View Full Version : Db ratings?

January 18, 2000, 10:06 AM
Are there any charts anywhere that give the decibel ratings of different calibers? I have seen recoil charts...but never a noise chart. And if there isn't...have any of you guys thought of doing one? It would be pretty simple. Just take a Db meter and set it at a certain distance, then fire and record the number. Of course, the only problem would be the different rifles in use. That would really throw some inconsistency into the works. But it would still give an idea of how the different calibers relate. let me know what you think...or where to find one.


January 18, 2000, 10:30 AM
This would be extremely hard to do. First off as you note every rifle is different. Then there is barrel length. Does it have a muzzle break? Does it have a Boss and at what setting of the Boss? What sort of action is involved? What loading are you using? What weight bullet in the specific caliber? What powder? What velocity are you getting out of the round? What of sub-sonic ammo? These are what I can think of in about a minute of thinking about it.
It's a good idea in theory but quite impractical in execution. Better to know the threshold of pain and damage to the human ear. I know I've lost plenty of hearing over the years. Most people I know know that they usually have to ask me something twice or get my attention and ask carefully the first time. I'm one of those who hear crickets and tree frogs most all the time or else just have a constant humming or ringing in the ears. I must say I prefer the crickets and tree frogs to the ringing though I'd rather have neither. :D

January 18, 2000, 11:47 AM
There is a Db chart on page 42 of the Guns & Ammo 2000 Annual that is SUPPOSED to be peak sound averages of the following guns:
.44 Mag Revolver 164
.357 Mag Revolver 164
.30-06 Rifle 159
.45 Auto 157
.38 Special Rev. 158
12 Guage Shotgun 156
.223 Rifle 155
.22 Revolver 152
.22 Rifle 134
I'm sure the Db levels vary quite a bit with loads, barrel lengths, etc., like Fal308 said.
We all know how them "Gunwriters" are though don't we? ;) (Lmao!)

Screw the Anti's!!

January 18, 2000, 12:46 PM
Huh? What? Yeah I've got the constant ringing in my ears that sounds like crickets. I really wish I could still hear them little devils. My wife can't understand why they don't bother me, as she is tearing the house apart looking for one of the squeaking little pests. From Outlaw's chart even a .22 is loud enough to do permanent damage, although not very much, every little bit helps.(or hurts) As responsible gun owners and shooters it is our duty to teach our sons and daughters to use ear protection whenever shooting, even if just a .22. Huh?

January 18, 2000, 03:34 PM
Well, execution could be simpler than you put it fal308. I mean...yeah, if you are going for a perfect chart. And I am sure all the people that want to do it do in fact want a very accurate, precise chart. But I think it would be a fun afternoon to go out with all yoru different rifles and take some Db readings to see how they relate to each other. And then take it even further and start comparing same rifles with the same caliber and see how much variation there is there. You know...just tool around with sound. Just for fun :) Thanks for the interest guys! For me, sound is right up there with ballistics on the "fascinating factor."


Tony III
January 18, 2000, 07:57 PM
Db is almost meaningless the SPL (sound pressure level) is what matters in hearing damage. The frequency & duriation of a sound combined with the human ear's & each individual's own sensitivity to various sounds & even the atmoshperic pressure all come into play in how "loud" somthing sounds. Knowing the Db rating is like identifying a single "high point" on a graph, easy to measure, but it dosen't tell you much about the overall function. As the Guns & Ammo chart shows Db readings just don't mean much. I like the Idea of quantifing the sound levels of various weapons & loads, but it would need to be a side to side comparison & then everyone present could rank the sound on a scale from 1-10. Ballistics is pretty scientific but sound, is an ART!

January 18, 2000, 10:54 PM
Hmmm...how about this: instead of measuring in Db's, why not do it in total watt output. That would simulate a human ear sort of. If the total output is taken, then that eliminates the insufficiency of simply measuring a peak level. It is the difference between just the dot at the top of a curve, and taking the entire curve on both sides of the peak (both increasing wattage and decreasing wattage). Now, the only problems is -- how to measure the wattage! I think I will leave that to you smart guys to figure out. I still think it would be cool to see relationships of sound between calibres -- but yeah...it is tricky.


January 20, 2000, 11:23 AM
Okay I think I understand now a little better what you're looking for Hueco. Possibly instead of a high point, use a range instead (i.e. 125 decibels as opposed to a range of 110 - 140 decibels)? Couldn't take all my rifles out to try what you suggest. For one thing it would take too long to load/unload the pickup (they won't all fit in my RX-7), I don't want to clean that many weapons and last but not least my shoulder couldn't take it. :D
Tony I know what you're saying but let me ask, is the SPL dependent upon atmospheric pressure levels and/or atmospheric conditions? If so, then maybe the decibel level would have an application as that would be more constant? Just asking as I have no idea whether it would be or not.

Futo Inu
January 20, 2000, 05:24 PM
I disagree that measuring damaging sound waves is an art. It is a science. Now I agree that Db may not be a good measure, as it may not highly correlate with damaging sound. And perhaps there is no standard accepted measure of this at present. But SURELY there could be/is a way to come up with a factor/rating/formula that takes some objective measure, such as Db, or perhaps a different one, and then factor in the distance, air pressure, etc., etc., and result in a useful measure of "liklihood of blowing your eardrums" in not so many words. Also, I would think that the gun design would cause Db or other measure to differ drastically, so cartridge would only be a starting point.

[This message has been edited by Futo Inu (edited January 21, 2000).]