Use the best hearing protection that you can afford.
Hearing loss is cumulative.
AKA - the damage stacks up.
If your ears are ringing then you HAVE damaged your hearing.
Usually your hearing seems fine UNTIL you get the Tinnitus....and there is no cure for it.
Once you get it you usually have it forever and trust me...you don't want it! :nono:
And forever is a long time. :yup:
yes, and my .45 makes my ears ring :(
I haven't shoot a pistol without plugs/muffs since 94 or so. Prior to that I can't remember...but that one day I shot a friends 357 revolver ONCE and my right ear rung for 3 days.
Hunting that's another story. I can only recall having hearing protection in once in 28 years of small and large game hunting. Avoid compensators and magnums and for the most part you'll never hear the shot when taking that buck or gobbler. Shotguns unless you're shooting magnum loads don't really seem that loud while hunting.
I've got constant high pitched ringing in my ears from years of rock concerts, loud car stereos, furniture mills, and shooting. The ringing didnt start until 20 years later. The price of being young and feeling invincible.
Lots of hunting without hearing protection. I may start using electronic earmuffs just preserve what hearing I have not lost.
Shot many thousand 44 mags without protection as a kid. Used to hunt jack rabbits every weekend with our 44's. Never liked shooting jacks with my 357 as it made my ears ring. I had never even heard of using hearing protection back then.
Now I mostly shoot targets and casual plinking and never go without protection.
I shot my .38 Special with out any protection when I was about 17 years old. My ears rung like crazy. I hated it. I don't think there's anything macho about it at all. I realize there's times you have to do it and things were different a long time ago but to do it today on purpose if given a choice is just stupid - and that's the reason why I did it - I was just dumb and didn't know how loud it was and fully realize how I was really jeopardizing my hearing.
The cigarette butt thing reminded me of the time when me and my brother went to a Formula 1 race and we forgot to bring hearing protection. Let me tell you, it didn't take long for us to find a vendor after the cars started. We put butts in our ears until we could find a vendor. We sacrificed 4 un-used Marlboros from my brother's pack though, we weren't so hardcore to pick any butts off of the ground. A cigarette butt is better than nothing at all.
My left ear has been ringing for nearly three years. I shot maybe 50 rounds from a .22LR revolver with no hearing protection. Didn't think anything of it at the time. didn't think a .22 would be loud enough..... I won't shoot without hearing protection unless I NEED to. I've never shot a high powered rifle or centerfire pistol without hearing protection. Sounds painful.
One thing interesting about the human body is that pain is not a good indicator of whether something is hurting us or not. As was pointed out if your ears ring you did do damage. However if you ear don't ring doesn't mean that you did no damage.
Make we wonder about when I grew up:
-asbestos brakes and exhaust
-lead paint in house
-lead water main
-asbestos on basement insulation
Back in the stone ages, we didn't know better. I wear "ears" now all of the the time, but I'm afraid the horse is out of the barn. My most frequently used word is: what?
Yes, a .40, 9mm, 357mag, and a 12 gauge.
Excuse me but can you repeat that? I didn't hear you.