The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Gear and Accessories

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 10, 2010, 02:14 PM   #1
booker_t
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2009
Posts: 797
Ear Pro Alternatives

I did some searching through the forums and I found a few threads on ear-pro, but nothing too recent or comprehensive, so I'm going to throw this out there.

Personally, I do not like wearing muffs on the range. They add weight to my head and since my line of work doesn't require wearing a helmet, I'd rather not have the weight when I train. That being the case, the fancy electronic muffs are out of the question, while they are an excellent ear-pro option.

Basic foam plugs are decent, I think they do a well-enough job unless you have somebody dumping .50 Cal or a .30-06 next to you. Even at an indoor range I've been fine with standard foam plugs, no loss of hearing or ringing after 12+ years.

I've been trying to track down foam "combat" plugs that a buddy of mine who worked at the Army Research Laboratory (ARL) used to have a stock of. They attentuate pretty strongly over 90dB but allow normal conversation. They were designed (I believe) as a small, light, disposable option for artillery gunners, tankers, etc.

Searching the web, I came across an offering from Surefire that I'm very interested in. The "EP-6 Signature Series," at $14 a pair they are definitely worth a shot, and they claim 3-6month lifetime with proper care, and depending on frequency of use. Anybody have experience with Surefire's ear-pro? They appear to be a great option for hunters as well, who want to protect their ears, but don't want to wear bulky muffs for hours waiting for their shot.

http://www.surefire.com/EP6-SignatureSeries

Anything else comparable to those that somebody could recommend? I'm looking for under $20/pair that allows normal conversation while attenuating blast.

Last edited by booker_t; June 10, 2010 at 02:20 PM.
booker_t is offline  
Old June 10, 2010, 03:37 PM   #2
Don P
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 4,812
Quote:
•Lowers potentially dangerous noise levels above 85 dB (like the roar of a racing engine, which can exceed 130 dB) while allowing safe sound levels below 85 dB to be heard
•16dB Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) with stoppers in
It does NOT state the amount of noise reduction WITHOUT the stoppers




I do not own a pair. Reading the info from the link with the stoppers in they offer a 16dB NRR. You do understand this is NOT much protection from noise.
I am curious as to how they claim the reduction in noise without the stoppers in. No pun intended but it sounds to good to be true.
__________________
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, IDPA Safety Officer, USPSA NROI Range Officer
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old June 10, 2010, 05:57 PM   #3
Toddco
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 7, 2009
Location: Stony Plain, Alberta
Posts: 101
i agree, i read somewhere that while shooting we should have at least a nrr rating of 25.
Toddco is offline  
Old June 10, 2010, 08:34 PM   #4
wally626
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2009
Posts: 635
The surfires appear to be aimed at the loud but not as loud as shooting racing noises. They rate race engines as 140dB while gun shots are usually over 160dB. These are probably similar to some musicians ear plugs that cut the noise down but still allow you to hear. They are not good enough for gunfire just trumpets.

Your friends 90 dB noise reduction claim is spurious, there is a limit due to bone conduction that limits any noise reduction focused on the ears to around 40dB

http://www.audiologyonline.com/Artic...article_id=296

The only way to eliminate really loud noise and allow hearing is to use electronic muffs or plugs. There are some relatively cheap ($30) muff style ones out now, but the plug style electronic protection I have seen were pretty expensive. http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=774928
wally626 is offline  
Old June 10, 2010, 08:57 PM   #5
booker_t
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2009
Posts: 797
wally, perhaps I wasn't clear.

The plugs he had didn't attenuate 90dB, their filter started at 90dB input. I don't know the actual attenuation.

The guy is legit, he's been a senior scientist with ARL for 20+ years. I had worn them in the past, could hold a conversation while dropping 120mm mortars out of a 113 carrier.
booker_t is offline  
Old June 10, 2010, 09:05 PM   #6
espnazi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 6, 2009
Posts: 256
here another option from surefire with a little bit more protection.
http://www.surefire.com/EP4-Sonic-Defenders-Plus
espnazi is offline  
Old June 11, 2010, 05:08 PM   #7
jhansman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2007
Posts: 624
I have the Surefires, but frankly, only use them alone when shooting rimfire. I actually got them to use in concert with my electronic muffs when I'm shooting centerfire rifle or am next to someone who has a weapon that is particularly loud. For this they work quite well and are comfortable.
__________________
Blessed is the man who has nothing to say, and cannot be compelled to say it.
jhansman is offline  
Old June 11, 2010, 09:00 PM   #8
wally626
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 31, 2009
Posts: 635
Quote:
The plugs he had didn't attenuate 90dB, their filter started at 90dB input. I don't know the actual attenuation.
I quess they could be something like the Noise Breakers at this link http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/honobr.html but these are only rated at 19db NR, pretty low for shooting. Or perhaps the Sonic Blast at this site http://www.perfect-seal.com/earplugs.html or the Sonic Valve at this site http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net...ear-plugs.html but once again only rated for 19dB NR.
wally626 is offline  
Old June 22, 2010, 08:57 AM   #9
Morgoroth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 12, 2010
Posts: 198
Well Booker if you can't find them, then your guy should sell them, bc I would defiantly buy some.
Morgoroth is offline  
Old June 22, 2010, 12:26 PM   #10
booker_t
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2009
Posts: 797
Hah, yeah I hear ya. Unfortunately Uncle Sam owns the patent and I have no idea who has the contract to manufacture them.

Maybe with a letter of interest Surefire will consider a product for shooters similar to the above.
booker_t is offline  
Old June 22, 2010, 12:43 PM   #11
gunmoney
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 3, 2005
Posts: 381
These maybe?
http://www.uscav.com/Productinfo.asp...549&TabID=2000
gunmoney is offline  
Old June 22, 2010, 10:56 PM   #12
tacmedicp94
Junior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2009
Posts: 3
I have them and use them all the time at the range. They seem to work pretty well, about the same as foam ear plugs, but I can hear conversations better. From what I can gather, the stoppers are used to block noises such as conversations when you are trying to sleep etc. I was kind of skeptical when I purchased them but figured that I could take a $13 gamble. Ive had mine now for about 4 months and haven't had any problems.

Adam
tacmedicp94 is offline  
Old July 22, 2010, 01:44 PM   #13
booker_t
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 21, 2009
Posts: 797
Hey all, I recently found some impressive electronic ear protection options from SportEar (http://www.sportear.com/)

Endorsed by Tom Knapp over at Benelli. 24dB NRR in-the-ear, custom fitted and tuned based on your individual hearing (they test you first). The units can amplify the sounds you want to hear (like a deer walking through leaves) while still attenuating your muzzle blast, and have volume controls for use in the field. Really impressive bit of kit.

Downside? They're gonna cost you a few shiny silver dollars. From $700 on up to $3,000+. Check please!
booker_t is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10929 seconds with 9 queries