I have read good things about the SWAT ears, but I imagine they are going to be out of my price range.
I want the following out of them:
-Quiet enough not to neeed foam plugs underneath.
-Slim enough to use with my aimpoint on an M4 and other scopped rifles.
-cheap readily available batteries.
The Peltor tactical 6 seem to fit the bill but is 19db enough sound reduction?
Thanks in advanced. Please tell me the best place to get whichever ones you suggest.
I just went and fetched my Peltor Tactical 6-S model for this post. The are plenty quiet when shooting even the largest magnums. They require 2 AAA batteries in each ear-piece, but seem to last a LONG time per set.
I used them for a week while running my Case dozer at work. They provided really good protection against the non-cabbed, non-muffled machine, which screams like a diesel Banshee.
BUT... I have read many complaints on the Competition boards about these. I have never tried another brand, so I can't compare, but I do notice the excessive 'clipping' sound that everyone talks about. It is VERY annoying. There are other brands that aren't reported to act like this.
It seems like they're TOO sensative to external sounds. If you are loading a magazine, or handling brass at the range, everytime metal ojects touch each other, the damn things make that 'clipping/clicking' noise, and it's from the volume cutting off.
CLICK!, CLICK!....... CLICK!, CLICK!, CLICK!... CLICK!... CLICK!, CLICK!, CLICK!, CLICK!........ CLICK!, CLICK!
Do you see how annoying this is? That's how mine sound when I use them.
I paid $169 for my mine at Gander Mountain last year. I think they're going for about $130-140 nowadays.
Good Luck, But research the COMPETITION SHOOTERS BOARDS around the web. See what the pro's are using. Most of these guys have tried them all, and know what works best. You can start with the board here at ar15.com. Lots of Service Rifle High-Power shooters hang out there, as well as Benchrest shooters.
Pro Ears www.proears.com/ do not have that clipping problem. The DPM model has a NRR of 26 dB so you don't have to double plug. They also have 20 dB and 21 dB NRR models, which I think are sufficient for outdoor shooting, and you can just double plug for shooting indoors. Read the FAQ on the Pro Ears page for more info.
I have the slimline Peltor 6 also. They were originally designed for the shotgunners, so that can get close enough to the stock for their sights. However, I understand that the bulkier version is more more comfortable and there is more noise suppression. I find them adequate for most things on the range. However, keep in mind that some sounds can be transmitted thru your bones! I once took a hearing test, and the audiologist could tell that I was a right-handed shooter because of the slight hearing loss in my ears. SO, the moral of the story, don't stand too long in a indoor range where is a lot of magnums being shot even though you have both plugs and ear muffs.