The Firing Line Forums

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 8, 2018, 09:35 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: September 5, 2010
Location: McMurdo Sound Texas
Posts: 3,409
Have you personally fired a gun in a car or room without ear protection?

After reading about the Mom of 2 that blasted the bad guy in her car, I’m wondering how loud that is, such as blow your ear drums out, painful or the adrenaline acts as ear plugs?

If you have first hand experience, I'd love to know how your ears survived.
!أنا لست إرهابياً
TXAZ is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 10:41 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,791
Yes I have, both. My ears are no better, no worse. You don't want to make a habit of doing it.
pete2 is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 12:00 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: December 28, 2006
Posts: 3,790
Much of my shooting when I was young was without protection. Add to that loud rock music and working in construction most of my life and how much damage was done to my ears shooting inside a building/car is hard to calculate. I do know in the instance of shooting my .460 revolver in a enclosed a shooting blind without protection was a painful experience that affected my hearing for a coupla days. Was on the phone with my brother when a nice buck stepped out of the woods and I dropped the phone and picked up the gun without pulling my muffs back on. Wouldn't want to do it again.

Without knowing what the firearm was the lady had or whether or not the muzzle was outside the vehicle(out the window), it's hard to guess if or how much her(and her kid's) hearing was affected. No matter, any hearing loss she encountered is a moot point when it comes to her and her kid's safety.
buck460XVR is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 12:19 PM   #4
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 11,302
Once, unintentionally. Meaning I fired by intention, but I had been distracted while switching firearms and loading magazines, and forgot that my ear protection wasn't in place.

It was painful. VERY painful. The round was .45 ACP. I already had tinnitus, so I can't blame that on this one shot but I'm sure it didn't help.
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 12:40 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: July 20, 2017
Posts: 196
Twice with shotguns, first was AD by my cousin in his bedroom the other was intentional by me in the barn, both were unpleasant and I’m sure had a part in the tinnitus I suffer today.

The worst was from a .357 mag lost hearing in my left ear for 3 days and was miserable for a week.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
peterg7 is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 01:12 PM   #6
44 AMP
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 18,779
If you have first hand experience, I'd love to know how your ears survived.
Ask a veteran. Then, speak UP, and ask them again!

I've done it, and had it done while I was in the room /vehicle. Even the smallest rounds DO cause hearing damage!!!! The more powder burned (along with the auditory geometry of the location) the greater the damage.

This is someplace where most movies and TV shows DO NOT accurately portray real life. Not even close, most of the time. There are a few modern war movies where a shell explodes near the character, and there is no sound heard for a minute or so (the SHORT time of deafness is a lie, done to keep the audience from leaving....)

It can be hours, or days (and possibly longer) before your hearing returns to what you think of as normal. And, it never comes back ALL THE WAY!

We don't realize it, at first, because it takes special testing (with an established baseline) to show the first. We're all immortal and invulnerable, until we're not....The damage is cumulative, and permanent.

When the word you use most in conversation is "what??", and you find you NEED the subtitles to know what the actors are saying (and you need help reading them, ), when you can't make out what the person next to you in a crowded room is saying, THEN its hard to ignore, but until then, most don't realize they have been injured.

The famous "auditory exclusion" (adrenaline, tunnel vision, etc.) only affects what the brain perceives, at the time. The ear hears the shot, SAME AS ALWAYS, and is damaged by it. Your brain, being very focused on something else (like an attack) doesn't recognize the shot the same way, but the physical sound and the damage it causes is there even if you don't notice it, or only notice it after things calm down.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is online now  
Old July 8, 2018, 01:22 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 2,044
I haven't, but a guy at an indoor range fired a .44 when I didn't have ear protection on. The instant pain almost dropped me to my knees. You hear that dull ringing 24/7? I do, so don't be around a gun discharging indoors.
Mike38 is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 01:33 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,900
outside a couple of times, in a house once, in a car not yet.
JERRYS. is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 01:42 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: August 25, 2008
Location: Potatoes and Hops
Posts: 11,391
Unfortunately, I've been around for at least a dozen such incidents.
.22 Handguns (rooms), 9mms (room and vehicle), .38/.357 (vehicles), a .44 Mag (room), and even some rifles, on up to .300 Weatherby in a three-(and a half)-sided shooting shelter.

It hurts, a lot. It causes permanent damage. As 44 AMP said, it takes days to get back to what you then think is 'normal'.

But you don't need to be in a confined space for permanent damage.
I think I suffered as much, if not more damage, from a person emptying a .357 Mag about 10 feet from me, in the middle of the desert, while none of us had hearing protection.

Those incidents, combined with my time working in, on, and around turbine-powered aircraft, are the primary reason for me deciding to suppress as much of what I own as possible. The type of hunting that I do is not conducive to hearing protection use, and I don't like wearing it in the woods/desert anyway. Even if I only fire three to five shots per year without hearing protection, they're still doing damage. ...And I've already lost too much.
So, to reduce* further damage to my own hearing and give my son a better start than I had, I'm attaching the hearing protection to the firearm(s) instead of my ears.

*(The suppressor(s) won't eliminate hearing damage, but they should reduce it.)
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
FrankenMauser is online now  
Old July 8, 2018, 02:36 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,372
Yes, 4 or 5 years ago. At an indoor shooting range during the qualifications for my carry license. One of the *instructors* distracted me; I took off my ears so we could discuss whatever it was he wanted to talk about, and I forgot to put them back on. Then none of the instructors (there were about 3 or them) checked to make sure we had our eyes and ears when back on the firing line before telling us to Fire. I had mild tinnitus already. It hurt, but not nearly as bad as I expected. My tinnitus is noticeably worse, and loud noises (like being too close to a PA speaker) literally hurt my ears now -- which I think is why my flinch has gotten so bad.

I haven't been back to that range much since then even tho' I'm a member there. My carry license has lapsed and I haven't been in any big hurry to re-qualify. I do need to get back to the *outdoor* pistol range with doubled-up hearing protection and work thru my flinch issues. I used to enjoy shooting, and think I still would with adequate hearing protection (I don't think adequate is possible at that indoor range; it's a concrete box with no sound absorbing baffles except for the dividers at the firing line)
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 04:44 PM   #11
Junior Member
Join Date: July 8, 2018
Posts: 1
I did it unintentionally, I walked into a closed shooting range to talk to someone without hearing protection, and had a .357 magnum fired 4 feet from my ears (entirely my fault). It took 2 days for the ringing to stop, but all good afterwards.
DaveDerrick is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 05:25 PM   #12
Ruga Booga
Senior Member
Join Date: September 2, 2017
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 105
When I was a teenager I experienced this several times, with high powered rifle(06 and 30-30), semi auto pistol(45 acp) and revolver(357 mag). Very deafening and brain rattling with ringing that lasts for days. Permanent damage
Ruga Booga is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 06:34 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: December 21, 2004
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 813
Yes. A .38 snubby in a car. It was LOUD and it was painful. Never want to repeat it.
All that is neccessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke
tlm225 is offline  
Old July 8, 2018, 07:53 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 9,265
Outdoors a ton. I'm 60, didn't start wearing any ear protection until I was in my early 30's. I've been present when guns were fired indoors with no hearing protection twice. Both with handguns, 357 mag and 45 ACP. Maybe it was the adrenaline pumping, but I honestly didn't recall hearing a thing those 2 times. I've been bothered much worse when shooting outdoors with no protection.

But 44 AMP gave good info. Just because you don't feel any different that doesn't mean damage wasn't done. The damage is cumulative over time. Depending on the situations the damage can be very slow and not a detriment for years. Or enough damage can happen from just one shot to be a real handicap. I don't advise shooting without protection it unless the alternative is worse. If you have to choose between your life or hearing it is a no brainer, shoot.

Maybe I was just lucky, but I started shooting at a young age and simply never wore any protection. Ive fired over 100 shotshells on many afternoons, I owned and shot many, centerfire rifles, and a few magnum revolvers back in the day. Part of it may have been that in those days I couldn't afford to shoot as much.

But starting in my 30's I had to pass a complete physical once a year in order to do part of my job. It included a hearing test. During the 1st hearing test the Doc asked if I shot a lot. He told me I had minor hearing loss in my left ear. The one closest to the noise for a right handed shooter. My right ear was still 100%. He told me that with most sounds and tones I was still 100%, but there were certain tones that I simply couldn't hear at all. I never had any problems with normal conversation. Had I been a musician it may well have caused issues. But there have been very, very few shots fired since without hearing protection. Always when practicing, I wear them for most all shotgun hunting. Usually not when deer hunting, but that doesn't involve a lot of shots.

Five years ago I went to bed with near perfect hearing, woke up completely deaf in my right ear, the good one. After multiple tests and DR visits they still cannot tell me exactly what happened, but confirmed that shooting, or loud noise wasn't the cause, the left ear had gotten no worse. A couple of rounds of steroids to hopefully regenerate growth of damaged nerves etc. did bring back limited hearing in that ear.

I actually do pretty good, but it does cause problems. In a quiet room I hear conversations and TV pretty well with my good ear. I have to position myself so the good ear is pointed toward the source. In a noisy environment it is very hard to pick up what one individual is saying. And it is a lot harder to locate which direction sound is coming from. Turkey hunting is almost a waste of time anymore unless I go with someone with good hearing. I hear the birds, just can't figure out where they are.
"If you're still doing things the same way you were doing them 10 years ago, you're doing it wrong"

Winston Churchill
jmr40 is offline  
Old July 9, 2018, 10:42 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 7,714
If you include hitting a .22 round with a hammer in grandfather's garage, then, yes.
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old July 9, 2018, 11:27 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: September 5, 2010
Location: McMurdo Sound Texas
Posts: 3,409
Originally Posted by RickB View Post
If you include hitting a .22 round with a hammer in grandfather's garage, then, yes.
I'm pretty sure you're not the only one who did that.
!أنا لست إرهابياً
TXAZ is offline  
Old July 9, 2018, 11:09 PM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: June 9, 2010
Location: live in a in a house when i'm not in a tent
Posts: 2,265
not twice
I'm right about the metric system 3/4 of the time.
doofus47 is offline  
Old July 9, 2018, 11:44 PM   #18
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
Posts: 21,829
.357Mag full power round indoors with no hearing protection. I was almost totally deaf for several minutes and I've never recovered full hearing in my left ear. There's a high-pitched whistling going on in my left ear while I type this.
Do you know about the TEXAS State Rifle Association?
JohnKSa is offline  
Old July 9, 2018, 11:56 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: July 14, 2002
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 1,581
My only two firearms discharges without hearing protection were an M16 as a kid learning to shoot and I forgot to put my ear pro on and that hurt. (It was outside and yes I meant M16 not AR15)

The other was at knob creek when the line went hot. I heard ready on the left, ready on the right etc. but just sort of whiffed on putting ear pro on. For a split second it was painful and then......just sort of running my hearing was destroyed while I desperately fumbled for my ears.

I cannot imagine lighting off even a .22LR in an enclosed space much less a martial caliber. I mean in a SD situation sure as that is the least of my problems but if at all possible I want ear pro.

Hell I wear ear pro with some air rifles.

The old saying “you almost never learn anything new the second time you are kicked in the head by a horse comes to mind.”
"Is there anyway I can write my local gun store off on my taxes as dependents?"
cslinger is offline  
Old July 10, 2018, 09:03 AM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: October 23, 2015
Location: MinneSNOWta
Posts: 408
About 10 years ago, I learned why most ranges tell you to put your ear pro on before you walk in and leave it on the entire time. We called a cold range on a hot day, I put up my ears because I was sweaty, and some guy started doing mag dumps next to me when we hadn't called the range hot. I jumped, my ears fell off my head I had to just cover my ears with my hands. It was my fault for not having my ears on, but we hadn't called the range hot, I kind of let the guy have it. My ears were still ringing the next day, and it was only a 3/4 shelter.

I mean if I have to fire inside my house, something worse than my hearing is on the line, so I'll take the consequences.
rpseraph is offline  
Old July 10, 2018, 09:35 AM   #21
Senior Member
Join Date: May 15, 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,791
In the army I was around all kinds of loud bangs, all without ear protection. I don't recommend it. BUT, in a life or death situation it ain't near as loud as it is at the range. It's also usually 1 or 2 shots in civilian life.

I don't understand why but it's a totally different situation.
pete2 is offline  
Old July 10, 2018, 01:50 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: March 1, 2000
Location: Western WA
Posts: 7,714
I've heard accounts of cops who couldn't hear their guns discharging, but distinctly remember the sound of the spent brass hitting the ground.
Runs off at the mouth about anything 1911 related on this site and half the time is flat out wrong.
RickB is offline  
Old July 10, 2018, 01:58 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: January 4, 2014
Location: None of yer business, sonny
Posts: 277
I fired an M-16 in a concrete room during an impromptu training exercise and I forgot to insert earplugs. The sound shock was momentarily debilitating.
gbclarkson is offline  
Old July 10, 2018, 02:18 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: October 21, 2009
Location: Quadling Country
Posts: 2,169
I have fired 5.56 in a room without hearing protection or substandard hearing protection probably one too many times. The left ear now has permanent tinnitus.
Thus a man should endeavor to reach this high place of courage with all his heart, and, so trying, never be backward in war.
MTT TL is offline  
Old July 11, 2018, 12:44 AM   #25
Join Date: November 28, 2016
Posts: 28
i wouldnt say i did it without ear protecting but with the first handgun i ever bought, i had some of the squishy foam ear plugs .... and i found out really quickly they dont work worth a damn..... i did maybe 1 mag and went back out and one of the girls working at the gun store was like these 13$ ear muff's are some of the best ones we have for the $$ and no lie they are awesome!!! i use them for mowing the lawn, shooting, using a chainsaw, and any other time i am going to be near something very loud for any amount of time....
Tacticool1976 is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 12:19 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11158 seconds with 8 queries