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Posted: 1/2/2002 8:56:57 AM EDT
Or do you just go deaf? I've never intentionally shot without hearing protection, but have occasionally had a plug fall out for a second. It's painfull to say the least, and I'd imagine that in large doses can be quite damaging. So do professional soldiers merely go deaf, or is there some military provision for hearing protection that I'm not aware of?
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 9:03:26 AM EDT
From a hunting standpoint, I can say that when the adrenaline is flowing you don't really hear the shots. If I'm out shooting clays my ears will begin to ring after a few shots without protection, but out hunting dove, I can go through 3 or 4 boxes of shells with no noticable difference in my hearing. Am I doing damage to my ears? Probably so. During war, I would think losing a little bit of hearing during a firefight doesn't really matter, when the alternative is death or serious injury. I know that I would hate to dull my senses any at a time when my life could depend on them.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 9:09:15 AM EDT
i have wondered about that myself. i dont wear hearing protection all hte time, but the few ocasions i get to shoot class3, its a must. when im shooting whichever full auto the sound is horrible. i imagin 20+ guys unloading would pretty much put you deaf. its sort of a rock and a hard place deal, cause with earplugs it would be hard to receive shouted orders. as i think about it, maybe the m16a2 could come standard with a supressor. would it really cost that much. it costs us 200+, i bet uncle sam could work it out for very cheap. no sub sonic ammo or anything, jut enough to take the edge off the crack of the gun.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 9:16:23 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 9:31:44 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 9:34:29 AM EDT
Talked with a guy at the range the other day that is a SAW gunner, and on excercises, he gets hearing plugs, don't know whether that was for training only or if they give them to him when they go out for real. Maybe one of the guys here in the Armed Forces can help.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 9:43:25 AM EDT
I've often wondered about hearing protection in battle. While shooting my AR (post ban, ie no flash suppressor) I always use ear protection. However, I have sat at the range for a few seconds before putting on my ear protection. The sound of the other guns (rifles) being shot is deafening! I'll ask my brother about ear protection. He's former Army. Regardless of whether your brain acknowledges the sound, hearing damage occurs. I have studied sound propagation and effects for my job. For the most part, it is continued or long term exposure to loud noise which causes hearing loss (with the exception of extremely loud noises). Indoors, the sound is highly concentrated. Outdoors is considered a "free field". In a free field, the sound dissipates rapidly in all directions. In an enclosed area it does not. Always use ear protection. I'd be inclined to use it in combat too.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 10:07:28 AM EDT
Combat? You go deaf eventually. I can't imagine wearing any hearing protection in the bush. How the hell you gonna hear vocal commands or the radio or sound powered phone? The specops guys are loaded up with individual radio sets so one ear has an earphone in it anyway. Not much protection there. Now that I think about it...I remember that I didn't notice the noise of the M-16 and M-60 much at all in the bush. The sound just seem to fade quickly...(no echoes). At the range, it is a far different story. I'd be interested to hear if the troops are now using hearing protection. [>:/]
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 10:13:21 AM EDT
I'd propose a super strong military approved tactical ear muff. They actually enhance your hearing until the shot or other loud noise comes. You could integrate the communication equipment into it too. They guys on flight decks of carriers get them, so why not the average grunt. I think at least spec ops should get them.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 10:20:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2002 10:22:29 AM EDT by Death_By_AR15]
I'm in the infantry, and here's my take on it. The Marine or soldier has two choices. Either to hinder your hearing while on patrol, in the attack, etc, or be deaf for a week if you get contact. Personally, I would hear hearing protection if we were doing an attack of some sort. I would put them in when we drop our packs and I put my squad in attack formation. For patrols, I guess it depends on the probability of contact that would decide it for me. If it was a high probability, then yes, but always a definate no for the first few Marines on point (for obvious reasons). As far as shouting orders in combat goes, you might as well forget about it, because it's damn near impossible. Half the time during a live fire exercise, I have to run over to my team leaders and physically SHOW them what I want done. And that's without mortars, air and enemy fire, which is always going to be there in combat. If you cant decide whether to go deaf for a week, or to lose critical hearing during/before the battle, just comprimise and use one earplug. I have tried this before and it works well. Just put the plug in whichever ear usually "pops" first. BTW- The Marines are working on a earplug that allows the Marine to hear whispers and normal voices, but will drown out loud noises (gunfire).
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 10:25:41 AM EDT
Keep in mind that most of us do a bulk of the shooting at ranges. Many outdoor ranges, and nearly all indoor ranges have the shooter standing in a semi-enclosed booth of some sort, with hard, smooth walls. This reflects a large part of the sound and blast back at the shooter, making the noise much worse than if one were standing in a field or at a sand lot. This may skew your perception of how loud the rifle actually is.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 12:01:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2002 12:06:19 PM EDT by Matrix]
"physically separating the ear drum's hammer from its cochlea" That's not possible except by extreme force. Even if it were possible, how do they explain the reattachment? [:)] What he probably should have said is that there are muscles in the middle ear (attached to these three tiny bones) that contract when a loud sound occurs (the Acoustic Reflex)reducing the exposure to loud sounds. Still this does not explain how the brain initiates this reflex without the presence of a loud sound. Moreover, for sounds between 75 - 90 dBA, the ear has a natural protective mechanism to reduce its sensitivity to low frequency impact sounds through what is termed the middle ear reflex. Generally speaking, muscles in our middle ear contract and stiffen three tiny bones (the smallest bones in the human body called ossicles; see Figure 2) that relay sound to the inner ear. However, a delay of 300 to 500 milliseconds is required to set this protection fully in operation. Most naturally occurring impact sounds can easily be dealt with by the middle ear, but many man-made sounds, such as explosions from guns, as well as certain industrial noises, occur so quickly that our middle ear protective mechanism cannot respond quickly enough. The hearing loss caused by such sounds is permanent acoustic trauma (Truax; 1999). See: [url]http://www.keepandbeararms.com/information/XcIBViewItem.asp?id=2052[/url] Thus, the middle ear/Acoustic Reflex does not happen quickly enough to protect one's ear from gunfire noise. I don't recall reading any definitive explanation on the physiological mechanism behind this auditory exclusion. However, many LEOs that I have spoken with do say that they do not "hear" the gunshot. Be that as it may, the exposure is there & I would speculate that hearing loss still occurs even though the perception of the sound may be reduced due to the stress response. So if a man says something & there are no women around is he still wrong?
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 1:43:28 PM EDT
Here is some info on one of the plugs that the military has granted an NSN number to(it's their sales pitch text, not mine): The Combat Arms (Non-Linear) Earplug For the dismounted soldier or marine, conventional hearing protection can interfere with the communication requirements of a mission when hearing protection is needed the most, i.e., firing weapons away from fixed firing points with loudspeaker systems that can overcome the attenuation of the hearing protectors. In steady-state noise over 85 dBA (e.g., in armored vehicles, aircraft or watercraft), conventional hearing protectors can actually improve communication ability. In steady-state noise, they function like sunglasses that cut down glare reducing the noise to a level where the ear is not "overloaded". In relative quiet, however, conventional (linear) hearing protectors interfere with both speech communication and the detection of environmental (combat) sounds. The solution for the dismounted soldier or marine would be a non-linear hearing protector that would mitigate the hazard from weapons fire over a desired range, but marginally interfere with required communications and detection of combat sounds such as vehicle noise, steps in leaves, closing of a riflebolt, etc. The concept of non-linear earplugs is not new; however, Dr. Armand Dancer and his colleagues at the French-German Institute in Saint Louis have dramatically improved this low tech and inexpensive solution to a long-standing problem. A small "filter" is inserted into the center (stem) of an earplug. This filter is a cylindrical device of a specified length with holes in each end of a very precise diameter. The American military's contribution in this development effort has been to recommend an American-made earplug, the Ultrafit, to house the French filter, the color scheme and blast overpressure testing. The single-sized Ultrafit should accommodate most of our combat arms users. Moreover, thanks to French ergonomic designers, a solution has been provided on how to eliminate wind noise while adapting the earplug for steady-state noise use.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 1:45:18 PM EDT
Cont'd: One end of the doubletree design includes a solid (linear) earplug that can be used for steady-state noise environments. This precludes a requirement to carry a second set of conventional earplugs that won't fit into the standard earplug carrying case. The light color of the non-linear earplug assists in the requirement to keep the hole clean and free of cerumen (ear wax). The solid (linear) end of the earplug is colored olive drab for compatibility with the stealth mode associated with dismounted operations. The visibility of the light-colored, non-linear end of the earplug is not an issue in steady-state environments. Moreover, the light color should assist in the enforcement and monitoring of the correct device to be used for that noise environment. The calibrated holes in the non-linear earplug significantly dampen the more hazardous high frequency component of the impulse noise signature. The reader's understanding of the concept could be assisted by the analogy of an acoustic friction being created as the impulse noise (blast overpressure) passes through a narrow orifice. This noise reduction capability actually increases with the noise level of weapons fire, hence the term, non-linear. The non-linearity begins at about 110 dBP and increases by 17 dB to 190 dBP with an overall peak reduction of 25 dB.1 Testing at a U.S. facility found this non-linear earplug protective up to 190 dBP.2 Caution: These data were obtained under ideal experimenter fit conditions. Results can vary widely for user fit conditions. While high frequency impulse noise is significantly reduced, most speech energy is passed. In addition, a detection model developed at the Army Research Lab predicts a normal-hearing soldier (H-1 profile) can detect a truck at the same distance (800 meters) with or without the non-linear plug. That detection capability is cut in half (400 meters) with conventional foam plugs. A National Stock Number(NSN) 6515-01-466-2710 has been issued. The one size that is available will fit most of the adult male population. A smaller size may be required as a follow-on action. The following information is included in the Defense Logistic Agency catalog file: “Plug, Ear…Unit package quantity 2.” Catalog #370-1000 Price $5.00. For now the price is a guideline only. There are plans for packaging 50 plugs to a bag that could bring down the unit price. In summary, the Combat Arms Earplug affords a cheap, low- tech solution for protecting the hearing of soldiers and marines in dismounted operations from impulse noise weapons fire. These passive, non-linear devices work without batteries, are easy to maintain and are compatible with most headgear. They present little insertion loss at low sound levels, which allows for speech communication (without shouting) and the detection and localization of acoustic sources at almost the same conditions as without hearing protectors. In the Combat Arms Earplug, we finally have a hearing protector that protects without impairing military effectiveness.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 1:55:21 PM EDT
Huh? What did he say?
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 2:04:54 PM EDT
I just had to login to give my 2cents. In early November I shot 2 bucks in about 5 mins. with my M4. I took the first with one shot. The big one took 2 shots from my M4 and a .30-30 to the head. All said and done: 4 shots in 5-10 mins. I still have ringing and will be going to the local WallyWorld for a free hearing test tomorrow. (I have been putting it off, hoping it will go away.) Lesson learned: Get a good Peltor electronic set of earmuffs that amplify regular sound (for hearing critters) and shut down in 5 thousands of a second during firing. I swear I will never shoot again without hearing protection unless it is in self defense. Honestly, I have had to inform my wife not to talk away from me or into my left ear anymore. -Ryan p.s. WOULD SOMEBODY GET THAT PHONE!!!
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 5:39:06 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:03:34 PM EDT
Ive asked my brother who is an army drill sargeant and he told me they engourage use of earplugs if you have time to put them in. other than that.... well deaf or dead your choice. scott p.s. by the way there is a company called docs pro ears that makes plugs that work pretty well but you can still hear normal conversation.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:12:01 PM EDT
It's not the hearing loss that will get you. It's the constant noises and ringing you will get in your ears for the rest of your life that will get you. Constant misery you can't escape. WEAR THAT HEARING PROTECTION!!
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 6:13:14 PM EDT
I like the idea of a suppressor on the carbines. That would take the sound of an M-4 down to the sonic crack, and moves the guns muzzle 4 inches farther from your face. Weight and heat are the major problems, I think.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 7:54:44 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Troy: Even though they are pretty expensive, I would STRONGLY suggest something like [url]www.walkersgameear.com/tactlear.htm[/url] or [url]espamerica.com[/url] for anyone who knows they will be discharging firearms in a combat/police-type situation. They may seem expensive at first, but what is it worth to you to be able to hear for the rest of your life? -Troy
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The Tactical Ear product is not as good as electronic earmuffs (using compression rather than peak clipping) coupled with earplugs...however, it is a half decent product & better than not using anything. IMO: the weak link with this product is not the unit itself but the crappy little sponge earmold. If you do get the product, consider custom made earplugs with NO venting in the mold...much better protection. The sponge works ok but can get dirty easily. If it gets wet then fogetaboutit. A custom made silicone mold paired with the tactical ear would be the better route to go...but it costs extra. By the time you add in the plugs, you can get much better protection from electronic earmuffs IF you don't wear glasses of some sort that dilute the protection by breakng the seal against the head. The way I get around this is to wear custom plugs (or any plug) underneath the earmuffs. Great in winter or indoors: sucks big time in summer. Just my opinion.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 8:01:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Troy: Even though they are pretty expensive, I would STRONGLY suggest something like [url]www.walkersgameear.com/tactlear.htm[/url] or [url]espamerica.com[/url] for anyone who knows they will be discharging firearms in a combat/police-type situation. They may seem expensive at first, but what is it worth to you to be able to hear for the rest of your life? -Troy
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As for the Electronic Shooting Protectors, I've got a pair. They work well IF & ONLY IF you have a good, tight seal in your ear. Be sure that whomever makes your ear impression does so with silicone material (vs. liquid/powder) & gets a "perfect" ear impression. These are the Cadillacs of the industry & they do work well...except when its friggin hot as hell outside then everything sucks. Be prepared to fork over some real money for the ESP...$795.00 according to their website...that MAY be for each, I don't know....that's a preban AR15 if that pricing is per ear. Of course, you can't replace your hearing so it may be worth it to some to get the best protection they can. I am still partial to earmuffs (preferrably electronic) coupled with earplugs (preferrably custom made).
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 8:58:32 PM EDT
[url]http://www.earinc.com/tacticalshs.html[/url] Designed to handle any situation, these specialized hearing systems (SHS) combine the best in hearing enhancement technology and radio communications into a single "standard" behind-the-ear unit. It is the ideal system for SWAT tactical teams looking for comfort and convenience in one simple design. Within each Tac SHS SWAT earpiece, the specialized circuitry brings louder sounds to a safe level while dramatically enhancing softer sounds. This creates a constant balance between amplification and safety while maintaining vital radio contact at all times. During tense raids and forced entry events with flash bangs and/or tear gas, these units are considered the ultimate in earpiece design and performance. Earpiece kits include 1 Tac SHS unit, 3 foam comply tips, audio tube, extra batteries and a black carrying/storage case. For custom ear molds, please see our Chameleon Ear pages. Costs: Tac SHS I - $190.00/each Tac SHS II w/Telecoil - $249.00/each Tac SHS III w/Telecoil - $450.00/each
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 9:03:16 PM EDT
Some more choices/alternatives: [url]http://www.earinc.com/electronic2.html[/url] [url]http://www.cabotsafety.com[/url]
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 9:19:59 PM EDT
I would think that if you decided not to wear any form of ear protection you would have problems hearing any orders or anything once the initial firing was over. If you couldn't hear someone telling you to fall back or hear a enemy approaching on foot near you. After that type of life threating adrenaline rush I would want my hearing, and all my senses to be as sharp as possible. I noticed military issue ear plugs and cases at the local surplus store and they work great.
Link Posted: 1/2/2002 10:29:30 PM EDT
Silencio (silencio.com I think) makes a set of ear plugs which use a mechanical baffle to allow hearing conversation but shut out loud sounds. They go for about $10. They have a NRR of 7, but on their web site they discuss the way the NRR is calculated and suggest this is misleading when applied to devices which respond only to loud sounds. Anyone have any experience with these?
Link Posted: 1/3/2002 12:43:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By juslearnin: Silencio (silencio.com I think) makes a set of ear plugs which use a mechanical baffle to allow hearing conversation but shut out loud sounds. They go for about $10. They have a NRR of 7, but on their web site they discuss the way the NRR is calculated and suggest this is misleading when applied to devices which respond only to loud sounds. Anyone have any experience with these?
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When purchasing hearing protection I would suggest finding the Highest Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) that you can find &/or afford. NRRs can be misleading. Cabot Safety does a great job in explaining how NRRs are not as high or as effective as most would believe. See: The Naked Truth about NRRs [url]http://www.cabotsafety.com/html/industrial/earlog20.htm[/url]
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