Take ear protection seriously when shooting. Once you damage your hearing, there’s no fixing it. You can’t get it back but you can start using a hearing aide.
If you are going to use some type of insertable ear protection, be very choosey. Some work well while others do not. Some of the foam type ear plugs seal rather well but some do not. I had a pair that did not and my ears rang and hurt while shooting. I got serious real quick!
These foam type ear plugs did not seal properly. I rolled them just like the instructions stated and inserted them into the ear canal and held them until they expanded. After my first shot at the indoor range, I knew I was in trouble.
These are the Peltor Combat dual ear plugs. I did not have a good experience with them either. They just don’t fit well in my ear canal thus providing little protection. I tossed them in the trash.
I just got these in the mail yesterday…from Howard Leight. I bought them because they were given a thumbs up on a Youtube video. I tried them on and could not get a decent fit. I kept looking at the instructions, which are lousy, and trying again and again. They just do not seal off my ear canal. I could easily hear my TV with these on. There’s no way I’m shooting with these on. Into the trash they go. I’m glad they were only $7.
Ok…believe it or not, these cheap foam type ear plugs do work well. They do seal your ear canal pretty good. I do use these when I go trap shooting with my 12 gauge shotgun. I would also use them at an outdoor range with a handgun.
Hearos Ear Plugs NRR 33
These are the gems I just got yesterday too….Surefire EP4 Sonic Defenders (NRR 24). I really like these. They are small, lightweight and really seal your ear canals…and easy to insert. No more rolling and inserting and holding like foam plugs. These you just insert and shoot. You can tell instantly if ear protection is working by what you hear while wearing them. These babies block everything with the filter caps in. You can leave the filter caps off and let the special noise filter allow normal sound in while blocking sounds about 85db. I will be taking these to the indoor range shortly.
In my experience you can never go wrong with a good pair of earmuffs. Typically they cover/seal your ears off from loud noise…as long as they cover your ears entirely. When shooting a rifle, be careful the butt stock does not push the ear muff off or break the seal. I’ve done this before.
I use these Howard Leight Earmuffs occasionally. They are lightweight and comfortable. The NRR is 23. I got these because they fold up and take up very little space in my shooting bag. I use these for shotgun and handgun shooting. If I shoot a rifle or if the shooter next to me is shooting a rifle, I use these over top of my ear plugs. I like to hear as little as possible when I’m shooting.