We talk a lot about which firearms are appropriate for home defense and what calibers might be best and which ones simply don’t fit the bill. One thing we haven’t talked much about is the effect on your ears from firing a weapon without ear protection.
Several years ago I was out pheasant hunting with a friend and had the opportunity to fire my shotgun for the first time outside of a supervised shooting range, and in this case without any ear protection. No ear muffs, no plugs, no nothing. Just me shouldering my 12 gauge, downing a very nice pheasant that we had for dinner that night, and then repeating over and over, “What? What did you say?”. As my ears rang and rang and rang.
And this was in a wide open field! Firing a gun without ear protection for the first time is a real eye opener (and ear closer). Even outdoors the report is so loud that you immediately lose much of your ability to hear. And this was from a relatively light load of bird shot. I can only imagine what a 9mm or larger cartridge would do to my hearing if fired inside a building without ear protection.
That’s why I’ve recently purchased a set of ear muffs that both enhance soft sounds as well as shut out loud, potentially harmful sounds. These ear muffs, originally designed for hunting, will amplify soft sounds yet still shut out any gunshots before they can damage your ears.
Having a pair of these gives you a distinct advantage in a tactical or survival situation. One, they give you the ability to hear things you otherwise couldn’t. Whether this be whispered voices in your backyard or the lock on your front door jiggling. The product improves your hearing, magnifying soft sounds and giving you more information than you otherwise would have.
We rely on our sight and hearing heavily when in a combat situation. People talk a lot about the advantages of having night-vision technologies but rarely do they talk about advanced hearing capabilities that are available or how vulnerable we would be with reduced hearing capability, such as what we get after firing a weapon indoors without hearing protection.
So, I would propose that having a pair of dynamic hearing protection ear muffs ready and waiting is a critical survival tool. I keep a handgun in a locked safe close to my bed. That safe also contains a pair of eyeglasses and a powerful flashlight.
As of yesterday there is also a pair of battery operated noise canceling ear muffs sitting right on top of that safe. Being able to hear clearly after a shot has been fired is an incredible advantage. Are the Bad Guys running away or rushing forward? Is the person approaching friend or foe? With your hearing debilitated from gunshots you will lose this important situational data. With your hearing protected you will gain an advantage and hopefully save lives.
Ear protection, a critical piece of your Prepping and Home Defense plan.