- Hearing loss is a significant problem in the shooting sports
- Double up with ear plugs and muffs
- Get the highest noise reduction rating (NRR) rating you can that’s comfortable. NRR 33 muffs and ear plugs are available. A NRR difference of 6 means double the measurable protection.
- Ear plugs must be rolled very thin before inserted and allowed to expand for a tight seal or they won’t work. Skull screws are the exception to this rule.
- Avoid ported barrels and brakes. These dramatically increase the sound levels.
- Indoor shooting ranges magnify sound levels
- Spoggles (safety googles w/ straps) are good for your ears, Traditional temple arms break the seal on ear muffs
- Suppressors are the only tool that will bring firearm noises below the OSHA maximum permissible level of 115 decibels which has a federally regulated maximum time of only 15 minutes.
Supporting Data & Analysis:
According to Dr. William Clark, Ph.D. senior research scientist in charge of the NOISE LABORATORY at the Central Institute for the Deaf in St. Louis, the damage caused by one shot from a .357 magnum pistol, which can expose a shooter to 165 dB for 2msec, is equivalent to over 40 hours in a noisy workplace. Dr. Krammer, Ph.D., Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana has documented the following pressure levels.1
|20 Gauge||28″ barrel||152.50dB|
|20 Gauge||22″ barrel||154.75dB|
|12 Gauge||28″ barrel||151.50dB|
|12 Gauge||26″ barrel||156.10dB|
|12 Gauge||18″ barrel||161.50dB|
|.22LR (in a pistol)||152 dB1|
|.45 ACP||157.0 dB|
|.357 Magnum||164.3 dB|
|.38 Special||156.3 dB|
|.223, 55GR. Commercial load||18″ barrel||155.5db|
|.375||18″ barrel with muzzle brake||170 dB|
OSHA’s regulation of industrial noise exposure
|85-90dB||8 hours||Lawn mower, Disco dance music, Shop tools,
Truck traffic, Noisy restaurant
|100dB||2 hours||Pneumatic drill, Chainsaw|
|110 dB||Woodworking shop|
The best hearing protection:
Cheap Ear Muffs – 33 NRR!
Safe (aware of surroundings) ear muffs – MAKE SURE THEY ARE 33 NRR!
Ear muff friendly safety glasses
The elastic band ensures ear muffs have a tight seal.
- Uvex Spoggles
- 3M Enhanced Maxim 2 x 2 Goggles
Don’t believe the above? Sound Level Meters available via Amazon.