Otto Sponsors National Shooting Sports Month, Celebrates with Employees

Otto Communications celebrated National Shooting Sports Month, of which it is a sponsor, by treating employees to a day at Fox Valley Shooting Range in Elgin, IL.

JR Rehayem, Otto senior account manager, was excited to return to the range after many years to try out the company's NoizeBarrier Range SA headset while shooting.JR Rehayem, Otto senior account manager, was excited to return to the range after many years to try out the company's NoizeBarrier Range SA headset while shooting.Photo: Otto Communications

August is National Shooting Sports Month and Otto Communications, a leading manufacturer of hearing protection solutions for military, law enforcement and shooting sports,has announced it is proud to be a national sponsor. The company celebrated the month by treating employees to a day at Fox Valley Shooting Range in Elgin, IL.

National Shooting Sports Month is an initiative of the National Shooting Sports Foundation and was established to draw positive attention to shooting sports. Combined with the National Shooting Sports Foundation's +One Movement, National Shooting Sports Month encourages firearms owners to introduce someone new to the lifetime of entertainment provided by participating in a variety of shooting sports.

Since many Otto employees had never before shot a gun, the day at the range was a great way to introduce some new people to sport shooting in support of the +One Movement. In addition, several Otto team members took the opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the enjoyment of shooting.

Twenty members of Otto's sales, engineering, and customer service teams were able to try out four different firearms. Two experienced sport shooters on the Otto team acted as range safety officers to ensure the safety and comfort of team members when handling the firearms. Each person was able to try out a .22 Ruger Mark IV, a .45 GLOCK 21, a 9mm FN 509, and a .223 ArmaLite (AR)15, starting by shooting three slow rounds, then three rapid fire rounds with each gun.

The team thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even the novices who had never shot a gun before. "I learned how to hold a gun, and the proper stance to shoot. I really didn't understand how powerful a gun was until I shot it myself," said Stacy Johnson, customer service manager.

"It was a fun day," said Ryan Ewald, senior engineer, and veteran sport shooter. "It was nice to try out other guns than what I own."

Hearing the Difference

Otto team members also had the chance to compare a variety of types and makes of hearing protection while at the range. Between rounds of shooting when the range was "cold," team members were able to switch among the different types and styles of hearing protection available to compare competitive products to the Otto NoizeBarrier Range SA over-the-ear headset and the NoizeBarrier Micro earplugs. NoizeBarrier hearing protection offers advanced situational awareness technology to allow nearby sounds to be heard clearly without clipping or shut-down when shots are fired. Testing out the hearing protection turned out to be almost as informative as shooting for novices to the sport.

For Otto Regional Sales Manager Al Arends, the day at the range was enlightening. "It was pretty interesting and informative," Arends said. "I had never shot guns before, but now if buddies invited me along, I'd probably go. My one concern was protecting my hearing. Having the chance to use and test quality hearing protection added to the overall positive experience."

Overwhelmingly, Otto team members preferred the Otto NoizeBarrier products over the competition. The clarity of the situational awareness sounds and the ability to hold a conversation while shots were being fired nearby were strong differentiators. Many comments about the competitive products focused on the distracting background wind noise emanating from a fan in the range bay.

"With the NoizeBarrier Range SA headset on, the depth of the sound was much better. I couldn't hear the impulse of the gunshots; rather I felt them," said Arends.

Ewald's experience with the NoizeBarrier Micro earplugs was similar: "It was possible to have a conversation and continue talking during shooting."

Mark Talesky, senior project engineer summed up the day best: "It was a great experience to not only see our products in use first hand, but to actually feel the different handguns and AR we had there. I definitely want to go back again and spend a little more time at the range to actually see how good (or bad) my aim is!"

For more information about Otto Communications, visit

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