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Widder, SASS #59054

Question: ? is the sound decibals of our pistols

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Does anyone know the sound decibals of our pistols in .38 special and maybe even the .40 S&W cartridge?

 

I'm trying to explain to someone my hearing deficiency and want to compare how bad my hearing is in relation to gunfire in a short barreled firearm such as we use.

 

Thank you

 

 

..........Widder

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This is strictly a guess, but most likely in the 110 range for light loaded rounds, and upwards of 130 for the heavier loads.

 

And then there are the blackpowder boomers, but we're measured on the Richter Scale instead of decibel scale. :D

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Here's a pretty extensive list of sound levels collected recently. These numbers are higher than I have seen published in several states' Hunter Safety manuals from data collected in the 1970s, and MAY reflect more careful measurement and more modern measuring equipment.

 

http://www.freeheari...firenoise.shtml

 

This data shows handgun and shotgun noise levels, factory loads, at the low 150 dB range, and rifle in the upper 150 and low 160 db range!

 

This article has a little more "technical meat" in it, but it also is showing handgun noise levels at the 155 dB level, shotguns about same, and rifles higher than that (but very limited data):

 

http://www.hearingre.../2007-03_06.asp

 

Good luck, GJ

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Thanks Pulp and GJ.

 

on the upper end of the frequency scales, I can only pick up sounds greater than 90 decibels and in some instances, 110 db.

 

I guess its no wonder why most sounds like a piano in church sound muffled and out of tune, at best.

 

I'm becoming a good lip reader.

 

 

..........Widder

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It is always the high freq. tones that you lose first. It ain't gonna get better with age I can tell ya & the longer the problem goes untreated, the harder it becomes to correct. Go see an Audiologist for a test and advice. If you are a Vet, the VA can get you some state of the art hearing aids that make a real difference in what you can hear. Good Luck.

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The problem with Db numbers is they are distance dependant. That is, how far and at what angle is the source relative to the ear. With each doubling of distance, the pressure assault on the ear is cut roughly in half..... So, if we measure a handgun at 110 db at 3 ft, and end up taking the noise at 2ft, that might well be in the 160 db range.....

 

Note this, for continuous exposure, the fine folks at OSHA recommend ear protection for anything over 85 Db, which is about the normal clatter of conveyer belts, forklifts, etc in a factory (or driving on the highway with the window open). Our guns, all of them, certainly apply. Even with pretty decent plugs, ROing a Wild Bunch match (1911s at WB criteria are about as bad as our guns get) all day might be real rough on anybody's ears, and NEVER should be set up under a tin roof, etc that will bounce the sound back and make it worse.

 

I'm not far behind ya, Widder, and for ANYTHING besides a .22 rifle, I wear my molded plugs.

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Have noticed that the tinnitus in mine has gotten worse in the last year or so.Have lost some, the left is somewhat worse than the right. Can't remember which freq's it is, been awhile.

Not sure it's F.A. related. Worked in a factory for 35.5 years. Punch presses,tubing machines, conveyors, injection moulding, air drivers, etc.. Believe that the worst damage was done by a 150 PSI air line that broke. Drove the fork lift/cherry picker combo that got the maintenence guy up there to shut it off. NO muffs. Hearing was muted for about 2-3 weeks after that.......Buck :blush:

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Here's a pretty extensive list of sound levels collected recently. These numbers are higher than I have seen published in several states' Hunter Safety manuals from data collected in the 1970s, and MAY reflect more careful measurement and more modern measuring equipment.

 

http://www.freeheari...firenoise.shtml

 

This data shows handgun and shotgun noise levels, factory loads, at the low 150 dB range, and rifle in the upper 150 and low 160 db range!

 

Good luck, GJ

 

Very interesting. Those are indeed higher than I have seen in the past. Strange how consistent the numbers are.

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We "borrowed" a sound meter from work one time and tested a few guns - 38 Special, 9 mm, 45 ACP, a 12 gauge and a few rifles. One thing that surprised us was there wasn't MORE difference between guns, although as the article stated 10 db is actually 10 times more energy, I that sort of explains it.

But the differing frequencies changes how we perceive the sound level.

 

Just be sure to use hearing protection. I've seen to many say that since they had lost much of their hearing, that it didn't matter. It does matter if you want to keep what little hearing you have.

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Marauder,

 

that makes sense to me.

 

if a certain noise caused some damage, it would only seem right that the same noise would continue to cause more damage.

 

AJ: you dead on the money again. Freqs and distance play a big part.

 

 

Thanks again all.

 

 

..........Widder

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Have noticed that the tinnitus in mine has gotten worse in the last year or so....

Same thing happened to me - constant ringing in my ears. I though something was wrong with my ears. It turned out to be high blood pressure. The Dr started me on an Rx for blood pressure, and the ringing in my ears stopped.

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I don't think my hearing has changed much, but I have had ringing for the past year or so. I do HATE shooting under tin roofs, especially ROing..

 

 

I wear my molded plugs now for hunting too, hopefully not too much damage has been done.

 

I have discovered that i am decent at lip reading too.

 

ROing doesn't help at all!!!!!

 

Cheyenne, answer the phone dern it, Culpepper

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When I used to shoot at indoor ranges, I used the ear plugs and then put on good muffs. It doesn't really double the protection but adds about 10 db more, which is still a big help. The muffs also help because the cover the bones which transmit sound energy into the ear as well.

 

It would help to use that combination when timing folks, especially if they are using top end loads or you are in a building. It also helps to take just one step away from the shooter.

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When I used to shoot at indoor ranges, I used the ear plugs and then put on good muffs. It doesn't really double the protection but adds about 10 db more, which is still a big help. The muffs also help because the cover the bones which transmit sound energy into the ear as well.

 

It would help to use that combination when timing folks, especially if they are using top end loads or you are in a building. It also helps to take just one step away from the shooter.

 

Marauder every time I read your post I learn something or believe in your thinkin more. I've done tha double up thing several times. Left ear been ringing every since 1986 (M-16).

 

 

RRR

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