A gun shop’s stock in trade is largely the knowledge dealers and their sales staffs can impart to the customer.
“I want a shotgun,” says the customer. That’s a good starting point, but which shotgun? What’s it to be used for? It’s a dealer’s knowledge and that of his staff that sends the buyer out the door with a bird gun for hunting, a skeet gun for clays and a properly configured home-defense shotgun for family protection.
That same knowledge base is important for accessory sales, also.
Active Hearing Protection
Over the decades, serious shooters have gone to active hearing protection in a major way. The ability to protect against trauma to the ears, while still being able to conduct a conversation amidst gunfire, is an obvious advantage.
Let’s take a look at two products that might appear similar to the novice, but are each particularly suited to different applications.
As a sponsored shooter for Team Panteao, I’ve been furnished a pair of Pro-Ears Gold muffs, and they turned out to be particularly well suited to tournament shooting. I found them much lighter and more comfortable for constant wear on the firing line than the now-discontinued Gentex 1030 series I wore for many years.
Like all such muffs, which have a volume adjustment for each ear cup, they’re not going to be perfectly directional all the time. When one side is turned to a higher volume, it may it seem as if the sound is coming from that side, even if it’s not. However, for match shooting, all you need is the certainty that you can hear the start buzzer and respond without hesitation. It’s also important that you can hear the “ting” that confirms you’ve hit a steel target that isn’t set up to fall, as you find at some Steel Challenge or Glock Sport Shooting Foundation matches.
The MSRP for the Pro-Ears Gold is $339.99. They’ve worked great for me at matches all over the country — and when I’ve won, they did their part to help me win. Visit www.proears.com.
Another product in this category is the 3M Peltor Tactical Sport model. I’ve been using them a lot lately for teaching and gun testing. A single volume control works for both sides of the muffs simultaneously, making them much more “directional” in terms of allowing the wearer to determine where a given sound is coming from.
That directionality feature is critical to an instructor and other range personnel. When a student is having trouble with a gun, particularly in a situation such as a live firing line during night shooting, it’s imperative the instructor be able to hear where a warning signal is coming from.
Another selling point I found using the Tactical Sport muffs is they shut themselves off after a couple hours if they’ve inadvertently been left on. Any user of active muffs can tell you they’ve often drained the batteries by forgetting to turn them off before placing them in a range bag.
At just over $200 MSRP, they only seem expensive at first. Having taught and shot with them, I consider them “value-priced.” Visit www.peltor.com.
By Massad Ayoob
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