How to Protect your Ears and Eyes While Shooting - NSSF Let's Go Shooting

How to Protect your Ears and Eyes While Shooting

You Only Get One Pair of Each

The human body is an incredible machine. We have a tendency to abuse it pretty well during our youth, and yet it still does what it needs to do to keep us going. When it comes to your vision and hearing, however, I think we all agree that an abundance of caution is wise no matter what your age.

Our eyes and ears are hugely important to our lives—especially to us shooters. So shouldn’t we do everything we can to protect them?

No matter where you’re shooting, indoor range or outdoors, there’s the potential for things like pistol brass or a piece of broken clay bird going the wrong direction and coming too near your face and eyes. Same with hunting, where there are trees, limbs and bugs that seemingly sneak up out of nowhere. I was once turkey hunting and caught a vine with a thorn in it just above an eyebrow—and was very glad I had eye protection on at the time.

No matter the shooting sport, safety glasses are the best way to protect your eyes. Find a model that fits you and stays on securely, one that provides you both primary and peripheral vision, and one that wraps around to protect the area around the eyes. There are many styles, colors and manufactures to choose from, so there quite literally is something out there for every shooter and hunter.

EyesEars.jpgWhen it comes to your hearing, ear protection is a must. Shooting is a loud sport no matter where you’re doing it. Indoor shooting ranges and outdoor range with roofed in shooting benches amplify the sound of gunfire even more.

Thankfully, as it is with eye protection, there are many types of hearing protection available to today’s shooters and hunters. These include over-the-head ear muffs, custom molded ear plugs and electronic varieties of both that allow you to hear conversation while cutting out the damaging, high-decibel noise of gunfire.

The most economical form of hearing protection is a pair of in-the-ear foam ear plugs. Believe it or not, as simple as these devices are there’s a proper way of inserting them. This video from FMG Publications has Chris Leight showing how.

Bottom line, we have just one pair of eyes and one pair of ears. To continue enjoying the shooting sports, make sure you protect yours and always wear your eye and ear protection. Remember, firearms safety depends on you!



It’s a fact: Overexposure to the noise of gunfire can produce a flinch in many shooters. If you’re teaching a new shooter who’s having problems with flinching or even one who just hasn’t gotten comfortable yet with their shooting, double up their hearing protection. Give them a set of foam ear plugs and a set of ear muffs. This will greatly reduce the impact on their hearing, and they will be more comfortable when it comes time to focus on the target and pull the trigger.