A sound suppressor, or what is legally coined and trademarked as a silencer, is a device that you attach to the end of a threaded barrel on your firearm of choice. This is an item that is apart of what is called the National Firearms Act and is heavily regulated.
Before we get started on this blog, I want to discuss OSHA’s safety standards. According to OSHA any constant sound above 85dB can cause long term to lifetime damage to your hearing, as such employers are to supply employees with ear protection if they are in an environment that constantly subjects them to noises above the 85dB range.
Let’s go over some common sounds that we’ll hear throughout our daily lives.
A regular conversation or your air conditioner hover around the 60dB range. A running shower, or an older dishwasher washing dishes is at about 70dB. Your toilet being flushed and the vacuum cleaner are in the 80dB range right there with alarm clocks and snow blowers. A food processor is in the 95dB range. A lawn mower and a rock band concert have more or less the same decibel rating at around 100-110dB. If you ride motorcycles, the decibel rating will typically be in the 100dB range.
Those are the sound levels of things that you may hear every single day, sounds that you can hear from a fair distance away. For the cherry on top, we’ll throw in a sound from nature; thunder. Thunder comes in at about 120dB when it claps (which is similar to that of emergency vehicles with sirens blaring).
One of the most common myths out there is that silencers make firearms completely silent to where a person in a nearby bedroom couldn’t hear the gun go off… this is heavily a myth that has been perpetuated by movies. Wherever the chart from Dakota Silencer’s pops up, you’ll see the decibel ratings for the more common firearms on the market in various calibers, including the Daisy Red Ryder. These ratings are from the muzzle and not what the shooter picks-up in their own ear.
The one I want to focus on is the suppressed .22LR and non-suppressed .22LRs. The Ruger 10/22 (#5 & #10 in the list)only loses 27dB in sound when suppressed, but still registers at 113dB which makes it just as louder as a motorcycle.The suppressed Walther P22 does benefit more by dropping the amount by 41dB…however it is still just as loud as your average lawnmower. So, not being able to hear the gun fire in the next bedroom over I think has been completely debunked by now.
“It doesn’t make it movie silent, there’s no need for them when you have earpro.”
Yes and no. Yes, as it doesn’t make a gun movie silent. No in that you don’t need one if you have ear pro. In a home defense scenario your ears and your family’s ears (even pets) will appreciate the sound suppression in the unfortunate event that you had to use your firearm to defend them.
Beyond home defense, I want to look at some of the European countries that have extremely strict gun laws (verging not allowing people to own any). Many of them require silencers on hunting guns or let them be sold like we sell magazines; because they are simply accessories. Over there it is considered a courtesy for those that may be around you while you’re hunting.
You also have to take into consideration the sound that’s still being registered in your ear with ear protection in. A lot of the more common earpro on the market decreases sound levels by ~30dB, similar to that of suppressors. In many cases on unsuppressed guns the dB rating that you’re hearing is still in the realm of causing damage over prolonged exposure. Throw on a suppressor/silencer and you’re down closer to safer ratings.
Essentially, yes. Running a suppressor will bring the noise down to what you experience with earpro if you aren’t using the two together…for hunting this may or may not be something you would prefer. When you wear the two together though, you’re right around the safe level of noise.
Suppressors need to be removed off of the National Firearms Act, even if nothing else gets removed. Why? It’s an accessory, not a firearm, so right there it makes no sense to be a part of the NFA. To add more insult to injury on this one, they were only added due to ignorant politicians that did not understand what they were legislating which seems to always be the case. Whether you agree or disagree with this stand point, leave a comment over on Facebook, and tell us what you think.