Remember the days when schools would give hearing tests? Educators knew how important hearing was to learning and wanted to ensure that students could understand direction. The same is true in teaching our children to be good, safe shooters.
One of the best products to use for communicating gun safety and shooting instructions to a young person is Walker’s muffs (walkersgameear.com). Walker’s Youth Active muffs fit kids as young as 4 years of age on up, and they are available in four different colors: pink, royal blue, green and mint. Best of all, they are electronically controlled, meaning they shut off harsh reports, i.e., gunshots, while ensuring the young shooter can also hear and maintain awareness of their surrounding environment.
Where these units differ from other electronic ear protection is that they only come with one microphone. When around a lot of people at a range talking and shooting, two-mic ear pro can pick up too much noise and make it hard to discern the direction of individual sounds. With the one microphone, an instructor can place themselves near that side of the shooter and know their voice will not be mixed with ambient noise.
These active muffs come with a noise reduction rating of 22 decibels (dB) and are limited to 85 dB. They feature a very soft, rubberized headband and ear seals. Adjusting the muff for head size is easy (and important) for the youngster to learn and will expand as kids grow.
Powered by two AAA batteries, they come with an audio input jack (good for music), and retail for around $60.
Once a child has outgrown the Juniors, they can segue into other Walker’s models like the compact, Razor Patriot Series Slim Shooter e-muffs with audio input jack ($80). If they’re really getting serious about the shooting sports, consider the new XCEL 500BT digital e-muff with Bluetooth ($150). It could be what Santa hangs on the mantle this year.