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How many supressed gunshots per day is safe?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms and Accessories' started by Arizona_Mike, Jun 13, 2013.

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  1. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

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    OSHA Daily Permissible Noise Level Exposure is 8 hours a day at 90 db with the duration halved for every 5db increase up to 140dB. Above 140dB is considered damaging at any duration. In the range of some suppressed firearms the permitted duration gets down into the seconds.

    90dB -- 8 hours
    95dB -- 4 hours
    100dB -- 2 hours
    105dB -- 60 minutes
    110dB -- 30 minutes
    115dB -- 15 minutes
    120dB -- 450 seconds
    125dB -- 225 seconds
    130dB --112 seconds
    135dB -- 56 seconds
    140dB -- 28 seconds

    I found this example on line and it appears that 2ms would be very conservative for this gun (handgun?).
    gunshot_waveform.jpg
    This source says 3-5ms, I'm going to go with 5ms.

    Giving:
    130dB -- >22,000 gunshots/day
    135dB -- >11,000 gunshots/day
    140dB -- >5,000 gunshots/day

    Does that sound about right?

    I think anyone coming even close to this exposure is having a lot more fun than I am.

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    When there is a lot of "structure" enclosing the shooting area (side berms, roofed/covered lanes, nearby buildings, etc.) that the sound can bounce back from, I find supersonic .223 suppressed fire to still be irritating, if not mildly painful, definitely larger bore rifle fire. But when I'm shooting out on an open area (plains, prairie) the sound isn't at all as sharp.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    The thing is, long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 decibels can cause hearing loss.

    SO I'm going out on a limb here and say 22,000 gun shots at 135 DB in a day is going to do some damage to your hearing.

    rc
     
  4. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

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    It sounds to me like you are going by NIOSH/CDC guidelines which start at 8 hours for 85dB and half for every 3dB instead of 5dB.

    Those guidelines say driving a convertible at only 60mph with the radio off for more than 4 hours is dangerous (88dB).

    I guess it depends on how safe you want to be and what you consider acceptable hearing loss. If I made a living with my ears, I'd probably want to go by NIOSH.

    Anyway, doing the math, NIOSH/CDC guidelines give the following for 5ms gunshots:

    120dB -- >1700 gunshots/day
    125dB -->500 gunshots/day
    130dB -- 175 gunshots/day
    135dB -- 55 gunshots/day
    140dB -- 17 gunshots/day

    On a side note, NIOSH/CDC does not appear to have a max like OSHA does. The threshold for 1 gunshot being safe per day would be 152dB (again assuming 5ms).

    Mike
     
  5. Mot45acp

    Mot45acp Member

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    The OSHA standard is for continuous noise. I would look forthe standards for impact noise.
     
  6. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Your hearing can be permanently damaged in a fraction of a second if something is loud enough.
     
  7. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a CDC/NIOSH study that might be illuminating.
    http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2002-0131-2898.pdf

    Regardless, subsonic ammunition through a suppressor combined with plugs and muffs results in the least opportunity for hearing damage. Is it overkill? That's dependent upon rate of fire and duration as well as the reduction in noise.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  8. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    Imagine the damage it would do to your bank account!
     
  9. wacki

    wacki Member

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  10. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

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    I guess it is philosophical at some point (life causes hearing loss) but by the CDC/NIOSH standard anyone who drives a convertible should be deaf.

    I feel comfortable going by OSHA.

    Mike
     
  11. tuj

    tuj Member

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    I talked to my father who is a certified safety professional and is responsible for the safety of over 10,000 employees. Here's what he had to say:

    Also, noise should never exceed 140db at any time, according to OSHA
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2013
  12. Arizona_Mike

    Arizona_Mike Member

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    I'm shocked at the information he gave in light of his credentials.

    Sound pressure doubles every 6dB. Sound power doubles ever 3dB. There is no scientific controversy over the definitions of the dB scale.

    Gunshots are beyond the dynamic range of the electric mics used in cell phones. They will be saturated whether or not they are fast enough.

    Mike
     
  13. jrdolall

    jrdolall Member

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    How many artillerymen and riflemen from actual combat can hear at all? When I watch the news reels of people shooting AK-47s in the Middle East I don't notice them wearing ear protection. I'm sure there is a study online somewhere.....

    As an older person who has definitely lost some hearing from shooting I just think it is a good idea to use as much ear protection as you can stand. When I was younger it was not even a consideration to use ear protection when sighting in a 30-06. I shoot a lot of suppressed .22 which is almost silent from a bolt gun using sub-sonics but I still put in my ear plugs. When shooting high power rifles I use plugs AND muffs and can still have a headache after a good day of shooting.
     
  14. bainter1212

    bainter1212 Member

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    The human body is strange.....
    My grandfather put a LOT of rounds towards the enemy in Korea, from multiple different rifles, and was nearly hut by artillery shells multiple times.

    And yet his hearing is pretty good. Very good for 84 in fact.
     
  15. Schwing

    Schwing Member

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    I must concur with this. For me, the only reason I would use subsonic rounds is if I am shooting in a home range or if I want to otherwise keep the sound to a minimum for courtesy of those around me. I still wear ear protection personally. I know many others don't with subsonic rounds but IMHO most are still plenty loud enough to cause damage over time.
     
  16. tuj

    tuj Member

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    Just a little more from my father (the safety man):

     
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