Indoor range shooters…Hearing protection?

Forums Other Parts, Accessories, & Equipment Indoor range shooters…Hearing protection?

  • Views : 1419
  • Link

    Zoey
    Participant
    Member

    I’m looking for some opinions regarding hearing protection from those of you who shoot at indoor ranges.

    A couple of days ago I was at a small 10-bay indoor range. Apparently it was “Everyone bring your 308 chambered AR15” day. I currently use foam ear protection rated at 32db, and always make sure that they are properly inserted.

    At one point I actually had to cover my ears with my hands. The concussive blast was just more than I could take.

    Fast forward to today…My ears still hurt, the ever-present tinnitus is worse, and any moderately loud noise increase the pain. I work in an ER, and had a provider take a quick look in my ears. In layman’s terms, I have swelling and fluid buildup behind my eardrums. Looks like I will be away from the indoor range for a while.

    I tried using the muffs from the range rental section, but all of them are too large to get a cheek weld on my Vulcan bullpup. This brings me to electronic ear muffs; in particular, thin models.

    The two models I am looking at are the Walker’s Game Ear Razor Slim (23 NRR), and the Howard Leight Impact Sport’s (22NRR). From now on I will wear foam ear plugs under the muffs.

    Has anyone owned both? If so, can you compare/contrast them? Are there other “slim” models that I should be looking at? Are there other better suited options? 

    Link

    Clyde
    Participant
    Member

    I have owned several noise cancelling headsets, and still have the Howard Leight unit you listed. All work very well in conjunction with my custom made for my ears plugs. However, they all interfere with a good cheek weld on any rifle. I cannot use any headset with a rifle, therefore I only shoot rifle outside and for a short time. I suffer from tinnitus due to no hearing protection while in the Army in the mid sixtys, firing M2, .50 cal machine guns. I have substantial hearing loss and do receive a partial pension from the VA. Good luck finding the right headset.

    Link

    Zoey
    Participant
    Member

    Well, that’s not encouraging news. Maybe I’ll just flip a coin and pick one. If I can’t get a cheek weld, I guess I could always send them back.

    Link

    Zoey
    Participant
    Member

    I’ve sent an email to both Walker’s and Howard Leight requesting information about their ear muff dimensions. I suspect the smaller the better.

    Link

    Deleted Account

    I used to shoot indoors at my job, and the rule was to always “double up” by wearing foam ear plugs under quality earpros. I have the Howard Leight Impact Pros and they’re excellent. I also have Peltor 6S and while they’re extremely slim, they’re marginal at NRR 19 for shooting indoors even with foam plugs IMHO.

    Link

    Zoey
    Participant
    Member

    My email to Walker’s bounced back, so I called them. In a nutshell, they had no idea of what the dimensions of the Razor ear pro are. I haven’t heard back from HL, and to be honest, I don’t expect to.

    Interesting that you mention the NRR rating of 19. The MSA Sordin’s have a rating of 19, but the vast majority of people rave about them when coupled with gel earpieces. The argument (alleged) is that manufacturers are listing their NRR levels, but not indicating at what frequency this occurs. No need to discuss the price of the MSA’s. Flat out, they are expensive.

    Obviously, gunfire is going to be louder than say a lawnmower. If a company indicates a NRR of 34, but it occurs at say the frequency of a lawnmower, it surely won’t provide the same level of protection at a gun range?

    I’ve spent hours and hours looking at ear pro, and frankly it’s becoming tiresome. I’ve started to question the validity of NRR numbers. Ear pro wouldn’t be such an issue if it weren’t for the unique characteristics of my bullpup.

    Le sigh…

    Link

    unionrdr
    Participant
    Member

    I have the Caldwell’s with dual microphones & volume adjustment that cancels at 85Db. NRR 23 rating. doesn’t interfere with me shootin’ rifles. But being a man, they might not work for a lady shooter?
       

    Link

    Zoey
    Participant
    Member

    Thanks for the info and photos. I will have to look into the dimensions of the Caldwell’s.

    Link

    Zoey
    Participant
    Member

    I searched high and low, but was unable to find more information about the noise attenuation for the HL’s or Walker’s. Manufacturers indicate a NRR of XX, but don’t say at what frequency, or across what range of frequencies this happens. 

    The only brand I found that does publish this information is MSA. I did a lot of reading on forums such as Snipers et al about them and, despite the listed NRR being so low, the overwhelming response is positive. MSA’s attenuation graph indicates a significantly higher reduction (than the published NRR rating) within the gunfire frequency spectrum.

    Although still concerned about the NRR rating, I ordered a pair from Amazon. If I can get a good cheek weld and safe noise reduction, I’ll keep them. If not, back to Amazon they go. After my initial ear assault at the indoor range, I will never not muff and plug again.

    Link

    jlc
    Participant
    Member

    I lost a good bit of my overall hearing, not deaf or anything, but sometimes i can’t hear my wife.

    This occurred in the 60’s flying helicopter gunships in Nam, shooting miniguns, rockets etc. with nothing but a basic helmet. (Continued flying aircraft for a living for the next 45 years with the Army and the State Police and part time charter work)

    But doing a lot of shooting in the Army  and State Police I  started using the foam ear plugs and they pretty much preserved what i had left, and when ever going to the range for training, qualifying, we all used the foam ear plugs.

    Now i use them when i use the string trimmer or hand sanders.

    My indoor shooting is in my basemen and i have no need for ear plugs with air guns, especially since i am the only one shooting.

    At the range:  Eyes and Ears on, Ready on the Left, Ready on the Right, the firing line is ready, lock and load etc. commence firing on my command.

    Always protect your eyes and ears.

    Link

    Zoey
    Participant
    Member

    I’m also a big proponent of eye & ear protection. To this day I’ve never witnessed any of my neighbors wearing ear protection while mowing the lawn or using a snowblower.

    I should have been an audiologist. Easiest job in the world…
    Patient: My wife says I can’t hear.
    Me: Lets do some testing.
    Me: Yep, your hearing is bad, and you won’t get it back. Let’s set up up with a pair of $3,000.00 hearing aids.
    Patient: Jaw hits the floor when they get the final bill for everything.

    Job done!

    Me: Purchasing a second home on a private island somewhere near the equator.

    Link

    unionrdr
    Participant
    Member

    I lost a bit of hearing off the extreme high and low ends. My ears ring a little constantly from 93db noise in the old Ford foundry in Cleveland. I can’t wear foam earplugs, since they work their way out & shoving them in constantly made my ears sore. So I use the Caldwell headset.

    Link

    Matt247365
    Participant
    Member

    Hey Zoey

    Check out Pro Ears. A few years back, I was searching for a nice set of ear muffs and found these.

    They are  A W E S O M E. Each muff is it’s own self-contained system with it’s own battery. No wires connecting the two muffs.

    When on a powder burner range, I double up with a set of Westone ear plugs and it’s really, really nice. Super comfy.

    Matt

    Link

    Zoey
    Participant
    Member

    Thanks Matt. I’ll keep the Pro Ears in mind should the MSA’s not work out. I’ve not heard of Westone, so I’ll pop over to their web page for a gander.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.