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Thread: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

  1. #1
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    Default Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    It's been quite a few years since I've shot a gun but next week I plan on doing some outdoor target shooting with my buddy and his 9mm Glock. I was wondering what I should bring for hearing protection? Do you think the Flent ear stopple foam inserts are sufficient or do I really need one of the headphone over the ear type protectors? I have a much higher awareness of protecting my hearing then I did in the past.
    I live in a van down by the river

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    Flashaholic* carbine15's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    If inserted correctly the foam plugs are sufficient. The problem is that they are uncomfortable. They are also more time-consuming. Removing them to hear better means taking the time to put them back in properly before each shoot. The earmuff - headphone style are usually slightly better at stopping harmful noise. If you have them, bring a pair of those. If you don't have a pair yet, look for the ones with electronics for detecting and stopping high Db levels but still let you talk. I had occasion to try a pair and was amazed.


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    *Flashaholic* Burgess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    i strongly recommend . . . .



    er, i mean,




    I STRONGLY RECOMMEND


    USING THE BEST HEARING PROTECTION AVAILABLE !








    A good pair of Headphones (over-the-head, or back-of-head)


    makes your shooting experience much more enjoyable.



    Good Luck, and good shooting.




    _

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    I use Norton chambered ear plugs, the same ones recommended for my former job as a jet engine tech and they handled the blast from 12 gauges and 44 mags with no issues. If you have mickey mouse headphones they work excellently too.
    will work for peanuts

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Look on the back of the package for information on the noise reduction levels. The more dB's it lowers, the better. However, valve type hearing protection will have a number lower than plugs or headphone styles since they lower the noise and pressure of sudden sounds and not the overall sound level.

    I've used hearing protection for about 40 years but I promise that you do not want to deal with tinnitus. That little ringing in your ears that goes away after loud noises someday will not go away. It's annoying and it can be painful. Spend money on hearing protection if need be but get good ones no matter what.
    "Show them a light, and they'll follow it anywhere..."

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    Flashaholic* Search's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    http://www.surefire.com/EP3-Sonic-Defenders

    Best thing you will ever use.

    The EP3s are more comfortable. They both allow noise under 80 db to come through clearly, but everything above 80 (which is dangerous) comes through at 80.

    I've used them for 6 hours of qualifying with Glock 31s and about 5 hours of qualifying with AR-15 platform rifles.

    I can shoot and still hear whats going on around me.

    Don't buy foam, please. It's outdated.


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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by carbine15 View Post
    If inserted correctly the foam plugs are sufficient. The problem is that they are uncomfortable.
    Gotta disagree here. I work in a high noise environment and wear earplugs every day. Because I'm cheap, I wear silicone plugs that can be washed daily and reused. If money was no object, I'd wear the disposable foam earplugs because they are much more comfortable. And as a bonus, they also reduce more noise.

    I have a pair of Silencio Magnum earmuffs and even with the liquid filled pads I have trouble getting them to seal well every time I put them on my big head. Because of that, I generally wear both at the range, and take the muffs off when I'm not shooting, and just keep in the earplugs. It's overkill, because the earplugs alone offer plenty of protection.

    It is a pain to take the foam plugs out and put them back in constantly, but after a while you become accustomed to the lower noise level and you can hear pretty well.

  8. #8
    Flashaholic* NA8's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    I like the EAR Classic foam earplugs:

    312-1201 E.A.R. Classic Uncorded
    (POLY BAG PACKS)
    (200 count)

    http://www.tasco-safety.com/earplugs...03.html#230006

    Always wear them with earmuffs over them.

    http://www.tasco-safety.com/ear-muffs.html

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    I think the problem I have with hearing protection is that I have a big nose.

    Okay, it sounds strange, but I can cover my ears with the best hearing protection and when shooting the percussion seems to go straight into my head.

    For now I just use the relatively cheap Pelton earmuff types. They work for me, anyway. I'd like to get some electronic active ones. I borrowed those once from a friend and they were much better than my passive ones, just expensive...
    Peter

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    How long will it be till you go shooting again? If you're only doing it this once and it'll be years before you go again, I'd pay 98 cents for a pair of ear plugs. I've fired my G26 thousands of times using a pair of $4 Harbor Freight ear muffs w/ no problems. They're rated at 28db reduction over most frequencies. I also picked up a box of 200 pairs of foam ear plugs for $7 from a rental place recently. They're rated at 30db reduction, I've used them before and they work fine too. While $13 for EP3's is hardly expensive, they're really not needed if they'll only get used once.

    Let us know how you like the Glock.
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    Flashaholic* powernoodle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    I wear the foam ones plus the over the ears flavor on top of that. My ears already ring 24/7, and I want to hold onto what I got.

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Any plugs over any muffs, as long as they fit you.

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Get the best rated you can, plugs and muffs make a good combo. Do NOT skimp. I shot too many times with too little protection. I am down to approx. 50 percent, and it aint coming back, ever. And at 50, I might have a long time still to miss what I aint got...
    Lee

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    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Search View Post
    http://www.surefire.com/EP3-Sonic-Defenders

    Best thing you will ever use.

    The EP3s are more comfortable. They both allow noise under 80 db to come through clearly, but everything above 80 (which is dangerous) comes through at 80.

    I've used them for 6 hours of qualifying with Glock 31s and about 5 hours of qualifying with AR-15 platform rifles.

    I can shoot and still hear whats going on around me.

    Don't buy foam, please. It's outdated.
    A little off topic but any word on using them off the range?
    Dad operates the table saw/miter saw quite alot and while the foam inserts are not effective the other the ear ones are very effective and sometimes I have to wave him off to get his attention. Do you think these might be the solution?

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Illum View Post
    A little off topic but any word on using them off the range?
    Dad operates the table saw/miter saw quite alot and while the foam inserts are not effective the other the ear ones are very effective and sometimes I have to wave him off to get his attention. Do you think these might be the solution?
    The local store only sells EP4s. I'm going to order EP3s because the bigger size is too much for my ears. My big head doesn't translate to big ear canals.

    When inserted properly, which is all the way in, they allow so much sound to come through is insane. They reduce everything over 80 dbs to 80 dbs.

    While firing a Glock 31 and an M16 they dropped their dbs so well I could shot the weapons and hear people yelling.

    Don't ask why people were yelling, shooting was more important.

    An operator can hear people talking normally and shot his weapon safely. Nothing compares. Quit using foam or muffs, they block EVERYTHING.

    It would make his saw and your voice (given you speak at 80dbs) the same. If you yelled at 80 dbs and his saw was emitting 120 dbs, he would hear you the same as the saw and be very comfortable doing it.


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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Most quality foam plugs work well outdoors if the terrain is open. If you shooting in a wooded area they might not do the job. I'm sensitive to sound so anything more that a .38 special and I have to double up with my electronic Peltors and plugs together. I'd wear the electronic muffs by themselves but when wearing necessary eye protection they don't seal up over my ear as perfectly as they should because of the arms. If you're taking a lot of breaks in between shooting the muffs will probably be convenient. I would just purchase a good set of muffs and a pack of foamies and then experiment with what works best. Have fun

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    Flashaholic* LukeA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Plugs and muffs together only give you 6 or so more dB protection than either by itself (about 30dB each).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    I do feel my post is being ignored.

    SureFire EP3s. Reduce every noise over 80 dbs down to 80dbs. Everything else comes through perfect.

    Why would you even think about anything else afterwords.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    I was one of the guys who read your post Search.

    I was just thinking to myself that I probably wasn't getting all that excited just because valved or dual mode plug technology has existed long before Surefire started making them. I can think of 5 or 6 brands off-hand that are somewhat popular. I've tried many of them including the Combat Arms, Aearo, Blast busters, Hocks and some others that I can't remember the name off. I'm sure that I'll eventually try the Surefire brand but to make a long story short I decided they're not all they're cracked up to be. They don't work nearly as well at letting voice through as an electronic muff and they don't seem to block noise nearly as effectively as the best super-foam plugs, regardless of their DB reduction rating. Maybe I'm just too picky or to sensitive but I sort of treat them as emergency ear protection.

    When I use plugs and electronic muffs together the muffs amplify speech enough that I can easily hear with the plugs in. Now, I don't always have to double plug but it makes a huge difference when I do. On the extreme side I shot a 9x25 Dillon race gun twice a week at indoor matches and it used to make me physically sick to my stomach if I didn't double up. In the open outdoors I can usually get away with one or the other unless I'm firing high pressure cartridges.

    I might be driving past the gun club today so I may have to stop in and give the Surefire's a try. You've got me curious as to whether they're really a departure from these other very similar types.

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    I don't want to sound like a jerk here, but my hearing is far too important to me to risk it with some electronic device. My brother in law sold safety equipment including several brands of electronic muffs and I could have gotten them at cost, but I never even asked about them. Why? My father had a serious hearing loss - 98% in his good ear - and I saw what that did to his quality of life. He knew it too. The $5,000 hearing aid he had did little to help him hear better. I was one of the few people he could chat with because I have a loud and fairly deep voice that he could hear. He often was offended by others who felt the need to shout and downright yell so he could hear them.

    Dad saw to it that I wore ear plugs when I mowed the lawn and encouraged me to wear them whenever I did anything that involved loud noise. I've only been to a few concerts where I didn't wear some kind of ear protection, and yes I still really enjoyed the concert.

    I wear ear plugs every day at work while other people who do the same job as I do don't bother with them. At the end of the day, I walk out of there with no ear ringing and I feel less fatigued because I didn't have to deal with loud noise for 8 hours. Earlier this year when I had my work physical they gave me a hearing test, and I scored better than an average woman of my age. I hope to do so for a long time.

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    Flashaholic* Search's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    SureFire isn't electronic.

    It uses the Hocks Noise Brake System.


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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radiophile View Post
    I don't want to sound like a jerk here, but my hearing is far too important to me to risk it with some electronic device.


    Hello radiophile, sorry to hear about your dad having so much trouble hearing. I've known a couple of people in my life who have also had more than a normal amount of difficulty as they've aged.

    Regarding the topic of electronic devices I didn't know if you were saying that you had heard something bad about them or that you were just sharing the story of your father to illustrate how it was important for you to be much more careful than your father was. In any case, I don't know of a single example where an electronic muff or plug ever damaged someone's ears.

    Electronic plugs and muffs are very conventional in the sense that they prevent unsafe DB levels from making their way into the ear canal. That is to say that a electronic muff when turned off behaves exactly like a regular non-electronic ear muff and an electronic ear plug when turned off behaves exactly like a regular non-electronic ear plug when turned off. All the electronic portion does is relays quiet or normal sounds to the ear via tiny speakers. You hear the lowest sound levels slightly amplified and normal sounds such as speech at a normal level. As soon as you clap your hands, slam a book on the desk, or fire a gun, the impulse noise is canceled. In other words the perception of a gun shot is exactly the same as a non-electronic muff since at that very micro second the muff essentially shuts itself off. Unlike even most MP3 players, the electronic muff or plug can't even be turned up to a point in which the tiny speakers could ever harm your ear drum. The amplitude just isn't very high.

    I've been shooting with electronic muffs since their release way back when they became reasonably priced. I'm going to just guess and say that was about 1980, at least that's when I was introduced to them as a young teen. I think that they're actually safer than conventional protection because they stay on most of the time and don't impede normal activities. With conventional protection you might take them off to talk to someone or to eat food or something and that's always when someone on the shooting line cracks off a large caliber rifle and catches you off guard.

    My dream electronic plugs are by Walkers but at several hundred dollars I just can't justify them since my Peltors work so well and cost me $79 on sale. I only dream about the others because plugs are so much more comfortable in hot weather. Muffs out here in the summer time leave the sides of your head drenched with sweat.
    Last edited by Patriot; 07-05-2009 at 04:03 PM.

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    What I guess I didn't get across is that hearing protection is important to me for a very good reason. I'm sure that foam and silicone ear plugs work, so I'm sticking with them and recommend them over other types. As a bonus, they're cheap!

    Muffs alone don't work for me so electronic muffs don't appeal to me. Neither does their price.

    I'd never heard of the Hocks Nose Breakers until Search mentioned them. They appear interesting if their NRR is accurate. I read that unless you have the custom molded models the attenuation of lower frequencies is not very good, and I need low frequency attenuation.

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Personally, I do just fine shooting with a pair of over the ear headphone hearing protection. But you may need to put "ear plugs" in and then put on over the ear hearing protection on. (if your firearm is very loud)
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    any earmuffs should be fine for glock, especially outdoor, i don't even use any when shooting .22.
    IMO you if you use gun for home defence, you should not use earmuffs all the time, you don't want unusual and new loud bang (since you never heard shots live) disorient you, during home invasion, when you got to have as much situational awareness as you can. in real life you wont use ear protection. and a second delay, might cost you or your loved ones dearly.
    IMO you have to be used to sound, muzzle flash, and recoil, none of it should be distracting.
    at the range i use earmuffs that i bought in home depot while back, work great. for me at least

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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by alpg88 View Post
    any earmuffs should be fine for glock, especially outdoor, i don't even use any when shooting .22.
    IMO you if you use gun for home defence, you should not use earmuffs all the time, you don't want unusual and new loud bang (since you never heard shots live) disorient you, during home invasion, when you got to have as much situational awareness as you can. in real life you wont use ear protection. and a second delay, might cost you or your loved ones dearly.
    IMO you have to be used to sound, muzzle flash, and recoil, none of it should be distracting.
    at the range i use earmuffs that i bought in home depot while back, work great. for me at least
    Wow - so I should go deaf practicing for the possibility of a crime? Did I read that right?

    I've used no ear plugs when I was the only person on the range and shooting a .22 rifle, but I always use them when shooting handguns - even .22s.

  27. #27
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Radiophile
    What I guess I didn't get across is that hearing protection is important to me for a very good reason
    Actually, I think you got that across quite well. I understood.


    Radiophile
    I'm sure that foam and silicone ear plugs work, so I'm sticking with them
    That makes sense and is also easy to understand. I explained the electronic devices because you gave the impression that they presented some level of "risk" which they do not.

    Radiophile
    I've used no ear plugs when I was the only person on the range and shooting a .22 rifle, but I always use them when shooting handguns - even .22s.
    I have some bad news for you then Radiophile. Since any sound above 85-90 decibels can be harmful, a .22 rifle is slowing damaging your ears at over 100 decibels depending on the type of action of the firearm. I place it into the category of exposure to something we sense as loud but don't actually realize that it's causing damage...sort of like a shop vac. No firearm, unless sufficiently suppressed, should ever be fired without hearing protection.

    With regards to alpg88's post,

    I do not agree with his take on practicing without hearing protection in an effort to, in my own words, acclimate the senses in preparation of a life threatening situation. We all know that guns are loud and the body naturally expects what is coming. When the brain is completely focused or occupied with something much more pressing and urgent it pushes your sensitivity to sound to the background. Even hunters can relate to firing at a once in a lifetime, big game animal, with a large caliber rifle. I'll speak from experience that I never even notice the heavy recoil, never mind the sonic report from the muzzle. I just don't think that experiencing weekly, naked eared shooting would give the defender some decided advantage during the act of protecting themselves. I'm sure there is some data available about this notion but I'm too tired to start searching for it at the moment. Either way, the disadvantages would far outweigh the benefits. Why would a person practically guarantee themselves years of diminished hearing in order to supposedly gain them a slight tactical advantage for a ten second encounter that will likely never happen, statistically speaking?

    Just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by Patriot; 07-06-2009 at 07:51 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radiophile View Post
    Wow - so I should go deaf practicing for the possibility of a crime? Did I read that right?

    .
    if you did you'd notice i said "you should not use earmuffs all the time". meaning some times use no muffs,
    and no you wont go deaf form few rounds without muffs, i know quite a few ex military that pretty much never used ear protection during their service, including me, guess what, none went deaf.
    you can't win a real race practicing on playstation, shooting isn't much different.
    unless your goal is just shooting paper , than like i said you should be just fine with any earmuffs (just not the ones that made to warm your ears in the winter), especially outdoors.

  29. #29
    *Flashaholic* Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    I'm very glad that you didn't go "deaf" but I'd also be surprised if you didn't lose some amount of hearing if you were exposed to enough muzzle blast. I only say that because the trap and skeet ranges up here are full of retired guys who shot for years without ear protection. The all proclaim how stupid they were to neglect their hearing and have turned their preaching to the younger generation about saving their thiers. It sounds like a good dose of wisdom to me.

    No disrespect meant, but the analogy of the playstation doesn't quite work for me. It would work if the the guy practicing for tactical scenarios was using one of those little blue or red, spring loaded dart guns with the suction cups on the end, for training. Obviously the differences between tactical firearms training and a child's dart gun are huge, as are the difference between a game console and a real race car.

    Instead, I'd liken the lack of ear plugs while shooting to the exact same lack of earplugs while driving an open header'd race car. You can do it and you might even get more audible feed back from the level of grip in the tires but at the same time you're doing irreversible damage to your hearing.

    Since saving your hearing is a win, win, situation and professionals train daily while using hearing protection, I'm unable to think of an analogy which would support forgoing hearing protection, even if occasionally.
    Last edited by Patriot; 07-06-2009 at 08:15 AM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Pistol target shooting, hearing protection?

    Quote Originally Posted by Search View Post
    SureFire isn't electronic.

    It uses the Hocks Noise Brake System.
    SureFire lists EP-3 at only 16 dB noise reduction (NRR), and the EP-4 at 19.
    The $20 Peltor earmuffs are 30 dB.

    While far less obtrusive than the Peltor's, the SureFire's seem to offer only 1/10 the sound reduction, don't they? Am I missing something important? I want to get this right.
    Peter

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