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Discussion Starter #1
I have a few questions about this:

1. Do you wear hearing protection when you shoot rimfire? I don't, should I?

2. Do you worry about hearing protection for your animals? (Hunting dogs, horses, etc.)

3. Do soldiers wear hearing protection? I'm sure they do when practicing, but when they're actually in the thick of it, what do they do? Is that the same for all soldiers, or are things different for Marines vs. snipers, vs. artillery guys (I imagine they wear hearing protection ALL the time)? What about being underwater? Do you need ear protection for discharging guns underwater? (Do military's use underwater guns anymore?)

Note: I am NOT grouping military personnel with animals! They just both apply to the subject.
 

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No. 1 YES!

No. 2 no

No. 3 for infantry no, in my day there was no real communication during small unit action. We relied on hand signals and corporals and buck sergeants who moved up and down a line enforcing fire discipline and ensuring everyone moved when they were supposed to and fired in the correct direction – a problem in heavy cover.
 

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I'm not aware that firearms are ever discharged underwater, 'tho I seem to recall such in some war movies back in the 1950's. They used some in outer space movies back then, too, before lasers and such were invented. Goatwhiskers
 

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thegrandenigma said:
1. Do you wear hearing protection when you shoot rimfire? I don't, should I?
What? Speak up, please. I didn't quite get that.

thegrandenigma said:
2. Do you worry about hearing protection for your animals? (Hunting dogs, horses, etc.)
What? Speak up, please. I didn't quite get that.

thegrandenigma said:
3. Do soldiers wear hearing protection? I'm sure they do when practicing, but when they're actually in the thick of it, what do they do? Is that the same for all soldiers, or are things different for Marines vs. snipers, vs. artillery guys (I imagine they wear hearing protection ALL the time)? What about being underwater? Do you need ear protection for discharging guns underwater? (Do military's use underwater guns anymore?)
Whurggle? Spurbble urbble, plurgglezz. Aghbble dibble quibble gubble thubble.

Translations:
1. Yes, do wear, especially indoors and especially for handguns. .22 RF long guns don't seem to require it if I am outdoors and I am the only shooter, but getting muzzle blast from the side, it is good to have some ear cover.

2. I am unaware of doggie hearing protection. Their heads and ears come in so many shapes and sizes, it would be a challenge to design. They don't live as long as we do, so I don't know whether nerve damage can progress for as long a portion of their lives as for ours? You'd have to ask a vet. Dogs do get deaf with age, but that seems to happen to lap dogs, too, and not just to hunters.

3. Water carries shock waves with amazing efficiency. There is much more potential for ear damage. In general, you don't want to be underwater with any kind of explosion. Not even firecrackers. Since bullets only travel a few feet under water, this seldom becomes an issue. Spear guns are usually better. I don't know how loud the shark killing stick guns are? They go off pressed against the shark, which will muffle them considerably, so I don't know if they require hearing protection or not?​
 

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<meta http-equiv="CONTENT-TYPE" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"><title></title><meta name="GENERATOR" content="OpenOffice.org 3.2 (Win32)"><style type="text/css"> <!-- @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } --> </style> #1. YES, always
#2. No
#3. Yes, when at the range. No, during combat.
 

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I wear hearing protection even when I mow the lawn or use power tools. Does that answer your questions?

When I was in combat, all the shooting was AT me. Earplugs would not have helped much. No, none of it was underwater.
 

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Hearing protection for ANY shooting.

I have significant hearing loss, but it's not due (at least mostly) to shooting, it's due to long term low and midlevel background noise. I worked in rooms and buildings full of electronics for a lot of years, and the constant noise of bay blowers has put a massive flat spot in my high frequency response.

That having been said, I occasionally will fire a rimfire rifle without ear protection. A .22 short out of a 18" barrel doesn't make much noise...

Edited to add: The comment about rimfire rifles does NOT include the .17 HMR. That little sucker is LOUD!
 

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1 no in rifles and yes in handguns
2 no
3 We were encouraged to when I was in the infantry, but often fighting erupted at night and you couldn't see hand signals nor did you have time to fish for ear plugs!
 

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You should generally wear hearing protection for anything over around 85-90 decibels. Yes, this will include impact noise such as that is made during the firing of RF rounds. While the immediate damage is not felt, the cumulative damage to the apparatus that transfers the vibration can cause hearing loss. You should wear hearing protection during any shooting activities. A combination of plugs and muffs is best. You can't simply add the noise reduction rating for each to determine your level of protection but it does provide better protection than using either by themselves. Your pets hearing mechanism is essentially not much different than yours so they can suffer hearing loss as well. Since they don't make hearing protection devices for animals I would be cautious about having my pet at the range with me. They can feel the vibration and it can be painful depending on what is being shot.
 

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I have read that the lowly 22 is about 135 dB.. That is similar to a jet engine. Difference 22 not constant.

I now wear when doing the lawn, leaves or snow.

Wish Id started 40 yrs sooner.
 

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I'm pretty good about hearing protection during shooting and when using power tools like a chain saw, angle grinder, and concrete saw, and when riding dirt bikes and motorcycles.

I have tinnitus, which is a low level ringing noise constantly present in my ear. Its from years of loud things. I don't have any perceptable hearing loss though. I had to take numerous hearing tests when I worked for the Feds so I know that I'm good with the high and low range, its just the constant ringing. It doesn't affect my sleep but it is aggravated by stress.

Most dogs have ear flaps that protect their ears from loud noises.

I worked in a office for #3, I can't tell you what the front line troops had to do. They were all issued hearing protection and their kevlar helmets do have soft lining around the ears to help absorb noise.
 

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I wear hearing protection while doing anything with an elevated noise level, mowing, grinding, weed eating, or listening to my wife.;) I am only about 40 years to late though. I worked at noisy jobs when I was young and did a lot of shooting, all without hearing protection. I am now paying the price. I often use foam ear plugs under my ear muff type protection.
 

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Jodum I hearing what you saying but not as clear as might have at one time. After working in the construction industry for 40 years it has taken it's toll. Now it hard to tell when people are talking bad about me.:D
 

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I have tinnitus as well, a gift from my former carrer. I wear ear protection always when I shoot anything more than a BB gun. My Buddies and I are also very careful to ensure others in the vicinity have their ear protection on whenver we shoot together. Perhaps a military holdover habit, albeit a good one. I use electronic muffs now, that amplify noise such as normal conversation (controlable) and then immediately shut down loud noises, such as gunfire, or even a hand clap. Once you start using them, it's easy to remember them as conversation is easy, and I simply leave them on for an entire range session normally. Ear plugs are only worn now on my mower and I wonder why I didn't start that years ago!
 
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