There is no reason to ever not wear hearing protection while practicing. There is a phenomenon known as "auditory exclusion," where in a stressful situation you do not hear the shots.
I wear custom ear plugs from the doctors office and the highest NNR muff I can find. Exposure to noise is like radiation, cumulative gradual reduction in hearing ability. The sound scale is logarithmic so a NRR 28 muff will protect substantially less than an NRR 29 muff. When you get your ear plug molds make sure to open your mouth and move around your jaw, it seems to make for a better earplug. I can hear a lot of things pretty well with the custom plugs inserted even though they have an NRR of 29 or so, it takes a plug and a muff to really silence things.
I have permanent tinnitus in my ears from shooting 5.56 as a teenager and thinking that I needed to get my ears "used" to the sound so my reaction would be more effective in a defensive situation.
Take care of your ears, hearing protection is a lot cheaper than dealing with the intricacies of hearing aids.
This ear plug from the doctors office:
I cannot find the direct link but I use a style 40 NRR 29.
I use a Peltor H10A for comfortable high NRR:
Some flavor of a this sort of muff is invaluable for shooting classes:
Please note, that when getting a noise cancelling muff to look at the maximum NRR because that will be the maximum noise reduction limit of the muff. If you are in a rifle class next to other people's muzzles and muzzle breaks you will need all the NRR you can possibly stand. http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3...BC31gv%29&rt=d