Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

avoiding ear damage with powerful rifles

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

  1. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2007
    Messages:
    5,211
    Location:
    The Mid-South.
    Have our younger veterans noticed a definite loss of hearing from fights with insurgents?

    Can't imagine the deafening sounds in alleyways, but inside a house must be the worst.
     
  2. Thunder Struck

    Thunder Struck Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2013
    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    New Orleans, La
    Say it again in my good ear???

    I have ringing in my ears as i type. I have mistreated my ears alot not knowing any better. I use to listen to head fones at night before i went to sleep, I've been shooting since i was 3, use to run a 6 head wood moulder for years. Now i would wear hearing protection sometimes , much more as i got older and yes doubling up alot. The worst hearing problem i had was when i was deer hunting. Looking East out of a 4' x 6' shooting box, i turned and looked west and there was a deer herd 30 yards from my box. 20 of them just standing there grazing and looking up at the box. I slowly adjusted my self and picked one, the only problem was the muzzle was still inside of the box. When i shot it felt like somebody jabbed a ice pick in each ear at the same time. My left ear got the worst of it. I swear i got a mild concusion from that. Then one day i got the bright idea to put a muzzle brake on my rifle since i love long range shooting. I figured i could use all the help i could get. It doesn't kick much at all now but that SOB is sooooo loud and it sends a shockwave like a triangle, backwards and forwards. It is a rem 700 270wsm, i am trying to retire it but it is so dam accurate its scary and hard to. I am looking at ear/head gear and think ive made my mind up for this up comng hunting season. Also i find that even thou i am hard of hearing(people mumble) my ears are sensative. Things(sounds) hurt my ears and other people say it doesn't bother them. Dunno if its because i've damaged my ears and they are tender???
     
  3. Comrade Mike

    Comrade Mike Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2013
    Messages:
    960
    I double up on hearing protection no matter what. I like my ears.
     
  4. Mastrogiacomo

    Mastrogiacomo Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    2,376
    Location:
    Boston
    I have moderate, sloping to severe hearing in my left ear, and severe, sloping to profound sensorineural loss in my right ear. My mother had Rubella when she carried me so it's been this way from birth although it's getting worse as I age. I love to shoot so to protect my hearing, I'm getting custom made ear plugs through my audiologist and will look to get better ear muffs to wear on top of that.

    Laura
     
  5. marvinlozano

    marvinlozano Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    of course, protect your ears well to avoid regrets later

    nudist
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  6. crashyoung

    crashyoung Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Lowell Michigan
    I second what Thunder Struck says...

    After years of use and abuse, before hearing protection was easily available, and working 30 years at an airport with big LOUD jets, my ears have a constant ring as well.
    The fact that I love LOUD RocknRoll never had an effect tho...

    I SAID, SPEAK LOUDER WHEN I CUP MY EARS, SONNY!
     
  7. kkayser

    kkayser Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    remove brakes

    Muzzle brakes increase the sound pressure at the ear drum about 100%, for the shooter. Others, more. With loud firearms, I don't think there is a point where "no" damage to hearing occurs. The less sound pressure, the better. People vary widely in their tolerance to noise. If you have any ringing or other hearing disturbances after shooting, you are damaging your hearing.
     
  8. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Messages:
    17,608
    Location:
    Illinois
    Big thunderboomers combined with big muzzlebreaks are a recipe for hearing loss. In my early 20's I shot a lot of 50 BMG, and have tinnitus now. Muffs aren't enough, especially if you are spotting for a 50 BMG rifle with a muzzle break.

    Anyone who shoots 50 BMG needs to be considerate and conscious of bystanders, and the state of their hearing protection.

    When I pull RSO duty at competitions, even though the rules of the shooting range I shoot at say "eye and hearing protection is highly recommended", I set up the rules on competitions so it is *not* optional when I'm running the line. I have removed people (even paying members of the range who were spectating) from the immediate vicinity before when they refuse to put on hearing protection.

    I don't let people who are participating remove hearing or eye protection until the range is cold and all firearms are cleared and hands-off. I also visually confirm every competitor has eyes and ears before giving the command to commence fire. People are forgetful creatures, and I have yet to run a match where someone hasn't had to be reminded to put on ears or eyes. I don't want 10 or 12 high powered rifles going off all around someone without ears or eyes!

    I do the opposite sometimes; forget to remove them during cease fire. Last month one of the competitors nudged me and said "range is cold, take off your ears, you are yelling at people."

    I said "Damn right I'm yelling. These ears help me keep my voice volume up where it should be so people pay attention and hear me give commands."

    :)
     
  9. varanid

    varanid Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Texas
    Literally every veteran I know has different degrees of hearing loss.
     
  10. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    East Texas
    DOUBLE UP!

    The best method I've found is a good set of earplugs combined with a decent pair of amplified muffs.

    The amplified muffs allow you to hear range commands clearly through the earplugs, but cut out to provide increased hearing protection whenever shots are fired.

    Pretty much the best of both worlds, increased hearing protection and increased safety.
     
  11. jimsouth

    jimsouth Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    66
    I had a Model 70 .243 - and even with good Silencios - after the range - I always had a ringing in my ears. Hardly a big caliber - but always the ringing. Not so with my old 03 Springfield - go figure.
     
  12. teetertotter

    teetertotter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Janesville, WI
    I am with Swampman, ear plugs + good set of amplified muffs. With .22 rifle, I use just the amplified ear muffs outdoors.

    For our club indoor range with 10 stations with poor acoustics, it is the ear plugs with plain earmuffs rated at 31db for winter practice sessions.
     
  13. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,175
    I asked my grandfather once (a Korean War vet) if all of that gun and artillery fire had affected his hearing. He said he wasn't quite sure but his ears would be ringing bad after every bit of prolonged combat - he figured he probably suffered some damage but he is lucky not to have tinnitus or hearing aids.

    A couple of years ago, my grandmother and aunts got it into their heads that grandpa had bad hearing and needed hearing aids. My uncle and I thought that was odd, because my grandpa never says "what?" or asks you to repeat yourself. So grandma made him go get a checkup.
    Next time I saw him, I asked him how his checkup went. He picked up the results from the table and waved them proudly, saying his hearing was very good. My grandma had a grumpy look on her face and said it was "all a bunch of bull".
    I joked that grandpa had achieved the dream - he can tune out women at will!
    I swear my grandpa never laughed louder since I have known him.

    I learned later that studies have shown this to be true....that men teach themselves to tune out a woman's voice after years and years.

    As far as I stand......I suffered some high frequency loss after working on the flightline for several years in the Air Force. A few years later, I had regained most of it......but not all. Goes to show you that there is short term AND long term loss, but all in all damage is damage and if your ears ring, you just damaged them.
     
  14. 46R

    46R Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    N Texas
    Definitely double up on your hearing protection, and if you really want to keep your hearing, then don't be afraid to spend some money on the best hearing protection too. Maybe even active ANRs.

    I fly a small experimental airplane (extremely noisy inside) as another hobby, and happily spent nearly a thousand dollars on a premium ANR headset for that.

    As a result of protecting my hearing all my life, including back in the 1980's when I used to run sound for live rock bands, now at 52 yrs old, I can still hear faint sounds at nearly the full 20Hkz upper limit. Too bad my vision hasn't fared nearly as well as I've aged... I'm going to be getting bifocals for my next eye exam :cuss:
     
  15. kkayser

    kkayser Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    122
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Does active noise reduction reduce the maximum sound pressure on the eardrum? Do they respond quickly enough to be effective against gunshot noise?
     
  16. stargeezer

    stargeezer Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    Messages:
    94
    Location:
    Illinois
    Quote: Peterotto
    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.
    ************************


    I guess you're not a vet trying to get a case through the VA system. Here's the deal and you won't believe it, but you cannot use a lawyer to fight a case with the VA. The only help a vet can get is through one of the service organizations like the DAV, PVA, and so on. The NSO (National Service Officers) that work with these groups are not lawyers but are trained and certified by the VA to represent vets, free of charge, and assist them in getting the benefits they deserve.

    Now, if it sounds fishy the these folks (who do a great job) are trained by the VA and the organization they work for are to only ones who is allowed to help vets by federal law, I'd sure agree.

    Now, I double up too, even for 5.56 - 22's not so much. I'm a combat vet and I have tinnitus from Vietnam.
     
  17. kilibreaux

    kilibreaux member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    115
    It's not a problem when you shoot OUTDOORS! A lot of people go to ranges with corrugated steel overhead cover that acts like a noise amplifier and yes, touching off a .50 BMG under such circumstances can be detrimental to hearing, however, shooting outdoors...OUT doors, I've not had a problem with the pressure-wave of rifles. Now my .460 Magnum does send a sonic shock-wave directly into the left ear that can cause genuine pain, but a single foam earplug solves the problem.
    One of the worst handguns I've ever shot is the Glock 17C...truly horrific sound-pressure impulse that seems aimed directly into the ears...even out in the open!
     
  18. Corn-Picker

    Corn-Picker Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    397
    Location:
    Morgantown, WV
    As they say, nothing's too good for a veteran, so that's what you'll get.

    According to the OSHA literature, accoutning for the real-world (not lab rated) effectiveness of hearing protection, even doubling up isn't necessarily enough to prevent damage. According to these calculations a 308 Winchester with 20" barrel is still over 140 dB, even with foam plugs and muffs. If I had my own range I would build one of those rain-barrel based silencers. Luckily I'm in a state that allows shooting/hunting with suppressors, so I plan to buy a 30 cal, 22 cal, and 22 cal rimfire suppressor within the next few years. I still plan to double up on the range, but I would like to be able to fire a half dozen shots per year at deer without hearing protection, because walking around the woods with electronic muffs is a bit of a PITA.
     
  19. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Messages:
    1,447
    Location:
    East Texas
    @ Corn-Picker
    I love cans, but even the best of them won't make a full power .308 or 30-06 truly hearing safe.

    I've never had a problem hunting with a good set of stereo amplified muffs (aside from looking like a total dork :p ).

    I really like 'em for walking up hogs, they allow me to hear low grunts and movement that I wouldn't hear otherwise.

    An added benefit is that you'll hear how much noise you're really making as you move and they'll help you improve your stalking techniques and noise discipline.
     
  20. d'zaster

    d'zaster Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    116
    What? same here....
     
  21. kilibreaux

    kilibreaux member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2014
    Messages:
    115
    The only reason the .50 BMG causes aural discomfort is because when encountered they are being shot on a range underneath a corrugated steel roof that acts to amplify sound.
    Shoot a .50 BMG out in the open and you'll wonder why all the hype about noise.
     
  22. mainecoon

    mainecoon Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Messages:
    353
    The problem with hearing pro and guns is that the noise is part of the joy of shooting. I'll shoot protected for most of the day and then take off the muffs for a couple shots just to enjoy the sound.
     
  23. greyghost01

    greyghost01 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Kolorado
    I was one of the dumb ones, Grew up shooting no ear plugs at all, Loud motorcycles, screw guns, routers, you name it loud music, But today I double up, its to late my hearing is terrible but I don't want it worse so wear hearing protection today. My 300 WM had a brake on it people would get up and leave at the range when I started shooting it. Didn't bother me at all. 357 mag is bad on ears also.
     
  24. teetertotter

    teetertotter Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    204
    Location:
    Janesville, WI
    I use amplified muffs outdoors with .22 rifles. I have no HP rifles.

    The indoor range, when people are shooting loud pistols, I have ear canal ones and then put on my 35db muffs over them.

    If I did shoot HP, it would be with my indoor protection criteria.

    Mowing grass...etc ....ear protection has always been there too. Family history/genes has been deafness or sever loss of hearing, mostly women.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  25. Frank44

    Frank44 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    77
    After a day at the range with a 30-06 or 308, my ears still ring if I've only warn muffs. Doubling up with ear plugs is the way to go for me.
     

Share This Page