Hearing protection

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Grape Ape, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Monkey+

    I have lots of guns and practice with them every day. ALWAYS on my mind is 'what good is this going to do me in a SHTF situation' The problem is noise.
    I'm told that even one shot with most rifles or handguns will do a lot of damage to your ears. I use calibers like .300 win mag rifle and .454 casull for handgun.
    One shot with those hurts the ears and most tactical situations you probably wouldnt have time to put on hearing protection.
    So basically... guns are useless unless your already deaf ?? or how many shots with no protection can a person actually tolerate ??
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Hearing damage is cumulative. Now, if you take one shot now without earmuffs and one in a week, there's a chance you will recover fully. Start bunching them up, and recovery will be either longer getting around, or not at all. With the big bangers, double up with insertables and cover with muffs. By the sound of things, you are essentially in an occupational exposure mode, and are asking for hearing trouble in the near future.

    In my case as an example, 5 rounds of 30-40 affected my hearing for nearly a week, and that was before I ran into occupational exposures. Now, I have tinnitus, and significant loss in both ears, especially high frequencies.

    As far as tactical situations go, you're right, you may not have time. That's the way of it. Some jerk wakes me up in the middle of the night, I won't take time for ears either. But I won't have to take a long burst to end the situation. (I hope.)

    Are guns useful when you are deaf? Of course. You don't need to hear a target to hit it. But your ability to detect a target heading in your direction may fail you.

    (And just to belabor the safety issue, you do have eye protection as well?)
  3. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

  4. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    Wear hearing protection anytime it's viable.

    I wear electronic muffs now. I really wished I had them in a few helicopters in the past. I've had a constant deviation over the years. Unfortunately, the government only pays for basically being fully deaf in one ear. I am too the point where I will take plugs hunting and will put them in IF I have the time. Same could be said for being shot at. Keep em' close and slip em' in at least part of the way if you have time. It will provide some protection. Just remember that bullets kill faster than hearing loss ;)
  5. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I too suffer tinnitus and major loss of high freq hearing, especially in one ear. Basically came from four years of working in close proximity to USAF jets, sometimes sans 'mickey ears'......
    Gave me some trouble later when reupping into the Navy, but they were more interested in color vision than being able to hearin those ranges......
    I'd have washed out of Sonar school, so I went general Electronics Tech.....
    Then I started shooting - used to shoot out in the woods and borrow pitswithout 'ears', butt now I always use my hearing protection. The range is especially bad, as the report bounces off the roof and back down to us. Out in the open is not so bad.
    If I shoot a louder weapon, like my CETME, I use foam plugs and 'ears'......
    That Spanish Lady speaks LOUD! She has driven lesser men from the bench in cowering fear...... LOVE my Spanish Lady! ;)

    My only problem now, is that having lost so much high freq hearing makes me more sensitive to low freqs - that ground pounding, bone jarring rap-crap in the 'drive-by boomboxes' drives me up the wall....... :mad:
  6. Disciple

    Disciple Monkey+

    Hearing loss is not a laughing matter, nor one to joke about. I myself had hearing problems when I was a child/young Teenager. I had lost 60% of my hearing in my left ear and 90% in my right ear......Legally you are deaf at 60% loss. To not be able to listen to music without having to blast it is not fun, or watch tv.....or even talk to your friends without asking them to speak up. In school I actually failed some classes because I simply could not hear, I got ridicueld, called a retard amoung other things.
    Now I'm not a retard by any count, and I know my spelling can be horrific at best at times, but I am not stupid in any sence of the word.

    Hearing is very important, so all that said hearing protection is tantamount when shooting, you have consistent loud sharp blasts that can destroy a persons hearing.
    hearing protection is an absolute nessessity to protecting one of your most precious sences you have.
  7. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Back in the day it was unmanly to wear hear protection at work, boy do I regret that today.

    I do not know how much hearing loss I have but I do know it helps with toning out the wife. I'm guessing it's along the same frequency as her voice, LOL!

    I have no idea how rounds of what caliber it would take to permanently effect your hearing. As far as a bump in the night goes, the least of my worries is going to be protecting my hearing.
  8. Disciple

    Disciple Monkey+

    an average 12 gauge shotgun reports at 175 decibels, a ar-15 reports at 165-170, an ar-10 reports at about 180 decibels.
  9. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I can tell my higher-freq loss affects my music enjoyment - I tend to set the treble slider higher, and the bass lower - which others might not care for - but I live alone.
    Fortunately, my hearing in the normal converstional range is okay.
    Sometimes when the elevators at work 'ding', I first look in the wrong direction - I'd swear the sound came from another direction....... :rolleyes:
  10. Equilibrium

    Equilibrium Monkey++

    In another thread it was suggested that protective ear plugs be worn in addition to the protective headware muffs or what ever they're called. I called on this and my ENT said very good advice for everyone... not just those who have already suffered hearing loss.
  11. NCGunDude

    NCGunDude Monkey+

    Like my electronic muffs, at the range and hunting. Use in the ear at work when co-workers become distractive, less obtrusive, and oh, yeah, tinnitus in both ears.

    I've heard the term "auditory exclusion" used in firearms and personal protection classes. Basically, in a fire fight situation adrenalin takes over, and you don't hear anything.
  12. toydoc

    toydoc Monkey+++

    what did you say?

    I tried to take a 270 away from a drunk, inside of a house and didn't make it in time. Now I have no hearing in my right ear. I use electronic muffs when I shoot and i like em a lot. I am a range monkey for my son-in-law when he teaches a CCW class so I can hear what he says and still get the protection for my ears.
  13. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Pirate Biker

    Back in the late 60s and early 70s, when I was in the Navy, we shot guns a lot and was never given any form of hearing protection. I think I was one of the only guys on the gun boat that made any argument about it. Because I worked in electronics, I depended on my hearing to do my job. It finally took me getting legal representation to get something done about it.

    The resulting damage to my hearing has been permanent. Now, when I shoot I even wear or use ear plugs when I hunt. they are the type that allows normal sound through and shut down with higher db noise. When I shoot at the range, I wear my muffs.
  14. Lit 1911

    Lit 1911 Monkey+

    Now,i can tell you right now,i dont have the best ears in the world but i do just fine.I have fired a 12 gauge inside,and yes,it hurts the ears.

    You might be more sensitive then me,but i have no problems outside.
  15. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    I just proved to myself the old adage "you don't feel recoil or hear the noise" when hunting.....

    Popped two .30-30s at a running Bambi - well, he didn't run til my first shot! I was down from the stand awaiting pickup, rifle slung on shoulder, taking some pics of the area......
    Turned and this young spike deer is standing head down in the food plot 60 yards from me......
    I actually wasted a couple seconds wondering if I should take his picture or try to shoot......?
    Got the rifle shouldered, put the crosshairs on his chest...... just as I'm taking the slack from the trigger, ne looks up! That was the classic "Oh Crap!" moment for us both.....
    I shot, he exploded to my left.... I missed.... tried another shot as he was bounding into the brush. Missed!

    I never felt the recoil or heard the shots.... to my recollection!
  16. CoverBuster

    CoverBuster Monkey+

    Any time you bust a shot with out hearing protection you damage the hairs in your ears PERMANENTLY , they do not recover or heal . The damage is done . Your ears will not " TOUGHEN" up over time , you are going DEAF .
    The reason you dont hear that shot during a hunting or defense shooting is your senses are focused else where , the ear still hears it and takes the damage .

    For me, its Peltors and plugs any time I shoot . I wear plugs when driving my work truck as the drone of 500 horses pulling 100k pounds gets old and has ruined my hearing , might also be the stereo turned up to drowned out the motor .
  17. dragonfly

    dragonfly Monkey+++

    Tinnitus is about as fun as a mad grizzly bear!
    I have it from really loud stuff like: landmines, C-4, and det cord.
    And, also shooting a .50 BMG didn't help a helluva lot.
    Now the VA Hospital says I am deaf in one ear and can't hear anything in the other. I hear "shadows". I am always looking left to right to find where the sound originated from. Now, I wear ear plugs and muffs when I go to the range or do any plinking anymore. I keep hearing the phone ringing and people, ask why I keep trying to answer it! Sometimes it's embarassing, but most of the time it's a real nightmare.
    My advice to everyone is:
    Get ear protection, and USE IT!

    You can't fix deaf!
  18. Wolfgang2000

    Wolfgang2000 Monkey++

    I always wear hearing protection, while shooting or any other loud activity. Like using chainsaws, nail guns, or just hammering in an enclosed area. I like my Peltor tac 7s. But I keep regular plugs in my veh. and my shooting bag.
  19. 45acpJHP

    45acpJHP Monkey+

  20. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    They are expensive but I use the smallest Walkers Game Ears whenever I carry or go to the range. I can hear the tiniest sound beyond belief, if I want or just adjust them for normal conversation levels. They compress the sound of a gunshot down to a very subdued level. My ear drums have more scar tissue than healthy surface due to window ruptures in a recompression chamber accident many years ago so what little hearing I got left, I don't want to chance.
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