Here’s a handy chart detailing the noise levels of silenced (aka “suppressed”) firearms. This is excerpted from an infographic from Silencerco.
The takeaway: silencers/suppressors aren’t as convenient as fiction would like to think. Get creative in those stealthy scenes. What other ways are there to be silent but deadly? (er, wait…)
If you’re having a hard time reading that chart, here’s the breakdown (in decibels).
- Library whisper – 30 db
- Emergency vehicle siren – 115 db
- Silenced .22 rifle – 116 db
- Thunder – 120 db
- Silenced 9mm pistol – 125 db
- Dish breaking – 129 db
- Jackhammer – 130 db
- Silenced .223 rifle – 134 db
- Silenced 12 gauge shotgun – 137 db
- Jet taking off – 150 db
- Non-silenced 12 gauge shotgun – 160 db
- Non-silenced .223 rifle – 165 db
Get the Book
The Writer’s Guide to Weapons: A Practical Reference for Using Firearms and Knives in Fiction (Writer’s Digest Books) comes with everything but the ammo. Pick up a print or digital copy from these fine retailers:
8 thoughts on “How Loud is a Silencer?”
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Thank you, Agen! That’s very nice of you to say. Comments like yours are encouraging, and I plan to keep this blog going for a long time.
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Thanks Ben for the chart on showing how silencers really work in reality. Now I can hopefully convince my states senator to vote yes on the H.R.367 – Hearing Protection Act of 2017.
very helpful information you share here. Good to know about this.
Are those numbers with subsonic rounds? A suppressed .22LR with subsonic round is extremely quiet.
I don’t believe so. Subsonic rounds would be even quieter.