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I have a question re hearing protection.

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by SunnySlopes, Jul 11, 2013.

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  1. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Member

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    Back in the day whenever hunting we never used hearing protection. I hear cicadas 24/7 now.

    Lately I double up w/plugs and muffs. That's recommended.

    However, I see recommendations for this.

    [​IMG]

    This is the equivalent of a plug only, correct?

    If, say, firing a magnum firearm with a short barrel necessitates plugs and muffs, how can the Walker Game Ear (pictured above) prevent hearing damage?

    thanx
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Well, everything helps, and everything is a compromise of some sort.

    Further, damage is cumulative. You firing 100 rounds from that 7mm RemUltraMag? Go ahead and double up. Just going to fire one shot at game? The plugs will do a very serviceable job. They're a LONG shot from using no hearing protection.

    The smart thing to do, of course, is mount a suppressor and reap all the various rewards they give you. It still won't be "hearing safe" without plugs or muffs, but will make a large benefit over just plugs or just muffs, or (probably) even both plugs AND muffs.
     
  3. Impureclient

    Impureclient Member

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  4. wally

    wally Member

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    Hearing cicadas is kinda like the one finger or two vision test, not testament to lack of hearing damage!
     
  5. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    I suspect he's talking about the ringing in the ears sounds like cicadas.
    Sort of like too many Led Zeppelin concerts.
     
  6. bobinoregon

    bobinoregon Member

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    once your ears are damaged silence is your enemy, then you have to hear the noises in your head. Wish I had used at least earplugs back in the day. Led Zep was worth a little ringing though.....
     
  7. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Member

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    Yes, that's it. Tinnitus. The Sounds of Silence.
     
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    You're better off with electronic muffs and standard plugs.

    I'm doubtful you could actually get the 29dB NRR they claim since compressing that foam plug and getting proper insertion in the ear canal would appear to very difficult. Add the price over that of a very good pair of electronic long gun muffs and I have a hard time seeing any value in them.
     
  9. YZ

    YZ member

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    I can only add that simple physics still rules the day. Larger, thicker, and often cheaper muffs insulate better than slim-profile ones. Unless cheek weld is an issue, or you want an electronic filter for situation awareness, use bigger muffs. I also found a larger inside cavity more comfortable on a hot summer day.

    The hearing aid types do not look convincing to me. If they happened to be the cat's meow of protection, we would likely know about it from the sources other the people who sell them.
     
  10. MattShlock

    MattShlock Member

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    Hock's!

    I only wear these Hock's afield (muffs at range and muffs and plugs indoors with very loud stuff, molded ear plugs for shotgun sports) and keep a pair of Hock's in my nightstand for HD -- people laugh at me!

    Find their site -- they have little mechanical filters in them that block and turn loud noise into other energy. You can still hear voice-level noise but they block much of the loudest noises which I think is important in those situations. Comfortable too as you can hear, hear in stereo for direction finding, and they breath. They are an unobtrusive color. We wear them to loud concerts too where I used to use toilet paper! Not perfect but they mitigate enough noise that I minimally want them on when shooting, and they are.

    Yeah, they cost a bit more than solid plugs but are worth it.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2013
  11. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have an old pair of Sonic II ear plugs. They block noise pretty well while letting you hear. I wore them hunting all the time. For one shot (Two if needed), they work well. I wouldn't use them for a range session. I have some tinnitus in my right ear from shooting without protection when young. I am glad I got educated when I did, although I do wish it had been sooner. I also have some Howard Leight electronic muffs now, and they work well for hunting if you don't mind a little ribbing from buddies.

    I'll never shoot without some sort of ear protection anymore. I don't care who laughs about it. Please protect your hearing. You do not want to lose it or listen to ringing all the time.
     
  12. SunnySlopes

    SunnySlopes Member

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    Actually, a single such explosion above 140dB is likely to cause instantaneous damage. And all unsuppressed gunfire, except the 22 long rifle, exceeds 140dB. (There might be some other exceptions, but for my purposes, I only shoot standard calibers.)

    These?

    earplugstore_2269_6688735.gif
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    No, look like these, in a small blue squeeze open case.
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Of course it is.

    It is also cumulative. If you knock down the blast a lot with a set of plugs, and you're only firing one (maybe two) shots, perhaps that's a sufficient compromise.

    If you're going to fire 100s of rounds, a much more significant reduction would be prudent. But its all a compromise of desired outcomes.

    Want to hear in the woods? Want to block as much sound as possible? Need to do both? Compromise.
     
  15. Potatohead
    • Contributing Member

    Potatohead Member

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    I really like the triple flange plugs (like the Hocks above), they really seal the canal. I wear regular muffs also-are the electronic muffs better than regular muffs? Why?
     
  16. YZ

    YZ member

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    Electronic muffs suppress noise above a certain threshold, to facilitate communication and SA. They do not insulate any better. Noise cancellation technology allows for more comfortable lightweight passive protection. But then you have to trust it. The gold standard for hearing protection alone (forget everything else) is a pair of massively insulated muffs, completely encasing the external ears and sealing at the skin. This is what I use when I don't care to hear anything around.
     
  17. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Noise canceling systems are used for continuous noise like motors. They don't work for impact noise like gunfire.

    Purchase hearing protection from well establishied occupational safety equipment manufacturers and you're much better off. They don't try to market snake oil.

    Quality electronic muffs with quality high NRR earl plugs is the best available combination for protecting hearing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  18. btg3

    btg3 Member

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    To be effective...

    Any plug must be well inserted and seal the ear canal.
    Any muff must form a seal and not be obstructed by glasses, hair, hat, bandana, etc.

    A lot of ear protection is sold without instruction regarding its proper use.
     
  19. BTR

    BTR Member

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    Supressors plus muffs and plugs are the only way to really protect your hearing.

    Conventional hearing protection WILL let your ears be damaged. I didn't really believe it. I religiously used muffs and plugs.

    I shot a 12 gauge shotgun with ear plugs in. I forgot and left the muffs hanging around my neck. It gave my hypearcusis (extreme sound sensitivity) and tinnitus. I've had ear pains ever since the start of 2012. :mad: Severe hyperacusis is absolute hell.

    What you should do is NEVER shoot recreationally without a suppressor. Per audiological studies, that is the only way to prevent damage.

    I know most of you won't believe me though.

    While I am still an advocate of gun rights for self defense and political reasons, I curse the day I started shooting for fun.

    If you want to learn more about hypearcusis:

    http://www.hyperacusis.net/

    I've got nothing else to say.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2013
  20. dirtykid

    dirtykid Member

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    I just cannot believe if you use the standard foam earplugs,and insert them PROPERLY
    (meaning you pull back on your ear lobe,and hold them in place for 30-seconds)
    That you would also require muffs on top of them as well,

    I see alot of people at the range using foam-plugs, but you can see that they only have them half-inserted into their ears
    When I go to remove mine,there is just enough foam sticking out to hook with a fingernail,
    Like someone mentioned,ANY hearing protection device is useless if not used properly
     
  21. YZ

    YZ member

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    Kid

    Compare the noise level when the earplugs are buried down the canal, against the same plus the earmuffs. There is good enough, and there is better. Your ears. Think you're gonna regret doubling up in 30 years?

    Aside from that it is impossible to know your true level of protection at any given moment. Unless you carry a backpack with audiometric equipment. Suppose you're fine all day long wearing plugs. And then, while you look away, a near-deaf old timer unleashes his howitzer next lane. Part of hearing protection is for a contingency in the environment you don't control.
     
  22. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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  23. YZ

    YZ member

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    Rule britannica. What exactly are your suggestions John BT?
     
  24. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    A large muff covers some of that bone behind the ear and the foam plug stops some of the noise that slips by the muff because of hair or glasses breaking the seal.

    I shot without protection from about '55 up into the '70s. Lots of people did. My ears ring constantly - and have for 20 years - and lots of folks I know have hearing aids. Oh well, it was still fun.

    My first fooball helmet didn't have a face mask of any sort. Cars didn't have seat belts. I never saw a single bicycle helmet until I was 30 or so.
     
  25. YZ

    YZ member

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    I also found that a large roomy muff blocks more noise. Perhaps for the reason you brought up, or because a larger air/foam volume absorb more incoming noise.
    The problem with completely covering the mastoid bone is hair. Sealing the cup would require too much pressure for comfort.
     
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