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Old July 25, 2008, 02:22 AM   #1
Jack Dillon
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Electronic Hearing Muffs

Anyone use these? How do they work? When talking to people can you hear fine and just mutes out gunfire?
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Old July 25, 2008, 03:04 AM   #2
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All of these work by using microphones to pick up and even amplify sounds and bring them to your ears, but you get what you pay for. ...

The cheapos listen for a sound like a gunshot and then cut the circuit. This means that trying to maintain a conversation at a range is an exercise in futility. These run $20-100.

The good ones attenuate all of the sounds seamlessly. In other words if the limit is 85db then anything louder is toned down and you can hold a normal conversation. These run $80-400+. This is what I use and keep them by my bed at night as well.

Just make sure that whatever you choose is rated for at least 25db noise reduction. And if used indoors or around magnums that you pair them with ear plugs for extra protection

Edit: I've used the cheap no-names and tossed them. I also own a Peltor 6S and it works so-so (the 7S is much better). But it's only rated for 19db - that's not enough and it's electronics are just so-so. About what you'd expect for $100. I recently bought a set of Pro Ears Dimension Gold and love them. Rated at 26db they flat work! They ain't cheap but are worth every dime to me. The bonus when buying quality is that I keep them by my bed - something taught at some tactical schools. If I hear a noise I can slip on on and have Superman hearing, and yet if I have to take a shot I wont be left with ringing ears.
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Last edited by sholling; July 25, 2008 at 10:13 AM.
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Old July 25, 2008, 03:15 AM   #3
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I wear them, they're from a construction supply company - cheaper than in a gun store but same operation and specs. (85 + decibel dampening)

At a range with a lot of shooting, they cut in and out so often it's easier for me to turn off the electronic cut-off, and just let them block everything. When shooting dies down and is more sporadic, then the electronic dampening is helpful and yes, if the other person also has them, you can carry on a fair conversation.

I also like them when alone shooting in an outdoor pistol range (really a field with backstop) also; the sounds of the outdoor environment around me make me feel less cut off from the world than with no hearing at all. After a while I get fatigued from that. In a practical way they also make me feel less jumpy - as club members shoot skeet a short distance away (and safe distance). I like to hear the distance sound of human beings that I could yell to if I ever got in trouble - accident etc.
Lastly, though not a great concern, when alone I am aware of standing around with a number of guns plainly visible, out in the open, with ammo nearby - and wish to be able to know if someone is approaching.

So, I think they can be helpful and worth it - though I would say not an absolute necessity.

Think the name of the chain store I got mine - only about $25 - was called Harbor, they sell construction and home repair tools and paraphernalia.
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Old July 25, 2008, 09:33 AM   #4
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I have a set but quit trying to use them. I shoot mainly under a roof at the pistol range. If someone opens up with a center fire pistol next to me, it is too loud. So if I ware them now I just remove the batteries and use ear plugs under them.

Most other shooters at the range have E-muffs of some kind and swear by them. I refuse to blow another $100 on a set before I try them to see if they will work. I don't know of a store willing to do that, so guess I'll stick with what I know works.

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Old July 25, 2008, 09:42 AM   #5
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I have 2 pair; one is a expensive set the other is a harbor freight $20 set that I ordered on line. I like the cheap harbor freight best. Bought the harbor freight for my wife also.
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Old July 25, 2008, 09:45 AM   #6
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I have a set of Peltor Tactical electronic muffs, my particular model being a few years old and no longer made. I absolutely swear by them. When a good freind of mine got interested in shooting and we started going to the range, I bought him a set. We can hold a friendly conversation during an extended shooting session in the Indoor 12 lane range I belong to without issue. We both have .44 Magnums and even when shooting them, the noise attenuation is comfortable. I will never shoot without them again unless I have to. As another poster stated, make sure you get a set that has at least 26 dbl attenuation. Good luck.

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Old July 25, 2008, 10:00 PM   #7
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I got a cheap pair for $20. I like'em. I leave them off unless I'm talking to someebody at the range. They work good even with ear plugs. I use them late at night to when watching TV sometimes, so I can keep the volume down.

Last edited by Elvishead; July 26, 2008 at 12:33 AM.
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Old July 27, 2008, 02:01 PM   #8
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I bought a somewhat expensive pair at Camp Perry (can't now remember the brand name) for about $250+.

The feature I look forward to using the most (when I get back from Kuwait), is a jack built in so that I can plug a cable from a walkman or cd player.

If I'm putting in a range session by myself, zeroing a new load or practicing, I can listen to music, Rush, Hannity, whoever, while I shoot.

Always wanted to be able to listen to the radio while I shot.
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Old August 11, 2008, 02:28 PM   #9
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I picked up a cheap pair of the Caldwell ones and they stopped working.
When all is said and done, there is a lot more said than done.
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Old August 11, 2008, 02:51 PM   #10
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I got a pair for trap shooting. They are only $59 in the latest Cabellas and I believe were made by Howard Leight.

I like them. I could see the futility if you were on a pistol or rifle firing line with guys blasting away. The amplification would be off more than on. On the trap line though you are separated enough and there is enough time between shots to really make the amplification worth it. Being able to hear nature between shots is also good and since I tend to zone out between my shots on the trap line being able to hear crystal clear who is going and commands from the puller is a big plus.
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