Like a number of previous posters have mentioned, I too have constant ringing in my ears from a couple episodes of indiscreet gunfire exposure superimposed on a long history of gunfire noises. Like they've already mentioned, always use something. I recommend plugs PLUS muffs. The combination does two things: 1. provides nearly an additional 25-33 db of noise reduction. 2. Blocks noise conduction through both the ear canal and through the bones surrounding the ears. I like the soft, foam plugs. The max noise reduction factor I usually see is 33 decibels. Nowadays, I mostly use electronic muffs. I have a pair of Walker Game Ear muffs, but I find myself using a pair of Caldwell electronic muffs more and more. The Caldwells cost about 1/8 of the Walkers. The Caldwells can usually be found on sale for $25-30. I bought mine from www.midwayusa.com. If using electronic muffs in addition to the plugs, just turn up the volume on the muffs so you can still hear the sounds you want to hear.
ETA: I use plugs and muffs. Nowadays, the muffs I use are mostly electronic.
This post was edited on 2/21 at 12:23 pm