March 8th, 2013

Slim, “ShotGunner” Ear Muffs Offer More Stock Clearance

A Forum member recently asked if anybody makes a thinner, less-blocky earmuff that won’t interfere with head placement on the stock. We understand his inquiry — big, over-sized muffs tend to bang into the stock and sometimes even disturb the gun in the bags.

Our first suggestion is use quality foam earplugs. The Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) for a quality foam plug is better than nearly all earmuffs. But for those who prefer earmuffs, or who “double up” muffs over plugs, AO Safety (Peltor), makes the ShotGunner Folding Earmuffs, item # 97013. Peltor’s ShotGunner muffs feature tapered ear domes, which are cutaway on the lower half for stock clearance. These muffs, which retail for $16-$20, also fold up into a very compact package for storage. This Editor has used the Shotgunner Muffs (NRR 21) and they are very comfortable. Because they fit well they actually seem to work better than some big bulky muffs (with higher NRRs) that don’t seal so well.

Peltor ShotGunner Muffs

Comparative Noise Reduction Ratings
The ShotGunner folding muffs have a NRR of 21 db — compare that to 25-30 db NRR for big, heavy muffs and 29-33 db NRR for good ear plugs, such as the Howard Leight Max UF plugs (33 NRR). Of course, to achieve those 30+ Noise Reduction Ratings, earplugs must be inserted correctly. The 3M Occupational Health and Environmental Safety Division has prepared two YouTube videos which illustrate how to properly use foam earplugs and flanged (pre-molded) earplugs.

VIDEO ONE: How to Use Soft Foam Earplugs

VIDEO TWO: How to Use Pre-Molded Flanged Earplugs

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