Researchers Advise Wearing Hearing Protection When Shooting Air Rifles

In their article published in the International Journal of Audiology, University of Northern Colorado faculty Deanna Meinke and Don Finan conclude that all air rife shooters, especially youth, should wear hearing protection when engaging in shooting activities.

The recommendation stems from their study that examined sound levels and risks associated with shooting 10 different air rifles — nine that use pellets and one, the classic Red Ryder, that uses BBs.

While Finan and Meinke's team found that the air rifles didn't exceed the 140 decibel-exposure limit for adults, eight of the rifles exceeded the 120-decibel-exposure limit for youth. The exposure limits are established by the World Health Organization.

The article, "Auditory Risks of Air Rifles," was published this month in the Journal of Audiology Special Issue: Celebrating Hearing Loss Prevention. It's available at: