Question about hearing protection

This is a discussion on Question about hearing protection within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm pretty new to shooting, so bear with me if this is a dumb question. So far, I've just been renting eye and eye protection ...

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Thread: Question about hearing protection

  1. #1
    Member Array stromboy84's Avatar
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    Question about hearing protection

    I'm pretty new to shooting, so bear with me if this is a dumb question. So far, I've just been renting eye and eye protection when I go to the range. Even though it's cheap to rent, I figure it's time I just buy my own.

    I been looking at different ones online, and it seems like there's the normal "ear-muff" style, and then there's the "inside the ear" style, like the SureFire EarPro Sonic Defenders. I can't imagine the "inside the ear" styles offer the same level of protection, so I'm leaning towards the normal ones. But the SureFire ones look pretty nice too. Am I missing something?

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    I'm sure you mean eye and ear protection. I have used both in ear, and ear muff hearing protection. I just got the in ear silicon molded hearing protectors and they are great. A little pricey at $50, but well worth the money. I also have a set of Leight ear muff type and they work great also. The only complaint about the ear muff type is that they get so wet when I perspire.

    A lot depends on where you shoot. I shoot mostly indoors at ranges that have a lot of "soft" walls. That is to say fiberboard dividers and rubber backstops. In those situations either type work, it just depends on what you feel most comfortable with. One of the ranges at which I shoot has all "hard" surfaces like polycarbonate dividers steel ceiling and steel backstops. At that range I usually end up using both in ear and ear muff hearing protectors.

    Some people use the foam, or rubber earplugs, but they hurt my ears after a few hours so I switched to the silicone.

    Unless you decide to go with electronics, I think you should just get the highest DB rated hearing protection you can find. (usually 26 - 30 db ratings) You only get two ears and noise damage is NOT, I repeat NOT, repairable. Unless you prefer hearing aids, keep your ears protected.
    "If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."

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    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I like electronic ones.

    I have a pair by Howard Leight that I picked up for about $70.

    If you take a shooting class then they are invaluable.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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    Member Array stromboy84's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. I shoot pretty exclusively at an indoor range. Honestly, I don't know anything about the walls there. I've actually been thinking about using the soft foam ones, along with the ear muffs. I figure, the less dBs, the better.

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    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
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    I can't use my electronic hearing protection shooting precision bench rest because the muff interferes with my sight alignment, so I use the foam plugs. Shooting pistol matches I use my electronics because it's a must to hear commands and communicate with the safety officers. Highest Blocking Moldable Ear Plugs has some comfortable plugs that I've worn all day with no problem, other than it's like inserting gummed beeswax in your ear, but they work great.

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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stromboy84 View Post
    Thanks for the input. I shoot pretty exclusively at an indoor range. Honestly, I don't know anything about the walls there. I've actually been thinking about using the soft foam ones, along with the ear muffs. I figure, the less dBs, the better.
    - That's what I currently do. Ear plugs and ear muffs. You only get one chance to protect your hearing.

  8. #7
    New Member Array MikeVirginia's Avatar
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    The over the ear protectors offer much better protection as they eliminate sound leakage through the skin of the ear itself. Try both and you'll notice there is less "startle" with the over the ear. I bought a Remington R2000 (electronic) at Gander Mtn. for $99 last summer and it was horrible. It "sat" on the ears rather than cupping them. I only got about 3 dB sound reduction. I knew something was wrong when I put them on at home with them turned off and I could still clearly hear the TV set! And the cover on the headstrap was coming off even when I took it out of the blister pack for the first time. Stay away! I returned them and got a pair of Caldwells for $30 something that works great. Also, I just went to Northern Tool and bought a pair of electronic ones (for use around machinery) for $12. Guess what! They work great and I can hear the range commands! I let my friends use this while I wear my Caldwells (they are stereo). I can talk to them easily as I shoot. I've been shooting for over 40 years and this year I'm finally seeing the advantages of electronic hearing protection for the first time!

  9. #8
    Member Array Penhall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stromboy84 View Post
    I've actually been thinking about using the soft foam ones, along with the ear muffs. I figure, the less dBs, the better.
    This is what I do. I find with both, I get a little bit better noise reduction, but more importantly, I feel a lot less "impact" from the sound waves generated by other shooters around me.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Sarge43's Avatar
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    I love the electronic variety ear muffs. It's great being able to have a normal toned conversation on the range and not have to worry about taking anything off or putting anything on to start shooting again. These things start at around $49 and go up from there depending on options (stereo, muff style, MP3 hookups etc).
    Good luck!
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  11. #10
    Member Array Nicegy525's Avatar
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    I have some electronic over the ear muffs and one of the side benefits is it gives you super hearing in the house at night. Good for spying on kids and such... =)

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    Huh? What'd you say?
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  13. #12
    Member Array thephanatik's Avatar
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    I personally don't like the foam in-ear hearing protection, but I almost entirely shoot with SureFire EarPro (EP3). I shoot at an outdoor range, which tends to be quieter than an indoor range. I personally think the SureFire EarPro is more than adequate for an outdoor pistol range, but I double up with over the ear protection for larger caliber rifles or if I was going to be shooting indoors. If you are getting a set of over the ear protection, find some slim ones. I found the regular ones affect my cheek weld.
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  14. #13
    Ex Member Array Yankeejib's Avatar
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    Indoor ranges can be brutally loud. I prefer over-the-ear muffs there. Outside, muffs can cause problems shooting rifles with getting a good cheek weld. There, I just use twisty foam plugs. I have a dB meter and have pegged 175 dB indoors. This is equivalent to two weeks of an uninterrupted "unsafe noise level" workplace. Can you imagine shooting a .357 snub inside a closed car? Ouch.

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