Hearing Protection........help????

Discussion in 'Rifle Talk' started by Anonymous, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Gentlemen,
    I am currently expecting delivery of an Ed Brown custom rifle. The savannah, in .300 weatherby with a muzzle break. I have never owned, or fired a rifle with a break, but have heard of the danger to your hearing. What hearing protection can i buy so that i will be able to fire the rifle without any danger to my hearing.

    thanx

    neilg
     
  2. LongShotz

    LongShotz Guest

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    neilg,
    I don't know where you can buy adequete hearing protection, but i have seen what you are looking for. They are the same "earmuffs" used on carrier flight decks. Again, no idea where to get them.

    Also, some breaks are louder than others, it depends on the angle at which the break directs the gasses that pass through it. Generally, more forward equals less recoil reduction and quiter, the further back (toward the shooter) that the gasses are directed the louder it will be. GOD FORBID that they put a break on that rifle that directs pressure past the 90 degree line, it would almost be UNSHOOTABLE. So, u may want to try ear-plugs PLUS "earmuffs" first to get a feal for exactly how loud that particular break is.

    LongShotz
     

  3. mountainview

    mountainview Super Member

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    Neil,

    LSHotz makes a good point about wearing MUFFS AND PLUGS. A muzzle brake on a short barreled pistol cost me some of my left ear and gave me tinnitus as a bonus even while wearing muffs AND plugs when I was sitting at the adjacent bench. This gives you some idea what brakes can do to bystanders. I even wear muffs and plugs when I am on my deer stand.

    Sorry to say but you should forget about obtaining hearing protection that will permit you to shoot firearms without any danger to your hearing. They don't exist. A trip to an audiologist periodically will confirm this. All that muffs and plugs do is to reduce the dB level to a manageable level. The goal is to get within 80-85 dB with 110 dB and above being in the range where damage (irreversible as a rule) occurs. Higher the dB level, the less exposure time it takes to incur hearing loss. Distance also plays a role.

    Consider that a magnum puts out dB levels of 165 or so, shotguns are more in the realm of 140 dB. Good muffs may reduce that by 30 dB which still leaves you in the 130 dB range for a rifle, adding plugs with a 28 dB rating may buy you a couple more dB but the blast is still in the 110+ range. However, it should be noted that wearing 30 dB NRR muffs and 30 dB NRR plugs does not equal 60 dB NRR. The shooter behind the buttplate will not get the full dB levels due to his/her position wrt the muzzle blast but I believe it illustrates my point. Do a search on the web and you can find some good scientific data on the topic, along with the effect of shock waves that are generated by the muzzle blast, and more exact numbers than what I have given.

    Safe shooting.
     
  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thank you, mountainview and LongShotz for your very informative, helpful info. I am a little discouraged to hear that you cannot purchase adequete protection (too late to re-think the whole muzzle-break thing, though, the rifle will be shipped next week.

    Ok, so standard gun-shop run-of-the-mill muffs AND quality plugs.............will do!

    What about when i'm in the deer stand though???

    Hmmmmm??

    neilg
     
  5. wwb

    wwb Super Member

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    There are several companies that make amplified earmuffs - they increase your hearing ability, but instantly cut out any noise over a certain level.

    Check "Silver Creek Industries" (you'll have to use a search.... I don't have their website handy)
     
  6. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    Neil,

    The thing about hunting versus just shooting is that you'll hopefully be shooting just ONCE! When we shoot at my range,we're under a steel framed shed with a tin roof and any rifle fired will ring throughout it. When out in the open, the noise from a gun will spread out faster and not seem so loud.

    They do make some of the hearing devices that will shut off with loud noises but I don't know how well they actually work.

    HWD
     
  7. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Rifle experts,
    Thanx again for your very informative and helpful advice. Researching this topic extensively today turned up the following in regard to your posts. The "hearing systems" that amplify low level noise but shut out anything above a certain db level will not suffice b/c they only provide about the protection as standard muffs (about 20-25db reduction). This was disappointing to learn, because when i first heard of these i was excited. Also, the break on the rifle i am getting is angled "about 5 degrees forward" according to todays conversation with the builder. This will make the recoil equivalent to "a little less than .30-06". It "will be extremely loud and under NO circumstances should it ever be fired without protection because one time is all it would take to give you upwards of 50 percent hearing loss in the ear affected." I should see an ENT or an AUDIOLIGIST(sp?) to have custome ear plugs made. I should wear the plugs AND standard muffs at the range and should ensure that EVERYONE, even if they have protection is behind what they call the "90 degree line" (basically a line Perpendicular to the line of fire, that runs through the base of the break.)



    So, i know what to do at the range BUT

    what about in the deer stand???

    decible levels above 110 are considered harmful. The higher the db the less exposure it takes to damage your hearing. Magnum Calibre rifles produce 170+db!!!!!! So, even the nice "muffs" only provide about 30-30db reduction.....and putting in plugs AND putting on muffs to take a shot at game is really unfeasable.

    The builder said that most people us muffs in the stand and "eventually suffer some degree of hearing loss depending on how often they hunt"............that is NOT COMFORTING

    I'm kinda wishing i had ordered it without the break and just let it beat the snot out of me.

    i mean this is ALOT of trouble for RECOIL REDUCTION.

    hmmmm?????

    thanx again for all your expert advice
     
  8. Logjam

    Logjam Super Member

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    What did you say???!!!!

    I am living proof that you can really screw up your hearing by shooting. I'm 60, and my ears ring all of the time and it's very, very loud. Have to take an anti-depressent in order to sleep, also a little white noise machine, with a little ear piece.

    I have been shooting all of my life, and early on figured out that I needed to wear ear plugs. The old ones weren't very good however.

    But I always wore them. Then I joined the Army Reserve and became a drill sergeant....ran the firing range for months on end. Always wore ear plugs.

    Then I did some work around Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Had an accident one day where the gunner swung that gun around and fired it off next to my ear......Haven't heard much since and after that day (17 years ago) my ears have rung and the tinnitus gets louder and louder all of the time.

    Always wear ear plugs and ear muffs. I suggest that you do not shoot in covered shooting ranges. I did for years and it didn't help me a bit. EVen with plugs and muffs.

    Shooting does screw up your hearing, even with all of the protection that we have. So you will lose some hearing eventually, but you may not get the tinnitus unless you suffer an injury, as I did.

    Remember, it takes just one shot to screw up your hearing for a lifetime!!!! I'm living proof.

    Also be careful as you'll likely be injured by accident. You'll take your plugs out to say something to someone and the guy on the bench next to you will set off his 300 Winchester Mag.

    I still shoot, but I don't enjoy it as much as I used to because I keep worrying about screwing up my hearing even more. But my fears are probably unfounded....My doc says that I can still shoot, but to be careful and not to shoot too much at a sitting.

    But lots of things can mess up your hearing. Just traffic noise can, or riding a motor cycle, or mowing your lawn. Or listening to loud music (is there any other kind nowadays?)

    But you know what? I'd not get a Winchester Mag. Those damn things are LOUD. They are louder than a 30-06 and really they are not that much better.....what is it? 100 fps? improvement? That's no biggie.

    You don't need a muzzle break with an 30/06 or a 270. Either gun will do just fine on most game. If I was going after a Grizzly I'd borrow someone's 375, or 338, but I'd not buy one as those things go BOOM!!
     
  9. mountainview

    mountainview Super Member

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    Neil,

    Logjam brings up some very good points. I carry earplugs with me everywhere and pop them in as soon as I suspect the dB level is more than I am confortable with. Another bonus of having your ear blasted is the increased sensitivity and discomfort from high frequency noises.

    I've been wearing muffs and plugs on the deer stand ever since losing that little altercation I had with the brake. Can't hear the branches breaking but my eyes pick up the slack and it is not that hard to adapt to not hearing the sounds. Same thing applies when wingshooting birds.

    Another technique in the tree stand and goose blind that I use is to wear the muffs with one cup above my good ear and when I hear or see a deer approaching or see the geese set their wings I can quickly drop the cup over my ear and get ready to take a shot while still protecting my ears. It may require a bit of creativity and rethinking old habits but it can be done and you can still have a successful hunt and maintain your sense of hearing.
     
  10. mountainview

    mountainview Super Member

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    Forgot to add one other thing. If recoil is the issue, there are some excellent recoil pads and shoulder pads available for nominal cost. Wear a heavy jacket when shooting as well. This tends to minimize the sting from the big boomers. Bonus is that these items do not damage either the shooter or bystanders' hearing like a brake would.

    Safe shooting.
     
  11. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    Neil,
    Is the break on your rifle a threaded type or part of the barrel? If its threaded you can remove it after sighting in your rifle and screw on the end cap. Recoil reduction on the range but more noise directed away from ya while hunting.

    HWD
     
  12. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Huntswithdogs,
    Hmmm, i'm not sure if the break is threaded or not. I like your suggestion though. Use plugs and muffs at the range, but just (cap) the break when hunting. If the break IS part of the barrel will i not be able to cover it?????

    thanx again

    Neil
     
  13. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    nielg,you should take the rifle to a gunsmith and let him fire it to find out how loud they are.They screw off but have different thread pitches,after a couple years it welds itself to gather and you have no options,I'm going through that now.Mine is welded itself with alot of shots.Mine has made me deaf(I use hearing aids now due to muzzel brakes)but while new you can have it removed and a threaded cap will go over it,but caution,my friends Thompson Contender shoots at a different POA with just a cap on.I hate muzzel brakes,I deafened a friend in one ear with my rifle and now I only shoot it with ear plugs and muffs.I want to rebarrel it later,but I have several guns to choose from to hunt and none has a muzzel brake.Drop-Shot
     
  14. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Neilg I was just thinking,some one told me there was a muzzel brake shot gasses forward and down,I would think that would make the muzzel rise but the guy said no,it still kills people around you,but It might not be as loud as mine,so you will have to decide.Try it a couple of times,you never know.Drop-Shot
     
  15. Logjam

    Logjam Super Member

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    Re: re: Hearing Protection........help????

    Say, Mountainview, I suggest you be leery of wearing ear plugs all of the time, or often even. I did the same thing for years and it caused me to develop what the hearing docs call hyperacusus (who knows if it's spelled right). Hyperacusus is when loud noises bother you, sound louder or cause pain.

    It can be caused by wearing ear plugs because when your brain figures that noises aren't loud enough it rachettes up your sensitivity. You will note that noises that used to be normal now hurt. Clapping in a movie theater will drive you nuts. Even slamming a car door hurts like hell. I also noticed that I couldn't stand the noise when I slammed the action shut on rifles or shotguns.

    So I went to the doc and got some hearing aids. They made sound louder, and wonder of wonders that hyperacusus went away. So I have been cured of it, but my ears still ring like crazy, more than 70 DB.

    I do sometimes wear ear plugs when I get around loud, persistant noise, like driving my old CJ 5 with a rag top. The engine noise, flapping of the top and the road noise is very loud to me, so I wear earplugs, but I don't drive the thing much.

    I suggest you consider hearing aids. You will be amazed how much more you hear. I couldn't hear the clicker in my car when I flip the turn signal. Now I can. I couldn't hear the kitch timer go off, now I can. You can also get some that shut down when a loud noise is encounterred, such as in hunting.

    Hearing aids, however are not cheap. Try Siemens, they made mine, but there are others too. You'll pay over two and a half grand for some, but you may get by with only one.

    Achually I don't care much about not being able to hear, what bothers me is the damn tinnitus, and it is debilitating.
     
  16. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    Good point logjam,after wearing ear plugs all day as a mechanic and hearing high pitch of air guns and air hammers I developed a fungus in one of my ears and spent 2 months on meds for it.I don't know what the answer is,mabe earmuff's I heard about on gunblast.com will do the trick.I want a 25 or 26 inch barrell to put the real noise out in front of me,and no more muzzel brakes,no matter what I shoot.Drop-Shot
     
  17. Logjam

    Logjam Super Member

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    Re: re: Hearing Protection........help????

    Yeah, I like long barrells too. I bought one of those SKB double guns a few years ago. Bought a 26 incher, as I wanted a gun to use in heavy brush.

    That damn gun is LOUD! I never shoot it now, too bad as it's a good gun. I also don't like the way a short barrelled gun swings.
     
  18. Drop-Shot

    Drop-Shot Super Member

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    I agree logjam I like a longer barrell on rifles and shotguns,the only exception is a mossberg 9 shot 21 inch barrell persuader.I have not shot it yet but I will with hearing protection.Drop-Shot
     
  19. Logjam

    Logjam Super Member

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    Re: re: Hearing Protection........help????

    I like long barrelled guns too, except when one considers pistols. Six inch tubes are about as long as I can use well. Maybe from a sitting position at silouette ranges long barrells are okay, but otherwise I stop at six inches.
     
  20. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    For general use the 6 inch barrell is long enough for me also.but one year I started shooting shillioute and at 300 meters the 6 inch wasn't cuttingf it.I soon after bought a smith&wesson 29 with 8 3/8 inch barrell.that did it some use the 10 inch barrell on the super blackhawk.That was the 3 screw frame.The frame was alluminium (forged)but they would shoot loose and cause a miss.I had one customed made ruger that took the alluminum frame and handle and replaced it with an all steel frame and handle.It was a ruger that felt like a colt,I used it for about a year and sold every shilloute gun I owned.Point is,only on a special occasion I would use any thing longer than 6 inches,and alot of my guns are 4 inch guns,the semiautos are 4.75 on one and 3.50 on another an a honest 5 inch S&W.Drop-Shot