Discussion in 'NFA Firearms & Related Items' started by willywonka, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. willywonka

    willywonka New Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    I wanted to ask some of the experienced guys here. Do silencers really work, or is it just TV fiction? I've always wondered this. I don't know how legal they are either, but they interest me because I'm worried about hearing damage from practice. My ears are very important because I'm an audio engineer, and with damage I would be out of a job. I do plan on using some serious ear protection at the range, but I figure any little bit extra would help a lot.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    Willy , it depends on the silencer , but basically yes

    there are differing levels of noises suppresion / dispersion

    as a audio guy you'd know about the differences between the two

    some calibers lend themselves well to being silenced some not so much

    the shorter the round compared to the bore size helps a lot

    a .45 will silence nicely as will a .22 but a long .308 lapua projectile is a bit more complex or say a .222 incot ( very long compared to a standard projectile)

    i used to have a doc on this but i dunno where it is now

    showed a graph that explained it well

    anyway the short answer is yes a silencer does work and if using a pistol round or similar works very well

    sub sonic ammo ad's a whole level on this and no foolin you hear the action on a 9mm more than the round when a good silencer and sub sonic ammo is used correctly

    hope this helps



  3. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    They work. There are different kinds that change how the gun sounds are suppressed. You have to pay a $200 tax to the ATF to own one and you have to fill out an ATF Form 1. That's what I was told about their legality. But yeah, they're legal. I don't want one because I don't want to have to do all the paperwork and pay the tax on it. And there are people out there that think they are illegal and it would just be a big misunderstanding. I'd imagine they can be handy in places. Shoot squirrels, rabbits and woodchucks outside without having someone call the police about gunshots.
  4. Ranb

    Ranb Former Guest

    Jan 24, 2010
    WA, USA
    They really do work. But depending on the silencer and the firearm is mounted on; it can be rather quiet or still loud enough to damage your hearing if you do not wear ear plugs.

    Take a look at this link. The technology of the silencers tested is a few years old, but it will give you an idea of what is available now. With a 22lr at 117 dB, 223 at 130 dB and a 308 at 138 dB you can not call them quiet. But it is impulse noise and appears to the ear to be much less noisy than say the continuous noise of a chain saw.

    With many of the silencers reducing noise by 30 decibels, they are very effective. This is a 1000 times reduction in noise intensity and an 8 times reduction in perceived loudness. The best silencer listed is over 40 dB which is 10000 times less intensity and 16 times less loudness. A 22lr rifle with a silencer will be pleasant to shoot without ear plugs while an ar-15 or 308 bolt gun will be somewhat comfortable as long as they are shot out in the open. When under weather protection or indoors, the sound of a high powered suppressed rifle reflects back to your ear (especially the sonic boom from supersonic ammo) and will cause hearing loss if you are not wearing ear plugs.

    While a silencer does not work much better with subsonic ammo, the suppressed weapon as a whole can be 10 dB less noisy due to the much lower powder charge when compared the full power loads has links to various manufacturers. You can find a forum at and a forum, law summaries and dealer lists at .

    Double hearing protection (plugs and muffs) will be very effective, but using a silencer also reduces noise pollution and protects the hearing of bystanders who may not be wearing ear plugs. They also reduce recoil and eliminate muzzle flash. They will not reduce accuracy unless they are improperly mounted and cause baffle strikes.

    When selecting a silencer, you need to consider cost, durability, size and effectiveness. Dealer and manufacture service are also considerations. Getting a silencer that you can take apart for cleaning is a good idea if you are using 22lr in it as that cartridge really fouls a can fast. Center fire rifle silencers are usually welded together as they do not get filled up with gunk when using jacketed ammo.

    You do not say where you live, but if you are in the USA, then you need to live in AL, AR, AK, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MO (with C&R), MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI or WY to own one without a license. ATF approval is routine but takes about 4 months now and there is a $200 for each one you buy or make.

    Last edited: Jan 29, 2010
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