Hearing Protection while on patrol/combat?

This is a discussion on Hearing Protection while on patrol/combat? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; What sort of hearing protection do soldiers wear in combat? Do LEO's wear hearing protection when they are serving warrants or when there is likely ...

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Thread: Hearing Protection while on patrol/combat?

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Hearing Protection while on patrol/combat?

    What sort of hearing protection do soldiers wear in combat? Do LEO's wear hearing protection when they are serving warrants or when there is likely to be gunfire? We all know guns are loud and damage your hearing, but there are times when you need to hear your buddies and the BG's...

    I was shooting my AR today, outside, with both earplugs and ear muffs, and felt like I was holding a cannon. I can't imagine being exposed to it without protection on a frequent basis.

    How does one protect their hearing, but maintain the proper level of awareness and communication?

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    When you use your gun in self defense, you hardly hear it. Damage still does occur though. I've never worn hearing protection while on the job, both in military and LE settings. (outside of training of course)
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    We have doublesided "combat" earplugs. One side is a solid plug (rubber wipes), and the other side has a hole through it so you can hear talking better. I can't attest to how often they get used by infantry.

    Westone makes some really good earplugs with some kind of valve in them. They are custom fit to your ear, and you hear pretty much normally until you shoot, and the valve closes. I use them and they are nice. Expensive though.
    -Ryan

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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    My daughter (Army) just has plain old ear plugs the reusable kind and not the foam. But I have often wondered just why they do not use the sound amplified, noise limiting type. I have early design set called "Action Ear" and you can adjust them so you can hear a normal conversation from someone over 125 yards away, but when you shoot all you hear is the click of the action as it slides home, the bang is very muffled. So other than battery life... would it not be a good idea to be able to hear someone on the other side of the door before you opened it... they could even link communications to it.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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    Never used them while I was active outside of a range. To be honest the very few times I had to fire my weapon outside of a range ear plugs never entered my mind.
    “The will to survive is not as important as the will to prevail... the answer to criminal aggression is retaliation.” Jeff Cooper

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    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    Never on the job, never had to shoot ether.
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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    The ability to hear is too important to do anything that limits your ability to do so.

    Once the shooting starts, it's too late, and besides, at that point I always seemed to have more pressing things on my mind.........
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

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    VIP Member Array Dal1Celt's Avatar
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    Training, on ranges, yes!

    Walking patrols? NO!!

    As stated before the ability to hear something as simple as a click, ting or any slight metalic click is more important then when the SHTF.
    "Without fear there can be no Courage!"

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dal1Celt View Post
    Training, on ranges, yes!

    Walking patrols? NO!!

    As stated before the ability to hear something as simple as a click, ting or any slight metalic click is more important then when the SHTF.
    Ditto
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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    thx for all the replies... this question has been in the back of my mind for a while

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    Well, I'm a little late, but hey. Those double sided earplugs are great for the range, but on patrol they pretty much never get used. You need to be able to hear better than they allow you to, I know guys that would be dead for various reasons had they had earplugs in.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

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    Lots of us types wear Peltors (Tac 6 is nice and simple and tough) or other electronic amplifying muffs when operating from inside vehicles, especially armored ones. The better ones are really sophisticated...I'm told some might actually improve your hearing acuity rather than diminish it. My peltors simply do a reasonable job of maintaining decent hearing while cutting out loud bangs.

    I lost a lot of hearing as a Marine grunt shooting SAWs and the like with no hearing pro.

    Peltors are great on the range, too, but I only found that out after getting them for operations.

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    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    The Army at least is really striving to enforce the use of safety equipment in the field. The double end plugs seem to be standard issue now (hard to tell as a career counselor in St Louis). Of course it's going to reduce situational awareness to a degree even with the yellow side (the side where you can still hear) in, but these days we aren't exactly sneaking through the woods like ninjas. From a military standpoint, I'd say it's better to keep the hearing.

    I read a story a few years back:
    Soldier in Iraq was hit with an IED. He had body armor, helmet, ballistic glasses, and ear pugs in. He survived the blast, kept his eye sight, and only suffered hearing damage to the ear where he had removed the plug to talk on the radio.
    "and suddenly I can not hold back my sword hand's anger"

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    Senior Member Array A1C Lickey's Avatar
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    When I was in the dessert if we were on patrols (we did the internal patrols and Air Field security, the Army and part of Security Forces did everything outside the wire) no EP's. However, when we were on tower duty it was a completely different thing. You'd have them with you and it was recommended that you use them while firing.
    TSgt. Lickey

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    Ex Member Array DOGOFWAR01's Avatar
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    Now days, I used electronic muffs in the house, by the bed every night. Hearing not good as it once was, but with electronic muffs I can hear a pin drop on the other end of the house. I also carry electronic muffs in my pack along with other stuff whenever I leave the house.

    On the range I use 30 db rating muffs (not electronic) and double up with ear plugs to increase my hearing protection.

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