Within the vast array of hearing protection supplies available to shooters through the Brownells website are the reusable earplugs from both Peltor and 3M: they're handy, pratical, effective, and above all, cheap!
Although the hearing protection market may be considered today almost entirely centered around electronic earplugs or earmuffs – or, speaking at large, on basically anything that works electronically – classic earplugs still have their fanbase, and reusable earplugs are just as popular as electronic solutions: they're cheap, they're small, they're practical, and a shooter can have enough of those in his or her range bag to make up for the failures of any electronic device or to lend to other shooters or friends who may have tagged along for a trip at the range.
Under this point of view, the 3M Company is still a global leader; mostly know for its heavy-duty hearing protection systems dedicated to industrial workers, the Company also distributes several types of hearing protection products under its own name or under the controlled Peltor brand, dedicated to shooters and to professional operators.
Among its basic hearing protection products for shooters are the three-flanged 3M E.A.R. UltraFit earplugs, manufactured out of elastomer-based polymer and sporting a blue rubberized cord. They are sold in classic paper throwaway cases or in round blue plastic pocket boxes fitted with a keychain that makes them practical to carry basically everywhere at any time.
Their shape allows the E.A.R. UltraFit earplugs to fit the size and shape of any auricle: there is no need to roll the earplugs before fitting, so the tips stay clean even if the user's hands are dirty. And of course, they are washable and reusable.
The NRR (Noise Reduction Ratio) of the E.A.R. UltraFit earplugs is 25 decibel; for industrial uses, they are fully compatible with the E-A-R-fit dual-ear validation system – a testing system developed by 3M to test the individual hearing protection level and needs of every user.
Among the international distributors of the 3M E.A.R. UltraFit earplugs is the Brownells e-Commerce platform; they are available for $4.99 a piece in the United States and 2,80€ a piece in Europe. Bulk purchase options are also available: 10-pieces packs are available for $19.99 in the United States and 26,50€ in Europe, while 50-pieces packs go for $104.99 in the United States and 128,30€ in Europe.
The Peltor Sport earplugs are instead a slightly higher-quality, less general-purpose hearing protection solution based on the same overall design.
They're sold in 3-pieces packs, and issued with a practical pocket soft case; just like the 3M E.A.R. UltraFit, they can be washed and reused multiple times – although single-use versions exist of both models.
The neon green color of the rubberized cord and of the elastomer-based polymer plugs is not the only feature that tells the Peltor Sport earplugs from the baseline E.A.R. UltraFit.
The NRR ratio offered by the Peltor Sport earplugs sis slightly higher than the UltraFit's, being set at 26dB; the construction is also of a higher quality in order to offer a longer service life and good protection level even after they have been washed and reused multiple times.
The shape of the flanges not only allows the Peltor Sport earplugs to be used on ears of any size, but also allows the user to adopt a custom wearing style without exposing himself/herself to dangerous noise levels.