I got a giggle out of this. I have a .300 WBY Mag that's got a brake installed. It tends to turn heads once you touch a round off. Made the mistake of shooting that thing outside without hearing protection once so I would know what it would be like in the field. I will never do so again. I was certain the ringing of tinnitus was going to be permanent. :biglaugh:I always double up on hearing protection (plugs & muffs) when shooting indoors. Not so much because of my own firearms, but because some dingus always shows up with a 7.62 shorty M1A with a muzzle break while I'm there.
If you are really concerned about noise level-learn to love the .44 Spl and .45 Colt. Lowest pressure centerfire rounds. A .45 COLT round has about 10 less decibels sound energy than a .357 mag. Does not sound like much-but sound energy Doubles with every 3 dbl. increase.
I am only running a 262 grain slug at 630 FPS out of my Colt new service revolvers. I do not make a habit out of it. But I shoot them without hearing protection once in a while. Not that bad really.