Shooting Rifles with Silencers While Having Chronic Tinnitus?

Discussion in 'Support' started by Bill_, Mar 8, 2020.

    1. Bill_
      Insomnious

      Bill_ Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1. loud Concert | 2. loud club | 3. tympanometry
      Ok, here's a tricky question which probably has no "right" or "wrong" answer but I'll ask it anyway:

      Has anyone here experience with shooting rifles with suppressors while having chronic tinnitus? I know rifles are loud, like in "crazy loud" but I always dreamt of getting my hunting license here in Germany and even though I actually only want it to be able to go bowhunting in Hungary, I still have to pass the shooting exam which consists of shooting rifles (.222 and .308) as well as shotgun. Suppressors are legal here now so I can shoot with silencers. I talked to the instructor about my "special case" and he agreed to let me take my shooting exam on a special date without any other people on the range (so I don't have to deal with the noise of the other rifles).

      So the idea is to shoot all alone on an empty range with a rifle with a suppressor on it, using subsonic ammo and double hearing protection. Technically the rifle shouldn't be louder than 120dB and I'd wear muffs with -37dB and plugs with -36dB SNR rating (so that should add up to roughly -40-42dB).

      My question is now: Has anyone tried a similar setup? Do you think it's "safe" for my ears?
       
    2. Juan

      Juan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      08/2014
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Several causes
      After years with severe hyperacusis, progressing into tinnitus + hyperacusis + hearing loss I wouldn't be around anyone shooting a rifle... not worth the risk, and my ears would not be able to stand it.
       
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    3. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      I'll stop you there. The answer is don't do it. No amount of ear protection will stop damage from guns, it only minimizes it. If you already have tinnitus you will make it worse guaranteed.
       
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    4. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      • Informative Informative x 1
    5. AVIYT
      Wishful

      AVIYT Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      January 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Pregabalin
      Honestly, hearing protection + suppressors should be okay. Just shoot small caliber
       
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    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Bill_
      Insomnious

      Bill_ Member

      Location:
      Germany
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/1998
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      1. loud Concert | 2. loud club | 3. tympanometry
      This is actually the first time I ever heard of this calculation method. it doesn't seem to make much sense: 30dB NRR are actually only 11.5dB reduction because you have to subtract 7dB from the NRR and then divide the remainder by two and that is then the real reduction?
       
    7. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Such horrible advice. It's like telling a lung cancer patient it's ok to smoke as long as they have quality filters.
       
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    8. RishRamsey
      Doubtful

      RishRamsey Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Stupid DJ
      This calculation is to accommodate for protection lost due to incorrect use of earplugs. A lot of people don’t really know how to put plugs in, hence a very conservative methodology to give a rough idea of basic protection.

      If you are extremely comfortable about how to put ear protection in with a good seal, you should get the number mentioned on the packet.

      Coming back to your question, I guess it depends on your severity and your other symptoms, like for me, I have pretty bad hyperacusis hence I know that my ears would never be able to handle such stuff even with all the protection. If you think your ears can handle it and do not spike easily enough, well then you know what to do.
      Only you can answer that.
       
    9. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      It is more complicated than I thought. I guess the lesson learned is you cant trust lab conditions. In the end, never use ear protection to have fun. Only when it is needed.
       
    10. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I won't shoot anything bigger than .22rimfire unsuppressed, if I can avoid it.

      I'm personally comfortable shooting subsonic .45ACP with a suppressor, and I have thought about getting one and getting a pistol and carbine rifle in that caliber, but the Feds have to sort out their shit on the federal classification of cannabis, first, because I care a lot more about growing my own free weed than I do about owning guns/suppressors, and right now doing both of those things at once is a felony even if weed is legal in your state.

      I still shoot friends 7.62x54 and .223 once in a while, usually only a few shots, with plugs and muffs. I assume that doing this on a regular basis is going to chew up your hearing, so I don't make a habit of it, but I've never noticed even transient threshold shifts from it.
      This is how OSHA does it: https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/regulations/standardnumber/1910/1910.95AppB -- A, B, C weighting, different protections at different frequencies; things are complicated.

      If you get into the really, really big bores (maybe .308, obviously .50BMG) then you're into a zone where bone conduction may be sufficient to screw you over no matter what kind of earpro you use.

      I think this is fairly silly. A given activity with given ear pro either is or isn't damaging, whether it's being done for work or pleasure. My motorcycle and my lawnmower put out about the same ~105db.
       
    11. Shaqz

      Shaqz Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      12/10/19
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      @linearb how does weed affect your tinnitus? I smoked for 4 years straight then got hit with tinnitus in December and wanting to smoke oh so bad... any advice?
       
    12. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Yes and 100 dB is apparently harmless for 15 minutes. Want to try it?
       
    13. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      It spikes it and before I was handling my tinnitus with other meds, my cannabis use was off and on. However, some people notice no effect, others a benefit... we're all different.
      Not deliberately but I've been exposed to that by necessity a good number of times since my trauma in 2010, and it never caused any noticeable issues. I'm not suggesting or encouraging that, but it's hardly disastrous in the way "a gun went off right by my head" is.

      More than half of the people who work in small engine and bike shops around here that I've talked to have some degree of tinnitus, and basically all of them have at least moderate hearing loss. But, there's a big difference between "10 mins" and "working in a garage on a bay of bikes all day".
       
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    14. jasonbourne

      jasonbourne Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Dude I'm sorry but you are absolutely full of shit and your advice is doing harm. Science is not on our side. Get this straight. Theoreticals are out of the window. The only thing we can do is not take any risks.
       
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    15. linearb
      Psychedelic

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Location:
      temporarily banished from this plane of existence.
      Tinnitus Since:
      1999
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      karma
      I'm not giving anyone advice, I am explaining how I have lived my life since my tinnitus became much worse following a noise trauma 10 years ago.

      I don't really know what your point is. You asked me if I would like to be exposed to something. No, I would not like to, nor would I needlessly, but a few situations have come up where it was not avoidable and I do not believe that I was harmed by it.

      You've had tinnitus for two years, and I am guessing you have zero firearms experience in that time? I've had tinnitus for twenty one years, at the same obnoxious level since my noise trauma in 2010, and I have probably fired a couple thousand rounds of ammunition of one kind or another since then. @Bill_ asked about "safe" shooting setups; given that I have done a lot of shooting, I am answering the question, from my perspective only.

      You do you, man, I will do the same :)

      "Not taking any risks" is more or less possible for some, than others. For instance, my lifestyle means that "social distancing" is a joke because I only leave home once a week anyway. I get zero urban noise exposure, almost zero traffic noise exposure. On the other hand, I need to be able to run chainsaws, log splitters, and other gear like that which tends to idle in the ~90db range and redline more towards 110. I use plugs & muffs, take breaks, and if it is causing me damage it is occurring at a rate that's not perceptable. My thresholds on a test look the same as they did 15 years ago (that's unlikely to last as I enter my 40s, though).

      Likewise, guns here are just a fact of life. Fox in your henhouse? Not a lot of fun with a bow, ever try to peg a small mammal with a bow? It's easier said than done. Fortunately I don't really have large animal or human invader related concerns, so .22 gets 'er done.
       
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