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  1. #1
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    Hearing protection

    Not to start this off on a downer, but I find myself needing to boost my hearing protection by a significant degree. In the coming weeks I start chemo, not something Iím looking forward to but it beats the alternative. So Iíve been looking at hearing protection and what I could do to boost that NRR (noise reduction rating) designation. You might think at an ambient level of 100db, hearing protection with an NRR of 33 would lower the effective exposure to 67db. Nope. It turns out that the NRR number is only the first digit of the equation. Take that 33, subtract 7, and divide that by 2. (33-7)/2=13 that NRR of 33 is only dropping the noise level from 100db to 87db. OSHA has acceptable exposure limits for long and short term, but damage can occur at as low a level as 85db. A subway train from 200í away measures in the neighborhood of 95db, a jet landing or taking off ranges between 120 and 140db +\-. In more of a shooting sports perspective; a .22lr- 134db, .223- 155db, .45- 157db, 9mm- 160db, .357 magnum- 167db.

    Donít neglect your ears, you only get the one pair.

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    I recommend expanding foam ear plugs, the kind you roll into a tighter-than-normal size and insert into the ear canal. Then wear quality ear muffs over that. I don't know the total reduction in db lever, but it significantly less then either by themselves.

    Sorry to hear you have to undergo chemo. My infusions 5 years ago were with Keytruda, which triggers your immune system to attack the cancer. Hang in there, and if you need support or have to rant, we're here for you.
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    Good luck. Cancer sux. Been having my problems with a form of it, myself.

    I was looking at the latest ad for an electronic ear bud the other day. They're rechargeable. They sound like the bees knees. Of course, I do have muffs AND those foam ear plugs, The electronic ones have blue tooth, can listen to my phone through 'em. How cool....
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    They haven't finalized what nastiness they’re going to use yet, but my oncologist seems real fond of cisplatin. I have four months of this in my immediate future and then surgery.

    as for doubling up on the hearing protection, the best I’ll get to do is add 5 point to the higher of the two ratings. It was disappointing to learn doubling the protection doesn’t double the NRR. What a gyp.

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    Taurus M85UL Rossi Sportsman .22
    Taurus M66 3" blue Rossi 3"M68
    Taurus M66 4" Nickel Rossi Carbine in .357 Mag
    Taurus 605 Poly Protector
    Taurus PT 145
    Taurus TH9c

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    Hearing protection. Well... I'm pretty much deaf. Really. I've worn hearing aids since I was 8 and I'm 60 now. Even with the most powerful devices available, I get about 70%, tops. At the range, all I have to do is turn 'em off and all I hear, even from a .357, is a muted pop.


    My prayers are with y'all battling the C. Stay strong, stay focused, beat it like a rented mule.
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony View Post
    They haven't finalized what nastiness they’re going to use yet, but my oncologist seems real fond of cisplatin. I have four months of this in my immediate future and then surgery.

    as for doubling up on the hearing protection, the best I’ll get to do is add 5 point to the higher of the two ratings. It was disappointing to learn doubling the protection doesn’t double the NRR. What a gyp.
    I have mylofibrosis and take a type of chemo that won't cure it, but keeps it under control. The stuff is unbelievably expensive. It's called Jakafi. I'm getting it with a grant, could never afford it otherwise. It's $13,600 a MONTH. I'm quite anemic and have low leukocyte count as a side effect. So, I get winded real quick if I try to do much.
    Taurus M85UL Rossi Sportsman .22
    Taurus M66 3" blue Rossi 3"M68
    Taurus M66 4" Nickel Rossi Carbine in .357 Mag
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    Taurus TH9c

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pony View Post

    as for doubling up on the hearing protection, the best I’ll get to do is add 5 point to the higher of the two ratings. It was disappointing to learn doubling the protection doesn’t double the NRR. What a gyp.
    Don't scoff at the difference 5dB can make. Keep in mind that every 3 dB represents a DOUBLING of physical power. So the 5dB represented by the 5 points of the rating is over 3 times the force. The difference between a typical 9mm and a .357 Magnum is around 5 dB. Shoot one of each without hearing protection and tell me if it's about the same. (Just kidding--DON'T.)

    Oops--I see now I didn't really understand your explanation of the rating system in the OP. So--5 difference in the rating isn't 5dB. Still, every little bit helps.
    Last edited by shakyshoot; 01-23-2020 at 06:55 PM.

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    Having lost my mother and my wife to cancer, I know that battle all too well and wish you all the best.

    Hearing protection wise, if you are shooting at an indoor range, you might want to switch to an outdoor range where the sound levels are knocked down much more by nature. If that is not an option, you might want to see if you could take some curtains or beach towels with you and tape/clip them up on either side of your shooting station preferably not flat. If you have ever been inside an empty house or apartment and talked, then gone into one with curtains, rugs, furniture, etc. inside, you will have noticed how much those items knock down the sound. Most indoor ranges have smooth concrete slab floors and smooth walls. They do not have sound absorbing materials where the people shoot from or stand.
    You might want to look into custom molded silicone hearing protection. Make sure whoever is making the molds of your ears inserts a "dam" into the ear before squirting in the silicone!! If they do not insert one, the silicone can stick to your ear drum and when they go to remove the silicone, you will not need hearing protection anymore. But the hearing protection plugs they can make do a very good job of knocking down the sound...possibly too well. I have a pair that I got through the VA that I cannot use for competition shooting because I cannot hear the start signal from the timer units. I must have someone tap me to signal the start.

  11. #10
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    Here's a story that will bring home the importance of good ear-pro. My brother had hardly shot a gun as an adult, even though we both started shooting about age 5 or 6. He recently decided to buy a 9mm pistol. He did the right thing by taking a beginners pistol class, but the instruction was not so good. They handed out foam plugs, but gave no instruction on their use. So my brother just pushed them in rather than rolling them up. And he couldn't hear the instructor on the range, so he spent about half of the live fire session with the plugs out. He shot 50 rd of .22, but the guy next to him was shooting a .45. Next day he was near deaf, and weeks later much of his hearing hasn't returned. So now he's got 2 hearing aids for $3,000. This is from a half hour at an outdoor range. Me, I always wear double protection, foam plugs and muffs. I went without the plugs ONCE at my .22 league, and I could definitely tell the difference.


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