Firearms training using defense ammo


yeah, I was okay for a number of years - don’t recall exactly how many.

I started shooting when I was 10 years old. I think I made it to either late 30’s or maybe 40 before the tinnitus set in permanently.

mquinn55 described it quite well. Please take note.

Although, to the point some here are making - I do agree that shooting some guns (a small variety) once or twice (ever) without hearing protection helps you understand just how loud they really are, but I would not make a habit of doing it.

Note: The most painful (noise wise) gun I have ever fired without hearing protection was a .30-30 Marlin lever action. Not only loud, but a sharp crack, too. I was also firing a .44 Mag Marlin lever action that same day - it was quite loud, too, but nowhere near as painful as the .30-30. Lesson to be learned: In general, firing faster bullets without hearing protection will do more hearing damage.


and from another vet who has noticable loss in one ear and tinnitus
wear hearing protection when shooting
and hopefully the people you are training don’t come back on you for a negligence lawsuit due to their hearing loss.
now in a self defense scenrio, HP it is not something that I would consider because self preservation out weighs hearing protection.
Funny thing about shooting when under stress, you don’t hear your own gunshot. you just sense it by sight, smell and touch (reason why most shooters can not tell you or underestimate how many times they have fired)…
And from experience and training many many people it wasn’t the bang that made people drop the firearm but the recoil.


Every once in a while, I load my FMJ and defense loads to the exact same spec so recoil and POI doesn’t change between the 2.


No,never a rifle. A 9mm or 40 s&w. 3 center mass right before i leave the range


I get your point here, but two things (and this first is mostly conjecture.)
In an actual high stress situation like you describe, I suspect adrenaline and extreme focus would somewhat negate the shock of the noise. (Admittedly And thankfully I don’t know that for fact )
What I do know is that the long term hearing loss is not instantaneous. There is the initial ringing and loss that will come back the next day. But there is also a long term affect that is permanent.

When I went to get tested for my hearing aids the tester said to me (not asked…said) “You shoot guns.” He could tell by the frequencies my hearing was worst. He also says he can identify dentists the same way. They all have loss in the same range caused by the high speed drills. (Which are not overly loud, just at frequencies that are hard for the ears to recover from.)

So if you want to train sometimes without protection that’s fine. But I don’t think I’d push others to do so. You’re putting their hearing at risk without their full understanding.


And now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Like SNJoey said,
It’s quite possible to reload practice rounds exactly like defense rounds with a huge difference in cost.
Defensive ammo can be really expensive and it’s not all that difficult to make duplicate reloads.
I’ve been doing just that for a long time.
Can’t imagine how much money I’ve saved.


Very true. Im sure you’ve saved quite a bit.


Please don’t make someone shoot without protection. It’s harmful to their hearing and does nothing to prepare them for a life vs death encounter with their firearm. The adrenaline dump you experience in a LD situation will make the sound unnoticeable and the performance of the shooter will only be affected by how much practice they had and the muscle memory they built. If you want real performance under pressure… practice, practice, practice, with all protective gear.


I didn’t mean at all that I don’t advocate ear pro
Just that most people have never had a actual engagement in the real world
That being said people are sheep and follow the repetitive training that they do every time
The fring if a firearm which our ear pro is a profound experience to first time shooters
Granted it’s frowned upon and rightfully so
But so is needing hearing preotection to defend one self
This is just my .02 cents and is always subject to debate
It’s also used in conjunction with General saftey training (the wonders of ear pro) but I like to make sure they understand the real world application of discharging a firearm


I reload so I can definitely see the need to train with your defense ammo. I’ve seen just a bullet change (same weight) have a dramatic affect in where it hits the target. You might be high or low with your defense ammo. Best to figure out how it shoots compared to the ball ammo.