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Old February 14, 2014, 06:22 AM   #1
L2R
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So an AR is a good HD but...

I see where others here are saying an AR is really a good round for HD as data shows it doesn't penetrate as much as pistol cartridges thru walls.

I am not debating this AGAIN here but I am curious if anyone has any data or experience shooting an AR indoors.

I know that when I am around ARs at the range, I use ear plugs and headphones. The noise is incredible compared to a pistol cartridge or even other rifle cartridges.

More specifically, what would that do to yourself and family to discharge one indoors? Would it do permanent hearing damage? My guess is yes and I would avoid this as an option for this very reason when other options are available.
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Old February 14, 2014, 07:42 AM   #2
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The debate is usually AR vs shotgun. Both of those are equally loud in the home, and would be a concern. My personal opinion is that a handgun is still the better choice for indoor use even though handgun rounds do typically penetrate more in building material. My thinking is that at such close ranges there is a very real possibility I will need 1 free hand and only 1 hand on the firearm. Plus a handgun is much easier to have handy, yet out of sight for unexpected bumps in the night.

I see the any long gun as a better choice when you are expecting trouble and waiting for intruders from a secure area. Which is better is another debate where I won't go now.
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Old February 14, 2014, 07:51 AM   #3
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i see reports of 140 to 160 decibels

if true, permanent hearing loss would happen.

of course, hearing loss is better than loss of life but this doesn't look like my first choice.

hand gun makes sense in some ways but that also puts me on even ground with intruder.

decisions, decisions.
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Old February 14, 2014, 08:17 AM   #4
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Hearing loss, ARs, defense weapons....

I'm not sure what data you are reading or what media reports you might have seen, but Ive heard the opposite; the AR 5.56mm(5.56x45) 6.8SPC, .300AAC Blackout, 7.62mm, etc do much better than common handgun calibers.

In the 2000s, the big push in US law enforcement was to switch from SMGs & pistol caliber carbines to M4/AR type patrol rifles. New optics, white-lights, stocks, etc all gave these rifles a serious advantage over the SMGs/carbines.
As for the noise or muzzle blast, any firearm could cause serious or even permanent hearing loss. Revolvers, pistols, carbines, shotguns, etc.

FWIW; the pistol caliber carbines & SMGs(9x19mm .45acp) were considered sub-standard by many commandos in the elite MAC-V-SOG. This spec ops group in SE Asia were able to carry or use nearly any weapon they wanted. Many found the sub-machine guns & pistols lacking in real firepower for the MAC-V-SOG missions. Author & tactics expert: John Plaster who served in the unit documented these pistol caliber problems in his non-fiction books about MAC-V-SOG.
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Old February 14, 2014, 11:15 AM   #5
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There is a big difference between mac-v-sog work and home defense.
A handgun in a moderate caliber is all a practiced shooter needs. Large diameter subsonic rounds like 45 ACP, 45 Colt, and 44 SPL will do the job with less damage to the shooter.
Much of the AR self defense craze is created by video gamers and Tom Clancy fans trying to justify their equipment.

I want my handgun and a free hand in that situation.

Unlike many people, I have been there. The 1911 was good enough to resolve the problem.
On that day John Browning trumped Louisville Slugger.
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Old February 14, 2014, 11:44 AM   #6
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All firearms would render hearing useless for awhile, at least.
How about electronic ear muffs?
Hearing protection and enhanced hearing, both.
Might be quite an advantage in a tactical situation.
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Old February 14, 2014, 12:02 PM   #7
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From FreeHearingTest.com:

.223 from an 18" bbl is 155.5db
9mm from a handgun is 159.8db
.357 magnum from a revolver is 164.3db
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Old February 14, 2014, 12:19 PM   #8
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Not sure if I need to say this, but using a rifle in the home will only be safe if using bullets that will quickly fragment or expand and stop.
Do not use FMJ ammo.
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Old February 14, 2014, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
From FreeHearingTest.com:

.223 from an 18" bbl is 155.5db
9mm from a handgun is 159.8db
.357 magnum from a revolver is 164.3db
I don't know how they arrived at their numbers, but they can not be apples to apples. They don't say what distance the measurements were taken either.

If you've ever been to a 3 gun match, when someone switches from AR or shotgun to a handgun, the handgun sounds like a toy in comparison.
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Old February 14, 2014, 01:45 PM   #10
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i agree

maybe the 'test' measured sound downrange at 100 yards or something.
or maybe without a muzzlebreak.

I know that a 9mm is not smart to shoot without hearing protection but it's not totally painful. But standing right behind an AR with a muzzlebreak takes both earplugs and earmuffs.

I guess earmuffs on the bedside table would be good and then you have the option if you think you have time.
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Old February 14, 2014, 02:07 PM   #11
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Here is a chart comparing various AR muzzle devices for sound level one meter away from the muzzle.


Here is another chart comparing the noise levels of different muzzle devices at the shooter's ear.


As you can see, the muzzle device makes a big difference.

In my limited, unscientific experience, the .357 magnum out of a 4" model 65 is way louder than my AR.
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Old February 14, 2014, 02:29 PM   #12
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The noise difference between a handgun and an AR both fired indoors would be "deaf" versus "very deaf". It doesn't really matter how you feel or how bad you think it hurts or whether you "notice", both are far, far above safe dB levels and can and have caused permanent hearing damage in a single shot.
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Old February 14, 2014, 02:39 PM   #13
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So an AR is a good HD but...

Quote:
maybe the 'test' measured sound downrange at 100 yards or something.

or maybe without a muzzlebreak.


Bingo...


That's on my AR... No bueno.
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Old February 14, 2014, 02:58 PM   #14
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thanks all

that is just what I wanted to know.

So some sort of hearing protection needs to be a part of the discussion when discussing self defense in the home, particularly when advocating 12 gauge and ARs with my friends and family.
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Old February 14, 2014, 03:02 PM   #15
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You mean like earmuffs next to the bed at all times?
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Old February 14, 2014, 03:34 PM   #16
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Plaster....

John Plaster(USAR, 0-4/Major, ret) wrote at length that handguns & pistol caliber SMGs(Uzi SMGs, Swedish K/S&W model 76s, etc) did not work very well in combat.

I agree that for most purposes a 3"/4" barrel handgun can defend you but it's not perfect.
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Old February 14, 2014, 03:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
a 3"/4" barrel handgun can defend you but it's not perfect.
Good enough.

And nothing is perfect.
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Old February 14, 2014, 08:30 PM   #18
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Well that's what suppressors were made for. Just wish they were simply sold as "safety equipment" right next to the ear plugs and glasses, instead of demonized as some "assassin tools"
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Old February 14, 2014, 10:17 PM   #19
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As far as hearing loss is concerned, how do our combat veterans fare? I ask this seriously. It seems a firefight would be louder than a single weapon discharge.
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Old February 14, 2014, 10:34 PM   #20
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I messed up the quote

Quote:
As far as hearing loss is concerned, how do our combat veterans fare? I ask this seriously. It seems a firefight would be louder than a single weapon discharge.
Other people shooting next to you is WAY louder than the shots fired from your own gun. That's all the detail I care to go into though.
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Old February 15, 2014, 09:52 AM   #21
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As I understand, most simply don't use hearing protection because they can't hear commands or other important things.
Tinnitus is a serious problem among combat vets.
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Old February 15, 2014, 10:04 AM   #22
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Quote:
As I understand, most simply don't use hearing protection because they can't hear commands or other important things.
Tinnitus is a serious problem among combat vets.

I can attest to that. My ears are ringing so loud right now, and 24/7 if you want the truth of it, that it's even hard to read this.
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Old February 15, 2014, 10:25 AM   #23
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Ya, my ears ring too. It kind of sounds like the low buzz when a TV is turned on.
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Old February 16, 2014, 01:44 AM   #24
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If I have opened fire in my home, I am afraid for my life. I could not care less at that point about the hearing loss, I just want to be alive at the end of the encounter, with the immediate threat stopped. The hearing damage will be a bummer later, but I really don't think noise should be a factor in choosing the HD weapon for you. It's sorta like if I had to total my car to avoid a fatal accident, or cut off my trapped hand before it falls off a cliff. Those situations are going to be real bummers, but I'll be alive at the end.

I don't mean to minimize the seriousness of major hearing damage. I'm sure it's a real burden. I just don't think it factors into a use of lethal force to preserve life and limb. At the range, by all means, I'm all about high-end hearing protection.
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Old February 16, 2014, 07:19 AM   #25
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obvious choice life over hearing

I agree 100%.

But if I plan well, why can't I have both?

While your point is spot on, my thread was started due in part to my partial loss of hearing already in my life.

It got me thinking about my Dad whose hearing loss greatly contributed to him ending up in a nursing home. There were other issues but the environment that he created, screaming, chronic asking to repeat words, blasting the tv all day long played a major roll in him losing his independence.

So, while my hearing may not rank #1 in the heat of the moment, I realize that my hearing is like using up a tube of toothpaste and mine is already half squeezed out.

I am weighing out the idea of a suppressor vs. having hearing protection hanging next to the bed that could both protect and even enhance my hearing. Having 2 dogs probably buys me time. And if I don't have time, well then, so be it.

I won't just ignore the facts and end up like my Dad without trying.
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