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What earplugs do you use?

Discussion in 'Shooting Gear and Storage' started by monotonous_iterancy, May 11, 2013.

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  1. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    Huh? Earmuffs? Wish I would have years ago, my hearing is set on "mumble"
    Just got some electronic models from Midway and they work good for me. I can now hear my cousin say "low and left" when we are shooting prairie dogs. Ha! When we were kids it was nothing to shoot a couple of hundred rounds each during a shoot, no hearing protection at all. We are both paying for it now.
     
  2. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Member

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    right now just cheap muffs but gonna buy the surefire ep3 since I always forget about plugs.
     
  3. Zardaia

    Zardaia Member

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    Grew up using no ear pro, amazingly I'm not deaf yet. After firing a mosin a few times one trip with just foamies and dealing with the ringing, I now double up with cheap foam plugs and ear muffs.
     
  4. Chief 0652

    Chief 0652 Member.

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    I like as much protection as possible. I like ear plugs plus ear muffs (approximately 55 NRR total). However, sometimes I use ear plugs only with the rifle so that I can get a good cheekweld. The muffs (we called them "ear defenders" in the USAF) sometimes get in the way of a good rifle shooting posture.
     
  5. Outlaw Man

    Outlaw Man Member

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    I hate foam plugs. I had some Silencio reusable plugs I liked, but they wore out and it looks like they were discontinued.

    I broke down and bought a set of EAR Insta-Mold plugs. They are extremely comfortable and go in one-handed. I just got the regular ones without the filters.

    If I'm shooting pistols and/or in an indoor range, I have muffs over them.
     
  6. Lunie

    Lunie Member

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    As tempting as it would be to simply add the NRR for plugs and muffs together, I have read that it doesn't quite work that way.

    25 NRR plugs + 25 NRR muffs =/= 50 NRR combo, or at least probably not. I suspect the actual combined NRR would be somewhere between 25 and 50, but who knows what it would be without testing...
     
  7. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    I have to use the foam plugs for work and i have Tiny ear canals, the best ones i have found that dont tear my ears up are the Spark plugs and Pura-Fit.
     
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Any of the Howard Leight plugs will provide good quality consistently.

    The Surefire reusable plugs are good.

    You can also get reusable and disposable plugs in sizes for large and small ear canals.

    ***

    Lunie is correct, you can't simply add NRRs for plugs and muffs. The actuall calculation runs like this - NRR plugs in dB-5dB+5dB for muffs=dB to be subtracted from noise sound pressure level from noise source. This is because the frequency response curves are different for plugs and muffs.

    ***

    You should always use plugs AND muffs. It is surprising how much hearing loss creeps up on you if you don't protect your hearing.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  9. lpsharp88

    lpsharp88 Member

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    I've always gone shooting and only used ear plugs (the blue triple flanged USGI, or the green and orange foam ones on military ranges) but wouldn't mind using some muffs. The one reservation I have about muffs is it seems like they'd get in the way of a good cheek to stock weld when firing long guns. I saw these mentioned earlier in the thread. Do they allow a good cheek to stock weld? Also, how much benefit is gained from using muffs and plugs?
     
  10. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Those and the Howard Leight Impact Sports are good for long guns.
     
  11. JohnBT

    JohnBT Member

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    "i have Tiny ear canals, the best ones i have found that dont tear my ears up are the Spark plugs and Pura-Fit."

    I'll keep an eye out, but my all-time favorites so far are the Leight Max Lite plugs. Remington used to sell them and they're just plain comfortable. Now I just buy them by the case.

    "Ideal for workers with smaller ear canals"

    www.howardleight.com/earplugs/max-lite
     
  12. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I use custom fitted plugs for skeet, muffs for rifle and hand gun.
     
  13. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    I deliberately leave foam plugs in the pockets of my ACUs when I wash and dry them.

    I'm actually writing a review of the E-A-R Push-Ins. Should be done today. :)

    John
     
  14. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep, you can wash foam plugs 2 or 3 times and get more use out of them. I've dropped foam and durable plugs in a mesh bag and tossed them in with standard tap/cool setting clothes.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  15. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    Most of the time I use Radian rad bands. Fairly light duty jelly plugs. Comfortable enough to wear for extended periods of time like mowing the lawn, shooting or whatever.

    Next step up would be Surefire 7's.

    If I grab muffs it'll be Howard Leight slim lines usually.
     
  16. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Member

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    Leight Max Lite plugs dont work as good, they are the most comfortable if you can get them in, to soft they jam up on me.

    I do like the EAR push in ones, they are good for doubling up with muffs for short shooting sessions but they to make my ears hurt after a few hours

    If you wash the plugs they dont stay squished as long and i have trouble reusuing them

    I know Im picky but I must have little kid sized ears or something and i often have to have plugs in for like 10-12 hours some times for up to 8 days striaght, chippin scale and blasting

    Oh boy do i hate plugs, but i love my hearing
     
  17. maxyedor

    maxyedor Member

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    I have small ear canals and the Surefire size small fit awesome, and after about 30 seconds, I totally forget they're in. I like that they don't protrude past me ear, as I use them in all sorts of non-shooting situation, that makes a big difference. I also like the 3M baffled plugs, but they stick out to the side and cause interference with my welding hood.

    I just wish Surefire made some similar plugs that blocked a bit more noise. They're great for pistols, shotguns and most rifles, but a day at the range near a big bore rifle w/muzzle brake or near an F1 engine, and my ears still ring.
     
  18. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Member

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    Do you all understand what I mean when I say these plugs have small holes and such? Part of me wonders if that's part of how the foam contracts and expands, or if it's a quality control issue.
     
  19. murf

    murf Member

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    fired 38 special cases (2). the rimmed end goes in your ear!

    murf
     
  20. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    Here's my review of the Push-Ins. One of the big problems with foam plugs is that almost all of them lose some protection/seal once they've been removed and reinserted a few times.

    The flanged plugs offer less protection, and (in the case of the harder plastic versions) are less comfortable.

    John
     
  21. armsmaster270

    armsmaster270 Member

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    I went to the ear muffs.
     
  22. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    You are worrying about things that make no difference. As long as you properly use and insert the foam plugs you will get the rated NRR. To properly use this type of plug you need to compress the plug, rolling it between your fingers to make it smaller in diameter, Insert it in the ear canal and allow it to expand to fill the canal for a tight fit before you release it. Some people who have no proper training in hearing protection will simply poke them in their ears but the level of protection is greatly reduced with that kind of improper insertion.

    The only reason to change plugs is if you are not getting a snug fit in the ear or they are causing you discomfort.
     
  23. tnxdshooter

    tnxdshooter Member

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    I don't use any ear plugs. Instead I use howard leight electronic muffs.

    Sent from my mind using ninja telepathy.
     
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Everyone should use both plugs and muffs because the habit of wearing them all the time helps ensure that you'll remember to use them both just like putting on your pants in the morning.

    monotonous_iterancy,

    Do you mean the surface appears to have "holes" like the sponge below or just that the body of a foam plug has vesicles (holes)?
    [​IMG]

    John,

    Foam plugs are only intended for a day of use and shouldn't have any problem expanding back to the volume needed to block the ear canal as long as they've not been damaged by solvents. They may not feel as "fluffy" after a couple of in and outs, but they should be doing the job if they're not sliding out. The push-in types are much much easier for people to use properly (a huge variable for many people is how well they do at inserting them) and because of proper insertion are functionally "better" for many people that just don't get the hang of rolling foam plugs and getting them down far enough to block the ear canal well.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2013
  25. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    hso, I am speaking from 20 years of experience. It doesn't matter what "should" or "shouldn't happen" if it in fact does. And I have noticed this phenomenon many times, though it seems more pronounced with the softer foam plugs which tend to offer the highest db protection in a plug. The more times in a session the plugs are removed and inserted, the longer they take to reseal, and eventually a good seal is nearly impossible to get.

    John
     
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