Different Kinds of Shooting Ear Protection

  • Jack Collins

It’s a sad fact of life that you only get one pair of ears. As a gigging musician for the last decade and an avid shooter, I’ve definitely developed my own hearing problems, and I can only imagine how bad it is for people with a military background. Regardless of how hearing problems start, they rarely get better, which is why you should use hearing protection when shooting a firearm. SDI grad Caleb Downing is back with another video outlining different kinds of shooting ear protection.

Why You Should Use Hearing Protection When Shooting a Firearm

Whenever you participate in an activity that places you in a high-decibel environment, you need to be using ear protection. Shooting is no different.

Different Kinds of Shooting Ear Protection

Choosing the right ear protection is like picking any other piece of gear. When considering what kind of ear protection to use, you need to look at what you’re trying to accomplish. Ear pro comes in one of two forms:

  • In-Ear Plugs: Small plugs that go directly into your ears. They sit flush against your ear, so you don’t need to worry about breaking the seal between your ear pro and your ears themselves.
  • Over-Ear Muffs: Heavy-duty ear pro that covers your entire ear. They’re often less expensive than in-ear plugs, but you can also move them around on your head if you get hot and sweaty.

Other Ear Pro Features

Ear pro in each of these two categories can have a variety of features. For example, Caleb mentions that his in-ear Surefire earplugs have a small tab built into them that allows sound below a certain decibel range into your ear. So you’ll be able to hear conversations normally, but the loud, percussive sound of a gunshot will get muted.

Some ear protection features active noise cancellation. These units require batteries and have a microphone that picks up sound and sends it through a filter that automatically reduces the noise of loud sounds. These are great choices if you want to protect your hearing while you shoot, but still need to hear conversations.

One downside of many forms of ear pro is that they’re pretty uncomfortable. I use cheap over-ear muffs when I go clay shooting, and after a few hours of blasting pigeons, they definitely get annoying.

One of the friends I shoot clays with doesn’t have this problem. That’s because he’s gotten custom-fitted earplugs that are molded to his ear canal. Caleb mentions these types of in-ear plugs, too, and says that they’re some of the best options available for ear protection if you want to block out as much noise as possible.

Learn More About Firearms Tech at SDI

If you love firearms and want to learn everything about them, SDI has you covered. Our Associate of Science in Firearms Technology degree and Certificate in Firearms Technology – Gunsmithing program are the best ways to expand your firearms knowledge on your own schedule. To learn more, click here.

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