Sunday, 27 November 2011

Unboxing: Etymotic's GunSport Pro Hearing Protection Review

Do you know anyone who's been shooting for a while who doesn't have some hearing loss??

In the comments section of the last post Exploriment expresses surprise that here in Blighty you can legally fit a sound moderator to your rifle. Our legislation recognises them as a piece of PPE (personal protective equipment) rather than the Assassin's Accessory they seem to be viewed as in North America.
Here they are licensed to individuals on health and safety grounds: culling for the Forestry Commission, and Keepers working on estates are issued with moderators as part of workplace safety -  like hard hats and steel toe-capped boots on building sites. So if an individual police force (firearms are licensed locally not nationally) were to turn down an application from a licensed holder of a firearm they would become liable for impeding the users attempts to protect themselves from the hazard.

I've often been amazed at the way 'health and safety' is derided on the cities construction sites - offer someone using loud power tools a pair of ear defenders and they'll tell you "my ears are knackered already" Which puzzels me. If you knew you were part way deaf surely you'd try to look after what you've got left?

The number of guides I've met who make sure they keep you to their right [as their left ear is blown] is pretty high, these are the same people who at the range will hand you the skankiest cans you've ever seen.
There really is no excuse; I have a really great pair, they knock off 30db and even fold up, best of all they were only £6.43p (less than ten bucks) from Toolstation [here's the link - when you actually get them they are yellow].

On site and at the range they are sweet, but they're a bit bulky for walking about in, and of course you can't hear much while you're wearing them. I've always fancied a pair of those in-ear defenders. Especially [as a life long fan of the Six Million Dollar Man] the ones that can amplify sounds while you're walking around in the woods until they automatically shut off when you take your shot.

So I was proper delighted when the lovely people at Etymotic got in touch to ask if I'd like to do a little field testing for them. Err, that would be HELL YES!

Etymotic have won a couple of awards for their ear protection, and in the enhanced hearing setting you can hear why, they really are great.

Out of the box
They come with several sets of earplugs which is just as well - the standard plugs fit my left ear really well but aren't that comfortable in my right ear. I've got different shaped inner ears! Who knew? Every day's a school day!

I'd have preferred it if the little pouch that hold them and the cleaning kit had an attachment for a lanyard and belt loop but I have one of those neat little surgical gloves pouch from Maxpedition that'll be perfect for the job.

I'm way too busy with work to go beating or shooting this weekend so a full field test will have to wait, but I do need to cut into the foundations of a wall with a big grinder so the Gun Sport Pro's efficacy at defending against continuous noises can be put to the test during the week.

More soon