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Thread: Hearing protection suggestions

  1. #1
    Member wiiawiwb's Avatar
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    Default Hearing protection suggestions

    I just bought a Ruger SRH 454 Casull and its time to reconsider my hearing-protection equipment. I have run-of-the-mill Browning electronic muffs and use foam plugs too.

    I'd like to get much better protection but don't need sound amplification, music, or any of the other bells and whistles. Is there a really effective non-electronic ear muff out there? I'm willing to pay for it but don't want to waste money on features I don't need.

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    Speaking as one who has already wasted money on electronic muffs, I always wear foam plugs in addition to my ear muffs, especially when shooting my 454 Casull, which is ported. If I EVER shoot that hand-cannon in self-defense without hearing protection, I am confident my ears will ring for a week.

    BTW, I can drive my 360grn hardcast handloads completely through a live tree that is at least a foot greater in circumference than I can put my arms around...and I'm still within published loading data with W296. If you handload, be sure to crimp the ever living daylights out of those cartridges as you will get bullet creep from the first shot to the last one in the cylinder if you do not do so.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wiiawiwb View Post
    I just bought a Ruger SRH 454 Casull and its time to reconsider my hearing-protection equipment. I have run-of-the-mill Browning electronic muffs and use foam plugs too.
    I'm also not a fan of electronics. And you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get good noise reduction ratings (NRR). Some of the highest rated muffs are the least expensive. Put some decent quality foam plugs underneath them and you're very well protected.

    You're not going to get much better protection than what you're doing now, no matter how much money you spend.
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    I have a pair of molded ones I had done about 15 years ago similar to these.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...d_i=B003A28OW6

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    I think both ear muffs and foam plugs have their noise reduction rating printed on their package. I would get the highest rating available - as you will find out there is a wide variation. For foam plugs I would not get less than 30 NR - ear muffs are usually some what less. Among other places I would check with Brownells and Sinclair. It goes without saying - double protection always at the range. I once shot a Hamilton Bowen custom 475 without ear protection (was hunting and forgot!) My ears HURT for several hours and rang for days.
    "Actions speak louder than words - 'nough said"

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    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I can't hear you, please speak louder.....

    Like Iofthetaiga said, a basic pair of Peltor "mickey mouse" ear pro will do the job when combined with good fitting foamies. Particularly when it gets cold and the ear muff seal is a bit stiff and your eye protection "bayonets" let in some noise, it pays to have good fitting foam ear plugs. The yellow EAR brand fit me best. Compared to more hearing loss, foamies are cheap. I bought a whole big industrial box of the things so I wasn't reusing over and over old worthless ones.

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    Howard Leight plugs and muffs.
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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    Member wiiawiwb's Avatar
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    I was searching for a passive muff with the highest dB rating. A few had a 30 rating. I did find a Browning model with a 37 dB rating which is the highest rating by far. Anyone have those muffs by chance?

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    I just wanted to point out, and I'm sure most of you know, that it doesn't take a blast from a 454 to cause hearing damage........far, FAR from it. But what you may not know, and I was told by the doctor, that much of the reason that people end up with hearing loss is because it is a cumulative process. Meaning.....that for many that have plagued their ears by years and years of abuse with seemingly no ill effects to date, it only takes one more loud noise to push it over the edge to hearing loss. This is probably what happened to me. And what could have ended up being the culprit was when a compressor hose blew right next to me. I told the doc that I didn't think it was even as loud as a 22 rifle (much less a pistol) and he said that's all it can take. Why?.....because of the many years of previous abuse.

    What I'm getting at is always be leery of things that you may not think would do any damage to your ears. Because in fact, if you don't use some type of protection, and it is fairly loud at all, it IS doing "some" damage.....little by little. And believe me......you don't want to push it over the edge. Lucky for me, and for a lot of folks, some of your hearing does come back. But for me, not nearly enough. Also what accompanies hearing loss for a lot of people, as it also did me, is a bad case of tinnitus. This makes hearing loss far worse.

    Save your ears guys......when you get older you'll be glad you did...!!!
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I just wanted to point out, and I'm sure most of you know, that it doesn't take a blast from a 454 to cause hearing damage........far, FAR from it. But what you may not know, and I was told by the doctor, that much of the reason that people end up with hearing loss is because it is a cumulative process. Meaning.....that for many that have plagued their ears by years and years of abuse with seemingly no ill effects to date, it only takes one more loud noise to push it over the edge to hearing loss. This is probably what happened to me. And what could have ended up being the culprit was when a compressor hose blew right next to me. I told the doc that I didn't think it was even as loud as a 22 rifle (much less a pistol) and he said that's all it can take. Why?.....because of the many years of previous abuse.

    What I'm getting at is always be leery of things that you may not think would do any damage to your ears. Because in fact, if you don't use some type of protection, and it is fairly loud at all, it IS doing "some" damage.....little by little. And believe me......you don't want to push it over the edge. Lucky for me, and for a lot of folks, some of your hearing does come back. But for me, not nearly enough. Also what accompanies hearing loss for a lot of people, as it also did me, is a bad case of tinnitus. This makes hearing loss far worse.

    Save your ears guys......when you get older you'll be glad you did...!!!
    Sure, ear damage can be cumulative, but IME, ONE SHOT, can cause PERMANENT EAR DAMAGE, too, and I mean a LOT of ear damage. when you had none previously.

    Trust Me. A 357 fired a bit too close to my ears, did it for me. My ears rang for days. I went to the Dr. and he said the nerve was degenerating and there was nothing that could be done. I finally got used to the ringing.

    Now, my earballs are very sensitive, and I can't hear worth a hoot. What I do hear, I don't understand.

    If your ears are unprotected, I strongly warn against that ONE shot from a 454, or from a Muzzle Braked gun, or even a snub-nosed revolver. And many other firearms with short barrels, and high velocity cartridges.

    I don't own those kind anyway because there is the chance I'd be shooting it without ear protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Sure, ear damage can be cumulative, but IME, ONE SHOT, can cause PERMANENT EAR DAMAGE, too, and I mean a LOT of ear damage. when you had none previously.

    Trust Me. A 357 fired a bit too close to my ears, did it for me. My ears rang for days. I went to the Dr. and he said the nerve was degenerating and there was nothing that could be done. I finally got used to the ringing.

    Now, my earballs are very sensitive, and I can't hear worth a hoot. What I do hear, I don't understand.

    If your ears are unprotected, I strongly warn against that ONE shot from a 454, or from a Muzzle Braked gun, or even a snub-nosed revolver. And many other firearms with short barrels, and high velocity cartridges.

    I don't own those kind anyway because there is the chance I'd be shooting it without ear protection.

    Smitty of the North
    I never wore hearing protection and no one warned against it until it was to late for me. I hear a high pitched buzz constantly that sounds like locust. I can remember when I used to wake up early in the morning and hear the birds singing. That hasn't happened for several years.

    The timber that I hunt October muzzleloader season is full of blue birds and thrush. It used to be that when they started making racket in the morning coincided with the first deer movement in the morning. That bit of info does me no good unless a blue bird happens to roost within a few feet of me when he starts his singing. Cuz I can't hear them! Last fall I shared that bit of info with y 12 year old grandson who was on his first deer hunt with me. I told him where to watch for the deer when he first heard the birds singing. He said Grampa "it was just like you said, I heard a bird singing and turned my head and saw that big doe jump the fence into the woods and then like I was wearing a deer magnet because she walked right to me( since it was my first hunt with my grandson and he had two days to hunt, I scouted pretty hard before hand!).

    It sure would be nice to hear those birds singing again. I can't undo it but I can tell everyone to learn from my mistake.

    I have a pair of $60 adjustable muffs that I got at Brownells for my grandkids. I also have a pair that I paid $20 for at Walmart that has Winchester written across the muff. The cheap ones seam to keep the noise out better than the high dollar ones.

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    I lost the hearing in my left ear over the years from a firecracker that went of by my head at age 19. I have religiously worn ear protection since to keep the right ear as long as possible. I keep two or three pair of foam plugs in most all my hunting coats and when I shoot game I try to have one in every time I shoot as I still have about 10 % hearing in the left - and about 70% in the right...
    Two things that really contribute to accumulative hearing loss are mowers and chainsaws. I always wear muffs when doing either one...
    Years of competitive shotgun shooting ( many years well over 50,000 rounds a year ) have all been done with muffs and sometime foam plugs and muffs...
    When asked what state I live in I say "The State of Confusion", better known as IL....

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    Sure, ear damage can be cumulative, but IME, ONE SHOT, can cause PERMANENT EAR DAMAGE, too, and I mean a LOT of ear damage. when you had none previously.

    Trust Me. A 357 fired a bit too close to my ears, did it for me. My ears rang for days. I went to the Dr. and he said the nerve was degenerating and there was nothing that could be done. I finally got used to the ringing.

    Of course. I wasn't trying to imply that any one loud noise couldn't cause irreparable ear damage. Only to also watch out for the noise that you wouldn't think would do damage as it too will take it's toll as well.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Mowers and Chainsaws? Really? I have never worn hearing protection when doing either. I've heated my house with wood that I have cut and split since I was 12 or 13(then I was heating Dad's house).. For the last 20 years I have mowed 7 acres of grass/week.

    Yeah Smokey I know better....just not that disciplined, or am tooooo thick headed....something. I bet Little Red could tell you which!

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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    Mowers and Chainsaws? Really? I have never worn hearing protection when doing either. I've heated my house with wood that I have cut and split since I was 12 or 13(then I was heating Dad's house).. For the last 20 years I have mowed 7 acres of grass/week.

    Yeah Smokey I know better....just not that disciplined, or am tooooo thick headed....something. I bet Little Red could tell you which!
    My Canadian Uncle never wore hearing protection for any of those or tuning outboard motors .... he's now had cochlear implants for 20+ years - "stupid" is a permanent affliction .....

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    HEY GUYS !! It ALL causes hearing damage and inner ear trauma - I spent a measly 12 years riding in a fire engine jump seat and I have the same tinnitus that elmerkeithclone describes and as a side not because I hunt, even though none of the decision makers have EVER hunted with me, I was denied compensation or study treatment after I retired .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by back country View Post
    My Canadian Uncle never wore hearing protection for any of those or tuning outboard motors .... he's now had cochlear implants for 20+ years - "stupid" is a permanent affliction .....
    The thing is, that it used to not be preached to us back then like it is nowadays. You'd think we should have known better but back then it really wasn't much of a consideration. Had I known then what I know now. But even had I known I still doubt I would have had much luck getting those guitar players to turn down their amps......lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    I wear the combination of Howard Leight Impact Sport headphones (with a NRR of 22) combined with some 3M earplugs at a NRR of 30) Since the electronic headphones amplify by 3 times, I can hear range commands and questions with my ear plugs in, but still have a large amount of protection from the big guns.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    I wear the combination of Howard Leight Impact Sport headphones (with a NRR of 22) combined with some 3M earplugs at a NRR of 30) Since the electronic headphones amplify by 3 times, I can hear range commands and questions with my ear plugs in, but still have a large amount of protection from the big guns.
    I have the opposite experience, AKDoug. I wear plugs and muffs, but when I have the plugs in, I cannot tell by the sound whether the electronic muffs are on or off. Pro-Ears, Radians and another brand I cannot remember rigt now. It was not until I got a pair ow Walkers with 4X Amplification that I could tell ANY difference. However, even at that, I could not distinguish words very well.

    I gave the 4x Walkers to a friend because they were the only ones that fit over his ears-all others hurt.

    Then I found a set of 9x amplifying Walker muffs. Still not clear enough, but a lot better. (Note: On sale right now at Cabela's for $65, half the price of the same thing on Amazon. shhhh Don't tell anyone.)

    Still, the Walkers have only about 24 Db protection. I want more. But I also want clarity of hearing.

    I am intending to build an amplifier that I can plug earbuds into. The amp (with microphones) will be on the outside of the muffs and accept the earbuds plugin. The wire for the earbuds will snake under the muffs' pads and the "speakers" for the earbuds will sit in the ear canal beneath the ear plugs. In that way The sound provided by the amp will be delivered to my eardrums without having to pass through any sound-deadening barriers.

    What I lack is the ability to build the circuit that will cut off (or cut down) the sound from the amplifier. Anybody know of a place where I could get a schematic of the circuitry I could build for not too much money?

    So much for my off-topic post.

    Now, something for the OP.

    My shooting buddy has a 500 Smth&Wesson with a 4" barrel and the muzzle brake. When he shoots, I make sure I am doubled up and also step a few feet back of the firing line (10 feet vs 3 feet makes a world of difference). That does not help you much, but illuminates a principal.

    When I rode motorcycle, I discovered that a full helmet offered hearing protection (a disadvantage, of course, for that activity), but illustrates another principle. A hard barrier covering the whole head blocks a lot of sound. So, large muffs may offer more protection. You see, not all the sound that you hear comes in through the ear canal. Some comes right through the skull. All the bone in your head (especially near the skin) will transmit sound. I commonly tune my guitar by biting down on the bottom end of a tuning fork. The vibrations of the fork are really loud and I can tune even in a noisy room.

    I suspect that if you had a pair of muffs with REALLY BIG bowls and a good seal, so that a larger portion of you skull was covered you would get more protection.

    Good Luck.

    Lost Sheep

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