I have two old man maladies that affect my shooting and hunting. I have astigmatism and need glasses, and I have a very reduced hearing ability and must wear hearing aids. Both of these restrictions can be accommodated, but my hearing limitations have been the easiest to handle, whether shooting at the range or hunting.
However, it first must be pointed out that I cannot use my $6,000(!) hearing aids to help with the issues that occur when shooting a firearm. They only amplify sounds, they don’t act as a barrier to harmful levels, or frequencies, of sound waves.
Read: A Deaf Shooter on the Importance of Hearing Protection
So, when I was hunting in South Africa last year with Blaauwkrantz Safaris, I made the decision that I would leave my hearing aids in while I hunted. My reasoning was that this was necessary in order to hear what my PH, Arnold Claassen, was saying, particularly when he needed to whisper in the presence of game animals.
That was a very bad idea, especially when shooting in the rocky terrain of the Eastern Cape, where sound blasts and echos from rock-to-rock, landing eventually full-throttle in your ear canals.
When I returned home, I found that my wife, Frances, had realized my dilemma from our phone calls and had purchased a set of Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Ear Muffs for me. As soon as I took them to the range, I was a convert.
I was an even more staunch convert once I used them during a recent hunting trip. Not only could I hear every squirrel cussing me out for miles around, I also heard deer browsing singly and in groups in the woodlot through which I was still hunting.
I realize this is NOT news to those who have long been aware of the benefits of electronic hearing protection systems. I was late to the game because I thought I wouldn’t want to wear muffs while hunting because they might make me feel claustrophobic — not able to hear the important sounds for which I was listening.
I was really, really wrong. And, like the range, on the recent hunt when the [in this case pistol] was fired at game, my ears were safe.
The Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Ear Muffs are very well-constructed, they work perfectly and, maybe best of all, they’re affordable. This last point has turned out to be very significant because Frances has decided that she loves them too, so we now have to purchase a second pair.
Needless to say, the Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Ear Muffs will be on my ears at the pheasant shoot this coming Saturday, the two deer hunts I have coming up in November, and all of my outings after small game. And, of course, they’ll be in my box every time I head to the range.
At only about $40, the Walker’s Razor Slim Electronic Ear Muffs reflect a huge benefit-to-cost ratio.
Mike Arnold writes about firearms and hunting at his blog Mike Arnold, Outdoor Writer.
While I don’t have the Razors, I do have the Alpha 360’s, and they are great…
They run on AAA batteries….deal breaker. They should make them run on AAs.
3M Peltor TEP-100 Tactical Digitals is the way to go. Especially when you tuck in behind a scope (on a high comb) for some long range shooting. Super small and light, 3 AA batteries in the case, the earplugs recharge in the case. Around $350, but worth every cent.
Apples and oranges…you obviously didn’t understand the article/review…
Moreover, my Walker Alpha 360’s perform just as well as your Peltors, at about a quarter of the price…
I guess I don’t understand, either. $350 ear pro is too steep for a guy who takes $5,000+ hunting safaris and has three day hunts booked next month?
I understood the article fine, just pointed out earmuffs are less the ideal for long range rifle work.
Looks like someone didn’t understand my post.
This 3M company?
The CAEv2 was an “earmuff” style that was designed with US Military involvement. There was never any recall or resolution as to who was the responsible party that caused the flawed design, only a fund to pay those who suffered hearing loss. Production of the CAEv2 ended almost 5 years ago.
The TEP-100s I (and several others in my shooting group use) have performed great.
Just curious. What type of vehicle do you drive? Has the manufacturer ever had a safety related recall?
I have no problem with recalls and manufacturers making good in errors, especially when it’s done quickly and proactively. What is alleged in that law website is that 3M knew they had a defective product and shipped it to the military anyway. If they put profits above the welfare of service members in that manner, then the company is dead to me.
Yes, it was alleged, NOT proven.
Ordered 2 pair just now!
(For me & my wife).
And they arrived by 05:30 this morning!
I have some Winchester branded electronic muffs. They were super cheap and mediocre at best. Got a Cabelas coupon and I think I’ll look into these…
For shooting at the range, hunting, or even just an afternoon of plinking on the farm, I wear my razors. Before retirement, I worked in the aviation industry & after 40 years around airplanes my hearing is pretty much gone as well…I also wear aids. For hunting & plinking, I have a pair of ear buds. They have fantastic noise reduction, rapid cutoff, and when amplifying sound they recreate it accurately. In the range, I use a set of muffs; while I prefer the ear buds for their sound isolation, they don’t work as well with someone shooting right beside you in an indoor range. You get too much blast effect on the outer ear, mastoid process (behind the ear) and the temporal area (above the ear) as well as on the exterior of your ear. Depending on what’s being shot, the pressure wave can cause significant problems by forcing the ear buds too far into the ear canal and damaging the ear drum.
Well, comparing the Walker Razor Slim Electronic Ear Muffs at 23dB NRR to everything I see online at Bass Pro, the Howard Leight Impact Pro Electronic Shooting Earmuffs easily beat those at 30dB NRR. The Walker website gives no info on battery life but the Howard Leight takes the same two AAA batteries and claims 350 hours.
So if I’m going to buy new electronic ear protectors I’m going after the highest Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) combined with the highest user rating as a starting point.
So far, that’s the Howard Leight by 7dB more ear protection.
we have these as well as about ten other pairs of electronic ear pro in the 25 to 100 price range. The 3m range guards are the best – the electronics are better than the slightly pricier 3m sport tac 100 and just about everything else. They are light, rugged, have great battery life, and are even pretty much water proof. For about $100 you can have the 3m 500 ear pro, which are my go to ear pro. Bluetooth is a handy feature, and the headset works with your phone and allows you to have conversations in noisy environments. The razors arent the worst… But they sure aren’t the best. Fyi.
How are the 3m 500’s with glasses? I have the LH’s and the glasses start to hurt my head after about 30 minutes.
They work just fine with glasses. I love my 500’s because I can BT music from my phone whilst at the range. I bought the gel cups as well, but haven’t swapped the foam for them yet.
The wife got me a pair of the 500s earlier this year. They work great with glasses as long as you put the glasses on first and then the 500s. If I take my glasses off to clean them and try to slip them back on without taking off the 500s I can never get the glasses in quite the right position. As long I take off the ear pro, put the glasses back on, and then put the ear pro back on it works great.
I’m a podcast junkie so when I have the range to myself i listen to podcasts via the bluetooth while shooting.
The Peltor Sport RangeGuard RG-OTH-4 Electronic Hearing Protector? That Range Guard?
I thought it was NRR 21db.
It’s not easy to find affordable electronic muffs over 26db, which is why I don’t own electronics. Peltor Ultimates at 30db are still my go-to.
I have a set, and while they work very well for pistol shooting, I find that a good cheek-weld will break the seal around your ear if you are not very careful, and that will negate the protection.
Use with caution, especially at a public range with multiple shooters, who are unlikely to realize you need a moment to reposition your earpro.
This is a general earmuff issue, not anything specific to this model.
I have a pair of these and I was not impressed with build quality. After one muff pulled completely off the headband wires I retired them and bought Howard Leight electronic earmuffs. They are much sturdier and work so well that I bought them for all my family members, each in different color.
They are rated at 23 db. I guess I don’t understand why these are appealing when there are many others that are rated at 30 db and higher.
Don’t you want the most protection you can get? First priority over features and thinness? Who cares after you have tinnitus?
Those numbers mean something. While not electronic $30 3M shop earpro are 30NR. Flip the cops upside down and reinstall and you have cheek weld. There is a logarithmic difference between 23 and 30!
If a single-digit difference makes or breaks it for you, then you may as well just roll with 33db reduction foam earplugs. You apparently can’t see the cost/benefit on display here.
A bonus with electronic muffs is that you can turn up the gain to hear sounds too faint to hear with bare ears.
So true, with the 3M/Peltor TEP-100 earplugs you can converse at a normal speaking level with other shooters wearing the same earplugs. With the scull screw foam plugs on the TEP-100 they have a 30 NRR.
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But you have unacceptable hearing loss from being a troll. :):)
I had bought myself some Walker’s and then bought a second set too. I get tired of those I shoot with not being able to hear.
I probably have the same $6000 pair of hearing aids. One unprotected gun shot will make me profoundly deaf so I will never ever go near a shooting range. Too risky. However, when walking the dog temporarily in my care I (open) carry a hand gun since I live in coyote country. The Walker Razor sufficiently reduces the loudness of a gun shot to a safe level. The mic at full volume allows me to hear well enough to converse with people I encounter while walking the dog. Being little and cute she attracts attention from humans as well as coyotes. When shooting alone I use The Ear Buddy foam in the ear inserts as well as the Walker. For me the Walker Razor has a tight seal and is comfortable. My Impact Sport seems to offer similar protection, may have a slightly better sound at full volume, but doesn’t fit me quite as well, but really not much different.
If your hearing aids don’t shut down and even try to amplify gunshots, it would seem there is something wrong with either the design or the setup/tuning.
Impact Sport. 2 AAA’s, 4hr auto off. 400 hour run time. Work great, own 2 pairs. Can plug in devices too.