What's it like firing a 454 Alaskan without hearing protection?

This is a discussion on What's it like firing a 454 Alaskan without hearing protection? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm thinking of getting one for bear protection when camping, but I won't exactly be camping with earplugs in, and if a situation arrises where ...

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Thread: What's it like firing a 454 Alaskan without hearing protection?

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    Member Array MisterB's Avatar
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    What's it like firing a 454 Alaskan without hearing protection?

    I'm thinking of getting one for bear protection when camping, but I won't exactly be camping with earplugs in, and if a situation arrises where I have to actually fire the gun, I really don't want to end up with hearing damage. Yes, that would be better than being dead, but it might be enough to make me pick the .44 Magnum Alaskan instead. Not that the .44 is quiet or anything, but it's got to be better than the .454

    So, have any of you fired or been in the immediate vicinity of a .454 Alaskan being fired outdoors? What's it like from a sound standpoint?

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    sgb
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    You're going to suffer hearing loss with either of them.
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    Member Array MisterB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    You're going to suffer hearing loss with either of them.
    Are you talking permanent hearing loss? How does it compare to a 12 gauge 870 with slugs or 00 buckshot?

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    Haven’t tried a .454 but I fired a 4 inch 357 one time w/o hearing protection. That was painful enough and I would believe a .454 would be even worse.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    I've fired a 12 ga without hearing protection while hunting. I didn't hear anything, and suffered no observable effects. In stressful situations, a lot of people will have auditory exclusion (you don't hear the sounds, or they sound muffled). In my opinion, I would rather have more hearing loss and more power behind the lead.
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    sgb
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterB View Post
    Are you talking permanent hearing loss? How does it compare to a 12 gauge 870 with slugs or 00 buckshot?
    50 to 60 decibels is the approximate loudness level of normal conversational speech. Exposure to sounds equal to or in excess of 85 to 90 decibels for an extended period of time is damaging to the auditory system. Thus, exposure to gunfire is well outside the safe range for hearing. Hearing loss can result from one-time, repeated, and/or long-term exposure to loud sounds. The more frequently a person is exposed to gunfire, the more his or her ability to hear can be damaged. The ability to hear in the higher frequencies will decrease first if hearing protection is not used when firing a gun.

    If you're going to be in bear country you may want to consider wearing a pair of SureFire Sonic Defender Earplugs in addition to carrying bear Iron.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgb View Post
    50 to 60 decibels is the approximate loudness level of normal conversational speech. Exposure to sounds equal to or in excess of 85 to 90 decibels for an extended period of time is damaging to the auditory system. Thus, exposure to gunfire is well outside the safe range for hearing. Hearing loss can result from one-time, repeated, and/or long-term exposure to loud sounds. The more frequently a person is exposed to gunfire, the more his or her ability to hear can be damaged. The ability to hear in the higher frequencies will decrease first if hearing protection is not used when firing a gun.

    If you're going to be in bear country you may want to consider wearing a pair of SureFire Sonic Defender Earplugs in addition to carrying bear Iron.
    Thanks! Those look like great earplugs for the range. Not so sure it's practical for the whole family to camp with ear plugs though.

    I may just consider the .44 magnum more seriously now. Yes, it's loud too, but shouldn't be quite as bad. I'm going to see if I can find decibel levels between the two rounds
    Last edited by MisterB; July 13th, 2012 at 01:19 AM.

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    I'd get a shot gun with a folding stock and 18.5" bbl with slugs on a sling
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I'd get a shot gun with a folding stock and 18.5" bbl with slugs on a sling
    I've got all that, minus the folding stock. I'll most likely take it camping, but at the same time it is just so much more convenient and realistic to have an Alaskan on an owb holster.

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    Ear damage is cumulative. Each time you exceed the tolerable sound levels damage occurs. There are so many variables that you can not say that after "X" number of shots with a specific gun you will loose a specific percentage of hearing but you will notice the tinnitus effect that may or may not be permanent but only time will tell after an exposure to high sound levels.

    You choice is to be deaf to some degree or be bear scat. One of those choices still allows for a full rich life. The other not so much.

    Edited to add:

    You don't need to be shot to know that a bullet wound hurts so believe that you don't need to try shooting without ear protection just to see what it's like.
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    If I'm presented with a bear, and put in a life threatening situation, my hearing will be the last thing on my mind at the moment. If you are forced into using your weapon for SD, you will most likely not be wearing hearing protection, and if you have time to put them in, you don't need your gun.
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    Your chances of actually being attacked by a bear are slim.
    But, if it's not a false charge or intimidation demeanor and you are really about to be attacked by a bear.
    Take the possible hearing loss, use your firearm to the best of your ability...and call it your lucky day.
    If you do a bit of research on the Web you can learn a lot about bear behavior and what is (and what is not) behaviour indicative of an impending attack.
    If you happen to find yourself between Mama bear and a cub then all bets are off.
    You don't want to end up like this guy.
    Luckily the idiot ended up OK. A major miracle. One bite to the neck and it would have been "Goodnight Irene" for him.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    If I'm presented with a bear, and put in a life threatening situation, my hearing will be the last thing on my mind at the moment. If you are forced into using your weapon for SD, you will most likely not be wearing hearing protection, and if you have time to put them in, you don't need your gun.
    Well, of course...but since I'm not currently in such a predicament, I can plan ahead now and be prepared

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Your chances of actually being attacked by a bear are slim.
    But, if it's not a false charge or intimidation demeanor and you are really about to be attacked by a bear.
    Take the possible hearing loss, use your firearm to the best of your ability...and call it your lucky day.
    If you do a bit of research on the Web you can learn a lot about bear behavior and what is (and what is not) behaviour indicative of an impending attack.
    If you happen to find yourself between Mama bear and a cub then all bets are off.
    You don't want to end up like this guy.
    Luckily the idiot ended up OK. A major miracle. One bite to the neck and it would have been "Goodnight Irene" for him.

    Good points. The thing that gets in my head, is the fact that these are wild animals that can have a bad day like any human and behave irrationally. There's an area I like to camp, and a few years back a kid got taken out of his tent by a black bear, who made a meal out of him. Turns out the kid had a candy bar or something like that in the tent. Of course, this could have probably been prevented, but it's sometimes really difficult to prevent. Hell, they even like the smell of toothpaste.

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    Stick your head in a 55 gallon drum, let someone beat on it with a sledge hammer, then multiply that by 100. Your still no where close to the noisy you'll be exposed to, but if you need it to protect yourself from a bear attack, I guess it won't matter.
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