I need advice on how to adjust my electronic earmuffs properly. Today I went too a local gun range today to shoot my 9mm handgun and new double barrel 12 gauge. My guns didn’t seem very loud when I was shooting them but a couple lanes down from me they were shooting both an AR-15 and a Mossberg shockwave. It was awful. I like the amplification setting on my muffs but couldn’t the sound of gunfire damage someone’s hearing if you have it turned up high enough? Do you even need to have the amplification setting turned on too protect your hearing?
I shut them off when I’m shooting. No, you do not need them on to protect your hearing.
The most protection is afforded when their shut off.
I wear both the yellow round foam plugs and E-muffs.
Thanks man. I appreciate it. Shooting my 12 gauge didn’t even really seem very loud because I was just using the standard buckshot loads. But when the guy right next to me was firing the AR-15 it was awful.
It has nothing to do with the setting. They just don’t have a high enough NRR (noise reduction rating). Hearing protection comes from the NRR of the earmuffs and making sure the seal is tight (watchout for your eye pro, etc)
If you are indoors, especially around rifles such as 5.56/.223, you probably want to double up with earplugs underneath earmuffs.
And if things are too loud with the noise gate and amplifier on, turn it off until you need to hear someone speaking.
FWIW, here are some of my earmuffs. So far, my favorite electronic earmuffs are the Peltor Tac 500 with the gel earcups
NRR of 26 with outstanding fit/comfort/seal with that gel, and not too bulky. I still put them over plugs around rifles indoors every time.
The huge ones on the left are NRR of 31. When you want all you can get, they are it.
About the only time I have my muffs turned on is when shooting .22lr at steel, 2-300 yards, as I need to hear that ‘tink’ to confirm a hit.
AR’s are weird. Shooting my 12.5", no issue. Having a friend shoot it, standing a few feet away…hurts. 13 plus months, still waiting for my silencers…“any day now”…
That’s most firearms, not just AR’s, although the more ridiculous a muzzle brake one has, maybe the more pronounced it is…
…standing directly behind the firearm is better than being off to the side. Something to do with how the pressure waves travel from the muzzle. If you ever watch a big bore rifle, esp with a brake, in really humid or dusty air or rain, you can kind of even see it
Unless you need to hear what’s going on - instructors talking, while hunting, etc. just keep them turned off. I always double up in indoor ranges.
I like to keep mine always on.
I consider it part of that situational awareness we talk about so much.
It’s not like the sound playing through the speakers is what damages your hearing, anyway. But also, doubling up you get to have your cake and eat it too. Plugs underneath you get super mega sound reduction adding muffs over the top, with muffs turned up a bit you can still hear things through the plugs, and even if you are shooting rifle/shotgun and bump and ear cup off or something (tiny break of seal makes a huge difference), still have plugs.
I’ve observed my 3 AR’s, mini 14, M1a Scout and .308 RPR being shot, never mind observing club mates shooting some fairly hefty rounds. Nothing compared to the actual pain I got from that 12.5" barreled gun. Flash suppressor, no brakes on my 5.56 guns. Worst “behind the wheel " is my braked .308 RPR, metal chassis gun. That’s what’s getting the second can. Watching others shoot it, loud but not painful. Volume doesn’t affect me too much, but the pitch from that 12.5” barrel is at a sensitive spot. Reminds me of a Harrier jet, fortunately shorter duration.
As others have stated the setting you use won’t effect the hearing protection but doubling up with plugs will help quite a bit.
I have sensitive ears and always double up on protection even when shooting alone outdoors at the gravel pit. I have and really like the Peltor Sport Tactical 500 muffs as well. I always turn them on so I can hear what is going on around me and if anyone is driving up the road to the pit.
As suggested by others you can just turn them off OR you can turn the volume down real low so you’re not able to hear the conversations going on at the other end of the range or outside of the range. That will help too. I set mine so I can just hear the person next to me and they are a little muffled even then. Try it out!
Honestly, my opinion is that AR’s with barrels shorter than typical “rifle” length just aren’t meant to be shot unless they are suppressed lol
You’re right, the pitch is a sensitive spot, I was thinking of that with the comment about shotgun vs AR, shotguns are loud, but it’s not nearly as sharp of a crack to my ears. Also the concussion of an AR, short barrel or brake, it’s like getting hit in the head by a rubber mallet
It’s all about the pressure.
The maximum pressure for 2 3/4” and 3” shotgun loads is 11,500 psi. It’s dropped well below this after the load has traveled 18” or more down the larger diameter bore.
223/556 operates around five times that pressure. It’s a bottleneck cartridge with a skinny bore. Mix in shorter pistol length barrels and you can see how you are exposed to a higher pressure bang when the bullet leaves the barrel.
And then as @nathan57 mentioned muzzle brakes direct that to the sides or some are even angled back to toward the shooter and the sensation is amplified.
That might not be a bad idea. Thanks man. It just seems like at indoor range everything is amplified 10fold.
I think the barrel on my 12 gauge is 26 inches. I used too have a 20 inch security barrel on my old 590 Mossberg and I thought that was really loud. I tried the magnum shells in it and it was like KABOOM. I’ve never heard anything like it.
You can look up this older topic also>