The safety regulations during shooting competitions are enforced by specifically responsible persons of the club under strict monitoring by the state authority. Most of these requirements focus mainly on gun handling because it can be very dangerous if someone fires astray ammo due to ignorance or carelessness, which can lead to fatal injuries or even death. This is why many clubs offer intensive training to participants including the supervisors ahead of the competitions to ensure that everybody understands the firearm safety rules properly. Since shooting competitions also involve youngsters, a careful supervision is mandatory.
Hearing Protection at Shooting Range
However, there is very little emphasis on hearing protection during a shooting competition. This leaves me thinking that hearing protection is a personal responsibility, and that is why this article provides ‘free’ information in order to let you know the dangers of exposing your ears to extremely loud noise Basically, it seems no one cares about your ears during a shooting competition! As much as you want to grab a prize at the end of the tournament, protecting your health should be the first priority before anything else.
I don’t need to explain in depth that firearms are loud because it is very obvious. But a few people may not know how that loud noise can affect their hearing ability. In reality, the sound is too loud enough to damage your hearing completely. Worst of all, there is no medical treatment for permanent hearing impairment. Therefore, having ear protection during a shooting range should be a must.
Shooting Earmuffs Requirement
The sound intensity is measured in decibels, which are expressed in a logarithm scale. This means a 10 decibels sound is 10 times louder than a near silence, but 20 decibels is 100 times louder than a near silence. So, this could mean for every 3 decibels as you go up, the sound intensity doubles the loud.
Even though not all firearms produce the same level of noise, a typical AR-15 rifle commonly used in shooting competitions can severely damage a person’s hearing ability. A .22 caliber rifle produces approximately 145 decibels level of noise while a .44 revolver produces about 170 decibels. Almost all other firearms’ noise levels fall somewhere between the range.
So, why is ear protection so important? Any noise level of 140 decibels or higher can cause ringing or pain in your ears. If the ears are exposed to the same noise severally, there are high chances of losing your hearing. According to medical experts, prolonged exposure to a noise level that is more than 85 decibels can cause hearing loss. Given that a firearm produces almost twice as this, showing up at a shooting range without hearing protection can potentially damage your hearing.
If you have been using a firearm for quite some time, hopefully, you understand the importance of protecting your ears. Many people who participate in shooting range competitions without ear protection have had ear ringing problems at least once. According to health experts, whenever you start hearing that ‘ringing’, you need to move away from the noisy place immediately because the hearing damage is already happening.
For shooting enthusiasts, you need to appreciate your ears by acquiring shooting earmuffs. These are specialized ear protection devices for shooters, designed to reduce noise by about 32 decibels. Although they are a bit bulky, they offer maximum hearing protection compared to other devices such as earplugs. Note that, the key concern is to protect your ears fully rather than how your outfit appears after wearing the earmuffs!
It is very important to understand that earplugs are mainly fit for hunters. This is because hunters do not shoot constantly as it happened during the shooting range competitions. Actually, there is a lot of noise in these competitions and no one should expose his or her ears to such loud noise. As I mentioned earlier, firearms produce extremely high noise that is capable of destroying your hearing permanently.
In conclusion, wearing shooting earmuffs is stress-free because their work is to filter only the loud noise. They block any noise that is beyond a certain level – a level that can have a negative impact on your ears. You can just hear normal sounds, which means you can communicate with the person next to you comfortably.