Two weeks ago, my bank card got hacked. Again. As I was getting it replaced, I knew I wanted to update the information on my USCCA Membership account. I don’t want to be without the protection for a moment.
I called to update my account with the new card number, and while we talked, the customer engagement representative convinced me to upgrade from Platinum to Elite. She also mentioned a couple of gifts would be sent to me as a thank you for upgrading.
Normally when an organization sends you “gifts,” the items are promotional stickers or trinkets that, at best, end up in junk drawer but more likely the garbage. However, I was pleasantly surprised by what USCCA sent: A pair of Howard Leight hearing protectors and a custom range bag!
Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Hearing Protection
My first pair of electronic hearing protectors in the mid-90s were Howard Leight as well. My college purchased them for me to use while conducting police academy firearms training. The then-new hearing protection cost around $220, as I recall. My instructional team and I were amazed by their ability to cancel the sound of gunfire.
However, the price was prohibitive for students and some instructors. The Howard Leights were also bulkier than standard ear muffs and powered by expensive watch batteries that weren’t available everywhere.
Fast forward to now. I’ve used and reviewed several sets of electronic hearing protectors since my original Howard Leights died. However, I always liked the Howard Leights. I was thrilled when I found that one of the two things in the USCCA box was a set of Howard Leight Impact Sport Electronic Earmuffs!
Howard Leight Features
The Impact Sports feature “air flow control.” According to the packaging, this feature is responsible for the slim earcup design, which helps ensure firearm stock clearance.
The Impact Sport Protectors are powered by two included AAA alkaline penlight batteries. Battery life is 350 hours, and replacement is easy via the exterior compartment located on the right muff.
The Impact Sport noise reduction rating is NRR 22dB, and sound-activated compression (a technology that still amazes me) is but 0.02 seconds. Sound is detected through two high-gain omnidirectional microphones.
The Impact Sport hearing protectors also feature an AUX input jack located on the left muff below the on/off/volume control. A 3.5mm cord is included to connect to other audio sources, making them ideal for listening to music, sports or podcasts while mowing.
The automatic shut-off that engages after four hours is one of my favorite features. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had muffs get turned on after getting jumbled in my range bag, leaving the batteries dead.
My wife — who for some reason claims I am hearing challenged at age 64 — is also impressed by how much my hearing (allegedly) improves while wearing the Impact Sport protectors. I think she wants me wearing them all the time! They are very comfortable … but not THAT comfortable.
The Howard Leight Hearing Protectors are a nice bonus for upgrading to the USCCA Elite Membership Level. The MSRP is $54.
USCCA Range Bag
The other item in the box is a very nice, briefcase-style heavy-duty range bag. There is no manufacturer label on it, but USCCA has it listed as a $75 value, and I would say that is accurate.
The USCCA embroidered ballistic nylon bag has four separate exterior pockets. One of these holds spare pistol magazines, while another can hold two AR magazines. There is also a center bag that can be used to hold a pistol or be completely removed from the main bag. It, like the main bag, has two carry handles. And a shoulder strap for the main bag is included.
I had a chance to test the bag on a recent trip out of town, when I wanted to discreetly transport an emergency rifle to supplement my Glock 27. My Henry AR-7 Survival rifle fit the 15-inch-long bag perfectly without drawing attention. I had the AR-7, four loaded magazines and 100 rounds of additional .22 LR ammo contained in the bag along with three Glock 27 mags. Since the USCCA emblem wisely does not feature a firearm, I had no concern about drawing attention.
If you haven’t thought about upgrading your USCCA Membership (or joining), now is the time to act. The bonus gifts change from time to time, but they are sure to be of equal quality to these.