Anyone else damaged their hearing from firing one shot?

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Thread: Anyone else damaged their hearing from firing one shot?

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    Member Array Ford's Avatar
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    Anyone else damaged their hearing from firing one shot?

    Back in July I fired ONE shot out of my 4" 1911, a plain old Winchester White Box target round, and my right ear is still ringing 5 months later. I plan to go to the doctor for my regular check up early next year, and ask him to refer me to an ear doctor to see if anything can be done.

    I have no excuse for neglecting the hearing protection. I had a horse that needed put down, and gunshot is the only practical method on a ranch in Colorado. If a vet does the lethal injection, you have to bury them 6' down, which means an 8-9' hole, to prevent birds of prey from eating them (not to mention bears, coyotes, etc). The ground is way too rocky for such a hole. So even the vets out here practice gunshot euthanasia. So I was taking the horse out to a secluded spot, and about half way there realized I hadn't brought any earplugs. So I decided one shot wouldn't be that bad. As soon as I fired I knew I was wrong, I think the noise bounced off the horses skull and right back in my right ear.

    For what its worth, it was extremely humane for the horse. I was there when my first horse was put down (injection) when I was 15, and having put one down with a gunshot I believe it to be just as humane, if not more so. The horse never knew what hit it and was dead before it hit the ground. But now I carry a pair of earplugs with me pretty much always, in case I'm caught in a church service where they're playing music too loud, or if I'm out in the back country and need to put something down.

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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    I have fired without hearing protection before but haven't had anything ringing 5 months later

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    Array bmcgilvray's Avatar
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    Everyone damages their hearing from firing one shot.

    Think about it. Hearing damage from gunfire is incremental and cumulative whether it makes itself apparent with the first shot or not.
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    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    I have had my ears ringing from shooting without ear protection - among other things.

    Ringing for 5 months is tinnitus. Tinnitus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Sorry about your horse.

    Austin

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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Hearing damage is cumulative. Every exposure to excessive sound pressures does a bit more damage.

    you only get one set, protect them best you can.
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    NRA Personal Protection and Basic Pistol Instructor

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    Member Array gooseman1991's Avatar
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    Well I can't tell any permanent damage but I've been rung up pretty good twice.

    1. Took plugs out to answer a phone call hunting, surrounding hunters kept shooting, was ringing for days before my normal hearing came back (after that I couldn't tell any difference).

    2. When trying to decide on a carry gun I thought it would be a good idea to know how loud a carry pistol would be so I fired one shot from a 9mm unplugged (stupid I know). I had ringing and muffled hearing for about 2 hours and could notice ringing when I was in complete silence for weeks. 3 months later sometimes I still think I hear it in silence but I am not sure if it's worse than before or not. I could hear ringing in silence some since I was a kid.

    I will add this, I decided to carry a 45 instead of the 9mm because shooting them WITH earplugs, the 45 I have is noticeably quieter than the 9mm with standard loads and I think if I ever needed to shoot in self-defense the 45 wouldn't deafen me AS MUCH as the 9mm.

    I was born with hearing only in my right ear (no cochlea) so I know hearing loss is not fun, protect what you have. I have learned my lesson and the only way I will shoot even a 22 unplugged is if I were fixing to be killed.

    Hope it gets better or something can be done to help,
    Goose
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    Ex Member Array ANGLICO's Avatar
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    Yes, but it was a Super-8 charge out of a M-198, 155 MM Howitzer.........................
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    Member Array Idahokid's Avatar
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    I shot some reloads for a 44 mag and my ears rang for a few hours later.next day they were fine.But learned a lesson.
    Sorry about the horse.We had to put down a 35 year old appy.Tough deal.
    Don't believe everything you think.

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    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Huh? What'd you say?

    Nah, according to my recent hearing test, all the years of loud music and shooting hasn't damaged anything. I do wear ear protection when shooting though.
    "Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." - Benjamin Franklin
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    Member Array highorder's Avatar
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    Anyone else damaged their hearing from firing one shot?

    I once fired a 4" .357 magnum in a basement. One shot. My left ear has never been the same. The ringing lasted 4 days.

    It's been 12 years. I have noticeable frequency loss in that ear. It's never been the same.

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    Member Array GunsAndViolince's Avatar
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    Yeah, actually I fired my 9mm once without plugs by accident. Now, I've had very mild tinnitus since childhood, and the years I've spent as a musician haven't made that any better. However, after that one shot, I started noticing the ringing in louder environments than I had been able to hear it before. So, I figure that one shot, though it was part of a cumulative set of circumstances did, in fact, make it more noticable than it had been before.

    @gooseman1991. While my experience was accidental, I did find it interesting how frickin' loud my carry gun (at the time) really is, so I don't think your experiment was completely crazy, though as you noted, ill-advised. I also have the impression my 45 is not as loud as the 9. Wonder why that is.

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    Ex Member Array ANGLICO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunsAndViolince View Post
    Yeah, actually I fired my 9mm once without plugs by accident. Now, I've had very mild tinnitus since childhood, and the years I've spent as a musician haven't made that any better. However, after that one shot, I started noticing the ringing in louder environments than I had been able to hear it before. So, I figure that one shot, though it was part of a cumulative set of circumstances did, in fact, make it more noticable than it had been before.

    @gooseman1991. While my experience was accidental, I did find it interesting how frickin' loud my carry gun (at the time) really is, so I don't think your experiment was completely crazy, though as you noted, ill-advised. I also have the impression my 45 is not as loud as the 9. Wonder why that is.
    All I gots to say, is there are a lot of 'Meat Eaters' on this site who have done the CQB and no hearing protection - 'cause you can't control the stack if you can't hear' and other reasons..... (most in this category have more hear loss from Helo turbine whine and noise than small arms...)


    Anyway, in response to your 9MM to .45 comment about preception noise level... one may have been sonic and one sub-sonic, or, it could have been the conditions of the range.

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    Many years of playing rock-n-roll with big amps in small clubs has done more damage to my hearing that shooting.
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    Member Array gooseman1991's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunsAndViolince View Post
    Yeah, actually I fired my 9mm once without plugs by accident. Now, I've had very mild tinnitus since childhood, and the years I've spent as a musician haven't made that any better. However, after that one shot, I started noticing the ringing in louder environments than I had been able to hear it before. So, I figure that one shot, though it was part of a cumulative set of circumstances did, in fact, make it more noticable than it had been before.

    @gooseman1991. While my experience was accidental, I did find it interesting how frickin' loud my carry gun (at the time) really is, so I don't think your experiment was completely crazy, though as you noted, ill-advised. I also have the impression my 45 is not as loud as the 9. Wonder why that is.
    As Anglico said, I think it has to do with super sonic and sub sonic rounds. It is to my understanding that in normal loads 9mm is light and fast where 45's are fat and slow (slower than speed of sound) which makes them slightly quieter in comparable guns with same barrel lengths. I've been into guns a long time but before I got into pistols I never would have guessed that.

    Goose
    "These days I go down to Wal-Mart and they sell 'em in the back.
    Some people wanna take 'em away, why don't you go bust them boys that's sellin' crack.
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    Come on man it ain't like I'm a slingin' 'em on the block." - Justin Moore

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    Member Array MBRIDER's Avatar
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    When I first started shooting I went to the indoor range. Guy next to me was shooting a .500 mag. I had plugs not muffs in. Stupid me didn't leave immediately! Every shot he fired sent chills down my spine and I could feel ripple through my whole body. It took about 24 hours for the muffling and ringing to go away. It is a VERY scary feeling when your hearing is messed up like that and you don't know when, if ever it will go back to normal. Lesson learned, that is one feeling I am not ever willing to experience again! No long term damage that I can tell thank god.
    gooseman1991 likes this.

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