Ear Protection

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by SkinnyGrey, May 4, 2016.

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  1. SkinnyGrey

    SkinnyGrey Member

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    I have done some ear damage in my life and although I like shooting, I really don't want to do any more damage. I was hoping the good people from this site could help me with what the absolute best products were for protecting one's ears. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    Double up with plugs and muffs.
     
  3. SkinnyGrey

    SkinnyGrey Member

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    Yeah, I have thought of that. Who makes the best plugs and muffs?
     
  4. lpsharp88

    lpsharp88 Member

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    There are lots of brands for plugs that provide a custom fit, can't imagine there's better protection than that. For muffs, I like Howard Leight Impact Sports
     
  5. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I really like the Howard Leights as well:

    http://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight-Amplification-Electronic-R-01526/dp/B001T7QJ9O/ref=sr_1_1?s=sports-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1462389245&sr=1-1&keywords=howard+leight

    They do NOT offer the absolute highest DB reduction but they do very well and allow you to still carry on a conversation (I am talking about the electronic models).

    I come from a family where nearly everyone experiences hearing loss so I take it seriously. I double up with a pair of Surfire brand earplugs like these:

    http://www.amazon.com/SureFire-Defenders-filtered-Earplugs-reusable/dp/B004DH65OG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1462389185&sr=8-1&keywords=surefire+ear

    Believe it or not, I can still hear conversations but don't have any discomfort even with the guy shooting the 50BMG two stalls down.
     
  6. burrhead

    burrhead Member

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  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Skinny,

    We've had this discussion so many times we should really have a sticky on it. Plugs under muff that are both properly fitted and applied is the answer to providing maximum PPE protection. Add a suppressor and you get the best possible combination, but most of us aren't going to spend the money on a suppressor.

    The "best" is the best NRR you can get on the plugs (surprisingly the cheap foam plugs have the highest NRR at 33dB) and muffs (NRR 20-30) and as a 25 year safety professional I always recommend buying a product made by one of the major industrial safety equipment manufacturers (3M/Peltor, Howard Leight, MSA, Elvex, Moldex) to ensure the quality and performance of what you're buying.

    Your eye protection should not make a gap in the pads of the muffs so your selection of eye pro should support getting the most out of your muffs. After that it is about comfort so look at gel pads for muffs and comfortable adjustment of the head piece.

    That's the short answer, use plugs and muffs, use them properly by inserting the plugs fully and adjusting the muffs to cover the ear without interference, buy the highest NRR from a major industrial safety equipment manufacturer, minimize the gap your eye protection makes in your muffs, use a suppressor if you can afford it.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    If you want ear protection, you must have PROTECTION.
    As hso says, lots of NRR.
    You can get the Ultimate 10 earmuffs 30 dB from Midway on sale now for $18.
    Foam plugs 32 dB are $5 for 25 pair which are semi-disposable good for several uses before discarding.
    No, the NRR is not additive, there is not 62 dB there, but much better than either alone.

    If you get caught up in the electronic earmuff fad, you really must wear them over plugs and turn up the volume. They do not have the NRR of passive muffs except at the very top end like a Pro Ears Pro Mag Gold 30 dB for $290. A friend has a pair of those and they are great... when they work. His have not held up well. I have the Pro Ears Ultra passive and they are comfortable and quiet but the ear pads and band are pretty shabby.

    I have a pair of Leight Impact Pro 30 dB which are much quieter than the popular but weak Impact Sport 22 dB. But they are heavy and not a comfortable head fit. I only use them with plugs for my monthly visit to an indoor range.


    The Sordin burrhead thinks "serious" is only 18-19 dB. I don't think that is enough, even over plugs.
    Yes, I know about the Internet Expert who juggles frequency bands to "prove" his 18 dB is as good as my 30 dB.
    I would be willing to try it out... if he furnishes the $284.
     
  9. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Member

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    I've tried various types of hearing protection and mostly use E.A.R., Inc. foam plugs under ear muffs.

    I have a couple of electronic ear muffs and my experience is they don't shut down the noise quite fast enough as I get tinnitus if I just use them without additional protection.

    The best I have are custom molded electronic hearing protectors. They even work with a braked 460 S&W Magnum handgun with no after shooting tinnitus; I use them when hunting. For even better protection, put ear muffs over those and you hardly even hear the gun go off.
     
  10. mr wack

    mr wack Member

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    Yes double up,
    Plugs and then a pair of Howard Leight muffs .
    That's what I use,,,:evil:
     
  11. Longhorn 76

    Longhorn 76 Member

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    MSA Sordin.

    Despite the "burrhead" who denigrates them without having tried them.
     
  12. burrhead

    burrhead Member

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    Huh? I'm the person who said to try them.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    That would be me.
    I would only try something so low rated and so expensive on a sponsored basis.
     
  14. smitty22gunr

    smitty22gunr Member

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    Has anyone else had issues with muffs interfering with proper cheek weld? I took three rifles out yesterday - two milsurps and an AR with a Magpul PRS stock - and had a problem acquiring a good sight picture. I kept having to push back the right muff some when aiming. PITA.

    I've seen slim muffs advertised, but before I buy some I wanted to see if any of you experienced the same problem.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    I have a set of Pro Ears Gold (http://www.proears.com/Gold-Series ). They're just as expensive as the MSA but probably right at the same quality level. Mine are fantastic, they don't compress ALL noise, but clip high decibel sound like shots, while still amplifying lower levels.... so there is no cutting out of any sounds you want to hear. In fact, I've found them to make talking on the range into a distracting problem sometimes! Other shooters that go to the range to yak instead of shoot, I find really distracting, so I've turned them off sometimes and just used them as muffs!

    Excellent for wearing while hunting or walking in the fields too - they're like wearing super ears if you turn them up. You can also find them cheaper than their MSRP on Amazon.

    I do find that the Pro Ears (and almost any muffs I've worn) interfere with a rifle's stock. I use these all the time on the pistol range but only occasionally on the rifle range. I've gone old school and simply use a good pair of plugs that basically block out all sound.
     
  16. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Yes, smitty. I depend on 33 dB plugs when shooting a rifle or shotgun. I could not find a mount that would not knock muffs off my ear.

    Yes, Rain, the Pro Ears are the nicest e-muffs to wear that I have seen but seem not to have as long a service life as others. A friend's electronics quit, he had them fixed. When they went out again he just left them passive. Be prepared to replace the leather pads every once in a while, they do not hold up as long as other makes synthetics.
     
  17. SSGT PRIDE

    SSGT PRIDE Member

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    I'm the only guy at the range that's not required to wear them...but still on pistol range and next to a few High Powered rifles I'll slip in some foam plugs.

    I have one Cochlear implant.... totally deaf in both ears but the over-pressure sometimes will still get painful. I've met quite a few at the range that have implants like mine...Coming from a life of shooting probably.

    This is what happens when you don't have good hearing protection.

    US ARMY / Heavy Artillery (8") 14 years...A shooter for 48 years!
     
  18. mainecoon

    mainecoon Member

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    As a complement to plugs and muffs, get a stock pad or padded stock pack. This will eliminate bone conducted hearing loss. Triad Tactical makes some good ones.
     
  19. Garrett54

    Garrett54 Member

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    I use the custom fit solid earplugs for shooting. These electronic earplugs don't just provide protection against hearing loss, they make shooting much more enjoyable. Whether it is for musicians, hunting or sports shooting, hearing protection is really important. What you need is the best guaranteed earplugs.
     
  20. mikemyers

    mikemyers Member

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    I took these discussion seriously years ago, and now use ear plugs under ear muffs. While searching for totally unrelated information, I found this little bit of advice:

    ...you should dampen them first, before you squish them. Dampened earplugs are more easily shape-able and after they’re placed in your ears, they will expand ever-so-slightly to perfectly fit your ears. I’m not kidding.

    My question here - is this what people are expected to do? If it was in the instructions, I missed it, but it sounds like a good way to get the ear plugs to seat better. .....or is that just my imagionation? :)
     
  21. jlr1962

    jlr1962 Member

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    I always dampen plugs prior to insertion. Second time or more as well but with a wet finger. I like to be able to talk to folks during a cease fire. I cant always get them in good enough if I don't wet them.
     
  22. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    I've tried most all the popular ones and I can't find a muff that I can shoot long guns with, they affect my cheek weld. Not only does the stock break the muff seal and compromise the NR on my right side but the stock and muff housing pinch my cheek, under my ear. It starts out as being annoying and becomes distracting after 10-20 shots. I use muffs with my cast silicon plug when I shoot pistol and just the plugs with long guns.
     
  23. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    I have several electronic muffs but I like Sordin the best.
     
  24. CANNONMAN

    CANNONMAN member

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    Thanks to all. I came here to post the exact question. Seems like the Howard leight muffs are in the lead. It's the ported long guns under the metal roof at my range that get me... I'm one of them. I hope these are trim. I might have missed it but I get a poor cheek weld with the muffs I currently own. Really annoying at 1000yds. But it is nice to blame the poor shooting on something:)
     
  25. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    Surgical lube for example K-Y Jelly works well.
     
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