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stef75

Appropriate age for kids to do SASS?

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I saw some younger folk into the sport and I have to admit it gave me come concerns. Im all for kids learning to shoot and hunt. But being a long time in the military I also saw and experienced the effect of hearing loss from  prolonged shooting. Its a lot of exposure to shots at a shooting event or even regular gun range plinking, yours and everyone elses shots. Cowboy shooting is low powered loads and hearing protection takes off 25-30db but running pistols even single action will still be in the 150-160db range. For kids heads I have seen literature stating they are about 5-10db more suscepitble to loud noise until they have an adult skull so there is a margin for damage.  I dont have kids but teaching my nephews for their father who isnt really into guns I kept them at 22LR level for any plinking and closed breech action subsonics. If they want to take an occasional shot at a game animal with a high powered rifle I think that is fine too. But hundreds or thousands of rounds a year for minors at ranges, and this includes trap and clays shooting, well Id rather let the kid make it to 18 with 100% hearing and then they can decide how they want to lose it.

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You are right to be concerned.  But waiting until they are 18 would normally mean they won't be shooting.  And our experience is that their radio/ear pbuds are generally a greater danger.

 

Here is some info for the standard loads which are much hotter than we normally shoot (most of us.)

 

https://www.m1911.org/loudness.htm 

This site lists the threshold of pain at 120 or so, but most now list it as 140 db for whatever reason.

 

We generally shoot lighter loads, so 38 Special would normally be about like 140 db or even less for the shooter.  Often the 22 pistols are about the same level or higher than some 38 pistols.

 

Remember that most sound levels are measure 1 foot from the barrel and are significantly higher than being behind the pistol and certainly the long guns.

 

The longer barrels of the rifle and shotguns give further protection.

 

So with reasonable ear protection of 25 to 30 db, the kids should be fine.

But as you say, I would limit them from exposure to full load 44 and 45 pistols.  Lighter loaded 45 rifles can be as low as 100 db, but the heavy boomers can more easily cause damage.

 

There are some folks on the wire more up to date on sound levels that may be about to help us out more.

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1 hour ago, stef75 said:

   Cowboy shooting is low powered loads and hearing protection takes off 25-30db but running pistols even single action will still be in the 150-160db range. 

FYI, hearing protection does not take off the exact db rating they have on the package. There is a formula that must be used to get to the OSHA's 140dba safe level. For instance, say a cowboy load is 135 db. You are wearing 31 db hearing protection. That does not mean you are now hearing a shot that sounds like 104db. It would be 123. You take the 31db hearing protection and subtract 7 then divide by 2. So 31-7 is 24 divide by 2 is 12. 12 is the number you subtract from the sound to get what decibel you are actually hearing.

 

Also 22 subsonic loads are 68db. Some may say thats pretty close to a cowboy 38 load. Of course with the exception of some peoples 38 loads!

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I can tell you that tank guns, 105mm ,.50 and7.62 will leave you with a permanent cricket serenade. At age 22. I wore earplugs AND muffs the whole time we were on the various firing ranges. Over a year prior to going to Vietnam, there I listened to turbine engines 24/7 for 6 months. VA says 10% hearing loss and 10% tinnitus. Use as much protection as you/they can stand, it is no fun following every statement by any other with "What?"

 

Imis

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I can't speak for you folks in Australia, I can only relay my thoughts on the subject in the US.

 

I believe that children that are active in shooting sports are also pro-active in supporting shooting sports to their peers in a positive manner. They also tend to stay active in adulthood with both respects. They also tend to be parents who repeat the values and lessons learned from their parents, uncles and grandparents.

 

I'd rather see a young adult with minor hearing loss (if any) that is active in the various aspects of shooting and supports, both physically and financially, the 2nd Amendment rights of all Americans.

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It's a legitimate cause for concern, but one that can be addressed.  I started my middle son at 7 years old and I was always very careful to be sure he had his hearing protection, not just that it was in, but that it was in correctly.   Lead is an equally important concern.  If they're going to shoot CAS, they need to have their lead levels checked regularly. 

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This is just a thought on my part:
Is there any type of head/skull protection available for young children that seals the skull from loud noises, regardless of ear protection? 

 

Cat Brules

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14 hours ago, Cypress Sun said:

 

I'd rather see a young adult with minor hearing loss (if any) that is active in the various aspects of shooting and supports, both physically and financially, the 2nd Amendment rights of all Americans.

 

 

 I am not talking so much about no guns at all, more the sports where its high use or regular comps. Generations of people grew up shooting guns after all, my grandad did too. But they werent shooting thousands of rounds in a month for fun, they didnt have the money. My generation didnt even have that sort of money. The ability to do so is a purely modern luxury.  The idea of young kids with hearing loss or even worse  tinnitus makes me shudder. I wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy. I had very little hearing loss for many years, then I must have lost 1 decibel too many and I woke up hearing tubular bells and train whistles from then on :) As to Australias situation, well its terrible,  slightly worse than your worst states, which is a lot worse than your good ones. :)

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9 hours ago, Cat Brules said:

This is just a thought on my part:
Is there any type of head/skull protection available for young children that seals the skull from loud noises, regardless of ear protection? 

 

Cat Brules

Not sure but I dont believe there is. Science still hasnt really found a way to engineer something to fully take care of rifle sounds. its part of the parcel. We werent designed to hear overly loud noises. the most our ears had to contend with from an evolutionary point of view was occasional thunder storm, waterfalls and wailing infants!

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I am personal friends with several people around my age who never shot guns growing up but who attended every rock concert they could for years and years. They all admit to sustaining more hearing loss from those rock concerts then me and my shooting buddies ever have from a lifetime of using firearms with and without hearing protection.

 

Now possibly not at age 7, 8 pr 9,  but all these friends were going to rock concerts in their early teen years. Not a tremendous amount of difference there.

 

 A fellow with whom I work has been involved with racing cars his whole life. Guess what, hearing loss. No guns involved.

 

There are many ways to suffer hearing loss just as there are many ways to protect against hearing loss. I would be much more worried about suffering hearing loss due to other high noise environments one can easily find themselves in before shooting simply because we associate shooting firearms with hearing loss and act accordingly while perhaps we don't cognitively associate hearing loss with other forms of noise.

 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Dantankerous said:

I am personal friends with several people around my age who never shot guns growing up but who attended every rock concert they could for years and years. They all admit to sustaining more hearing loss from those rock concerts then me and my shooting buddies ever have from a lifetime of using firearms with and without hearing protection.

 

Now possibly not at age 7, 8 pr 9,  but all these friends were going to rock concerts in their early teen years. Not a tremendous amount of difference there.

 

 A fellow with whom I work has been involved with racing cars his whole life. Guess what, hearing loss. No guns involved.

 

There are many ways to suffer hearing loss just as there are many ways to protect against hearing loss. I would be much more worried about suffering hearing loss due to other high noise environments one can easily find themselves in before shooting simply because we associate shooting firearms with hearing loss and act accordingly while perhaps we don't cognitively associate hearing loss with other forms of noise.

 

 

 

Whether you consider it okay exposing a kid to one damaging noise, because someone exposes their kid to another type is up to you of course. Im not  against casual use, hunting or plinking with light stuff either. What I am talking about whether they should be allowed at ranges or regular competition type sports in the sports eyes.  The math is up there, the noise reduction rating is only half what the numbers show. Kids danger levels are way down at 120db, which means even low level gunshots are getting through to those hair cells. That's all there is.

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1 hour ago, stef75 said:

Whether you consider it okay exposing a kid to one damaging noise, because someone exposes their kid to another type is up to you of course. Im not  against casual use, hunting or plinking with light stuff either. What I am talking about whether they should be allowed at ranges or regular competition type sports in the sports eyes.  The math is up there, the noise reduction rating is only half what the numbers show. Kids danger levels are way down at 120db, which means even low level gunshots are getting through to those hair cells. That's all there is.

 

 Not what I said. Not what I inferred.

 

Let's not make the mistake of singling out hearing loss from gunshot noise when there are plenty of noise mediums that cause hearing loss for children as well as adults.

 

Plenty of ways to protect against hearing loss for all types of high noise environments.

 

 

 

 

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I learned to shoot the same time I learned to walk.   I was shooting .22's, even Stingers and Yellow Jackets, off my back porch without hearing protection, and have no problems with my hearing.   I still remember the time when we were visiting my Grandmother's old farmhouse, and my Dad too me aside to shoot his Colt .45.  Which BTW, is now one of my primary Main Match pistols.  I could not have been over ten at the time.   He had me hold the gun, wrapped his hands around mine and I took my first shot.   Then I asked him to let go of my hands and put his fingers in my ears.  It was the 70's, and not a lot of thought was given to hearing protection in those days.   But, that is how I learned the importance of ear plugs.   From that day forward, I never fired anything more than a .22 without muffs.   I did eventually switch to CBs for the .22 due to new developments and changing laws where I live.   They were quiet enough that you can't hear them from outside our yard.   And in truth, in one particular rifle, the sound of the firing pin drowns out the report,  but that's an extreme case...

 

Bring the kids to the range.  Make 'em wear earplugs even though they are shooting .22s and they will be fine.

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18 hours ago, stef75 said:

I saw some younger folk into the sport and I have to admit it gave me come concerns. Im all for kids learning to shoot and hunt. But being a long time in the military I also saw and experienced the effect of hearing loss from  prolonged shooting. Its a lot of exposure to shots at a shooting event or even regular gun range plinking, yours and everyone elses shots. Cowboy shooting is low powered loads and hearing protection takes off 25-30db but running pistols even single action will still be in the 150-160db range. For kids heads I have seen literature stating they are about 5-10db more suscepitble to loud noise until they have an adult skull so there is a margin for damage.  I dont have kids but teaching my nephews for their father who isnt really into guns I kept them at 22LR level for any plinking and closed breech action subsonics. If they want to take an occasional shot at a game animal with a high powered rifle I think that is fine too. But hundreds or thousands of rounds a year for minors at ranges, and this includes trap and clays shooting, well Id rather let the kid make it to 18 with 100% hearing and then they can decide how they want to lose it.

That's your opinion and your welcome to it but it's all up to the parents to decide. Many of our current top shooters in SASS started out very early. I think Sage Chick was about 10.  With proper eye and ear protection I don't see a problem at all! I wish I would have started at an early age.

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i have 3 daughters all started at different ages jackie at 9 ,jamie at 11 and katie at 12 my rule was when they could load there guns and carry them to and from stage and of and unload safely by them self

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Not having children myself I'm not sure I'm qualified to speak BUT, it's my belief that kids should be introduced to firearms as soon as the responsible adult feels they're mature enough to handle the responsibility.  That will obviously be different ages for different children.  I also believe a proper introduction to firearms will help increase their overall level of responsibility.

 

We have hearing protection for all ages.  As a crusty old Air Force sarge I've been to a ton of air shows.  I've seen children as young as 1 or 2 wearing properly sized hearing protection.

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I started with a .22 single shot carbine in our family place at age  5. I did the same for my children. Hearing protection was non existent as a youth and consisted of having a .45 brass case inserted in each ear during my time in the Corps. Later, we all used fancy electronic ear muffs. That was too late for me.

 

Now, I use Sportears and wear prescription shooting glasses.

 

Ausrraiians have no problem because their government confiscated their guns.  <_<

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Actually, taking a different track - I think SASS is one of the best places to take kids to learn. 

It's safe: how we do the loading table, unloading table, plus no rounds chambered or under the hammer mean it's pretty safe.

It has movement: drawing, shooting, moving - they can practice all those skills and move to 3 gun when older if they like :)

Community: Where else will you find a large group of surrogate grandparents willing to help?

 

If they are shooting regualr 22LR loads, with protection, it's not going to be too loud, no worse than earbuds and music. Keep them several feet away from everyone else when shooting and they won't get the booms of the full power holy black loads. 

 

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I'm not trying to discount the need for or the value of good hearing protection.  Today, I use it every time I get near ANY loud noise.  But what I don't understand (maybe there's an MD or Audiologist out there who can explain it) is why didn't I, and probably others here on this forum, deafen myself as a kid when I hunted nearly every weekend, in season, with magnum duck and goose loads, hunted big game and bench rest shot with large caliber rifles, shot competitive trap frequently, occasionally shot a canon with friends, played in a band, ran a pneumatic jackhammer in a deep hole with my uncle to dig a 60' well, blasted granite on a Forest Service trail crew, worked around very loud machinery and tractors, and did who knows what else, and I NEVER wore any kind of hearing protection.  I don't recall anyone wearing it back then.  Yet today, at 70, I have about 85% of my hearing capability. 

 

But today, if I even fire a. 22LR more than a few shots without ear protection, it is painful and my ears ring for hours afterwards.  Can somebody please explain the relationship of age to noise-based hearing impairment?   Did I just have good genetics? 

 

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26 minutes ago, Dusty Devil Dale said:

I'm not trying to discount the need for or the value of good hearing protection.  Today, I use it every time I get near ANY loud noise.  But what I don't understand (maybe there's an MD or Audiologist out there who can explain it) is why didn't I, and probably others here on this forum, deafen myself as a kid when I hunted nearly every weekend, in season, with magnum duck and goose loads, hunted big game and bench rest shot with large caliber rifles, shot competitive trap frequently, occasionally shot a canon with friends, played in a band, ran a pneumatic jackhammer in a deep hole with my uncle to dig a 60' well, blasted granite on a Forest Service trail crew, worked around very loud machinery and tractors, and did who knows what else, and I NEVER wore any kind of hearing protection.  I don't recall anyone wearing it back then.  Yet today, at 70, I have about 85% of my hearing capability. 

 

But today, if I even fire a. 22LR more than a few shots without ear protection, it is painful and my ears ring for hours afterwards.  Can somebody please explain the relationship of age to noise-based hearing impairment?   Did I just have good genetics? 

 

Genetics.

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From a slightly different angle,  my 2 boys have moved up from Buckaroos to both being Young Guns.  They both started SASS 6 years ago.  They were not new to shooting then.  When the youngest started Cowboy shooting he didn't want muffs because of his hat, and the foam plugs were to large to properly fit.  I bought a mold your own kit and made some that fit his ears.  They also shoot trap for High School and 4H.   They know that if shooting they have ear protection.  They don't have the thumping bass in their cars, don't do rock concerts and a lot of the other loud events that some of their friends do.  It is a concern, but the responsibility that they have learned with firearms out weighs the worry of hearing loss.  Just my .02  V.V.

 

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if it weren't for a youngster shooting with her family that invited me into this game i might never have done this / spent all this money / found all these great friends and acquaintances , 

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