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Old April 15, 2011, 11:21 AM   #26
Eagle Eye
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Wear protection at the range and sleep with cotton balls in your ears....your wife probably snores anyway!

For those who cannot detect humor, I am kidding.

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Old April 15, 2011, 11:26 AM   #27
mikejonestkd
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Concerning hearing loss and gunfire I am reminded of the lyrics of the song " You don't know what you got till its gone " by Cinderella....and it is very true with hearing loss.

Each and every loud noise can cause hearing damage, from plinking on the range with subsonic loads in .22 rifles up to the occasional .30-06 shot at a deer during hunting season.

The effect is cumulative, and it is the combined damage over time that really destroys your hearing. When you shoot without protection, other than temporary ringing in your ears you may think that no real damage has happened, but rest assured, it is has occurred.

The permanent damage will manifest itself years later when you can no longer hear the voices of your grandchildren when they ask you to tell them stories about your youth.

You only get one set of ears ( and eyes ) in a lifetime, don't foolishly put them at risk.
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Last edited by mikejonestkd; April 16, 2011 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Joni Mitchell wrote the song...
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Old April 15, 2011, 11:58 AM   #28
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Quote:
Bravo is right about auditory exclusion.
While you may not perceive the noise as loudly, it does nothing to reduce the damage that is occurring.


Quote:
As far a shooting without hearing protection, go ahead and try it. You won't harm your hearing shooting a few shots.
Every shot is above the damage level.

More shots just speeds things up.
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Old April 15, 2011, 12:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
Mobuck said -

I have fired a 357 mag in an enclosed space .... I don't normally fire handguns w/o ear protection but the world won't end for me if I do. ... so I have about 60% hearing loss but I certainly wouldn't wish to have that loss back at the risk of my life.
That's some pretty convincing testimony. Sorry about your hearing loss, please take care of what you have left.
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Old April 16, 2011, 12:16 AM   #30
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I agree with skifast, shooting without ears in is a big difference. When I shoot, I like to engage one target with 2-3 rounds, do a reload and engage a second with 2-3 rounds at the start and somewhere around the middle. The rest of the time ears are in.
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Old April 16, 2011, 12:29 AM   #31
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You should always use your ears if possible. But I find any of my pistols are a lot louder than my 12 gauge.
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Old April 16, 2011, 03:29 AM   #32
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I've shot a .357Mag indoors with a full-power self-defense round. It didn't stun me, but it did leave me totally deaf for a few minutes and badly impaired (very hard of hearing and with significant ringing) the rest of the night. It improved over the next few days and the ringing rarely bothers me anymore, but I never got all the hearing back in my left ear.

That's from ONE shot.

If you have to shoot without hearing protection in a do or die situation then do what you have to do. If you don't have to shoot without hearing protection then don't do it. Whatever small benefit you might gain from practicing without the proper protective equipment is not worth the damage you will do to your hearing.
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Old April 16, 2011, 06:08 AM   #33
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You could set up a trust and put a can on your house gun. Probably get that done for around a grand.
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Old April 16, 2011, 08:25 AM   #34
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I keep electronic muffs on my nightstand along with a high-intensity flashlight and a quick-access to a handgun. We sleep with our dog (14 lb yappy rat terrier) in the bedroom with the bedroom door closed. If the dog starts barking and whining in the night, I have made it a practice to put on the muffs, turn the switch to full gain, grab the light and gun, and go investigate. They've all been false alarms, but each time I get a bit faster and fumble less. Yes, I did practice in the beginning, but nothing beats actually doing this when woken up from sleep.

Some comments: It's much easier to grab the electronic muffs and turn them on than it is to fumble with my hearing aids. I get the best of both worlds - amplified sound and protection from loud noises. I always praise the dog, I don't want him to shirk if he hears something. There is enough ambient light in my house at night so that I rarely need to use the flashlight; I use it just to check shadowed areas, especially if it looks like something is moving there.
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Old April 16, 2011, 10:49 AM   #35
bravo2uniform
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Quote:
...but I honestly can't say I remember the recoil or the noise of the shot...
I second what Dr. Strangelove said. I was involved in a shooting and all I remember, besides my fixation on the target, was seeing the brass flying out of the weapon. I have no recollection of noise, recoil or anything else. It is quite traumatic.

You will damage your hearing a little bit each time you shoot without hearing protection; the damage is cumulative. I don't think needing hearing protection will be a factor in a self defense situation.
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Old April 16, 2011, 11:16 AM   #36
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I can add from experience that when you are the one doing the shooting there really is such a thing as auditory exclusion. You hear the shot or shots but the sound seems muted or of little consequence. It just doesn't grab your attention. A therapist once asked me, "what did it sound like?" I answered back not trying to be funny, rifle fire, which was the truth. My buddies laughed at the debrief. I guess he was making the point that some hear no sound at all, not my case at all.

You really are on another plane. The sound is nowhere as noticeable as when someone starts shooting around you at the range just as you are putting your ears on. I believe adrenaline and fear have a lot to do with it.
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Old April 16, 2011, 12:22 PM   #37
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Quote:
The sound is nowhere as noticeable
It is still causing damage.

Auditory exclusion is a psychological effect, how your mind is perceiving the sound.

It does not alter how the ear itself is acted on by the sound, the cause of the damage in the cochlea..
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Old April 19, 2011, 07:00 PM   #38
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When subjected to a muzzle blast(artillery) that has a concussive force or a blast that has screeching sound component, immediate ear damage may occur. Normal gunfire is way below that level.
That's about as dangerous and reckless as a statement can get. Do NOT shoot even ONE shot without ear protection if it can be prevented. The damage is not reversible and I promise you WILL miss that hearing when it goes away. As has been mentioned it is accumulative, so every shot counts whether you like it or not. I have e-muffs on my nightstand. I don't expect to be able to don them in a full-on emergency, but for the I thought I heard something times, they are a valuable tool, which may help to save your hearing as well as your gun saves your life.
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Old April 19, 2011, 08:22 PM   #39
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Quote:
Jake Balam

Shooting without ear protection.
Now we all know that shooting without proper ear protection can and will cause permanent hearing loss.

However, when in a SD scenario, I doubt there will be time to throw in your ear plugs. Firing a gun without ear protection could disorient and stun you so follow up shots wouldn't be possible.
I doubt that a defensive handgun cartridge round fired inside of a building would disorient you or stun you. The muzzle flash (if large and bright enough) might partially blind you though. There are some manufacturers who advertises low muzzle flash ammo.

I have practiced firing inside of buildings day and night with both handguns and shotguns. I was wearing hearing protection and can't see how firing a handgun would come anywhere close to disorienting or stunning me without hearing protection. A 3" 12 gauge magnum 00 buckshot fired from a shotgun puts out a lot more energy than the .45acp and 10mm auto rounds that I've used in handguns.
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Old April 22, 2011, 05:20 PM   #40
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I would not ever want to fire a weapon without hearing protection and certainly not inside a home. Of course in a SD situation, you just gotta do what ya gotta do. I do have a pair of 33bd muffs ontop of my gunbox in the bedroom. Will I use them if a intruder is in my home? maybe. I have them there so I can make that decision when it happens. I do know that while wearing them in a quiet home, I can hear normal sounds perfectly well.

As far as auditory eclusion goes.. I tend to believe in it.
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Old April 22, 2011, 05:27 PM   #41
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Quote:
Concerning hearing loss and gunfire I am reminded of the lyrics of the song " You don't know what you got till its gone " by Cinderella....and it is very true with hearing loss.

Each and every loud noise can cause hearing damage, from plinking on the range with subsonic loads in .22 rifles up to the occasional .30-06 shot at a deer during hunting season.

The effect is cumulative, and it is the combined damage over time that really destroys your hearing. When you shoot without protection, other than temporary ringing in your ears you may think that no real damage has happened, but rest assured, it is has occurred.

The permanent damage will manifest itself years later when you can no longer hear the voices of your grandchildren when they ask you to tell them stories about your youth.

You only get one set of ears ( and eyes ) in a lifetime, don't foolishly put them at risk.

I currently suffer from Tinitus.. Believe me, you dont want any part of it. The doctors could not determin any specific event that caused my hearing damage but I can tell you that I am very protective of what I still have. With me it was probably a combo of Loud music in the 80's.. Loud cars in the 90's and Cheap hearing protection on the range.
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Old April 22, 2011, 05:36 PM   #42
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Quote:
if you are really concerned with self-defense there are several things to consider:

1: you should have a designated SD firearm which is stored in a safe location with ammunition for it in a seperate location (gun safety rule number 1, proper storage).

2: you should choose the firearm based on preference and taking into account a fewthings:

as for pistols:

i wouldn't recommend something big like a .38, or a .357/.44. They will over-penetrate if you miss possible doing more harm than good. also they will cause hearing damage and are very loud. that being said, more often than not, its the noise and not the shot that does the job.

My personal preference would be a .22 revolver (yes I know only .22) for the simple fact that your most likely not dealing with anyone in body armor, a .22 will not overpenetrate, and if it makes it through your wall, it wont do much to what it hits on the otherside. Also, .22 revolvers will not cause hearing damage or daze the shooter after a couple shots (or i would be deaf).

As for rifles, once again, over penetration issues, stick to a .22 or a shotgun. Preferably 20ga, while loud, 20gas aren't as loud as a 12 ga. and stick to buck shot, for its lower penetration.

Remember, for SD you have your local laws regarding those issues to be informed of as well. also keep in mind if your woken up in the middle of the night, you wont be on your best game, and you will be much more likely to miss.
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Old April 23, 2011, 03:51 PM   #43
RobertSB701
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SOUNDS Like A Bad Idea......

I would need to hear Ayoob's reasoning for hearing protection in a HD Bag. I can think of one good reason, obvious hearing protection...and for the bad....reduced awareness, missing..."Dad, it's just me" in the middle of the night. Think I'd rather have heightened awareness and deal with the ringing in my ears and have a hearing exam in the morning.
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Old April 23, 2011, 03:55 PM   #44
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Hearing protection in the HD bag.... mine is electronic, so I can still hear just fine. Sounds like you might want to consider upgrading yours, RobertSB701.

Decent Peltor electronic muffs at MidwayUSA for $99.
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Old April 23, 2011, 04:15 PM   #45
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I don't think in a situation your going to be in that hearing protection is going to be something your thinking of. Things would probebly happen to fast and unexcpected. My thoughts would be,,My Gun,My Family and safty for them. I did tell my wife if(god forbid) it does happen to cover your ears because it will be loud.As for myself I will worry about that later.If time allows thats great,but i don't think it will. Nor would i be thinking of it. If time allows i think i would be thinking of how to get out of the situation and get away with no harm or shots fired. Break a window and crawl out,sneak out back door,ect. Nothing in my house is worth killing someone for other than my family.
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Old April 23, 2011, 04:24 PM   #46
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4runnerman, if there's no time, there's no time. Obviously, do what the situation demands.

But if there is time, might as well put on the electronics. Meanwhile, I use the Peltors when shooting in the back pasture and at the range, so I get my money's worth out of them. (I still use plugs as well, for indoor and rifle shooting.)

To add time, though, make your home harder to break into. Or, get a dog. (I have three dogs. I get warnings... about squirrels, the UPS guy, you name it.)
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Old April 23, 2011, 04:42 PM   #47
Irish Paul
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When pig hunting once, we literally ran into a heard of pigs.

I can clearly remember every sound, cocking my S&W 29, hearing the hammer fall and the bullets striking ths pigs.

I didnt hear and bangs though.


Later on, I shot one more shot out of the 44 at a target - my ears were ringing!

I know that hearing damage happened while shooting the pigs, but I didn't hear the booms.

I imagine the same holds in the situation the OP describes.
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Old April 23, 2011, 06:56 PM   #48
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When I was in the Army I took part in a lot of shoooting competitions. I was at the firing line and only discovered after my first shot that I had forgotten to bring my ear plugs with me.

If I would have stood up or left the line I would have been disqualified for that phase of the competition.

I shot 21 rounds of 5.56 and my ears were ringing and kept ringing for hours. After that when people spoke it sounded like they were underwater.

A year later when I took my normal Army physical I had hearing loss in the high frequency range.

I wouldn't advise training without hearing protection to try to inure yourself to the blast, it's just not worth it.
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Old April 24, 2011, 05:35 PM   #49
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I've fired a handgun in an enclosed area a few times without hearing protection. It is NO fun and I doubt the sanity of anyone that would do it on a regular basis.

As far as wearing hearing protection if something goes bump in the night, your hearing is a major self-defense tool, especially in a low light situation. I would not want to be wearing anything that compromised my ability to hear if I was in a self-defense situation where the threat hasn't yet been identified and dealt with. You may hear something that directs your attention in the right direction well before you see the threat. I say this recognizing that once the first shot is fired your ability to hear is going to be seriously diminished.
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Old April 24, 2011, 05:42 PM   #50
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Again, they make hearing protection that does NOT null out normal sound levels. It kicks in with active noise reduction against loud noises. That's what I'm recommending. No loss of situational awareness, and you don't go deaf after the first shot. With the caveat that you have time to put it on, and turn it on, of course.
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