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Hearing Protection In Actual Firefights Of The US Army?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by DonNikmare, May 7, 2005.

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  1. DonNikmare

    DonNikmare Member

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    I've been wondering about this. I would think they have to have some protection or their hearing would go to hell fast.

    On the other hand, how do they communicate if they have plugs in and don't want to yell to each other for tactical reasons? I sure hear a whole lot of screaming anytime I see news clips of action taking place in Iraq.

    I guess hand signals is one way but often not possible due to the speed of communication needed.

    Anyone know what the actual protocol is for this in the army/marines?

    Nik
     
  2. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    I have no idea whether or not they use any "ears" today, but we didn't in 'Nam.
     
  3. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    The last thing you want in combat is one sense impaired. Do you waer hearing protection when hunting? Same thing. Outside, the noise is dispersed rather quickly. The only time you'd want anything is if you're in a building. Mind you, serious warriors just button up their turret.
     
  4. Alex45ACP

    Alex45ACP Member

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    Former/current military people on here, do you wear ear protection in boot camp?
     
  5. mrhuckins

    mrhuckins Guest

    When I was in the Army, we had to wear an earplug case on our uniforms. It was part of our uniform, and we were out of uniform if we didn't have our earplugs and earplug case hanging from the inside top leaft breastpocket buttonhole. And yes, we wore them in combat, and yes it is difficult to hear with them in. It is also hard to hear with explosions, mortar, small arms fire, and cannon fire going off all around you. It's part of the combat experience. I believe that is why handsignals are a big part of squad tactics training.
     
  6. MikeIsaj

    MikeIsaj Member

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    Always wore protection on the range. Never in combat. Kinda hard to stop and put in your plugs when people are trying to kill you.

    I have been told that outdoor shooting does very little long term damage. Eventually you will have a loss but it's a case of protect when you can, don't worry when you can't. Indoor shooting is a different story.
     
  7. Citadel99

    Citadel99 Member

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    It's a catch 22. The SF guys out here have Peltors with comms. Ear plugs on convoys have saved many soldier's hearing during IEDs and VBIEDs. As far as daily patrols--haven't seent to many with ear plugs.

    Mark
     
  8. ClarkEMyers

    ClarkEMyers Member

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    My own experience is that outdoor shooting ruins hearing

    My own experience is that outdoor shooting ruins hearing. I know others with the same experience from machine gunners to trap shooters.
     
  9. voilsb

    voilsb Member

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    We wear hearing protection for training all the time, although rarely on patrols. Sometimes hearing protection goes in while we're in an OBJ or setting up an attack position, where we expect to make contact soon.

    I've never been in combat, so I have no idea how much it's used there. I have seen a few pictures of soldiers wearing plugs in combat, however. Personally, I hope to be able to buy a Walker Game Ear or something before deploying, and use it.
     
  10. phoglund

    phoglund Member

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    I've always kind of wondered about this myself. In my experience with gun fire without ear plugs is that after firing a centerfire cartridge or two without hearing protection I hear things about as muffled as I would if I had ear plugs in. After first contact if opportunity presented it's self I'd sure want plugs in.
     
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Any shooting damages hearing regardless of indoors or out. It isn't that outdoors is safer. It's that indoors is worse. The more you do without the more damage you get.
     
  12. GunnyBob

    GunnyBob Member

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    Never wore 'em in training, jungle, or sandbox.
     
  13. No_Brakes23

    No_Brakes23 Member

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    Only wore em on the range or on the flightline. Didn't wear any in the field when firing blanks.
     
  14. thorn726

    thorn726 Member

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    WOW = this is something the military SHOULD be thinking about.

    don't artillery people at least have protection???

    my uncle has little hearing in one ear, and no hearing of upper frequncies (like really loud crickets in summer, he hears nothing, cell phone ringer, can't hear it)

    because in Vietnam a cannon (?) went off way too close to him he wasnt operating it so had no protection i forget the details exactly. at any rate it is a real pain for him to be half deaf from friendly fire

    Hawkmoon- glad you made it back, that must have been horrible over there.
     
  15. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    Many retired artillerymen have damaged hearing...including many who have never been in combat. "Friendly fire...isn't."
     
  16. RevDisk

    RevDisk Member

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    I'm currently attached to an artillery unit. I was wearing the heaviest set of hearing protection issued (massive headset) and my ears were still ringing after we did a multiple battery TOT. Sans headset, I imagine one's eardrums would be blown out. Literally.

    I made (and make) a real big effort to be real careful about my hearing. It doesn't grow back. I always had a set of plugs attached to my uniform. I also bought a hunting style electronic earplugs that slightly amplified ambient noise and deadened loud noise. Not perfect, and I didn't like wearing them, but better than being stone deaf or dead. Sometimes it's just not an option or not enough time.

    The military is concerned about hearing loss these days. Just sometimes it's an afterthought when you have lead flying through the air. Gunbunnies (artillery guys) always have hearing protection, otherwise they'd be stone deaf after one day at the line.
     
  17. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I would like to have had some in/on whan a battery of M109's opened up on a shoot'n scoot drill about 50 yds. behind me while I was sleeping! :cuss: We wore them on the firing line, and the muffs while driving trucks. (I drove a Duece as Unit Supply.) Got to try the Peltor-type setups once, wish they were standard issue. I use a pair when shooting now, wish I'd had some then. ;)
     
  18. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Member

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    I wore mine all the time while training, even in my M1 I wore ear plugs under my CVC. Since I was fortunate enough not be deployed for combat, I can't say what the grunts are using, but there sure are lots of hearing aids and tenitus cases at the VA when I go in.
     
  19. RevDisk

    RevDisk Member

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    Bwahaha. I swear, we gunbunnies would NEVER do something like that intentionally. Trust me! :evil:
     
  20. Blackburn

    Blackburn member

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    Yeah, because joking about causing permenant hearing damage is so funny! :neener:
     
  21. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    I took my Dad out shooting yesterday. He retired from the US Army after serving 1950-1971. His idea of a "real" rifle will always be the M1 Garand, so we took my CMP rifle out, along with my AR and a couple of other weapons.

    Before we went I purchased a pack of foam ear plugs, rated at 32 or 34 db. I instructed him on rolling them up and then inserting them deep in the ear canal, but I am not sure that he did it that way. I wore the same set of plugs that I first recieved in Basic Training in 1980.

    Funny how he complained about everything sounding like it was in a tunnel after firing a couple of clips of ammo from the M1. He told me that he didn't think it would cause any damage, since he never wore hearing protection duruing his military service.

    My military experience was just the opposite, we always wore plugs at the range, and I also wore them under my CVC in the M60.

    BTW, he was still able to shoot 3" groups off-hand at 100 yards using Danish surplus ammo. I guess that they did a good job training him on the use of the Garand.
     
  22. Relayer

    Relayer Member

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    In my day, 78 - 83, we always wore hearing protection at the range, even in basic training.
     
  23. patentnonsense

    patentnonsense Member

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    I've seen old hands use a couple of pistol rounds as earplugs - I bet that trick has been used a time or two.
     
  24. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    Using empty cases is better than nothing, but the case still transmits sound waves pretty well. :eek:
     
  25. GunnyBob

    GunnyBob Member

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    Ear plugs were once as frowned upon as sunglasses, but one does what one can to make-do. We'd field strip the filter from a cigarette, moisten it slightly, then insert. Helpful when trying to get some sleep when it was too noisy to do so otherwise. Cigs came free with C-Rations, and only $.15 a pack if you could get to a PX, so it wasn't as if there was a dearth that would prohibit such use.
     
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