View Full Version : Rifle - Audible Distance

July 13, 2007, 11:06 PM
Do any of you guys have any general distances for how far away you can hear a rifle (.30-06 and .22lr/.17hmr)? I'm thinking more of in a field/partially wooded area rather than in the mountain or anything with crazy echoes and stuff. My father has some property he would let me shoot on, but I need to make sure the neighbors aren't going to be alarmed, It's legal there and it certainly wouldn't be unheard of to hear gunshots now and then around the area, but an afternoon of shooting might get some unwanted attention. I put both .22 and .17 in there because I am considering getting a .17 and didn't know how it compared to the .22 in that respect. The rimfires are actually for another location of my buds, I'm not concerned about those on the farm property. Thanks in advance!

July 13, 2007, 11:18 PM
I have heard a lot of rifles shooting at a distance and it just sounds like a rattle. As loud as it is up close, a quarter mile will make a 30-06 sound like a pop. You mentioned mountains, and yes echoes can travel a long way. But, if there are woods or other obstructions the sound dies quickly.;)

July 13, 2007, 11:27 PM
As long as it's legal to shoot where you want to shoot, I would not worry about it much. You may want to slip a piece of paper into the neighbor's mailboxes with your phone number and a friendly "hello, I'm going to be shooting" message ahead of time if you have reason to suspect that they will question the sound of gunfire.

.30-06 rings quite a bit louder than rimfire as far as these things go. .22s and such are not usually noticable past 1K yards or so. Even at a few hundred yards it is not going to draw much attention. Big .30s and the like will be heard a very long way off. It won't be offensive to rural folk, but it's worth keeping in mind.

July 14, 2007, 12:34 AM
If it is a rural area, chances are the neighbors are hunters / shooters themselves. If you are already friendly with them, invite them to shoot with you. If you are not already friendly with them, invite them to go shooting with you and maybe make some new friends in the process.

July 14, 2007, 12:50 AM
Thanks for the responses! I know I can easily get around 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile of separation on the farm, more if I start hoofing it. Preferably they would never know I was there, but I may do some pacing tests or something to see what the difference really is. Ultimately, I guess I just want to figure out if they are going to be able to hear it or not so I know whether to warn everyone every time I would go out there. I mean, I'm pretty much a gun fanatic, but hearing random gunshots when I can't see the shooter still makes me a bit edgy.

My dad just recently bought this property, and no one actually lives on it. A guy down the road takes care of the farming part, the previous owner planned on a building a house and retiring there, but decided (I think his wife actually did the deciding) that it was too far out in the country. I haven't actually even met the neighbors yet, so maybe inviting everyone shooting is a good idea! Who wouldn't like that?:D

chris in va
July 14, 2007, 03:06 AM

July 14, 2007, 03:16 AM
A 30-06 will be audible for over 2 miles, easily. A 22LR, on the other hand, will hardly be audible 1/4 mile away.

July 14, 2007, 03:21 AM

;) I've considered one for the .22. Combine that with subsonic ammo and you could be pretty inconspicuous.