One cannot reinforce this enough. Wear the hearing protection, or end up going "Eh? What?" more than you would like to.
I lost enough hearing due to loud rock music in the 80's & 90's...to get me into trouble occasionally with my wifey...
Had I not worn hearing protection when shooting, I would surely be wearing a hearing aid now.
Probably ain't gonna be long before I'm stuck with one anyway...voices I'm having more & more trouble hearing clearly...
even though I can hear other tiny sounds clearly...for some reason the vocal range is starting to escape me.
Kinda funny, I can hear a squirrel rustling leaves at 50 yards, and deer walking 100 yards away, but a voice is muffled at 5 yards. Go figure...
__________________ Marlin & Calico Specialist
I'm not just Trigger Happy, I'm Trigger Ecstatic!!
I "doubled up" on hearing protection when I was in the academy. But most of our shooting took place in and indoor shooting range with lots of guns going off at once. Now-a-days I only wear my ear muffs when I am out. I imagine if I ever got a magnum rifle caliber with a muzzlebrake I might double up again.
"Strength is in singular determination, not numbers."
Life Member NRA
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I learned the value of hearing protection while in high school. My buddies and I set up a practical pistol course in some erosion ditches. We shot pistols for better part of the day. None of us were wearing hearing protection. When I got home I realized that I could barely hear and could not tell direction of sounds. Got my attention. My ears have had a loud constant ring in them for so long I can not remember life with out that ringing!
Now I do not load a firearm with out having hearing protection in place. I hunt with ear plugs in place lightly. On the range I wear both plugs and muffs.
People need to understand that damage can occur even with ear plugs in place. The sound and damage can and will be transmitted through the bones behind the ear. That is why I wear muffs as well. I want to cover the bones behind the ear.
I too have trouble hearing people's voices especially if I can not see their lips move and or if there is a lot of background noise. That is the range of hearing that muzzle report damages.
So, WEAR HEARING PROTECTION!!! Even outside and even with only one shot from a small caliber rifle causes hearing damage. And it ain't reversible!
Dedicated to the memory of Ronald "Dad" Knutson Sr. 1936-2013
Remington, among others, markets hunting plugs that not only protect from loud sounds but amplify others if you wish. I got a set for $30 or so that seem to work well, but you can easily spend a couple hundred. The drawback is that sounds like those made by your clothing come through loud and clear, too.
ALL who work for a living must vote to outvote those who vote for a living.
Amen on the hearing protection. As a kid my grandfather taught me all about gun safety and the fundementals of marksmanship. He never once mentioned ear protection!!! Now at the ripe old age of 37 I have just become the new owner of a pair of hearing aides!!!!!
Just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!
I usually wear muffs but I am considering doubling off with a good set of Surefire plugs too if Ill be shooting a lot or indoors or next to alot of people.
Heck, depending on what caliber I'm shooting even if Im shooting suppressed I'll still wear muffs too. Some calibers like .308 and 5.56 out of a short barrel are still not hearing safe even suppressed.
It's not always the size of the dog in the fight. Often it's the size of the fight in the dog.
I've worn hearing protection(muffs) since my first days at the tractor plant. I don't think I've heard anything louder and painful than the sound of an air chisle inside of backhoe bucket. Then later as a welder, I worn rubber earplugs to keep the monotonous noise of welding arc and hammer banging at bay; an added benefit was that plugs kept the occassional spatter from burning holes in your eardrums.
In the Navy, earplugs and muffs were a constant companion in my daily work routine. Between the normal sounds in machinery spaces, metal fabrication, flight deck ops and exposure to Naval gunnery... you were a going to be a sorry fool later in life for not wearing hearing protection when you had the chance.
After wearing rubber plugs for a few hours, they began to hurt the ear canal like the dickens even if they were sized perfectly. After hours of wearing ear muffs, they had a tendency to make your head feel like was stuck in a vice, and wearing safety glasses meant earpiece imprints in your temples. The advent of foam earplugs was a revelation to me. Gone went the pain.
Now with the many choices of customized and reasonably priced hearing protection on the market, only a blithering idiot would want to chance losing one of the most valuable senses.
Nothing can restore lost hearing. Once itís gone, itís gone!BUT hearing loss caused by noise is preventable and you can choose to prevent it.
Unfortunately, it's a bit late for me. When I joined the military hearing protection wasn't a priority during basic or AIT. Then, during 3 1/2 years in the Garden Spot of SE Asia, there was a lot of automatic weapons fire, claymore mines, frags, etc, all without hearing protection. I have a 50% loss in my right ear and 30% in my left. Once it's gone, it's gone for good.
I agree with most of the comments already posted.
Those that know me, or have talked to me on the phone.
Know that I have little hearing in one ear, & partial in the other.
And that I have to use a hearing impaired, speaker phones.
I would highly recommend folks, use hearing protection.
Especially during shooting & loud machinery.
But I will rehash what I have said before, on this subject.
IF you C/C, hunt, or are a LEO.
You NEED to fire your weapon, WITH OUT hearing protection.
At least once or twice a year.
The reason for this, is simple.
IF you need to shoot your weapon, in a cinch.
You WILL know what to expect, from the blast.
"If we ever forget we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." Ronald Reagan
A Man WITH a gun is a CITIZEN, a Man WITHOUT a gun is a SUBJECT