Range day: one of my favorite days of the week. Perhaps it is due to being around firearms my entire life; they bring a sense of comfort. I can remember, as a child, my father taking me to the range to blast off a few hundred rounds with his friends. I would run around watching my old man train for his combat pistol competitions; the sounds were deafening.When I was 17 years old I joined the Marine Corps; the one consistent thing I remember profoundly was the soft yellow ear protection. While deployed to Iraq in 2004-05, trying to get your hand on a pair of these was like hitting the lottery. I remember using the butts of my cigarettes as hearing protection more often than not (Camel Wides seemed to muffle the sound best, for those of you forward and without ear pro).Now, you will find the standard amplified earmuffs in my range bag. They do the job; however, I do not particularly care for the comfort of the product. Especially after long hours on the range.
So, I have been on the search for something new; and, more importantly, comfortable. I was surfing the web and came across an ad for electronic ear plugs: The GSP 15 GunSport Pro. I have seen a few guys on the range wearing these small earbud type hearing protection, but have heard mixed reviews on them. I knew one thing, I was absolutely tired of the earmuffs; and, for the cost I had incurred replacing all of the lost amplified earmuffs, it was time to spend the $299 on the GSP 15’s. So I placed an order.I received the product very quickly. Being in the e-commerce business, I was happy to see this company understood the value of fast shipping. The product came in a small green box about the size of a box of pistol ammunition. Neatly packaged inside was an assortment of Fit ear tips. I was so excited. Being a man who does not read directions, I quickly jammed the devices in my ears and though “nice fit!”. I threw the directions to the side and rifled through the box looking at all the goodies. Soft tips, fat tips, silicone tips! A brush, some neat piece of metal in a bag with red thingys and batteries.
I quickly skimmed the directions, inserted the batteries, and tried a few different ear tips until I found the best fit. It was like putting on that one shoe that felt sooo comfortable. I picked up the box again and read the 15dB automatic hearing protection. I had to test this.My assistant and I share an office, which always provides the opportunity for shenanigans. I began clapping my hands next to my right ear as hard as possible. She looked at me like I was crazy. I looked at her and said, “Is that loud?” Her look of frustration gave me the answer I was looking for. The sound was muffled to the point that it sounded very soft. I continued clapping as hard as possible, with each impact my assistant's eyes winced. Yet the sound was hardly audible.I thought, "Right on! Let’s get these on the range."I shoot competitively with the Grunt Style Shooting Team; long range precision rifle shooting. The following weekend I participated in a long range competition with my shooting team down in Baker, Florida. It was a two-day shooting event with some very loud and high-caliber rifles. Over the course of the first day, the earplugs worked fantastically. I had no discomfort as I was accustomed to with the earmuffs. The product was great at reducing the sounds of gunshots, and communicating to my teammates was rather easy.
I did notice that, for an amplified earplug, it really was not as loud as the earmuffs. I referred back to the box I had brought with me and stowed in my Grunt Style Ranger Bag. Looking at the picture, I noticed a switch that I had previously overlooked. I removed one of the plugs and sure enough, I saw a toggle switch just under the microphone. Slapping my forehead for not thoroughly reading the directions, I flipped the toggles for both and was really impressed by the clearness of the sound. It was like an entirely new product.The GSP 15 GunSport Pro is a fantastic product; I was thoroughly impressed. Extremely comfortable, with its assortment of tips, for long periods of use. Long ago were the days of camel wides to these high-speed devices. I am very happy to say these have replaced the bulky uncomfortable earmuffs. Take a look at their product if you are an avid or recreational shooter. You will not be disappointed.