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Posted: 8/19/2004 2:54:08 PM EST
Just wondering, been around guns all my life but always wore ear protection. Decided to see how loud my AR was the other day, will never do that again. I was deaf for about 10 seconds with a constant ringing, and that was just one shot! Do some soldiers suffer hearing loss after being in a long battle? I just can't imagine it, especially during WWII with those large caliber rifles (30-06 and 8mm mausers). Any feedback from vets would be appreciated. Also during training for the military do they make you wear ear protection?

-UT
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 2:56:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2004 3:05:29 PM EST by StariVojnik]
Cig butts. Spent casings.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:00:35 PM EST
tagged ...

I'm glad you asked this! I've always wondered also.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:01:24 PM EST
What...?
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:02:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By skid2964:
tagged ...

I'm glad you asked this! I've always wondered also.



+1
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:03:21 PM EST
We dont we go deaf. I dont worry as the VA gets us good deals on hearing aids
FREE
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:03:55 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:04:00 PM EST
As a longtime sufferer of "Tankers-Ear"....beats me
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:05:04 PM EST
R.Lee Ermy had a couple ctgs. stuck in his ears on one episode of "Mail Call", that may give us a clue as to one of the things they used to cut down on the noise. I"m sure that's one reason why rifle barrels were normally on the long side(24") as opposed to hunting guns having shorter barrels.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:06:01 PM EST
the guys at the range at ft. lost-in-the-woods always have those little yellow squishy type plugs

I think a lot of them DO suffer some hearing loss over time, especially a lot of those in "The Greatest Generation" that served.



But ditto on the "never do that again" routine. I was doing some shooting a while back, decided to shoot prone a bit, left the ears sit on the bench, BANG! Guy next to me said he didn't think he'd ever seen anyone clear a rifle, stand up from prone and grab for hearing protection so quickly. Deaf for the better part of a minute, ringing for the rest of hte afternoon. NEVER AGAIN. Hell, I now wear both plugs & earmuffs just in case I forget the muffs again.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:08:54 PM EST
I've also been told that the adrenaline rush during battle helps cut down on the amount of sound actually reaching your eardrum (muscle contractions or something like that) Dunno how true that actually is however.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:09:22 PM EST
And if you think that's bad, My brother and I went to an IRL race in Nashville a couple weeks ago, I didn't think to take ear plugs and man, I paid for it. My ears were toast until the next night. I've never heard cars so loud. We went to the Truck Race last weekend and I took ear plugs, much better. Much more comfortable and I wasn't deaf for a day like after the IRL race.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:10:14 PM EST
Seriously, how do they?

I was talking to a guy at the range one day and lifted my right earmuff up to do so. After he left I forgot to lower it before taking a shot with my M1A Scout.

JESUS H. CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It felt like someone had kicked me in the ear! Damn thing rang for a couple of minutes and I still had some effects an hour later.

I can't possibly imagine being in a typical firefight situation without at least plugs in.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:11:50 PM EST
Like drummers, you get used to it!
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:11:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:
I've also been told that the adrenaline rush during battle helps cut down on the amount of sound actually reaching your eardrum (muscle contractions or something like that) Dunno how true that actually is however.


Not true; you have auditory exclusion, the same as you would probably suffer in any gunfight, but the damage to your ears is still happening.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:12:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:
I've also been told that the adrenaline rush during battle helps cut down on the amount of sound actually reaching your eardrum (muscle contractions or something like that) Dunno how true that actually is however.



maybe? I know my ears dont ring if my heart races from the anticipation of shooting a large deer, not a combat situation, but still an adrenaline rush.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:14:50 PM EST
20yrs ago I thought I'd be cool and shoot my Colt Python w/o protection.......stupid,stupid,stupid!

My ears constantly ring ever since!

teamroper2004
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:17:22 PM EST
It's kind of crazy but "big"guns like my 27a1 in 45acp don't bother me but something like a .223 or .357Mag. will ring the crap out of your ears.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:21:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By FREEFALLE6:
We dont we go deaf. I dont worry as the VA gets us good deals on hearing aids
FREE



Too bad it only takes them two years to decide you damaged your hearing in the military(if you are out), and another six months to get an appointment at the VA, and another six months to get the device.
OK, I'm exaggerating a little. It only takes 3 months to get an appt. at my VA.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:23:02 PM EST
I shot off one 223 round out of a 16" bbl at night without plugs just to see how loud it was.

Very loud, a huge fireball. My hearing was f*cked for two days.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:23:06 PM EST
As a tanker, I get a nice helmet with "ear muffs" head phones that actually do a really good job of keeping out all the load noises, while still enabling you to hear the rest of the crew just fine. We take a hearing test once a year and so far I haven't had any noticeable loss in hearing. When firing the main gun, most of what you hear inside the turret is the mechanical noise of the breach operating - similar to when firing an M16 (or AR) when wearing ear plugs, the way you hear the bolt and buffer spring through your cheekbone. Standing near the firing line at the range is pretty loud, even from behind the tank - I feel bad for the crunchies that are nearby when the main gun goes off.

Having not served in combat yet (I'm currently confined to a desk), I haven't had the experience of mortars, small arms, artillery, etc going off all around you, aside from during live fire exercises, and then it's all "outgoing." "They" tell you to wear hearing protection, but infantry guys can't hear everything they need to (e.g. their buddy next to them) with earplugs in, so they pretty much suffer through the loud noise. My infantry friends that have more than a couple years in all suffer from hearing loss to some extent.

Dave
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:29:15 PM EST
I am completely paranoid about this also. I wear hearing protection when I work around the house, hammer, drill and hell even when I shop vac. I double up with plugs and muffs when I shoot. I've also wondered what people do in combat.

I did see some plugs the other day that had a valve that engaged when there was a sudden burst of sound. I knew they had these in muffs but this was the first time I saw it in a plug.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:29:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By tcsd1236:

Originally Posted By FanoftheBlackRifle:
I've also been told that the adrenaline rush during battle helps cut down on the amount of sound actually reaching your eardrum (muscle contractions or something like that) Dunno how true that actually is however.


Not true; you have auditory exclusion, the same as you would probably suffer in any gunfight, but the damage to your ears is still happening.




Yeah.....thats more along what I was thinking.....your ears are still being fucked over, but you just don't notice it
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:35:15 PM EST
Damage is still a problem, but the adrenaline rush does conract muscles in your ear and help a little.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:36:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By roptics:
I am completely paranoid about this also. I wear hearing protection when I work around the house, hammer, drill and hell even when I shop vac. I double up with plugs and muffs when I shoot. I've also wondered what people do in combat.

I did see some plugs the other day that had a valve that engaged when there was a sudden burst of sound. I knew they had these in muffs but this was the first time I saw it in a plug.



Outters has had plugs like that for a number of years. I had a set but can't really say if they worked all that well. I'd like to see someone make a custom fit plug with that feature in it. That way you could talk and hear what's going on around you but when you'd fire your weapon it'd not damage your ears.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:36:02 PM EST


Uh? What did you say?!!!
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:37:53 PM EST
I did 40 rounds out my AR-180B when I had some new mags in. It was 30 degrees outside, and I just wanted to function check the mags. Drove to the range, no muffs. Figured I wasn't going to be there that long.

The range ends in a hill, and there was a berm on my left.

My left ear rang for three days. Never did that again.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:41:16 PM EST

Originally Posted By teamroper2004:
20yrs ago I thought I'd be cool and shoot my Colt Python w/o protection.......stupid,stupid,stupid!

My ears constantly ring ever since!

teamroper2004



+1

For me ~25years ago and my friend's .44mag, not once but three times. My ears were so fucked up - for a full day ALL sound came into my ears as if they were filled with water. Tinnitus (ear ringing) EVER since. Two different frequencies, one for each ear.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:43:50 PM EST
one word.....adrenaline
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:46:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By Treadhead:
As a longtime sufferer of "Tankers-Ear"....beats me



I have been a tanker too - I have some hearing loss, but it could be many other things.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:49:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By TNFrank:

Originally Posted By roptics:
I am completely paranoid about this also. I wear hearing protection when I work around the house, hammer, drill and hell even when I shop vac. I double up with plugs and muffs when I shoot. I've also wondered what people do in combat.

I did see some plugs the other day that had a valve that engaged when there was a sudden burst of sound. I knew they had these in muffs but this was the first time I saw it in a plug.



Outters has had plugs like that for a number of years. I had a set but can't really say if they worked all that well. I'd like to see someone make a custom fit plug with that feature in it. That way you could talk and hear what's going on around you but when you'd fire your weapon it'd not damage your ears.



they do make those, I have a buddy who shoots skeet. He has a pair of molded to his ear electronic ear plugs.

TXL
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:51:41 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:52:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2004 3:55:46 PM EST by Treadhead]

Originally Posted By Tortfeasor:

Originally Posted By Treadhead:
As a longtime sufferer of "Tankers-Ear"....beats me



I have been a tanker too - I have some hearing loss, but it could be many other things.



Yeah, I haven't been the most cautious of guys when it comes to my hearing but, it always "Sounds" "Sexier" to blame the L-7/M-68
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:54:21 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 3:59:37 PM EST
The Navy is coming up with a drink or pill to protect hearing. It is based on NAC. There is a civilian version, I think the url is www.thehearingpill.com
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:02:10 PM EST
TYPE LOUDER, I'M A BIT DEEF
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:18:42 PM EST
Twat??!! I cunt hear you! Bare ass me again!

Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:21:18 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2004 4:22:07 PM EST by DUNC]
My hearing is permanently damaged from the m249saw. I walk around saying Huh? all the time
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:26:24 PM EST
Your brain has better things to process than what you hear while on the two way range. Make no mistake about it though, you do still do significant damage to your hearing.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:35:41 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/19/2004 4:50:31 PM EST by HBAR16]
I was an airborne infantry fire team leader in 4/325 AIR back in the 80s. Once during a live-fire assault exercise I only plugged my right ear, leaving my left open so I could hear orders etc.

Live-fire assault involved 60mm and 81mm mortars, M16A2, M249, M60, 40mm grenade rounds from M203s, frag grenades, and ended with a 'shoot it all up expend all ammo to repel a counterattack' phase including claymore mines.

I don't think I heard right for over a week after that fiasco. Right ear with plug with fine, but left was trashed.

I always use electronic muffs now outside and put plugs under them when inside.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:35:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:43:51 PM EST
I've had tinnitus(sp) ever since I touched off one (1) round of .45ACP out of my G21 without hearing protectors at the indoor range the PD I work for used to have, and this was 8 or 9 years ago. It was so loud that it actually stunned me for a couple seconds. I'd hate to touch off an AR indoors. Instant deafness!

On a side note, the head Firearms Instructor here has all the guys shoot a stage during bi-annual qualifications, usually 12 rds, without hearing protectors. I can see once every 3 or 4 years, but twice a year? Think of the hearing damage occurring! I fully agree with hearing the actual gunshots so that you know what it will sound like if you're ever in a gunfight, but twice a year? Seems like overdoing it to me, not to mention the hearing damage!

Bub
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:46:17 PM EST
Think of this grass hopper - not only was there "outgoing" but also "INCOMING"
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:54:20 PM EST
Don't ask me I was a M60 gunner for 18 months, and I am now middle tone deaf to a degree.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:56:02 PM EST
In the book of Blackhawk Down it is specifically mentioned that the Delta operators wore the active type ear plugs to protect their hearing and allow them to hear what was going on around them. I remember that my father used to have a pair of them lying around in his desk. Always thought that they didn;t work, because when I wore them I could still hear everything going on around me . . . . duh. Methinks that I will acquire a pair, if I can find them, for use at the range over this next year (OCS).

Jame Retief
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:57:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
What...?

Nothing like a tank round going off next to you.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 4:59:07 PM EST
I have a case of tinitus, probably 70% from music, 30% from guns. I believe my hearing is simply more prone to damage than the average person, because some have been exposed to A LOT more noise than I have without any ill effect.

Because of this, I'm very careful about wearing protection, even so far as to wear earplugs when driving long distances with the windows down. When shooting, I double up and wear plugs and muffs. Once I started wearing plugs uring 'normal' chores, I realized just how fatiguing noise is. I can literally work all day with plugs in, but if they were out, I'd be done quickly.

Old dudes, simply accepted the damage as a part of the task. This is indeed why many are deaf while their wives are in much better shape. My dad was a naval gunnery officer on a AKA in the late '50s and fired bofors 40mms without protection. I remember seeing footage of the Soviets firing artillery on Berlin. Guys were getting their hats blown off by the concussion, and not even bothering to cover their ears.

Link Posted: 8/19/2004 5:01:31 PM EST
I got free lunch from my friend for riring a Desert Eagle .44 once without muffs. If he had said do it twice I probably couldn't have
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 5:09:07 PM EST
When I was in the Army - mid seventies - we never wore plugs
during Live Fire exercises- You needed to hear commands just like it was for real.

"train as you fight" kinda deal

Nowadays Im sure that is not PC though
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 5:11:16 PM EST
I shot my HK USP .45 in the woods once....... OUCH!
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 5:18:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By AKsRule:
When I was in the Army - mid seventies - we never wore plugs
during Live Fire exercises- You needed to hear commands just like it was for real.



Just wondering, after the first few rounds could you still hear commands? The thread seems to indicate your ability to hear is limited after the first few rounds and then some of it comes back.
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