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  #1  
Old 01-01-2011, 11:24 AM
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Default Ear damage from shooting indoor without ear protection.

Has anyone shot an handgun in a confined room, without ear protection?
I find it hard to believe that you could ever recover from the damage to the ear drums.
I reckon that having to fire your gun in a emergency situation, in a confined space like a bedroom at home (and in the dark) would be an atrocious physical shock from the muzzle blast and noise, for anybody in the room. Especially a magnum or something in a big caliber.

Last edited by flatovercrest; 01-01-2011 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:27 AM
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This is one of the primary uses for suppressors. Our politicians watch too many movies.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:28 AM
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From what I've "eard," when you're involved in a SD shooting situation, the shooter often doesn't even hear the gunshots going off. So much adrenaline is flowing, the brain shuts out some details and heightens others (hence a common feeling of slo-mo). Yes, you will get hearing damage from shooting large calibers in small quarters w/o hearing protection, and yes, hearing damage is permanent. That said, if you're ever involved in a SD situation, your hearing is low on your list of priorities. Staying alive being #1, I would surmise.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:28 AM
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Adrenaline is an amazing drug/thing.

Outside of that, when I was a kid, somebody fired a rifle in an enclosed space. Even with my fingers in my ears, it rang for days.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:32 AM
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i have fired an ar-15, from inside a truck, while out in the middle of the desert. it was loud, ears rang for awhile. (coyote jumped up, and couldn't get out of my truck quick enough). inside a confined room, i don't know. there was a guy several months ago, who said he did a ND, inside his house, maybe search that thread, and find out how he faired.
Oh, and i don't wear "earings", so i doubt they would get damaged.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:35 AM
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Once your ears stop ringing, you've lost the ability to hear that exact tone(?) for ever.

Yes, I've been in enclose spaces with gunfire and no hearing protection and, YES, it sucks until you've lost enough of your hearing that you just can't hear it.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:40 AM
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It's not the ear drums that are the problem, it's the "harp" in the cochlea that suffers damage. High frequency hearing loss is the result.

Here's my latest hearing chart (and the test has an error, my right ear is 100% gone, but this test did not mask so I could hear and respond from my left ear).

The right ear hearing loss is from sudden deafness syndrome. Happened when I was 11 or 12. The high frequency loss in the left ear is from years of gunfire, motorcycle riding, and loud music.

I pass these cars with huge stereo systems that are vibrating MY truck and think to myself "They're going to be completely deaf by the time they're 30".
Other than concerts, I've never been exposed to more than 100 watts.

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
Once your ears stop ringing, you've lost the ability to hear that exact tone(?) for ever.
If they stop.

Mine both constantly ring. Some days are worse than others, but it's always there.
Even though I'm completely deaf in my right ear, it still rings.
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A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:44 AM
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ND in my case, as a teen. Ears rang for an hour then I was fine. Enclosed space, .38+P. So less noise than some rounds, more than .22. Hearing damage? I think the only thing it did was reduce it some.. minor.. small.. tiny ammount. It did not save me from suffering with being able to hear TVs Tubes Ringing from 80ft away through walls and closed doors, nor from hearing wires buzz in the wall at 60Hz. Nor from that aggrivating whine soo many cheap chinese transformers make. However, age seems to be blunting that somewhat..
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyromensch View Post
i have fired an ar-15, from inside a truck, while out in the middle of the desert. it was loud, ears rang for awhile. (coyote jumped up, and couldn't get out of my truck quick enough). inside a confined room, i don't know. there was a guy several months ago, who said he did a ND, inside his house, maybe search that thread, and find out how he faired.
Oh, and i don't wear "earings", so i doubt they would get damaged.
Not quite as funny after the OP edit.

To add, I talked to a gun shop owner who had to use a shorty AR-15 to defend his shop and employees from four armed robbers. He fired five shots inside the store, killing one of the robbers while the other three fled. The concussion from the shots was so severe the fluorescent ceiling lights went out.

He said as soon as he sprung into action, all he heard was a whining noise. No gunshots, no voices, no nothing. And shorty AR's are freakin' thunderously LOUD.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBam-31 View Post
Not quite as funny after the OP edit.

To add, I talked to a gun shop owner who had to use a shorty AR-15 to defend his shop and employees from four armed robbers. He fired five shots inside the store, killing one of the robbers while the other three fled. The concussion from the shots was so severe the fluorescent ceiling lights went out.

He said as soon as he sprung into action, all he heard was a whining noise. No gunshots, no voices, no nothing. And shorty AR's are freakin' thunderously LOUD.
I've seen the same thing happen at the indoor range I worked at. But, I've fired my 50BMGs in the range and not broken lights too. I really can't tell you why his lights broke but, I doubt it would happen every time.
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  #12  
Old 01-01-2011, 12:32 PM
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Lights Broke: Flaw in Tube Glass or The Shockwave was the precise frequency needed to shatter it. I would vote flaw, the chances of the other happening and not repeating are too long.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamBam-31
if you're ever involved in a SD situation, your hearing is low on your list of priorities. Staying alive being #1
This is the case right here. I'm just glad I've never been in that situation.

I've been around a few ... "overly excited" shooters that couldn't wait for others to get their ears on. Thanks to them my own .30-06 has left me with a very very tiny bit of tinnitus. I'm just glad I wasn't at an indoor range and I was as far away as I was.

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Originally Posted by CSACANNONEER View Post
I've seen the same thing happen at the indoor range I worked at. But, I've fired my 50BMGs in the range and not broken lights too. I really can't tell you why his lights broke but, I doubt it would happen every time.
I'm wondering if his brake is what did it. Send some gas straight up perhaps? Or knocked something into it. Those things breathe fire when they've got short barrels. It's cool at night.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:45 PM
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I walked into an indoor shooting range without any ear protection once, hadn't seen the lone guy off to the side. He fired a shot right as I walked it, it wasn't a big caliber or anything but it made my ears physically hurt more than it made them ring. It felt like I went in too far with a q-tip
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:51 PM
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I have a friend that is deaf from shooting a wheel mounted shotgun used to knock the slag off the inside of a rotary kiln. In the more "manly" days they didn't wear ear plugs. Now when someone talks to him, he just smiles and nods. Not a vision of myself I want to see in the future. Ear loss can happen quickly or over time. The thing is to protect your hearing the best you can in normal situations. Don't take chances with your hearing.
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Old 01-01-2011, 1:01 PM
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WHAT!?!?!?!? I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!

As bambam said, there are priorities and hearing damaeg is not as important as getting out of the situation alive.

I've had several cases where guns went off and I did not have hearing protection. Last one I had was a .45 going off in indoors. Not pleasant. My ears rang for a day at least.
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Old 01-01-2011, 2:15 PM
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I've fired 9mm and .45 w/o ears on indoors, average residential sized room.

It was a good experiment, and other than momentary ringing, it was no problem.

I've had worsr from loud live music and jet engines.
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Old 01-01-2011, 3:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flatovercrest View Post
Has anyone shot an handgun in a confined room, without ear protection?
I find it hard to believe that you could ever recover from the damage to the ear drums.
I reckon that having to fire your gun in a emergency situation, in a confined space like a bedroom at home (and in the dark) would be an atrocious physical shock from the muzzle blast and noise, for anybody in the room. Especially a magnum or something in a big caliber.
Typically, after exposure to very loud noise there is a temporary hearing loss that causes ringing and a sense of fullness in the ear. Once the hearing goes back to normal the ringing goes away. The hearing for that frequency is not lost forever after the single exposure. Mulitple exposures add up and cause permanent hearing loss. That said, there are very intense noises that can, in a single exposure, cause permanent damage. Whatever the case, that permanent hearing loss is usually accompanied by ringing in the ears, which is called tinnitus.

The damage is done to the cochlea, which is a tiny snail-shaped organ in the inner ear that picks up sound and sends it to the brain. Very loud blasts or one with high percussion can rupture the ear drum itself.

I'm the director of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center (San Bernardino's county hospital), so you have it from the horse's mouth, as they say.
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Old 01-01-2011, 3:16 PM
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luckily, after an hour of ringing, i recovered my hearing (not a textbook description).
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Old 01-01-2011, 3:18 PM
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Great explanation from Docflash, it describes my experiences from working near loud machinery.. multiple exposures, with it taking longer and longer to recover after each exposure up to the event that final left me with Tinnitus in my right ear. No "must wear ear protection" mandates in those days and most of us were ignorantly bliss about the long term effect.

I eventually adjusted to the ringing being my constant companion, and it had remained at the same level for decades until recently after I was put on a prescription medication with ringing ears listed as a side effect. It's taken my tinnitus up a level where it's now louder and even more annoying than before. I now put my earplugs on while in the parking lots before I even go into a range.
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Old 01-01-2011, 3:19 PM
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gunshots inside are loud- louder than you might think....

your ears "may" recover- but the combination of adrenaline and the discharge are pretty overwhelming to the senses.... especially if you are unprepared for it.
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Old 01-01-2011, 3:29 PM
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I was at an indoor range when I was a kid. We had our ears off for some reason & didn't notice the only other guy in the place. That was the day I learned what a .44 Magnum was.

Today I wear plugs AND muffs.
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Old 01-01-2011, 3:54 PM
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Hearing loss is cumulitive, it slowly degrades over time. The more loud sounds you expose yourself to, the faster it degrades. Think of it like a glass of water, its full to the top when your born. Everyday of your life, a little tiny bit evaporates. Every month of your life, your hearing is worse then it was the previous month by a tiny fraction. If you expose youself to loud noises such as music, wind, motorcycles, guns, chainsaws, pile drives, industrial machines, motors, etc. think of that as taking an eye dropper to your glass of water and sucking some out. Its going to get empty alot faster. They key is to reduce the amount of sound that hits your ears, both in volume and time. Hours a year of running your lawnmower is damaging your hearing. It may not be at a level that hurts your ears, but the long term effects of long term exposure add up. So the point, is the more hearing protection you wear, shooting or anything else, will slow down your hearing degradation. Wearing just enough protection to keep it from hurting is still doing damage. A 160 db .223 with a brake goind off next to you may be tolerable with just earplugs, but its still at a harmfull level unless you "double up" and wear muffs as well.
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Old 01-01-2011, 4:07 PM
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Because a lot of household activity can damage hearing, I often wear plugs / muffs when vacuuming, drilling, power sawing, filling up the tires with air, etc. Just makes sense to protect yourself while you can.

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Old 01-01-2011, 4:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbinator View Post
Because a lot of household activity can damage hearing, I often wear plugs / muffs when vacuuming, drilling, power sawing, filling up the tires with air, listening to the wife, etc. Just makes sense to protect yourself while you can.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dantodd View Post
A just gov't will not be overthrown by force or violence because the people have no incentive to overthrow a just gov't. If a minority of people attempt such an insurrection to grab power and enslave the people, the RKBA is our insurance against their success.
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Old 01-01-2011, 4:56 PM
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Default Richard The Iceman Kuklinski Confessions Of A Mafia Hitman

Imagine blasting off a pistol inside of car. Thats more of an enclosed space than a bedroom.

Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski a real deal mafia hitman confesses on how he shot a man inside of a car. He said his ears rang for a long time. Scroll to time slot 3:58

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Old 01-01-2011, 5:10 PM
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When I first started in the Army no hearing protection so I thought why I would bother when I was a civilian. So I started shooting at indoor and outdoor ranges, my ears have been ringing for 25 years. Now I double up with protection.
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Old 01-01-2011, 5:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cokebottle View Post
It's not the ear drums that are the problem, it's the "harp" in the cochlea that suffers damage. High frequency hearing loss is the result.

Here's my latest hearing chart (and the test has an error, my right ear is 100% gone, but this test did not mask so I could hear and respond from my left ear).

The right ear hearing loss is from sudden deafness syndrome. Happened when I was 11 or 12. The high frequency loss in the left ear is from years of gunfire, motorcycle riding, and loud music.

I pass these cars with huge stereo systems that are vibrating MY truck and think to myself "They're going to be completely deaf by the time they're 30".
Other than concerts, I've never been exposed to more than 100 watts.

not to mention the children, in the car seats, (if they have them), in the back seat.
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Old 01-01-2011, 5:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyromensch
i have fired an ar-15, from inside a truck, while out in the middle of the desert. it was loud, ears rang for awhile. (coyote jumped up, and couldn't get out of my truck quick enough). inside a confined room, i don't know. there was a guy several months ago, who said he did a ND, inside his house, maybe search that thread, and find out how he faired.
Oh, and i don't wear "earings", so i doubt they would get damaged.

Not quite as funny after the OP edit.

not fair flatover...
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Old 01-01-2011, 5:59 PM
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not fair flatover...
Cut me some slack you and BamBam31..
My caffeine had not kicked in.

Thanks for some great replies everyone.
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Old 01-01-2011, 6:09 PM
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WHAT
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Old 01-02-2011, 3:06 AM
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I've been in a room with a discharge, to be honest, I didn't really hear the gunshot. I haven't noticed any hearing loss since then... I think my wife sleeping with the fan on in the room every night is worse than being in that room with the discharge.
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Old 01-02-2011, 5:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-forceJunkie View Post
Hearing loss is cumulitive, it slowly degrades over time. The more loud sounds you expose yourself to, the faster it degrades. Think of it like a glass of water, its full to the top when your born. Everyday of your life, a little tiny bit evaporates. Every month of your life, your hearing is worse then it was the previous month by a tiny fraction. If you expose youself to loud noises such as music, wind, motorcycles, guns, chainsaws, pile drives, industrial machines, motors, etc. think of that as taking an eye dropper to your glass of water and sucking some out. Its going to get empty alot faster. They key is to reduce the amount of sound that hits your ears, both in volume and time. Hours a year of running your lawnmower is damaging your hearing. It may not be at a level that hurts your ears, but the long term effects of long term exposure add up. So the point, is the more hearing protection you wear, shooting or anything else, will slow down your hearing degradation. Wearing just enough protection to keep it from hurting is still doing damage. A 160 db .223 with a brake goind off next to you may be tolerable with just earplugs, but its still at a harmfull level unless you "double up" and wear muffs as well.
Great summary of what noise does to the ear. I see people all the time with noise induced hearing loss. The big problem is that is destroys hearing in the 4000 Hz range. Those are high frequency sounds that help you tell one word from another. Noise spares more of the low frequency hearing, so you end up being able to hear, but you can't understand what people are saying.

Everyone should consider wearing soft plugs under muffs.

Jeff
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Old 01-02-2011, 7:22 AM
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Permanent hearing loss is very rare from one single exposure to excessive noise. Permanent hearing loss stems from repeated exposure over long term. Kids don't go deaf from tossing a few firecrackers on the 4th of July. Mechanics don't go deaf from an occasional backfiring car. They go deaf from hours of loud music and repeated use of impact guns and air ratchets.
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Old 01-02-2011, 7:41 AM
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I have been exposed to two discharges. One, Jpach thought it would be funny to take my 1911 and fire it before I had a chance to put plugs in. Thanks Joel. The second, I wanted to know what it would be like to fire my ar without plugs. Boom, then a loud ringing for a few minutes. Thanks myself.

Now I have tinitus, and have to pay attention to words more carefully, but I am sure thats more from high school dances and the few concerts I have been to. I am amazed that a public institution will allow damaging levels of noise. I really believe that our culture takes hearing for granted.

Now a days, I am very protective of my hearing. I even wear protection when vacuuming my car, or using a leaf blower. And I always double up protection when on the range. I would triple up, muffs, plugs, and can... but California has unfortunately dubbed that to be overkill. One more reason to leave.
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Old 01-02-2011, 8:18 AM
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I have discharged my Beretta 92 in the house (won't go into detail) and can say that when the adrenline is pumping, the only thing I heard was a pop. You keep moving to eliminate the threat. No perceved hearing loss or even a ring.
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Old 01-02-2011, 9:49 PM
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Because a lot of household activity can damage hearing, I often wear plugs / muffs when vacuuming, drilling, power sawing, filling up the tires with air, etc. Just makes sense to protect yourself while you can.

Turby
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Old 01-02-2011, 9:56 PM
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I shot outdoors one time for 7 hours straight(with 6 other people, side by side). My ears rang for 8 days afterward...I was pretty sure it was never going to go away, but it did.
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Old 01-02-2011, 9:59 PM
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There is no hearing protection in war.(for most)
-------------------------------------------------------
I like owning firearms that wont make me deaf in the event that I would have to fire them indoors or outdoors without ear protection.

My uncles .357 magnum is the loudest gun I've ever shot without ear protection. Shot the .44 magnum without ear protection aswell, same length as the .357 and the .357 was louder.

I would never carry a snub nose .357 revolver.

New Years Eve I shot without ear protection. Amazingly enough I didn't have any rings in my ears even minutes afterward, thought I would but I didn't.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:39 PM
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I had a gun go off by my ear outdoors though
My buddy thought it would be fun to wake me by shooting his rifle next to my tent. Problem was the rifle was a 30-06 and I was standing up( getting dressed) when he shot it so it literally went off about 3 feet from my head.( obviously away from the tent) To say i was pizzed would be a understatement. I took his gun and crammed it in the trailer hitch of my truck and gave it a good yank. i guess you can say that gun shot real well around corners when I got done with it. And he did not get to go hunting with me EVER AGAIN
My ears rang for days afterwards. I had slight hearing loss. I wear plugs now cause i am around a lot of noisy stuff at work. i do have some hearing loss now due to years of shooting guns, working around loud machinery etc
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