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Threshhold for hearing protection

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ArtP, Jul 4, 2010.

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  1. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    I've been toying with the idea of buying a 22 hornet rifle for plinking. The appeal is it's ballistically superior to a 22LR (by a pretty wide margin), cheap to reload for and the barrel should last forever. But the biggest appeal is having something I can shoot without heaing protection and the recoil light enough for me to witness bullet impact through the scope. I'm asking for a 22LR but with better ballistics, better than a 22 mag too. I'd also like to be able to reload for it, which means the 17 HMR is out.

    I usually shoot my 22LR stuff without hearing protection. I am wondering what your threshhold for hearing protection is. As well, what is your shreshhold for being able to see bullet impact through your scope without recoil causing you to miss the view? I use muffs or plugs for everything but 22LR, and at times I'll put it on for that, too. For instance if I'm shooting in a covered area where the sound is amplified. For scoped rifles I go from 22LR then jump to .243 (no 22 centerfire rifles). With the .243, try as I might, I can't see impact.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    Have fun with tinnitus in your later years.

    If you want to shoot without hearing protection, invest in a silencer.
     
  3. Millwright

    Millwright Member

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    Anything above a whisper son ! BTDTGTTS !! Eh !? Wha !!! ? Whadda y'uh mean its too loud ?

    Seriously, hearing loss is progressive and insideous. You don't notice it because, in most instances, you can "adjust" the source to your comfort level, or.....after a brief time the "noise isn't that bad"......Which a sure sign you're making a serious sacrifice.....>MW
     
  4. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    Shall I just "off" the question now?

    Smart ellec remark - shall I put on the hearing protection when bikers pass with their obnoxious un-baffled pipes? How about when I'm getting nagged? How about when i pass a construction zone? I'll keep the muffs ready at all times.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  5. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Yup, I think if I knew then what I know now I'd wear hearing protectors. Now I wear Hearing Aids, $3,000 per ear!
     
  6. C96

    C96 Member

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    The 22 Hornet is a neat little round BUT it can be a challenge to reload. You should stick to one brand of brass, the powder capacity can very by a grain or more between brands, the brass is a bit delicate, easy to crush the brass if not careful. It is a neat round to shoot although I did mine with a TC Contender and a 14 inch barrel.

    If I recall correctly there have been some on this forum with difficulties with this round but other than being a bit careful when sizing and seating I liked it.

    I sold my Contender to feed other projects so I haven't done Hornets in some time, but I liked the round.

    allan
     
  7. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    Take a look at this site....

    http://www.nwhealth.edu/healthyU/stayHealthy/ear3.html


    Also, please note that the frequency of the noise is also very important to keep in mind. The parts of our inner ears that respond to high frequency are more easily damaged than the parts that respond to low frequency.

    Given that the 22 hornet is a small caliber high velocity round I would expect that the noise it generates would be a high frequency blast.

    Keep those earplugs/muffs handy!
     
  8. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    Okay. You guy are just making a point and looking out for my hearing. I appreciate your care and concern. I will heed the warning.

    Funny story. I took my long-time girlfriend's son shooting with me. He's the quiet type and doesn't talk a whole lot. He asked me on the way home if he could keep the ear plugs for when his sister talks (it was a totally honest and innocent question). I got a huge kick out of that, I responded with "you keep 'em handy - just in case"!

    Another funny story. I have a friend I took shooting and he refused to wear the hearing protection I took along for him. We were shooting a 9mm and a 270 WSM. The 270 WSM is no slouch on the noise meter. On the way home he kept saying, "huh". I just shook my head and frowned.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  9. Onward Allusion

    Onward Allusion Member

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    I personally would not shoot 22LR (standard or high velocity) without hearing protection. I once shot a 22LR round indoors in a hallway and my ears were ringing for over a hour. A 22LR rifle outdoors would be less harsh but hearing damage does accumulate.

     
  10. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    Hearing loss is cumulative. It can happen slowly over time and not be very noticeable. Once it's gone, it's gone. Expanding foam ear plugs are cheap, effective, and disposable. They don't get in the way. I use ear muffs any time I shoot anything louder than an air gun. Also, a good rule of thumb for any noisy situation is: If you have to raise your voice above normal conversation level to be understood, you need hearing protection.
     
  11. OkieOFT

    OkieOFT Member

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    Wow - You guys would die if you knew the things I do. I shoot .22LR (and in most cases, much larger rounds) without hearing protection, turn the radio up to 100 anytime i'm in the car and whenever I go to a concert I stand right in front of the speaker stack for the best sound. I'll be deaf by the time i'm 30!
     
  12. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    When shooting any firearm or in the presence of any firearm being shot. Exceptions to the rule would be any subsonic suppressed firearm with a dB level below 100.
     
  13. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Well thats something to really be proud of, yes sir.

    Hope you're good at reading lips!
     
  14. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    I use hearing protection for anything .22LR and up. I don't use hearing protection when shooting bows, BB guns, and .22 CB's.

    A .22LR is loud enough to cause stark and immediate threshold shift, and anything loud enough to cause threshold shift is loud enough to damage your hearing.

    Depending on barrel length, a .22LR shooting ordinary ammunition peaks somewhere between 145 and 155 decibels (low end is rifle, high end is pistol). A loud motorcycle will be around 110 dB, and I doubt it would be over 125dB even running without mufflers. A jackhammer is probably around 125-130 dB at the user's ears, so if you're driving by, it will be far lower. There is simply no comparison; guns, even .22's, are vastly louder than almost anything else in our everyday experience, unless you work on an aircraft carrier deck.
     
  15. MinnMooney

    MinnMooney Member

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    Hear loss is built upon a few extremely load blasts OR thousands of lesser noises over many years time. If you plan on shooting anything that is supersonic, i.e., faster than 1100fps (+/-), you should wear protection. The younger you are, the more important it is.
     
  16. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Wear hearing protection for everything! Even .22LR rifles. I'm only 35yrs old and have 'usually' been pretty good about hearing protection but did a lot of rimfire and shotgun shooting in my younger days without hearing protection and I'm paying for it now. Need a little ambient noise so I can sleep through the tinnitus. Keep what you have, put some ear muffs on. The only thing I will shoot without hearing protection (besides while hunting obviously) are .22 CB's.
     
  17. MinnMooney

    MinnMooney Member

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    from OkieOFT (post #11) :
    I believe you are correct in thinking that you'll be deaf by...........

    I said, "I believe you are correct in thinking that you'll be deaf by the time you're 30! "
     
  18. RhinoDefense

    RhinoDefense Member

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    Impulse is 140dB and continuous is 85dB.

    Note that sound pressure (dB measurement) is NOT LINEAR, but exponential meaning the difference between 100dB and 101dB is much, much greater than the difference between 99dB and 100dB.

    I use a suppressor on every firearm I own.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  19. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    You bring a good point. Why don't people wear protection while hunting?

    A few rounds of 338 mag with a muzzle brake while hunting are okay, but more rounds of 22LR are not while plinking?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  20. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    It's absolutely not ok, but lots of people do inadvisable things every day.

    From what I can determine people don't wear hearing protection while hunting for one or more of the following reasons.

    1. They don't have good electronic hearing protection and they don't want to block out noises that might alert them to the presence of game.

    2. They think it's too much of a hassle.

    3. They are not aware that even exposure to one or two shots from a firearm without hearing protection can cause permanent hearing damage.

    I have a good set of electronic muffs and I wouldn't hunt without them. They provide binaural capability so I can still locate sounds like I would without hearing protection installed and they can be turned up to allow me to hear better than I would be able to without them.
     
  21. natman

    natman Member

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    I do wear protection while hunting. I have hunted for years with a set of Peltor 6s and have hundreds of hours with them. If you set the volume at normal levels you can locate sounds and after a while you forget you have them on. It is great when they turn a shotguns BOOM into a faraway boom.

    http://www.amazon.com/Peltor-97044-Tactical-Hearing-Protector/dp/B00009363P

    Trust me on this - once you get tinnitus you will beg for the chance to go back and wear hearing protection every chance you get.

    And no, a few rounds with anything with a muzzle brake without protection are NOT OK.
     
  22. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Member

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    I do industrial work, hearing protection is an everyday thing, and hearing tests have been roughly every 2 years since I was 17.
    I can show you charts from me (I always use hearing protection) and you'd see a slow minor loss from aging and exposure.
    Compare them to the charts of someone who skips plugs "once in a while" (more decline, loss of high-frequency sensitivity) or someone who has been going without or using cotton balls (much larger decline, large loss across all frequencies) and the difference is obvious. I notice equipment failure sounds well before my peers who skip hearing protection, I can hear frequencies most people my age can't, and I still know I've lost some sensitivity from some dumb choices and some unintended exposures, I'm not about to cause more damage on purpose, and I think anyone who does is a fool.

    The sharp concussion from a firearm is even more damaging than the drone of a ship's engineroom or the scream of a commercial power plant. If you feel your ears ringing you've already done damage, if you feel pain you've probably moved into permanent damage territory. To compare to a loud motorcycle ignores the difference between concussion and a steady noise level, it also ignores the fact that you can't control motorcycles and you can control your gear while shooting.

    Personally, I've experimented with plugs out shooting low-velocity .22shorts out of a rifle and revolver. I won't be repeating the experiment with the revolver or any handgun, a lever/bolt/single-shot rifle isn't too bad, but the plugs are on anyway because I rarely just shoot .22CB shorts.

    There's nothing macho about letting your hearing be damaged.
    ... I said "there's nothing macho about letting your hearing get damaged"

    Heading out to take 1-3 shots hunting outdoors without hearing protection is a choice some people make, and I can see the logic to a degree. But generally I run hundreds of rounds at a range session, often whoever I'm shooting with will help me deplete a 550-round box of cheap .22lr, plus centerfire pistol, maybe plus some rifle rounds.
    And who knows who else will be at the club's range, there might be some jerk testing out his handloads in a magnum revolver or someone who shows up, shoots a nice quiet .22 bolt gun for a half hour and pulls out a .900loudenboomer rifle after a cold range for target changing ... SURPRISE!

    Just get the big package of plugs (you can get a jar of 200 for a few bucks) and toss it in your range stuff, it isn't that hard, it isn't that expensive, and it might help dispel the stereotype of dumb deaf redneck shooters.
    I like the silicone flanged plugs, myself ... they're re-usable, washable, and have a string to keep me from losing one. I have muffs also, just for when I have to share the range or I shoot indoors on a small rental range.
     
  23. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    People don't use hearing protection for one of two reasons, either ignorance or stupidity.

    Ignorance of the cumulative damage that repeated exposure will produce. Ignorance of the truly negative impact on the quality of life hearing loss and tinnitus will produce. Ignorance of the ease in which hearing can be protected with just a little effort.

    An analogy may help, everyone's heard stories about shooting a tree down. Each bullet hitting the tree does little damage, but over time it adds up. Put a lot of rounds on target in a short period of time and the tree comes down quickly, but the tree is damaged regardless of how fast you shoot at it and given enough shots even over a few years the damage can simply kill the tree.

    We have had one of these types of threads every few months at THR. The professional advice is to protect your hearing. The advice from experienced shooters is to protect your hearing. We'll keep having them in spite of the fact the advice never changes because some people don't like the answer and wish it weren't true.
     
  24. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

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    You're wrong on both counts. The best sound is not in front of the speaker stack and you are probably already partially deaf before age 30. The best sound is where the engineer and mix board are which is usually in the middle of the venue. I played in rock bands from my late teens to early thirties. However, it was as a concertgoer at a Sammy Hagar concert when I was 21 that permanently blew out my left ear. Stupidly, I never wore any ear protection after and now my hearing is bad and I have a constant hissing in my left ear.

    Any loud abrupt noise is painful to me now. I have to wear plugs and muffs when I shoot and even then it can be painful depending on who's shooting what next to me. I keep baggies with earplugs in my range bag, in my car, and with my work gear. If I ever have to work in a club or near a construction site I use the plugs.

    Once your ears go bad they will never heal.
     
  25. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    One other thing alot of folks do not realize that you loose is the ability to know where noise comes from. I have one of the best sets of aids that Micro-Tech make, but when the phone rings I have no idea where the ringing is coming from.

    My damage is now done, no turning back, but you younger people have a chance to avoid this.

    Another thought thats off topic some but in the same line of thought. I smoked for years, I quit 10 years ago, and have thought everything was fine. Well its not, have just found out I'm in the beginning stages of COPD, AKA emphysema, not a fun thing at all. Walking down to the 50 or 100 yd. line to post a target required a 5 to 10 minute rest rto quit gasping for air. Think about that youngsters, only walking,not running, walking, having to rest for 5 minutes, and I'm a lucky one with no spots on my lungs. Consider your future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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