ARP 099 - Hearing Protection for MSR Shooters


Welcome to Episode #099 of the AR15 Podcast. I’m your host Reed Snyder and with me today is my co-host Anthony Hardy.  This is the podcast about your favorite black rifle!  This show is for you; whether you're building your first AR or you’ve been building ARs for years. There is something we can all do to take our black rifle to the next level. Brownells helps make this show possible.

Don’t forget that Brownells, with their 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee, is there for you anytime you have a problem, like when you can’t remove the taper pins from your new barrel to slip off the front sight base and you now have to find a new barrel.

Shop for AR-15 parts at Brownells.  Go to:

Product of the Week:

Brownell’s Back in Black Event for the week of 11/17-11/23

Main Topic:  Hearing Protection for MSR Shooters

The Decibel Scale


Gunfire dB levels by caliber

Hearing Protection Options

  1. Ear Plugs (miscellaneous objects found on the ground at the range)
    • 1. Empty Casings
    • 2. Casings That Aren’t Empty
    • 3. Cigarette Butts
    • 4. Smallish Stones
  1. Ear Plugs (foam) - available at your nearest pharmacy
  1. Ear Plugs (molded generic)
  1. Ear Plugs (custom molded) Precision Ear
  1. Ear Plugs (custom molded electronic) Precision Ear
  1. Ear Muffs
    • 1. Browning
    • 2. Caldwell
    • 3. Winchester
  1. Electronic Ear Muffs
    • 1. Howard Leight
    • 2. Peltor
    • 3. Pro Ears

Ear Pro Wisdom from our Network Staff:

Michael - Competitive Rifle Podcast

I prefer to use the Surefire Sonic Defenders.  I leave the plugs out and then cover up with Peltor Tactical 6S.  This lets me hear range commands, but still protect what hearing I have left.  For High Power and Bullseye matches I wear some custom made ear plugs by CaCe Associates (which is a wife and husband). I got them made at Camp Perry in 2012.  They shut out pretty much all noise.  I can wear these at a High Power or Bullseye match because the course of fire and range commands are the same.  I can't wear them at an IDPA match because I can't hear anything.

Devin - Firearms Insider

Cheap foam expanding plugs under cheap ear muffs, except for when I can "liberate" my friends Howard Leights Impact Sport.

Aaron - We Like Shooting

I have two ear muffs coming in, and two form fitting ear plugs, I will let you know.

Larry - Power Factor Show

I use Moldex foam plugs because I'm cheap.  I use muffs to support my Contour HD camera for getting match footage.  It's nice to be double plugged, but I can't hear much of anything else with both systems in place.  If I'm not shooting, I just wander around and play Range Officer with the plugs only, unless I'm running a guy with a particularly loud Open division race gun.

Ryan Cross - Big Network Honcho

Pew, Pew, He Likes Silencers

Jared - Firearms Insider Blog

I prefer when Jake sticks his fingers in my ears.  It's comforting and soothing.

J.W. - AR-15 Podcast

I love the TCI DEHPs with gel cups for wearing all day. I think they just got bought out by Safariland or something. I used to be really into headphones and was thinking about getting some custom IEMs and maybe earpro with the same molds... the muffs have worked great so far though - changed batteries once in the last year or so I think. I run the behind-the-head model and it fits under helmets just fine. Never wanted to go with the helmet rail adapters because I don't use the helmets very often and didn't want to have to switch back and forth.

Mike - Reloading Podcast

Just do like Jeremy Pozderec does and use cigarette butts....

Hank - VP Sales

Anthony, I just had these made and really love them. I've only used them twice, but don't see any reason why I would change my opinion in the future. We met them at the BullPup shoot recently, and they did the custom molds on site for me.

We Like Shooting just discussed them on Episode 65 as well. I know that you can get a set that you make your own mold, and then send back to them to get made. I believe that is what Aaron is doing with his.

The AR-15 Giveaway Winner:

Jennifer Gehman


Rob S: Just listened to Episode #92 on SBRs (again!). I have been contemplating registering one of my AR lowers as a SBR for a long time.  When i heard that the ATF is taking electronic Form 1's and is in the process of changing the rules governing trusts I decided that now is the time to submit the form. In case anyone is interested there is a great article on which takes you step by step through the electronic submission. When you complete the form you enter caliber, barrel length and length overall, does that lock you into the dimensions and caliber entered on the form?   I have heard conflicting information from various sources and wanted your input on the matter. Thanks for a great show!

Mark O:  Hi Guys, Please do an episode on .308 AR's and the differences between DPMS/Armalite.  I believe you've mentioned them briefly on the show but it would be great to hear more of the details.  Thanks!

Classified1976: I just recently discovered the Firearms Radio Network on iTunes and I am particularly drawn to the AR-15 Podcast.  At work I have listened to all of your shows one after another.  Your topics are informative and your guest are awesome.  Great shows! Please keep them coming.

Randall F.:  Hey again, Reed. Just a couple of questions. Was that a stainless barrel on that giveaway rifle? If so, what kind was it?  Thanks.