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Urban Tactical Gear
6 October 2009, 15:15
While Ear plugs can suffice in many shooting applications (god knows the surefire EP3s are), they may not be enough if there are mulitple firearms going off around you. Ear plugs may cause an "occlusion effect"

An occlusion effect occurs when some object (like an unvented earmold) completely fills the outer portion of the ear canal. What this does is trap the bone-conducted sound vibrations in the space between the tip of the earmold and the eardrum.

One way to prevent this from happening is to double up. Use not only ear plugs, but ear muffs as well. Not only will you be protecting the inner ear and canal, you'll also be covering the entire ear; including the ear lobe and jaw beginning as well. Almost all the major training schools will require some sort ear muff, and the majority of those schools require them to be of the electronic type.

If you look on any given shooting forum you will find recommendations on electronic ear muffs ranging from the cheapo walmart models to the top of the line sordin's or peltor's.

I recently upgraded from plugs to muffs because of the class i was going to take. I knew that there were going to be lots of firearms going off around me, and I wanted that reassurance that my hearing would be completley protected. So I got a set of Peltor Tactical 6 ear muffs.
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff298/arolfsen/reviews/peltor%20tac%206s/DSCF0406.jpg

As soon as I got the packaging open, I just had to try them on. And so I did. They fit perfectly, till I put my hat on under them. Granted that my HSGI flexible fitted hat isn't that thick, it still raised the way that they sit on my head. It should be noted that reading the instructions before finger banging any new products should be crucial. I did not read them, therefore was unaware of how they expanded. So After getting frustrated with not being able to figure it out, I had to go back and actually glance at the instructions.

On each side of the unit you will see a set of thin "wire" that form an h and goes down on each side of the muff. There it connects to a black plastic tube. The easiest way to adjust these muffs is to put them over your head, and then pull down on the muff itself. not the whole unit, but just the muff. You'll notice that the wire will then expand out of the black plastic. Should you over adjust, leave them on, put the base of your hand on the muff and your fingers over the wire and pull them together.
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff298/arolfsen/reviews/peltor%20tac%206s/DSCF0409.jpg
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff298/arolfsen/reviews/peltor%20tac%206s/DSCF0408.jpg

Another mistake I made, was to assume that the muffs came with batteries. And like the old adage says, ass-uming made an ass of me at the most oportune time. We got out to the range, we clicked them on, and nothing. Just complete sound deading. THESE MUFFS DO NOT COME WITH ANY TRIPLE A (AAA) BATTERIES. They must be bought and installed seperately. To install them, you just pull the ear pads away from the muff. Put some force into it if you have to.
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff298/arolfsen/reviews/peltor%20tac%206s/DSCF0410.jpg

Once you have the pads off you'll notice that there are actually two parts to the pad. There is a foam inner pad that protects the internal circuitry from the human appendage, and an outter vinyl lined pad for comfort. If you end up destroying them, don't worry. there is a Repair kit (http://www.tacticalresponsegear.com/catalog/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=32&products_id=2511) that you can buy to replace those parts.
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff298/arolfsen/reviews/peltor%20tac%206s/DSCF0412.jpg

Once you are done using the tac 6s (as they are commonly referred to as) they pack up nice and neat for storage.
http://i238.photobucket.com/albums/ff298/arolfsen/reviews/peltor%20tac%206s/DSCF0405.jpg

The first time I used these was during Tactical Response's Fighting Pistol (http://www.tacticalresponse.com/course.php?courseID=5) class. We had 26 shooters in the class. The instructors did have a loud speaker for those who didn't bring electronic hearing protection. On the second day, the school was also conducting their "Ak Operators" (http://www.tacticalresponse.com/course.php?courseID=68) class over 150 yards away.

During the class I ran the muffs turned up all the way. When we weren't firing it was like we were talking all normal like. While the voices were slightly amplified, it didn't sound like people were yelling. When we started shooting, I could still adequately hear the instructors, but all pistol reports were muffled down almost completely. Even when we were fighting from retention, with our heads less than a foot away from our muzzles, the reports were nullified. At one point we were all standing around doing a quick reload of our magazines and rehydrating. I kept my muffs on and up all the way because we were trying to hurry up and get back to the line. That's when I realized that we weren't alone on the range. There was another class shooting AKs, over 150 yards away, on both single and burst. At full volume these muffs were so sensative that they were stiffiling even the reports from those weapons. Instead of hearing a loud crack, all I heard was a dull thud.

I'll post some action pictures when the class instructor releases them (still waiting on a few reviews)

All in all, for $55-$75 (depending on where you look) these are very much worth the money. Will I upgrade? probably. but not cause they don't work. I'll upgrade when I need to hook comms into my headset.

Oh, one last thing. I did not find these comfortable when used with the surefire ep3 plugs. They put undo pressure into the wall of my ear. I had to down grade to foam plugs with these models.

nozzle13
5 November 2009, 18:59
I have a pair, and have to say they are more comfortable than my Howard Leight Impact Sports. On the other hand the Impacts actually work, and the 6s only the right ear works. There seems to be a design flaw in the peltors that cause the left ear to stop working. Google a review about the peltors and you'll see what I mean. The icing on the cake though is that peltor knows of the flaw and dosen't seem to want to warranty or repair any of them, or do anything to fix the issue. I paid 70.00 for mine, and wish they worked cause they are comfortable.

Plus the Howard Leight's have an ipod jack for when your shooting on your own you can rockout to some death metal!

hwaya
6 December 2009, 20:53
I've had a pair for about two years now and use it as my primary ear pro for shooting. They are comfortable for short term use, at least for me. I wear oakley SI M Frame 2.0s under them and after around 30 minutes I start feeling pressure on my bone where the glasses sit. This becomes pretty uncomfortable.

But this is probably the same for most ear muff designs. I don't know if there are any remedies to this problem.