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Old March 20, 2014, 09:38 PM   #1
twr
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Caliber and hearing (new question)

I just read an old thread on this forum on hearing and self defense cartridges. It reminded me of a question I have always had and was never brought up in that thread:

Is there a caliber that could disorient or otherwise take the shooter out of the fight due to the noise level (think stun grenade) if fired in doors?
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Old March 20, 2014, 09:39 PM   #2
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A simple .40 is quite loud indoors. Just a simple solid nose bullet. I THINK ive heard of something like that but not 100% sure
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Old March 20, 2014, 10:08 PM   #3
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.50 BMG would probably do it. Ultra-mags. I would guess a short barreled .308 in doors would ring everyone's bells.

My biggest/loudest was a .44 magnum fired in a barn. I couldn't hear anything at all for a second or so. Then (most) of my hearing came back like someone was turning up the volume on the world. Didn't stun me though.
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Old March 20, 2014, 10:47 PM   #4
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I've had the misfortune to experience a hot load from a 4" .357Mag revolver indoors without hearing protection. From noise level numbers I've seen, that's one of the loudest (if not THE loudest) handguns.

It was loud enough that I was deaf for several minutes. I could just barely hear a person shouting in the same room.

I was not in the least stunned or disoriented. Just deaf.
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Old March 21, 2014, 06:54 AM   #5
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I'll say that a shooter won't be incapacitated by firing a normal handgun inside. I think an episode involving a 4" 357 mag in an enclosed area contributed to my hearing loss but the first couple of shots didn't stop me from firing all 6.
If you're in a life threatening situation, recoil and noise are the least of your physical concerns. Muzzle flash may cause a problem if it causes loss of night vision.
Heck, even being shot, stabbed, or clubbed may not register unless it causes an immediately debilitating wound.
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Old March 21, 2014, 07:27 AM   #6
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10mm - very unpleasant report with no hearing protection!
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Old March 21, 2014, 07:33 AM   #7
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Referring to your statement about not registering about being shot/stabbed/wounded. This is totally true. Three years ago I was playing with my hunting knife (being an idiot) and I slit my leg wide open. The cut was 5" long and about a 1 1/2 wide. I didn't think I cut myself because I didn't feel any pain. I just reacted quickly and felt my leg and my shorts were soaked in blood. I didn't feel any pain or notice but once I pulled up my shorts and looked. Then the pain hit. And it hit hard.
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Old March 21, 2014, 08:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobuck
If you're in a life threatening situation, recoil and noise are the least of your physical concerns. Muzzle flash may cause a problem if it causes loss of night vision.
Except that all of those things may directly relate to your ability to win the fight.

Muzzle flash is the most over-rated, by far. I have fired many different kinds of handguns and long guns in varying degrees of darkness and varying degrees of dark adjusted eyes. None of them has caused the slightest detectable problem with vision. If I could see well enough to shoot before I shot I could still see well enough to shoot after I shot.

Muzzle blast is the most UNDER rated, IMO. While it is true that you may not "notice" the blast at the exact moment, a sufficiently loud gun (which includes most any handgun) can cause temporary or even permanent deafness INSTANTLY. Being able to hear can not only be crucial to surviving the incident but is plenty nice ability to have for the rest of your life afterwards too.

The trouble is, the range in dB between virtually all center-fire handguns is from "deaf" to "stone cold deaf". They are all far, far too loud and can and have caused varying degrees of instant and sometimes permanent hearing loss.

While surviving is more important than hearing, it is extremely wise to have electronic hearing protection as part of your home defense plan. You may or may not have time to use them in any of the infinite possible scenarios but they should be available in case you do and you should wear them if you have time.
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Old March 21, 2014, 08:44 AM   #9
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my experience and those of others leads me to believe that the effects on night vision varies. I have personally had no issues one night and then had a hard time the next from just a single shot by a guy next to me. others I served with reported the same.

every pistol indoors is loud! I have never experienced disorientation but I have had my ears ring for days.
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Old March 21, 2014, 09:45 AM   #10
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Thank you all for the very helpful responses! I really got interested in this topic because I normally carry either a glock 33 or an sp101. I had read about people using 38special in the home because of noise and flash being a problem indoors. I went with a glock 19 for the nightstand based on my experience with the noise difference between .357 (sig and mag) and 9mm. But then I got into the raw numbers and it gets confusing. A flash bang will briefly incapacitate people with the noise and flash alone and start around 170db. Magnums for a snubby are about 164 (6db away removed from a stun grenade) and 9mm about 159 (not much further behind). That doesn't seem like a big difference and I know there's some other math that goes in to it, but your examples from real world experiences have been very enlightening.
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Old March 21, 2014, 09:59 AM   #11
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I don't think you understand decibles

About Decibels (dB)

Prepared by Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Trace R&D Center University of Wisconsin-Madison

What is a Decibel (dB)?

A dB or Decibel is a logarithmic unit of measure of the ratio between two numbers.

dB and Power (20dB = 100x)

When talking about power, 3dB represents a ratio of two to one or a doubling of power.

Thus, a gain of 10dB would represent a ratio of ten to one for power - so 10 dB be 10 times the power
A 40dB power gain would be 10,000 times the power.

From http://trace.wisc.edu/docs/2004-About-dB/
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Old March 21, 2014, 10:02 AM   #12
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Quote:
... I got into the raw numbers and it gets confusing. A flash bang will briefly incapacitate people with the noise and flash alone and start around 170db. Magnums for a snubby are about 164 (6db away removed from a stun grenade) and 9mm about 159 (not much further behind). ...
It might be helpful if you understand that decibels represent a logarithmic, not a linear scale of measurement.

170db is not "+11 louder" than 159db... it's x11 (eleven times) louder. (If you look at it the other way around 159db is 1/11th as loud as 170db.)
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Old March 21, 2014, 10:10 AM   #13
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Something you can relate to:

Quote:
It might be helpful if you understand that decibels represent a logarithmic, not a linear scale of measurement.
+1.

Most of the standard muffs on the market have a noise reduction rating of 25-30 decibels ...... think about the difference 29 decibels makes .....
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Old March 21, 2014, 10:37 AM   #14
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Yeah the "what is a decibel" thing was kind of track the other thread took.

My main concerns where A: is there a hand gun caliber where once I pull the trigger I would be unable to handle any additional threats and B: If so where does it start (i.e. am I doing myself a favor with 9mm or should I just go straight to the dragunov because there all going to be painful)?
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Old March 21, 2014, 10:47 AM   #15
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how about 7.62x54R though a tiny barrel?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTpgSGXqZVM

at 10 feet it's rumored to punch fist sized holes, and set the BG's clothes on fire.
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Old March 21, 2014, 10:50 AM   #16
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9mm is a high-pressure round but has a small case capacity and burns it's powder quickly. A large portion of the noise of a gun shot comes from the pressure release when the bullet exits and "uncorks" the barrel. The only other sound is the remaining pressure at the breach when the case ejects (or the cylinder gap in a revolver) and the bullet breaking the sound barrier.

So, you can reduce the noises by using sub-sonic ammo and a lower peak pressure round with a long barrel. Sub-sonic 45acp from a long(ish) barrel would be about as good as it gets.

A short barreled rifle would be about as bad as it gets.
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Old March 21, 2014, 12:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Yeah the "what is a decibel" thing was kind of track the other thread took.
Because maybe your questions are best answered by gaining a minimal understanding of what is involved.

Quote:
... My main concerns where A: is there a hand gun caliber where once I pull the trigger I would be unable to handle any additional threats and B: If so where does it start ...
I've been right next to a AR15 being fired at an indoor range, with out hearing protection. An idiot touched one off in the middle of a cease-fire. It was unsettling, to say the least, but not a show-stopper.

You should be fine with all of the common calibers and duty-rated cartridges. Your ears will be ringing a few minutes, and you'll likely suffer some high-frequency hearing loss. You won't really be 'disabled' in any sense which prevents you from staying in the fight.

You could also consider having some reactive hearing protection available on your nightstand ... whether electronic or passive/mechanical, you'll still be able to hear the creepers creeping, and protect your hearing should it go to guns.

Last edited by zombietactics; March 21, 2014 at 12:20 PM.
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Old March 21, 2014, 06:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
A short barreled rifle would be about as bad as it gets.
Depends upon the cartridge involved ..... some use heavy bullets and fast burning powders to drop peak pressure very quickly (think 300 BLK).....

True, a standard cartridge like the 308 WIN in a SBR would be LOUD, but just because it is a SBR does not make it louder than any handgun..... conversely, I would think that a 10" barrelled SBR chambered in .45ACP would be quieter than a 3" handgun shooting the same standard pressure ammo.

SBRs also allow a suppressor to be used without making the gun so long as to be cumbersome.
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Old March 21, 2014, 07:33 PM   #19
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Caliber and hearing (new question)

Of course there are exceptions, I was responding to the idea of using a short barreled 7.62x54. As I said, using a long barrel with a low pressure round like 45acp would be as good as it gets, without getting into suppressors.
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Old March 21, 2014, 07:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
170db is not "+11 louder" than 159db... it's x11 (eleven times) louder.
A change of 11dB corresponds to the power level changing by a factor of 12.6.

Said another way, a noise with a power level of 170dB has about 12.6 times more power than a noise with a power level of 159dB.

A 170dB noise has about 4 times more sound power than a 164dB noise.

It is true that 10dB is equivalent to a linear power change by a factor of 10, but other than at 10, there's not a direct correspondence between the number corresponding to the dB change and the number corresponding to the linear power change.
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Old March 21, 2014, 08:10 PM   #21
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Of course there are exceptions, I was responding to the idea of using a short barreled 7.62x54. As I said, using a long barrel with a low pressure round like 45acp would be as good as it gets, without getting into suppressors.
Very true- I have a link somewhere about making "gallery rounds" with the 7.62x54r in a Mosin 91/30 (28 inch barrel), pistol powder, and single 00 Buck size shot for a projectile ...... can't seem to locate it right now ......
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Old March 21, 2014, 11:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
A change of 11dB corresponds to the power level changing by a factor of 12.6.

Said another way, a noise with a power level of 170dB has about 12.6 times more power than a noise with a power level of 159dB.
...
It is true that 10dB is equivalent to a linear power change by a factor of 10, but other than at 10, there's not a direct correspondence between the number corresponding to the dB change and the number corresponding to the linear power change.
Correction noted and thank you ... I was being sloppy.
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Old March 22, 2014, 12:07 AM   #23
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This is one of the reasons why I'm currently looking into switching my home defense choice from a .357 magnum revolver to a .45 ACP automatic pistol.

There are a good number of subsonic .45 ACP defense loads that are excellent. I would assume all things being equal that the lower pressure .45 ACP round that also won't have a "sonic crack" might be easier on the ol' ears than the .357 revolver with it's high pressure supersonic loads.

Should be pretty effective on the muzzle end, too.
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Old March 22, 2014, 02:05 AM   #24
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i hate to be disagreeable, but shooting inside my house is surprisingly quiet, i accidntally shot a snub-nosed 38 loaded with hydra-shok in our small bedroom, it was loud but absorbed by the carpet/furniture etc, IT DIDNT EVEN WAKE UP THE WIFE OR CHILD UPSTAIRS, i was amazed at how quiet it was, so i had to do a lttle experimenting, waited til noone was home, set-up a target outside in my pool area, and did a couple shots from the middle of a carpeted, furnished room, out the window to the tarhet one story down

38spl,9x19,40cal all suprisingly quiet, no hearing protection required, all the sound is immediatly absorbed by the insulation of the carpet and furniture

357mag had a little whop to it, but not dis-orienting at all, if you have the opportunity, try it for yourself, youll be very suprised

on the other hand, when i need to test a couple new pistol loads, ill open the window in my basement(no carpet, no furniture) and shoot at a trap box, its super loud down there, loud to where it shocks your body(earplugs def required)

i thinkall if these rounds discussed would be easily tested for yourself, just dont tell the wife, but the neighbor likely wont notice what your doing, if they ask, you were just testing some primers to see if they were seating correctly
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Old March 22, 2014, 03:17 AM   #25
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having had a 45acp unsuppressed round going of near my left ear I can assure you it can cause permanent hearing damage. While its annoying having a constant ringing in my left ear it does let me know I'm still alive.
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