HD & decibels (and other stuff, maybe, eventually).

HD & decibels (and other stuff, maybe, eventually).

This is a discussion on HD & decibels (and other stuff, maybe, eventually). within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Hi everyone. I'm engaging in thought experiments about the home-defense shotgun, and I was hoping I could ask some questions. I suspect that we'd want ...

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Thread: HD & decibels (and other stuff, maybe, eventually).

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    HD & decibels (and other stuff, maybe, eventually).

    Hi everyone.
    I'm engaging in thought experiments about the home-defense shotgun, and I was hoping I could ask some questions.
    I suspect that we'd want as short of a barrel as possible in order to maximize maneuverability, but does decibels come into play in any of this? I'd worry about hearing damage, I think. When compared to personal safety, I know the ears are deprioritised, but I have to live (at least!) another 60 years or so with these ears!

    If a HD shotgun is being kept at home, is there anything I can do to reduce the risk to my hearing? I was honestly wondering if putting in an earplug in one ear might be worth it (if I'm grabbing a shotgun), just to preserve one ear if there's a gunfight.

    Is this something people worry about enough that there're some common suggestions?


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    It is something to worry about...BUT it would all depend on time. If you had time and were able to bunker in a bed room or something the ear plugs would be a great idea. In reality though, I have a hard time thinking you would have the time to worry about such trivial matters if the wolf was at the door (or worse, inside the door).
    I havenít heard any of the journalists who volunteered to be waterboarded asking to have their fingernails wrenched out with pliers, or electrodes attached to their genitals.

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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    Keep a pair of earmuffs handy near your shotgun. Throw them on - if you get a chance. If not, don't sweat it. Think about all the LE and military who have fired plenty of even louder weapons indoors, without ear pro. While they definitely have hearing damage, they can still function. I think just one or two instances of self defense inside your house without ear pro is not going to make you deaf.

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    A shotgun firing indoors most defiantly has the sound levels to cause permanent damage with the first shot but not so much as to cause severe to profound loss. It's more likely that no noticeable problems would arise but even if there was damage enough you would most likely join the ranks of those who have tinnitus. That's a constant high pitched tone or ringing in your ears that doesn't go away. Not a life ending condition but noticeable if you think about it. It's far better than the silence at the bottom of a 6 foot deep hole.

    Many have survived numerous gun shots without ear protection and gone on through life with little to no issues but remember, that type of loss is cumulative and every time you are subjected to sound levels that exceed the safe limits you do a little more damage.

    Few people take additional safety measures such as putting in plugs or donning muffs due to the urgency of the self defense aspect. That in mind, if you had a pair of electronic muffs like the Howard Leight Impact Sports it would serve a dual purpose if you had time to put them on, first your hearing would have some protection and you would have the amplification to help you hear little sounds better when looking for the bad guy.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    To compensate for the deafening muzzle blasts of both my long guns (Mossberg 590 12-ga./Rock River Arms LAR-15 5.56mm/.223 Rem.), I have a set of sonic ear muffs nearby to not only soften any impact noise but to also enhance any soft sounds such as footsteps, whisper, clicking of a safety, etc.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    In our bedroom - our "bunker" - I've put a set of electronic hearing protection there for each of our family members.

    In an "alarm blaring in the middle of the night" scenario, I'm going to be getting to my daughter as fast as I can (and for the time being, this will not be with-shotgun, rather, only with my pistol), and I honestly doubt that I'd even bother to put in a pair of earplugs (the wife sleeps with them, a habit that she's been unable to kick from her college and residency days).

    But if the scenario plays to the point where I'd come back to our (the master) bedroom, it will change drastically (i.e. the shotgun will come into play), and at that point, it's not only to better protect my loved ones, but also to give me a tactical upper hand, as my electronic ear protection also amplifies (I prefer electronic hearing protection as it amplifies range commands, which makes me more confident [as I then feel more safe] during the training classes that I take).

    I can't suppress the shotgun, but now that I have acquired a decent set of self/home-defense firearms, I'm starting to think about going the NFA route, and getting a suppressor for at least my main HD pistol. While fitting my wife and daughter with earmuffs should help protect them, I honestly don't know how our physiologic reaction of auditory exclusion would play to the additional muffling and/or below-threshold amplification. My overall feeling is that the suppressed pistol/AR may be a better choice all-around.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    My new mk18 10.5" AR is the go to HD gun (well, about to be) along with a few others. It's getting a suppressor but that's still a couple months out. I fired Federal HST's from a 4.25" 1911 in the house and though it's loud, it's not the main concern. A 10.5" AR will be much worse, but I accept that for now.

    If you have not been surprised by an intruder and had to worry about that problem first, you might not completely realize all that goes into it. I have all kinds of stuff I could grab.... I could grab electronic ear pro or a carrier, but when you are coming out of a deep sleep and come face to face with someone that means you harm, there's no time for that stuff. It's grab the gun and freakin fight because if you don't, you may not have a tomorrow. Eye and ear pro, a vest or carrier, a call to 911 first are all great things, but in most situations, you might not even have time to get your gun, let alone twist up some foamies and place them into your ear canals. I keep my gun on my side no matter what if I'm awake and I barely, and I mean BARELY, had time to get that when that dirtbag came at me last year.

    So, unless there's a bump in the night and we throw on some ear pro, we need to accept we'll have some ringing maybe. Then there's always auditory exclusion. Google that as I'll probably say something wrong! Keep in mind, when you do grab that ear protection that it may lessen the decibels of you firearm, but it does the same for everything else. I don't know about you, but when I am woken late at night due to some noise, my most important sense will be hearing. I need to hear every little creek as I know them all in my home and will know when one is out of place.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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    VIP Member Array NY27's Avatar
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    Like others have mentioned, a few indoor shots will not make you deaf. It is much better to be alive. I have tinnitus from years of shooting with crappy ear muffs. It only gets annoying when everything is really quiet and you think about it. The last few years I have been using inner ears and a good out ear protection together. I want to try to prevent further hearing damage. But my hearing has always been excellent and I still can hear what some cannot.
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    Senior Member Array Spidey2011's Avatar
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    If you had a pair of muffs that amplify quiet sounds and block out louder ones, then go for it. I would not, however, use ear plugs. If someone is in my house, I want to be able to hear them.

  10. #10
    Member Array Cattus Vir's Avatar
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    I have a set of earmuffs near our shotgun in the master but the one time I actually thought someone was in the house I not only forgot about the earmuffs I didn't even touch the shotgun. I grabbed my EDC and flashlight and left the shotgun with my wife in the room.
    I would love a set of the electronic hearing protectors, maybe one day.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array borglyn's Avatar
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    I once asked my uncle about hearing protection once. He was a corpsman(spelling? no disrespect intended!) in Vietnam. He was at the tet offensive and said it was all so loud you could feel it. Obviously. He said the worst part was getting shot in the back 3 times with an AK-47 and then knifed through his left lung playing dead. The moral of the story is do what you need to do.
    BTW his hearing is poor but he is alive. He also has the 3 bullets in a jar. Worked at the post office and is now retired.
    " The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer." Henry Kissenger

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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    I've always wondered just how good those electrical muffs are in a "tactical" situation. They may be able to amplify soft noises, but can they accurately reproduce the location of the sound? that is just as important, if not more so, than the noise itself.

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    my e-muffs and a steel 3-cell battery light is on my left, on the right is the mag to insert into the BHP whose slide is back.
    I'm behind my bed and the wife has the remote house lits switch box, she will roll over to my side of the bed after i leave. and light the house from far to near such that 'they ' will be back lite. and I'll be listening to what they think are whispers. thus i know where the are and how many ( and figure one more)

    Paul the Dillon muffs are THAT good for amplification and direction. and I'm not going to be damaging my ears forever cause some punk broke into the wrong cellar, eh, fella!!
    she will also call 911 if i don't say not to within a half minute.

    I DO NOT ADVOCATE clearing your oun house. especially if there are young children or guests or anyone why has a key...
    but if you are going to do it you must have practiced...many times. it means being able to control and direct a light independent of the guns muzzle. point shootint 2 things-- you do not want a light on the gun cause that means you are lighting up what the gun is pointing at--perhaps your toddler>>>no way you want to do that. before bed you put the house to sleep, toys away, etc.
    a lot of what-ifs here...
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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Like claude said, some are better than others - there are both mono and stereo models, and even within those categories, some are better at directional discrimination than others, some are better at resisting wind/clothing noise, etc.

    But again, even though I think it'll give me an advantage, it's not something that I'd pull out of my quick-access safe, in my sprint to my daughter's room.

    At that point, the only thing I'm pulling outta there is my ready-belt (which contains my holstered, "Condition I" HD handgun [w/light & laser] as well as two spare mags, a small fixed-blade knife, and a holstered flashlight; everything is on the belt and ready-to-go) - and that sucker is being snapped on right over my boxers.

    If I can get back to my safe-room, then everything changes. "Bunker mode" means that while I'm still prepared for the worst, I'm no longer "reacting" - instead, I can now start to dictate, at least to a certain degree, how the engagement will go, from that point on.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    A light on your gun is absolutely important, especially if it's a long arm. Anyone that thinks it's a bad idea needs to take a low light tactics course. There's many tactics to deal with these situations. Basics are half second bursts then move, then 1 second for identification then shoot and move. You son ever actually need to point the gun at the subject to light them up.

    Also, complicated plans go South very quick.
    Proven combat techniques may not be flashy and may require a bit more physical effort on the part of the shooter. Further, they may not win competition matches, but they will help ensure your survival in a shooting or gunfight on the street. ~Paul Howe

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