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Those are the calibers I have. When I went to the range for the first time a few years ago, I was shocked at how loud they were. Even with your ear muffs on, it can still be heard. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry would be stone deaf. What do the guys do in the military or policemen? They don't have time to put on any hearing protection.
 

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Was issued ear plugs in basic training in the early 70's. Kept them on my shoulder field jacket strap for range use.
 

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Father of my best friend was stone deaf in one ear. Blamed it on Okinawa, Fighting Kamikazes while crewing a CVE‘s 40mm Bofors. Said the ear muffs with his helmet did not help after so much firing.
 

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Qualification range earplugs are mandatory, In real world your ears ring for days, months, years. Military vets usually talk loud cause we're half deaf
 

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I am the proud recipient of a 10% VA disability rating for tinnitus (not my overall rating... just for that condition)
 

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For several years now I wear plugs plus muffs. Some days it still does not seem like enough at the indoor range. Often wondered how many officers and soldiers had hearing problems. God bless them.
 

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I’d hate to be in a position where I didn’t have time to put hearing protection on, but just two days ago I loaded up some 7.62x39 into my AK and left the ear muffs on the tailgate of the truck. Dang! That thing was loud. Everybody forgets to put their hearing protection on from time to time. hickock45 did that in his most recent video. Once is enough, which I’ve done more than once. More than one shot. That’s going to hurt.

I shot a .38 Special thru a levergun without hearing protection a couple of years ago. For a good deal of time, I thought the gun had exploded on me till I realized what I did, or didn’t do.
 

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I'm usually fanatical about hearing protection. I didn't usually worry about it while hunting, since it may only be one or two shots.

Except there was one time about 4-5 years ago now that I dispatched a wounded doe with my .41 Mag Redhawk. I must have had my head turned to the right slightly because the report impulse hit me squarely in the ear. I thought the ringing was going to be permanent...luckily, it went away after about 3 days.

I now have a set of Walker's Silencer in-ear electronic muffs. I got the rechargeable ones and like them.

Aqualung
 

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I now wear a pair of attenuating ear plugs while hunting. I found a pair that actually works.
 

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Back in the 40's through the 60's in Louisiana , everyone hunted , small game , birds, ducks, deer and hogs ...never saw ear protection and no one used them .
In mid 1970's my company prepared the building plans for the first indoor shooting range in Baton Rouge , owner gave us a free one year membership... got my first set of ear muffs then... had to wear them to shoot ... no exceptions . Lord I wished I had started using hearing protection when I was young ... 70 years old now and say "What " a lot more than I should . The ringing in my head no longer bothers me .
Gary
 

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1. The impact is far worse indoors than outdoors
2. Much worse in a handgun than a long-arm because the sound wave begins farther from your head and is directed away from you
3. Also worse with a revolver or a semi-auto because the gaps in a revolver and the moving slide in a semi-auto allow some of the sound wave directly back at you
4. Obviously worse at the range because of the number of rounds fired, especially if the range is busy

For all of those reasons, hunting with a bolt action rifle, a lever action rifle, or a pump shotgun has a lot less impact than shooting handguns on a range (especially indoors).

Most cops go their entire career without discharging their firearm outside of the range. I can't speak much to veterans in combat, although I have heard and read that in the stress of the moment, the ear canal closes partially, which provides some protection.

My boss recently shot at a snake with his .45 Commander, and his ears were ringing for a couple of weeks, and that was one shot. I do believe it took place in a partially enclosed space. I have shot 9mm and .38 outside without hearing protection, and it wasn't too bad, though I did correct the mistake both times after one shot. .22LR I often don't use protection when outdoors.
 

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Back when I was younger and even dumber, I shot a lot of .38 Special and .357 Mag outdoors. It really damaged the hearing in my left ear. The right one still works pretty good. I never heard of wearing hearing protection in those days and I guess I was too dumb to figure out I needed it. At 77, guess I'm lucky I can hear at all. I still shoot, but use ear plugs and muffs.
 

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Those are the calibers I have. When I went to the range for the first time a few years ago, I was shocked at how loud they were. Even with your ear muffs on, it can still be heard. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry would be stone deaf. What do the guys do in the military or policemen? They don't have time to put on any hearing protection.
It's called Tinnitus and you get to live with it all the rest of your life
 

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Those are the calibers I have. When I went to the range for the first time a few years ago, I was shocked at how loud they were. Even with your ear muffs on, it can still be heard. Roy Rogers and Gene Autry would be stone deaf. What do the guys do in the military or policemen? They don't have time to put on any hearing protection.
Outdoors is bit less contained for sound abuse
Movies use low powder noise blanks
Your muffs need replacement and some pick up fm
 

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I wear ear plugs under muffs. My hearing loss is due to radio work in the service and since I now have hearing aids courtesy of the VA, I try to protect what I have left.
I just spent two years as an 058 copying ditties and I have a bit more than 10%, as I’m sure you do. And, I wear muftsover my ear plugs too.
 

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I know the feeling of surprise you describe. Whenever I go to an indoor range, which isn't often, I jump the first time I hear a gunshot if I didn't consciously prepare for it.

By the 70s when I was in the Army, they issued and required the foam earplugs. I was jealous of the drill sergeants with their earmuffs that were less hassle to put on and take off. I didn't learn until years later that the foam plugs (if properly used) are actually better rated for noise reduction than most muffs. When I got to Fort Hood, I noticed the artillery guys used both plugs and muffs, but I bet it wasn't enough.

Nowadays I use electronic muffs outdoors, and both muffs and plugs indoors.

When I bought my first .45 many years ago, I was at an indoor range and wondered just how loud it really was, so, since I'm a moron, I took off my muffs for one shot. I remember thinking that it was just a bit beyond just 'sound' and into the range of 'pain' — kinda like how some peppers take 'flavor' over the edge into 'pain'. A few years later when I bought a 3" .357, I was not for one second tempted to try the same experiment. At an outdoor steel match, again because I'm a moron, I forgot my hearing protection during one string of fire with medium-light .357 load, and while uncomfortable, it didn't reach the level I'd call pain, at least not enough to stop and ruin my score (and admit to everybody there that I was a moron).

So nowadays my hearing is not terrible, but definitely not what it once was. I do have basically constant tinnitus. Twenty years ago, I was only aware of it on a calm day up in the silent north woods; nowadays my brain tunes it out until something reminds me of it, then I hear it any time. Like now. Thanks a lot, you guys! ;)
 
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