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Old December 3, 2018, 08:10 AM   #1
FoghornLeghorn
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Hearing protection in the field?

I double up (plugs and muffs) on the range, but in the field it's impractical if I actually want to hear anything.

I've tried using ear plugs with Howard Leight electronic muffs turned to full volume, but it's not much better.

Saturday I went pig hunting and wore my Leight electronic muffs, but I have an ever present problem with the cheek weld. Because of the muffs, I can't get a clear sight picture in the scope.

I've concluded that when I shoot a long gun, I'm going to have to eschew muffs and use plugs, alone. This will be true for the range and the field.

I bought some Walker ear buds, but after experimentation it seems to be a mighty cumbersome setup. Plus, after charging them on Friday night, when I turned them on Sunday PM, the indicator light was already flashing that the charge was down. I had not used them at all.

Maybe some ear buds that use a replaceable battery?

What do you use in the field?
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Old December 3, 2018, 10:55 AM   #2
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I'll be the first to say, I don't use hearing protection while hunting. I've taken it, usually in the form of disposable foam earplugs. However, I usually forget to use it or don't take time to put it in when it comes time to shoot.

I don't recommend my method at all, and will admit I'm lucky to still have good hearing. I always figured Walker products to be about the best you could buy, I really like my Walker bluetooth muffs that I use when doing loud shop work or mowing. I still use disposable foam earplugs for shooting, as muffs usually don't allow a good cheek weld for me either.

My guess is you'll have to keep trying things until you find what works for you. I'm seriously thinking of buying a suppressor. Suppressors are legal to hunt with in my state, and while not cheap to buy it's better than gamble I've taken with my hearing.
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Old December 3, 2018, 11:57 AM   #3
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I have, or have had, all of the same problems (except the ear buds); and really hate wearing hearing protection while hunting. It's annoying, but also gives me nasty headaches.

I decided to fight the noise, rather than mess with my hearing.


(Yes, the SBR is legal. Yes, the image sucks. It lost a lot of quality when sized and cropped to get under the 244 KB limit.)
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Old December 3, 2018, 01:50 PM   #4
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It's legal in my state but I'd miss being able to grab a rifle out of the stable and take it in the field. The M1A one day. The BLR another. Etc. But I suspect a suppressor might be in my future.

Still won't help when bird hunting though.
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Old December 3, 2018, 03:19 PM   #5
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I use a suppressor and electronic hearing protection. There is a lot of difference between makes and models of EHP. Some will give you improved hearing. Others will not. Sounds like you had a pair that would not. I can actually hear better with my Peltor Comtacs, which are now more than 10 years old.

I use hearing protection with my suppressor for several reasons. While the suppressor gets the noise pressure down considerably and under 140 db (according to various tests), my ears are sensitive enough to still get a slight ringing after shooting unsuppressed, particular if I fire multiple times (hog hunter). The hearing protection provides the extra protection I need to stop that. In the winter, it helps keep my ears warm.

As for remembering to use the hearing protection (often worn on top of my head), the hearing protection comes down before the safety comes off.
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Old December 3, 2018, 04:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoghornLeghorn
I've tried using ear plugs with Howard Leight electronic muffs turned to full volume, but it's not much better.

Saturday I went pig hunting and wore my Leight electronic muffs, but I have an ever present problem with the cheek weld. Because of the muffs, I can't get a clear sight picture in the scope.
I have the Howard Leight electronic muffs, and I have no issues at all with the cheek weld, the low profile doesn't get in my way at all. Maybe your head is just shaped different than mine.

But they certainly work well! I have incredible hearing with them on and turned up, the slightest noise is heavily amplified. A squirrel sounds like a moose stomping through the brush... maybe you have a defective pair?
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Old December 3, 2018, 04:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoghornLeghorn View Post

Still won't help when bird hunting though.
I'm speculating that you're mounting the rifle or shotgun to your shoulder incorrectly, while wearing amplified/sound suppressing headphones.

Instead of bringing the long gun directly up to your shoulder...try bringing the gun up and out from the shoulder; then bring it in directly to your shoulder. That technique should prevent the headphones from disturbing your check weld.
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Old December 3, 2018, 04:33 PM   #8
FoghornLeghorn
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Maybe your head is just shaped different than mine
I don't know what to say. I'm 6'6" tall and weigh 225 pounds fully clothed and wearing a sidearm. My sleeve length is 37" and I have a correspondingly long neck.

The geometry of my movements will differ from your own assuming you're not 6'6" etc, because my Leight earmuffs are also "low profile." And a lot of shooters also complain about their earmuffs getting in the way of shooting long guns.
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Old December 3, 2018, 07:00 PM   #9
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Franken, out of curiosity, before a suppressor works on a bullet, said bullet must be subsonic. With whatever caliber your Ruger 77 is, how do you get it down to subsonic levels and still have energy and not mess up the trajectory?
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Old December 3, 2018, 07:17 PM   #10
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That's a .270 Win. Factory barrel, chopped to 18.5" (originally 22").

I shoot full power ammo.
The report is about like that of a .22 Mag from a rifle. (Quieter than a .22 Hornet. Noisier than a hot .22 LR.)
Though still not 'silent', it is very quiet for a centerfire rifle. I took two antelope with that rig in October. Shooters roughly 350 and 600 yards away never heard the shots. One of them heard the "THWOP" of one of the impacts, but that was it. The other animals near my targets only seemed to hear the impact, as well. They jumped, gave the dead animal a strange look, and went back to grazing ... both times.

The .300 Blk that's shown, however, I pretty much only run subsonic ammo through. Between the noise of the action cycling and the crack of the bullet impacting the target, the only discernible noise from the barrel is the short 'hiss' as the suppressor vents gas for a fraction of a second after the shot.

Suppressors do about the same thing for supersonic and subsonic ammo. The difference is that the supersonic bullets still have a notable "crack".
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Old December 3, 2018, 09:22 PM   #11
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" before a suppressor works on a bullet, said bullet must be subsonic."

Sorry, that is NOT correct. A suppressor "works" on the muzzle blast. The sonic signature of the bullet is a whole different thing. Shooting super-sonic ammo through a suppressor can still be hearing safe.
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Old December 3, 2018, 09:40 PM   #12
DPI7800
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Shooting super-sonic ammo through a suppressor can still be hearing safe.
If we are talking about centerfire rifle this is not true. The average centerfire rifle that would be used for hunting applications will have a dB in the area of 145 plus. The best suppressors out there are only going to give you a 35 dB reduction at best which still puts the dB at 110 dB which is 25 dB above the 85 dB safe hearing level.

Don’t get me wrong does it help tremendously, absolutely but to believe you are out of the woods when it comes to hearing damage you are mistaken.
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Old December 3, 2018, 09:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoghornLeghorn
I don't know what to say. I'm 6'6" tall and weigh 225 pounds fully clothed and wearing a sidearm. My sleeve length is 37" and I have a correspondingly long neck.
I'm only 5'9", but when I was in college my anthropology professor measured my head and said I was a bit of a throwback to the Neanderthal era lol. So yeah what works for me might not for you... and why do I keep checking for when wooly rhinoceros season starts?
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Old December 3, 2018, 09:59 PM   #14
FoghornLeghorn
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which still puts the dB at 110 dB which is 25 dB above the 85 dB safe hearing level.
You're ignoring the duration of the noise. 110dB for more than a minute can cause hearing loss. Instantaneous damage can occur at 140dB. But in your analogy, the 110dB burst of noise is instantaneous which, in just a few gunshots, is acceptable.

https://www.starkey.com/improve-your...hearing-damage
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Old December 4, 2018, 08:25 AM   #15
FoghornLeghorn
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I'm only 5'9"
Also, in my case, I wear glasses and on a scoped rifle, can add another problematical variable into the equation.
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Old December 4, 2018, 06:12 PM   #16
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Hunting from my above ground windowed deer stand.
Have for years wore a set of Radio Shack stereo-radio/ear muffs. Although making sure that the muzzle of my 270 is beyond the window frame quiets my Rem bolt substantially inside.
Where I truly miss my muffs is my occasional use of a Rem 742 30-06 carbine while seated in this deer stand. That cannon nearly pops the battery out of my {in the ear} hearing aid.
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Old December 5, 2018, 04:03 PM   #17
FoghornLeghorn
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Sorry for your troubles rambo. Us old timers who started shooting before hearing protection was even a concept are paying the price.

I remember someone (Skeeter Skelton) talking about this subject and how that everyone always wondered why Skeeter and Bill Jordan and Elmer Keith, etc, always seemed to be yelling at each other.
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Old December 7, 2018, 11:08 AM   #18
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Try the Peltor 6s. Slim design, comfortable, turns a short barreled shotgun's BOOM into a faint boom.
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Old December 7, 2018, 11:31 AM   #19
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There are exceptions

There are always exceptions. I personally do not wear hearing protection but I mostly hunt small game. On upland shooting, I wear ear-bud but mostly because I'm hunting with others and if there is a brisk wind, I can get an ear infection. Normally what and how I hunt would be hampered by hearing protection. …...


Waterfowl hunting is another exception and I always wear hearing protection mainly because of the close proximity to other shooters and frequency of the shots. I personally know of two waterfowl hunters that are now deaf after many years of hunting. Both are in their late 60's. ……


Be Safe !!!
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