Can anyone recommend earplugs good enough to use by themselves at an indoor range? I have been using foam plugs and Mickey Mouse ears, but I find the headsets annoying. The earplugs I have tried don’t muffle the noise sufficiently indoors by themselves.
With what’s left of my hearing I will always advocate for double hearing protection inside. I generally default to the 3M foamie’s and a set of Peltor Tac 6’s. As a COHC (Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist) there are VERY few stick in ear plugs that are effective for other than high level background noise such as general noise at a construction site and NONE that work well for “Impact Noise”. The electronic amplified / reduced headsets are SIGNIFICANTLY better by themselves but are enhanced with insert-able hearing protection.
There are many variations of “Micky Mouse” ears now, you don’t have to stick with the Flight Deck ones. Some are more spendy than others but IMHO buy the best that you can and are comfortable with.
Walking around with 95 dB of high frequency hearing loss just sux. According to OSHA I need hearing protection to protect me from myself due to the volume of the ringing in my ears (tinnitus).
I was surprised how well the foam plugs worked after I learned the right way to use them. I have been told they are more effective than any other hearing protection.
You could look at custom fit in-ear plugs…
My husband uses the ones with the impact filters (eliminates high decibel shot sounds) for competing and training.
When I started shooting my rifle, the Navy man who owns the gun store I frequent recommended I use foam earplugs AND the headphone style hearing protection at the same time. That has become my standard.
Also theres these:
Decibullz - Custom Molded Earplugs, 31dB Highest NRR, (several colors)
Decibullz - Custom Molded Percussive Filters, Custom Molded Hearing Protection
I have been told of some people in the area that make custom electronic hearing protection. They’re basically hearing aids that cut out when the dB’s get too loud, but they are custom fitted to your ears to eliminate ALL sound they don’t transmit.
I’ve also been told they’re like $600, so I don’t have a set yet. I have been told they work as advertised, but haven’t tried them myself.
They’re not cheap, but they really work.
I’ve been using Surefire EP10 Sonic Defenders at indoor range. They are good for 1 year (2 sets of foam inserts).
Agree. I learned the correct way to insert them years back and the work great. At the range I usually wear them under an electronic headset. I like hearing what’s going on around me without the reports coming through
When I was younger I did the foam earplugs and inexpensive ear muffs. As the calibers progressed I needed to double them up. Then I sprung for the really expensive ear muffs… like $29 expensive!!! Much more expensive then the cheapies I had before. I’ve been using them alone ever since (20 years) with pistols and rifles without needing anything more.
I will add, that some shooting glasses will negatively effect the sound attenuation of any ear muffs.
If I need sound protection I go back to my old standard that I have used for years. Yes I have some of the soft molded ear plugs but if I expect it to be really loud I wear navy flight deck ear muffs. I figured if those guys could wear them launching Tomcats they would work for shooting. That and not having to have a bag full of disposable ones with me. As the weapons moved towards magnums I bought extra sound deadening and turned them into cones of silence. Yes they are old tech and I should upgrade to smaller easier to carry equipment but this old cannon cocker never was issued suppressors in the military so these were a dream come true. https://www.galaxyarmynavy.com/products/4815 Yes mine look a lot like these.
Over two decades ago I used the earplugs… then added some cheapie over the head muffs to supplement when shooting magnums. When I started shooting rifles, I bought a pair of Peltors higher end earmuffs (no electronics) and haven’t felt the need for anything since… it’s been about 15 years with the same muffs. I think back then they were in the $30 range (Peltor Bullseye Ultimate 10). I think you can find a similar product from them in the same price range today.
Two exceptions… if I have a low-bore or barrel mounted iron sights with a fairly straight stock, the size of the muffs might touch the butt. Also, if you’re wearing really thick-armed eye protection, e.g. protective glasses on top of your regular glasses, it might not seal the sound out as well.