By Tim Trickett, Adjunct Instructor, SIG SAUER Academy
EXETER, NH –-(Ammoland.com)- Today we want to talk about two of the safety aspects of shooting gear; proper eye and hearing protection, or as we call them on the range, “eyes and ears.”
Let’s start with eye protection. There are dozens of types of eye protection on the market, including standard safety glasses, wraparound styles, and various tinted lens models.
The key to any good piece of equipment is that it meets and exceeds the requirements you need (and look cool). Lenses should be constructed of high-impact polycarbonate and meet the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z-87 specification.
Shooting glasses that meet this specification will have “ANSI Z-87” written on the glasses somewhere. They should also fit properly and be comfortable so as to not distract you while shooting. There is nothing worse than adjusting glasses while you are shooting. If you wear prescription glasses already, a set of clear side shields will keep errant brass out of the way for added protection.
Keep them clean, scratch-free, and stored in the carrying case when not in use. A quality pair of shooting glasses will last years if you take good care of them. Some of our favorite brands include Revision, Oakley, and ESS.
As for hearing protection, there are several types including standard foam single-use plugs, custom fit pre-formed or molded plugs, standard earmuffs, and high-quality electronic/noise-canceling earmuffs.
As with glasses, check the fit of your ear protection to ensure it is comfortable. Most firearms create a sound in the 120 -160 decibel (DB) level. Foam earplugs will protect your hearing as will most standard earmuffs, but check the DB rating on the product before use to ensure that it will effectively cancel out for noise levels. If I am out shooting a larger caliber for an extended period of time, I typically double up and use foam plugs and earmuffs. Sometimes it helps to double up on indoor ranges as well because of the echo.
If you are out on the range or in a class with an instructor, the electronic muffs are tough to beat because you can hear instructions clearly without removing your ear protection. Most of the electronic muffs use software to block out noise over 80 DB. When they detect this sound, they shut down to protect the wearer from the loud noise like normal earmuffs.
Many of them also feature a volume setting to amplify normal sounds such as voices in between shots, which makes hearing instructions much better. Some of our favorite brands include Peltor, MSA, and Pro Ears.
Keep in mind, when shooting long guns to check both for fit and comfort down behind your rifle. Also, many of the compact foldable “tactical” earmuffs don’t offer as much protection as others.
About SIG SAUER, Inc.
SIG SAUER, Inc. is the largest member of a worldwide business group of firearms manufacturers that includes J.P. Sauer & Sohn and Blaser GmbH in Germany and Swiss Arms AG in Switzerland. This global network of companies gives SIG SAUER a world-class firearms knowledge base, unparalleled design expertise, and extensive manufacturing capacity, enabling the company to respond quickly and effectively to changing market conditions and the needs of its military, law enforcement, and commercial markets worldwide. SIG SAUER is an ISO 9001: 2000 certified company with over 370 employees. For more information on SIG SAUER or any of its products, or the SIG SAUER Academy, log on to www.sigsauer.com