Hearing Protection for shooting

Hearing Protection for shooting

This is a discussion on Hearing Protection for shooting within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; So, when I first bought my gun I also got some Howard Leight ear-muffs, which were rated for 25 NRR. My 10/22 isn't terribly loud, ...

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  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Pythius's Avatar
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    Hearing Protection for shooting

    So, when I first bought my gun I also got some Howard Leight ear-muffs, which were rated for 25 NRR.

    My 10/22 isn't terribly loud, but some of the guns the guys there use are like cannons!! you can feel the shockwave bounce off the walls when they fire.

    anyways, after shooting last wednesday my left ear is still ringing....though I do have a lot of congestion and a cold, which may be part of it.

    either way, I feel the hearing protection I have isn't enough. So today I turned in the old muffs and paid the extra $16 to get the Howard Leight Muffs rated 30 NRR. I also bought some foam inner-ear protection to use with the muffs.

    however, I also got some muffs made by 3M which are also rated 30 NRR, and I notice I can hear the conversation on the tv a wee bit more with the Howard Leight muffs than the 3M muffs.

    is this because the Howard Leight Muffs are made to allow through more conversation....or are the 3M muffs just better? whichever you guys tell me is the better ones...I will return the others tomorow or Wednrsday.


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    NRR is measured using an anthropomorphic head with an ideal fit. If the muffs don't fit you right, you're not getting the hearing protection you need.

    The cheapest solution is to double up - use the disposable foam plugs in addition to the muffs. But most people don't learn how to use them correctly; you roll them to compress them, and insert in the ear with the off hand tugging upward on the top of the ear to straighten the ear canal as you insert the plug. This optimizes the fit of the plug.

    Better yet, but with a major uptick in cost, are the powered, active earpro which filter blast-level frequencies yet allow voice to be heard. There a few different types, but MSA Sordin Supreme Pro are among the best of the best, and you'll drop about $250 on them. But, hearing loss is irreversible, and $250 is a fraction of the cost of a single hearing aid. ("Pay me now, or pay me lots more later.")

    Shooting indoors is almost always worse than outdoors, because of the proximity of sound-reflecting surfaces (e.g., floors) and the limited ability of soft surfaces to attenuate muzzle blast.
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    Ex Member Array Pythius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gasmitty View Post
    NRR is measured using an anthropomorphic head with an ideal fit. If the muffs don't fit you right, you're not getting the hearing protection you need.

    The cheapest solution is to double up - use the disposable foam plugs in addition to the muffs. But most people don't learn how to use them correctly; you roll them to compress them, and insert on the ear with the off hand tugging upward on the top of the ear to straighten the ear canal as you insert the plug. This optimizes the fit of the plug.

    Better yet, but with a major uptick in cost, are the powered, active earpro which filter blast-level frequencies yet allow voice to be heard. There a few different types, but MSA Sordin Supreme Pro are among the best of the best, and you'll drop about $250 on them. But, hearing loss is irreversible, and $250 is a fraction of the cost of a single hearing aid. ("Pay me now, or pay me lots more later.")

    Shooting indoors is almost always worse than outdoors, because of the proximity of sound-reflecting surfaces (e.g., floors) and the limited ability of soft surfaces to attenuate muzzle blast.
    what about the two muffs I described? Are the Howard Leight ones simply made to allow in more conversation...or are they not as good as the 3M ones?

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    It has nothing to do with them not being as good. It sounds like the Howard Leight muffs just don't fit you as well as the 3M model does. They are standardized at the same level, so they'll both block the same amount of noise on the standard head that is used for the measurements. However unless that matches your head exactly there will be some brands that fit you better than others.
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    Ex Member Array Pythius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echo_Four View Post
    It has nothing to do with them not being as good. It sounds like the Howard Leight muffs just don't fit you as well as the 3M model does. They are standardized at the same level, so they'll both block the same amount of noise on the standard head that is used for the measurements. However unless that matches your head exactly there will be some brands that fit you better than others.
    yup, I got a similar view in another forum. Looks like the 3Ms are fitting my head better.

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    I'd recommend you go with the Howard Leights Impact Sports (electronic) and when you're at an indoor range or close to big bore shooting double up with foam plugs. I've tried many brands but this is the combination that allows you to hear range commands and protects your ears.
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    Ex Member Array Pythius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NC Bullseye View Post
    I'd recommend you go with the Howard Leights Impact Sports (electronic) and when you're at an indoor range or close to big bore shooting double up with foam plugs. I've tried many brands but this is the combination that allows you to hear range commands and protects your ears.
    Im leaning towards the 3Ms...due to the noticeable difference in sound.

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    I use the foam ear plugs from Walmart.

    I get a huge box for about $3 and they are listed as a 33db reduction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pythius View Post
    Im leaning towards the 3Ms...due to the noticeable difference in sound.
    Have you tried the electronic with foam plugs?

    Are the 3M electronic muffs that let you hear well except for when shots are fired? That makes a big difference in range work. Also, if your shooting rifle at all you need to check the cheek weld. Many standard muffs are too thick to provide adequate clearance to shoot rifles.
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    "my left ear is still ringing"

    NOTE: Any time your ears are ringing you are suffering incremental hearing damage. Listen to your ringing ears. They are giving you a warning signal.

    I am now using Walkers Game Ear electronic power muffs. They work great for me and I love the greatly amplified normal conversation. SO...if I want to add additional foam plugs I can still hear absolutely everything going on around me in stereo.
    And the fact that the model I have uses common AA batteries.
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    I use howard leight electronic muffs,if your shooting in an indoor range the sound is worse than outside,If people are shooting hand cannons or large caliber rifles it never hurts to double up with foam plugs and muffs
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    Yep, got some cheap muffs that are electronic. They work alright and are fine by themselves for outdoors, but indoors I HAVE to double up with foam plugs also.
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    I dont use muffs anymore..I just use a Silencer.

    Sorry..couldnt resist
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    I've always used decent ear plugs, then added a simple electronic muff to them. IIRC, the plugs have been ~25-27 NRR, and the muffs have been ~25+ NNR. It muffles far more overall sound than just the muffs themselves, and avoids the need to spend the cash for a spendy all-in-one muff unit.

    Softer plastic-type plugs, and the Silencio "yellow" electronic muffs. Worked well, if a bit aggressive on the muffling. Tuned to maximum conversational settings, they worked fine.
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    I've got terminal tennitis from too many years around jet engines. My ears are always ringing like a house alarm going off. I don't have any problems with just foam plugs on an outdoor range, but inside I always use plugs and muffs.
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