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Old October 15, 2017, 07:05 PM   #1
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Join Date: December 10, 1999
Location: California
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This may sound crazy... (Ear protection)

But, since we on the forum should be used to "crazy" gun stuff, I'm gonna post it.
As any of you regular readers know, I have been TRYING to solve an ear protection dilemma ever since I ..LOST.. a bunch of hearing from a ported rifle being fired (WITHOUT THE PROVIDED PIPES) at the range.

Okay, I got my hearing aids and some molded plugs from my audiologist but STILL had some issues after shooting.

(Just 22's but it was still a noticeable hearing issue)

I just ordered some 37 NRR ...passive.. muffs (Decibel Defense )

When I unboxed them today, I could tell that there was QUITE a noise reduction from loud stereo music AND there was a noticeable silence of ambient noise.

So.... went testing today.

And ... noticed that the noise "seemed" VERY attenuated.

Plus, I ..tried...them without the plugs.


It seemed better without the plugs than ...with.

So, the reason for this post is a speculation that the custom formed poly plugs may be hard enough to transmit sound even though they are not "supposed" to.

Anyone heard of this effect?

I shot my 4" Ruger pistol with ONLY the DD muffs and have not noticed any effect after shooting as I did with my ACTIVE Howard Leights.

Could this be?

Sure SEEMS so.

I'm gonna try some ..soft.. foam plugs next time with the DD muffs.

This could be my answer even though it ..."sounds" (pun) nuts.

Has anyone ever tested hard poly customs to check if they actually stop sound?

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Old October 16, 2017, 01:31 AM   #2
Join Date: February 12, 2001
Location: DFW Area
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There's some sound transmission (especially from very loud sounds) through the bones around the ears. The best quality muffs actually provide better hearing protection than plugs. You can use plugs AND muffs if you want maximum protection.
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Old October 16, 2017, 07:09 AM   #3
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Interesting conclusion, please share how well your next combo works. I perfer both when shooting pistol&revolver indoors and just plugs when shooting rifles & shotguns out doors, the muffs seem to always be in the way with the long guns.
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Old October 16, 2017, 08:56 AM   #4
Double Naught Spy
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It seemed better without the plugs than ...with.
This may be one of those bizarre sampling issues. With the muffs on, you heard some sound that was transmitted through the auditory canal and your focus was probably on that. With the plugs in, you started to notice just how much noise was being bone conducted and it sounded louder because you had nearly completely shut off sound from the auditory canal. So it isn't that the sound getting in is actually louder, only that you perceive it as louder.

Think of it like this. The ringing in your ears (if you have it) is louder in a quiet room than in a noisy room. It isn't actually louder, but seems louder because of the lack of other stimulus. So it is a perception difference.
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Old October 16, 2017, 11:12 AM   #5
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Whoopty! Voila! and Hallelujah !!!!

JohnKSa brought up something I had never even considered.


...Now... I'm wondering if this has been the issue all along.
The custom plugs made from audiologist molds in their lab is some sort of plasticized something or other that I suspect is polyethylene.

AND... it is quite FIRM. Almost "hard."

It takes spit and manipulation to get them in my ears.
Once in, yep, they're pretty soundproof.

BUT.... is the firmness of the material creating a better environment for ...BONE CONDUCTION?

I didn't have my FOAM plugs with me yesterday when I shot.

You can bet I'm gonna try that.

Those Decibel Defense muffs are noticeably quieter than any others I've ever used. Used alone they kept me from having the "evening deadness" that has been plaguing me since the extreme hearing loss.

When I shoot, it's fine by the next day. But right after and through the evening, my right ear (closest to the gun) does stupid crap the night after shooting.

And...dammit...this is with 22's.

If I had to go my whole life without shooting bigger bore, I could live with that, but I..... NEED..... my 22 time.

BONE CONDUCTION..... hmmmmmm......
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Old October 29, 2017, 11:01 AM   #6
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Join Date: September 23, 2017
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The best hearing protection (that affords you the ability to
talk and hear) is by the Sound Gear Custom FIt Hearing/Protection
Devices. When you compare hearing loss against the cost, they
are extremely inexpensive.
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Old October 29, 2017, 11:47 AM   #7
Don Fischer
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I just kept shooting till I was deaf and don't have to worry about it any more. Got something to say to me, put it in a note!
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