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Discussion Starter #1
For a long time now, I have used either a pair of molded ear plugs or ear muffs for shooting pistol. For rifle, I've been using both, but the muffs are frequently pressing against the stock and are largely a PITA. I could probably get by with just the ear plugs but at my range we have to shoot from an area enclosed on three sides (to trap the noise) and it can work too well some days.

What I am looking for is the most effective ear plugs I can get. I won't say that money is no object but I'd be willing to pay more than the usual $10 a pair.

It's worth noting that I have rather narrow ear canals and find that a lot of the ear plugs sold start to get really uncomfortable after about 15 min.

Suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
matt1 said:
You may want to try these.http://www.surefire.com/ep3-sonic-defenders.html I haven't tryed them yet but I have a set ordered. They are a little pricey but not to bad if they work.
I have a pair. Can't say that they are any better than others I have tried.

The best plugs I have tried are Howard Leight SmartFit but someone on another forum suggested I try disposables - specifically Howard Leight Super Leight. These have a NRR rating of 33, which is quite remarkable. He also said that foam disposables are more comfortable for long periods than regular plugs.
 

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In my line of work I go to many different heliports and sometimes come across some pretty good disposables. The ones I like the best aren’t foam. They have a soft sticklike support in the middle and the plug is made of fibers. They its kind of hard to describe them, but its almost like they are made of fabric. They don’t give you an airtight seal, so you don’t get that plugged up feeling in 10 minutes like regular plugs. But they work very well, and I shoot with them all the time. The next time I come across some Ill hit you up.
But I do have a few extra sets of some good corded ones one of my buddies gave me that’s a pilot. They come in a little hard case. PM me your address and I'll send you a pair.
I have good muffs I shoot with, but they do get in the way, so I mostly use good disposables. My ears are pretty sensitive having worked on jet aircraft for 10 years, and the disposables are just fine for me. Haven’t lost any hearing in the last few years according to the V.A.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm getting some Peltor Blasts. They are disposable and have an NRR 32 rating. From a lot of reading, they appear to work well and are very comfortable.

The main issue with all the foam plugs is that they seem to be fussy to put in correctly. It may just be that when I tried some in the past, I was not doing it correctly.

I'd be interested in hearing about the ones Outlaw mentions.
 

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If your issue is getting them in correctly, try this. Reach over your head with your right hand and pull up on your left ear while putting a plug in your left ear with your left hand. Then vis versa. That opens your cannal up better to get them in. Also push type pluggs also help with that issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
outlaw said:
If your issue is getting them in correctly, try this. Reach over your head with your right hand and pull up on your left ear while putting a plug in your left ear with your left hand.
I know this now. Would have known it before if I had read the instructions. But who read's instructions for earplugs for heavens sake?

The tricky part is really keeping it rolled up tight as you put it in. If it expands too soon then it won't go in properly. They need to put a little rip cord on them that you can pull to inflate after they are in place. :p
 

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You will probably not like the surefire ear pro.. I got a set and they are ok. NRR isn't that great, they stay in well and they don't really give me that plugged up feeling. However, they do start to hurt after a long day at the range and could be distracting. So I find myself reaching for foamies 99% of the time unless I need to take them in and out repeatedly (my hearing is already effed so I can't hear people talk very well, thanks Navy), in which case I will use the surefires.
 

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I use Howard Light plugs that are rated at 32db. They are just over $20/200. I use a pair for several trips to the range before I throw them away. They work great for most shooting, but I use muffs along with these when shooting the Barrett. Everything else they are fine and fairly comfortable, but I got used to wearing plugs all day long so I might not be a good judge of comfort.

If all else fails, get one of these:
 

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never mind on the suppressor. looks like you are in an unconstitutional state.
 

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ddd oo7 said:
If all else fails, get one of these:

I may be missing something here but that is hardly the ideal choice for a man with narrow ear canals - even as a last resort. Just sayin....









:lol: Davy
 

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Lol. It is probably not very comfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ddd oo7 said:
Lol. It is probably not very comfortable.
Doesn't look it. Of course, there's nothing to scale it by. It might be smaller and more pliable than it looks.
 

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Good luck anyway with the Peltor Blasts. I liked the idea about the ripcord! :D

I shoot Western Action and a lot of guys I know - self included - use cheap foam earplugs. As you say, whether expensive or otherwise, they have to be inserted properly. Some of the worst abuse my ears have got has been secondary to ill-fitted plugs. That plus L1A1s and other small arms on the range when I was eighteen and nobody back then thought hearing protection was an issue, and one time when I fired a 'Dirty Harry' style S&W .44 Magnum and forgot to put the ear muffs on first, haven't exactly helped my hearing acuity. When that magnum went off ('Go ahead, punk, make me deaf!') I honestly thought the gun had blown up. It felt like somebody had hit me over the head with a frying pan. I seem to be deafer in the left ear than the right - don't know if that is as one might expect or not.

But good on you for being proactive and taking the steps to protect your hearing properly and conveniently. I have noticed a lot of old (and knowing) full bore shooters use both the muffs and earplugs. It would certainly be handy if plugs alone could do the job. Good luck with it.

I use rather bulky electronic muffs and haven't had a problem but only because the cheekweld is minimal on the stock. I need to fit a cheek pad of some kind and when I do, I may have to change those muffs. Meantime, it is a bit distracting to hear every discouraging word my delightful shooting buddies say behind my back and then pick up the collective low intensity sniggers when I shoot a four! :lol:

Regards

Davy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
One of the annoying things for me shooting is the noise. The outdoor range I use requires everyone to shoot from within a three sided shack. This is to help reduce the noise that leaves the range. So, when I am shooting and there is some guy with a howitzer on the next bench, I want all the protection I can get.

Same thing is true at the indoor pistol club I belong to. You have not heard noise until you fire a compensated race gun indoors and forget your muffs. Holy cow! Your ears will ring for a week.
 

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gsmithplm said:
Your ears will ring for a week.
Poor innocent ears; they pay for our mistakes! Have a good (noise-reduced) shoot this weekend if you are so inclined.

Cheers

Davy
 
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