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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the extremely unlikely event that I ever had to shoot my .38 in self-defense, would the gunshot noise blasting into my unprotected eardrums throw me off my game? Other than .22 rifles when I was young, I've never discharged a firearm without wearing hearing protection, so I don't know what that's like.
 

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A mosquito landing on your arm can throw you off your game, so the easy answer is "yes." Here's what you might expect:

Outside, you might have some ringing in your ears. You can see what this is like by shooting the gun outside without hearing protection. Just don't make a habit of it.

Inside, or in a car, the impact could range from ringing in the ears all the way up to perforated ear drum(s) and possibly permanent hearing loss. The net impact depends on a lot of factors. I suspect at minimum it would be very disorienting.
 

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The blast from a 9MM in a room (say, living room) has pronounced effects lol, not to be a smart ass, but its impressive. Instantly Deafening. I'd imagine a 38 is no less impressive.

The echo off the wall to my right side, made it nearly impossible to hear out of my right ear for several days, and was extremely painful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your comments, which were about what I'd expected. Glad that I wear double hearing protection at the range!
 

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I always smirk, when watching movies like John Wick, where guns are blazing, yet, they can hear a dude creeping down the hall way or stepping on broken glass. No way man, the only thing you are going to hear is RIIIIIIIIIINNNGGGGG in your ears.
 

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The last thing you will think about is your ears, if you have to discharge a firearm inside and under duress!!!!! Practice a lot! If you don’t, don’t grab your firearm as a last resort! RUN!!
 

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I always smirk, when watching movies like John Wick, where guns are blazing, yet, they can hear a dude creeping down the hall way or stepping on broken glass. No way man, the only thing you are going to hear is RIIIIIIIIIINNNGGGGG in your ears.
The Sopranos did well with this. There was an episode where a guy was whacked by another guy in a car. The shooter instantly yelped and covered his ears in pain. At the time, I was very unfamiliar with pistols and wondered how realistic that portrayal was. Nowadays, I suspect it was spot-on.
 
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Found the clip of the Sopranos thing I was talking about above:

Warning: NSFW, contains violence, swearing

 
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Found the clip of the Sopranos thing I was talking about above:

Warning: NSFW, contains violence, swearing

Haha, yep! That is exactly what its like. Intense pain, instantly. I was sure my ear drum was bleeding. Couldn't hear a damn thing except ringing for several days.
 

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I read once comparing a .38 special firing in a room when not fully lit to a flash bang. :)

I fired a .22lr out of a revolver last week w/o hearing protection and never realised how loud that is. I'd hate to imagine something larger in doors.
 

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And thats why I keep a pair of electronic muffs next to the bed at night-just in case something goes "bump" and I need to investigate further. Plus they do amplify ambient sounds to help with my somewhat less than perfect hearing!
 

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In a fight for your life it is very likely that you will not even hear the shots. I have a friend who has experienced this firsthand. He saw the barrel of the gun and saw the effects of it hitting its target but never heard it. Your body "shuts off" your hearing in high stress.

 

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There was no auditory exclusion on my end. It was instantly and incredibly painful, felt like it was bleeding for several days. I was sure I'd ruptured the drum.
 
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