Originally Posted by ovastafford
I have a muzzel brake on my 300 RUM and I have jumped elk and shot them without hearing protection and didnt even notice the sound.... I think it depends on how much your bloods pumping. I have got in lots of arguments about this issue before. If you have time though I would use hearing protection but anytime you dont have time to put plugs in I wouldn't worry about it.
I've got to disagree with this recommendation. Ask anyone (else) who has fired a braked rifle, even once, without hearing protection and see what they say. Most will tell you that their ears rang for days. It is important to remember that hearing damage is PERMENANT. A single unprotected blast will cause permanent damage according to my hearing doctor.
I will shoot an unbraked rifle once or twice without hearing protection while afield biggame hunting. However, if I'm carrying a braked rifle, especially one of the newer designs which vent blast rearward, I would not even consider dropping the hammer without using plugs or muffs, not even once.
On the range I use hearing protection while shooting everything/anything, even the lowly 22 rimfire.
Just my 2 cents