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Here at Gunivore we focus most of our time on the guns we love and care about. In this article we want to switch it up a bit and focus on hearing protection and it’s importance. Anyone that knows anything about shooting firearms knows that gun safety is key. Second to that is hearing safety. The effect of a bullet blasting out of a pistol can cause major hearing damage if proper precautions aren’t taken. In this Peltor Tactical Line review we’ll discuss Peltors’ history and take a look at their line of tactical hearing protection devices (HPD’s). Although there are other companies out there with their own ear protection devices, Peltor is blazing a trail of ear protection greatness. Their tactical line include devices that are sure to fit any shooter at any experience level.
Hearing Loss Is Serious Stuff
A recently released report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) shows that more than thirty-million workers throughout the United States were experiencing regular dangerous noise levels at their jobs in 2015. Hearing loss is a serious problem that can rear its ugly head even absent any sort of dangerous noise levels. Another study has shown that by the age of 65 one out of three Americans is already suffering from some kind of hearing loss. These are people who aren’t even exposed to dangerous noise levels, and still they are experiencing hearing loss. The takeaway from this being, even absent the impact of loud noise from firearm exposure, everyone is at risk for hearing loss. Exposure to gun noise only serves to exacerbate this risk.
Research indicates that noise greater than 140 dB (decibel – a unit used to measure sound) can permanently damage hearing. This would mean that almost all firearms are capable of causing permanent hearing damage, as almost all guns are capable of achieving 140 dB. Under some circumstances, people who are recreational shooters can experience severe hearing loss as a result of as little as one shot! That is what makes gun safety, and specifically hearing safety, one of the most important subjects that gun owners can familiarize themselves with. People who use guns are far more likely to experience hearing loss in their lifetime than those who do not. Firearm-related hearing loss generally manifests as high-frequency hearing loss, which means that one can have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds. People who are careless around gun noise can also suffer from a constant ringing in the ears, a condition known as tinnitus. The natural risks associated with hearing loss combined with irresponsible gun use is simply too potent of a combination for most people to overcome. If you use guns irresponsibly in terms of the noise, you are at an extremely high risk for suffering permanent, irreversible hearing loss or damage. The good news for responsible gun owners is that hearing damage that results from gun noise can be prevented – and that’s where Peltor comes in.
Originally founded in 1950 and based in Varnamo, Sweden, Peltor serves professionals in various gun-related industries such as military and law enforcement, as well as providing solutions for recreational use. A subsidiary of the 3M company (an American multinational organization based in Minnesota, USA), Peltor has grown from what was originally a company that supplied products exclusively in Sweden to a company whose products are purchased and used around the world. Peltor is best known for producing hearing protective devices, also known as HPD’s, that generally come in earmuff or earplug form. Studies have shown that the use of HPD’s while shooting can greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the risk for hearing loss as a result of gun noise. Unfortunately, statistics indicate that just roughly half of shooters always wear hearing protection while shooting, despite the sky-high risk to their hearing. Hunters in particular are unlikely to wear hearing protective devices because they do not want to compromise their hearing when tracking game. Peltor doesn’t only strive to protect hearing, however, as the stated mission of the brand invokes the belief that greater comfort (as a result of HPD use) will lead to greater productivity in the workplace. Communication is another area that Peltor’s HPD devices strive to improve, as hearing is a necessary component of workplace communication and cohesiveness.
Fighting Hearing Loss with Peltor’s Tactical Line
Peltor developed a full line of hearing protective devices designed and suited to fit the needs of every kind of gun owner, including lines of products for both kinds of shooting HPD’s: electronic HPD’s and nonlinear HPD’s. Electronic hearing protective devices are designed to make softer sounds sound louder but cut off sound when there is a loud noise, becoming a hearing protective device. These are generally considered to be the more effective kind of HPD’s, which is why Peltor’s primary focus is on their electric line. Nonlinear HPD’s are non-electric devices that are also designed to allow softer sounds to be heard and louder sounds to be muted. Available in earplug, earmuff, or even custom ear-mold form, nonlinear HPD’s are effective, but nevertheless considered to be the lesser of the two options. Although U.S. military uses both electric and nonlinear HPD’s to protect soldiers, there is a great difference in quality and price between the two standards.
The most popular and acclaimed line in Peltor’s arsenal would have to be the Peltor Tactical line of hearing protective devices. Featuring an assortment of options and specifications so as to fit the need of every gun owner, Peltor’s Tactical line assuredly has the right kind of headset for everyone, from beginner to expert – and remember, everyone is prone to gun noise induced hearing damage, regardless of experience or level of skill. There are a number of hearing protectors in Peltor’s line that particularly stand out among the rest.
Peltor Tactical 6S Active
Firstly, the Peltor Tactical 6S Active is one of the most popular hearing protective devices that the company offers. With the power to reduce hazardous noises to safe levels within 5 milliseconds, the 6S active is one of the more powerful consumer hearing protectors that Peltor offers.
Peltor Sport Tactical 100
Next up there is the Peltor Sport Tactical 100, which comes packed with features such as a built-in 2-hour auto shut-off to conserve battery, to a re-engineered headband for improved fit and comfort. Powerful and affordable, the Tac 100 is a great option for any gun owner.
Peltor Sport Range Guard
The Peltor Sport Range Guard is another one of Peltor’s critically acclaimed headsets; with a low-profile cup design, the Range Guard model is a great alternative to Peltor’s more traditional-looking models.
Peltor H10A Optime 105 Earmuff
Lastly, we would like to highlight the Peltor H10A Optime 105 Earmuff, a nonlinear (non-electronic) but immensely popular and effective headset that is light on the wallet but packs a punch. These are just a few of Peltor’s many noteworthy headset models, all representing a piece of Peltor’s very impressive HPD lineup.
Peltor doesn’t just produce effective products – they produce important products. Hearing loss, as previously mentioned, is a problem that is all too common in the world and particularly for those who use guns or are in the vicinity of gun use without utilizing proper hearing protection. If you are someone that is an avid shooter but neglect hearing safety, please consider acquiring an HPD – it could be the difference between keeping your hearing or losing it.
Hearing Safety Tips
When dealing with something as important as your hearing, there is no caution that could be exercised that could be deemed excessive, and with that in mind, please note these hearing safety tips:
-Always use some sort of hearing protection, whenever firing a gun or when near a fired gun.
-Protect both ears, don’t rely on protecting only the side that the gun is closest to.
-Avoid shooting in groups or in areas in which the sound will reverberate.
-Opt for single-shot guns as opposed to semi-automatic or pump/lever action firearms.
-Make a reliable HPD a part of your gear – wherever your gun goes, your HPD should go.
-As always, safety first!
(For a look at another company making quality ear protection check out our Impact Earmuffs review)