American Handgunner Jan/Feb 2013 Digital Edition - Page 26

REALITYCHECK TM first-person thoughts on surviving in the real world clint smith ? did ask a question of every class I teach: “Have any of you ever had a gun go off sometime when you didn’t expect it?” In every group I teach, usually 10 to 12 people per session, at least half of the people present have had the gun “go-bang” mode. Accident, accidental discharge, negligent discharge, premature discharge, unauthorized discharge, call it whatever you like or whatever is politically correct to you. The intriguing part to me is most of these people are gun people of a sort. Not always hot-rod experts, but gun owners, and all of them have spent money to come to school in an attempt to become more proficient. Naysayers will tout, “What a buncha idiots … yeah they better go to school.” Maybe the nayers are correct — except think of all the people who own guns who have never been to school and will make no attempt to do so? One other subtle nuance is the fact a bucket full of the “go bang” folks are cops and military people and honest gun experts, so it isn’t just the village idiot. At least the people who come to school are trying to get more competent, and that’s more than I can say for the vast majority of gun owners. What Roy wore plugs and electronic muffs so he could hear the commands at the colt side match at the shooting Industry Masters match. That 10mm was loud, but electronic muffs and shooting glasses helped him to run the gun effectively, be safe and protect his hearing too. you say? Really Loud Things I ?I ? t’s best to wear a full coverage protector rather than only plugs since some sound is transmitted through bones near your ear. If you wear both, get a set of active electronic muffs that enhance hearing, but cut out gunfire, so you can hear range commands. The rumor is a gun fired under duress is not as loud because of the adrenalin “rush” associated with combat or the charging groundhog. Regardless, your partner’s .300 Win Mag is going to “ring” the crap out of your head and hearing when he let’s fly with it at your side. The bigger the gun or the closer it is to your head, the more potential for damage there is. Gunshots can cause damage no matter how amped-up you are. If you apply the gunshot inside a building or vehicle you do even more damage. Muzzlebrakes may do a service to the shooter, but they do a disservice to those around the gun. Here, I always stick muzzlebrake guns on the end of the line so they don’t beat the other students to death. In the last ten years or so, I’ve seen a marked increase in the number of people using firearms with supressors — mostly rifles — and I applaud them every time one comes onto the range. Many states allow them, so look into it if that sounds like a good idea to you. highquality electronic muffs (like pro Ears Gold) offer hearing enhancement and protection. clint noticed an increase in the number of students who bring suppressed guns to class, with rifles being the more common. It’s always a pleasure to have them on the line, he says. 26 irst I would wear good ear protection while training and make everyone you train with do the same. Next you might consider wearing ear protection for home defense. If there is any warning, the barking dog, the alarm going off or whatever alerting you’re about to have an issue — donning electronic hearing protectors could be a definite asset. You can hear, and your hearing is protected if you shoot. If other family members have ear protection they can hear your commands, and they can hear after you shoot. Any number of good basic (or electronic) hearing protectors are available today, and if you’re on a tight budget, you can find them as low as $50 if you shop around. But you get what you pay for, so use common sense. One of the three fundamentals of warfare is communications. This means to communicate with others, and it means you have to hear what others are saying. Maybe hearing protection is a good idea? Especially in a home-defense situation? A little while back I had a pistol fired about a foot from my head during training — while I wasn’t wearing protection. That ear wasn’t all that great before the big bang, but this put it over the top in the lack-of-hearing category. I went to a good doctor and he gave me a new eardrum. It’s good, but it isn’t as good as the original. Food for thought: Try to keep your original equipment as long as possible. Wear ear protection folks, all the time, every time. Don’t be an idiot. Fixing it F * WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JANUARY/FEBRUARY2013

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