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Question for combat veterans....???

2222 Views 24 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  Squid
I have been a shooter now for many years...one question that has always kinda stuck with me is this:

How do you deal with the rifle discharge noise in a fire-fight? I know that you need to be able to hear the enemy and how do you communicate with your fellow soldier, but the noise from a .308/ 7.62mm and a .223/ 5.56mm is LOUD. Even painful!!!

Please advise......

(I read the book Black Hawk Down and there was one passage about a Delta Operator, popping out one of his earplugs while stranded over night...to better hear enemy movement, in between firefights, at night)

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You don't hear it. It's that simple. You hear it after.
FenianBastard said:
You don't hear it. It's that simple.

Noise levels on the ears is the "farthest" thing from your mind in a knock down drag out ...

I'm with them - too many things going on to worry about noise.

Now when it got quiet all of a sudden - that "sounded" weird.

I agree...its like the pain after the injury..
I never heard it when I dropped the hammer, too many other
things to think about at the time.
Hear what ??
Yeah, it's kinda like that.

You only worry about coming out the other side when it's over.

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Never really heard the small arms fire. I really heard claymores because when we detonated them, they were strictly by surprise and man they are LOUD. I also heard 105mm artillery and 500 lb bombs. But not much small arms sounds usually your were too busy to pay any attention, things just happen by reaction.
It's a lot easier than dealing with that steady ringing in my ears every day. Hold on, darn phone ringing again & crickets are bad this year :D .
The ear plug thing was not part of the big picture in an Infantry company, it may have been with the guys with the big guns.
Hillbilly said:
The ear plug thing was not part of the big picture in an Infantry company, it may have been with the guys with the big guns.
Triggerman may have been referring to these:

http://www.e-a-r.com/premold_detail.cfm?prod_family=Combat Arms&ind_prod_num=370-1000
Do any of the active duty members here have any experience with these?

I've been wondering how well they'd work in combination with electronic muffs.

These also look interesting:


or this one


Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
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When we were set up at Tayh Ninh (sp?) in late 1966 in the rear fire support base of the Brigade, we had attached to us a composite battery (?) of 175mm guns and 8 inch howitizers. The damn 175 was shooting directly over us into the stratosphere. That darn thing will wake up the dead. They were probably 200-300 meters away, but man the sound was deafening.
Like I said before you dont hear it, but incoming Mortar explosions are a different story, the explosions are earsplitting cracks and it feels like its tearing you apart and you are not even within a hundred feet of it. :evil:
I was in a heavy arty. outfit and the noise from a M14 didn't even qualify as sound. Big guns (175 mm and 8 in.) are so loud that it is uncertain where the noise came from. Many guys in out outfit had serious hearing problems.

However: one night of the tet offensive we had a bunch of gooks climb up in this two story building across the parameter and open up. we had 80 guys with m14s and two m60 machine guns open up full bore at the building. I remember that it was really loud !
its must be like if your banging a chick...and she bites your finger...who the hell is going to be thinking about the bite....
In the early '60s I never saw anything like the picture you posted
Talk about noise!!! 8O 8O 8O

I sat in my fox hole along the Heiu Giang River north of Dong Ha one night while the U.S.S. Boston (Get Some - Navy!!!) walked 8" rounds up and down the North side of the river trying to keep the a couple of NVA Battalions and the part of the 13th Main Force VC Regiment from wiping out some Marines and getting over to the other side. Had the 155 Battery from Dong Ha and some 175 Long Toms working too.

Buncha Marines were mighty thankful that a U.S. Navy Cruiser came in close ashore that night. :D :D :D Wouldn't wanted to have been them because the story we got later had it that the Boston put a "ring of fire" around some grunts hugging their holes to keep the "boogers off".

You could definitely hear those going off. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Now THAT was a loud party. 8O 8O 8O

TEA said:
Triggerman may have been referring to these:

Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread.
No good hijacking was ever carried out solo, so let me give you a hand... :lol:

I'm not military and haven't been in combat, but I have a pair of these ear plugs and think they're great. Basically, they can be inserted either way, one way giving more hearing protection while the other way allows better hearing of "ambient" sounds.

The color coding makes it easy - "showing" the green side (yellow side fitted into the ear canal) is the "combat" setting. It gives a nominal level of hearing protection from discharge of your firearm, while still allowing you to hear other things - like people talking, mechanized sounds of trucks, etc. Insert the plugs the other way (yellow side showing, green side inserted) and they give maximum protection from the sound of discharging firearms. In this way, they're as effective as any earplug or earmuff I've used. The drawback is that other sounds are also more difficult to hear. So you use the plugs as necessary... Going into combat, insert the yellow side; going to the range, insert the green side.

Getting back to (I think) the original point, I, too, have always been curious to know whether combat vets typically have reduced hearing capability due to having been in firefights. To Six and the rest of you, do you still hear normally or have you suffered a loss of hearing due to your combat experiences?
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