When shooting a .22LR back in my younger days, I never used hearing protection. Then a .22 pistol. Wow, much different. About then I learned the benefit of using hearing pro, but of course by then it was too late. Lesson learned and I've been a staunch advocate of doubling-up on protection when at the range for well over twenty years, when just using muffs turned out to HURT at .44 magnum levels. Been also the victim of surprise shots by fellow shooters, fumbling with ear pro during commence firing calls, etc. It all hurts, but especially high-power rifles and magnum power pistols. Save what hearing you've got left, guys, at all costs. Please.
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I am the weapon; my gun is a tool. It's regrettable that with some people those descriptors are reversed.