custom molded ear plugs?

Discussion in 'Main Message Board' started by TrxR, Sep 28, 2019.

  1. TrxR

    TrxR

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    Anyone use custom molded ear protection ? how do they compare to ear muffs? I have problems with normal foam plugs due to ear shape, they keep working out. I use bug mufffs now but they are awkward.

    Thanks
     
  2. CarlGeorge

    CarlGeorge Silver $$ Contributor

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    I use custom molded. I'm pretty sure it's this product. I got it done at a gun show.
    http://www.instamold.com/consumer-products/custom-molded-ear-plugs/

    As I recall they were $65. They're done while you wait.

    I absolutely love them. The protection level is very good IMHO. They're incredibly comfortable. I really disliked the foam earplugs and stopped wearing them long ago. With the customs I can leave them in for long periods of time and they're perfectly comfortable. As an example, I'll frequently leave them in when I go downrange during a cease fire. I have no reason to take them out because they're not bugging me. (As opposed to earmuffs, which I also wear on occasion, where I do take them off because they become uncomfortable.) I also use them when I'm mowing the lawn.

    The customs work well enough I sometimes miss when others are looking to call a cease fire. And more importantly, they really are not optimum if you're wanting to talk with someone. So I have good electronic earmuffs for when I need to talk while shooting. But if I'm alone or not shooting with anyone per se I'll use the plugs. They are my protection of choice.

    CG
     
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  3. germanlongbow

    germanlongbow Scott M Bainbridge

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    I had a set made by local audiologist for riding my motorcycle. Works great for shooting. Very comfortable and no clumsy head muffs. They come mild to wild depending on needs and budget
     
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  4. gkgeiger

    gkgeiger Silver $$ Contributor

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    I’ve also had custom ear plugs for years for MC riding. In my opinion they don’t work as well as muffs. Most of my experience has been at an indoor range. I was wearing them at my Rifle club and an old timer told me that I should really be wearing muffs. Stopped using at the range
     
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  5. normmatzen

    normmatzen Silver $$ Contributor

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    Custom ear plugs would be the best solution.
    First, one must be aware that ear plugs for motorcycle riding are often illegal in some states.
    Plus, under a helmet, the noise source is wind noise and for protection from this constant periodic noise you need about 20 dB attenuation. To get this, try Etymotic ER-20 ETY-PLUGS. These yield 20 dB sound suppression and also are designed for hi fidelity so sounds and voices sound normal.

    These plugs are also the best addition to quality ear muffs with or without built in amplifiers.

    But, back to general purpose ear plugs, that means shooting, you don't want to deprive yourself from adequate protection. Remember, the holy grail is still the yellow foamie! If you want reliable attenuation, go as the fellow above did and visit an audiologist and tell them you want a solid ear plug that extends at least to the second bend in the ear canal. They will then make an impression of both ears and order a pair of custom plugs from their favorite ear mold lab. This is more expensive than the gun show quickie plugs as the audiologist will make quality impressions and produce quality plugs that will also not stick out of the ear canal enough to cause discomfort.
     
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  6. TrxR

    TrxR

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    I never have shot at an indoor range and probably never will. As far as the old yellow foamies i could never get them to stay in. I think i must have small ear canals or something .

    I would mainly be using them for benchrest shooting, rimfire and centerfire.
     
  7. D Coots

    D Coots Silver $$ Contributor

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    I'm not using both fitted plugs and muffs for comfort. I want to save what hearing I have left. Any proof out there that says fitted plugs is all you need to protect your hearing?
     
  8. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    I used custom molded silicone plugs for a few years, bought new pairs every year from the gal who brought her trailer rig to NRA National at Camp Perry.

    Seems after a few months' use either my ear canals changed shape or the plugs did. They fit but never as good as the first weeks after I had 'em made.

    So now I buy a box of these every couple of years, haven't had a problem with them fitting either since I learned to take pains getting them squished down & rolled skinny enough to go in dry. 100 pair costs less than 1 pair of molded and that box lasts almost two seasons' shooting, and snow-blowering, and mowing the lawn, and sawing up wood for projects....
     
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  9. spclark

    spclark Gold $$ Contributor

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    Not that I've run across, no. Adding muffs helps mitigate the sound waves that don't go in through your hears but can get in through your head bones.

    I don't wear muffs either when I'm shooting rifles as I've never found a pair that both fit AND don't interfere with my cheek weld. Pistols - what little I still do - is a different situation.

    I'm 70+, resigned to the tinnitus and hearing loss I've been diagnosed with. Probably from shooting pistols with dad when I was maybe 11 or 12, never used ear protection.

    Got new hearing aids a couple years ago (be paid off next Feb.) that help with the tinnitus and can be 'tuned' for different environments on my smartphone.

    Save what you have left. It never gets any better than it is right now.
     
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  10. 46and2

    46and2

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    I have a weird left ear canal. The soft earplugs just don't work. Tried the moldable earplugs, waste of money for me.
    What does work is the old fashion 3M firm yellow earplugs.

    I wear double hearing protection (ear plugs and muffs) when at the range every time.
     
  11. rjs1230

    rjs1230 Gold $$ Contributor

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    Amazon sells the kit to make your own for $9.00 and they work pretty well .
     
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  12. longtrapshootn

    longtrapshootn

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    There are several people who do this, I would do ample research on him and not do more than a deposit. What happens if he had an untimely demise??? That being said, these things are reported to be the bees knees. Back in my bike riding days, I had several friends that road raced motorcycles which can cause hearing damage pretty quickly, even with good helmets. Many of them started going to these because they were so much better than mass produced ones.
     
  13. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    Bob scarbrough’s wife makes em at matches. They are better than any other ear plugs but even with my damaged hearing they are not enough by themselves
     
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  14. liljoe

    liljoe Silver $$ Contributor

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    Nancy isn't making them anymore. My dog chewed mine up last year and I tried to use the foamies but got tired of messing with them getting them to seal. I ordered a few different ones from McMaster Carr to try. I have been using one of these style. They seal good and are easy to use. They also have different sizes.
    Joe Hynes Screenshot_20190928-200807.png
     
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  15. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    If i use regular plugs i have to use the roll up foam ones to work- a push in just doesnt cut it.
    Good thing i have like 12 sets she made!!
     
  16. Tim s

    Tim s

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    Radians on Ebay.
    Two part and self molding. They are extremely easy to mold for a nice fit in your ear. Those with Champion electric muffs over them for a comfortable and very protective combo.
     
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  17. nmkid

    nmkid Gold $$ Contributor

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    I also use the foam type. I put a pair in my pants pocket and they pick up some body heat. When I get to use them, my body heat allows me to really compress them down. After I put them in my ear I hold them in until I feel that they stopped expanding. Works for me.
     
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  18. Dusty Stevens

    Dusty Stevens COVFEFE- Thread Derail Crew Gold $$ Contributor

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    Your local audiologist can make them too right in the office. My company paid for them at every annual hearing test if we wanted some
     
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  19. LarryDScott

    LarryDScott Site $$ Sponsor

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    I was told by an audiologist to use both the custom molded plugs and the muffs together. He said sound enterers through the outer part of the ear, if its uncovered, and also through your mouth if you happen to have it open when you shoot. LDS
     
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  20. SmittyJon

    SmittyJon Silver $$ Contributor

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    Yep, me too. I bought a 200 pair box of them on Ebay for about $35 last year and still have dozens left. According to the box they give 29 db's noise reduction. I then wear a pair of dark blue Peltor Ultimate 10's over them for even further protection. I keep a spare pair of those and a handful of 3M's in the truck, just in case I get a CRS (can't remember $hit) attack. :mad:

    Several comments about the Peltors. First, they're bulky but work great. Also, the Ultimate 10 is no longer being made, however its replacement has an better db rating. Those are about $40 shipped. And, the "Hygiene Kit" that replaces the padding and foam for the 10's is still available through several online outfits. It's only $15 or so, and well worth the cost. However, it can be a hassle to get them (the cushions) to fit. On my oldest pair, I had to use to a Dremel tool to grind down the cup's lip that held them on. That done, they snapped right into place.

    An earlier Poster said they were protecting what hearing they had left. Copy that. Miquoting Mickey Mantle: "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would've taken easier on my ears when I was younger." ;)

    Chris Mitchell
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
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