In Your Ear

For most of the shooting I do, I have given up on ear muffs. This is kind of odd because I hate ear plugs. Well, most ear plugs. I guess I have tender ears because most ear plugs hurt. And, I can’t get the voice of my Mother out of my mind, “Never stick anything larger than your finger in your ear. Once, this little boy put a …….” You know how the story goes.

Thing is, ear muffs get in the way and then there’s the question of what do you do with them when you are not wearing them over your ears. They too can be uncomfortable with certain shooting glasses.

What about the expensive electric ear protection. Hey, I’ve tried almost every brand and have yet to find a set that will last more than a couple months without breaking.

Surefire – a flashlight manufacturer of all things – is where I found the answer. Their Sonic Defender ear plugs come in four styles and three different sizes. I use them almost exclusively and even keep a pair in my hunting pack. They have a noise reduction rating (NRR) of between 24dB and 26dB, they are compact, affordable and I have yet to break or wear one out.

They also have a neat plug that you pop out of the filter. This will still allow the plugs to provide protection for most shooting but it lets you better hear range commands and other shooters.

At between $ 12 and $ 14 per pair, buy a handful. Put them in your pack, your range bag and your vehicle. I’m done with ear-muffs until I find something as comfortable, affordable and effective as Surefire’s Sonic Defenders.

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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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7 Responses to In Your Ear

  1. rubibrock says:

    I’ve been using these for about a year. They are by far the best plugs I’ve found. I like them better than either foam or custom molded plugs. They’re adequate for about anything except magnum handguns in an indoor range.

  2. Matt Ash says:

    Nice Review. I may have to try a pairm

  3. jonp says:

    Hadn’t heard of these. Can’t wait to try them out.

  4. RG says:

    I just ordered a pair based on your review. I have a similar track record with yours on hearing protection. I hope these work!

    • gunwriter says:

      Getting the correct size might be a trail and error endeavor. Here is a tip, wet the flange slightly before inserting it into your ear.

      • RG says:

        Thanks for the tip Richard. I figured there may be some trial and error involved. The good thing is they have more than one size unlike every other plug and muff I’ve tried.

  5. Dan says:

    I’ve got 3 or 4 pairs of these kicking around. I’ve got a set in my range bag, my patrol bag and I’ve got a set that I use for mowing the lawn. They rock once you figure out which size you need.

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