Shooting 50bmg/other braked rifles, TBI and tinnitus

ARKEMAXUS

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Looking for experience from guys who have been shooting braked rifles for SEVERAL YEARS please;

I've been shooting braked rifles from 300WM to 50bmg for the last 15 years and have noticed a mild case of tinnitus for the last 5 years. It could just be from the one time I forgot to put on ear pro shooting a braked 300WM which had my ears ringing for half an hour but maybe there's more to it? It comes and goes.

I talked to a guy at the range the other day who was in the service and said he was close to blasts from explosives and braked 50s all the time and now has TBI (traumatic brain injury) as well as a bad case of tinnitus. Said he won't go near a braked 50 anymore.

After talking to him I was convinced to sell my 50 and put cans on all my other rifles but maybe I'm overreacting. Anybody else here experiencing symptoms of TBI or tinnitus? Thanks.
 

MarcC11B

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We have had a gov contractor come out to the range over the past year whenever we take the M107s out. He places sensors on guys to measure for blast effect that can cause TBI, and firing that dude gets over the threshold.
 
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Keith Maggard

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I've lived with tinnitus for 8 yrs now or so...caused by many years of loud music..motorcylce riding...race cars...gun fire etc. It just doesn't happen overnight is what I'm getting at. How many rounds have you put through your 50 btw ??
 

ARKEMAXUS

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O.k. seems pretty clear, get a 50 can or lose the 50. Thanks for the replies everyone.

That writeup was pretty interesting 6.5SH thanks.

Seems like more and more of the suppressors out there for big bores are being built with some kind of recoil mitigation/muzzle brake added feature (Barret QDL Surefire Socom50, new Elite Iron 375 Asset coming out soon) so you get dB/concussion reduction, but with less recoil than a traditional can.
 

TripleBull

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    I've had exposure to loud sounds since childhood. Guns, live music, angry grandmothers, etc. My dad designed loudspeakers and has been known to turn it up to 11 on occasion. Err... Well, most occasions. I've engineered live music for years., played acoustic drums, electric guitar, etc. But even as a kid, I used ear protection. Dad showed me how rolling up a triangle of toilet paper and gluing it up with spit gave protection. But it all adds up over time.

    Whether braked or not, I always use dual protection. It's just an automatic part of the process. You know the tinnitus is bad when it persists beyond 3 days so bad you can't sleep. There are fixes that work for some folks.
     
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    BullGear

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    When I shoot the 50, I have in the ear and on the ear protection at the same time. I've had people tell me that the concussion when standing behind and to the side of the rifle is brutal. I don't know if there's ever enough hearing protection that can be worn when shooting the 50bmg.
     

    Keith Maggard

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    When I shoot the 50, I have in the ear and on the ear protection at the same time. I've had people tell me that the concussion when standing behind and to the side of the rifle is brutal. I don't know if there's ever enough hearing protection that can be worn when shooting the 50bmg.
    The concussion is way worse for anyone standing around it then it is for the shooter.
     
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    rustyinbend

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    Looking for experience from guys who have been shooting braked rifles for SEVERAL YEARS please;

    I've been shooting braked rifles from 300WM to 50bmg for the last 15 years and have noticed a mild case of tinnitus for the last 5 years. It could just be from the one time I forgot to put on ear pro shooting a braked 300WM which had my ears ringing for half an hour but maybe there's more to it? It comes and goes.

    I talked to a guy at the range the other day who was in the service and said he was close to blasts from explosives and braked 50s all the time and now has TBI (traumatic brain injury) as well as a bad case of tinnitus. Said he won't go near a braked 50 anymore.

    After talking to him I was convinced to sell my 50 and put cans on all my other rifles but maybe I'm overreacting. Anybody else here experiencing symptoms of TBI or tinnitus? Thanks.
    I shoot everything suppressed ... it's good for my hearing, and kind to the guy at the bench next to me. I also like the recoil reduction the comes along for the ride.
     

    spelunk

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    I wish muzzle brakes weren't so popular. I can't fathom why people choose to use a device on their rifle that causes irreparable permanent damage to their hearing?! A suppressor is a much better solution.
     
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    BullGear

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    Imagine shooting one at an indoor range. Yes, the range I go to advertises that their backstop will stop a 50 bmg. Can you imagine just how loud that would be? Deafening, yes. Damage to everyone's eardrums, probably. Possibility of a concussion, possible.

    That's something I wouldn't want to do, but would love to see a video of it.
     

    W54/XM-388

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    I shoot everything suppressed ... it's good for my hearing, and kind to the guy at the bench next to me. I also like the recoil reduction the comes along for the ride.

    I wish muzzle brakes weren't so popular. I can't fathom why people choose to use a device on their rifle that causes irreparable permanent damage to their hearing?! A suppressor is a much better solution.

    Once you get up into the .50BMG range you find out that a suppressor is nowhere near as effective at reducing recoil as an aggressive brake.
    Prone shooting a suppressed bolt action .50BMG that has no brake can be a bit too brutal for many.

    Before you try to argue that I'm wrong, go actually try prone shooting the same rifle with a standard suppressor on it and then with an aggressive brake like the AR50 has...

    That's why Barrett went to the hybrid suppressor that has a small brake on the end of it, to keep it somewhat decent to shoot.
     

    BullGear

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    That man knows what he's talking about. Think about the energy being expelled through the brake. Now add that to the amount of recoil and you've got a man crusher. The rifle already kicks like a 12 ga shotgun. Now triple that recoil with a suppressor. Nah, I'm okay with the brake.
     
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    ARKEMAXUS

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    When I shoot the 50, I have in the ear and on the ear protection at the same time. I've had people tell me that the concussion when standing behind and to the side of the rifle is brutal. I don't know if there's ever enough hearing protection that can be worn when shooting the 50bmg.
    Yeah, based on a few reports I've read now (including the one in this thread) apparently double ear pro while better, is still not going to protect against some level of permanent damage. But one thing to think about is obviously; how much are you shooting? If a guy goes out with his 50 once a year and puts 10 rounds down range I would think that's a lot different than the guy who's taking it out every other week.
     

    frank320

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    I love shooting my Cadex Tremor 50 Cal. It is braked with a Terminator T6 brake and I double up on hearing protection - ear plugs + covers. Trust me when I say you do not want to be anywhere near the 50 cal when it goes off, especially to the sides of the rifle/brake. I find the concussion less for the shooter than it is for observers if they stand around the shooter when it goes off, probably due to the rear angled muzzle blast.

    Having said that, my Tremor has a 32 inch barrel, and when coupled with a huge T6 brake upfront and non-bullpup design of the Tremor, means the muzzle brake is as far forward as possible of the shooter. This helps. I cannot imagine shooting a 50 cal with a 20 inch barrel with bullpup design, putting the brake ever closer to the shooter.
     
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    BullGear

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    Yeah, based on a few reports I've read now (including the one in this thread) apparently double ear pro while better, is still not going to protect against some level of permanent damage. But one thing to think about is obviously; how much are you shooting? If a guy goes out with his 50 once a year and puts 10 rounds down range I would think that's a lot different than the guy who's taking it out every other week.

    Back in the day (when I first bought the 50) I was out at least once a month and shooting around 20-40 rounds each time. That of course included those who wanted to shoot the rifle and family members who came along and couldn't resist putting a round or 2 down range.

    I had guys at the range give me $10 a round to shoot it. They are crowd pleasers to be sure.

    I kinda wish I had that ammo back now. But hey, we all had a good time.
     

    W54/XM-388

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    Yeah, based on a few reports I've read now (including the one in this thread) apparently double ear pro while better, is still not going to protect against some level of permanent damage.

    Some of the newer research says that even with double hearing protection, you can be getting damage from bone conduction from the blast.
    So maybe the way to go with a .50 is kind of go back old school and shoot it from a tripod mount with a suppressor.
     

    rustyinbend

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    Once you get up into the .50BMG range you find out that a suppressor is nowhere near as effective at reducing recoil as an aggressive brake.
    Prone shooting a suppressed bolt action .50BMG that has no brake can be a bit too brutal for many.

    Before you try to argue that I'm wrong, go actually try prone shooting the same rifle with a standard suppressor on it and then with an aggressive brake like the AR50 has...

    That's why Barrett went to the hybrid suppressor that has a small brake on the end of it, to keep it somewhat decent to shoot.
    I don't doubt that. I guess my question would be "Why?" As in ... Why would anyone even want to own a 50-BMG? It's horrifically loud, generates shoulder-crippling recoil, the ammo is mind-melting expensive, and it serves no useful purpose for either hunting or competition. I get plenty of big-bore excitement from the 338-LM barrel on my Barrett MRAD, with way less of the aggravation and expense. I'm just sayin' ...
     
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    W54/XM-388

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    I don't doubt that. I guess my question would be "Why?" As in ... Why would anyone even want to own a 50-BMG? It's horrifically loud, generates shoulder-crippling recoil, the ammo is mind-melting expensive, and it serves no useful purpose for either hunting or competition. I get plenty of big-bore excitement from the 338-LM barrel on my Barrett MRAD, with way less of the aggravation and expense. I'm just sayin' ...

    For the rise of the robots.
     

    MarcC11B

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    When we have the guys on line shooting the 107s I am about 10 meters back (you can spot for that dude that far back) and still have a slight headache when we leave. According to the gov contractor I am getting damage, which I don’t need more of.
    Part of the problem is shooting prone, so far we have found that the ground helps direct more concussion back towards the shooter and innocent bystanders. They are working on, among other products, a shooting mat that absorbs some of that energy.
    Shooting such rifles suppressed is no joke, it will not mitigate recoil like a good brake. Not even close! I had a suppressor made to handle my .408 Cheytac (sold, now have a .375 Snipetac) and it was downright unpleasant, the brake made it very manageable. Those that say muzzle brakes are loud need to learn what hearing protection is, if you don’t use it (protection) then you are already setting yourself up for failure…and that’s your fault. To me they are a godsend. One makes my factory .300 WinMag hunting rifle so easy to shoot that you can spot your own impacts at very close ranges, and fire 50 rounds in a day if you want.
     

    rustyinbend

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    When we have the guys on line shooting the 107s I am about 10 meters back (you can spot for that dude that far back) and still have a slight headache when we leave. According to the gov contractor I am getting damage, which I don’t need more of.
    Part of the problem is shooting prone, so far we have found that the ground helps direct more concussion back towards the shooter and innocent bystanders. They are working on, among other products, a shooting mat that absorbs some of that energy.
    Shooting such rifles suppressed is no joke, it will not mitigate recoil like a good brake. Not even close! I had a suppressor made to handle my .408 Cheytac (sold, now have a .375 Snipetac) and it was downright unpleasant, the brake made it very manageable. Those that say muzzle brakes are loud need to learn what hearing protection is, if you don’t use it (protection) then you are already setting yourself up for failure…and that’s your fault. To me they are a godsend. One makes my factory .300 WinMag hunting rifle so easy to shoot that you can spot your own impacts at very close ranges, and fire 50 rounds in a day if you want.
    No doubt that a good muzzle brake makes seeing your impact much easier. But for me, the combination of quiet and recoil mitigation of a suppressor is worth slightly less on-target visibility. If I'm shooting prone and have a solid position and shoulder-weld ... the difference is very small. To each his own ... I keep a suppressor in my "Man-Can-Case" for pretty much everything I shoot.

    1634302954216.jpeg
     

    Steel head

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    When we have the guys on line shooting the 107s I am about 10 meters back (you can spot for that dude that far back) and still have a slight headache when we leave. According to the gov contractor I am getting damage, which I don’t need more of.
    Part of the problem is shooting prone, so far we have found that the ground helps direct more concussion back towards the shooter and innocent bystanders. They are working on, among other products, a shooting mat that absorbs some of that energy.
    Shooting such rifles suppressed is no joke, it will not mitigate recoil like a good brake. Not even close! I had a suppressor made to handle my .408 Cheytac (sold, now have a .375 Snipetac) and it was downright unpleasant, the brake made it very manageable. Those that say muzzle brakes are loud need to learn what hearing protection is, if you don’t use it (protection) then you are already setting yourself up for failure…and that’s your fault. To me they are a godsend. One makes my factory .300 WinMag hunting rifle so easy to shoot that you can spot your own impacts at very close ranges, and fire 50 rounds in a day if you want.
    I’ve wondered if a bigger version of this would help?
    7513768F-E270-4B31-9E1B-274B06EA8854.jpeg
     
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    frank320

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    I don't doubt that. I guess my question would be "Why?" As in ... Why would anyone even want to own a 50-BMG? It's horrifically loud, generates shoulder-crippling recoil, the ammo is mind-melting expensive, and it serves no useful purpose for either hunting or competition. I get plenty of big-bore excitement from the 338-LM barrel on my Barrett MRAD, with way less of the aggravation and expense. I'm just sayin' ...
    Why own a 50 BMG?
    1) Because lots of countries and States seem hell bent on trying to ban the ownership of a 50 BMG rifle if they can get away with it.
    2) Find me another caliber that has APIT, API, AP, Incendiary, Tracer, Spotter, Match Ammo and the glorious Raufoss Mk 211 available.
    3) Nothing else comes close to saying "God Bless America and our 2nd Amendment" than the boom of a 50 BMG
     

    6.5SH

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    Even 30 ish years ago it was recommended to use sandbags or other baffles to divert blast away from the shooter and spotter.