View Full Version : Ear Protection
12-11-2003, 10:49 PM
Need some insight on period ear protection. It appears that I suffered some hearing damage during the TAG event this year and while I can only blame myself I need some input as to a proper type of ear protection.
I realize that this has been discussed before on the AC but with the change in the site I thought it would be okay to get the input again.
And if I may take a moment to add my $.02, gents, wear ear protection. You might think it won't happen to you, but take it from me, it can and WILL happen.
Thanks for your imput!
Los Viejos Muchachos
12-12-2003, 04:17 PM
I have always promoted the use of ear and eye protection but there are some hard cores out their that think it would look too farby to use it. This way 30 years from now their grand kids can clime up on their knee and say (or shout), “Grandpa, tell us again how you lost your eye and hearing in the war”. I always use hearing and eye protection when shooting. You may never have an accident but it only needs to happen once.
12-12-2003, 05:34 PM
I always use hearing and eye protection when shooting. What kind of eye protection do you use while at reenactments Terry? :cool:
12-12-2003, 07:43 PM
I like to use some earplugs made by North Safety Products. They are called "Sonic 2" suppressors. They are flesh toned - depending, of course, on your skin color- so they aren't very noticeable, unlike those God awful neon orange abominations. They have an inner valve that is open normally, but closes when activated by a loud noise. That way, you can hear commands and normal conversation. The little valve can even be removed when the rubber outer cushion is worn out. Then you can order just the outer cushion from North and save some coin.
I got my pair at Wal-Mart for about $7.00. They are pretty easy to find in gun shops and safety catalogs.
I usually slip mine in just before we start firing and so far I don't know that anyone has even noticed I'm wearing them.
Protect your hearing at all costs!
12-12-2003, 07:49 PM
Everyone who's deaf, please raise your hand. 10% hearing loss in my right ear in my first three years of shooting. Percussion caps will damage your hearing faster than shooting modern rifles or handguns, because they're right there at your ear.
If you want good protection and an unobtrusive appearance, get some custom-made flesh colored silicon ear plugs. They go for $25-35, and you can usually find someone through your local gun shop or shooting range that will make them. A more cost-friendly alternative is swimmer's silicon ear plugs, available in a 4-pack from just about any drug store. They look like beeswax, and they will seal your ear quite well.
My audiologist recommended baffled earplugs for shooting. They're sort of christmas tree shaped earplugs made of soft rubber. They are very good at blocking sound. Where you've already suffered some hearing damage, you might just want to bite the bullet and get a pair. I've seen them in white, blue and red, but not fleshtone. Do what you have to do, it's hard to find new ears.
12-12-2003, 08:01 PM
What kind of eye protection do you use while at reenactments Terry? :cool:I wear glasses. The glasses that I wear are realy more suited to the 1920's than the 1860's but I feel it's worth the little bit of farbyness for the larger lenzes and the protection they provide. They are the kind that have the rap-around the ear side pieces. They stay on, provide a reasonable amount of protection and look kinda-like they belong in the era.
[b][Edit: Please sign your full name to every post. First names don't cut the mustard. Please get your signature file updated immediately - PC]
12-13-2003, 05:22 PM
You know, you could just deal with the reduced hearing.
12-13-2003, 05:37 PM
You know, fellows, but this may be too simplistic, but how about cotton in your ear
I am sure it is period, and it does help. Now don't shout at me, but I can't blame reenacting and musket fire on my impaired hearing. I blame other things, but not reenacting. Not wanting to make anyone angry, but try the cotton.
12-13-2003, 07:52 PM
The trouble with cotton is that it doesn’t always stay in, it has a tendency to fall out. Or if the piece is too small it can wind its way into the ear channel and then it is hard to get out. But using cotton is better than using nothing at all.
12-13-2003, 08:48 PM
I wear glasses. The glasses that I wear are realy more suited to the 1920's than the 1860's
WHAT?!?! I know he did not say that? :confused:
12-14-2003, 11:44 AM
well hearing protection in my eyes is very important . I've seen what the lack of hearing protection can do to a man . my grandfather lost most of his hearing during the korean war conflict he says that they used to stuff ciggarette butts in they're ears to help but that didn't work . the way I see it is authenticity can go so far, if a reenactor is so authentic as to go to the extent of not taking his medicane and not wearing hearing protection he has serious problems and should be watched . in our battery everyone on our crew wears ear plugs, my dad get's them free from work. I actually use a pair made of foam , and you can get from every sutler .
as far as eye protection I don't use any.
12-14-2003, 01:30 PM
I suffer from tinnitis and hear "ringing" in my ears all the time. Even as I type, inspite of the tv, furnace running, et c. I hear "the music" :eek:
Now, whenever I fall in and anticipate gunfire I put a cotton ball (large size) in each ear. This helps take the sting out of the muzzleblast and CAPS that exacerbate my tinnitis, and I can still hear the voice commands. I've never had a problem with them being too small and getting stuck down in the ear canal or falling out. My .02.
12-14-2003, 02:25 PM
1920's eye wear, modern foam ear plugs...... Unbelievable! Is this still the Authentic-Campaigner? It's hard to tell after viewing this thread.
As far as I'm concerned, the farb posts should be deleted.
This discussion should focus on a period way to stay safe as some of you already stated.
12-14-2003, 04:46 PM
[QUOTE=HOG-EYE MAN]1920's eye ware, modern foam ear plugs...... Unbelievable! Is this still the Authentic-Campaigner? It's hard to tell after viewing this thread.
As far as I'm concerned, the farb posts should be deleted.
As I am new to posting on this board, I will not get into an argument and say only perhaps you should read "THE CAMPAIGNER'S MANIFESTO" by Col. Nicky Hughes. Pay special attention to item #1.
With that being said, I will leave this discussion.
12-14-2003, 06:16 PM
Ohh....... Thanks Pvt. Tommy
12-14-2003, 07:57 PM
Tommy and all.. refering to the manifesto is good. But, in regards to safety and authenticity, lets try to keep the later true to the period, while respecting the former.
12-14-2003, 11:47 PM
I appreciate the input. I can certainly understand the need and desire to use an ear protection that would provide as much protection as possible, which would in turn be the most modern. That for me would be inconsistent with what our hobby is all about. We look to each other to improve the hobby and learn from what others have researched, or have acquired themselves to improve, our impressions.
With this in mind, it appears that I should have been more clear through my intial post, I am wanting to know what is considered period ear protection. I have heard of the cottonballs, but somehow I am don't beleive that Johnson & Johnson were producing cottonballs, as we know them, at the time of the war. I would thus presume that "cotton in the raw" would have been the choice.
I have read accounts of soldiers actually loosing their hearing because they had stuffed material, whatever that may be, down the canal of their ears so far that they were not able to extract it. I would certainly not entertain doing such a thing, but I can understand how, in the heat of pitched battle with the noise of the weaponry that a scared soldier could be a bit overbearing and stuff something down his ears to help ease the noise.
My question is this, does anybody out there know what some of these items were? Was it pieces of cloth left over, or torn, from personal clothing or uniforms? Does anyone have a more specific account of what a soilder used? If anything, this could be an interesting subject to examine.
As I said before, I do appreciate eveybody's input.
12-15-2003, 12:34 AM
Beeswax is certainly a period form of ear protection, having been mentioned in The Odyssey nearly 3000 years ago. Any kind of shaped soft wax that resembles beeswax should be acceptable, to much the same degree that brass percussion caps instead of copper are acceptable. If you really want to go the cotton route, try boll cotton soaked in beeswax. Modern cotton balls are "fluffy" to the point of being nearly useless for hearing protection.
To be safe from hearing loss, you need to attenuate the sound of a percussion cap something like 25 dB. On the average, cloth stuffed in your ears will attenuate the sound something like 5 dB, just enough to give you a false sense of security. Foam earplugs attenuate sound on the average of 32 dB. Well-fitting wax earplugs will be good for anywhere from 20-35 dB, provided they seal. If they don't seal, they're not doing you any good.
If you consider deafness the height of authenticity, hey, they're your ears. But speaking from experience, asking people to repeat everything "in your good ear" gets really old really quick.
The Deaf Bastards Mess
12-15-2003, 12:55 AM
Try the paper from your rounds next time. Roll one up a bit, stuff it into your mouth and chew until it's no longer dry, pop it into your ear. Sometimes the seal is as good as foam. If it fails, roll up another one; just like the other one ...
Mark (Silas) Tackitt,
12-15-2003, 07:53 AM
Being a very active shooter, I hear better than most humans. Yes protect your hearing, but with the very low levels of noise caused by black powder blanks, cotton balls would be sufficient. And Major, just how many projectiles do you anticipate being in the air to warrant your use of incorrect eyewear. And most eye injurys associated with shooting actually happens from the side, not front. So unless you have sideshields on those incorrect glasses, you are wasting time.
12-15-2003, 09:12 AM
I admit that most of the flying material that would be encountered on the battle field would come in from the side, but not all. Eyeglasses are not perfect protection but then what in this world is perfect? I have been reenacting for over 13 years and always use eye protection. I have considered side panels but just never got around to working on the idea. I thought about using paper or leather but never did anything about it. I have seen men get hit by a cap fragment near the eye but have never seen anyone get one in the eye. I have seen “cook-offs” where they got powder in the eye and had to flush the eye with canteen water and as far as I know they didn’t suffer any permanent damage. I will admit that something flying into your eye on the battle field is a remote possibility but remember, it only needs to happen once.
12-15-2003, 09:25 AM
I am closing this thread due to excessive farbistic content. I am all for safety, but promoting 20th Century eyewear and other modern equipment is out of bounds.
12-15-2003, 03:35 PM
Maybe going to better events without as much shooting would help your hearing loss. I go to events and don't have to clean my rifle.....
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