When I began shooting (at age 6, with my Dad) the concept of sight and hearing protection were foreign. Point down range and touch ‘er off! I was told I’d get used to the ringing. Even a Colt Vest Pocket .25 is loud with no protection.
Years later, when I renewed shooting as a young ‘adult’, I was wearing protective lenses (well, eyeglasses, anyway), but no hearing protection could be had. Dave (the
genius mechanic) and I soon determined that placing something in our ears besides elbows was probably a good idea.
Of course, in the interim, there was much play with fireworks, including the black cat firecracker lit waist high, arm cocked to throw, and subsequent premature explosion next to my left ear. The hand didn’t function for a few moments, but the finger count did show a quorum, so all was okay. So was the tinnitus.
Now, when shooting, I religiously wear eyes and ears. I still sometimes have ringing, mostly due to the overdosing of NSAIDS. And I do have some high-frequency hearing loss in my left ear. A ticking watch goes tick-tick-tick at my right ear, and pong, pong, pong at my left.
I blame the firecracker.
Wear your protection, people!