What? Huh? In the ear...
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:56 AM   #1
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Default What? Huh? In the ear...

The other day, for my last shot at an outdoor range I took off my ear protection and fired from my 9mm. My ears didn't ring or anything but the loudness was pretty strong...an understatement.

It made me really wonder what effect the extreme sound of a discharged firearm (especially many times, especially indoors) would have on me if I was ever in a critical self-defense situation.

If I was in my hall firing on an intruder coming toward me, or in an enclosed parking garage firing back after being shot in the arm during a bungled mugging attempt, what sort of physical response would I encounter concerning the sounds involved?

How do our marines or army in combat handle such extreme sounds in battle?

I just cannot imagine the extreme sounds involved in a gun battle, even of only a few rounds fired, especially since a .45acp 1911 is next to my bed.

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Old 09-13-2010, 04:04 AM   #2
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Can't comment on the battlefield sounds but I am familiar with the notion of the "fog of war" and the disorientation that takes place.

Regarding the physical effects of having to fire in self defense in a confined space, depending on the number of rounds temporary to permanent ear damage, ringing in the ears and possible loss of hearing.

A typical gun shot is between 140 and 165db, hearing damage can begin at 85db or so.

BTW...don't make a habit of unprotected shooting...even without the noise the overpressure wave from the muzzle can damage your inner ear.

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Old 09-13-2010, 10:54 AM   #3
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How do soldiers handle the noise in a combat firefight? Most of us go deaf. Note that there is no smiley face attached. The veterans administration handles a lot of hearing aid requests.

An M16 is bad enough. now try 25 of them. add in a few belt fed firearms. toss in the recoiless weapons, such as the M72 LAW, an AT4. Season with the occasional claymore mine, detonating artillery or mortar shell, garnish with air support.

How will it affect you in a self defense situation? Everyone is different- but most folks say they never heard the gun.

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Old 09-13-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
How do our marines or army in combat handle such extreme sounds in battle?
You don't worry about it. You are more worried about getting your ass or your buddies ass killed that you don't think about the noise.

Coming from a guy with 30%+ hearing loss STOP SHOOTING WITH OUT hearing protection.

You get only one set of ears. TO give them up in defense of your and your family's life is ok but don't give them up just "TO SEE HOW IT IS" is dumb bordering on stupid. if you can't hear as well as the bad guy trying to kill you he has a tactical advantage.

1 just 1 shot from a pistol or rifle will damage your hearing permanently.
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Old 09-13-2010, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHLChris View Post
It made me really wonder what effect the extreme sound of a discharged firearm (especially many times, especially indoors) would have on me if I was ever in a critical self-defense situation.
The closest I have come to "battlefield" conditions was shooting in a local Garand match hosting 40 shooters in 2 relays. For whatever reason I was running behind getting to the firing line for a rapid fire sitting stage. In my haste I had forgotten my "ears" which were sitting back at the ready line.

I was pretty close to the center of the line (#8 or 9 IIRC) so I had 19 other .30-06 semi-auto's on either side of me, putting rounds downrange very quickly. The first shot fired on the line sparked that OH SH$T reaction in my head when I realized what I had (not) done.

The strange thing is - my ears never did ring afterward. Yet one shot with an air rifle in my basement (it dieseled - long story...) had my ears ringing for a couple of hours after that one. So I suppose the pressure wave being contained indoors does tilt the scales a bit vs. shooting outdoors.

In a relaxed environment like that (friendly competition) it will definitely throw off your concentration. (Yes, my score sucked for that string....)
In a life or death situation I doubt it would even register due to the adrenaline pumping though your system. But that's just a guess on my part. Being alive and deaf still beats the alternative though IMO.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:22 PM   #6
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In combat they ring some, but you really dont pay attention to it. I only concentrated on putting rounds down range. But, during our firefight I had a 50 cal in a humvee firing from about 10 feet behind me, loud, but such a soothing sound. It is very reassuring hear the big 50 covering you. I wasnt in the heavy stuff so I cant speak for what is like for the grunts, multiple firefights a day and mortars and artillery going off around them. Plus I was in the open areas, not the enclosed buildings of the big cities. All I know is they are hard of hearing, so am I but not that bad.

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Old 09-13-2010, 03:32 PM   #7
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A heck of a lot of vets and long time shooters have trouble hearing certain frequencies. The upper ranges usually goes first. Unfortunately a lot of human speech is in the upper range. This causes higher volume settings on the television and lot of people saying, what? Can you say that again?

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Old 09-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #8
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I have to second tango on this one.

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Old 09-13-2010, 04:48 PM   #9
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It gets super loud where I work 120db or higher. A gunshot from a 9mm is roughly 140db. I always use hearing protection. Alot of times I wear earplugs under my earmufflers.

I was in field artillery for 9yrs. The 155mm 's were loud as heck!!! Repeated night fires for several days were not uncommon. Lots of the older guys couldn't hear for crap! I always wore ear protection.

I think in a gunfight there would be so much adrenaline and tunnel vision you wouldn't realize the loud bangs because you would be too focused on what's going on. That doesn't mean it won't hurt your hearing though.

Just my own speculation as I was never in battle.

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Old 09-13-2010, 07:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
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A heck of a lot of vets and long time shooters have trouble hearing certain frequencies. The upper ranges usually goes first. Unfortunately a lot of human speech is in the upper range. This causes higher volume settings on the television and lot of people saying, what? Can you say that again?
Thats me to a T.
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