Hearing protectors for use in indoor shooting ranges

Project No. BIA 4087


completed 11/1996


High peak noise pulses encountered in indoor shooting ranges endanger the hearing of marksmen undergoing training and that of trainers and supervisors who are continually present. A discriminating sound analysis was therefore employed, initiated by the the institution for statutory accident insurance and prevention in the administrative sector, to ascertain the noise impact, and the results used to develop a procedure for selection of suitable hearing protectors. The objective was to reduce the noise reaching the ear below the limit values of 140 dB for the peak sound pressure level and 85 dB(A) for the assessment levels of noise exposure.


The noise impact was measured, for the firearm types in common use (handguns), both at the marksman's ear and at the ears of trainers and supervisors. Based upon the results of these individual measurements, a model for prediction of the noise impact was developed in consideration of further parameters related to normal shooting activity (position of the individuals involved, number of shots fired during a training session, etc.), and tested in practice.


The model was used to draw up noise impact tables for standard weapon types and typical training activity which enable the appropriate hearing protector to be selected easily from a list of certified hearing protectors (hearing protectors with CE mark) without the need for acoustics expertise and performance of specific noise measurements. In special cases, the model can be used to calculate the specific noise impact.

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Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit - BIA

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:



Lärm, Persönliche Schutzausrüstung, Prävention

Description, key words:

Selection of hearing protectors for use in indoor shooting ranges, measurement of noise impact, model for prediction of sound pressure parameters related to shooting with firearms in indoor shooting ranges, firearm, rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol