The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old March 9, 2013, 03:14 AM   #1
justplainpossum
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2013
Location: duh, Texas! : )
Posts: 221
Shooting a gun without ear protection

I was thinking about this today. I have never shot a gun without ear protection. Has anyone here had to do that in an emergency situation? Is it so loud that it can damage your ears the first time? Is it pretty scary? Does adrenaline help you overcome the shock of the sound?
justplainpossum is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 03:37 AM   #2
trg42wraglefragle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2008
Location: new zealand
Posts: 836
I pretty much never shoot a 22lr with hearing protection, and thats no problem.
17hmr has a bit of a crack to it, I think it's probably likely to cause damageif you were to shoot one a lot.

When I'm hunting with my shot gun, 223 or 303 I don't wear hearing protection.
Sure it's loud but it doesn't kill me, and being able to hear is quite important when stalking animals.

If I'm sat in one place duck shooting I'll wear ear plugs, as I'll be firing quite a few shots.

It's not scary and it wont kill you, but it'd probably give you a fright first time you hear it.

What I want to know is do soldiers wear hearing protection, firing 2 rounds from my 223 is one thing, but a few light machine guns and multiple M4s going of must be pretty stinking loud.
trg42wraglefragle is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 03:48 AM   #3
JimmyR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2012
Posts: 1,012
When I took my NRA basic pistol class, they made us shoot a few rounds without the ears on, just to help us be used to it if we ever needed to use our gun.
JimmyR is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 04:17 AM   #4
justplainpossum
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 24, 2013
Location: duh, Texas! : )
Posts: 221
I'd be shooting either a .357 magnum or a .45. I carry earplugs with me, just in case I would have time to put them in before the boar decides to charge. I know that probably sounds ridiculous.
justplainpossum is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 04:49 AM   #5
AZAK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2008
Location: the object towards which the action of the sea is directed
Posts: 2,103
Quote:
I pretty much never shoot a 22lr with hearing protection, and thats no problem.
Now, that is NOT sound advice!

A relatively recent discussion on this topic:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=377069
__________________
The lowest paid college major/degree in this country after graduation...
Elementary Education.

Now, go figure...
AZAK is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 05:03 AM   #6
Pond, James Pond
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 12, 2011
Location: Top of the Baltic stack
Posts: 2,859
I once shot my 22LR rifle without earplugs as they had been pressig on the arms of my glasses and were uncomfortable.

I have to say that it was not loud at all, and I am quite sensitive to loud noises. I tried the same with my Ruger MkIII and swiftly decided to go back to the rifle: that was louder than i wanted.

Aside from that I wouldn't want to shoot anything stronger without. In my club's bunker, my .44Mag is not nice, even with protection...
__________________
You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep. Stop pretending. Wake up.
Freedom: Please enjoy responsibly.

Last edited by Pond, James Pond; March 9, 2013 at 07:46 AM.
Pond, James Pond is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 05:52 AM   #7
jp_over
Member
 
Join Date: February 4, 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 58
We grew up shooting without hearing protection but then, we were dumb kids! I don't use hearing protection (HP) for hunting but for the range or plinking, I don't go without it.

In short, if you have some adrenaline going, the gunshot most likely won't bother you during a hunt. However, you do take a risk to your hearing.

Caveat: Be advised, there are some modern firearms (certain short barrel M4 variants, muzzle brake equipped large bore rifles, large bore pistols like the S&W 500 or 460) that can significantly damage your hearing the first time you shoot without HP.

Last edited by jp_over; March 9, 2013 at 09:22 AM.
jp_over is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 06:10 AM   #8
Sport45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 25, 1999
Location: Too close to Houston
Posts: 4,068
Quote:
In short, if you have some adrenaline going, the gunshot most likely won't bother you.
Not bothering you is not the same as not harming you.

The electronic earmuffs they sell for a very reasonable price these days will actually amplify sounds around you while protecting your hearing at the same time.
__________________
Proud member of the NRA and Texas State Rifle Association. Registered and active voter.
Sport45 is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 06:17 AM   #9
EODK9Trainer424
Member
 
Join Date: January 22, 2013
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 18
One time back in the early 80's as a police officer I fired my 38 revolver at a moving vehicle. Guy in an OJ Simpson style Bronco ran over one of our officers then the pursuit was on. He crashed thru a gate into a large field. We were told to take out his tires as the pursuit had already been going on for an hour. I fired a few rounds from the revolver and honestly never really heard it.
__________________
"The More People I meet the More I Like My Dog"
EODK9Trainer424 is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 07:22 AM   #10
MLeake
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2007
Location: Outside KC, MO
Posts: 10,128
I wonder how many of the people who claim that shooting without hearing protection doesn't really affect them, participate in audiology programs.

As a Naval Aviator, I had to undergo annual audiology.

I still remember the time an older flight surgeon looked at my test results and asked if I were a handgun shooter. I was surprised by the question, and asked him why he had asked it.

He told me that he knew I was right handed, and that the loss in certain frequency ranges in my left ear would correlate to a right handed shooter who shot a lot from a Weaver stance.

This described me to a T....

After that, I started doubling up on hearing protection at indoor ranges.

The point being, while people may claim that noise exposure doesn't do anything to them, they may simply be unaware of the damage they are doing to their ears.

Some of them may grow older, only to find they suffer from tinnitus, or that they lose more and more hearing in certain octaves.
MLeake is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 07:31 AM   #11
darkgael
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2006
Location: Homes in Brooklyn, NY and in Pennsylvania.
Posts: 4,296
Loss

Quote:
Some of them may grow older, only to find they suffer from tinnitus, or that they lose more and more hearing in certain octaves
Lots of truth in that. As I understand it, damage to ones hearing may not show up until years after the harm has been done. Whether it is shooting without hearing protection or playing music very loud in one's car, the effect may not show up for decades.
Pete
__________________
"Only hunting and mountain climbing are sports. The rest are just games." - R.Ruark
NRA Life Member
darkgael is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 07:54 AM   #12
Sparks1957
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 4, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,470
Quote:
The point being, while people may claim that noise exposure doesn't do anything to them, they may simply be unaware of the damage they are doing to their ears
Absolutely true. At 56 years old, I am starting to realize the effects of all those years of exposure to loud noises, and having more trouble distinguishing voices in crowded rooms and hearing certain frequencies, etc.

Be smart and protect your hearing
Sparks1957 is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 08:31 AM   #13
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyR
When I took my NRA basic pistol class, they made us shoot a few rounds without the ears on, just to help us be used to it if we ever needed to use our gun.
I'm an NRA certified Basic Pistol instructor, and that is NOT part of the NRA course. I think that's a VERY irresponsible thing for an instructor to do, and it could open him up to a lawsuit if any student comes back and claims hearing damage.

IMHO there's only one word for that: "DUMB!"
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 08:38 AM   #14
AH.74
Junior member
 
Join Date: October 13, 2008
Location: Hermit's Peak
Posts: 623
Quote:
I'm an NRA certified Basic Pistol instructor, and that is NOT part of the NRA course. I think that's a VERY irresponsible thing for an instructor to do, and it could open him up to a lawsuit if any student comes back and claims hearing damage.

IMHO there's only one word for that: "DUMB!"
Completely agree- I've never heard of any instructor doing that.
AH.74 is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 08:45 AM   #15
NESHOOTER
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 16, 2009
Posts: 509
JPP, I will tell you will regret it I have tinnitus, it is miserable and so troubling I can not put in to words the damn ringing in my ears is so loud nothing can be done any elevated blood pressure increases the ringing. I have the headaches so bad lately it about all I can stand I no longer hear bird, crickets, squeaks, locust right above my head, my grandchildren, women, or any converstation with the car window down.... go ahead at keep it up you wll remember the time someone warned you and live the remaining days on this earth deaf so to speak.
NESHOOTER is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 08:45 AM   #16
Salmoneye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 31, 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 1,346
I never shot a gun WITH hearing protection till maybe 20 years ago...

Between that and the chainsaws, I have a constant ringing...
Salmoneye is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 08:59 AM   #17
FlyFish
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 20, 2009
Location: Overlooking the Baker River Valley
Posts: 1,485
Here's a link to a site that lists some typical noises/durations that can result in damage to your hearing:

http://expecttohearbetter.com/hearin...und-chart.html

And here's one that lists the decibels produced by different types of gunshots:

http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml

It's pretty clear that even a single gunshot will produce some hearing damage in unprotected ears. And hearing damage is cumulative - as they say, the most often heard word among the old guys at the gun club is "Huh?".

These charts also provide some insights into what we all should be doing for hearing protection. For example, if the noise from a .357 is 164 db, and you're wearing muffs rated at, say, 24 db, then you end up at 140 db, which can still cause hearing damage. The smart guys at my range double up on hearing protection (plugs and muffs), and I think I'm going to start doing the same.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Life Member
NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
SASS #84900
Pemigewasset Valley Fish & Game Club
FlyFish is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 09:01 AM   #18
cryogenic419
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 29, 2009
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 413
I have done it a few times over the years just to get an idea of how bad it is and what to expect should I be in a situation where I have to use one in SD.

The first year I went to the machine gun shoot at Knob Creek I went without hearing protection....that lasted for about an hour til I found a vendor selling earplugs.

As a musician who has been around loud sounds my whole life...all I will say is take care of your hearing. You won't notice things at the time....but one day you WILL wake up and notice that you can't hear things like you used to. All the years of loud amps, drums, booming car stereos, concerts have left my ears lacking the ability to hear bass/low end sounds unless its REALLY cranked up. Oddly I can hear highs and midrange sounds well, and in a quiet enough house I can hear a clock ticking.

Nobody is immune from hearing damage/loss...it you don't protect your hearing it will happen. There is no way to get it back, no magic pill, no therapy they can give you...once its gone its gone.
cryogenic419 is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 09:04 AM   #19
Garycw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2011
Location: Ohio-Kentucky - florida
Posts: 1,171
Shooting a gun without ear protection

I typically don't use HP if hunting or one shot. Probably not smart. I foolishly shot a SKS out of my garage once shot and it was painful with ears ringing for about 30 min. Very bad idea. I now use as much as possible with anything over a pellet rifle. My uncle is almost totally deaf from many years of shooting for the most part from shooting W/O HP. He has two very powerful aids and still has alot of trouble hearing.
My wife has never shot or been around guns much and is totally deaf in one ear and can hear nothing in other unless she has the most powerful aid they make in. This from early childhood ear infections. I'm worried if she ever had to shoot a gun in a defensive situation she would loose what left. She does have a 38 spl snubby & a maverick 88 but never shot either. I've thought of possibly having her shoot maverick with her aid out with a ear plug & muffs just so she knows how, but if she ever had to use in defense would not have that luxury and would truly absolutely have to be a life or death situation.


Sent from iPhone
Garycw is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 09:17 AM   #20
Rifleman1776
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 25, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,309
I used to take my .44 mag. test loads to my farm (we lived at another location) to test. One day I got there to test and found I had forgotten my ear protection. I shot anyway. Wow! Literally hurt my ears and they rang for several days. I had never before, and never since fired that gun without ear protection.
All my other shooting I used protection. Except .22s in my 10/22 when eradicating varmints.
Rifleman1776 is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 09:28 AM   #21
dajowi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Posts: 976
Ah...what?
dajowi is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 09:33 AM   #22
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 5,085
I've never done it in an emergency situation, but I plinked and hunted without hearing protection for years. Not a great idea, but we all did it back then.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 09:51 AM   #23
geetarman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 2,747
Older is older and sometimes wiser.

Hearing protection was not considered a big deal when I was younger.

When I used to squirrel hunt, I never had hearing protection and did not think anything of it.

When I was about 25, I bought a Ruger Blackhawk in .42 mag. I was out in the country when I shot it the first time and had a farmhouse on my left.

I fired one round and really damaged my ear. I heard "swishing" sounds for days. My ears have not recovered. If you have to shoot in an emergency situation, I really doubt you will even hear the shot, but you will have done some if not a lot of damage to your hearing.

If you have the option, use protection. You will regret it if you don't.
__________________
Geetarman

Carpe Cerveza
geetarman is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 10:01 AM   #24
2ndsojourn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2013
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 633
I've never done it in an emergency situation and never wore any hearing protection in my earlier years. I too, have some tinnitus in both ears, probably from all the shooting in the military.

I don't think one shot will damage your hearing much the first time, but repetition sure will.

Several years ago, on my first range trip in years,(an indoor range) I used those foam earplugs and afterwards my ears were ringing so bad I could hardly hear until the next day. Since then, indoors, I use earplugs and earmuffs. Outdoors, it's not so bad and I just use the earmuffs.

Do yourself a big favor while you're still young. Wear good hearing protection. You'll appreciate it later.
2ndsojourn is offline  
Old March 9, 2013, 10:03 AM   #25
drail
Junior member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 3,150
No matter how much you believe that the sound of gunfire of any caliber "doesn't bother you" it IS doing permanent damage to your ears. I spent years working on USAF flight lines and gunnery ranges and our hearing was tested monthly. All of the guys who did not wear protection because the noise "didn't bother them" lost large portions of their hearing and developed tinnitus (ringing). In every case. Protect your ears and eyes. They are not replaceable. Not using protection because the noise doesn't "bother you" is like saying nuclear radiation doesn't "bother you". It will if you keep doing it.
drail is offline  
Closed Thread

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 12:51 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 0.13611 seconds with 7 queries