What Is The Best Ear Protection For The Shooting Range?
When you’re planning on doing some shooting, one of the most important protection items you should have with you are ear plugs. “What are shooting ear plugs?” you may ask. Ear plugs are used when you’re shooting to protect your ears from the loud sounds produced by your gun and the guns of others.
When you’re planning to visit a shooting range, having ear protection is typically one of the rules to use that range. For this reason, it’s good to know the different types of ear plugs available on the market to ensure you’re purchasing exactly what you want.
In case you are in a hurry, our choice for the best hearing protection for shooting is the Howard Leight Electronic Shooting Earmuff.
We’ll cover the various types of protection in more detail below, but for those of you in a hurry here are our top picks from each category:
Basic Shooting Ear Protection
The most basic form of ear protection is disposable foam ear plugs. Foam ear plugs help to muffle any sounds that occur.
While these plugs can work at a gun range, they can make it difficult to hear noises that are not the guns. When you’re visiting a gun range, there may be an employee that let’s range users know when to cease fire, when the range is hot or cold, or when there is an issue.
There are some pros and cons to keep in mind when choosing foam ear plugs. While foam ear plugs are typically very inexpensive due to the fact that they are disposable, they can be misused and not provide the protection you’re looking for. Foam ear plugs can be easily inserted wrong making the protection less than it should be.
Better Than Disposable Plugs
A step up from disposable foam ear plugs are reusable foam plugs. Reusable foam ear plugs provide you with ear protection that you don’t have to throw away after a day of shooting.
Reusable ear plugs tend to be slightly more costly than disposable plugs but they are still considered inexpensive compared to other options of ear protection. Reusable ear plugs are considered to be a better economical choice while they are still able to easily be worn and inserted.
When considering reusable foam ear plugs, you should also consider the fact that they are pre-formed which means that they may not feel as comfortable as the disposable plugs. You will also need to clean the plugs after each use to prevent ear infections.
Custom Molded Shooting Ear Plugs
The next step up the food chain in hearing protection at the range is custom molded ear plugs. These reusable plugs are actually custom molded to fit your ear, ensuring that your hearing canal is properly sealed off.
Custom molded plugs are better than regular reusable ear plugs in that they are tailor fit to you and the shape of your ears. Generic plugs can chafe and be uncomfortable to wear, but a custom set can fit so well that you don’t even feel you are wearing them.
The price of these custom plugs is obviously higher than standard reusable plugs, but if you are going to spend a lot of time at the range they are definitely worth it.
Ear Muffs For The Shooting Range
If ear plugs are not something you’re interested in using, shooting earmuffs are another popular option for ear protection. Earmuffs are not inserted in the ear. They surround the ear to provide protection.
Earmuffs are easier to put on compared to ear plugs. They can be excellent at canceling out gun noises without canceling out regular noises.
For good suggestions on which ones to buy, check out our list of the best electronic hearing protection for hunting.
They also come with a few drawbacks. Earmuffs take up much more space than ear plugs. They may make you feel hot during warmer weather outings. They can also be difficult to pair with protective glasses depending on the shape.
Don’t Skimp On Shooting Hearing Protection
Searching for “What are shooting ear plugs?” online can yield many different results that will tell you the same things. The most important thing to remember is that choosing the proper ear protection when using guns is a very important task that shouldn’t be done in a rush. Finding your perfect ear protection match can protect you from hearing loss, allow you to feel comfortable while shooting, and give you a peace of mind.
Take some time to consider your options, try out a few different types, and choose the best type of ear protection that meets your needs.
Shooting Hearing Protection Video
Here is a video discussing various types of ear protection for shooting:
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