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View Full Version : Would you use Active Hearing Protection during a Home Invasion?


jg0001
February 11, 2009, 01:43 PM
Subject says it all...

Is it worthwhile to keep ready a set of electronic muffs with the night-table gun? For example, I own a set of Peltor Swat Tac II's (very similar to the ComTacs, but in black). They amplify soft noises and muffle loud noises. I still assume that you'd ready your weapon first and then put on the muffs thereafter. Obviously, I also assume that this is a scenario where you "hear something" not where someone is already looming over you. [If it matters, for my particular setup, my bedroom is the farthest room from the entryway (stairs/door) and I keep the bedroom door locked at night.]

I can't see how this would be a negative... before any shots are fired, the sound amplification should help me considerably; assuming any shots are fired, after that first "boom" my hearing should be better than the intruder's, unless they brought ear plugs.

[As an aside, I realize the other best 'weapon' to have in a potential encounter is a telephone to alert the police. The wife would be doing that in my case.]

Would your answer change if I was shooting 9mm instead of 45ACP?

Thoughts?

Slopemeno
February 11, 2009, 01:49 PM
Sure, why not? But you have to insert finding them and putting them on in your training.

As far as the caliber, neither are really bad. .357 mag, .357 Sig, .38 Super, THAT's where it starts to hurt.

P35
February 11, 2009, 02:11 PM
Why not wear them all the time? You can never be too prepared

Recon7
February 11, 2009, 02:13 PM
Stay alert - Stay alive

Worry about your ears later.

If a little hearing damage is the worst of your concerns you did pretty good. I am not familiar with the electronic muffs, but it looks like they give Mr Murphy a lot to work with they could fail, batteries die, slip so that they cover your eyes etc etc etc. Less is often more If you are in a defensive posture and time is of the essence, you don't want to be fooling around with muffs.

Recon7
February 11, 2009, 02:15 PM
Nice one p35, why not add some eye pro and steel toe boots.

Wuchak
February 11, 2009, 02:16 PM
Sure. Keep them with the gun and flashlight. They offer an added advantage beyond preserving hearing. Most of them amplify sounds so you have bionic hearing. It could give you the edge.

Wildalaska
February 11, 2009, 02:20 PM
Why not wear them all the time? You can never be too prepared

I do...... I wear my Totoro earmuffs with my HelloKitty Kelvar jammies when I go to bed.

WildcantbetoopreparedAlaska ™

goodspeed(TPF)
February 11, 2009, 02:21 PM
Why not wear them all the time? You can never be too prepared

I think this belongs in that "OTHER" thread. :D

bufordtjustice
February 11, 2009, 02:26 PM
Given the variables you listed, readying the gun first, etc., why not have a set handy. I have Peltors that I use for training, target practice, etc. I don't think it is a terrible idea, I just wouldn't have it high on the list of priorities. As for others, the poster appears to be trying to ask a legitimate question as he sees it, so give him a legitimate answer. Don't be a jerk.

chris in va
February 11, 2009, 02:35 PM
Problem is, many electronic muffs aren't true stereo. For example, my friend's Peltor 6s has side to side stereo, but I couldn't tell if someone was approaching from behind. I could *hear* it, just not discern if he was to my left or right.

Just a thought.

#18indycolts
February 11, 2009, 02:36 PM
if someone is sneaking around your house, you might need your hearing. I've always pictured myself going around the house with my gun wearing my boxers...and thats all.:cool:

Milspec
February 11, 2009, 03:17 PM
Strangely, my wife just bought me one of those $15 Loud 'N Clear sound amplifiers as "seen on TV". Think she's tired of me asking if she hears anything as if the dogs wouldn't pick it up first. Turns out the thing works pretty good. I'd certainly hear if anybody were moving around downstairs at night. Gotta remember to take the silly thing off before I shoot...a 115 db boost could be painfull.. :D

Milspec

Brian Pfleuger
February 11, 2009, 05:01 PM
Problem is, many electronic muffs aren't true stereo. For example, my friend's Peltor 6s has side to side stereo, but I couldn't tell if someone was approaching from behind. I could *hear* it, just not discern if he was to my left or right.


It may depend on how they are set or perhaps just on how well the company does it. I have 2 sets from Radians, one hearing aid style and one earmuff style. I wear them both for hunting and I can easily tell direction with both. Front/Back and Left/Right.

So far as wearing them in a HD situation, sure, if they were right there and I could get them on without putting myself in danger. In reality, I don't keep them right there so, no.

NickW
February 11, 2009, 05:47 PM
It’s a legitimate question, give the guy a break. I have a pair of muffs right beside my weapon; they actually help my hearing because I have hearing damage and tinnitus. Reaction time is the big question; if you have the time put them on.

Sigma 40 Blaster
February 11, 2009, 07:56 PM
All smartass answers aside I don't see what it would hurt but that's an extra thing to try to remember while your heart's beating fast and you're nervous. Also unless you can do some really ninja stuff you'd have to lay down your gun (assuming you are a normal guy who doesn't sleep fully dressed with a Serpa holster on at the ready) to put your ears on.

An extra step during a moment of anxiety and uncertainty? Putting your gun down also?

I'd rather just go see what was up if you could safely investigate. But I guess it seems like a reasonable enough precaution. I'd personally prefer to skip that and use those seconds to clear up that anxiety and uncertainty. To each his own. Stay safe.

mouse07410
February 11, 2009, 08:15 PM
Putting ear protectors on takes very little time, if that's part of your practice. Keeping your gun, flashlight, cell phone and ear protectors on your nightstand - and figuring which items to pick up - shouldn't overwhelm the capacity of a normal brain, even under high stress. You know, in the army we somehow figured how upon alarm in the dead of the night to get up, fully dress, pick the complete assortment of weapons, get out of the barracks and get busy - all under 30 seconds.

If there is an intrusion - of course your first priority is to survive it (and the potential firefight). But assuming you do survive - wouldn't you rather escape unscathed - including avoiding hearing loss - especially if it's trivially easy to accomplish?

Now of course if you would prefer survival with busted ears to survival with ears intact - who am I to argue. For myself - I can space both the expense for electronic ear protectors and the time&efforts to train with them.

armsmaster270
February 11, 2009, 08:25 PM
Think about it Cop's are more than likely to get into a SD shooting than John Q. How many cops do you see with ear plug/muffs on duty. Part of situational awareness is being able to hear where the bad guy is before he is a threat and ear plugs defeat that. A little hearing imparement is better than a big coffin. Also the ammount of noise from a SD shooting is negligable.

dabigguns357
February 11, 2009, 08:45 PM
Better off deaf than dead.

IZinterrogator
February 11, 2009, 08:54 PM
(assuming you are a normal guy who doesn't sleep fully dressed with a Serpa holster on at the ready)Sleep, no. Nap in my La-Z-Boy on the weekends, yes. :o

YARDDOG(1)
February 11, 2009, 09:02 PM
I wear em at the mall :D

jg0001
February 11, 2009, 09:02 PM
Part of situational awareness is being able to hear where the bad guy is before he is a threat and ear plugs defeat that.

Re-read the OP. I'm not talking plugs nor regular muffs. I'm talking Peltor Swat Tac II's... very similar to Com Tac II's. The same thing many in the military choose to wear. They BOOST low level sounds while auto-muffling louder noises.

DVC9
February 12, 2009, 08:36 AM
jgoo1,

Nice idea but save your breath. If you notice most of the naysayers do not indicate that they have any experience using electronic muffs, only smart assed remarks.

It indeed is a good idea, as the sound amplification gives a definite advantage listening for target indicators that may give you input as to what you are going to be up against before you actually engage. As well as helping to locate your target/s.

If you haven't tried them, do so, you may find a new item for your defensive setup.

Oh and by the way, many Military units and Police SWAT teams are being issued Electronic headphones for all the advantages listed.

ZeSpectre
February 12, 2009, 09:16 AM
If I could figure out which ones to get, I'd have electronic muffs and I'd probably keep them in the bedside safe just in case.

If I don't have the time/inclination to use 'em then so be it but I really like having options and the thought of touching off a .40 S&W round indoors without ear protection induces enough cringe that I wonder if it'd make me hesitate in a critical situation.

(so I'll accept any recommendations for good quality electronic earmuffs)

jg0001
February 12, 2009, 12:16 PM
From my bedroom out to the living room is a long hallway; a shot fired in there would resonate in a bad way, I'd imagine. Multiple shots and it could be disorienting. Being shielded from that would provide an advantage, I would think, especially in the situation if multiple shots were fired. Obviously, the likelihood of ANY of this happening is very low, but that doesn't keep many of us from being prepared in the first place. Keeping my elecmuffs out and ready is no biggee for me. Whether I choose to take the time to put them on or not would obviously depend on the situation.

For those concerned about the 'extra time', consider this -- is it not possible that you'd "hear something" suspicious and begin your hunkering down process? Wouldn't that also assume there was a time gap between that first sound you hear and someone actually being a threat to you? Obviously, if someone busts open the door to the room you are in and that is the first warning to you that something bad is happening, well, just be happy if you can get your gun out. It was my understanding that the safest thing to do in the case were you are nearly certain you are under siege is to play defense... i.e. don't seek out the danger, wait for it to come to you (if at all), and be ready to respond.

FWIW, I have not ever heard a shot without protection, so am not sure of how loud and/or disorienting it would really be.

jg0001
February 12, 2009, 12:35 PM
(so I'll accept any recommendations for good quality electronic earmuffs)

Peltor ComTac II
or
Peltor SwatTac II

The SwatTac's are barely different from the ComTac's, with the exception of being black instead of brown(ish). There is one other difference for additional wiring, but it is minor. Pricewise, they are about the same.

Both of the above are without a doubt fantastic and receive ringing (inverse pun) endorsements from those in the military as well as hunters and mere range runners (I'm in that last category). Both are designed to fit well under a helmet (i.e. the outside of the muff part is flattened, not a big bubble as with usual muffs) and also to be easier to use with a rifle (again, due to the lack of a big bubble around your ears).

When looking these up online, you will see some wild prices. Usually the ridiculously high prices are because you are seeing them paired up with additional radio gear (mics, etc).

I bought my set for a great price at:
http://www.envirosafetyproducts.com/product/Peltor-SwatTac-II-Electronic-Headset-Covert-Black.html
*edited to fix link above*

[to read user reviews, search for the "peltor comtac II" at amazon.com; there's a lot more feedback there]

OldShooter
February 12, 2009, 12:42 PM
Kevlar gloves, steel toed bunny slippers, fall protection harness(keep OSHA happy) and make sure it's all "tactical".

xsquidgator
February 12, 2009, 12:52 PM
If there was enough time to put 'em on, sure, I'd put on some active earmmuffs. I read somewhere that the boom of gunfire, especially inside a house, will be very disorienting and might well reduce how effectively you can aim and fire. Active earmuffs can do away with that, and can help you hear better before anything happens, or during a fight, too. If you have time and presence of mind to put them on, do it.

That said, I have a set in my range bag but that stays in the closet at night. Between a phone, a nightstand gun, and a flashlight, I already have enough stuff to haul in and out when going to bed and getting up in the morning. I think the muffs would be nice to have if I ever had to use a gun in self-defense, but not so nice I'll go out of my way every night for the next 20 or 30 years to keep them at the ready.

Re4mer
February 16, 2009, 12:59 AM
If somebody has invaded my home the last thing I am going to reach for is ear protection.

dcobler
February 16, 2009, 01:17 AM
I say keep them with the weapon, worst case scenario, you don't have time to put them on and DO have to fire your weapon, hearing damage. Best scenario, put them on and realize it is a racoon in the trash!!! Great idea by the way.

Nnobby45
February 16, 2009, 02:04 AM
If somebody has invaded my home the last thing I am going to reach for is ear protection.

If someone invades my home it won't be the first thing I reach for, but IF I have time I'll put mine on. They're strategically located near the place where I'd make my "stand", next to my 870.

Circumstances might allow me to use them. Might not. Might allow me to jump out of bed, might not. I don't have a crystal ball to tell me exactly how things will transpire, but Electronic hearing is part of the bag of tricks.

I can hear a Canary breathing at 30 ft. with my Peltiers--or Bubba sneaking along inside my house no matter how quiet he tries to be. Not just about hearing protection.

JohnKSa
February 16, 2009, 02:48 AM
I can hear a Canary breathing at 30 ft. with my Peltiers--or Bubba sneaking along inside my house no matter how quiet he tries to be. Not just about hearing protection.More importantly (to me anyway) is that after the first shot you'll still be able to hear what's going on. My one and only shot indoors without hearing protection left me totally deaf for nearly a minute and severely hearing impaired for about half an hour.

It's certainly not the first thing I'd go for, but if there were time and I could gather my thoughts enough to remember it I would use it. I have a set readily available. Realistically I kind of doubt that I would even remember they're there in a real emergency.

JohnH1963
February 16, 2009, 05:41 AM
What about putting hearing protection in just one ear? At least you will have one ear left when all is said and done...

Creature
February 16, 2009, 05:53 AM
http://img.alibaba.com/photo/206590783/Ear_Muffs.jpg

Dont forget the dog..
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1008/996304409_ff5d8d27a3.jpg

Erik
February 16, 2009, 01:40 PM
Does it make sense to wear electronic hearing protection while anticipating gunfire in confined, enclosed spaces? Yes. You may not perceive the need, be able to afford it, or have time to don it, or statistically need it; but it makes sense non the less.

Stevie-Ray
February 16, 2009, 02:52 PM
I want a pair badly, and not just for the range. They will be positioned next to my nightstand weapon, expressly for the I think somebody's in the house scenario, rather than the door crashing in with heavy footsteps sound. The latter, of course, doesn't provide much time for donning earmuffs.

I've been looking online for quality e-muffs, and plan to purchase this year.

Para Bellum
February 16, 2009, 03:54 PM
Yes, I would. Good stuff.

ElectricHellfire
February 16, 2009, 05:12 PM
No. I want to hear my target. Besides, its better to be deaf and alive rather than dead with perfect hearing.

pax
February 16, 2009, 05:21 PM
ElectricHellfire,

Possibly you didn't understand the question. We are not discussing passive hearing protection (plugs, normal muffs), but active hearing protection (electronic muffs), which would not only allow you to hear the intruder but would actually enhance your hearing capabilities.

Agree that I'd rather be alive & deaf than dead. So would we all. But your comment is not really appropos to the topic.

pax

Only S&W and Me
February 16, 2009, 08:09 PM
I can't imagine what my 12 gauge Mossberg would sound like in the house with multiple shots!

webhead
February 16, 2009, 09:09 PM
I have a outer gun belt w/ holster, mag pouch, knife and flashlight. Next to it is my proears and loaded shotgun. Loaded hand gun is a lot closer to the bed. If something needs investigating, likely I'll spend 10 secs putting the belt and ears on and switch to the shotgun. If dogs are going nuts and clear sounds of intruder, pistol in hand and a call to 911 if possible.

I hope it never happens but expect it to be dynamic. Having a plan and the means to carry out that plan is a good start. I think electronic ears give you an advantage provided you train with them. That is, know you're home's sounds with them on. That sound of someone moving might just be your fridge. ;)

Chris_B
February 16, 2009, 10:07 PM
http://www.surefire.com/Fox-Ears

Captainjack
February 16, 2009, 10:34 PM
Ok my first reply got deleted probably because I said this is retarded but, here goes again. Tech fails and always when you need it most. If I'm a perp and worth a sh!!. I'm coming for the people in the home first to secure the area to do my bg stuff. Would you rather be adjusting you ear muffs or prepared, armed and READY! Your super hearing bs isn't going to do crap when they put two in your head. The pros today aren't going to give you the time to play with your toys. Flame me if you want but you'll be alive.

youp
February 17, 2009, 07:26 AM
Looks like we are assuming different types of bad guys here. The sneak thief that is going to hit the road running a the sound of a dog or the sight of a boxer clad, ear muffed, shotgun yielding occupant. Do not get in his way and don't shoot him in the back heading out your door.

The 'pros'. Somebody has probably got a 'contract' on you. You probably did something or associated with someone that was bad. LEOs excepted on this one. Muffs are probably not an option. No time here.

The ones that scare me are the druggies. My wife has very specific orders here. They see the 870 and the light and do not show their back, shoot them. Insurance will buy new carpet and fix the wall damage.

IMO everyone that has a home defense plan should practice it. If your home defense plan has electronic ear muffs, go for it. We have his and hers firearms. I get the 41 revolver and she gets the 870. We are both allowed to use the dog. Each have lights on the nightstand. Personally, my eye glasses are more important then my ears. But it is very personal. So if you think that electronic hearing protection gives you an advantage, you had better practice and get good at it.

And forget the flamers. They will NOT be there for YOU.

Al Thompson
February 17, 2009, 07:29 AM
I'm going to get a set, probably Radian. If anybody has a suggestion, please PM me. :)

I'll be more than happy to see how well they work and post some thoughts in a couple of weeks...

Captainjack, nice try, zero points. The Mall Ninja thing has been done to death (as well as better). Welcome to my ignore list... Best feature on the web!

Skans
February 17, 2009, 09:15 AM
Hearing protection during a home invasion????

You've got to be kidding, right. Absolutely not.

If I hear something going "bump" in the night and want to check it out:

1. I want to get my gun as fast as I can, which is never as fast as you think it will be;

2. keep lights off and go through my investigation of all areas of my house vulnerable to break-in.

3. LISTEN for any signs of a break-in or people in my house.

4. LISTEN, look and verify, if possible, where all member of my household are.

5. If I encounter home invader(s), the few rounds that I will fire will doubtfully cause any permenant damage to my ears....and if it does, oh, well.

You need all of your senses on high alert when checking for home invaders. I need my hearing as much as I need my sight, especially in low light situations.

onthejon55
February 17, 2009, 11:32 AM
walking around in the dark with bionic hearing could be very disorienting. now every bump sounds like someone sketching around you house. If hearing damage concerns you that much i would spend a little more money and instead of getting hearing protection invest in a suppressor

pax
February 17, 2009, 11:54 AM
Skans,

Possibly you didn't understand the question. We are not discussing passive hearing protection (plugs, normal muffs), but active hearing protection (electronic muffs), which would not only allow you to hear the intruder but would actually enhance your hearing capabilities.

pax

Whiteboy67
February 17, 2009, 03:22 PM
I made the mistake of making this same thread a few weeks ago, got the same replies. Someone should run a test to end this debate. Slap on a pair of electronic ear protection and have someone else sneaking around inside the house+outside the house. Then have them repeat the exact same process but this time, don't wear anything on your ears. See if theres any advantages/disadvantages. I'm curious to see the results, someone test :)

Stevie-Ray
February 17, 2009, 04:12 PM
No testing necessary, AFAIC. They have been proven to enhance your hearing capabilities. Perfect for the "bump in the night" you hear that is probably nothing, but COULD be a cat burgler, especially if you've heard of one in your area. The naysayers amaze me with their "it's always going to be someone crashing in your door and killing everyone in the house before they take what they want" attitude.:rolleyes: Robbery and B&E statistics, in my area anyway, say something completely different. I would be able to, and plan to use these for clearly most of the checking of my house.

Skans
February 17, 2009, 05:04 PM
Possibly you didn't understand the question. We are not discussing passive hearing protection (plugs, normal muffs), but active hearing protection (electronic muffs), which would not only allow you to hear the intruder but would actually enhance your hearing capabilities.


I don't trust things that run on batteries. Let me tell you - my friggin mini-vault runs on batteries, which makes it worthless!! I just keep the key nearby so I can get into it. I got sick and tired of constantly replacing batteries.

I've had to grab my gun and check things out several times. Once was an animal noise. Another time, I saw blue flashing lights outside my window and found out that the cops were chasing a perp through my normally quiet neithborhood. Another time, the police copter was circling my house looking for someone in the woods behind it. Like I said, I would never even consider wearing hearing protection.

jg0001
February 17, 2009, 05:14 PM
No. I want to hear my target. Besides, its better to be deaf and alive rather than dead with perfect hearing.

Don't forget, we're talking electronic muffs, not plain muffs/plugs. I'll be hearing the target better than you. Any short after a FIRST shot is fired, I WILL STILL be able to hear the target, while they will likely be momentarily deaf. That is a huge advantage, I'd think.

ElectricHellfire
February 17, 2009, 05:39 PM
Either way (active/passive) I just dont think I am gonna jump up and then start gearing up with noise amplifiers and night vision goggles etc. For me, its pretty much gonna be me, a light and a gun. I don't want to be wasting time fumbling around in the dark with extra gear only to get holed by an intruder after finally getting all my equipment together. Honestly, IMO it borders on the mall ninja spectrum of things. IMO!

I mean am I supposed to be sleeping in these things? I don't know maybe I'm unprepared.

publius
February 17, 2009, 08:24 PM
first, I want things to be as simple as possible, grab my shotgun or pistol and flashlight. Dial 911 if I think there's time. deal with the threat, hopefully by retreating. I don't want anything to interfere with my natural hearing. Things could sound closer or farther than actual, or just not right. don't count out the possibility of dead batteries, and with the almost certain adrenaline dump you may not realize it.

armsmaster270
February 18, 2009, 12:37 AM
Having been in an actual indoor shooting I did not even notice the shot I fired. and that was with a +P+ round.

Al Thompson
February 18, 2009, 12:10 PM
Well, I'll give this a try when I get mine. Frankly, it's a time issue - if I've got time, no problem with the electronic hearing enhancement. If it's a violent attack, obviously it's "grab gun and repel boarders".

pepe1
February 19, 2009, 11:07 PM
I've got Peltors, they work great on the range. But, they're dead half the time, granted it's because I forget to turn them off. When you put them on you have to mess with them briefly to figure out if one or both sides are working. Doesn't seem to me to be the kind of thing I want to mess with in the dark with a threat in the house. On the other hand, if I were the aggressor and had time to get set before I acted they'd make a lot of sense.

2kflhr
February 19, 2009, 11:54 PM
I was involved in a shoot out and only had a .380 on me at the time. I fired 6 rounds emptying my magazine sitting inside a vehicle and honestly can't remember the noise being excessive. At the range it would have been and I think in certain situations your unaffected by by things that would normally bother you. it makes no sense but was unaffected never the less.

For me, if in an emergency situation hearing protection will not be considered when seconds count.

Stevie-Ray
February 20, 2009, 03:22 PM
Having been in an actual indoor shooting I did not even notice the shot I fired. and that was with a +P+ round.

I fired 6 rounds emptying my magazine sitting inside a vehicle and honestly can't remember the noise being excessive. At the range it would have been and I think in certain situations your unaffected by by things that would normally bother you. it makes no sense but was unaffected never the less.Guys, auditory exclusion has zero to do with losing your hearing. It's benefit is temporary for the here and now only. You are STILL doing damage to your hearing.

11bravo_2papa
February 20, 2009, 03:35 PM
i have been in a few situations were i have fired indoors with my ears unprotected. i would not recommend this often obviously but i never noticed any repercussions after the fact. something to think about is say you go down stairs and shoot the perp with your ear pro on, and for some reason you end up in court. one could say by you putting on your ear pro you went down stairs with the intent to shoot.

Webleymkv
February 20, 2009, 05:09 PM
I wouldn't but not for the reasons mentioned. If I were a cop and showed up at the scene of a shooting and found the shooter wearing electronic ear-muffs, it would suggest to me that perhaps the shooter was expecting the shootee and would therefore make his claim of self-defense seem a bit sucspicious.

Erik
February 21, 2009, 01:12 AM
And what of your gun? By that logic its mere possession could damn you.

VonFireball
February 21, 2009, 10:35 AM
I think if I woke up to someone trying to jimmy the door, the last thing that I'm gonna be thinking about is putting on ear protection.

Personally, I'm more concerned with having my clothes on. I don't want to have hand to hand combat in my underwear or my birthday suit.

Therefore, I "tactically" sleep in my jeans. I'd leave my boots on if I could tolerate it, but that usually makes for a lot of tossing and turning.:)