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ZombieJoe
06-29-2012, 23:15
A couple weeks back I went to a gravel pit with my LCP. When I got their I realized that I did not have any hearing protection. I ended up shooting about 100 rounds, and my ears were RINGING! My right ear was still ringing 10 days later.


So this got me thinking....What (if any thing) do the troops use?

RedHaze
06-30-2012, 00:24
WHAAAAAAAAT?!

Seriously though, in theater you don't use anything. In training I used the best plugs I could find.

Didn't always remember them though, and shot thousands of rounds without.

And ... Low and behold I've got hearing loss.


A word of advice... If you get to the range and realize you forgot your plugs. Such it up and head home. Once the damage is done it's done. Constant ringing sucks, it never goes away, it never gets better. You will live with it the REST of your life.

ZombieJoe
06-30-2012, 00:34
I was thinking that they might use the ear plugs that allow you to hear voices, but stop the louder sounds...:dunno:


Have you ever used those?

Zagato
06-30-2012, 01:02
occupational hazard. in training you use whatever they issue you or have at the PX. In the field, you need all your senses at maximum. hearing protection is a hindrance on patrol.

When you get out, you claim it with the VA or deal with it.

AA#5
06-30-2012, 01:29
A couple weeks back I went to a gravel pit with my LCP. When I got their I realized that I did not have any hearing protection. I ended up shooting about 100 rounds, and my ears were RINGING! My right ear was still ringing 10 days later.


So this got me thinking....What (if any thing) do the troops use?

Whenever your ears are ringing, you have nerve damage & permanent hearing loss. Interesting test.

USMCSergeant
06-30-2012, 01:41
In training we all use earpro, while overseas no one does. Well no one that I met did. This was a few years ago and things may have changed. There's just no time. There is often little to no notice when a firefight breaks out. Communication between the squad or fireteam is life and death. I'm not sure how this can be fixed. I know I have lost quite a bit of hearing in one certain ear. I had a really tough time getting out of the service and through the mandatory hearing bit. Now that I'm older I seriously wish I would have admitted the ringing and hearing issues and went through with the comprehensive testing. I still have bad, random ringing episodes and I just can't hear well.

ZombieJoe
06-30-2012, 02:07
In training we all use earpro, while overseas no one does. Well no one that I met did. This was a few years ago and things may have changed. There's just no time. There is often little to no notice when a firefight breaks out. Communication between the squad or fireteam is life and death. I'm not sure how this can be fixed. I know I have lost quite a bit of hearing in one certain ear. I had a really tough time getting out of the service and through the mandatory hearing bit. Now that I'm older I seriously wish I would have admitted the ringing and hearing issues and went through with the comprehensive testing. I still have bad, random ringing episodes and I just can't hear well.



Thank You for your service, and the info.

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MrMurphy
06-30-2012, 04:25
Depends on you, your unit, and how dumb some ppl can be.

I've done the 'no plugs, no time' thing a few times because I had to. Yes, I have permanent hearing damage. I also wore Surefire EP3 plugs a lot of the time because they do allow you to hear, and still block sounds of gunfire.

Some of our kids were trying to be all macho about not wearing any earpro even when they could. They're now mostly deaf at 25.

Special Forces, lot of infantry guys, and anyone who can afford to (and it's your life.....you CAN afford to) will generally wear electronic earpro that allows comms. Peltor Tac 6, Tac Pro, MSA Sordins if they can swing it, it blocks the sounds of gunfire/explosions, amplifies voice commands, and allows your radio to plug directly into them so it doesn't blare all across the landscape.

SWAT teams have started using them too.

That will vary by unit and service, but the smart ones use the electronic stuff these days, and have since about 2006/2007.

Sheepdog Scout
06-30-2012, 05:02
You've experienced acoustic noise trauma which is causing tinnitus (ringing).While the ringing is happening nerves are dieing, killing a certain range in your hearing. Hopefully your ears have stopped ringing. But you've caused some permanent damage. Which could be a bigger issue down the road. I'd suggest you get a hearing test done soon.

I've forgotten my protection once or twice when I go the the range. But, luckily they have ear plugs to buy. But I prefer to wear some kind of muffs. If not doubling up.

redbrd
06-30-2012, 05:30
Not sure across the board but soldiers have the Peltor with the comms/PTT. They muffle sounds in dangerous ranges but amplify other sounds. Direction is difficult to determine however. Even with that limitation it is a good system, more reliable comms is a good thing.

SouthpawG26
06-30-2012, 05:56
Surefire makes these earplugs that dont interfere with lower volume sound, while still providing a reasonable NRR:
http://www.surefire.com/ep3-sonic-defenders.html

EDITED TO ADD: MrMurphy already mentioned these a couple of posts earlier...

Lior
06-30-2012, 06:25
In the 2006 Lebanon war I fired about 100,000 lbs of ammunition (155mm), and wore hearing protection for every single round. Have no regrets.

If people are not trying to kill you, wear hearing protection, period.

SGT_Calle
06-30-2012, 07:13
In training we all use earpro, while overseas no one does. Well no one that I met did. This was a few years ago and things may have changed. There's just no time. There is often little to no notice when a firefight breaks out. Communication between the squad or fireteam is life and death. I'm not sure how this can be fixed. I know I have lost quite a bit of hearing in one certain ear. I had a really tough time getting out of the service and through the mandatory hearing bit. Now that I'm older I seriously wish I would have admitted the ringing and hearing issues and went through with the comprehensive testing. I still have bad, random ringing episodes and I just can't hear well.

It's not too late brother, file a new claim with the VA.

DonD
06-30-2012, 07:21
The Surefire plugs seem like a good deal and inexpensive.

Personally, I'd think some of the digital devices that have even higher noise reduction numbers would be a great idea. They amplify soft sounds and shut down dangerous noise levels. If it were me, I'd gladly pay for them out of pocket if that were the only option. Gunfire w/o hearing protection also gives me a headache.

When I started shooting over 50 yrs ago, hearing protection wasn't on the table. I have some but not bothersome hearing loss from early years and later years running over 1000 rds of 5"/54 Navy gunnery from the bridge. Everyone else on the bridge had plugs, I couldn't because of the comms setup with gunnery plot and the CO wanting to be able to scream and me hear. Don

hogship
06-30-2012, 07:21
http://pic50.picturetrail.com/VOL431/781008/1409245/16431618.jpg

In 1968-69, helicopter crews were issued ear protection, but nobody used them. It was a "damned if you do, and damned if you don't" kind of thing. Because the helicopters were so noisy anyway, it was difficult to distinguish the sound of enemy gunfire. You learned to know what your were listening for, and plugs interfered with that. Enemy gunfire was a very low key "pop, pop, pop" sound, and the lives of your air crew depended on you being alert and knowing the instant the enemy is shooting at you.

I have permanent hearing loss because of the helicopter noise.......not to mention shooting hundreds of thousands of rounds through an M60 machine gun without hearing protection.......which was much worse.



ooc

Sgt127
06-30-2012, 07:28
Not military. But, I was on SWAT for over ten years. Lots of Thunderflashes. Usually I was outside the room where they were going off, but, not always. A couple shootings without ear protection.

But, there are so many other loud noises. Running code, the siren will wear you out. The you have to crank up the radio, so you can hear it over the siren. Searching a building with the alarm going off. Warehouses are the worst. Its just a giant metal tunnel with sirens screaming in it. I actually used to use earplugs on late nights when I did a building search. Its so loud, you can't hear anyway.

We have new locks on the PD. Electronic pad that you wave a key fob at. A little green light comes on when the door unlocks and, they tell me it beeps.

jph02
06-30-2012, 08:23
http://images.cabelas.com/is/image/cabelas/s7_229479_999_01?rgn=0,0,1867,1382&scl=3.5561904761904763&fmt=jpeg&id=0GEC_VYu_LXxaZlbPXCEnL
Combat arms earpugs (http://www.cabelas.com/hearing-protection-enhancement-combat-arms-ear-plugs.shtml) are in the system and there's no reason military personnel can't have them in the combat zone. It's important to know how to wear them: green side in for steady state noise like choppers, vehicles, etc (green machine); yellow side in for dismount and range activities (yellow fire).

FFR Spyder GT
06-30-2012, 13:09
WHAAAAAAAAT?!

Seriously though, in theater you don't use anything. In training I used the best plugs I could find.

Didn't always remember them though, and shot thousands of rounds without.

And ... Low and behold I've got hearing loss.


A word of advice... If you get to the range and realize you forgot your plugs. Such it up and head home. Once the damage is done it's done. Constant ringing sucks, it never goes away, it never gets better. You will live with it the REST of your life.

+1

Most Combat Veterans have a hearing loss and tinnitus.

Tinnitus is that ringing sound that NEVER goes away.

ALWAYS WEAR HEARING PROTECTION WHEN SHOOTING!!!

back in the"Day" we had the fitted ear plugs that we carried in the little clear plastic container with a screw on cap and a little chain that connected the cap and the container.

Plus we had the disposable ear plugs.

This was back in the 80's and early 90's.

WoodenPlank
06-30-2012, 13:18
The MSA Sordin headsets are nice, but the set I had were mostly meant for constant noise environments, like tanks. SHooting a short-barreled AR with a brake was more than the muffs could compensate for.

The Surefire in-ears are EXCELLENT, however. I got rid of my MSAs (had no need for the comms part) and got a set of Howard Leight electronic muffs that are excellent, too.

Always wear your ear pro, and use QUALITY stuff. I can't sleep in a silent room because the ringing in my ears is so bad. Some of it from un-protected weapon fire, some from too much time around jet turbines without earpro, and some from years on the range with poor ear pro.

Decguns
06-30-2012, 14:10
We always used muffs or foamies when in training, but I never brought any with me out into the field. Muffs really don't fit inside your helmet, and no matter what the ear plug guys claim, you can't hear all that well even with their magic plugs inserted.

I don't know about any of you other guys, but just like when I go hunting sans ear protection, my ears always turned off when the shooting started. The pounding of the M60, M240 & M249 right next to me would leave me deaf for a day but the M16s, M4s never did. I just tuned it out like when bird hunting. While the shooting surely damaged my hearing, I could still hear fine without yelling. Pistols are a whole different animal entirely. They are loud! I never could tune them out.

Like almost everybody who ever served, my ears ring all the time. I have no hearing in the upper frequencies now, which isn't a bad thing since that tunes out kids and my wife! The VA was nice to tack on an extra 10% disability for it.

MrMurphy
06-30-2012, 14:31
The MICH/ACH is cut higher and will clear electronic ear pro, you remove a couple pads/shift them around and it fits. It was part of the design idea.

arclight610
06-30-2012, 15:53
Anything would have been better than nothing. Take your pocket knife and cut up a little piece of cloth, little wads of toilet paper, ect. I also read in some medical journal that taking a vitamin that I can't remember now right after exposure to loud noise will minimize the damage done. I think it was either A, E, or fish oil. I can't remember.

ETA: Found it. It's magnesium.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12170143
http://www.randombio.com/noise.html

Bodyarmorguy
06-30-2012, 16:16
Another good reason to get the government to lift all restrictions on suppressors. If you can pass the background check for the firearm, the same background check should be good for the sound moderator. I don't even mind filling out the paperwork and paying the tax, but you should be able to forgo the 3-9 month wait. My house and truck rifle is fitted with a suppressor strictly because if I need to discharge in the house of even in the open, it will significantly reduce my risk of hearing damage.
http://i193.photobucket.com/albums/z251/bodyarmorguy/DSCN0373.jpg

WoodenPlank
06-30-2012, 16:38
The MICH/ACH is cut higher and will clear electronic ear pro, you remove a couple pads/shift them around and it fits. It was part of the design idea.

I've seen some headsets that had two bands - one mesh one on top of the head and a solid one behind with the cables so it would clear under any helmet without problems.

CJStudent
06-30-2012, 17:11
The MICH/ACH is cut higher and will clear electronic ear pro, you remove a couple pads/shift them around and it fits. It was part of the design idea.

http://www.galls.com/style-HP051-general_catalog-howard-leight-electronic-muff-hearing-protector

Those will 100% fit under an ACH; I had a captain that uses them religiously, and let me try them out. I like them a lot, though it takes some adjusting to get the volume right (it can actually amplify normal sounds in addition to blocking dangerous ones).

H&K 4 LIFE
06-30-2012, 17:13
To the OP, store a pair of disposable ear plugs in the glove box of your car. They take up no room and are there if you ever need them for that impromptu range trip.

I had an ear plug in my right ear back out of my ear canal at the indoor range once when firing my USPc .40. After just a few shots before I realized it, my ear was physically in pain! This pain lasted for a day or two after that as well. Ever since then I double up (plugs and muffs). My hearing is actually very sensitive and I have no trouble hearing people talking to me when I do this.

I cannot imagine firing 100 rounds of .380 from a pistol with no hearing protection whatsoever. :wow:

Finally, to all those who served and gave up the better part of their hearing (and more) for our freedoms I sincerely thank you. :patriot:

CJStudent
06-30-2012, 17:14
Depends on you, your unit, and how dumb some ppl can be.

I've done the 'no plugs, no time' thing a few times because I had to. Yes, I have permanent hearing damage. I also wore Surefire EP3 plugs a lot of the time because they do allow you to hear, and still block sounds of gunfire.

Some of our kids were trying to be all macho about not wearing any earpro even when they could. They're now mostly deaf at 25.

Special Forces, lot of infantry guys, and anyone who can afford to (and it's your life.....you CAN afford to) will generally wear electronic earpro that allows comms. Peltor Tac 6, Tac Pro, MSA Sordins if they can swing it, it blocks the sounds of gunfire/explosions, amplifies voice commands, and allows your radio to plug directly into them so it doesn't blare all across the landscape.

SWAT teams have started using them too.

That will vary by unit and service, but the smart ones use the electronic stuff these days, and have since about 2006/2007.

Question on the Surefire EP3s: Do the sizes run like the old military-issue ones? I used the big blue "quad-flange" ones, and am trying to figure which size EP3s to order.

USMCSergeant
06-30-2012, 17:20
It's not too late brother, file a new claim with the VA.

My wife has been urging me to do that, I may make an appointment soon.

WoodenPlank
06-30-2012, 17:21
Question on the Surefire EP3s: Do the sizes run like the old military-issue ones? I used the big blue "quad-flange" ones, and am trying to figure which size EP3s to order.

The Surefire ear-pro sizing is for the BOWL of your ear, not the ear canal. Medium will fit most people without issue.

collim1
06-30-2012, 17:21
Next time try this...in a pinch a .380/9mm sized case will fit in your ears and stop the noise from being unbearable. Its not as good as real plugs, but I have done it in a pinch. Empty case stuffed with a little tissue or a cleaning patch work even better.

Improvise.

WoodenPlank
06-30-2012, 17:24
Next time try this...in a pinch a .380/9mm sized case will fit in your ears and stop the noise from being unbearable. Its not as good as real plugs, but I have done it in a pinch. Empty case stuffed with a little tissue or a cleaning patch work even better.

Improvise.

Seems like a good way to cut the inside of your ear to me.

CJStudent
06-30-2012, 17:32
The Surefire ear-pro sizing is for the BOWL of your ear, not the ear canal. Medium will fit most people without issue.

Thanks! I figure as cheap as they are, I may just buy a pair of mediums and a pair of larges, and see which ones work better.

Seems like a good way to cut the inside of your ear to me.

Maybe, but I'd rather have a temporary cut than permanent hearing loss.

collim1
06-30-2012, 17:38
Seems like a good way to cut the inside of your ear to me.

rim side in the ear, not mouth side. I didn't say it was perfect, but if you have to drive 45mins to shoot like I do, it beats turning around and going to walmart.

WoodenPlank
06-30-2012, 17:55
rim side in the ear, not mouth side. I didn't say it was perfect, but if you have to drive 45mins to shoot like I do, it beats turning around and going to walmart.

I keep about a half dozen pairs of disposable plugs inside the ACS stock on my AR. Since it always goes alone to the range, I know I always have ear pro.

JackMac
06-30-2012, 18:14
I remember using the filters off Marlboro cigarette as ear plugs sometimes. Have hearing aids in both ears now. Do not recall ever being issued ear plugs.

collim1
06-30-2012, 18:40
I keep about a half dozen pairs of disposable plugs inside the ACS stock on my AR. Since it always goes alone to the range, I know I always have ear pro.

Great idea.

I haven't forgotten hearing protection at the range since I was a teenager.

I accidentally snapped off three rounds of .45acp out of my dad's 1911 after forgetting to put my plugs back in when the range when hot. I will never do that again, promise.

MotoGlock
06-30-2012, 19:08
Finally, to all those who served and gave up the better part of their hearing (and more) for our freedoms I sincerely thank you. :patriot:

Amen brother.

MrMurphy
06-30-2012, 19:48
Have used EP3 Mediums and larges and EP4 mediums.

Mediums fit me better.

CJStudent
06-30-2012, 21:00
Have used EP3 Mediums and larges and EP4 mediums.

Mediums fit me better.

Thanks. Of the EP3s and EP4s, which would you recommend?

Veedubklown
06-30-2012, 21:01
I went out to the range the other day to test out a buddies new (to him) mossberg 500 that had just been "rebuilt by a local gunsmith". Seemed solid enough, but I didn't plan to bring out a 12ga, and just a couple .22 rifles that I had brought up with me.

So I took a couple 9mm rounds out of my glock 26 I was carrying, and stuffed em in, rim first. They held up to the recoil of the 12ga, my ears didn't ring after, unlike my buddy who wasn't going to "do some sissy stuff."

Yeah, okay, tough guy. His ears only rang a little :rofl:

Amsdorf
06-30-2012, 22:32
. I ended up shooting about 100 rounds, and my ears were RINGING! My right ear was still ringing 10 days later.

You gave yourself permanent auditory nerve damage and hearing loss you'll never get back.

Dumb move to shoot without ear pro, guy. Sorry.

AK_Stick
06-30-2012, 22:56
I use Surefire EP3's and my MSA neck band electronic ear pro when on the ground.


Surefire EP3's and my flight helmet when flying.

ZombieJoe
07-01-2012, 09:11
My ear (right side) still rings, but it is not constant.

I had a blast shooting that little thing! :50cal:

But it was not worth it. Next time ill be prepared, or at less improvise.

Thanks to all that recommended the surefire. I am going to order a couple pairs today.

MrMurphy
07-01-2012, 20:43
The EP4 has an extra flange apparently, of the two, i've not noticed a huge difference, though the EP4 apparently seals better in people with weird shaped ear canals.

Diesel McBadass
07-01-2012, 20:53
i like my hopward leight ear pro the electronic type, makes soft sound amplify and blocks out gunshots loud noises. So keeps hearing intact and can hear voices like awesomely