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Old November 8, 2011, 07:19 PM   #1
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Best Ear Protection Besides Ear Muffs....

I have shot at paper targets all my life, pistols and rifles, and do not hunt. I have and use 3 sets of regular ear muffs but wonder what folks use when hunting that is better than adequate? I just cannot imagine folks that deer or hog hunt wander through the woods with ear muffs on! Is there a brand of ear plug that works well with maximum protection? Are the baffeled ear plugs any better than the foam ear plugs? I am not too interested in electronic gadjets unless absolutely necessary. Thanks...
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Old November 8, 2011, 07:41 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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I use electronic muffs or Walkers Game Ear... depending on weather.

Electronic muffs are great for cold weather.
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Old November 8, 2011, 07:51 PM   #3
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What brand do you use on the electronic ear muffs? I've looked around and there are a lot of confusing choices at the different sites! Does more expensive = better protection?
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Old November 8, 2011, 07:58 PM   #4
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I've been a regular user of foam earplugs for about 20 years. My experience is that the crux of the matter is in learning how to roll one back and forth a couple of times between my thumb and index finger and then pushing it, first with my thumb and then with my pinkie WAY WAY into the ear canal until there's just enough left to get a little traction with my pinkie fingernail to dig it out at removal-time. Once I got the technique down, they are amazingly effective.

The insertion technique is EVERYTHING!

It's nearly impossible to stuff them in too far... But if it ever happens, they're easily removed with tweezers.

Just like with practicing anything else, I got better and better at inserting them deeply over time. Hint: Don't let them get folded/doubled-over because they're not very effective that way.
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Old November 8, 2011, 08:08 PM   #5
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I wear the Peltor Com-Tac II muffs. I can hear better with them than without them and they kill the blast. I'll be wearing them tomorrow while pig hunting.

Warning: They are NOT cheap. They're worth the price, though.
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Old November 8, 2011, 08:25 PM   #6
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When huhting/stalking I do not use any ear protection. I am sure that shooting that way does some damage, but I figure one or two shots will not ruin my hearing. I need to hear the game and noises where I am hunting.

I just have made some concessions to hearing in the wilds and protection. I dko not recommend that for others, but I am not going to wear bulky muffs, or plug my ears with foam. I suppose the game ears, I think they are called, would be OK, but I never bought them.
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Old November 8, 2011, 10:24 PM   #7
Brian Pfleuger
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I have used a pair of Radians muffs for several years. They work well but are not super-rugged. But, I got probably 5 years out of them so they've done ok. You might look into the Howard Leight brand. They seem popular. If you shoot a really loud gun, electronic muffs AND foam plugs are a good idea.
If money is no object, it's hard to beat a pair of Walkers digital BTE style plugs. You're talking $750+ for two though.
The Radians are very good, particularly for the money.
The model I have isn't made anymore but they have camo colored models that are similar, I think.
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Old November 9, 2011, 07:37 AM   #8
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I just started using these . I could hear all the squirrels that I couldn't see
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Old November 9, 2011, 07:42 AM   #9
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I just cannot imagine folks that deer or hog hunt wander through the woods with ear muffs on!
Well, some of us do. I also use Peltor Com-Tacs. I splurged and got the gel pads to go in them as well and they are wonderful to wear in cooler weather 100% of the time. In warmer weather, I simply have them on top of my head if I am in the stand until I need them.

They do a nice job of keeping my big ears warm, especially in sub freezing temps.
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Old November 9, 2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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I use the Accu-Life Shooter's Ear Plugs.

They plug into the ear & allow pretty much normal hearing. When there is a shot a mechanical valve closes instantly reducing the firing signature to a safe level. Don't be put off by the "18" NRR rating, its a function of how hearing protection is tested, not the plugs not working well. The test uses continuous noise, not a pulse so the results are skewed drastically as a steady noise doesn't close the valve.
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Old November 9, 2011, 09:20 AM   #11
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I have tried some of the plugs that are less squishier than the foam plugs and the ones I've tried so far do not fit well in my left ear which has a strange shaped canal. On the occassions I have gone in for hearing tests the technicians can never get a pressure test done in that ear as all their different sized testing plugs will not seal the canal off properly. I assume I could buy in different brands and try them out but at 10-20 dollars a pop for the more expensive ones could go through a lot of expense to see if any work properly. Until then I guess I'll stick to the Peltor Ultimate 10 set I use now. Since some hearing aids are moulded to a specific ear drum I wonder if I could have some moulded ones made without the electronic gajetry. I'll ask next time I go in. Thanks...
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Old November 9, 2011, 09:23 AM   #12
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There are in-the-ear electronic ones - but they are several K. I use Peltors, about 100 bucks. Walker's are about double or so for the good models

BUT - what is your hearing worth to you? Once it is gone, it NEVER comes back, there are some times when being cheap can be seriously foolhardy
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