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Old November 18, 2012, 07:04 PM   #72
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Join Date: November 30, 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2,708
You said that one should use a 9mm or .45 ACP in order to "save your ears". We already know that to be factually incorrect since 9mm and .45 ACP also generate decibel levels high enough to cause permanent hearing damage from a single exposure, but I figured I'd give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you meant 9mm and .45 ACP would simply cause less hearing damage than a .357 Magnum would. So, the question remains how much less hearing damage will a 9mm or .45 ACP cause than a .357 Magnum would?
When I say save my ears, I am not implying 9mm or .45 will not cause hearing damage, I mean that those calibers have the potential to cause less when compared to higher pressure rounds like the .357. I guess there really is no way to officially say how much less damage one round causes to another. The only way to officially quantify it would be to compile results of hearing tests of people who went in for single shot exposures and how much hearing loss or damage to the cilia in the inner ear. Even without that information it's still pretty safe to assume that the higher the DB levels, the more potential for damage from shot to shot.

You also said that a 9mm or .45 ACP will "get the job done just as well" as a .357 Magnum. So, one can only assume that since you're able to pronounce one cartridge just as effective as another in such absolute terms, you must have some way to measure cartridge effectiveness. So, the second part of my question is exactly how do you measure cartridge effectiveness to such a precise degree that you can pronounce 9mm and .45 ACP to be just as effective as .357 Magnum in such absolute terms?
When I say the 9mm and .45 acp can get the job done just as well as the .357 magnum, what I really mean is that I don't think there is any self defense situation where a .357 will get you out where a 9mm or .45 cant. Now that doesn't mean each caliber is equal, just that they can all serve the same purpose successfully. Say a building is demolished with 1lb of C4 and a building is demolished with 5lb's of C4. The 5lb's of C4 may have resulted in a bigger more powerful explosion but they both did the job equally as well.

You see, it seems to me that, in order to make an informed decision about decibel level vs. effectiveness, one would have to be able to quantify how much hearing damage a given decibel level is likely to cause and how effective different cartridges are so that we actually have something to compare. Even if we assume that the .357 Magnum causes more hearing damage due to it's higher decibel levels, we cannot resolutely say that the cartridge has no benefit over 9mm and .45 ACP unless both the levels of hearing damage caused and the terminal effectiveness of the compared calibers can be quantified in some way.
I think it's pretty fair to say that the higher the DB level the more potential for damage from shot to shot. Since there is no information out there for what DB levels cause how much damage vs cartridge effectiveness, one must make an informed decision based on what information is available. We have plenty of info on the net for ballistic tests for each caliber, and we have charts that tell us the DB levels of each caliber. Seeing as I have first hand experience with how loud a hot 125gr .357 is out of a snub indoors I can make a pretty informed decision that it is loud as heck, and as a result I have high frequency hearing loss and a mild case of tinnitus in my left ear. Because of that incident I choose not to use the .357 for home defense or carry use.
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