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Posted: 3/1/2002 5:44:22 AM EDT
I was wondering, when I shoot my AR the thing is so loud that shooting it without hearing protection seems insane. Not to mention painful. (headache) My question is, if your a soldier in combat how do you protect your hearing when the shooting starts? Do you use earplugs of some kind? Id appreciate any info on this! Thank you, John.
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 6:04:35 AM EDT
When a weapon is fired while hunting, fighting or self preservation the shooter never hears the thing go off. Think about the last time you shot at a deer or duck, can you remember the sound of your shottygun or rifle? Probably not.
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 6:14:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 6:18:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Vortex: When a weapon is fired while hunting, fighting or self preservation the shooter never hears the thing go off. Think about the last time you shot at a deer or duck, can you remember the sound of your shottygun or rifle? Probably not.
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That is true, but hearing damage still occurs, especially with high powered rifles.
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 11:05:42 AM EDT
No hearing protection, better to be a little deaf than a little dead. Besides, long-term hearing loss is usually not that severe. I suppose if a fellow was married, being deaf might be a good thing.
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 11:18:27 AM EDT
I was a 19D Cavalry Scout with the 3rd ACR during Desert Storm. When we invaded Iraq, my unit was involved in heavy fighting at the Ah-Rumaila airfield. When it was over the next morning, I couldn't hear too good. At the time, I could tell that we were all having to yell, even at close distance to each other, but that was to be expected. Later, I thought the same thing, that we should have some way to protect our ears, not so much from the small arms fire, even as loud as that is, but from the tremendous boom of the M1A1 tanks and 25mm Bradley fire. I guess there is no way around it, expect maybe for something like "Pro-ears" which I use now as a firearms instructor. These eliminate high decibal sound, but allow you to hear conversation, etc.
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 2:08:59 PM EDT
Thanks for the info! Its amazing more people dont lose their hearing because of gunfire. Too bad the military doesn't address this issue. John
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 2:17:48 PM EDT
If you have a 9mm pop two rounds off and stick the shells in your ears it also works with other rounds if you don't have any hearing protection. I have used 30 cal shells 9mm,40S&W and 45ACP at times. This is only if I have nothing else to use and getting hearing protections is out of the question. Also make sure if you use this the open part is in your ear and the primer is face in out. Or you will have a nasty surprise when you shot your gun.
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 2:20:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 2:23:51 PM EDT
The Army has long supplied ear plugs for weapons training. I wouldn't use them in combat. Electronic muffs are too bulky to wear with a helmet and would have battery issues. In any case, hearing damage is certainly secondary to being dead. Watch-Six
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 2:29:19 PM EDT
So to reiterate the possible solution that was brought up previously, what about electronic ear muffs (ie Pro-ears). In fact Special Ops could possibly benefit from Noise Enhancement features. Does any one know if the military has looked into any of these benefits? I would think that during battle if everyone is yelling at each other due to deafness it might be tactical disadvantage. (note: I make these observations with absolutely no military experience.)
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 2:39:28 PM EDT
Dunno about combat. When I was a leader (fire team leader, squad leader, etc) on live fire exercises I would keep my LEFT earplug out so I could use the radio, hear other people, etc. I was only in for 4 years but now, 15 years later I can detect some loss out of my left ear. Needless to say I wear a set of Pro-Tac electronic muffs these days.
Link Posted: 3/1/2002 2:39:43 PM EDT
In combat I wouldn't trade any amount of hearing protection for my HELMET. Muffs would not work well wearing one.
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 8:10:31 PM EDT
Just a side-note, I didn't mean to imply that wearing Pro-Ears would be in lieu of a helmet. I was thinking that our kick-ass military could come up with something small, just like they do for everything else.
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 8:25:10 PM EDT
Speaking from the comfortable position of my chair, I would wear plugs in combat. As soon as something goes off in your vicinity your hearing is going to be degraded anyway, so you won't be hearing well for instructions or information or enemies or whatever even without plugs. Back in my younger stupider days I fired .357s and AR15s sometimes without plugs and the hearing loss and ringing would continue for several days. Just like a Ramones concert.
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 8:32:22 PM EDT
Auditory exclusion is a very real thing. Under stress or when the adrenaline is really flowing the body tends to block out less important things like hearing. I was told that when in this state your ears aren't damaged. I can remember my first few times after shooting a deer my ears wouldn't ring at all. As I did it more and could remain calm I realized my ears hurt like hell after shooting. I remember reading in Black Hawk Down that some of the guys wouldn't get their hearing back for a few days. I often wondered how my Grandpa kept his hearing after island hopping in WWII. Wear your ears whenever you can. [:)] ___________________________________ [red]Domari Nolo [/red]
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 8:35:33 PM EDT
The phenomenon is called "auditory exclusion". Your brain will blank out super loud noises under stress or excitement. Of course, your brain can't exclude physical damage to your ears. .....Squidload??? I know what a squiBload is, but what's a "squidload"? Isn't that the reason why nobody wants to work in a ship's launry?
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 8:55:33 PM EDT
I'm glad Squidload brought this up. I've been meaning to ask the same question. I can see not wearing earplugs in a pre-combat scenario when you're sneaking up on the enemy or watching for them. I wouldn't mind at least having some handy once the shooting starts, though. Might not have a chance to put 'em in, but I'd hate to be without hearing protection. Seems like helmet-friendly electronic hearing protection would be almost a necessity.
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 9:01:05 PM EDT
Mr Coyote, "squidload" is "squibload" misspelled[:)]
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 9:23:37 PM EDT
I, for one, like the name "Squidload." In fact, that might be a good idea for a less-than-lethal riot control round in coastal areas. When the courts won't let the cops gas 'em, then shoot seafood at 'em!
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 9:40:35 PM EDT
There is a device called Walker's Game Ear, they have a new one called the Tactical Ear 2, it looks like hearing aid, has foam ear plug with a tube that runs over the top of the ear and back behind it. Strongest amplification avaible at 50db, cuts off frequency at 110db. Not for sure, but I think damage occurs at 120db. You can purchase at Natchezss.com 007
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 10:28:52 PM EDT
I've had my share of live-fire exercises in the past (many, many years ago). The worst was during an Arctic Indoctrination course I was on. Besides the moderate frostbite I got on one of my ears, I lost my hearing for a good week (from going through the live-fire ex without protection - something about sub-zero temperatures makes the bullet "crack" that much louder). Needless to say, I've got some long term hearing damage as a result. hsld
Link Posted: 3/2/2002 11:45:19 PM EDT
One of these [url]www.walkersgameear.com/tactlear.htm[/url] in one ear, and a disposable foam ear plug in the other, and you should be good to go. It is a little expensive, but how much do you value your hearing???
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 12:08:48 AM EDT
My Dad had a pair of plugs that had little diaphrams in them. When wearing them normal conversation was easier than with regular plugs, still muffled a bit. When you fired your gun, the diaphrams would close and they cut off the sound like any other plug. I have no idea where to get them, or if they are still being made. Currently he uses a several hundered dollar pair of hearing aides that block sound louder than a certian decible.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 12:36:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2002 12:37:56 AM EDT by Graves14]
Originally Posted By Chida66: My Dad had a pair of plugs that had little diaphrams in them. When wearing them normal conversation was easier than with regular plugs, still muffled a bit. When you fired your gun, the diaphrams would close and they cut off the sound like any other plug. I have no idea where to get them, or if they are still being made. [red]Currently he uses a several hundered dollar pair of hearing aides[/red] that block sound louder than a certian decible.
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Hmm...well that says something about the effectiveness of the diaphram type ear plugs ;)
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 1:17:15 AM EDT
I agree with those who think you'll hear nothing after the shooting starts anyway. However, I have a set of earplugs called "Doc's pro ears" that you can hear voices and sounds that don't create a huge over pressure on your ear drums just fine, but when sounds such as gun shots occur they absorb the shock and substantially protect your hearing, and they fit perfectly in your ear so they can be worn all the time. I use them with my AR's and they work great. imho they would be perfect for troops but then again, I've had no military experience either. my .02
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 2:29:45 AM EDT
The military is currently issueing a double sided ear plug, called the combat arms ear plug. One side contains a standard ear plu and the other a new version of the "sonic valve." Unlike the old sonic valvesout there these are comfortable to wear. It sold by both Midway and Botach, the former as the indoor out door ear plug and the latter under its military name.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 2:59:31 AM EDT
That product is also sold at Natchezss.com for $8.97 plus s/h, it is made by E-A-R, called indoor/outdoor plugs. 007
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 8:27:37 AM EDT
Botach has a page or so of high tech graphs describing the indoor/outdoor plugs. In theory, you can hear shouted commands and other situational awareness sounds much better than with a traditional foam plug while offering better hearing protection. The Marines are leading the way again with their MICH helmet. This incorporates a Sordin headset with sound amplification (single ear) and commo inputs with a new, lighter, more protective helmet. The helmet even floats (useful around water). Lightfighter can supply the helmets and, soon, the Peltor ComTac headset (the 2d choice headset). One time at a carbine class where a lot of the guys had throughly unpleasant muzzle brakes, I forgot to pull my muffs back down after listening to the instructor describe the next evolution. Never again. I immediately got some of the electronic muffs and wear them over foam plugs.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 9:31:10 AM EDT
I'm glad the marines are working on that. I'm sure that in the heat of battle, your mind blocks out noise, but if you blow out your hearing during the first firefight (or during a training exercise) you're going to be operating at a disadvantage after that. I'm saving for the Peltor Comtach.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 9:38:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By squidload: Thanks for the info! Its amazing more people dont lose their hearing because of gunfire. Too bad the military doesn't address this issue. John
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The military DOES address this issue. At Basic Training they make you sign for a set of earplugs. You take posession of them, then they say that because you have earplugs and have been trained to use them, you can't sue the Gov't for hearing loss. Problem solved [}:D] I just joined the Army Reserves last week after being separated from Active Duty for three months (got bored to death and figured why not?). Had to go through the whole MEPS thing again which included a full physical blah blah blah. The doc looks at my hearing test results... "Hmmmmm looks like you lost most of your high range.... Good thing you don't need that" I've actually resorted to plugs and muffs when shooting at my gun club. Can't afford to lose much more hearing
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 10:20:57 AM EDT
Okies, even though this isnt directly answering Squids question (you guys already did that), this is relevant. Its time for everybody to learn from the Wolf's boo-boo. My buddy and I were at an INDOOR range, first thing in the morning about 10 yrs ago. It was just him and I on the range, so we werent worried about walking around with our hearing protection on. I left the range to grab something out of my car and when I returned, my buddy already had a magazine loaded and was getting ready to shoot. I walked behind him, about 2 ft away, and he opened fire. I remember that pain well. I think the guys in the gun shop were pissing themselves at the dance I was doing. It felt like someone took a white hot screw driver and proceeded to massage my ear drums with it. I noticed I couldnt hear right, for about 3 weeks. I went to the doctor and they said there was a nice size hole in the ear drum, of both of my ears. Eventually the holes closed, but there is some scarring on my ear drums. Since then, I have lost about 50% of my hearing. I have noticed that I have a permanent ringing going on in my ears. Take it from the Wolf....anything that flies at 3 times the speed of sound, isnt anything to play with. Wear your hearing protection on the range, indoor or out.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 11:02:22 AM EDT
WHAT?!? SPEAK UP!!
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 2:56:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ARgon: WHAT?!? SPEAK UP!!
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LOL i am really begining to like this guy. damn ARGON youve been busy since you joined up..
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 3:46:54 PM EDT
FWIW, hearing damage is one area where I've always considered a 20" barrel to be a distinct advantage. I love the carbines but they are way to loud! Not that a 20 is exactly quiet, but it is much more pleasant to shoot if you had to without hearing protection.
Link Posted: 3/3/2002 3:56:17 PM EDT
I've been hunting and shooting for years. My hearing has suffered from it. I never used protection in the early years. Even now when I harvest a deer with my .30-06, I still pay later with the "ringing". I always use protection at the range and even during hunting on occasion. I know it has caused me problems.
Link Posted: 3/7/2002 7:04:38 PM EDT
STRLN: What type of case are you using to carry the new combat arms plugs? I got some at Botach but they didn't provide a case. I've thought of using my old military swing top case but it looks like a tight fit.
Link Posted: 3/8/2002 2:13:49 AM EDT
They don't come with any, I have been using the old green case, but they bend the ear plugs a little.
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