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View Full Version : Hearing protection for shooting .50's


Blaster
July 19, 2011, 20:00
As we all well know, hearing protection is a must when shooting almost any firearm - especially the .50BMG's. Anytime you imagine you are hearing some ringing in your ears at the end of your range session, that's usually a signal that you have just lost at least a bit of your hearing capability. For years I have been hearing ringing and crickets even in the dead of Winter which signals that I have experienced some serious hearing loss.
Even though I have experienced that loss of hearing ability, I still wear double hearing protection. I bought a pair of the custom molded epoxy/rubber ear inserts at a recent gun show (kinda expensive but they do work and they fit ME perfectly) and these are used in addition to the ProEars brand (electronic ear muffs). Even with those two sets of protection, I can still hear range orders being called/shouted.
What type hearing protection do you fellow .50BMG shooters currently wear?

Blaster
July 20, 2011, 11:17
Maybe I am the ONLY .50BMG shooter here who has great concern about hearing protection.
Oops, I kinda forget most of the other FALers actually have jobs and their time is rather limited for being on their computers. Sorry about expecting almost immediate responses or answering posts. Hell, I'm going back to bed.:sleep:

gates
July 20, 2011, 11:43
I wear plugs AND muffs when I shoot .50s - the concussion sets off car alarms:-)

Blaster
July 20, 2011, 11:50
hey gates, you "enjoying" those dust storms?:D

W.E.G.
July 20, 2011, 12:03
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/rifle%20pics/CETME/scream.jpg

Deltaten
July 20, 2011, 18:33
*IF* I ever fire one o'those beasties again, it will be with plugs, muffs AND a headcovering..mebbe a thick towel wrap.

Chatting with the spotter one fateful day and forgot to put my off-side muff down. Touched a round off and *POW*..ring...ring... four days of "ring". Now , with the tinitis, I don;t notice the 40% loss so much. THe macular degeneration keeps my mind off it tho !

Be careful out there, fellas!

jaykden
July 21, 2011, 16:36
i just use muffs. works fine for me. i DO have permanent hearing damage but more from my younger years of shooting handguns (revolvers seem to be the worst) with NO hearing protection. stupid, but i didn't know better or care back then.

i always use ear pro now when shooting and mostly always use eye pro too (don't take eye pro when camping)

i am going to be getting my .30 YHM suppressor in a coupla months so that will be excellent for non range use (camping, beach combing, ect)

anyway, guess i never felt the need for double hearing pro when shooting the .50, as always, ymmv...

Blaster
July 21, 2011, 16:59
Originally posted by jaykden
i just use muffs. works fine for me. i DO have permanent hearing damage but more from my younger years of shooting

anyway, guess i never felt the need for double hearing pro when shooting the .50, as always, ymmv...

I guess my using two sets of ear protectors is kinda "over-kill" but it really blocks out the majority of the sharp crack sound of the .50 for this old fart (ME).
I remember while stationed up in Fairbanks back in 1957 (Ladd AFB at that time), we had to qualify and while marching to the range, a SP2 (I believe equivalent to a buck Sgt back then) was carrying an M2 Carbine with a full banana clip with one in the chamber. He had been on a big bender the night before and loaded but didn't lock that carbine and then inadvertently pulled the trigger and about half of the clip was shot almost straight up. A lot of scrambling by the squad and luckily no one was hit and no one was expecting that so our ears did ring for quite a while.:eek:

GIshooter
July 22, 2011, 10:49
Used the foam ear plugs with issued Peltors over that. Then I got fitted for a couple pairs of custom silicon ear plugs thru the audiometry clinic on base. Still use the Peltors over that. I always double up when shooting the big stuff. If you think shooting 50BMG is loud try being anywhere close to a 106 recoiless rifle!

L Haney
July 22, 2011, 11:19
If you have a brake on the muzzle, I would strongly suggest plugs and muffs. Doesn't hurt to leave your mouth open during the shot anyways, helps to equalize the pressure across the eardrum. Well, as long as you ain't snufflin' and sneezin'. Loudest thing I was around were some early testing of the MLRS system. Had to have helmets with sound deadening foam liners with built in muffs, plugs under that. You could feel your lungs moving in your chest. My hearing still tests good every year, but I am religious about protecting it.

Blaster
July 22, 2011, 11:38
Muzzle brake =

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/bobjan/Muzzlebrake-1.jpg

EBRfan
July 22, 2011, 17:38
Foam plugs under Pro Ears Gold electronic muffs.

jbrooks
July 28, 2011, 21:58
Originally posted by Blaster
Muzzle brake =

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v310/bobjan/Muzzlebrake-1.jpg
Sweeet Jeeezuz!..... And they're just kinda standin' around...?

JWB

one hand clapping
July 30, 2011, 11:31
Whad ya say???----
I use foam plugs with -30db cans
oh , and I must say my 300 win mag with a 3/4 " x 24 " HB is almost as loud with no brake.

The brake on my 50 is loud but the recoil is balanced out by it . I love the sensation when it goes bang

sportsnut
August 04, 2011, 14:46
I've only shot my 22" Serbu 10 rds so far but all I used were foam plugs. Next session I will for sure double up. That biotch is loud !

yarro
August 09, 2011, 23:53
Plugs and muffs work for me unless I am not far enough back or too far out to the side when I am supervising someone else shooting my 50. The damn muzzle break really puts the sound out to the sides.

-yarro

Blaster
August 10, 2011, 08:40
Originally posted by yarro
The damn muzzle break really puts the sound out to the sides.

-yarro

If you don't mind sharing, which .50 do you have?

FaNaticAL!
September 01, 2011, 13:25
I once sent my friend downrange with a radio to set up water jugs for me to shoot at. He called from the butts and confirmed all was good to go. I was prone at 600 yards, acknowledged his call, and proceeded to send a round down range from my Barrett M82A1. Normally, with its shark brake, the concussion will sometimes knock me a little silly...but this time was an experience like none other...I thought I had met God but indeed I just forgot to put my earmuffs on after talking on the radio....
FaNaticAL!

Blaster
September 01, 2011, 19:03
Was your buddy still down in the butts safely below where the round would pass overhead? If so, what was HIS reaction to that round's sound??

FaNaticAL!
September 01, 2011, 21:57
Oh, he was fine...he had his hearing protection on! Rounds passing the butts into the berm are still loud...but lack the mind numbing concussion!!!

gates
September 02, 2011, 00:00
yeah - I have an 82a1 as well as a semi home made Maddi G - the Maddi is easier on the shooter - in both concussion and hearing - to bad Rob went up the river before he could do what Bowers did and produce a semi. Stupid hurts - and as much as I liked the man personally...

shlomo
September 04, 2011, 07:34
Originally posted by jbrooks

Sweeet Jeeezuz!..... And they're just kinda standin' around...?

JWB

Yeah, but the goggles were DOWN before the round went off.

Eric Bryant
September 04, 2011, 14:03
When shooting braked rifles or big handguns, I like wearing earplugs under electronic hearing muffs. This provides plenty of hearing protection, and the volume on the muffs can be increased to partially overcome the plugs when you're attempting to converse.

jaykden
September 08, 2011, 14:36
Originally posted by FaNaticAL!
I once sent my friend downrange with a radio to set up water jugs for me to shoot at. He called from the butts and confirmed all was good to go. I was prone at 600 yards, acknowledged his call, and proceeded to send a round down range from my Barrett M82A1. Normally, with its shark brake, the concussion will sometimes knock me a little silly...but this time was an experience like none other...I thought I had met God but indeed I just forgot to put my earmuffs on after talking on the radio....
FaNaticAL!
wait!!! are you saying you had NO hearing protection in when you shot the .50???

i've always wondered if the shooters eardrums would rupture when shooting a 50 with no ear-pro...


btw, i've noticed that the concussion is way worse when shooting under a covered area. the first time i shot my 50 in the open, i got no (or very little) concussion.

JohnnyReb
September 09, 2011, 22:04
You guys think shooting is bad for your ears, try flying around in small piston planes for 30 years. What ? Huh?

Outlaw Patriot
September 14, 2011, 09:02
Originally posted by jaykden

wait!!! are you saying you had NO hearing protection in when you shot the .50???

i've always wondered if the shooters eardrums would rupture when shooting a 50 with no ear-pro...


btw, i've noticed that the concussion is way worse when shooting under a covered area. the first time i shot my 50 in the open, i got no (or very little) concussion.

I have noticed that even shooting a .22lr handgun while sitting on the tailgait of my open subaru outback produces a noticeably unpleasant cuncussion compared to shooting in the open, even with muffs on.

I have also noticed that when I have shot in very cold weather and worn a thick down jacket with a a large thick hood which fit over my muffs, that it significantly reduced the concussion and sound that I felt when shooting any caliber, especially rifles. I think you pretty much have to resort to something like that because plugs/muffs only cover your ears, you are still getting a large amount of concussion transmitted to your ear drums through your skull, covering your head in something is going to be the only way to reduce that short of a suppressor.

Really too bad suppressors are so hard to get.

FaNaticAL!
September 14, 2011, 14:08
Originally posted by jaykden

wait!!! are you saying you had NO hearing protection in when you shot the .50???

i've always wondered if the shooters eardrums would rupture when shooting a 50 with no ear-pro...


btw, i've noticed that the concussion is way worse when shooting under a covered area. the first time i shot my 50 in the open, i got no (or very little) concussion.

WHAT???

Yeah...I completely forgot to put my hearing protection back on. Eardrums didn't rupture though:eek:

lew
September 20, 2011, 07:29
Originally posted by Blaster
was carrying an M2 Carbine with a full banana clip with one in the chamber.

Ban him now!

:D :p

I have really sensitive hearing (surprising, considering that I listen to really loud music), so I usually double up even with your garden variety firearms. .50's or MG's are a must-double-up for me.

J308
October 03, 2011, 10:25
"Yeah...I completely forgot to put my hearing protection back on. Eardrums didn't rupture though"

"btw, i've noticed that the concussion is way worse when shooting under a covered area. the first time i shot my 50 in the open, i got no (or very little) concussion"

Having sent a couple downrange from my neighbor's AR50, did you guys laugh as hard as I did when that parking garage scene in "Red" came up? Ya know, where Helen Mirren is rockin full auto with Ma Duece? In a PARKING GARAGE? I simply cannot imagine what the noise would be like. Ear protection or not, I think you'd seriously be risking internal organ damage...

jaykden
October 04, 2011, 15:38
yeah, it would be rediculous all right, but a ma duece does not have a muzzle break on the end either.


those breaks really put on the hurtin' with no ear pro... any rifle, not just . 50's

i have an 11.5" 5.56 barrel on an upper i run on the M-16, it has a PWS break that i can screw my YHM phantom on to. the shorty barrels need a break to protect the first baffle in a suppressor.

anyway, i was shooting it with the suppressor at the range one day last month, i happened to remove the can and the fired again, forgetting to put my muffs on.

WOW!!!!! felt like i got hit by a hammer upside the head! one shot, was all it took.