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Ear Protection

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Field Tester, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Field Tester

    Field Tester Senior Member

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    Hello All,

    I was hoping you guys can help me out here. My BIL (really my GF's brother, just easier to type BIL for the rest of the thread) is fairly new to firearms. Been shooting around 5 years or so. He likes to shoot out in the desert (meaning no range rules) and has been a bit laxed about safety. He observes the 4 rules but doesn't always wear ear and eye protection, neither does his wife and friends.

    Now I understand it's his body and he can do what he pleases, but it still bothers me. He often comes to me for advice on firearms and I'm happy to oblige, but when we shoot together it's my rules or I don't go. All safety equipment must be worn. I've even made him wear closed toe shoes. Sorry if this seems to harsh, but it's my time so it's my rules, and in my mind it's not asking too much.

    Now his parents are recently converted huge antis. His mother is coming around slower but his father just purchase his first rifle 6 months ago. I've taken him to the range a few times since. When he's with me he wears all appropriate EQ, when he's with his son it goes either way. My BIL also takes his son out, but he does make his son wear all necessary EQ.

    I feel he is setting a bad example for both.

    TL;DR

    I need medical reports, data, experiences, anything that will get him to wear this stuff and set a good example for everyone that looks up to him and shoots with him. The more legit the better! I plan on printing it up and showing it to everyone involved. Also where can I get more than decent ears for under $50 a pop and eyes for even cheaper. I want to gift them to them and also keep some extras in my range bag. I already keep a pack of foams in there.

    Thank you in advance,
    -Chris
     
  2. btg3

    btg3 Senior Member

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  3. Davek1977

    Davek1977 Senior Member

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    It should be common sense. Loud noises damage hearing. I think you'll find more members here than would care to admit that use "Huh?" and "What?" a LOT more than the average guy does, from damage done from shooting. I see absolutely NO reason not to wear it....it not only protects your senses, but often correlates into better shooting, as muzzle blast is often a major cause of jerking and actually increases perceived recoil. That said, Google is your friend, and it shouldn't be hard to come up with hard data that backs up the idea hearing protection is a must.


    http://www.e-a-r.com/pdf/hearingcons/T10-15 Tinnitus and HPs 3.5.pdf
     
  4. OH_Spartan

    OH_Spartan Member

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  5. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    Tell them anytime your ears ring there is permanent damage. I MINIMALLY wear these OUTDOORS. Small, unobtrusive, can still hear speech, ears "breath." These work interestingly well for their size to mitigate loud sound.

    I also keep a pair in the nightstand to wear indoors if I may need 'em -- something's better than nothing where I still need to hear.

    http://noisebrakers.com/
     
  6. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    What you are really doing is helping this guy grow up a little. There are certain technical/ safety requirements that must be met (reasonably) to properly enjoy a sport like shooting.

    The ear protection thing has been covered ad nauseum here, but the shoe thing is simply common sense. He will learn when a tasty piece of hot brass burns his feet. Some people are wired to learn life's lessons the hard way.
     
  7. YZ

    YZ member

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    I've been in similar situations, and so far no one has objected to the ear muffs (I carry a spare). I wouldn't argue with an adult, but if he or she refused protection, we wouldn't be doing it again.
     
  8. medalguy
    • Contributing Member

    medalguy Senior Member

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    I was in small arms part of the time I was in the Air Force, spent a lot of time on the range (thanks Uncle Sam!) and my ears still ring a lot of the time, and my wife is tired of hearing me ask her to repeat things. There's nothing like a good set of ear protectors to keep your hearing intact.

    Excuse me, I think I hear the phone ringing......
     
  9. denton

    denton Member

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  10. xfyrfiter

    xfyrfiter Member

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    Absolute minimum safety equipment for the range EARS, EYES, and closed toe shoes. A few more items can be added without too much thought . First aid kit with trauma bandages, shade in hotter months, water to keep hydrated. This is the minimum that I carry every time, even when I am out on BLM or State property. Accidents will happen, and sometimes they are fatal.
     
  11. X-Rap

    X-Rap Senior Member

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    There is a difference between common sense and you mandating what your B&L does regarding his own personal safety. I can say that someone telling me what I would wear will be shooting alone just on principle.
    There is gun safety and there is PPE, nothing wrong with friendly advise and you can be sure my kids all wore muffs and eye pro while growing up but I sure wouldn't impose that on them as adults if they choose otherwise. You have informed him of the hazards now quit treating him like a child and mind your own business.
     
  12. btg3

    btg3 Senior Member

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    Note the fine print: "...since such protection is highly dependent on user training, motivation, and utilization. A better estimate of workplace protection can be obtained by derating the labeled NRR by 50%"

    Essentially, if hair, hat, bandanna, glasses frame, etc prevent a good "seal" between the muff and your head, then don't count on the rated protection.

    Same is true for plugs that fit poorly or are not well inserted.
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Maybe you could reach a compromise. Let him wear his sandals (Dude, that's NOT a safety violation. :scrutiny:) and insist on the ear & eye pro.

    It's great to be safety conscious -- but relax a bit where your fashion sense has overtaken your safety consciousness and you'll seem a lot more reasonable.
     
  14. denton

    denton Member

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    Good point. The best earmuffs don't work well if you don't use them, and seat them properly.

    I wear mine when I'm running the snowblower or my table saw. They're good enough that I can hear a distinct increase in sound level if I open my mouth.

    So I guess the moral of the story is, seat your muffs properly, close your mouth, then pull the trigger.
     
  15. Dr_B

    Dr_B member

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    You don't need medical articles or published research. All you need to do is point to the obvious and well-established fact that exposure to noise above a certain threshold carries with it a 100% chance of damage to your hearing. Its not the decibel level, but actually something closely related to it called sound pressure level.

    I spent the last several years working on research that informed the development of artificial noise installed in electric cars. In the process, I got to learn a lot about the sound levels present in many daily activities. The increase in sound pressure from one degree to the next is not linear. It is multiplicative. So, of you go from 65dBA which is the level of normal conversation, to 75dBA, the increase is not 10 units, it is double the sound pressure. Something like that anyway.

    Gun shots are well into the range of hearing damage. The ear is exposed to it only for a fraction of a second, but it does add up to hearing loss. That applies to every caliber. Even .22 long rifle.
     
  16. InkEd

    InkEd Senior Member

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    I cannot stand wearing earmuff style hearing protection.

    I use the Radian molded earplugs that you make from the little kit. They cost about $10-15 and are not uncomfortable, bulky or annoying like earmuffs and since they are molded to your own ears they don't fall out like foam earplugs.

    I recommend these to everyone that dislikes wearing the earmuffs.
     
  17. YZ

    YZ member

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    By saying "muffs" in this context, we include any kind of hearing protection that works.
     
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    No

    Earmuffs are specifically worn over the ear while ear plugs are worn in the ear.

    They have different frequency absorption curves and are fitted differently, with different application problems, so they should not be treated the same.

    Properly inserted foam plugs should not fall out if they're the correct size. "properly inserted" is per this video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPNPZJingZA If you don't insert them properly they don't work as well and don't stay in place. If they are falling out you should look for the large or small size and try them instead.
     
  19. Field Tester

    Field Tester Senior Member

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    X-Rap,
    There's a difference in me mandating and me saying I won't participate. If he wants to shoot with me or my firearms he needs to observe the safety rules, simple enough. I'm not say he can't shoot, I'm saying I won't be a party to it. At my club you're not allowed on the line without proper gear anyways, this is just for when we're out in the desert.
    I think it stems from him not understanding that hearing loss is accumulate. He is of the mindset that since he cannot experience major hearing loss now, he never will. I just wanted to show it's a medically proven fact.
    Also with the closed toe shoes, I feel it is my business if I'm shooting with him. I don't want an extra hole in me because someone caught hot brass on their feet and flinched. You'd be surprised how often this happens. A woman recently shot herself do to a casing going down her cleavage.

    Everyone, thank you for your posts. I think he may come around if I just provide the stuff for him. If they're uncomfortable I'll spring for some inserts. He's not too hard headed of a guy, so if I can show him some medically based truth I think he'll correct the way he shoots. I know his father has already been very receptive. They just never had anyone to show them before.
     
  20. YZ

    YZ member

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    And I insist that a real small ear muff will fit inside.

    The original post, hso, was about hearing protection, as opposed to none at all. Every discussion has its context.
     
  21. MErl

    MErl Senior Member

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    Hot brass bounces off toes with little effect. Sandals are an issue when you kick that cactus hidden in the grass :)

    Eyes & ears are not negotiable though.
     
  22. Field Tester

    Field Tester Senior Member

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    Ed,

    Where can I find molded ones? I might want to double up for higher calibers but hate the foam plugs. I'd like to avoid the gun show for the time being. I know they sell them there but our lines have been insane the past 10 months getting in and walking around.
     
  23. BLB68

    BLB68 Member

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    I think enforcing your rules when you shoot with him is a great idea.

    Beyond that, you can only do so much to fix stupid. Take him some of the info from the earlier replies in the thread and rest easy knowing that you tried. It's not on you if other people chose to remain willfully ignorant.
     
  24. YZ

    YZ member

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    I had them made by Beltone(?) in mid90's
     
  25. btg3

    btg3 Senior Member

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    Midway has DIY kits for molded plugs.

    As to foam plugs, the roll ups do not work for me, but push-in plugs are my preference.
     

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