View Full Version : Question about silencers

Tranquil Suit
7/30/2013 2:23pm,
In pretty much every movie I see, a silencer turning a gunshot into an almost mouse squeek "pew" sound.

But I read somewhere that a standard silencer lowers the volume of a gunshot from 160 Db to 120 Db.

So is there any way to get it down to like 10 Db?

What about putting the gun point blank to the target (human head) with a pillow inbetween?

What about a covering the gun in blankets or a piece of carpet? You know, like in Godfather 2.

Is this fiction or a possibility?

P.S. I know dick about guns, so be gentle.

Mr. Machette
7/30/2013 2:54pm,
Yeah, the movies are full of $#!+. Sorry man, but there it is.

A couple of things:

There's no such thing as a silencer. "Supressor" is the proper term. A more accurate one too.

They are better at protecting ears than making your gun silent.

As far as masking the sound? They will always make a sound, but the goal originally was to make it indestiguishable as gunfire as a reasonable distance. Within 30 yards or so you definitly know something is up. Beyond that it may not sound like a "gun" and past 60 it may not be audible at all. This is still a great improvement over the very noticeable report of an unsupressed fire arm.

Getting down to 10db is nigh impossible. At least with "guns" as we know them. The supressor dampens the muzzle blast well but it has no effect on the sound of the action or gases excaping through the ejection port or from the front of the cylynder on revolvers. Fixes to this problem include a "slide locking mechanism" so that the action does not cycle when the gun discharges, giving you th3 r34l "FWOOP".

Revolvers leak gas from the front of the cylinder so they are even harder to supress. The only revolver which features a "gas seal" system is the antiquated Nagant 7.62. So if you want the "FWOOP" in a wheel gun that is your best bet.

Bolt actions do not cycle automatically so they make fine suppressed rifle platforms.

Shotgun supression is a novelty and AFAIK has only been done as an experiment inspired by No Country For Old Men just to see if it works. They got some sound supression but not like in the movie.

The pillow thing and the carpet thing are kind of bull but they look great on film.

Another issue is bullet velocity. One contributing factor to the noise is the small crack created by the "super sonic" bullet. For this reason, "sub sonic" amunition is available for supressed shooters. However, with reduced velocity comes reduced range and power.

So making a quieter gun is a series of technical descisions and comprimises that will never get you to "100% silent". At least not in an atmospheric medium...

To be trully "10db quite" or less you should look into bows. Or LASERs...

FWIW though, a supressed 22lr semi auto is REALY quite. Maybe not 10db quiet, but they do sound just like in the movie.

PHWHIP PHWHIP "Leave the gun, take the cannoli".

7/30/2013 3:04pm,
There is a shop that manufactures suppressors here in town. That's right Bonners Ferry, Idaho. They also make some awesome 10/22 mags.


I've been told that a suppressed .22 semiauto pistol or rifle firing subsonic ammo gets to the point where the action working is louder or as loud as the report. This was by people I trust to know...

In any case, they sell a lot of suppressors up here.

*Edit* I have used CB caps in my 10/22 for "squirrel supression in my back yard They do not cause the action to cycle, and weren't any louder than a air rifle. In my old Winchester model 61, with a longer barrel, they were even quieter.

Scut Farkus
7/30/2013 3:43pm,
I'm kind of a suppressor n00b but I'll tell you all about it next year. I'm ramping up to make my first round of purchases. Interestingly, silencer is becoming the more commonly used term in the industry. Probably because movies call them silencers, legislation calls them silencers, etc. So the manufacturers are using the term too.

There are a ton of good videos on Youtube if you want to get a feel for what they really sound like. As mentioned already, a bolt action .22 with subsonic ammo can be quiet as hell.

A 9mm with subsonic ammo is about as quiet as you'll get with a gun that can reasonably be used for self defense. .45s and soforth - it will keep you from ruining your ears if you have to shoot in the house.

8/01/2013 5:09pm,
Whispering at 6 feet in a library is like 30db. So no, 10db is a nogo.

Some guns can get very quiet. But these are usually purpose built exotic ammunition fired out of purpose built guns. Then you got your .22LR subsonic + suppressor loads, which is very quiet.

Even though suppressed centerfire firearms are still 'very loud,' i believe you'll be surprised by how effective suppressors are. It does much more than just change the report and actually reduce the noise very substantially.

8/01/2013 5:12pm,

8/02/2013 10:27am,
Dan Weson would be another option for a revolver The space between the cylinder and the barrel was adjustable to almost nothing and was by used some goverments / agencies for that reason. They were a damm fine gun in general.

8/02/2013 7:22pm,
Shotgun supression is a novelty and AFAIK has only been done as an experiment inspired by No Country For Old Men just to see if it works. They got some sound supression but not like in the movie.

Shotgun suppression, or moderation as we call it in the UK, is not a novelty.

Moderated shotguns are relatively popular over here, because of people getting tired of dealing with faggots whingeing about noise when doing pest control jobs. Also because of the vagaries of UK firearms law, a moderator for a rifle is sometimes treated as a firearm in and of itself requiring it's own slot and good reason justification on the firearms licence. Although police are usually perfectly happy to issue slots for rifles with moderators or slots for moderators. One of my friends even had the FEO offer to add a slot for it to his application even though he hadn't applied for one originally.

However, for shotguns they're treated as being integral to the shotgun, so once you have a shotgun licence, which are fairly routine to get, you can own as many moderated shotguns as you want, as long as you register them within 7 days of purchase.

Mossberg do a range of moderated pump action shotguns that are relatively popular here with amateur and semi-pro pest controllers, usually fitted with an under slung lamp, like so:


They really do work, they can get a 410 down to be very quiet, as well as a 20 bore. They by no means make them silent, if you're standing within 10-15ft you know a gun's gone off. However, they massively reduce the noise, as in this ratting video.


They will even reduce the noise from a 12 bore a bit, but obviously not very much and nowhere near as much as a 410 or 20 bore. Also of course the film no country for old men isn't realistic in it's portrayal.

Scut Farkus
8/02/2013 8:30pm,
^^^Haha! That's awesome. Damn, that looks fun.