Save My Ears

You would think someone who has been shooting as long as I have would by now have found some very effective hearing protection. Nope!

I hate ear plugs. I got sensitive ears I guess. Don’t like to poke anything in them. Mom always said if it was bigger than your elbow, don’t stick it in your ear or your nose. Maybe she just didn’t want me picking boogers and sticking them in my ear…

I already have tenitus pretty bad. This I’m sure is due to shooting until I was in my late teens without ear protection as well as all the time I spent on the tank range in the military with nothing over my ears. God gave us great hearing protection – our two index fingers – but I have yet to figure out to shoot with my fingers stuck in my ears. (Mom would not like that either and you have to admit you look kinda goofy with a finger in each ear. Not the professional image a gunwriter needs to present.)

So, I’ve tried several brands of electronic ear muffs (Howard Leight & Walker’s to name a few) Broke ’em all in less than a month. Some non-electric muff’s I have are comfortable but my hearing is so bad I can’t hear anything unless I take them off. I was shooting one day at the bench beside my house and the UPS truck roared right up the driveway beside and out past me. Good thing my peripheral vision is better than my hearing.

I even tried some of those mold your own ear plugs from Radians. That was a gooey experience I hope to not repeat. And, see, the problem with ear plugs is you have to take them out to hear. If I take them out I loose them OR all kinds of nasty stuff gets stuck to the ear wax on the plugs and I don’t want them back in my ear.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. It has to be comfortable, affordable and not have the requirement of being pushed inside your ear to the point you think your ear drum will bust or that you have to get your wife to dig them out with a set of tweezers.

When my mother in law is babbling, I don’t mind the tinitus or my distressed hearing. Its times like that its actually a blessing. But, if my wife keeps thinking I’m ignoring her, bad hearing will be the least of my worries.

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About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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13 Responses to Save My Ears

  1. Dan says:

    Rich,

    I know you don’t like ear plugs, but I’d try the plugs from surefire http://www.surefire.com/EP3-Sonic-Defenders

    I bought the EP4’s for my last qualifications and they worked better than the earmuff I had. The EP4’s just offer a little bit more protection than the 3’s. It stood up to the rifles, shotguns and the various handguns. Just get the right size for your ear.

    • gunwriter says:

      Dan,

      You’re right, those are great plugs. I used them during the long range shooting class. I tried to pull them 1/2 out of my ear when not shooting for comfort and conversation and they kept falling out.

      They are the most comfortable and effective plugs I’ve used.

      RAM

  2. Jim Dodd says:

    I have been shooting with a set of MSA Sordin Supreme Pro Line 75302, and they are effective on the range at classes, etc. I got them from Tactical Command Industries. When I tried them this week the electronics were not working, so now I get to check TCI’s support from the inside. 😉

    jim dodd

  3. Joe says:

    I’ve been using Peltor Tactical PRO Ear Muffs for about two years now and love them. They’re not cheap but I think they’re worth every penny. Very comfortable to wear and the sound is excellent with no clipping.

    http://stores.homestead.com/Laruetactical/Detail.bok?no=229

    • gunwriter says:

      Thanks for the info.

      Maybe my problem is I expect electronic muffs to last as long as non-electronic muffs. And, for me that would amount to over 200 days of use per year. So is a $ 1.00 per day for ear protection too expensive?

      RAM

  4. Tom Bergman says:

    We really like the Pro-Ears line. We have sold a ton of them, and I cannot recall getting a single unit back. The company that makes them is Altus Brands. They are the only electronic earmuffs that I know to be made in the US…well assembled anyway. The muffs come from Europe and the circuit boards somewhere else, but they are put together here at least.

    For a really inexpensive option, there are no electronics I would recommend over the Bilsom Impact Sport. These are just over $50, contrasted to nearly $300 for Sordin and Pro-Ears, and the Impact Sport have also proven themselves to be a top quality reliable product. We sell them 20 to 50 or more at a time, and demand just seems to keep on going.

    Finally, we are working on a comprehensive shopping guide for electronic earmuffs that should be done in a couple of weeks. It will let the shopper sort by all the critical variables, including price to help compare these very complicated devices.

    Hope this helps…

    Tom

  5. Pingback: Ear Protection Info From Someone Who Might Know… | EMPTY CASES

  6. Patrick says:

    I’ll agree that the Pro-Ears are excellent. I own two pair and love them. My Dad wears his hunting whenever possible.

    Also, when you’re at the SHOT show in January stop by the EAR, Inc booth (http://www.earinc.com) and have a set of custom molded ear plugs made. Better yet, have them make you two. I bought my first set from them at SHOT 2007 and lost them 18 months later. So, at SHOT 2009 I bought two sets because I’ll never go without them again. I wear them doing the lawn, using power tools, using the snowblower, etc. If you want the ultimate in protection wear the ear plugs at the same time as the Pro-Ears and you won’t hear a thing when the rifle goes off.

    No connection to either company, just a satisfied customer of both.

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  8. Greg says:

    Here’s a site that did a review of 18 hearing protectors.

    http://www.shootforum.com/forum/ShootForum_hearing_protection_test.pdf

    Hope this helps!

  9. Pingback: More on Hearing Protection | EMPTY CASES

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