Question of the Day: Do You Shoot Without Hearing Protection? Say WHAT?

Reader Paul S. writes:

A comment in a recent post got me thinking. The commenter indicated his concern about possibly deafening a small child in his arms during a DGU. I don’t think this is a valid concern. A sound loud enough to *break* the eardrum certainly is, but it would take repeated loud noises to damage hearing permanently. In fact, I periodically (but infrequently) fire off 10 rounds or so without any hearing protection, just because I want to *know* first hand what the sound is like, so I won’t be shocked by it.  My reason: . . . 

The first time I accidentally forgot to put on my headphones and fired my Ruger LC9, I went into a state of shock for about 5 seconds, thinking “Oh, my God, WTF! The gun blew up. Am I still alive…am I dying now or am I already dead?” I was essentially incapacitated during those 5 seconds. Not a good thing.

It was such a shocking moment that it gave me great pause for thought.  The last thing (well, almost) that I want to do is be shocked into uselessness by the sound of my own first shot in a DGU.  So, as I said, I periodically test the waters to make sure that I can remain level-headed in the midst of nearby gunfire.  Knowing what to expect, and having experienced it, I’m better prepared to deal with it.

I don’t think this is particularly *good* for my hearing, but many soldiers have survived it, so I can too. And being a little bit hard of hearing at age 70 beats the hell out of being a lot dead at age 69.

The question for everyone out there who isn’t FPSRussia is, have you intentionally shot your gun without hearing protection? Would you?