Hearing protection advice

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by millhouse41, Aug 28, 2008.

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  1. I am looking for electronic hearing protection for game shooting, preferably with a volume control, to compensate for not being able to use my hearing aids (hearing loss the result of 30 years military service).

    I have been recommended the Peltor Sport Tac.

    Have you wise men any opinions on the best buy?

    Thank you
  2. Peltor are good, but expensive...

    I have worn electronic muffs for years - I think all RCOs should wear them, however points to watch for...

    1. Batteries - the first couple of pairs I had used non standard batteries which were a pain to replace.
    2. If you are still in the military, make sure they will fit under a combat helmet (though you may need to turn the earpieces upside down.)
    3. If you can - find some with an auto power shut off - I was always forgetting to turn the electronics off and went through loads of (non standard) batteries....
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Good advice, those new slimline Napier ones are recommended by one of my clients.
  4. I've recently bought a pair of Peltor Pro Tac. Yes, they were expensive (although when I was researching the subject I found some suppliers who sold them for a lot more than I paid), but having tried them on a range I can honestly say I feel very happy with them. They will fit under a combat helmet. I've had some comments about the price, but my reasoning for buying them is because my hearing is not perfect & I'd like to protect what I've got left.
    The current solution being offered by the firm is "double plugging", where you have to put in a pair of the yellow foam plugs first & standard Peltor muffs on top. I don't think this is any solution at all, & has possibly only been suggested to thwart litigation for hearing loss, so the Pro Tac get my vote despite the cost.
  5. If you are exposed to a considerable volume of gunfire double plugging is about the only solution in terms of effective hearing protection. I know this goes on a bit, but despite having nearly always used hearing protection I still have developed a slight problem and only quite recently found out why.

    Some of the passive and electronic muffs only offer a 25db overall SNR reduction which simply is not enough: can still end up being exposed to 110-125db on the firing point.

    The Peltor ProTac gives 32db SNR reduction: better, but still not good enough if at it all day. The effect is cumulative and long term exposure to 85 db or above can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss so higher sound level = lower time period of safe daily exposure. This is roughly how it goes:

    90dB: 8 hours

    95dB: 4 hours

    110dB 30 minutes

    130 dB 2 minutes

    140 dB 45 seconds

    So 90dB at the lugholes is what you need to aim for if you are going to be on a firing line all day but in more realistic terms 95dB should be ok.

    But even the highest rated passive muffs are not going to get you there for extended use: the Peltor Optime III (which is same as the Bullseye III) and damn good gives 35dB SNR reduction.

    Earplugs can give 35+dB SNR if fitted 100% correctly, hence the attraction of custom fitted jobbies. The foam disposables can give 30dB SNR reduction

    So the cheap and easy fix is to use foam plugs under the less expensive active slimline muffs. Ones I have give 26dB reduction and with the plugs easily gets to around 55dB reduction. Of course then can hear damn all in terms of normal speech were it not for being able to turn the volume on the muffs up a bit so you can hear speech, commands etc whilst the muffs will of course cut out da bangs.

    (Plugs under Optime III's are great especially when the in-laws are round: 70dB reduction. Bliss)
  6. Blogg,
    Thanks for the helpful info. The double plugging solution still isn't perfect for me, as you say it's difficult to hear the range orders, & also I & others have found the foam plugs sometimes tend to drop out of your ears whilst wearing the muffs on top.
    I'm not firing every day; about once every 4 months is the average, so I'm not exposed to as much gunfire as I was whilst serving. The usual exposure period tends to be for up to 3 hours max at the moment, & only with one weapon system. Taking your info into account, what I'm tempted to do is try the foam plugs under the Pro Tac with the volume up, & see how it goes.....at least I'll be able to hear the range orders!
    Cheers, B_D_S.
  7. They only have a 21dB SNR reduction. OK for low intensity field use but really not going to cut it for prolonged use.

    Using hearing protection that I now find out was insufficient (the hard way) is how I have ended up with low intensity Tinnitus.
  8. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I found that Helicopters and ecm noise contributed greatly to my tinnitus.
  9. Thats why i recommended them as a replacement for the Foam disposable plugs, They are more comfortable either under muffs or on their own,
  10. On a general note, I've often wondered: I've read things on hearing protection and the effects of loud noise such as gunfire and things seem paradoxical. I have impaired hearing; I went clay pigeon shooting ONCE without hearing protection which I'd forgotten. Ears rang for about 3 days IIRC. I do wonder about those in combat in Afghanistan for example - whether they have ear protection etc. There's also things like artillery etc - if my hearing was impaired from just one clay pigeon shooting session, what are the effects of all this other stuff?
  11. Most Toms who served up to the 'age of enlightenment' (litigation) will have suffered hearing damage, as the old plastic ear plugs were not much use, but all were in the same boat. I was a Scaley, and audiometry showed significant loss in the frequency range associated with gunfire. God alone knows how much Gunners and Infanteers suffered but it must have been relatively more. Is audiometry still done at intervals during service?.
  12. PS, speak up if you reply, I'm a bit hard of hearing.
  13. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I have tinitus quite bad in my left ear but until I fail a work hearing test and cant work anymore I'll be staying away from the MoD and its pathetic compensation scheme!