Letter Re: Improving Your Shooting Skills Without Spending a Fortune on Ammo

I read this post in SurvivalBlog with interest. Shooting can get expensive. Thanks W. for those tips and tricks.

I have a question for Mr. Rawles and others: Do you recommend practicing shooting without eye and ear protection, even for a little while? In a real world situation I doubt if a person would be wearing these during an incident involving live fire in a SHTF scenario. Maybe glasses or sunglasses but probably not shooting glasses. Wearing hearing protection while on a small unit patrol or just around the retreat does not seem practical, either. Should we get used to shooting while hearing the true noise generated? I do not mean all the time; hearing damage would definitely be a concern. But at least see what it is like.

Seeing the combat footage from Iraq and Afghanistan it seems most soldiers on patrol were wearing some sort of glasses or goggles, but not hearing protection. I did see hearing protection worn by troops in fixed positions, like artillery and mortar batteries.

At the range one time I had slid my hearing protection back while there was a lull in shooting to change targets. I forgot to put them back in place before the next round of firing began and was surprised at how loud it really is. My ears were ringing for some time. This seems like it could affect accuracy, concentration and communication between group members during said incident. But we should get used to it, right?

Thanks, – Mike in Atlanta

JWR Replies: I don’t recommend shooting without ear protection–even for just “a little while”– for two reasons:

1.) Hearing loss is cumulative. Don’t accelerate the process unnecessarily.

2.) The sharp sound of unmuffled gunshots can actually induce a flinch, which can be difficult to overcome