Lots of people are into firearms. For some it is an enjoyable hobby, while others invest in guns for self-defense. A good number of people also enjoy the challenge of hunting and tracking.
However, using guns and other sorts of firearms has its downsides. Guns do produce loud noises and if you are exposed to these noises for a long period of time without ear protection, your ears will succumb to hearing loss. This article will talk about how to choose ear protection for shooting.
NIHL or noise-induced hearing loss is a serious concern for people who work or are active in pursuits which often expose them to loud noises. The damage that is acquired through these noises comes in two types:
- Damage produced by means of isolated loud noises such as gunfire and explosions.
- Damage incurred through continuous loud noises such as sounds coming from industrial machinery.
Gunfire noise is one of the most dangerous noises that individuals are subjected to. There is a possibility that a lone gunshot heard by someone without ear protection can cause permanent hearing damage.
This may be accompanied by a humming, hissing or ringing in the ears.
The level of noise is measured by means of the decibel scale. Zero decibels means silence while the sound of crackling leaves has a decibel level of roughly 20 dB. People talking has a decibel level of roughly 60 dB.
The decibel scale’s logarithmic quality is challenging for lots of people to understand. 50 dB is double the loudness of 40 dB while 60 dB is four times as loud as 40 dB.
Extended exposure to sounds ranging beyond 90 dB like the sound a lawn mower generates may induce hearing loss in just a few weeks while exposure to brief periods of louder noises like a rock gig at 120 dB can lead to permanent hearing loss in just a span of minutes. Gunshot has a decibel level of around 140 dB, which is several times louder than a normal conversation between people.
Buying Tips: How to Choose Ear Protection for Shooting
We have disclosed why you need ear protectors while shooting and hunting. Ear protection is especially crucial for individuals who often shoot or hunt. Here are some suggestions which can help you know how to choose ear protection for shooting.
An essential factor you have to remember when looking for ear protectors is the NRR or noise reduction rating. The NRR is the certified rating system for ear protection and has ratings spanning 0-33 dB.
The rating system can be a tad confusing at first, but it’s quite simple once you learn it. The NRR rating in decibels represents the number of decibels blocked by the product.
All you have to do is subtract the rating from the weapon’s decibel level. It is also important to remember that the higher a product’s NRR rating, the better the hearing protection.
In case you are not the type of person who practices on the regular, you can opt for ear plugs since they are the most affordable option. But if you shoot or hunt frequently, you should at least invest in a quality pair of passive ear muffs.
These ear muffs start at prices of roughly $20-$30 and if you take care of them properly, they can last for a long time.
Avid shooters can benefit from electronic ear muffs since they offer lots of advantages that accommodate the needs of both sports shooters and hunters. They are a good option for individuals who are willing to invest a bit more, and are especially beneficial for frequent shooters.
Ear protectors have to be worn for a rather extended period of time. Great ear protection for shooting must be comfortable to guarantee that it will not irritate or bug users over time.
Make sure to look for products with moldable, soft features. Make sure that the product has enough cushioning and select ear protectors that will fit your ears well and can be adjusted as needed.
The last thing you have to remember about how to choose ear protection for shooting is the color of the product. The color is subjective since every individual has different tastes, but when it comes to certain activities like hunting camouflage is a great choice since it will keep you concealed from prey.
Alternatively, you could choose brightly colored ear muffs to help other shooters spot you from a distance, enhancing safety. Choose a color that produces extra advantages for your activities.