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Old July 24, 2014, 10:43 PM   #1
COASTER
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Question on hearing protection

Howdy folks!
I am looking for your opinions. My usual practice for hearing protection is to wear ear plugs( Howard Leight) and on top of which I wear passive ear muffs rated at 30 NRR.
Recently while at an indoor range, I was next to a gentleman who was shooting a 357 mag revolver in the adjacent stall. With every shot he fired I could hear a sound like a small bell in my ears for just a microsecond. Once my neighbor was done shooting I never heard the sound again. This makes me wonder if I am not using the proper hearing protection or was the sound because of the concussion due to the blast?

BTW my hearing is very normal and I do not have any ringing or other symptoms. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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Old July 25, 2014, 06:15 AM   #2
foxytwo
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You are using very good hearing protection, but a .357 is very loud and you can get sound waves through the bone in your scull to your inner ear. He might have been using +P ammo which would be louder. I doubt if your hearing was damaged, but when I am at the range and someone is shooting a very loud gun, I pack up and leave. My hearing is not good and I intend to keep what I have left. I also use ear plugs and ear muffs.
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Old July 25, 2014, 12:27 PM   #3
ScotchMan
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I don't think your hearing was damaged as you had probably 60db or more of total sound reduction. If you feel pain or discomfort that is a warning sign. I'm not sure what else you can do other than avoid people shooting magnums indoors.
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Old July 25, 2014, 10:57 PM   #4
COASTER
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Foxytwo and ScotchMan

Thank you both for advice. I know now to keep a watch as to when I just should walk out of the indoor range to save my hearing.
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Old July 25, 2014, 11:10 PM   #5
Sevens
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Quote:
With every shot he fired I could hear a sound like a small bell in my ears for just a microsecond. Once my neighbor was done shooting I never heard the sound again.
It's quite often been my experience on an indoor range that you can hear some odd sounds. If it did NOT cause you pain or discomfort, if you did NOT notice anything as soon as he finished shooting, if you had no residual noise in your hearing later, and all you seemed to experience was that you picked up another odd noise with each shot, I suspect you simply were hearing some audible feedback on that particular range, with the position he happened to be shooting in. I just would not worry about it, and your method of doubling up on the protection is a fine idea if the comfort level works for you.

Indoor ranges are NOTORIOUS for taking already excessively loud gunfire... and making it far worse. I find them to be simply AWFUL places to take a brand new shooter because it's like bombs going off... constantly.
Quote:
He might have been using +P ammo which would be louder.
There exists no such cartridge in the world as .357 Magnum+P. Nobody makes it and it's outside industry standards. A handloader could concoct it, and it would ALSO be outside industry standards for all firearms chambered for .357 Magnum. This is not the answer to the noise.
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Old July 26, 2014, 10:34 AM   #6
Sandy741
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Questions on Hearing

When using two different types of hearing protection, do not add the NRR values. Muffs with 30dB NRR and plugs with 30dB NRR the total protection is 36 db.
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Old July 26, 2014, 10:17 PM   #7
COASTER
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Sevens and Sandy741 -thank you

Thank you both(Sevens and Sandy741) for your input. I am glad I did not do anything stupid and I will start looking for an outdoor range soon.
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Old July 27, 2014, 09:22 AM   #8
Bart B.
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There's a lot of misinformation out there on hearing, sound pressure levels, decibels, constant versus impulse noise and all that stuff. If your hearing's worth keeping up to good levels and you shoot firearms, consult an audiologist and get more facts than opinions.
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Old July 27, 2014, 10:03 PM   #9
COASTER
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Bart B

Sound advice, Bart B, I appreciate it!
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Old July 28, 2014, 08:00 AM   #10
olddav
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Howard Leight web site has what appears to be good info regarding hearing protection. http://www.howardleight.com/hearing-protection/articles
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Old July 28, 2014, 10:53 AM   #11
BobCat45
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Thank you olddav! That is an excellent resource.

I'm (very) hard of hearing, disease not loud noises, so I jealously guard what little hearing I have left. That is good reading about ratings, muffs, dual protection (which I use, as described by Coaster, the OP).

My audiologist / hearing aid guy knows lots - but is not a shooter and basically says to avoid any and all loud noises.

With plugs + muffs for years no additional loss has shown up in tests, so I think with judicious use of dual protection, and avoidance of indoor ranges, it is possible to preserve what hearing you have.

Caveat - I have enough conductive loss that it may be protecting against additional sensioneural loss - so people with good hearing should read as much as possible and make their own choices.
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Old July 28, 2014, 01:48 PM   #12
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BobCat45
At first I thought you were being overly protective but know I understand. If I was in your shoes I think I would avoid anything I thought was a problem area as well. Somethings are just not worth the risk!
Good Luck.
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Old July 29, 2014, 03:34 PM   #13
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olddav-

Thank you - excellent link and articles
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