As shooters, we understand the importance of good safety equipment. A rugged pair of safety glasses can mean the difference annoyance and pain when a piece of hot brass is deflected into one's face. While we know hearing protection is also critical, it's less immediate. Sure, firing a rifle in an enclosed space without protection will be painful, but improper hearing protection that only partially protects can take years to show signs of hearing loss or tinnitus.
Ear muffs yield the highest ratings, yet are the most difficult to properly wear. Achieving the perfect seal around the ear that keeps out the sharp noises is thwarted by many things, but most often other safety gear. The hat you wear to keep brass off your tender noggin sits just above your ear, in the ideal position to give a gap on the hearing protection. Safety glasses? Oh, yeah, the arms go over your ears—just like the ear muffs. Good luck with that competition.
In-the-ear hearing protection is great for a variety of reasons. It doesn't interfere with other safety gear. It allows "double plugging"—using muffs over them—in extra-loud situations. It's even less obvious if you're in the yard mowing the lawn, running a trimmer or any other task involving power equipment. The inexpensive foam plugs are cheap and plentiful, but hard to get in your ear properly. Molded plugs provide the best fit, but are pricey and take time to properly fit.
Enter the folks at Decibullz. The company's new Custom Molded Earplugs are inexpensive and can be molded at home. Best of all, if the mold isn't perfect, the process can be repeated until it's done right. Three sizes of in-the-ear silicone tips ensure proper fit.
The molding process does involve immersing the plugs in boiling water, so be careful. Wait for the plug to cool before inserting (of course), and only mold one plug at a time (they might stick together if placed in the same pan of boiling water). The process is simple and, when finished, yields a custom-fit set of hearing protection with a noise reduction rating of 31, providing superlative coverage.
MSRP: $25.99. Available in red, blue, black, orange and pink.