0209 – Double Plug Your Ears In Dynamic Firearms Training

So there I was, toe to toe with a true adversary.  There was a profound lack of fear in his eyes despite the fact that his sub gun was leveled at my chest.  Ok, he was built of cardboard.  It wan’t a violent encounter, but I had every intention of treating it as though it was despite the fact that I was on the square range.  I gave it a hearty elbow, drew my pistol and broke shots.  It was then that I realized that my muffs had slid from their perch on my ears and that I had somehow forgotten to double plug.

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Realism vs. Consequences in Firearms Training

When it comes to training we want to make sure that our training is as realistic as possible, however, some actions might have consequences that are too severe to accept in training.  For example, in a violent encounter we are going to want to fight through our injuries.  When we are hit, or cut, or shot we need to keep fighting until we prevail or are dead.  Despite the importance of this concept, I do not recommend that we should inflict gunshot wounds on our training partners in the name of realistic training.

Wearing ear protection while training with firearms is a similar but less extreme example.  There might be some small benefit to training without ear protection, however, we know that without a doubt we will damage our hearing if we shoot without hearing protection.  Just like the previous example, the risk out weighs any benefit.  We need to keep our ears protected, for lots of reasons.

I gave a training example above and it isn’t the only time I have had this problem.  The other was in competition.

  • Plugs with a string attaching them
  • start was in the surrender position (um never)
  • caught the string with a thumb on the draw
  • I was smarter, I stopped, fixed my ears and asked for a restart.

Redundancy In Hearing Protection

So on a typical day at the range I am redundant with my hearing protection  I wear foam plugs with electronic muffs.  This gives me the ability to hear what is going on while at the same time I keep my ears safe.
  • Electronic Muffs give me some level of protection but because of dynamic movement they are insecure
  • The big benefit of the electronic ears is to be able to hear what is happening around me from simple instructions to vital range safety instructions I get more value and am safer as a result of Electronic hearing protection.
  • In addition I use simple foam plugs which provide additional protection over the marginal electronic ears, provide vital protection when I lose the electronic ears, yet still allow the electronic ears to provide that important information.
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