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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any experience with those hearing protectors/enhancers? Something along the lines of the Walkers game ear. I need something that can be worn comfortably for extended periods, so I'm wondering about the in the ear types over the muff types. Seems to me the muffs might get in the way for bowhunting but the behind the ear type might not be the best choice for muzzle blast. Since I can barely afford one, two is out of the question. Squandered away too much of my hearing already, closed captioning is the only way I can watch t.v. without asking "what did they say" about a hundred times. Too bad my two precious little girls don't come with the same feature. Any experience or advice anyone could pass my way would be a great help.
thanks,
James
 

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fuz,

I too have lost too much of my hearing to operate without hear protection.  I discovered that a lot of years ago (about 1969, if I remember correctly) and decided to get some "ear muffs" from David Clark.  They turned out to be the best thing I had done.  I wore them until the pads wore out, and then I upgraded the pads to the "gel" type.  That was a substantial improvement both in comfort and in protection.

Ten years ago, or so, I began shooting in a pistol league indoors.  I have continued that to date.  The indoor range showed that I needed not only the best protection I could get, also something to help me hear commands.  I got some moulded plugs to help with the needed protection.  They are great for additional protection indoors, and are adequate by themselves outdoors.  I highly recommend them, if they are properly done.  My second set was not properly done and are not adequate.

A couple of years ago I was one of the range officers at an indoor match and several of competitors brought different brands of the muffs with electronic aids in them.  I tried 3 or 4 brands.  The best were the Pro-ears magnums.  I bought a set thereafter.  WONDERFUL!  The electronics had been upgraded and they are great.  You can be talking to someone and somebody else fire a shot, the muffs will "condense" the shot and you will hear all of the conversation.  No interruption; no reduction in the level of sound.  Just the loud sounds are compressed.  And the best thing is that you can adjust the sound in each ear separately to help you hear.  And they are comfortable to wear.  I commonly wear mine for 1 to 3 hours at a time.

They are not cheap!  They will run around $200 dollars.  And you want the magnums if you shoot indoors at all with them.  Outdoors, the others work fine.  Cabela's has them, as does Brownell's.  Best things I know.  

Hope this helps.

dclark
 

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fuz: dont know ifin it would help or if it what your looking for, but been down the
same road as you. Wife got tired of telling me what they said on tv, and yelling at me all the time. She found some at Taylors gifts that ran about $40.00 each, course now I have no excuse for not answering her. Taylor Gifts has a web site as they are a mail order co. I coundent go the high price for hearing aids either.
They come with several diffrent sizes of ear tips, she also said ifin you check out E-bay you can find them for around $20.00 each for over the ear type.
Hope this helps.

Gun Runner
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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gun runner,

dclark has the advantage of having tried several different brands of electronic muff, which I have not. But I can vouch for the pair I got from Dillons for about $190 (includes s&h). They muff the loud noices and not only let you hear the speaking voice, but amplifies it. When I load the single action, I hear every click when the cylinder turns just like it was next to my ear. There have been several times that I couldn't figure out what a particular noise was only to find it was the result of a "small" action that I'd never hear without the muffs. I used them during 5 months of indoor shooting and could clearly hear the "ready on the firing line" but was never bothered by any of the shooting.

Dan
 

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Hi guys,
    I don't know this for a fact but I have read that the electronic muffs do not fully protect your hearing because they simply cannot react quickly enough to prevent the first part of a high decibel impulse from reaching the ear. I generally wear plugs AND muffs most of the time. That's one of the reasons I've been rather reluctant to take up handgun hunting - I shot a 44 Mag several years ago w/out protection and my ears rang for a long time. I've lost a bit of hearing and have an incessant ringing in my right ear almost all the time. Probably a cumulative effect from shooting and many years of playing in bands and working for other bands.              IDShooter
 

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Gentlemen,

I have seen the reports that some of the older technology did not "clip" the sound fast enough to stop all of the damage.  That may well be so, but the new technology used by Pro-ears does not have a "clip" of the sound.  All of the sound that is above 70 db is "compressed" to that level.  You can amplify the sound to suit you, but the loud noise is still compressed, so that it is heard at a lower level than speech at times.

I did try the Dillon, but the smaller ones than the ones you have.  The only thing I disliked about them was that there was a "pause" before the level of sound came back up after the "clip" so you could notice it had gone down.  That is not so with the Pro-ears, which was the reason I went the way I did.  I learned of the new technology after I got mine from an article in NRA Shooting Sports.

Most are good, but I thought the Pro-ears were the best of the bunch.

dclark
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So guys,
Thanks for the input. How about sense of direction? Will I be able to tell where these new found sounds are coming from?
I know what you mean IDShooter about the loud music, also had a "friend" touch off a 44 round over my left shoulder before I had any plugs in. I tell myself that the constant ringing I hear is just a couple of crickets I keep with me. Sure would like to use them for bait though. My reluctance to take up pistol hunting is that it always falls on the same weekend as my wife's birthday here in IL or so it seems. Thats kind of a hard sell after 3 months of bowhunting every spare minute.
James
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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Good question. Thinking about it, during the indoor shooting I was definitely able to tell if the sound was coming from the left or right. Last week on the outdoor session, could tell the conversation was coming from my left. Sooooooo, I think you'll be able to tell and know which way to duck in case you hunt on golf courses

Dan
 

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Fuz:

Sorry to be the wise-guy, but I can't resist.
Why do you need to be concerned about the interference of muffs while bowhunting? I though bowhunters had separate seasons and wouldn't encounter firearm competition.

Darrel
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Tio
I was talking about muffs that not only block out muzzle blast but also amplify sounds I may not even know I'm missing. Being able to hear a buck tip toe through the leaves or trying to tell which direction that gobble came from may be something others take for granted, but I no longer can.
James
 

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"Bad Joke Friday" Dan (moderator emeritus)
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fuz,

dclark had previously mentioned a "pause" with the Dillon muffs that I hadn't noticed before. But today on the range I was talking to a fella on the pistol range when a boom from the rifle range went off, definitely causing about one second "dimming" of the amplified sound.

I'm still have to get used to the amplified sound capability. Clicks and squeaks that I'd never hear, even 20 years ago, are very noticable.

Dan
 
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