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Posted: 12/3/2001 4:38:16 PM EDT
I've been using those foam insert things rated to 30-32dB but I think I've developed some hearing loss in the few months since I started shooting. Anything better? I looked at those ear muff things but they seem to be rated lower than the foam plugs. And how often should those foam things be replaced? Right now I'm changing them every 5-6 shooting sessions. I shoot mostly 5.56 Nato, 7.62 Nato and 9mm.
Link Posted: 12/3/2001 4:50:22 PM EDT
You can always double up muffs and plugs for more protection. As far as the ultimate in ear plug protection... my buddy swears by the custom ones where they put silicone into your ear and let it set so it is perfectly molded to your ear. If you wanted maximum noise attenuation I would get those plus a set of normal ear muffs rated at 29 db. That is the highest I've found (see Peltor Shotgunner or similar). On the other hand, a lot of guys like the combo of ear plugs and amplified ear muffs. The amplified muffs work like hearing aids (making things louder) below a certain db level so you can still hear range commands and have conversations, but above a certain level they cut off and act just like non-amplified ear muffs. When you wear them in conjunction with earplugs I understand it is a very good "happy medium."
Link Posted: 12/3/2001 4:59:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dilbert: On the other hand, a lot of guys like the combo of ear plugs and amplified ear muffs. The amplified muffs work like hearing aids (making things louder) below a certain db level so you can still hear range commands and have conversations, but above a certain level they cut off and act just like non-amplified ear muffs. When you wear them in conjunction with earplugs I understand it is a very good "happy medium."
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Link Posted: 12/3/2001 6:25:27 PM EDT
I'd say shit-can the foam things & get some 29 DB muffs. Had to read this tread since I'm an audio professional who only recently took up shooting and am VERY concerned about hearing loss. I bought a fairly inexpensive set of 29 DB muffs & was pleasantly suprised at how well they attenuate sound pressure level. take it from me 'cause engineers... who fry their ears... end up with very short careers... Happy Blasting!
Link Posted: 12/3/2001 6:47:29 PM EDT
I've been shopping for good hearing protection myself, and haven't found anything with better noise attenuation than the foam plugs. Apparently, 32 dB is about as good as it gets in just about any type of protection (unless you want to double up on internal and external protection). One of the fellows at the local gun show that manufactures custom silicone plugs has a noise factor chart. Frankly, I was dissapointed with the specs — around 25 dB, IIRC. There aren't many earmuffs that will do better than that, either. One trick to getting the foam plugs to really work well is to roll them up tightly before inserting them — allows you to insert them farther, which plugs more of the ear canal.
Link Posted: 12/3/2001 9:12:13 PM EDT
See this site for various types of custom & non-custom hearing protection. [url]http://www.earinc.com/products/shooting.html[/url] I like using custom silicone earplugs with electronic ear muffs....that is prob. the "best" you can get. Double protection....just not double protection in dB. See also: [url]http://www.cabotsafety.com/html/products/hearing/prod01.htm[/url] Regarding the foam type plugs: roll between your hands to make as thin as possible...insert DEEPLY...when you remove them you should see the second bend of your ear canal. If not, you are not using them correctly which will lead to hearing loss much quicker. If you are interested in how much protection each product affords see: [url]http://www.cabotsafety.com/html/products/hearing/atten01.htm[/url] The E.A.R.Logs are great for reading about the true protection afforded from different types of hearing protection. Guess what? That 29 NRR doesn't really give you 29dB of protection...its more like 19 & these EARLogs explain why. So if you are shooting a firearm with a noise measure of 150dB & you get 19 dB of protection...well...you get hearing loss really fast. Its important to protect your hearing at all costs when shooting. See: *The Naked Truth About NRRs EARLog20 & *Attenuation of Earplugs Worn in Combination with Earmuffs EARLog 13 Either that or be prepared to fork over 3-5K for decent hearing aids....I'd rather spend that $ on guns & ammo. You can view the EARLogs at [url]http://www.cabotsafety.com/html/industrial/earlog.htm[/url] in PDF format. See this for instructions on proper insertion of foam plugs: [url]http://www.cabotsafety.com/html/industrial/earplug.htm[/url] I have yet to see someone wearing foam plugs correctly. If you can see them when looking straight into a mirror...they are not in deep enough. They work...but you have to wear them deep to get maximum protection. Protect your hearing...you can't get it back.
Link Posted: 12/3/2001 9:16:52 PM EDT
btw, Cabot Safety will send you a free pair of UltraFit Plus if you contact them at: [url]http://www.ultrafitoffer.com/[/url]
Link Posted: 12/3/2001 9:22:19 PM EDT
One more point: [url]http://www.earinc.com/newintro.html[/url] Hearing protection varies across types of occupations including Military, LE Agencies, Motorbikes, Dentistry...etc. What works for one may not be optimal for you.
Link Posted: 12/3/2001 9:36:17 PM EDT
I use Pro Ears, I think the slim model, which is NRR 21. I think the magnum is NRR28, but they may get in the way due to the added size. Anyway, they provide pretty good protection. But I don't think even the heavy magnum version is sufficient, especially indoors or from a covered shooting area. To be safe, you really need both plugs and muffs. Otherwise, down the road you may have to shove a horn in your ear like the old men in the cartoons.
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