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Old April 24, 2007, 06:00 PM   #1
junkpile
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Suppressed Firearms Question

I have, of late, been considering getting a suppressed handgun. I'm in the initial stages of my long-term plans, and wanted to get some advice, to clarify much of what I've read online but cannot understand.

Most suppressors give a certain number of decibels dampened. It will also sometimes give initial decibels, e.g an adjustment of 160 db to 117 db with speakers 7 feet from the firearm or whatnot.

But I feel I'm reading these numbers incorrectly. 110 decibels is still "chain saw" or "rock concert" noise. (If my quick googling is correct). That is very loud! Am I reading the data wrong, or is the suppressed sound still very loud?

I was wondering if anyone could give me a sound comparison that makes mores sense than decibels, if when they fire their suppressed firearm, it doesn't sound like a brief rock concert. I've watched online videos, but hard to get a handle on it. If I fired an integrally suppressed Ruger Mk II, what common sound would it sound like? If I fired a suppressed H&K Tactical (45 ACP) what would it sound like?

I ask not because I haven't been reading about these things, but because I'm trying to get a handle on what the meaning of what I've read is. Any insight would be appreciated!
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Old April 25, 2007, 09:04 AM   #2
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Most suppressed handguns are not whisper quite like Hollywood leads you to believe. Have you ever operated a pneumatic nail gun? That's about what you can expect from a suppressed .45. The sound given off by most suppressed handguns is still loud enough to damage your hearing, but only if it were constant for a sustained period of time. What would sound louder to you - an ambulance siren blaring for half a second, or one roaring for 30 seconds-1 minute? It's the same sound, but you might perceive one to be louder than the other due to the length and consistency of the sound.
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Old April 25, 2007, 12:17 PM   #3
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Syntax -- sums it up about right. Nail gun is how I describe my external suppressors on a P22 & 10/22 with subs.

My TAC67 on a 77/22 with subs into a sand trap truely is spooky quiet -well, as suppressors go.


My SOS45 on my 1911 is still border line painful to me in a 20x30 enclosed area. outside no problem.

Remember too that a large factor in the sound is the bullet impact on target.
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Old April 25, 2007, 03:47 PM   #4
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I had the opportunity to shoot a supressed 10/22 with subsonic ammo at the range 2 weeks ago. It was every bit as quiet as hollywood portrays.

take a 10/22 and slide open the action. Now release. Hear the clanking noise? Thats all I heard as it was being fired.


.223 suppressors... watch "black hawk down". the scene where the two delta snipers were inserted into the crash site... one of them is using a suppressed M4. Impressivly enough, that IS a very accurate sound and noise level of a suppressed AR. First one in history, I think, to get it right.


Last but not least... a .22 cal handgun with regular ammo (not subsonic) sounds (in volume and sound both) like the final scene in borne identity, when the guy gets shot down in the street.
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Old April 25, 2007, 04:08 PM   #5
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I have a YHM suppressed HK usp tactical .45. I never wear ear plugs shooting it with the can and shot dry it is quite a bit louder than shot wet. It never hurts my ears but I would say that shot dry, the sound does sound like a gun shot, kind of like a .22 with the edge take off so to speak. Shot wet it sounds like an air nailer and its pretty quiet. The .45 is difficult to suppress due to the bore size but Ive been happy so far with this can.
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Old April 25, 2007, 04:48 PM   #6
Chris Phelps
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Quote:
The .45 is difficult to suppress due to the bore size

Actually, the 45 is one of the easiest to supress, due to the fact that its ammunition is already subsonic. (sourced from past research on suppressed firearms.)
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Old April 25, 2007, 07:17 PM   #7
Mike703
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There's more to suppression than the dB rating

of the suppressor. You need to consider the sound the cartridge makes at firing (which the suppressor can handle), the sound of the bullet going supersonic (which can be handled with subsonic loads or a suppressor with a ported barrel) and the sound of the action (which is suprisingly loud on a semi/full auto weapon). Another thing to consider is the background noise. On the range next to other non-suppressed weapons it'll be quite quiet. In the woods where all you hear are insects, it'll be very loud. The most accurate, quiet background video for a 9mm weapon I found was at http://www.silencerresearch.com/lrm_m169_review.htm . And don't be driven by the dB numbers alone. It's a measure of the relative difference in sound levels and it does not account for changes in the "sound" itself. The best way to describe it is that even though the suppressed dB level is still loud, it's no longer a painful-to-the-ear crack. To me, a suppressed 9mm sounds like someone clapping their hands, which I can tolerate standing next to, as opposed to someone firing a weapon, which I'd have to cover my ears.
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Old April 25, 2007, 07:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Actually, the 45 is one of the easiest to supress, due to the fact that its ammunition is already subsonic. (sourced from past research on suppressed firearms.)
That is true...however you can purchase / load the 9mm to subsonic velocities and there is a good bit of difference in sound between the 9 and .45 shot through suppressed firearms.
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Old April 26, 2007, 07:58 AM   #9
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Very helpful, this is the sort of input I was looking for.

Quote:
Shot wet it sounds like an air nailer and its pretty quiet.
Suprising.
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Old April 26, 2007, 11:34 AM   #10
Travismaine
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Most company's that make suppressors have stopped playing the DB game. All the better known company's are well known enough that you know what your getting. Plus there are many variables that play into the final number. Things that effect the final sound levels are barrel length, handgun or rifle, semi auto of single shot, subsonic hypersonic ammo and even the suppressor being wet or dry.

Lets say you got an outback2 you put in on a Ruger mkII with a 6 inch barrel using pmc moderator ammo it will be a bit quieter then using remington subsonic but not as quiet as Aguila super colibri. Now you put the same suppressor on a 77/22 the Remington subsonic will be as quiet as the Aquila was in the handgun. The Aquila ammo does not have any powder in it.

I hope this helps you. There is no solid answer to your question to many things can change it.
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Old April 26, 2007, 12:37 PM   #11
Chris Phelps
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I guess I need the "wet/dry" thing explained. I thought I knew back when I assumed that they were fiberglass packed (long time ago) and since learning more about suppressors, I guess I put the wet/dry thing on the back burner. This thread, however, has me quite curious.
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Old April 26, 2007, 03:54 PM   #12
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Most suppressors are just stacks of baffles, and adding water/white lithium grease/etc. helps dissipate a lot of the heat that would be responsible for a lot of the noise.
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Old April 26, 2007, 07:39 PM   #13
junkpile
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Some of them don't say "where" you add the water...how does the liquid part work? (Or is it all the same)
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Old May 5, 2007, 07:15 PM   #14
douglasschuckert
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Suppressors...

.22 CANs sound exactly like a .177caliber CO2 Pellet gun. EXACTLY.

9mm is a LOUD can. The first round pop is amazing! It will make your ears ring if shot inside (if shot from a pistol) a SMG on full auto is a LOT quieter (something to do with the amount of gas being expanded).

the .45 is a great round to suppress (if shooting down range). You will not hear a sonic crack, but you will hear the report still. It muffles it. Its a lot of powder to quiet down. If you shoot the can dry it will be loud enough to make your ears ring. Outside you can hear an echo (for the first several shots). None the less, its a pleasure to shoot silenced.

I Use silencers to keep from having to wear hearing protection. In the field, Special Operations uses them, not to be quiet, but to hide the shooter's location. If you ever get the chance, stand down range when someone is shooting a suppressor. You can still hear the report, but you cant tell which direction the sound is coming from.

What people see in movies, is bull. Plain and simple. You cannot get a gun that quiet. Even .22's. Granted .22's are my absolute fav to silence. Is a pellet being shot at 1,200fps. MEAN LITTLE [color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color][color=#FF0000]█[/color]!

For a first time can... get a Pilot or a Outback-II. Cheap, life time guarantee, and you cant shoot them out. If you do the companies will replace them.
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Old May 5, 2007, 08:29 PM   #15
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I am guessing you have either old suppressors or little experience with them. I have a can on my H&K usp tactical that all you hear is the slide. FYI a .45 is the best weapon to suppress because the vast majority of ammo is already subsonic. Using a high velocity ammo with a can does not negate the sonic boom simply the muzzle blast. My 22/45 with my outback 2 using standard high velocity ammo makes a sonic crack as all supersonic ammo does. The same gun and can with Remington subsonic makes a slightly more noise then the slide racking. When you use even lower velocity ammo say PMC moderators all you hear is the slide.
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Old May 6, 2007, 04:52 PM   #16
douglasschuckert
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Where did you get your .45 suppressor? :D

Travis: I seriously want to know what manufacturer’s made your .45 can if all you hear is the action noise? I’m going to purchase every can they have!

The .22LR is the BEST choice for a suppressor. Bar none!

I challenge someone to argue this, after trying it

Take a Ruger MK2 or MK3. Use standard velocity .22LR and using the palm/ball of your hand hold the bolt closed while you shoot through a quality can. What you will hear is a sound that is indistinguishable from a Wal-Mart .177 CO2 pellet gun.

The way silencers work is EXACTLY the same way a Crotch-rocket motorcycle’s muffler works. The action noise of your average pistol comes in at about 90 to 100db. It doesn’t seem that loud because the noise is so brief.

A little bit of interesting data:

The noise from a MD-88 passenger jet aircraft, at full throttle, is about 129db. The average suppressed .22 (the built in units) is about 116db. If there is only 14db difference in sound, then how can we shoot all day and all night long, but cant stand 2 seconds around the engine? Simple answer: Frequency.

The human ear can only hear sounds (regardless of Db rate) between the range of 20 to 20k Hz. What a suppressor and motorcycle muffler does is not necessarily decrease db rates as it is modifying and therefore causing the sonic frequency to cancel itself out. In turn making the noise seem quieter than it is because it is in essence lowering the frequency to a more comfortable range.

This is why a lot of the really good suppressor designers and manufactures do not outwardly publish db rates. It truly is an unfair and highly inaccurate way of representing a product. Unfortunately it’s a catch 22. Manufacturers that do publish db rates do so with the intention of giving people a recognizable way of judging their can’s performance. What should be published is the frequency of the silencers upon weapon discharge. Unfortunately unless you’re an sonic engineer, smarter than the average person, or are an audiophile, you would have no friggin’ clue what the frequency numbers are. On top of that, the necessary testing equipment is EXTREAMLY expensive. From an operator’s (read SOCOM) perspective, a suppressor (other than .22) serves no other function than to hide the operator in the manner of misdirection. If you are standing downrange from a suppressed weapon, although you can still hear the report, it becomes VERY difficult to tell from what direction the shots are coming from. This is why operators MAKE EVERY ATTEMPT to NOT FIRE A SINGLE SHOT. Even a single shot from a silenced MP5 (the quietest of 9mm weapons is the H&K MP5SD) can, has, and will compromise a teams existence in that particular theater of operations.

I have a 1911, and a MK23 SOCOM with an AAC Evolution .45 can that I shoot them both with. The report is actually quite loud out from either weapon. The MK23, you can lock the slide to effectively be a single shot pistol. When the can is dry, its VERY loud (loud enough that its almost painful to shoot inside, and outside it will make your ears ring), but wet, its quite pleasant to shoot. Would I purchase the can again? HELL YES! I love shooting suppressed weapons. I don’t have to wear hearing protection if I don’t want to…

But even with a .22 it is impossible to delineate the sound of the report itself unless you use an inhibited can (wipes) or cover the muzzle with a duck-taped pillow :-).

If someone wants a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY nifty and UBER sweet silenced weapon… Get the dedicated upper to the Ruger MK2/MK3 series .22LR pistols from GEM-TECH! STUPID QUIET! JUST STUPID!

I have a suppressed MK-II (AWC) , a 10/22 (GEM-TECH) – this sounds exactly like a pellet gun, a AAC Pilot (to use on my other .22 pistols) – same as the pellet gun, an AAC Evolution-45 – sounds like someone takes a M-80 firecracker and covers it with a cardboard box. (when shot dry), when wet it sounds like the same firecracker under a pillow, an AAC M4-2000 .223 – sounds exactly like an unsuppressed .22LR from a rifle, a Gem-Tech Viper can in both .45 and 9mm (for use with my MAC 10) – sounds very, very nice… hard to describe the sound… fullauto suppressed fire is actually a lot quieter than single shots, and a Tactical-Innov. TAC-65 (for use on my full auto .22 upper for my MAC) – a little louder than the other .22 cans, but still very effective.

I’ve used while in the military, a LOT of .22, 9mm, 6.8mm, .223, 7.82(x51)/.308, 338, and a couple of 50BMG cans. They have all been very effective and efficient (with the exception to Knight’s Armament stuff). The only suppressors I have ever shot that I can actually attest to hearing only the action noise, are the .22 cans. Even then, when you know what your hearing, you can still hear the report.

Sorry for the long-windedness. I’m at work and bored. :-)

Oh and BTW: I have a great deal of experience with suppressors. All my cans are less than 2 years old. Anyone who owns .45 cans or have shot them know, that even if you used wipes in your can, you will still hear a GREAT deal more than "just the action noise". The .45 is not the best weapon to suppress. Physics alone negate that. You have a bullet the size of your pinky tip (on average weighing 230gr) being pushed by a **** ton of powder, propelled to between 850 & 950 fps in an amount of time that can be measured only in nano-seconds…. There is absolutely NO WAY of negating the sound of that gas exploding from the end of the muzzle unless your suppressor is 6 feet long and 3 feet around... even then with about a 1/2 gallon of jello in it. You'd probably still hear a lot of the report. - The hole through a can is larger than the hole in the barrel... unless you use wipes, exploding gases will still escape out causing a loud report. You can't argue with physics, just like you can’t argue with gravity. Your last posting just doesn’t make sense. On the other front.. The PMC Mod. Ammo is a quiet round indeed, but its combat ineffective. It’s the same round as CCI’s CB round. Neither the Mod nor the CB round like to cycle many actions very well at all. Every simiauto out there relies on the recoil generated by the (controlled) explosion of the round. Manufacturers make the ammo subsonic or quiet by removing some (or in the case of the Mod or CB just about all) of the power charge (explosive payload), or make the bullet so damn big (as the case of the .45). The CB and MOD propel the bullet by the explosiveness of the primer (and an extremely low amount of powder). These rounds are good for game control at VERY close distances, but neither is good to shoot from a silencer. The round does not have the speed necessary to stabilize very well and can result in a baffle strike potentially destroying your silencer. Shoot them if you want to, but if you can place a target at 50 feet and see keyholes… you’ve got a round that is NOT safe to use through a can.
Just a FYI. Before you try and slander someone else, please make sure you absolutely know what your talking about. The notion that a .45ACP from a H&K USP through a suppressor is so quiet all you hear is the action noise… it’s not only unbelievable, but just plain ludicrous. Only in Hollywood will this happen. Hell, they can make a .45ACP FMJ flatten against a man’s eyeball and fall to the ground… and make standard cloth impervious to the 2000rpm of a mini-gun! :-D (the latest Superman movie). I’m not trying to bust your balls or be rude. I don’t think neither of us appreciates being called stupid… especially in a public forum.

Last edited by douglasschuckert; May 6, 2007 at 05:28 PM.
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