A shooting range can be one of the most fun outdoor activities if done in the right manner. Shooting enthusiasts enjoy field target rifle shooting where metal targets are placed along the range. The target falls when a bullet knocks the kill-zone. The target can be reset by hitting a disc attached to it, ensuring constant and safe shooting because no one is supposed to walk down the range to rearrange the targets.
As much as air rifle shooting is so entertaining, having safety precaution gear is very crucial while at the gun range. According to studies, a typical gun rifle will produce a blow up almost equal to 150dB or higher. The sound level of about 140dB is enough to cause hearing loss. However, other studies show that constant exposure to any sound over 100dB can cause hearing loss. That is why we always recommend the use of ear protection gear before shooting.
Why Ear Protection Gear is Essential for Gun Shooting
Ears are not like other body organs because their tissues are different and cannot withstand excessive noise. If you have been participating in shooting range and you don’t use hearing protection, you are likely to experience hearing problems. The ears can develop a permanent damage when exposed to loud sounds such as the rifle blast. A small gun such as 22 caliber rifle produces about 140dB, while more powerful rifles can emit over 175dB. Some guns with muzzle brakes and those that produce reverberations and echoes magnify the blast increasing the chances of causing severe hearing loss.
The hearing loss occurs gradually and mostly painless. You may not notice the damage until you lose the hearing ability. Apart from hearing loss, tinnitus is another hearing problem that most shooters experience just after a shooting activity. It is a constant ringing sound you hear in the ears, although it may fade away after a while. Even though this can go away, it does not mean you are on the safe side. Actually, it implies your ears are already in danger and therefore you need hearing protection.
How to Protect Your Ears
The best way to protect your ears is through the use of hearing protection gear such as earmuffs. These devices come with a sound reduction label on the package, usually indicated in terms of decibels. The higher the rating, the more they will block noise from entering your ears. However, earmuffs do not block sound totally. They reduce the impact of the loud sound by minimizing the level of sound entering your ears. Remember, rifle blast tends to move forward in the direction of the muzzle. This means the shooter’s ears are not directly impacted by the high noise produced by the gun.
An ideal shooting range usually has ear protection gears for its customers. If you find that the hearing protection is not perfect for you, there are varieties to choose from in the gun stores and hardware stores. If you want the best reliable hearing protection devices, the earmuffs can be your ultimate choice. Although they are more expensive compared to other hearing protection devices, in the real sense you get what you pay for.
Why Use Earmuffs for Hearing Protection
Earmuffs are normally connected with a flexible band that runs over the head and covers the ears. Some models are cushioned to offer comfort as they rest over the ears, while others are not cushioned. Many shooters familiar with hearing protection devices recommend the use of earmuffs in particular. The electronic and passive earmuffs are the main types available in shooting ranges, but they have different features when it comes to hearing protection.
The electronic earmuffs are more improved than the passive models. They allow the shooter to hear other normal sounds such as when people are talking or any other sound from a different source. Whenever a dangerous sound is detected, the speakers are deactivated until the abnormal sound reaches a safe level. These earmuffs come in different versions. There are with internal speakers and external microphones, while others have earplug combinations.
Ear protection is quite essential for any shooter out there. It is easier to prevent hearing loss than trying to treat it. Once your ears are damaged, there is a possibility you will not get reliable medical treatment. Therefore, ensure you use earmuffs for maximum hearing protection while in the shooting range.