" when we started him to my left, but the fox came out of a woodchuck hole in the field and ran across the scene from left to right and the last shot put my buddy's .30-06 muzzle about two feet from my left ear. My ear rang for a whole day after that and the last few years, "hisses", sometimes quite loudly. We hit the fox poorly until my last shot, which nailed it. Prior shots nicked legs, etc. and if anything, caused it to run faster.

    An other event that didn't help my hearing was, when about 18, I bought a new 4 3/4" Ruger .357 single-action. I was twirling it and throwing it over my shoulder and catching it when I decided to load it, just to find out how much of a difference there would be in the balance. It worked well for about 10 minutes, then I spied a piece of paper on my next-door Aunt's lawn. Without a lot of thought, I cocked, aimed and fired through the window screen. I thought the room had suddenly EXPLODED! My ears rang for several days and I swear the bedroom must have gotten a few inches bigger from the blast!!!
     
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  25. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    OK, I realize it's an old thread, and I realize it's a long thread, and I haven't read the whole thing, but I wanted to add something I've observed, so excuse me if it's already been posted. I have a number of milsurps that certainly qualify as "powerful rifles", and so long as I'm shooting outdoors they aren't really particularly loud to me. I'm guessing that's because the end of the barrel is so far away, and there's no muzzle brake. Regular expanding foam earplugs are more than sufficient hearing protection for me when shooting these rifles out of doors.
     
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