AR15.Com Archives
 What is the decibel level of a .223
schwome  [Member]
2/27/2008 2:36:30 PM
I ask this question, because I was looking at these for ear protection. www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/co_disp/displ/prrfnbr/24306/sesent/00/EP3-Sonic-Defendersandtrade
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Wheres-Waldo  [Team Member]
2/27/2008 2:40:28 PM
Those are pretty nifty...

As far as decibal levels, Im not sure of the range, but its not plesant.
Reguardless, every time you head to the range, you should carry some ear protection.
gtpness  [Team Member]
2/27/2008 2:55:29 PM
Usually around 160-170db. Those offer 16db noise reduction... meaning your average unsuppressed AR-15 would still be very harmful to your hearing.

Take note they don't advertise or show anyone using those things while shooting a firearm - just with stuff like powertools, guitar, etc.
GarandM1  [Member]
2/27/2008 2:56:47 PM
You can expect between 120-140 dB, with mil-spec 5.56 being a little louder than .223 because it's loaded hotter. But when you get that loud, the difference is minimal when it comes to preserving your hearing.

To put in into perspective, the OSHA 8-hour hearing protection standard is only 85 dB, with 90 dB for 4 hours. And decibel scales aren't arthimetic, but logarthmic, meaning that 120 dB is approximately 30 times louder than 90 dB.

OSHA has separate standards for "impact noise", which is what gunfire would be rated under, but I'm not as familiar with them.

Bottom line: Wear earplugs and/or earmuffs that have the highest dB reduction rating possible whenever you go shooting. You'll eventually go deaf if you don't. They don't have to be fancy-schmancy, expensive ones, though.
schwome  [Member]
2/27/2008 3:11:11 PM

Originally Posted By gtpness:
Usually around 160-170db. Those offer 16db noise reduction... meaning your average unsuppressed AR-15 would still be very harmful to your hearing.

Take note they don't advertise or show anyone using those things while shooting a firearm - just with stuff like powertools, guitar, etc.


I think the 16db reduction was only with the stoper filter things inserted. It says they reduce anyhting over 80db. I think they way it works is: it reduces the noise level of anyhting over 80db, but when you put those addition stoppers in, it no longer allows for converational noise levels to pass through, and adds an additional 16db level of reduction.
davewald  [Member]
2/27/2008 3:24:58 PM
Keep in mind that the typical cheapo foam ear plugs that are given away at most ranges have a noise reduction rating of about 29db. Not sure how the Surefire ones work without any sort of electronics, but I am sticking with my Radians. They are rated to 26db with electronic supression above 85db.
gtpness  [Team Member]
2/27/2008 3:26:25 PM
The way I read it is a total of 16db reduction with the stoppers in. First feature: 16dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) with stoppers in. Doesn't really say what it does without them installed, other than, "potentially harmful noises above 80db are reduced..." But by how much, it doesn't say - obviously not much if the total with the stoppers in is 16db. Either way those things only while firing an unsuppressed AR and you're going to be deaf shortly...

For what it's worth most ear muffs/electronic muffs provide 25-33db reduction.

GarandM1  [Member]
2/27/2008 3:31:48 PM

Originally Posted By gtpness:
The way I read it is a total of 16db reduction with the stoppers in. First feature: 16dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) with stoppers in. Doesn't really say what it does without them installed, other than, "potentially harmful noises above 80db are reduced..." But by how much, it doesn't say - obviously not much if the total with the stoppers in is 16db. Either way those things only while firing an unsuppressed AR and you're going to be deaf shortly...

For what it's worth most ear muffs/electronic muffs provide 25-33db reduction.



This is ARFCOM, get both!

I always "double up" at the range, putting in the standard 29 dB foam plugs and then wearing earmuffs along with them when I'm shooting (or when some guy next to me is trying out his super-hot .338 mag reloads ). That way I can take off my muffs for a while if they get sweaty/uncomfortable and still not have to worry about going deaf.

Plus, it pretty much reduces the noise to down to nothing.
fultoncoshooter  [Member]
2/27/2008 3:40:16 PM
dont laugh but 2 spent 9mm casings make great ear plugs
Jedberg  [Member]
2/27/2008 4:06:08 PM
http://www.surefire.com/maxexp/main/co_disp/displ/carfnbr/438/sesent/00

Buy one of these from surefire for a significant reduction in decibel. Just remember how many pairs of ear plugs youll lose and have to replace when you try to justify the price difference.



Jedidiah
Tyson79  [Team Member]
2/27/2008 5:05:11 PM
I was actually going to post a similar question. Whats the noise level difference between an AR15 without any muzzle device as opposed to an AR15 with A Miculek muzzle break? I'd be willing to bet the muzzle break increases the bang by about 1/3. My post-ban carbine with muzzle break is about twice as loud as my AK with no muzzle device. I'm looking into what my options are regarding removing the muzzle break. I live in NY so no flash hider allowed
TexAg08  [Member]
2/27/2008 6:38:50 PM
I have a set of those earplugs from surefire. I use them outside at my buddies ranch when shooting shotguns, pistols, and rifles.
For shotguns, with the stoppers out, I can hear people clearly talking and then when the gun goes bang it sounds like a dull thud. When shooting pistols its a little more harsh so sometimes I put the stoppers in, but when my buddy break out the AR I put the stoppers in and cover my ears. I have yet to use them indoors but more than likely Ill double up for that.
All in all, for pistols or shotguns they are awesome, AND I can still understand people clearly.
omega62  [Team Member]
2/27/2008 7:17:59 PM
Firing the M-16 during range training in the military, all they gave us were the el-cheapo style ear protectors. The thing was, the M-16 never bothered me. I consider the acoustic signature of the M-16 and AR-15 to be pretty mild, actually, and far less jarring that the sound of rifles in the .30 caliber and above range.

As another reply already noted, ear protection is a must, and progressive damge to your hearing will result without it. My dad has permanent hearing loss from his army days in the late 50s, when he had to range qualify with a Colt Government .45 pistol with no hearing protection.

Me, my hearing loss has more to do with Rock and Roll than gunfire.
Winston_Wolf  [Team Member]
2/27/2008 7:18:47 PM
... With Y-Comp or without?
Andrewsky  [Member]
2/27/2008 7:20:52 PM
Do soldiers wear hearing protection in Iraq?

I'd like to know more about this.
geoisdef  [Team Member]
2/27/2008 7:26:14 PM
they sell those on base for 6.95, i grabbed a pair and couldnt tell a difference in how well they work compared to foam earplugs on a square bay. just stick to the 15 cent ones, oh and they have that plastic rim that makes them easy to snag and pull out.
davewald  [Member]
2/27/2008 9:31:27 PM
For about $50-$60 you can get some good electronic ones on eBay. Here's an example. I use these and have been very pleased when using them indoors and outdoors for .45cal pistol, AR, and trap/skeet shooting with my 12ga shotgun. I can easily hear what people are saying without damaging my hearing when the shots go off.
omega62  [Team Member]
2/28/2008 12:48:28 AM

Originally Posted By Andrewsky:
Do soldiers wear hearing protection in Iraq?

I'd like to know more about this.


I was Air Force, not Army. And I was in and out of the service years before there was any fighting in Iraq. But my understanding is that soldiers are at least SUPPOSED to be issued ear plugs for use in combat conditions, and it is up to unit level commanders (as well as the individual soldier's own common sense) about when to wear them. I understand there have been shortages of ear plugs too, and at times, our guys are having to do without them. That we can afford 20 million dollar fighter jets and not 99 cent ear plugs is beyond me, but that's the .gov for you.

In the Air Force, our biggest hearing loss injury did not come from gunfire, but from jet noise. Ever stand kinda close to an F-4 Phantom starting its take off roll in full afterburner? How about one of the old B-52G models with the water injected turbojet engines "cleared to crank"? It will give you an entirely new concept of LOUD.

According to the VA, the third biggest cause of military disability claims is hearing loss.

I was lucky and always wore my ear protection around the flight line. I do have some minor hearing loss, but as I said, mine comes mostly from Led Zeppelin.

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