Irish Olympic target shooting

MEC Silence

I’ve had the same earplugs now for quite a while – basic E.A.R. ones:

E.A.R. plugsThey did the job well, but they have a disadvantage in that they block all noise equally, and that meant taking one out when being coached, and sometimes shooting without putting it back in (naughty, and leads to hearing loss). So during the last kit purchase from Intershoot, I splurged a bit (because decade-old earplugs are probably a bit hygienically unwise anyway) and bought a set of MEC Silence earplugs:

MEC Silence

The little black bit you can see in the middle of the earplug is the fancy bit that drives up the price. MEC describe it as a membrane that closes when hit by loud sounds, but which stays open for low sounds, like speech. You can have the little eyes in the end of it like there, or use a plain shoelace for the same job:

MEC Silence

But personally, I took out the string because it kept catching around my neck while shooting and annoying me. Having used them now on the UCD range and the WTSC range, I’m happy with them – they certainly work as advertised, I can talk to Matt during coaching without removing them and they still block or deaden the sound of the air rifle, even with my ear up near the muzzle end (no, not in front of it :D). They’re a bit expensive compared to the E.A.R. ones (they’re about €31 or so), but they’ll last for a few years and the convenience is worth it to me. So in case anyone was wondering if they’re a gimmick or if they work, yes, they do what MEC says they do 😀

I’m now just wondering if letting you hear what’s being said on the range more clearly is a competitive disadvantage (the RO commands are always loud enough to hear, but the chatter in the background from spectators would now be loud enough to hear as well…). More on this after the nationals I think…


  • Walls
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 10:59 | Permalink

    Yeah, just wish you wouldn’t use them at home….

  • Steve Roebuck
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 12:16 | Permalink

    Will be very interested to see how they work in competition as I find background noises very distracting when in competitions.

  • Rob Stubbs
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 17:15 | Permalink

    You really need to cut out all noise to concentrate fully on what your doing and not what the noisy RO’s or spectators are doing

    • Posted March 31, 2011 at 17:33 | Permalink

      Maybe – I’m not throwing away the older ones just in case. But for coaching sessions, these new plugs are the dog’s proverbials.

  • Conor
    Posted April 21, 2011 at 22:34 | Permalink

    If you want to leave the string on but don’t want the string catching stuff, tuck the excess string into the back of your visor. It works pretty well for me. It also stops me from dropping them! 🙂

    • Posted April 21, 2011 at 22:43 | Permalink

      I tried that (it’s what I did with the older ones), but the actual ridges on the string rubbing on the visor caused noise too 🙁

      • Conor
        Posted April 21, 2011 at 23:05 | Permalink

        The string rubbing on the back of my jacket caused noise for me, but if you tuck it into the visor *properly* (leaving almost no slack) then you should be fine. If you half-ass it, it doesn’t work at all.

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