How many decibels is a .357mag?

This is a discussion on How many decibels is a .357mag? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Does anyone have a link to general decibel levels of the most popular defensive cartridges? I understand that it's a small part of the equation ...

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Thread: How many decibels is a .357mag?

  1. #1
    Member Array Dolphin's Avatar
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    How many decibels is a .357mag?

    Does anyone have a link to general decibel levels of the most popular defensive cartridges? I understand that it's a small part of the equation and would probably not be discernable in a home defensive shooting but after firing 1 round of my .357 mag defensive load indoors as an experiment (with controls in a desert cabin) in the dark without hearing protection, I need to reevaluate my choice as I was temporarily blinded and deafened, and no longer believe this would be the preferred round for a bedside load. I don't recommend this test to anyone, but sometimes you just have to know.

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    1) Don't do that again.
    2) Depending on the caliber and load, gunshots can reach 170db. It does not really matter what caliber since anything above 85db will damage your ears. From a 22 to a 357 sig, rest assured you will be feeling it inside a closed space.
    3) Get some MidwayUSA - Caldwell Sound-Right ES-85 Electronic Earmuffs (NRR 27) Green. Keep them next to your gun and use them if you have the chance.
    4) If need arises and you can't protect your ears... protect your life first!. You can adapt your life to a hearing impairment but dead is dead.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    Good grief man!!! It's enough to know that you can damage your hearing like that. Please don't ever do that again.

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    Member Array MadDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggy View Post
    1) Don't do that again.
    2) Depending on the caliber and load, gunshots can reach 170db. It does not really matter what caliber since anything above 85db will damage your ears. From a 22 to a 357 sig, rest assured you will be feeling it inside a closed space.
    3) Get some MidwayUSA - Caldwell Sound-Right ES-85 Electronic Earmuffs (NRR 27) Green. Keep them next to your gun and use them if you have the chance.
    4) If need arises and you can't protect your ears... protect your life first!. You can adapt your life to a hearing impairment but dead is dead.
    very good advice. I use to work at the airport, and I had jetblast blow off my earmuffs in the middle of marshling out an aircraft . I couldn't hear anything the rest of my shift. Becasue I worked at the airport I have several muffs and earplugs in my room i can get to quick as I can reach for my gun. Like miggy said "You can adapt your life to a hearing impairment but dead is dead."
    I believe in gun control...... Thats why I use TWO hands.

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    Distinguished Member Array BIG E's Avatar
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    Actually, I have to disagree with everyone on this one.

    I think the test was a great idea and something that I would do myself. We are all familiar with our weapons and how they affect us in the daylight at the range. We have on our shields and muffs and all is well. However, how is firing that gun in your dark hallway at 3am with no muffs and a barking dog going to affect you? You found out.

    I would want to have that information upfront. I want to know that if I have to discharge my weapon in my home in the dark that it is very possible that I will be temporarily blind and deaf. I need to know if I will be able to access the threat after shots are fired. This also gives good insight on possible problems if you are shot at in your home.

    If this experience has made you second guess your bedside load then maybe that is a good thing. It got you thinking about more that just point and shoot.

    Well done ( what?) well done (what?) WELL DONE!!!!!!!
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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    What did he say...I shot a lot in the military w/out protection and was around jets taking off and landing daily ,for a long time i couldn't hear birds sing,i could just read their little lips, they go chirp chirp you deaf idiot.some of my hearing did return after awhile but that's not normal

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Growing up with guns, long before ear protection, I wonder how I can even hear today.
    I really don't want to wear muffs if I think someone's in my house...I'll need every sense in my body.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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    Member Array Dolphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
    Growing up with guns, long before ear protection, I wonder how I can even hear today.
    I really don't want to wear muffs if I think someone's in my house...I'll need every sense in my body.
    I strongly agree!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmhawth View Post
    Good grief man!!! It's enough to know that you can damage your hearing like that. Please don't ever do that again.
    +1. As a long time police firearms and tactics instructor, I commend your zeal for realism in training. But there are some things you just have to take on faith, and the fact that a .357 Magnum will damage your ears in a closed space is one of them. I would have been fired in a heartbeat for conducting such an experiment or for allowing it to be conducted under my authority and supervision. Good intentions, bad idea neighbor.

    JayPee

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    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    I think preserving your hearing will help you to hear sounds of danger. I once shot a .22LR without earplugs at an indoor range -- one round made my ears ring for the rest of the time I was there.

    I always wear both plugs and muffs... even outdoors.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I'm with the folks that say you should at least experience it.

    Obviously it came as a huge shock to you... that means it may have affected you in a negative way during a life or death situation.

    While I don't think you should shoot all the time without protection, doing it a few times so you know what to expect will help. The adrenaline and other natural biological events will handle the rest.

    The first gun I shot without hearing protection was a Mauser...

    It went something like this:



    Wear muffs. But know what to expect when you're not.

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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    Something really kind of odd takes place in a shooting situation. When your adrenaline levels hit a really high level (this happens when you feel extreme danger) your hearing will shut down to protect it self. The problem with this is that when people are shooting at you; you may think they are shooting a small caliber when if fact it may be a very large report. Another thing that happens you will get tunnel vision. What you see as a threat will become your full attention; this is very dangerous in the fact that the BG may have friends, so you must keep your head moving to catch other targets that may appear. I have experienced this and have interviewed many people including LEOs about this phenomenon. By no means am I saying this always happens: but it does happen.
    Last edited by Reborn; March 25th, 2008 at 08:15 PM. Reason: added statement
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    ... By no means am I saying this always happens: but it does happen.
    I'm one of the oddities... I have been on the receiving end of gunfire and it is like someone is detonating dynamite, and my sidearm sounded like a howitzer. The thwap and crack of near hits was deafening. I do get terrible tunnel vision though. Your mileage may vary.

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    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    I'm one of the oddities... I have been on the receiving end of gunfire and it is like someone is detonating dynamite, and my sidearm sounded like a howitzer. The thwap and crack of near hits was deafening. I do get terrible tunnel vision though. Your mileage may vary.
    Maybe I was more skeered than you......
    Psalms 144:1
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  16. #15
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
    Maybe I was more skeered than you......
    Not possible... I practically had heart failure after it was over.

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