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Hunting ear protection?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Gary O, Jul 7, 2011.

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  1. Ranb

    Ranb Member

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    Just about any firearm can be effectively suppressed, even those that use supersonic ammo. Since the silencer is only intended to suppress muzzle blast, action and bullet noise should never be taken into account when determining silencer effectiveness. Of course a person needs to take all sources of gun noise into account when deciding to whether or not to wear hearing protection. The 338 RUM in my video linked below definitely requires ear plugs when shot under weather protection.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lnBE9H_d8I

    The only unsuppressed firearm I have ever heard that was hearing safe without ear plugs was a 22 caliber file using CB's. When I used CB's in a pistol, it hurt my ears. Anyone who claims that an unsuppressed firearm is 110-130 decibels is acting irresponsibly. Even a 22lr pistol is about 160 decibels when measured with the proper meter and microphone. Sure I can use a cheap noise meter I bought at the mall and call my 30-06 safe to shoot without ear plugs, but that is being dishonest. A meter/microphone with a response time of no more than 20 microseconds is needed.

    http://www.silencertests.com/results.htm Take a look here for accurate test results on unsuppressed and suppressed firearms.

    Ranb
     
  2. christcorp

    christcorp Member

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    And a face shield/goggles and steel toe shoes if it's a lawnmower?
     
  3. withdrawn34

    withdrawn34 Member.

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    The analogies aren't so directly comparable. You're comparing situations where one can prepare for what is to come to one where that is not always possible.

    If someone kicks down my door, I'm not going to grab ear pro. I will take whatever hearing damage comes from firing a 12 GA one or more times inside my home. In this case, I don't have the luxury of time to put on ear and eye pro.

    If I'm at the range or hunting, I can prepare for what is going to come and can use ear pro accordingly.
     
  4. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    It was simply a comment mirroring your suggested used of the inappropriate woodsman/chainsaw/tree cutting safety helmet for shooting. Sorry you missed the obvious comparison.
     
  5. BP Hunter

    BP Hunter Member

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    As much as possible, I personally do not like wearing hearing protection when hunting. It loses its feel. The less "high tech" stuff, the less better. I liek to hear the animal and the surrounding. Even wearing electronic ear muffs synthesizes the natural sounds and being out in the woods loses its feel. I never take more than 2 shots anyway, so I do not feel the need for ear protection. Honestly, with all that adrenaline running, I don't ever hear the shot.
     
  6. sixgunner455

    sixgunner455 Member

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    Every time I've taken an unprotected shot while hunting, I've heard it. And it wasn't comfortable. Some of them were painful.

    I have fired one (1) .38 SPC round indoors w/o protection. It caused immediate and permanent hearing loss to my right ear. And it hurt. A lot.

    In my experience, 1 shot can cause immediate and permanent loss. According to the experts, 1 shot can do that. And, hearing loss is also cumulative ... the more unprotected shots you have, the more damage you incur over time. Each shot doesn't have to be traumatic or include a lot of drama, but it is disingenuous to suggest that individual shots, even a few per year, don't cause damage.

    Personally, I figured out quite young that I needed to wear heavy shoes (would have worn steel-toes if I'd had any), glasses or goggles, and hearing protection when using powered yard equipment. Nobody told me to, I just did it. And I figured out for myself that I didn't like shooting at game without hearing protection, and found some electronic earplugs that help greatly, but allow me to hear acceptably well. And I always wear proper shooting glasses when shooting or hunting, usually WileyX or Oakleys, regardless of whether I'm hunting with a shotgun, rifle, muzzleloader, or handgun.

    So. Just because nobody else has said it yet, doesn't mean nobody is actually wearing shooting glasses, or earplugs. I know other people who do it, too.
     
  7. caribou

    caribou Member

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    As a Full Time, year round Subsistance Hunter, I should have been mandataed to use a silencer for my safety and protection while "Working"............
    Ive been at this so long, the Mosin dosent bug me a bit,"Thump!"my .223 Chinese AK just go's "Chug" and my .22lr can be shot during conversation, if you speak loud enough for me to hear you in the first place........and I belive we have few problems with Bears in our camps because they hear me and the kids yakkin it up 18 hours a day .....~~LOL!!~~ (My kids can be Heard!~LOL!~).

    Cant hunt in AK with a silencer anyway, but it would be practical, save me from deafness and polite to my neighbors 50 miles away :D.....'cause most of what I'm shooting at dosent hear the bullet before I hit 'em with it anyway, I dont see it as unethical, just like a nice, quiet, Bow and Arrow.............

    Just like my belife that each fellow should leave the service with his Issed Rifle for life,(They are the best trained and qualifyed folks to have them) This idea is too practical to be legal......
     
  8. Lakedaemonian

    Lakedaemonian Member

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    Silencio enternal valve ear plugs. Low profile, can hear voice and natural sound just fine, but they block out most of the decibles from sharp noise like gunshots. No batteries, and they're about $6 bucks.
     
  9. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    not to stray away from the topic, but a question for you folks smarter on db's than me:

    what's the min safe db rating on ear protection you'd accept for going to the outdoor range?
     
  10. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "Honestly, with all that adrenaline running, I don't ever hear the shot."

    Your ears hear it, even if your brain doesn't. Some people don't use ear protection and are lucky. I wasn't. It's not fixable either.

    John
     
  11. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "And can a single rifle shot cause damage? Technically, yes. So can playing a game of touch football on a saturday afternoon without a helmet and pads. "

    That's a stupid comparison. It really is.
     
  12. rodregier

    rodregier Member

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    Kis2:

    Wear the best hearing protection you are comfortable with when shooting on a range.

    The Peltor 97010 Ultimate-10 Hearing Protector are available for $20 from Amazon.com and other sources. I like them, and have gifted them to others too.


    Technical Details:
    NRR 29 dB
    Pivoting cups and padded headband for all day comfort
    Designed for use with large caliber or magnum rounds
    Dual wall design for maximum attenuation
    Maximum high and low frequency attenuation

    http://www.amazon.com/Peltor-97010-Ultimate-10-Hearing-Protector/dp/B000PW98WO/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I1LAO47U1ANIJN&colid=2357C74VD7VMB

    In conjunction with plugs is best, especially with magnum rifles, muzzle brakes or covered firing points.
     
  13. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    thanks rodregier. my current plugs are rated right at that 24 mark, that should be decent protection at an outdoor range then (all things considered).

    I've seen ones similar to what Lakedaemonian was talking about I believe. Not only were they supposed to let conversations happen at a reasonable volume, but they also didn't just go in the ear canal either. had a design that filled portions of the outer ear as well. Might invest in those. I just can't get into headsets (but I always wear plugs.)

    nothing to do with hunting though. carry on.
     
  14. Ole Humpback

    Ole Humpback Member

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    According to OSHA, hearing protection is mandatory when sound levels exceed 90db for 8hrs at a time. The louder it gets, the less time you can be exposed to that sound without hearing protection. IIRC, past 110db hearing protection is required at all times and workers should be rotated every 4-6hrs or something to that effect to reduce exposure to extreme noise. Most places nowadays have the hearing protection level set at 85db.

    So, if you wanted to be sure you were going to not have hearing damage from shooting, you'd need a suppressor & ear plugs. Lets assume that the muzzle blast is 155db (range is from 149db to 163db http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml ). Assume the suppressor would knock 30db off, and another 28db for your average ear plug or muff. That would mean the muzzle blast was reduced to 125db by the suppressor then the sound would be knocked down another 28db by you plugs to 97db. If you could find a way to knock another 7-12db off of it, you'd be able to shoot without hearing protection.
     
  15. kis2

    kis2 Member

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    awesome, intelligent post. thank you.
     
  16. Gary O

    Gary O Member

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    FWIW: I bailed from this thread early on because of the trolls and highjacking and folks that use this site to just run thier mouths. Too bad. Used to be a decent site to hang out around. No more. You guys must be proud...
     
  17. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    It is a discussion forum. You must be proud as well, hijacking to complain in your own thread! Heck, this isn't even the first time for you to do it (see your post 23). Stretch tried to explain to you in post 40, but apparently the response wasn't to your liking and hence your repost of disdain. So that would not just be hijacking, but trolling I think as you didn't get enough resonse the first time and so you are back to generate more.

    I think you are part of the problem.
     
  18. BsChoy

    BsChoy Member

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    I wear the Howard Leight electronic muffs and they are def better than nothing
     
  19. Mountainman38

    Mountainman38 Member

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    Nicely put. I was going to reply to the post about not needing hearing protection when hunting, but others have done a better job than I could have.

    This was an interesting and informative thread. The vitriolic and personal attacks from christcorp aside, I found the exchanges to be thoughtful and for the most part well supported.

    For the OP to make a mass attack in his last post against people actually having different opinions, and engaging in a discussion of the merits of those opionions, does not reflect very well on him.
     
  20. thales

    thales Member

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    The last time I shot without hearing protection was more than 30 years ago. My ears still ring. I have difficulty hearing normal conversation if there is much background noise at all. It is silly in the extreme to engage in an activity that is likely to involve shooting without effective hearing protection. Like hunting.

    As has been mentioned before, noise-induced hearing loss is cumulative and irreversible. It can result from one shot from a firearm. Unprotected shooting without noticeable hearing loss is nothing more than good luck from a foolish habit. You might be lucky for a while, but you can't count on luck. The long-term result is predictable.

    I currently use Peltor Tac-7 muffs while hunting. I can hear better with them than without, and they do not hamper my shooting at all. They do get uncomfortable after a while, especially in warm weather.

    I plan to soon try a pair of Walker's Game-Ears. Anybody have experience with them?
     
  21. Ole Humpback

    Ole Humpback Member

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    I've only shot a gun twice hunting without hearing protection. First time was 6yrs ago turkey hunting, and the last time was this past fall deer hunting. I'll never not wear my $3 ear plugs ever again. 3" mag rounds from a 12ga left me feeling dizzy for hours and it took a day for the ringing to end. I know my hearing is worse off for it too. I'm missing the 18khz range of hearing and 21khz is fuzzy to say the least.

    My $3 ear plugs from Menards are a 28NRR and I can hear most people whispering just fine with them in.
     
  22. jcwit

    jcwit member

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    I never wore hearing protection while hunting, even while deer hunting in Wyoming. I always thought the wide open spaces absorbed all the noise. Never wore hearing protection while at the range shooting .22 rimfire ammo, shooting all afternoon, afterall im a MAN, and I'm tough. Seldome wore protection at the range while in the Army, again I'm one tough SOB.

    Today I wear hearing protection during all shooting sports and usually double up with plugs and muffs. I also now wear hearing aids, and the surf never stops in my ears. I run a fan in my bedroom all night so as to sleep.

    Let this be a lesson to all you tough dudes out there, guess what, your ears aren't tough.
     
  23. Sheepdog1968

    Sheepdog1968 Member

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    In a slightly related matter, about 30 years ago, I was helping my dad change an exhaust manifold on a car (back when that was THE thing today before computers). I complained when I removed it as he wanted me to scrape off the asbestos gasket. I wouldn't do it so he did. A few years ago, I learned he was on a class action law suite becuase of all the asbestos he breathed in his career at factory repair bays on heavy duty trucks. And yes he wheezes. He also wouldn't wear a dust mask when wood working and making fine dust.

    The point I'm trying to make is that there are many older folks who will skoff at safety related items because it didn't hurt them (yet).

    It's your ears and your life/health. Let people laugh at you. You wanna be alive to walk your daughter down the aisle and hear her say her wedding vows in 20 years, right?
     
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