Since we have already established that all common handgun cartridges are loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage if used without a suppressor or hearing protection, do we have any way to quantify how much hearing damage varying decibel levels will cause? The reason I ask is because I see several people recommending cartridges like .38 Special, .44 Special, and .45 ACP because they produce lower decibel levels and would thus presumably cause less hearing damage, but I've never seen anyone say how much less damage. It seems to me that decibel levels, and thus potential hearing damage, should be weighed against cartridge effectiveness when selecting a defensive cartridge, but we cannot do that if we don't know the risk and/or magnitude of hearing damage caused by various decibel levels.
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures. -J. Caesar