I was in Nashville last week for the rollout of Beretta’s new, updated APX A1 pistol. I’ve been to more than a few of these kinds of events and the companies that put them on are always nice enough make eye and ear protection available for everyone in attendance who don’t bring their own.
I always bring my own to these things. I have custom-molded silicone passive internal plugs and very good electronic over-the-ear muffs. I also carry some plain-Jane, cheapie foam plugs.
The APX A1 event was held indoors. As anyone who’s ever shot at an indoor range can tell you, it can be brutal, sometimes even overwhelming good ear pro depending on the number of shooters and what they’re shooting around you. That’s why when I shoot at indoor ranges I almost always double up with my Peltor 500s over standard foam plugs.
Beretta provided their Off Shot Mini Headset passive earplugs, so I decided to give them a try…and was surprised to find that I could comfortably shoot indoors with lots of others around me doing the same. I didn’t need the over-ear muffs.
The Off Shot plugs come with three sizes of silicone tips to fit your particular ear. That was another surprise. When I’ve tried other in-the-ear options, I usually have to go with foam plugs to seal out the noise enough for comfort. These did the job just fine.
They’re obviously not custom molded, bu they’re nicely contoured to fit most ears.
They’re comfortable, unobtrusive, wont interfere with a long gun stock, and because they handle indoor noise levels, they now live in my everyday carry bag. I’m pretty sure they won’t stand up to some guy shooting an AK with a comp in the stall next to you, but for most situations — and virtually all outdoor use — they’re great.
The Off Shot passive plugs are rated at 32 dB NRR and retail at about $50. I’m a fan.