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Old January 22, 2014, 03:43 PM   #1
David spargenator
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357 blast and ear damage?

Has anyone on here ever shot a 357 without hearing protection? im concerned about what would become of my hearing if i ever had to use the gun for protection. i shot it today and even with my hearing protection i could tell that it was painfully loud. would one shot be enough to cause ear damage?
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Old January 22, 2014, 03:54 PM   #2
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Old January 22, 2014, 03:58 PM   #3
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I have, its really loud. I also know Officers that have been in shootings indoors with .357 Magnums. No one I know was ever incapacitated at the time of the event as far as the decibal level. I'm thinking a single event, where you are about to die and somebody needs shooting, would have a minimal affect on your long term hearing loss. Not that it would be a good thing.

Our troops are engaging bad guys in close quarters and inside houses in the middle east. 5.56, .308 and hand grenades. A few rounds of .357 can't be worse.

I've got hearing loss. But, I can't blame it on any one thing. 30 years of Rock and Roll, sirens, radios, Thunderflashes and shooting have all had a cumulative affect.
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Old January 22, 2014, 04:01 PM   #4
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I fired a single round, a Federal 357B, 3 years ago out of a S&W 60 without hearing protection and my left ear still rings to this day as well as having slight high frequency hearing loss. Permanent ringing of the ears is called tinnitus, and is a major problem for our troops who come home after serving.

The first couple months after it happened my ear was so sensitive to every little sound I had to wear earplugs when showering or driving with the window down or it was agony. It took a good 6 months before the ringing settled down enough that I could regain my sanity. That first year after it happened was easily the worst year of my life. It took a good 2 years to become accustomed to the ringing where it no longer bothers me, but I still have to sleep with a fan in my bedroom or some sort of white noise. Because of it I wont use .357 for home defense or carry.

Last edited by Dragline45; January 22, 2014 at 07:23 PM.
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Old January 22, 2014, 04:18 PM   #5
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this is why I'm not a "huge fan of the 357 for self defense... don't get me wrong, I have 4 - 357 revolvers, just none of them are self defense revolvers...

I have a tendency to use bigger slower moving bullets for self defense, for this exact reason... 44 special is my favorite

I do partially agree with the thought that under stress the mind blocks out that kind of pain... I did use a 357 for self defense against an animal once while in the woods, & I don't remember the pain... but also think it'll still / can damage your hearing, even if you don't feel the pain... I'd hate to have to light one off in a 10ft X 10ft bedroom some night
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Old January 22, 2014, 06:18 PM   #6
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I was in the room when an uncle had a negligent discharge. Long story short it was his fault and thankfully no one was hurt. I was younger at the time and I remember my ears ringing for days. My mother was mad I didn't answer if I was ok, cause I was disoriented and couldn't hear at the time. It didn't do any long term damage; but I wouldn't want to do it if I didn't have to. But I also would rather be deaf than dead.
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Old January 22, 2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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I always put my ears in when shooting, but if someone comes into my house hearing protection won't be on my mind. Keep in mind that a .22lr fired out of a pistol will bother your ears.... If its life or death, ringing ears will have to do
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Old January 22, 2014, 07:22 PM   #8
Dragline45
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Quote:
If its life or death, ringing ears will have to do
True, but there are plenty of rounds that can get the job done just as good as the .357 without causing as much damage. Before anyone says it, I am aware than any round, even .22, has the potential to cause hearing loss. But the .357 is in a whole other spectrum than most pistol rounds as far as how loud it is.
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Old January 22, 2014, 07:43 PM   #9
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Ounce outside while taking a rabbit. Painfull. If you compare the decibel reading on a 357 mag to other calibers it doesn't look like that much more, but it is. Really good hearing protection will decrease the db reading by 27-29 db. Subtract that from 164db of a 357 mag and your still high db level. The 357 mag has a higher decibel level than a 30'06 rifle.
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Old January 22, 2014, 07:56 PM   #10
rclark
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Here is a chart that gives you relative loudness of various calibers in dB :

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

Notice that the .357 is ~10 times louder than the .45 Colt or the .44 Spec.
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Old January 22, 2014, 08:27 PM   #11
L_Killkenny
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Hate tell you all this but ALL handguns are loud. My first experience was with 6 rounds from a cousin's .38sp. Severe ringing for days that never completely healed.

Unless you drop way down the power scale (like to a .22lr) any difference will be negligible. Frankly, .357 blast is a worn out argument used by those that favor the .45acp. Truth? Both hurt.
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Old January 22, 2014, 08:33 PM   #12
Tipsy Mcstagger
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I fired two rounds at a hog and it was just terrible. I didn't get full range back for a couple of days. 357 would be my go to 100% of the time were it not for the muzzle blast.
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Old January 22, 2014, 08:36 PM   #13
Dragline45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L_Killkenny
Hate tell you all this but ALL handguns are loud.
No one is disputing this. Even .22lr has the potential to cause permanent hearing loss with a single shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by L_Killkenny
Unless you drop way down the power scale (like to a .22lr) any difference will be negligible. Frankly, .357 blast is a worn out argument used by those that favor the .45acp. Truth? Both hurt.
A 3 DB increase creates twice the sound pressure, that does not sound negligible to me. And according to freehearingtest.com

Quote:
Originally Posted by freehearingtest.com
AS THE SOUND PRESSURES INCREASE, SO DOES THE RISK OF PERMANENT HEARING LOSS.
Look at those numbers, do the math, and then again tell me this is all some made up stuff by .45acp fans.
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Old January 22, 2014, 11:14 PM   #14
Deaf Smith
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All guns are loud (without suppressors

All guns can give you some hearing loss.

But the .357 ain't the worst.

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Old January 22, 2014, 11:43 PM   #15
jason_iowa
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The answer is yes. 1 shot of 357 mag will damage your hearing. That goes for most any firearm. Maybe some subsonics and some suppressed rounds would not.

That's one of the reasons I think suppressors should be as cheap and easy to get as good over the ear hearing protection.
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Old January 23, 2014, 06:59 AM   #16
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When you have the ability to plan in advance and decide what to use for a HD firearm, I fail to see why anyone would choose a .357 for the reasons stated above. I use heavy .44 special bullets with a rather light powder load for HD.

Either that, or the legendary .41 short RF.
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Old January 23, 2014, 07:10 AM   #17
Don P
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Quote:
im concerned about what would become of my hearing if i ever had to use the gun for protection.
I would rather be as they say, hard of hearing or deaf as compared to dead from not using my gun in fear of losing my hearing. Just my .02 worth and we know what the cost of the opinion is.
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Old January 23, 2014, 07:34 AM   #18
Hal
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Quote:
Has anyone on here ever shot a 357 without hearing protection?
Yes - all too often back in my foolish youth.

@ 61 years old, I come from a "hearing protection = optional" generation.

None of the cowboys on TV used any and neither did Sgt. Saunders, Kirby, the Krauts or anyone else we "observed shooting".


Quote:
would one shot be enough to cause ear damage?
Yes - no question about it.
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Old January 23, 2014, 07:38 AM   #19
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It's loud. Very Loud. Firing it without hearing protection, especially in a car or home will most certainly cause hearing damage. That said, just about any handgun fired in the same situation will also cause damage.

Personally, if you shoot it well and it's reliable, I wouldn't avoid using it in a self defense situation. One or two shots might cause some hearing damage but it won't cause significant damage.

I've shot lots of guns in my 20s without hearing protection. I hunt and I also played guitar so I've been around a lot of loud noises and I'm now in my mid 40s with some hearing damage. I can't blame it all on shooting though and I think it's a cumulative effect.

If you are comfortable with your .357 I wouldnt change based on the report of the gun. Worse case, you shoot .38s instead of .357 although a .38 can also cause hearing damage.
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Old January 23, 2014, 10:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Has anyone on here ever shot a 357 without hearing protection?
Many times (as in several boxes of Remington and Federal 125 grainers), in my foolish and misspent youth. 35 years later I can hear a pin drop. Your mileage will no doubt vary.
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:16 AM   #21
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Yes I have fired several guns without hearing protection. I can shoot a few 45acp, 44 special or 45 Colt rounds and my ears don't ring as much as one full tilt boogie 357 will cause. Luckily my ringing has always gone away, I'm a little more conservative with my hearing now and try to taylor my SD loads accordingly, that's why I lean toward keeping a 45 in my nightstand, and I mostly use 38+p loads in my 357s for SD.
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Old January 23, 2014, 11:38 AM   #22
Glenn E. Meyer
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Didn't the OP's questions about ear damage get answered in this thread?

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=539416

There is no reason to rehash it. Gun shot levels of sound can damage your hearing.

That's it.

Closed.
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