Huh? What’d you say?” Famous last words around our household as I hit my 57th year, with around 50 of those years shooting guns. I know, I know, I always wear hearing protection, and usually double-up with plugs and muffs, but in those early years none of us our age were that careful. I vividly remember shooting a .357 Magnum revolver under the eves of a semi-enclosed shooting bay and wondering if that ringing would ever go away.
Nowadays, I use electronic muffs, and they make a day on the range much more enjoyable. You can hear your friends, hear range commands and actually hear your wife too. But in the field hunting, or even in some more “tactical” applications like a cop searching a building, or playing “sneaky-crawly by the drug dealers” — muffs might not be handy. Sound Gear is a useful invention, and it has officially just raised the bar for electronic hearing protection. Think: Hearing aids that also protect your hearing, not just amplify the sound.
Sound Gear has tiny electronic modules you put into the plastic ear pieces (two sizes by the way), then nestle them into your ears. Now you have a hands-off, always-on sound amplification system working for you; but at the first crack of a shot, presto, shut-down — and about 25 dB of noise reduction.
They are sorta’ addictive to wear being so convenient and easy to use. They come in a nifty box with tweezers to handle battery changing, a cleaning tool and those two sets (small and bigger) inserts. They use common #10 hearing aid batteries, which are cheap, and it comes with two packs of ‘em. They give off a pleasant, quiet tone when the batteries are low, and mine went off after about six hours or so. They cost about as much as a good set of hearing aides (around $800), but what price is your hearing? “Hey Grandpa, can you hear me? Can you hear me!?” Get it? For more info: www.americanhandgunner.com/sound-gear
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