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Old November 22, 2019, 04:01 PM   #1
BradS
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Ear Plugs

I have searched the Forum and the internet in an attempt to find ear plugs that are effective ear protection for the range.
I have been using electronic earmuffs and although they work, I find them to be uncomfortable.
Can anyone recommend a set of ear plugs that "work".
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Old November 22, 2019, 04:19 PM   #2
ttarp
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Most of the time I use ear plugs with electronic muffs over them. The nrr on electronic muffs is typically quite low, with one exception I know of, and I'm sure more that I don't know about. Its a lot easier to find a set of nonelectronic(?) muffs that have a sufficiently high nrr.

I have this set, it has a good nrr of 30, but the sound quality of the electronics leaves a lot to be desired in my opinion.

https://www.amazon.com/Howard-Leight...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
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Old November 22, 2019, 04:24 PM   #3
OhioGuy
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There's not that much to hear on a range, and even in classes I usually can still hear what I need to hear.

Cheap foam earplugs from any drugstore will work -- Mack's are a good brand. Just make sure you roll them tight and insert them far enough into your ear.

I put a pair of NRR 30 muffs over them and it's an effective combo, especially when someone is shooting a rifle there. I found the "Pro Fo Sho" brand on Amazon to be low profile and very comfortable.
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Old November 22, 2019, 06:28 PM   #4
jpx2rk
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I use the Peltor brand ugly green ones from wally world with the 3 flanges, pretty comfy for extended days, corded so I can keep up with them for the most part, and last a decent amount of time. I use when mowing the yard as well.
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Old November 22, 2019, 06:52 PM   #5
dyl
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I double up most of the time. But if I have to go with one only, it's the generic bright orange foam earplugs, the ones that feel almost moist or squishy. They seem to have a higher NRR than more dry foam or reusable rubber/silicone earplugs.
Roll them up to a thinner sliver, straighten ear canal by pulling the middle of the ear back to your rear while inserting. Of course, leave enough protruding to pinch to remove.

They're a little pricey but look up "noise fighters" on Amazon, gel replacement cups for earmuffs. They are like $40 each if I remember, and I don't remember what model ear muff they go with. But I hear they are very comfortable and transform ok ear muffs to great feeling ones.

By doubling up, it feels almost like I'm cheating, the noise is cut back so much I can really concentrate and build some good habits. I wish I had done it sooner, when I was first discovering my fundamentals. I can still speak and hear doubled up.
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Old November 22, 2019, 07:37 PM   #6
American Man
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Here is a good set. Need to use muffs over them if you are shooting heavy 44, 454 and bigger. But for 9 and 45 they are excellent.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old November 22, 2019, 07:48 PM   #7
TXAZ
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Good luck Brad,
Ear plugs are 'highly personal', in that everyone's ears are different. I tried the custom plugs, do it yourself form fitting, cylindrical yellow foam, and the tapered "cheap pink" (or yellow) bulk soft rubber disposables. The latter work best for me, but you're going to have to try them all as you ear canals are likely very different from the other posters here.

(I also wear earplugs with electronic muffs over them. Wish I had started doing that decades ago...)
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Old November 23, 2019, 07:11 AM   #8
zukiphile
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I find electronic muffs not altogether necessary. More accuratey, there is a lot of conversation on a firing line I just don't care to hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BradS
I have searched the Forum and the internet in an attempt to find ear plugs that are effective ear protection for the range.
I have been using electronic earmuffs and although they work, I find them to be uncomfortable.
I urge you to redirect your search to a pair of muffs that are comfortable. Your hearing is worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioGuy
I put a pair of NRR 30 muffs over them and it's an effective combo, especially when someone is shooting a rifle there.
I put some cheap ear plugs in, and put my cheap electronic muffs on. I can hear conversation near me, but not five stalls away, and I can turn the sound off if I am near someone who comes to the range for conversation.
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Old November 23, 2019, 02:05 PM   #9
T. O'Heir
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"...Cheap foam earplugs from any drugstore will work..." Any such plugs from anywhere work just fine. So do any ear defenders. You really don't need electronic ear muffs.
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Old November 23, 2019, 02:10 PM   #10
JohnKSa
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Being able to hear what's going on without taking the muffs off provides a lot of protection compared to just one or two unprotected shots because the muffs were removed to hear something and not replaced in time. That's the main reason I finally switched to electronic muffs.

I also bought a model that had gel pads available for it so that the comfort was good enough to wear them all day.
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Old November 23, 2019, 02:54 PM   #11
BradS
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Thanks all. I appreciate y'all taking time to reply.
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Old November 23, 2019, 02:56 PM   #12
DaveBj
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For pistol shooting I use plain muffs, and that's enough. However, the AR's stock pushed the right muff up and off the ear, so I need backup on that side, in spite of the fact that the right ear is 90% deaf anyway. The range sold me a pair of soft 3-flange plugs that do fine; I don't remember the brand name, and the packaging is long gone. I can't use the squishy ones from the drug stores. My ear canals are very small, and I can't squeeze them small enough to fit.

D
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Old November 23, 2019, 07:07 PM   #13
Auto5
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Custom molded ear plugs.
https://www.safetygearonline.com/cus...iABEgI-0_D_BwE
I recommend buying two different colors to make left and right easy to tell apart.
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Old November 25, 2019, 12:59 AM   #14
veprdude
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My wife took an audiology class is college. Custom plugs are the way to go if you can afford it.

I usually run orange foam plugs from Harbor Freight in conjunction with Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Muffs. I can still shoot high powered rifles under a steel visor and keep a decent conversation going.

The Howard Leights by themselves are good for pistol only or maybe small caliber rifle. Add a scope and they tend to pull off the ear a bit.

A word of wisdom- if you run electronic muffs please don't put in alkaline batteries and keep them in there. Almost ruined a set when the batteries corroded. Now I run either lithium camera AAAs or NiMH rechargeables. Even if the NiMH batteries discharge all the way they are unlikely to do damage like alkalines do.
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Old November 25, 2019, 07:58 AM   #15
Bart B.
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https://www.ammunitiontogo.com/lodge...-for-shooters/

Some audiologists say moulded ear plugs are better for impulse noise from firearms.

Last edited by Bart B.; November 25, 2019 at 03:49 PM.
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Old November 25, 2019, 01:55 PM   #16
BradS
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Thanks Bart, very good article.
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Old November 25, 2019, 03:12 PM   #17
Onward Allusion
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I use the green translucent Peltor plugs with the 3 flanges. It's fine wearing them alone for outdoor shooting, including AR Pistol, 44 Mag, & 30-06. I always double up with plugs & muff indoors 'cause sound travels thru bone, too.
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Old November 25, 2019, 06:15 PM   #18
FrankenMauser
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Figure out what fits you.
My ear canals don't get along with any kind of generic formed/molded plugs, especially the ribbed types. So, I only use foamies. But, even then, the tapered ones still don't work for me. I have to use the old school cylindrical plugs. (Now '3M Tekk' I believe. Formerly 'E-A-R'.)

But if I'm wearing plugs, there's a 90% chance I've got muffs over the top, too.
Plugs are good.
Muffs are decent.
Double protection is better.

Find a set of muffs that fit you properly.
...And add plugs, too.
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Old November 25, 2019, 09:07 PM   #19
AreYaSerious
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As most has said hearing protection is personal preference, what I feel is a good balance between quality and price is Decibal Defense, but honestly I prefer muffs over just plugs, however if I was going with plugs, I would go with Decibullz, or just some good old fashioned Howard Leights.
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Old November 26, 2019, 01:02 AM   #20
std7mag
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Myself, wife, daughter and her boyfriend all use Caldwell electronic muffs.
If not them, then i use Earshields.
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Old December 1, 2019, 04:25 PM   #21
pturner67
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I use these...I was told 33 NRR, but listed at 29-38 NRR. They will also come to you for fitting.

https://earinc.com/product/insta-mold-solid-earplugs/
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Old December 1, 2019, 07:09 PM   #22
pwc
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To be effective foam ear plugs must be inserted correctly. Roll them tightly onto a cyclinder, use your left arm to teach around over your head, lift back and up on the back of your right ear to straighten the canal; insert the tightly rolled plug and hold your finger on it. You'll feel it begin to xpand; hold your finger there until it is fully xpanded. Repeat for the other ear.

For pistol, use or not muffs.

I asked my VA for molded plugs, but they don't provide them unless there is a trauma to the drum or middle ear. I did ask my audiologest to take impressions (I have hearing aides). He did, and by any other name they are custom ear plugs. Almost complete silence. A little trimming and to smooth the rough outside of the "cast". Now I can shoot the rifle without muffs. Insertion is a little tricky, but not hard.

Now, for the noise/vibration from bone conduction from my cheek weld, I use a couple pieces of mole skin on the stock at the point of cheek weld....also helps find my correct weld, and it is warmer than the cold stock.
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Old December 1, 2019, 10:33 PM   #23
7.62 man
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The trick to getting ear plugs to work right is to get them to fit the ear canal properly.
Like pcw stated above the procedure to insert the plugs but my ear left canal is too large to get most of the plugs to work. I have to use the large orange foam plugs & insert them just right to get them to seal. Or I have to use plugs & muffs.
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