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Old December 14, 2005, 02:39 PM   #1
Para Bellum
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HD etc noise issue 9x19mm, .45 and .357 vs .223

According to the data of this link:
http://www.freehearingtest.com/hia_gunfirenoise.shtml

the 9x19mm (159.8 dB) and
the .357 Mag (164.3 dB) and
the .45 ACP (157.0 dB) etc

are actually louder than a .223 rifle (155.5dB).

What is your personal experience. Maybe the individual perception of the level of noise ist not the same than the actuall sonic pressure and damaging effect?
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Old December 14, 2005, 02:52 PM   #2
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noise consideration

Thanks for an interesting post! It is somewhat surprising that the Luger is so load! I wonder if it depends also on the type of gun.

On a related note, I have always been very aware of the caliber noise and this is why I am still using my ppk 380 for home defense. A lot of "stopping power" and caliber wars rage on this and all forums, but keep in mind that a bigger caliber and faster bullet shot indoors can seriously ruin your hearing! This is the reason why I would never get a SW 500 caliber revolver. I want to keep my ears!

Also, although the numbers seem close, there is actually a big difference since noise is a log scale! A small incease is a big increase in noise / pressure.
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Old December 14, 2005, 03:00 PM   #3
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From what I understand when your adrenaline gets going you lose all your fine motor skills? So noise and flash won't be as bad?
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Old December 14, 2005, 03:20 PM   #4
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This season, I got my first whitetail. I shoot a 12g 870 w/slugs. When that deer was in range, my heart was pumping and adreanaline (sp?) going like crazy. I didn't even notice the shot, just saw the deer go down *I spined it* I had a second shell racked just in case *quickest ever*. My ears were not ringing, didn't feel the recoil.

I can only imagine if it was a life/death senario for me. I cannot imagine I would have any less adren. pumping, and I know my 12g is louder than my 9mm. I'm not worried about it.
+ no breathing = no hearing... vs. part hearing but breathing..... easy choice IMO.
I must also admit surprise at the loudness of the 9mm.
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Old December 14, 2005, 03:29 PM   #5
too many choices!?
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Like I needed another reason to use .223 for home defense!

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Old December 14, 2005, 04:18 PM   #6
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Pretty interesting stuff! I wonder if they took into account barrel length? I can shoot a .22LR rifle all day long without protection, but a .22 pistol? Ouch! Also, my mini-14's loud enough, but a Remington XP-100 in .221 Fireball is absolutely punishing, even with a good pair of muffs, and I think that the .221 is pretty comparable to a .223 round in general. Seems to me, general rule is the shorter the barrel, the louder it is to the shooter.

I think you're going to get more responses down in General Discussion, so I'm moving this there .
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Old December 14, 2005, 04:30 PM   #7
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I dont believe it

That cant be true, a .223 is much louder than a .45 or 9mm. Speed is what makes em loud.
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Old December 14, 2005, 04:36 PM   #8
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I respectfully dis-agree

Quote:
Speed is what makes em loud.
A black powder gun is fairly slow, right??

fairly loud too, right??
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Old December 14, 2005, 04:42 PM   #9
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me again

I guess speed and of course propellant amounts and type are both factors but all i know is i havent heard a .45 or 9mm that is anywhere even close to the loudness of a .223, ever.
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Old December 14, 2005, 04:49 PM   #10
Para Bellum
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Quote:
but all i know is i havent heard a .45 or 9mm that is anywhere even close to the loudness of a .223, ever.
that's what I assume, but the numbers in my original post are pretty clear, so maybe it's just the impression of loudness because of the sharper sound of the .223 but yet actually not as loud or harmin as the pistol calibers...
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Old December 14, 2005, 04:54 PM   #11
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I think you're onto something there. A .223 is much more of a sharp CRACK when shout where as the 9mm & 45's are more of a KA-BOOM. I see what you're saying but don't know how to scientificly say it......

Quote:
the 9x19mm (159.8 dB) and
the .357 Mag (164.3 dB) and
the .45 ACP (157.0 dB) etc

are actually louder than a .223 rifle (155.5dB).
Oh, I guess you already did, it's just kinda hard to explain.
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Old December 14, 2005, 04:55 PM   #12
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That 223 wasn't shot out of a pistol.....
You should hear my carbon 15 pistol......Double hearing protection or you ears will be ringing for days..
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Old December 14, 2005, 05:23 PM   #13
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Do you know where those numbers were measured from? The shooter's ears, or the end of the barrel? I would think the extra distance between the muzzle of a rifle and your ears would be better than the relatively short distance between a pistol and your ears (depending on how you shoot your pistol, of course)... that might explain it... maybe? Or maybe the distance difference isn't enough to really affect the numbers. I dunno, but I'll second that I haven't heard a 9mm that's louder than a .223
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Old December 14, 2005, 05:56 PM   #14
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loudness

I cant figure it out either, i mean a .30 carbine is pretty dam loud as best as i can remember and its not big or fast. It could be a pressure thing in there somewhere too. I mean a .357mag. is louder than a .38sp. but a longer caseing and a little more powder isnt just what makes the .357mag. a more powerfull cartrige, its in the pressure.
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Old December 15, 2005, 01:19 AM   #15
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A muzzle brake or flash suppressor will reflect more of the muzzle blast from a 223 rifle back towards the shooter. The actual decible level may not be different, but the noise is worse for the shooter with the muzzle widjits in place. Barrel length has some effect also, the 20" barrel is not as bad blast wise as a 16" barrel.

Having serious hearing damage, I'm careful about using hearing protection. The .357 is one of the worst rounds in a handgun I've ever shot, being a very high pitch. As a consequence, I'd rather use a 44 spl or mag, or 45 Colt than the .357 for just about any purpose. The .357, even with ear plugs AND muffs, leave me with ringing ears for a day or two (actually, they always ring, they just ring much louder after shooting some rounds), the larger calibers don't have as much of an effect for me. I can also use loads with less velocity, (and muzzle blast), and still get good performance on game, or for defensive use.

I'm not blessed with the "not hearing the shot" syndrome. I've fired shots while hunting and instantly thought DANG!!! that was STUPID!!!!!!! I've seriously damaged my hearing on several occasions, and now will not fire a shot hunting without ear plugs. No game animals is worth losing any hearing over.

Having never had to shoot at a person, I guess I can't say for sure, but my first thought regarding the matter, is that I would be thinking about my ear plugs. I do NOT choose the extremely piercing .357 round as my defense caliber of choice, largely because of the noise factor, and also because it simply isnt as flexible as an all around gun as a larger caliber gun is.
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Old December 15, 2005, 01:23 AM   #16
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A 9mm louder than my 7mm Mag? I have a hard time believing that.

As others have said, maybe the perception is changed by where on the kaboom/crack scale the cartridge is.
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Old December 15, 2005, 04:14 AM   #17
Para Bellum
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sound pressure

Quote:
It could be a pressure thing in there somewhere too. I mean a .357mag
That maybe it. Here is some info on decibel from wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel

Quote:
Acoustics
The decibel unit is often used in acoustics to quantify sound levels relative to some 0 dB reference. The reference may be defined as a sound pressure level (SPL), commonly 20 micropascals (20 μPa). To avoid confusion with other decibel measures, the term dB(SPL) is used for this. The reference sound pressure (corresponding to a sound pressure level of 0 dB) can also be defined as the sound pressure at the threshold of human hearing, which is conventionally taken to be 2×10−5 newtons per square metre, or 20 micropascals. That is roughly the sound of a mosquito flying 3 m away.

The reason for using the decibel is that the ear is capable of detecting a very large range of sound pressures. The ratio of the sound pressure that causes permanent damage from short exposure to the limit that (undamaged) ears can hear is above a million. Because the power in a sound wave is proportional to the square of the pressure, the ratio of the maximum power to the minimum power is above one (short scale) trillion. To deal with such a range, logarithmic units are useful: the log of a trillion is 12, so this ratio represents a difference of 120 dB.

Psychologists have found that our perception of loudness is roughly logarithmic — see the Weber-Fechner law. In other words, you have to multiply the sound pressure by the same factor to have the same increase in loudness. This is why the numbers around the volume control dial on a typical audio amplifier are related not to the voltage amplification, but to its logarithm.

Various frequency weightings are used to allow the result of an acoustical measurement to be expressed as a single sound level. The weightings approximate the changes in sensitivity of the ear to different frequencies at different levels. The two most commonly used weightings are the A and C weightings; other examples are the B and Z weightings.

Sound levels above 85 dB are considered harmful, while 120 dB is unsafe and 150 dB causes physical damage to the human body. Windows break at about 163 dB. Jet airplanes cause A-weighted levels of about 133 dB at 33 m, or 100 dB at 170 m. Eardrums rupture at 190 dB to 198 dB. Shock waves and sonic booms cause levels of about 200 dB at 330 m. Sound levels of around 200 dB can cause death to humans and are generated near bomb explosions (e.g., 23 kg of TNT detonated 3 m away). The space shuttle generates levels of around 215 dB (or an A-weighted level of about 175 dB at a distance of 17 m). Even louder are nuclear bombs, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and volcanoes, all capable of exceeding 240 dB.

Quote:
dB(SPL) Source (with distance)
250 Inside of tornado; conventional or nuclear bomb explosion at 5 m
180 Rocket engine at 30 m; blue whale humming at 1 m;
Krakatoa explosion at 100 miles (160 km)[1]
150 Jet engine at 30 m
140 Rifle being fired at 1 m 130 Threshold of pain; train horn at 10 m
120 Rock concert; jet aircraft taking off at 100 m
110 Accelerating motorcycle at 5 m; chainsaw at 1 m
100 Pneumatic hammer at 2 m; inside disco
90 Loud factory, heavy truck at 1 m
80 Vacuum cleaner at 1 m, curbside of busy street
70 Busy traffic at 5 m
60 Office or restaurant inside
50 Quiet restaurant inside
40 Residential area at night
30 Theatre, no talking
10 Human breathing at 3 m
0 Threshold of hearing (human with good ears)
Quote:
A 3 dB increase in the level of continuous noise doubles the sound power, however experimentation has determined that the frequency response of the human ear results in a perceived doubling of loudness with every 10 dB increase; a 5 dB increase is a readily noticeable change, while a 3 dB increase is barely noticeable to most people.
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Old December 15, 2005, 07:11 AM   #18
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It is important to realize that even if the adrenaline response, etc. causes auditory exclusion it does NOT mean your hearing is not being damaged. The brain rejecting the sound is not the same as the ear mechanism and auditory nerve shutting down, which does not happen in auditory exclusion.

Always wear hearing protection whenever possible.
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Old December 15, 2005, 11:10 AM   #19
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Anybody shoot/shot a 380 and a 9mm? How much louder does the 9mm sound? Is it significant or is there very little difference?
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Old December 15, 2005, 11:23 AM   #20
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I've shot 9mm, .357, and 22LR w/o protection

22LR wasn't too bad, I wouldn't recommend too much of it though.
9mm my ears were ringing for two days...fired a whole mag
.357 one shot, loud little beast

.460 rifle with protection was fine, 223 with protection IMO louder than .460....I could be wrong though.
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Old December 16, 2005, 03:34 AM   #21
Para Bellum
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Supertac

Quote:
22LR wasn't too bad, I wouldn't recommend too much of it though.
9mm my ears were ringing for two days...fired a whole mag
.357 one shot, loud little beast

.460 rifle with protection was fine, 223 with protection IMO louder than .460....I could be wrong though.
Did any of this shooting w/o protection notably damage your hearing?

I myself shot a 9x19mm w/o protection. Auditory exclusion and a funny hearing-feeling for about an hour. A test at the doctor later on showed still perfect hearing.
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Old December 16, 2005, 02:22 PM   #22
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I've fired off two 15-round mags of .40 S&W w/o protection. Every great once in a while, I still get a faint ring in my right ear. Lesson learned.
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Last edited by Twycross; December 16, 2005 at 03:52 PM.
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Old December 18, 2005, 01:26 PM   #23
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Interesting information. I was wondering however, wouldn't the actual load of the round itself as well as the mechanics of the gas block/blow back not have a part in the level of report. I shoot 9mm primarily and I have noticed a little difference in the level of report between the typical range ammo I use and some of the defensive rounds I have tried including some of the +P variants. At the same time I have been able to hear someones Mini14 or AR over my 9mm.
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Old January 17, 2006, 04:55 PM   #24
Para Bellum
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News from the otologist (ear specialist) on the .223 noise compared to 9x19mm

I recently happened to be examined by an otologist (ear specialist) who also served in the Army and did extensive ballistic testing.

He said that the difference between .223 noise and 9x19mm noise is in the mircoseconds area where most tests (milliseconds) can't reach. He meant that the .223 does way more damage and is much louder but for such a short time that most devices can't record the difference. In his opinion the key to ear-damage is bullet speed. Anything above 880 meters/second were critical.

OK. Protection for indoor-shooting with my .223....
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Old January 17, 2006, 06:46 PM   #25
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I have to wonder if those sound tests took into account nearby walls (shooting inside). A rifle directs more noise away from the shooter, but a wall will return it, making it probably louder than the pistol in the same environment.
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