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I hear the bagpipes
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I distinctly remember the gunshot sound. It was only inches away from my head, and my ears went to full ring mode. My eyes were open wider than they have ever been, and I was confused and disoriented. Quite a few years ago, I had the misfortune of being near an accidentally discharged firearm inside of a closed room. This happened to be an AK we were working on building. It’s the 2nd such discharge I had experienced, the first being when an inexperienced young hunter missed my legs by a few inches while walking behind me with the barrel pointed in a very unsafe direction, with his finger obviously on the trigger.

There were people talking afterwards, and some shouting. Could I hear them? No way. I did not regain most of my hearing for at least 3 minutes.

Now, suppose you are in your home, and experience an attack. It could be a home invasion, or maybe you have taken a defensive posture near a sand bagged window. Shots are fired. How will you communicate with others inside the house when you cannot hear anything? It could be your loved one in the same bedroom with you, and the bad guys fire first. Maybe you fire first. Shouting instructions to others in the same room will be useless. Even the bad guys will not hear your commands to surrender, if you choose to go that path. You will not hear their talk or movement sound either. The others in the room will also be in shock just from the noise, and forget clarity if they are awakened by gunfire in the room they are sleeping in. They will be brought out of sleep with an unbelievable explosive sound, deafness and smoke, in the dark, with no apparent reason why. Major panic!

So what will you do to prevent this? My wife and I have pre-planned our response and positions in the face of such, so we don’t need to talk. We have a 3-1/2 year old boy, who will certainly get scared and run out of his room right into the middle of everything at the wrong time. Whichever one of us is firing, the other needs to get to the boy and take him into the garage, and defend the doorway once inside while calling 911. The other must fight from the living area. We are still working this out. Your thoughts?
 

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Its a very valid concern, and the best response I've heard is to have the electronic auto-muffs placed with your defense guns. If you have a few seconds, put them on. Due to living in a condo (apartment style), I limited my ready handgun to .22 so we probably would not be deaf. But if I've had the time to load the 12ga, thats obviously last resort.

In my house, I am well aware that I am the only competent fighter (armed or unarmed). My wife has a 'startled rabbit' freeze response. Others in the condo would be calling cops at the sound of gunfire.
 

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There are two kinds of people, those who have had an accidental discharge and those who will have one. In a panic situation you will have very little time to get anything on except your gun maybe. Make your shots count. Did you know that at Columbine High School there were two uniformed police officers having lunch with their kids at the time of the shooting. They both ran to find the shooters and did. they engaged the shooters and ran out of bullets. Most of all they were dodging improvised explosive charges being thrown at them. When panic sets in all you know is to pull the trigger. People will keep shooting after their last round is spent when all they can hear is ringing and their heat beating.
 

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Having been around indoor gunfire without ear protection, yes it's a valid concern. However, in my experience the adrenaline of an incident will help overocme hearing loss at least at the time. Later, ringing, deafness, etc. may occur constantly or intermittently for days or weeks or longer. Use as small a calibre as you feel confident will do the job required, and try to keep family behind you. You need to work out a real plan about how to deal with dispersed family members in event of a confrontation. Look at your floor plan and furniture, maybe do some rearranging to facilitate getting family members together and covered whilde denying hostile intruders any cover. Remember the goal is to get them to leave, so don't block their exit nor force them into a family members room.
 

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Research auditory exclusion. When you are surprised by gunfire inside of a house, it is loud. I was inside of a house when somebody fired a 12 gauge shotgun(luckily not at me). It was loud and I literally jumped about a foot. I even remember the windows rattling(funny that I heard that over everything else).

However when you are anticipating taking rounds, or you are the one firing round in a real live stressful event, the gun doesn't sound nearly as loud.

This has probably happened to you. Has somebody ever fired around when you were not expecting it, if so, you would probably say that it was loud. However if you have ever fired a round while hunting, you will notice that even though you didn't have hearing protection, it didn't seem that loud.
 

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I do agree that it could be a problem, I just don't think that it is a guaranteed problem. Of course if this is a huge concern then you should consider a quitter gun, which only helps when you are the one pulling the trigger. Do consider the fact that the use military employs M4 .223 rounds on live operations all the time. This is also true for more elite units that could use something like an MP5 instead. Of course some of those units use hearing protection on live operations, but I SUSPECT that most of them do not.
 

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Get some plugs and use them. People criticize guns in books/Internet based on how loud they 'think' they might get and based on size. Any gun is loud inside if you ever have shot one. Best to train, have a safe room, get good locks and a decent size handgun if you want to get through it. That and a lawyer.
 

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I do agree that it could be a problem, I just don't think that it is a guaranteed problem. Of course if this is a huge concern then you should consider a quitter gun, which only helps when you are the one pulling the trigger. Do consider the fact that the use military employs M4 .223 rounds on live operations all the time. This is also true for more elite units that could use something like an MP5 instead. Of course some of those units use hearing protection on live operations, but I SUSPECT that most of them do not.
And to answer that, no we never did except at target practice. Either that or keep one ear (usually the right) plugged and the other not. And that was rare.
 

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Destroyer of Ignorance
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That had occurred to me earlier, to keep the right ear plugged. That makes a lot of sense.
Are you left handed? I'm right handed and find that it is my left ear that takes the beating if I'm not wearing hearing protection.
 
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When I was in the army I bought myself a pair of rubber earplugs, due to their special shape, they were supposed to weaken the louder and high frequent noises like shots and explosions but to let more quiet noises through. When I had them in, I couldn't hear quite as good, as without them, but definitely much better, than with the standard issued ones. They worked fine for a normal conversation, and even close whispering. And they effectively protect you from deafness.

I can't find them right now and I dont remember the brand but I think they would be great as emergency hearing protection and they are fast to apply. So you could have them always ready near your firearm.
 

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When I was in the army I bought myself a pair of rubber earplugs, due to their special shape, they were supposed to weaken the louder and high frequent noises like shots and explosions but to let more quiet noises through. When I had them in, I couldn't hear quite as good, as without them, but definitely much better, than with the standard issued ones. They worked fine for a normal conversation, and even close whispering. And they effectively protect you from deafness.

I can't find them right now and I dont remember the brand but I think they would be great as emergency hearing protection and they are fast to apply. So you could have them always ready near your firearm.

Edit: I googled a little and I cant find the exact same. But mine looked a little like these:

But they had a small hole in the middle
I see there are a ton of different designs out there. Maybe you should try a few of them, to see, what works best.
 
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