Thursday, March 26, 2015


Anyone who has been in the firearms industry for any length of time, or anyone who has been shooting awhile, can tell you ear protection is a very real concern. So many older gentlemen come into our range with a "gift" that never stops giving - ear ringing. Not so long ago, one was considered weak if they needed ear protection. Because of this, many people wouldn't wear it. Now, they have the "gift". These poor men hear ringing all day, every day. Even when they sleep, the ringing continues. It permeates their dreams and every interaction they have with others. It is a constant companion that feels like anything BUT a "gift". Knowing this, Travis (the hot hubby) and I have been growing more concerned about our own hearing now that we are so regularly exposed to loud gunfire.

Currently, the house and senate are reviewing bills that would allow suppressors to be legalized (HB 433 & SB 803). We are among only 11 states that have not yet made suppressors legal. I think this is because people believe too much of what they see in movies. James Bond can use a suppressor to shoot and kill an individual while the people in the very next room are none the wiser. That isn't reality though. Guns are loud. Suppressors can't hide that. They do, however, lower the outgoing decibel level to one that, while still loud, won't impair your future ability to hear. Even if suppressors do become legal and many Illinoisans exercise their new-found right to utilize them, many people won't because they won't want to spend the extra money for one. For Trav and I, this is an issue. Regardless what happens with the aforementioned bills, we will still be regularly exposed to unsuppressed firearms.

The two most popular forms of ear protection on the market now are muffs and plugs. Plugs are tiny pieces of foam that are inserted into the ear and expand upon insertion. Muffs cover your ears just like earmuffs and block out a designation level of sound. Each of these options can be worn alone or they can be paired up for further protection.

The level of sound muffs block out is rated in NRR (Noise Reduction Rating). Essentially the higher the NRR rating, the more sound will be blocked by the muffs. Therefore, the higher the NRR rating on your ear protection, the safer your ears are. These options, particularly when used together, are perfectly safe for indoor & outdoor shooting range use.
The problem Trav and I run into is we are often exposed to these high levels of noise in the lobby as well. As customers pass from one door of our vestibule through the other, it sometimes happens that both doors may come open at the same time. This isn't a big deal once or twice. However, Trav and I sit by those doors everyday all day as we wait on customers behind the counter and I am beginning to think we need some sort of protection there as well.
Obviously, the traditional shooter methods of ear protection aren't going to work when we are waiting on customers because we need to be able to hear them. Fortunately, a local audiologist (Kendra Watts, AuD) and her husband are regulars here at MTM Arms. After talking to her about our issue, she brought in this pamphlet...


...where I found this

The DefendEar Hunter Passive is an ear piece that is inserted into the ear and will allow me to hear customers in person and on the phone while also blocking the higher decibel noise of gun fire if someone opens too many doors at once! It obviously doesn't take much to excite me because the idea of this was so perfect I couldn't even handle it!

In true Adrienne form, I didn't waste any time getting hold of this. Trav and I went in to get impressions made a few days ago.

If these babies work as well as the silicone putty in my ear did, I won't have to worry about hearing loss anymore! We should receive them soon and when we do, I'll be sure to provide you all with an honest review. If they deliver what they promise, I'll have one less thing to worry about and that always makes me a happy lady!

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